Obama: As Warlike as Bush, and Just as Lonely

September 5th, 2013 by Glen Ford

With obscene imperial arrogance, President Obama proclaimed that the “world” – not he – has drawn a bloody “red line” in Syria. “I didn’t set a red line,” said Obama, at a stop in Sweden on his way to a Group of 20 nations meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia. “The world set a red line.”

That’s news to the rest of the planet, including most of the Group of 20 and the meeting’s host, Russian President Vladimir Putin, who described Obama’s claims that Syria used sarin gas against civilians in rebel-held areas as “completely ridiculous.” “It does not fit any logic,” said Putin, since Syrian President Assad’s forces “have the so-called rebels surrounded and are finishing them off.”

It’s news to China, which will surely join Russia in vetoing any Security Council motion to provide legal cover for Obama’s aggression. And it’s news to the usually compliant UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who this week reaffirmed that “the Security Council has primary responsibility for international peace and security” and “the use of force is lawful only when in exercise of self-defense in accordance with article 51 of the United Nations Charter and or when the Security Council approves such action.”

It’s news to Great Britain, America’s temporarily wayward poodle, whose parliament rejected any military entanglement in Obama’s red line. As esteemed political analyst William Blum points out, 64 percent of the people of France oppose their government’s planned participation Obama’s Battle of the Red Line.

Apparently, a young and impressionable Obama took the 1985 USA for Africa song “We are the World” too literally, and believes that all one need do is sing or shout the words to make it so.

A new Reuters poll shows 56 percent of the American public oppose U.S. intervention in Syria, with only 19 percent backing Obama. The First Black U.S. President, who was hired (by corporate sponsors, and later elected) to put a new face on U.S. imperial policy after his predecessor’s defeat and international isolation over Iraq, now finds himself more alone in the world than George Bush, and with even less support at home.

Nevertheless, Obama will doubtless press forward with his aggression, for the same reason that Bush defied world opinion and a vibrant domestic anti-war movement, ten years ago. U.S. imperialism has no option but to bang its military fist on the table to reset the global game board, just as it attempted – and ultimately failed – to do in Iraq in 2003, and as a unified NATO temporarily accomplished, after a 7-month bombing campaign, in Libya in 2011.

Obama’s Syria crisis is another chapter in the Euro-American response to the so-called “Arab Spring” that threatened to upset western dominance in the center of global energy extraction – the end game for global capitalism as we know it. Within a week of Mubarak’s fall from power in Egypt, the U.S. State Department informed the press corps that Washington prefers monarchs to autocrats in the Middle East – a very loud signal that the U.S. had suddenly become far more dependent on the royal thieves of the Persian Gulf, the only Arab forces in the region on which the U.S. could depend. Peering into the abyss of sustained popular agitation in the Arab world, the U.S. and its European and royal Arabian allies attempted to leap ahead of the curve of events with a massive display of NATO force against Libya and a mobilization of jihadists in the region, mustered mainly by Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

The goal was to transform the character of the Arab Spring into a battle against secular socialist regimes in Tripoli and Damascus, along with a general Sunni jihad against heretical Shiites of one sect or another. The mission was to remove those states whose very existence threatened the monarchies while at the same time diverting the masses’ energies into sectarianism. (All of which is fine with Israel, whose strategy since its founding has been to foster chaos and division in the Arab world.)

Libya fell with the assassination of Muammar Gaddafi (Hillary Clinton: “We came, we saw, he died”), but the Assad government in Syria has held on for almost three years, and was prevailing in its battle against the U.S./Saudi/Qatari-backed jihadists. The 2011 game plan was coming undone. This summer in Egypt, where the West’s nightmare of eviction from the entire Mideast began two and a half years ago, the military seized total power and went on a killing spree against the Muslim Brotherhood, exponentially complicating the U.S. regional jihadist strategy. General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s government, which is carrying out a ghastly pogrom against its own Islamists, opposes the U.S. strike against Syria and tells its followers that the U.S. might turn against the Egyptian military regime, next. (This, despite massive infusions of cash from the Arab monarchs to the military government.) Both sides in Egypt’s divided society now accuse the other of being allied with Enemy Number One: the U.S. The crisis that Washington hoped to get ahead of, with the attack on Libya, had metastasized. Egypt was wholly unmanageable, and Syria was defeating Washington’s jihadists.

Thus, the transparent frame-up of Assad, with direct U.S. participation. It was a panicky move, with the fate of the Empire at stake. Mistakes in execution were surely made, and will come to light – which is why U.S. intelligence agencies hedge their accusations against Assad, leaving room to construct alternative scenarios as the original fable falls apart under the weight of facts and logic.

Obama may well get permission from the U.S. Congress to smash the Syrian state. The president reserves the right to launch the attack, unilaterally, and will not be punished if he does so. It is quite possible that Assad will soon be dead, and Al-Nusra jihadists will be cutting off heads in what’s left of central Damascus. But one thing is certain: the U.S. has no long term allies among the Arab people – certainly not the jihadists, who will also turn on their royal paymasters at the first opportunity. The game board cannot be reset – not for long – and, at some point in the not too distant future, the U.S. will be ejected from much of the Arab world.

Obama lays down his red line because – as in 2011 – he has no other options. It has been a twisted “Arab Spring” – but, for U.S. imperialism, it is winter in Arabia.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at [email protected].

Israeli Lobby Urges War on Syria

September 5th, 2013 by Stephen Lendman

It did so formally. It didn’t surprise. It has more than Syria in mind. A previous article explained.

The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations wants war. AIPAC is its best known member.

It’s a blight on humanity. It’s an unregistered foreign agent. It operates illegally. It does so destructively.

It promotes war. It deplores peace. It supports the worst of Israeli crimes. It supports its most unprincipled interests.

It controls US administrations and Congress. Edward Said called it “the most powerful and feared lobby in Washington.”

In a matter of hours, he said, it can mobilize unanimous Senate support for Israel. Political Washington bows to its will. It does so disgracefully. It does it destructively.

It’s doing it now. In days, Congress will rubber-stamp Obama’s intended lawless aggression on Syria. He plans mass killing and destruction.

AIPAC endorses it. On September 3, it headlined ”Press Statement on Syrian Resolution,” saying:

“AIPAC urges Congress to grant the President the authority he has requested to protect America’s national security interests and dissuade the Syrian regime’s further use of unconventional weapons.”

“The civilized world cannot tolerate the use of these barbaric weapons, particularly against an innocent civilian population including hundreds of children.”

“Simply put, barbarism on a mass scale must not be given a free pass.”

“This is a critical moment when America must also send a forceful message of resolve to Iran and Hezbollah – both of whom have provided direct and extensive military support to Assad.”

“The Syrian regime and its Iranian ally have repeatedly demonstrated that they will not respect civilized norms.”

“That is why America must act, and why we must prevent further proliferation of unconventional weapons in this region.”

“America’s allies and adversaries are closely watching the outcome of this momentous vote. This critical decision comes at a time when Iran is racing toward obtaining nuclear capability.”

“Failure to approve this resolution would weaken our country’s credibility to prevent the use and proliferation of unconventional weapons and thereby greatly endanger our country’s security and interests and those of our regional allies.”

“AIPAC maintains that it is imperative to adopt the resolution to authorize the use of force, and take a firm stand that the world’s most dangerous regimes cannot obtain and use the most dangerous weapons.”

AIPAC’s one of 51 US Zionist organizations. The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations (CPMAJO) represents them.

AIPAC’s best known. Both organizations work cooperatively. CPMAJO largely focuses on US administrations. AIPAC mostly lobbies Congress.

They seek unequivocal support for Israel. They’re in lockstep for war on Syria. On September 3, the CPMAJO said:

“The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations said today that the use of chemical weapons violates fundamental international norms and principles.”

“The use of such indiscriminate weapons of mass destruction represents moral challenges that require a strong response. It also poses vital national security concerns to the US and to our interests and to those of our allies in the region.”

“Those who perpetuate such acts of wanton murder must know that they cannot do so with impunity. Those who possess or seek weapons of mass destruction, particularly Iran and Hezbollah, must see that there is accountability.”

“Failing to take action would damage the credibility of the US and negatively impact the effort to prevent Iran from achieving a nuclear weapons capacity.”

“We hope there will be a national consensus that will send a strong bipartisan message to our friends and foes alike of America’s determination to prevent the proliferation and use of weapons of mass destruction.”

AIPAC and other Conference members want war. They want Syria ravaged and destroyed. They want regime change. They want pro-Western puppet governance replacing sovereign Syrian independence.

They want Iran isolated. It bears repeating. The road to Tehran runs through Damascus. They want Iranian sovereignty destroyed. They back Israeli war plans. Washington has it own.

They were readied years ago. They could be implemented any time. Obama may do so on his watch. Full-scale war on Syria risks embroiling the entire region.

Attacking Iran is imperial madness. WW III might follow. Obama’s fool enough to risk it. He’s in lockstep with Israel’s imperial ambitions.

Both countries are out-of-control rogue states. They menace humanity. They do it mindless of what’s risked.

On September 3, Stars and Stripes headlined “John Kerry leads charge for military action against Syria,” saying:

He, “Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey pressed for US military action against Syria.”

They sold war for “three and a half hours.” They did so based on lies. They pressured Senate Foreign Committee members to go along.

“Kerry dominated the hearing.” It was his fourth Colin Powell moment. He repeated previously stated Big Lies.

“(T)he world is watching,” he said. It awaits America’s decision. Will it “speak with one voice?” Will it “rise to this moment and make a difference?”

We’re “here because (Assad) unleashed an outrageous chemical attack against (his) own citizens.”

“We’re here because a dictator and his family’s personal enterprise, in their lust to hold onto power, were willing to infect the air of Damascus with a poison that killed innocent mothers and fathers and hundreds of their children, their lives all snuffed out by gas in the early morning August 21.”

Kerry’s a serial liar. So-called evidence he cited is fabricated. It doesn’t matter. Obama’s “policy is that Assad must go.”

“(W)e have other (regional) strategic national security interests,” he said. He means Iran’s next after destroying Syria.

He lied saying “Obama is not asking America to go to war.” He’s used proxy death squads for two and half years.

He intends greater escalation. He intends shock and awe attacks. He intends lawless aggression. He intends full-scale war.

He didn’t initiate war to end it short of mission accomplished. Kerry didn’t explain. Nor did Hagel or Joint Chiefs chairman Dempsey.

Russian President Vladimir Putin strongly opposes war. He called evidence that Syria used chemical weapons “absolute nonsense.”

“I’ve already said I find it absolutely ridiculous that (Syrian]) government’s armed forces, which today are actually on an offense mission and in some regions have already encircled the so-called rebels and are finishing them off, that the Syrian army has used prohibited chemical weapons,” he said.

“They know all too well that this could become a cause for sanctions and even for a military operation against them. That’s stupid and illogical.”

“We proceed from the assumption that if anyone has information that chemical weapons were used by the Syrian regular army, then such proof must be presented to the UN Security Council and the UN inspectors.”

Proof must be independently verifiable. It must be “convincing.” It must exclude “rumor” and unsubstantiated intercepted communications and other fake intelligence.

“Even in the US there are experts who question the reliability of the facts presented by the administration.” They do so for good reason. Obama officials lied many times before. His war on Libya was based on lies.

Bush officials did so against Afghanistan and Iraq. All wars are based on lies.

“All other reasons and means that excuse using military force against an independent sovereign state are unacceptable and cannot be classified otherwise but as an aggression, Putin stressed.

“We would be convinced by a detailed investigation and direct evidence of who exactly used chemical weapons and what substances were used.”

“Then we’ll be ready to take decisive and serious action,” he said.

Congress intends authorizing lawless aggression. Wall Street Journal editors wholeheartedly approve. On September 3, they headlined “Water’s Edge Republicans,” saying:

“On Syria, (Speaker) Boehner and (House Majority Leader) Cantor r(ose) above partisanship.” They “announced their backing” for Obama’s war.

Doing so provided cover for backbenchers. Both parties are in lockstep on war. Journal editors give Republican House and Senate leaders most credit.

They questioned Obama’s “overall credibility as Commander in Chief.” Perhaps they want him to incinerate Syria to prove it. For sure they want full-scale war.

They’re mindless of the potentially devastating consequences. Imperial priorities alone matter.

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

His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.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 Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour 

http://www.dailycensored.com/israeli-lobby-urges-war-syria/

A political charade is underway in Washington, with the Obama administration and leading members of both the Democratic and Republican parties engaged in a phony debate in the run-up to war against Syria.

Top government officials, including Obama himself, are utilizing the period preceding a likely congressional vote next week to express their hypocritical outrage over Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s alleged use of chemical weapons and present “evidence” that consists of lies and unsubstantiated assertions.

The real causes and consequences of aggression against Syria are not discussed openly, with anything considered “sensitive”—i.e., that which must be kept from the population of the United States and the world—confined to closed hearings. All of the Obama administration’s premises are accepted as given by the media and both big-business parties, including the lies about chemical weapons use, the claim that this is the motive behind the drive for war, and the assertion that the upcoming conflict will be “limited” in character.

The sentiments of the population find virtually no reflection in these proceedings. On the contrary, the congressional hearings are part of an operation aimed at browbeating and delegitimizing antiwar sentiment.

The ruling class is well aware of the deep opposition to war among the American people. According to a Washington Post /ABC News poll published yesterday, 59 percent oppose any military strikes, compared to only 36 percent who support them. And this lopsided opposition is in response to a question that presupposes the US government’s central propaganda claim, that the Syrian government used chemical weapons to attack civilians, and that the planned strikes are a response to this attack.

There is not a single sector of the population—broken down by age, gender, political affiliation, education, income or region of the country—that supports war. It is significant, however, that opposition to war is higher among poorer Americans than among the wealthy (63 percent opposition among those earning under $50,000, compared to 51 percent among those earning more than $100,000). Young people are more opposed than older Americans (65 percent among 18-39 year olds, compared to 55 percent among those 65 or older).

The gulf between the political establishment and the population is not limited to war. At the height of the vicious government and media campaign against Edward Snowden, polls showed overwhelming popular support for the whistleblower, who continues to reveal government criminality. A pollsternoted at the time that public sentiment “goes against almost the unified view of the nation’s political establishment.” And so it is with war.

The antiwar sentiment is all the more significant in view of the fact that it follows two solid weeks of non-stop media propaganda, with the vacuous talking heads and agents of the state who function as news broadcasters eschewing any pretext of impartiality, let alone criticism. Syria is denounced as the “enemy,” government claims are presented as fact, and the long history of lies used to drag the population into war is ignored.

Any forum where genuine popular sentiment can find any expression reveals the divide that exists. Comments on generally pro-war articles and editorials in the New York Times and other major newspapers are overwhelmingly antiwar, and those most “recommended” by other readers are almost entirely so. Many comments express outrage that neither the political parties nor the media (including the Times itself) are the slightest bit interested in what the population thinks.

It is not necessary to glorify the past to take note of the transformation that has occurred in bourgeois politics. During the Vietnam War, congressional hearings were a serious undertaking. Certain politicians made an appeal to broader popular sentiment, and the media served as a mechanism for exposing government lies and secrets. Prior to the 1991 vote in Iraq there were extensive hearings. Even in 2003, the Bush administration made more of a pretense of establishing a case for war, though based on complete lies, with a lengthy build-up to the invasion of Iraq extending over several months.

Now, a decision to launch a war with incalculable consequences—including the possibility of sparking a civil war throughout the Middle East and a direct conflict between the United States and Russia—is made without any serious public debate. The proceedings on Capitol Hill, which will likely be wrapped up within a week, were staged only after the failure of the vote in the British Parliament last week.

The decay of democratic and political forms is an expression of a social process—above all, the extraordinary growth of social inequality. The state is run by a military and intelligence apparatus, in league with a financial aristocracy, determined to implement deeply unpopular policies at home and abroad. It exists as a permanent conspiracy against the rights and interests of the vast majority.

The Obama administration represents a certain culmination of this process. The “candidate of change,” the “transformative” president (as at 2008 statement by the International Socialist Organization put it), is leading the most right-wing government in American history. Elected in large part due to antiwar sentiment, Obama, the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, has overseen an historic expansion of militarism, including an international policy of drone assassinations and wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and now Syria.

The pro-Democratic Party organizations representing more privileged sections of the upper-middle class, which organized and led antiwar demonstrations in the early years of the Bush administration, have become pro-war. Supposedly “left” organizations such as the ISO and its international co-thinkers, along with their coterie of “liberal” academics, have prepared over the past two years the ideological justification for war, presenting as a “revolution” a US-engineered civil war that is dominated by Islamic fundamentalists.

Opposition to war now shifts decisively to the broad mass of the people—the working class. That there is general hostility to what is being planned is undeniable. As for those who supported Obama, there is an overwhelming sense that they have been lied to and sold a bill of goods.

This hostility must be given an active and conscious political form. There is no other political force outside of the Socialist Equality Party and the International Committee of the Fourth International that can provide leadership in this struggle. From the beginning, the SEP has explained that the actions of the Obama administration would be dictated not by the hopes of the population, but by the class interests that he and the entire political apparatus represent. The source of war lies in the capitalist system and the financial aristocracy, whose ruthless interests this system serves.

The SEP is fighting to mobilize opposition throughout the United States and internationally to the impending war. We will be holding meetings and organizing demonstrations wherever we can. We call on all our readers and supporters to take an active role in this fight. The voice of the working class must be heard. Contact and join the SEP today .

 

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday passed a resolution backed by the Obama administration that grants the president a free hand to carry out a devastating war against Syria in order to “change the momentum on the battlefield” and strengthen the US proxy forces seeking to overthrow the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

The resolution, passed by a vote of 10 to 7, with seven Democrats voting in favor, incorporates an amendment proposed jointly by Republican John McCain and Democrat Chris Coons declaring that “it is the policy of the United States” to shift the relationship of forces on the ground in favor of the opposition and enhance the fighting capabilities of “elements of the Syrian opposition.”

The resolution as initially formulated late Tuesday, following a hearing with Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey, included language allowing the president to use whatever force he deemed necessary to “deter and degrade” Syria’s capacity to use weapons of mass destruction now or in the future, provide “all forms” of military and political aid to the so-called “rebels,” and “limit support from the Government of Iran and others for the Syrian regime.”

The language of the resolution amounts to a blank check for the president and the Pentagon to unleash a torrent of death and destruction on Syrian troops and civilians alike, oversee the toppling of Assad and the installation of a US puppet government, and extend the war into Iran and even Russia. It explodes the White House’s lying pretense that it is preparing only a “limited” and “narrowly targeted” intervention—what President Obama last week called a “shot across the bow” of the Assad regime.

It exposes Obama’s claim that the planned attack will not have as its goal regime change. It makes clear that with the impending attack on Syria, US imperialism is expanding its military aggression in the Middle East to engulf not only Syria, but also Iran and, ultimately, Russia and China. The looming attack is part of a drive for US hegemony in the oil-rich Middle East and the whole of the Eurasian region whose ultimate endpoint is World War III.

The resolution grants the president an initial 60 days of military operations in Syria, with the option to extend the war by another 30 days. It includes a provision barring the use of American ground troops, but adds the caveat “for the purpose of combat operations.” This loophole will be used to escalate the use of CIA and Special Forces troops within Syria.

Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois, the second-ranking Democrat in the Senate, who voted for the resolution, said afterward of the military attack, according to the Los Angeles Times, “This won’t be a limited, but a powerful response.”

Before passing the resolution, the committee voted down a resolution by Democratic Senator Thomas Udall that would have limited military action to the use of naval vessels and blocked US war planes from entering Syrian airspace. The committee also voted down a resolution by Republican Rand Paul that invoked the War Powers Act of 1973 to stipulate that the president can order the use of military force only if the US is facing imminent attack.

Passage of the resolution is the first hurdle in the White House drive to obtain congressional authorization and launch military action as early as next week. On Wednesday, Kerry, Hagel and Dempsey appeared before the House Foreign Relations Committee to make the case for war.

The text of the resolution incorporates the lies, unsubstantiated allegations and factual distortions that have been employed by the administration to justify an unprovoked war of aggression against yet another impoverished former colonial country.

It asserts, without any substantiation, that the Assad regime used chemical weapons in an attack on opposition-held suburbs of Damascus on August 21, repeats the administration’s claim of over 1,000 fatalities in the alleged attack, accuses Assad of having carried out previous chemical attacks (ignoring United Nations charges that the “rebels” were responsible for those attacks), and blames the Syrian government for the massive toll in death and destruction that has resulted from more than two years of a civil war instigated and backed by Washington.

The key role of Senator McCain in formulating the resolution sheds light on the real background to and purpose of the war drive. McCain and his chief ally in the Senate, Lyndsey Graham, have for months been leading the agitation in favor of a major US escalation in Syria. Obama met privately over the weekend with McCain and Graham, and a White House spokesman welcomed the passage of the resolution with McCain’s regime change language following the committee’s vote.

At the end of May, McCain made a surprise visit to Syria and met with opposition militia leaders. His trip coincided with a government military offensive that had brought the US-backed opposition to the brink of defeat. It is likely that at that time he discussed plans for a major provocation to create the pretext for direct US military intervention.

It has been widely reported that in mid-August, US, Jordanian and Israeli Special Forces troops led hundreds of insurgents across the Jordanian border into Syria to launch an attack on Damascus. According to Syrian officials, the government launched a pre-emptive military offensive in areas around the capital city, including the site of the alleged August 21 chemical weapons attack, to halt this attack on Damascus.

This evidently set the stage for the alleged chemical attack that has been seized on as the pretext for a war for regime change—one that is in violation of international law, as it lacks the sanction of the UN Security Council.

It is clear that whatever occurred on August 21 was set in motion by the United States in order to save its proxy forces from defeat and escalate its imperialist aggression in the region.

In staging such a provocation and employing the technique of the Big Lie, the Obama administration is taking a page from the playbook of the Hitler regime. Every Nazi aggression—from the annexation of Czechoslovakia to the rape of Poland—was justified as a morally driven response to external aggression or attacks on the human rights of German populations.

Moreover, the war against Syria completely explodes the fraud of the so-called “war on terror.” As is well known, Washington’s major allies on the ground in Syria—and the forces that benefit most directly from US intervention—are Islamist militias linked to Al Qaeda, such as the Al Nusra Front.

Washington’s alliance with Al Qaeda, however, is not new. It goes back to the CIA’s funding and operational support for Osama bin Laden in the US-backed war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan in the 1980s. And it includes US support for Al Qaeda-linked forces in the war for regime change in Libya in 2011.

Where has a very small band of doctors and lay persons got to in achieving a searching and lawful inquiry into the death of this man?  Not very far is the answer.  But their energy, ethos, powers of analysis and intelligence have unearthed so many unanswered questions and so many lies that logic dictates foul play was the cause of his demise.  And the fact that Lord Falconer of Thoroton  arranged for Lord Hutton of Bresagh  “urgently to conduct an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Dr Kelly ” within three hours of the corpse being found showed very clearly that the Blair cabal wanted to contain, manipulate and emasculate any inquiry into this most high profile and unnatural death.

Some have criticised us for focusing on the death of one man, when the ‘coalition of the willing’ had murdered over 1 million humans, by usual ratio maimed over 2 million and caused 4 million to flee their homes.  5 million orphans, 1 million widows, and unusual and frequent birth defects completes the ‘legacy’ of Anthony Blair.  The media here in perfidious Albion have often referred to this need of his for a legacy.  It is there in good measure as the sun sets on that multitude of graves.

The focus on Kelly’s death is entirely appropriate.  It is a symbol of the blackness of the Blair cabal.

It is also a bleak monument to the power and cunning of the British state.  It has also revealed the principles in some.  I can recall a colleague or two saying to me with a thin smile ‘He was bumped off wasn’t he?’ as the shoulders were shrugged.  Many believe that cause of death but they go on to say that an inquest will never happen; Britain will never know the story until decades have passed.  They might have in mind that most of the records will not be opened for another 60 years.  These submissive people will still vote at the next election for Tweedledee, Tweedledum or Tweedle, lamely accepting that their government can do such things, and get away with it.  This disconnection is maintained by the media, by shallow thought and by blind loyalty to an illusory democracy.

Norman Baker MP wrote a good book – ‘The Strange Death of David Kelly’.  He concluded that he had been murdered. 

That book would be longer now because many more facts, omissions and lies have been disinterred since 2007 but that has got us no further.  I have described this case as being of very high voltage; the state, so shadowy in such things, has been determined to keep the lid tightly fastened on the truth in that churchyard of St Mary’s, Longworth.  Every time one looks at the transcripts on the Hutton ‘Inquiry’ web site (1) contradictions and omissions jump out.  The five chapters preceding the last two on the law, record some of the most salient.  Some others are in the front of my mind. 

The first policeman on the scene after the lay searchers had reported their grisly find, was Detective Constable Coe.  When he gave ‘evidence’ at Hutton he said there was only one colleague with him – DC Shields.  Others at and near the scene reported there were two men with Coe.  In an important Daily Mail article of 9th of August 2010 (2)  Coe confessed that there was a second man with him.  His name has not been released but he should have appeared at Hutton and be named anyway.  In the same interview he volunteered ‘On the ground there wasn’t much blood about, if any.’  Coe, since retired, has been interviewed by the Thames Valley police but an inquiry under FoI showed it to be cursory.

There  is no question that the body was moved.  Ms Holmes was the lay searcher who was lead by her dog Brock to Dr Kelly and came within 4 foot of his corpse.  The time was 9.20 am.  She described the head and shoulders as being slumped against a tree.  Mr Bartlett, the paramedic attended at about 10am with his colleague Ms Hunt.  The body was ‘laid on its back’. 

An interview with him by the Daily Mail 12 September 2010 (3) records – ‘He was lying flat out some distance from the tree. He definitely wasn’t leaning against it….  ‘When I was there the body was far enough away from the tree for someone to get behind it. I know that because I stood there when we were using the electrodes to check his heart. Later I learned that the dog team said they had found him propped up against the tree. He wasn’t when we got there. If the earlier witnesses are saying that, then the body has obviously been moved.’  At this point a coroner would have closed the inquest and the police would then have opened a criminal investigation.  The only explanation for a dead body being moved by a person or persons unknown is a malign one.  But Hutton did not adjourn the inquiry; the show had to go on.  My Lord Hutton (4) - 

“I have seen a photograph of Dr Kelly’s body in the wood which shows that most of his body was lying on the ground but that his head was slumped against the base of the tree – therefore a witness could say either that the body was lying on the ground or slumped against the tree. These differences do not cause me to doubt that no third party was involved in Dr Kelly’s death.”

David Bartlett is a brave and decent man; he is now a threatened species in these fair islands.  In this Daily Mail of the 12th September 2010 (3) he said this of Hutton’s inquiry.

“I thought they’d already decided the outcome and wanted someone to confirm it for them. They’d decided it was going to be suicide and that was all cut and dried…. I wasn’t impressed with how it was conducted. It should have been under oath, the photographs of the scene should have been released and they shouldn’t have sealed the documents for 70 years.” 

David Bartlett should have been conducting the inquiry but instead it required wigs and mountains of smooth but vapid words.

So the ‘law’ denied a scientist, and the living, a factual inquiry into his death.  The lie, and not the law was invoked.  I have described my own examination of the forensic medical ‘evidence’ of Dr Nicholas Hunt that underpinned the verdict as to cause of death and thus of suicide.  Firstly he did not reveal his first post-mortem report of the 19th of July 2003 at the Hutton Inquiry although Hutton referred to its existence in his opening statement.  The scan of the only available report by Hunt dated 25th of July and which was made public in the autumn of 2010 had the title ‘Final Post Mortem Report’.  The coroner had also referred to that first report in his letter to the Department of Constitutional Affairs -

“The preliminary cause of death given at the opening of the inquest no longer represents the view of the Pathologist and evidence from him would need to be given to correct and update the evidence already received.” (5) 

We might assume the first report spoilt the narrative significantly.  Secondly he spoke only of one blood sample when he took five.  He stayed silent when Dr Allan spoke of NCH44 which by deduction from his opening description of his tests contained NO paracetamol or DPPP.  We can assume the same for the two other samples that Dr Allan had examined in his advanced laboratories.  Why else were they passed over by the barrister?  And finally, we have the ‘enhancement’, the ‘sexing up’ of the blood observed by Hunt at the scene and on the corpse.  We could at least say that Hunt did not provide sound and complete evidence for the causes of death he listed.  Perhaps he was overawed by the Hutton circus.    

 I have written on the ‘report’ provided by Professor Shepherd to the Attorney General on the 16th of March 2011 in chapter 5 but there is more. (6)   He omitted discussion or defence of Hunt’s failure to bring his first PM report to Hutton.  He would have known how the GMC had castigated Shorrock for his failure in this. (7) 

Secondly, he dismissed the evidence of Ms Holmes.

Thirdly he dismissed my proposition that the volume of blood external to the corpse should be capable of measurement. 

I had provided papers from the field of midwifery.  Without such measurement, how can the pathologist say the victim died from haemorrhage alone?  Dr Michael Powers QC has made this point with sharpness.  Schorn MN Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, Nashville, TN 37240, USA  Visual estimation of blood loss is so inaccurate that its continued use in practice is questionable and it should not be used in research to evaluate treatment.’  Fourthly he dismisses the value of Henssge’s nomogram and his methods in estimating the time of death from the core and environmental temperatures.  The scientific bases for Professor Henssge’s methods are very sound and backed up by observation.  He has been most helpful in correspondence with me.  Aside from the timing of events like a gun shot by witnesses or by CCTV for instance, Henssge’s methods remain central in estimating the time of death.  Finally there is “ ..in which a young individual died solely as a result of a self inflicted, solitary incision of her left ulnar artery’ against the post-mortem report of the lady HSL82 recording a second cause of death – alcohol intoxication.  Two other statements follow which emphasise the possibility.  I have no words with which to sum up Professor Shepherd’s report to the Attorney General.  None.

Given the lies it is fair to ask ten years on how he might have been assassinated, if that is what happened.  No inquest, for a long list of reasons including the test of ‘beyond reasonable doubt’, could possibly have brought a verdict of suicide.  When my little letter to the Morning Star was published on the 16th of December 2003 I said at the end

I have hesitated in writing this because I would not wish to hurt any family feelings but the elite have shown no such qualms.” 

That wish still obtains but the hurt in Iraq is still felt by many millions.  That probably goes unfelt by millions in Britain. 

 So what might have taken place?  He probably made a rendezvous outside the village with a familiar person.  It is likely he was taken away by car and ‘debriefed’.  He would later have been sedated by an agent which could not be detected by standard forensic laboratory tests.  One cannot force an adult to swallow tablets, especially given his difficulty in this, so to get Co-proxamol into his stomach and circulation a stout Ryle’s tube would have been inserted and a suspension of ground up tablets instilled.  This might explain the abrasion of his lower lip which Dr Hunt could not. 

It was a common happening in anaesthesia if the blade of the laryngoscope was not lubricated and the lip was not held down as it was introduced, the lip coming up against the incisors.  Dr Hunt – “Yes, in the mouth there was a small abrasion on the lower lip. This was of the order of 0.6 by 0.3 centimetres, so very small; and there was no significant reaction to it. 

Q. How could that abrasion have occurred? 

A. With the particular appearance and location of this abrasion then it may have been caused by contact with the teeth, in other words biting.” 

If a murder is to be made to look like suicide then the act has to be separate from the scene so that it is not contaminated by evidence of crime.  It is possible that he was winched down from a helicopter with a man holding him by a ‘fire mans lift’.  The cutting of the left wrist and ulnar artery would have been done later with great difficulty, given the very unsuitable knife, at the final scene on Harrowdown Hill.  Although it seems there was plentiful herbiage in the wood, no police witness described a path that was taken by David Kelly from the bridle path to the tree.  If he was winched down through the tree canopy that would explain the three abrasions on his scalp, and on dissection – two bruises over his chest on the left side, one bruise below his left knee and two below the right.  But Dr Hunt’s explanations are of interest. (8) see paras 18.4 to 19.5. 

 And how might his life have been ended?  The morbid possibilities are wide.  Dr Hunt described a ‘tiny red lesion of uncertain origin on the inner aspect of the right thigh.’  It is not reported that the tissues beneath the skin were dissected so this was not excluded as an injection site.  But transdermal injection can be used and eutectic solutions/creams etc as shown by Mossad’s attempts to assassinate Khaled Meshaal.  As for agents, the ones that leave no trace are chosen.  Physostigmine was used, again by Mossad, on Mahboub in Dubai with the help of sixteen cloned passports for entry and exit.

Our laws have been subverted; there has been no inquest.  And Miriam Stevenson, through careful study and analysis, has shown that an inquest in this case would now be shackled in many ways.  We were right to insist upon one although the sacrifices of time and effort have been vast.  Others have sacrificed money.  When the plea to the High Court was mounted in the summer of 2011 (9), Margaret Hindle and Miles Goslett, a free lance journalist, set up a fund raising campaign.  Within a month £30,000 was raised from 440 members of the public.  The outrage and disgust that people felt with the authorities over the death of Dr Kelly was great.  One message by post conveys this very well -

“I am a pensioner with very limited funds, and only say this as I feel that this is so important to our Country that all efforts should be made to expose both governments of treating the public with total, and extreme contempt, As an ex Soldier thought that I had fought for democracy and pride in British standards. I feel let down, and betrayed by both Parties, the last for being totally vacuous and beyond all credibility, and practically the latest who seem to have lost all moral fibre, for which we were, as a nation, so proud.
I wish the campaign well, and hope that you can give us back some pride and expose this cover-up.”

 I consider the deportation of Dr Kelly from Kuwait as being highly significant.  His withering dismissal regarding the two machines which had been promoted strongly by the US as being for germ warfare by Saddam’s forces was even more significant.  

The last words are Dr Hunt’s -

Knox.  You have already dealt with this, I think, but could you confirm whether, as far as you could tell on the examination, there was any sign of third party involvement in Dr Kelly’s death?

Dr Nicholas Hunt.  No, there was no pathological evidence to indicate the involvement of a third party in Dr Kelly’s death.  Rather, the features are quite typical, I would say, of self inflicted injury if one ignores all the other features of the case.

 This went without remark or question and characterised the whole.

NB  All the words and ideas in this piece are the author’s alone.

Notes

1.      http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20090128221546/http://www.the-hutton-inquiry.org.uk/

2.      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1301210/Detective-Dr-David-Kellys-body-raises-questions-death.html#ixzz0y8AIdUwV

3.      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1311255/Dr-David-Kellys-body-obviously-moved-Paramedic-death-scene-reveals-concerns-Hutton-Inquiry.html 

4.      http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20090128221546/http://www.the-hutton-inquiry.org.uk/content/report/chapter05.htm#a29       para 151

5.      http://dhalpin.infoaction.org.uk/23-articles/dr-david-kelly/144-letter-to-ms-c-f-floyd-investigation-officer-general-medical-council

6.      http://dhalpin.infoaction.org.uk/23-articles/dr-david-kelly/149-concerns-re-evidence-of-professor-shepherd

7.      http://dhalpin.infoaction.org.uk/23-articles/dr-david-kelly/146-shorrock-gmc

8.      http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20090128221546/http://www.the-hutton-inquiry.org.uk/content/transcripts/hearing-trans33.htm         

9.      http://dhalpin.infoaction.org.uk/23-articles/dr-david-kelly/122-an-inquest-for-dr-david-kelly-now-or-never-our-laws

Obama was the Candidate of the War Lobby Funded by the Crown Family

September 5th, 2013 by Global Research News

 

 

Under U.S. federal law an ultra-rich person is not supposed to make a campaign contribution of more than $2,300 per election each year to any one candidate for U.S. federal office. Yet in recent years members of an ultra-rich Chicago-based family, the Crown Dynasty, have apparently been making individual campaign contributions of more than $2,300 per election each year to a federal candidate named Barack Obama. According to the Center for Responsive Politics web site, for instance:

On September 29, 2003, Paula Crown of Henry Crown & Company gave an individual campaign contribution of $9,500 to Barack Obama. Subsequently, Paula Crown gave another individual campaign contribution of $2,000 to Obama on June 2, 2004 and a third individual campaign contribution of $2,000 to Obama on February 24, 2005. Four days later, on February 28, 2005, Paula Crown also gave a $25,000 campaign contribution to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. The following year, Paula Crown gave another $25,000 campaign contribution to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee on June 15, 2006;

On March 25, 2003, Susan Crown of Henry Crown & Company gave an individual campaign contribution of $2,000 to Obama. Later that same year, on December 10, 2003, Susan Crown gave a second individual campaign contribution of $5,000 to Obama. A few months later, on March 11, 2004, another individual campaign contribution of $5,000 was given to Obama by Susan Crown. And the following month, an additional individual campaign contribution of $5,000 was given by Susan Crown on April 15, 2004 to Obama;

An individual campaign contribution of $12,000 was also given on December 10, 2003 by Renee Crown to Obama. The following year, an individual campaign contribution of $2,000 was also given to Obama by Renee Crown on June 2, 2004;

On March 10, 2004, an individual campaign contribution of $12,000 was given by Rebecca Crown to Obama. The next month, on April 15, 2004, Rebecca Crown also gave a $10,000 campaign contribution to the DNC Services Corporation;

On June 27, 2003, James Crown of Henry Crown & Company gave an individual campaign contribution of $10,000 to Obama. The following year, on June 2, 2004, James Crown also gave an individual campaign contribution of $2,000 to Obama. That same year, a campaign contribution of $10,000 was also given to the DNC Services Corporation by James Crown. The following year, James Crown also gave a $25,000 campaign contribution to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee on February 28, 2005 and an individual campaign contribution of $2,000 to Obama on February 24, 2005. On June 15, 2006, another $25,000 campaign contribution was given to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee by James Crown;

On February 23, 2004, Elizabeth Crown gave an individual campaign contribution of $12,000 to Obama;

On February 23, 2004, Patricia Crown also gave an individual campaign contribution of $12,000 to Obama;

The following day, on February 24, 2004, Joann Crown also gave an individual campaign contribution of $12,000 to Obama;

A few days later, on March 3, 2004, William Crown also gave an individual campaign contribution of $12,000 to Obama;

A. Steven Crown also gave an individual campaign contribution of $5,000 to Obama on September 29, 2003. That same year, on December 11, 2003, a second individual campaign contribution of $7,000 was also given to Obama by A.Steven Crown of Henry Crown & Company.

In its 1980 edition, Everybody’s Business: An Almanac (by Milton Moskowitz, Michael Katz and Robert Levering) made the following reference to the Crown family of Chicago ‘s history of making money from General Dynamics’ weapons manufacturing activity:

“General Dynamics, more than any other aerospace company, is dependent on the Pentagon; government defense contracts account for two-thirds of their sales…The power behind the scenes is Henry Crown, a Chicago financier and one of the richest, but least known, men in the country. A group headed by Crown, who was 83 in 1980, owns about 20% of the company. His associates, who sit on the General Dynamics board with him, are his son, Lester Crown, and Chicago industrialist Nathan Cummings, founder of Consolidated Foods…”

After Henry Crown’s death, General Dynamics sold its F-16 fighter jet production unit and the Crown family reduced its ownership stake in General Dynamics from 20% to 8%. But, according to the General Dynamics web site at http://www.generaldynamics.com/, in 2005 “General Dynamics Combat Systems” was “becoming the world’s preferred supplier of land and amphibious combat systems development, production and support;” and “its product line” included “a full spectrum of armored vehicles, light wheeled reconnaissance vehicles, suspensions, engine transmissions, guns and ammunition handling systems, turret drive systems, and reactive armor and ordnance.”

The General Dynamics web site also indicated in 2005 that members of the Crown family like Henry Crown & Company President James Crown and Henry Crown & Company Chairman Lester Crown still sat on the General Dynamics corporate board in 2005-between retired Pentagon officials (like former U.S. Under-Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology Paul Kaminski, former U.S. Naval Chief of Naval Operations Jay Johnson, former U.S. Army Chief of Staff John Keane, Retired U.S. General George Joulwan and former U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Lester Lyles) and a former Royal Navy Vice-Admiral for the UK Ministry of Defense named Robert Walmsley.

A 2003 press release of the General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems business unit in St. Petersburg, Florida also noted that it had formed “a strategic alliance with Aeronautics Defense Systems, Ltd.,” an Israeli firm based in Yavne. Aeronautics Defense Systems Ltd. is the firm that developed the Unmanned Multi-Application System (UMASa) aerial surveillance tool which the Israeli military uses to “provide a real-time ‘bird’s eye view’ of the surveillance area to combatant commanders and airborne command posts.” According to then-Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, the agreement between General Dynamics and Aeronautics Defense Systems to bring together “both companies’ state-of-the art technologies in defense and homeland security” was “additional proof of the technological and commercial benefits that alliances between industries from the U.S. and Israel can produce.”

From its investments in Pentagon war contractors like General Dynamics and U.S. real estate, the Crown family has accumulated a family fortune of $3.6 billion, according to a 2004 Forbes magazine estimate. The Jerusalem Post also noted in its February 27, 2005 issue that “the Crown family of Chicago ” is also “well-known for its support of sectarian Jewish causes.” In addition, long-time General Dynamics board member Lester Crown was also a member of the Advisory board of Medis Technologies, a joint venture business partner of Israel Aircraft Industries Ltd. in recent years.

Yet, ironically, the 2008 presidential candidate who apparently is being financially backed by the next generation of the Crown Dynasty seems to be marketing himself these days as “the next generation’s anti-war candidate.”

 

but here Death is already chalking the doors with crosses,

and calling the ravens and the ravens are flying in.     – Anna Akhmatova

Overruling the foundations of international law, the U.S. is intent on attacking Syria. The UN has not given permission. U.S. President Obama will ask Congress for permission. Syria has not attacked the U.S.. The United Kingdom and Canada have refused to partake overtly. France awaits U.S. Congressional approval.

In 2011 the Libya newly formed by NATO officially recognized as the legitimate government of Syria, the Syrian National Council, one of the rebel groups which would make up the Syrian National Coalition. In 2012 the following Islamic countries recognized the entire rebel Syrian National Coalition: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates. In 2012 these Judao-Christian NATO countries officially recognized the Syrian National Coalition: France, Turkey, Italy, U.K., Spain, Denmark, Norway, Germany, Belgium, Luxemboug, U.S., Australia, and the Netherlands. Official recognition followed extensive covert assistance to rebels.

The transition to direct military actions against the current selected victim, without UN approval violates the UN Charter, the law against aggression as defined by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, the Convention on Genocide, and the Laws of War.

According to the ICC definition in Article 8 of the Rome Statute: “act of aggression” means the use of armed force by a State against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of another State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Charter of the United Nations (Wikipedia). Article 15 states: In respect of a State that is not a party to this Statute, the Court shall not exercise its jurisdiction over the crime of aggression when committed by that State’s nationals or on its territory. So the law does not apply to the U.S. and Israel (and Sudan) since these refused to ratify the Rome Statute. Countries who have ratified it, subject to the law, are not likely to participate in a military attack on Syria.

The Rome Statute does not protect leaders of nations who aren’t members of the International Criminal Court from prosecution for the crime of genocide. Foreseeing a tactical need for what might be declared genocide, the U.S. commitment to the Convention on Genocide itself is accompanied by Reservations which make its application to the United States subject to U.S. interpretation. This provided some warning of U.S. foreign policy intentions.

In the U.S. people’s natural fear and hatred of genocide is reinforced by seventy years of propaganda, entertainment, academic curricula, and literary and intellectual understandings about Europe’s Holocaust of the Jews in WWII. The agenda of a non-ICC member committing genocide, would be to perception manage the people’s awareness of contemporary genocide into norms of profit making and wars of defense.

North American discussion of genocide is kept rigorously apart from the defense industry’s arsenal of nuclear weapons or discussion of nuclear power. The threat of genocide in the nuclear destruction of national groups and particularly nuclear strike policies, forced the West’s understanding of the Convention to focus on the singular threat to scapegoated groups within its own cultures.

When the U.S. with NATO powers attacked the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1999, bombing civilian areas and infrastructure, FRY President Milosevic correctly charged the NATO powers with genocide at the International Court of Justice. NATO country defense against the charge relied on legal technicalities rather than refutation. It also relied on the un-adjudicated death of Milosevic in the Tribunal’s prison, and the replacement of the International Court of Justice with the International Criminal Court. The charge of genocide against NATO countries remained; the offending countries were not absolved of guilt. When the genocide is obscured its perpetrators wander into old age un-prosecuted.

Milosevic ‘s fate may have dissuaded other victim nations from appealing to international courts for justice.

U.S. policy toward the countries it destroys through military actions removes the victim government’s recourse to international justice. The denial of legal justice begins well before the military action with the transformation of the victim country’s leader into a monster. U.S. media focus on the leader’s violation of human rights, for policies as ugly as those at Guantanamo Bay but noted by the press as extreme, inhumane, intolerable, despicable, and criminal. This transfers the people’s outrage at their own leaders to crimes of a foreign leader.

The war on Islam has allowed dehumanization of Muslims, followed by the bombing of civilian centres, civilian infra-structure, and subsequent destruction of national cultures, ie. Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya. The human rights violations of the naturally evolved governments were used as justification for US/NATO intervention. The English speaking world, fearing the strict morality of Islam and its purity, centered its attacks on Islam on the immorality of Muslim leaders. Saddam Hussein was executed in a victor’s court after 15 years of a Western media hate campaign.

The propaganda against Muammar Gaddafi led to his degradation and extra-judiciary murder. Both adhered to moral codes and were more effective, protective and humane leaders than those who replaced them. Portraying Islam on a world-wide stage as morally deficient began with an Anglo-American literary campaign using Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses, which provoked such extreme response from Muslim fundamentalists that literary establishments devoted to freedom of speech rose in arms. As though the Jewish and Christian intellectuals of nuclear powers had the right to judge religious sensibilities of less well armed religions. The concept of a “war on Islam” itself was carefully avoided by the media.

At what point do unequal religious wars, which have resulted in the destruction of several Muslim nations and Muslim peoples so far become clearly a genocide ?

The genocidal aspect of destruction of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia as a national group, was diluted by focusing on the genocides of individual ethnic and religious groups of Croats, Serbs, and Muslims.

In Iraq however, the national group was of one predominant religion. By emphasizing and encouraging sectarianism within Iraq, the public’s perception of a genocide was bent to internal dissent and civil war. The red mist of the 1990 U.S. / Coalition invasion, where thousands of shopkeepers in uniform were machine gunned and bulldozed into desert trenches (with military and civilian casualty statistics suppressed by Global media), the statistics on the damage to Iraq, its people, its culture, its intellectual community, the diaspora of Iraqi refugees seeking lives in foreign countries, were ground to a fine powder by the second Gulf War and establishment of the NATO country controls which left us with Iraq of today.

Since 1990 a proliferation of U.S. organizations and foundations became devoted to the issue of genocide, and based in the Universities or governments which provided us with the leaders propagating the genocides. Yale which supplied the nation with Presidents Bush Senior and Junior, hosts the the Genocide Studies Program at Yale (founded 1998). Harvard which provided President Obama with a curious education in law boasts the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy (founded 1999) that provided Samantha Powers and the Canadian Michael Ignatieff a platform for supporting the invasion of Iraq, an aggression. U.S. Organizations devoted to the prevention of Genocide have been reluctant to recognize Israel’s policies toward Palestinians as violations of the Convention.

Throughout North America, the ‘genocide prevention’ establishment (which now includes the FBI) is unswervingly dedicated to supporting U.S. Government policy, excusing, or ignoring it.

In Canada most organizations devoted to Genocide prevention, as well as the experts on genocide, are firmly Canadian government advocates, while it is usually government which presents the primary threat of genocide against a people.

It is just because the contemporary government policies which allow extremes of injustice against Aboriginals have a history, that their continuation is “intentional”. The effect is made clear by history, evidence, statistics, and human suffering. To confuse contemporary policies which assure the termination of a group, with the ugliness or glories of conquest, insists on historical crimes as a norm and re-writes history to accommodate a contemporary and essentially bureaucratic evil. The intention of discovering and settling the Americas was not genocide. Its tactical use of genocide, which continues for profit, is genocide, and the need to manage the public into perceiving the damage against American Indians as “collateral damage” has laid the groundwork for the tragic crimes of American history: the bombing of Hiroshima, of Nagasaki, the firebombing of Dresden, the defoliation of Vietnam, the bombing of Iraq. Each involves the immense “collateral damage” of millions of civilian lives. It is when the creation of “collateral damage” becomes a policy that it becomes clearly genocide. U.S. and NATO policy in the Middle East is consistently killing hundreds of thousands of civilians, displacing millions, destroying infra-structure, and past any claim of “collateral damage,” outside international law and without assuming the care of a conquered people as required by law.

Canada’s Montreal Institute for Genocide [sic] and Human Rights Studies (founded 1986) hosts the government’s “All-Parliamentary Group on the Prevention of Genocide” and “Will to Intervene Project.” Canada’s Senator Romeo Dallaire tries to move the concept of “Right to Protect” (R2P) which can result in military intervention ‘to stop a genocide’, toward peace keeping, ie. to keep the fighting groups apart. General Dallaire, commander of the UN peace keeping mission during genocide in Rwanda was doing just that when abandoned by the world powers that signed the Convention on Genocide.

Currently, Dallaire would have favoured intervention in Syria some years ago but wonders why military intervention is suggested now when it would do no good for the people. He advises against a military attack on Syria, particularly without accurate field information. The UN report of its chemical weapons investigators is neither prepared nor released.

The domain of what genocide is and where the word applies is fairly strictly controlled, manipulated and media managed, by or to the interests of the offending government. Perception of contemporary genocide is increasingly controlled by statistics in the hands of government and corporate organizations. What happens to the people is one factor in an economic equation. Genocide becomes less a matter defined by race, ethnicity, religion, economic status or class, and more a tool of the powerful to depopulate, control, and organize accepting groups into consumerism.

People tend not to cooperate with what they know is a crime. This doesn’t always express itself in underground movements, political activism, or guerrilla warfare, but simply in non-cooperation. North America, built by its people, is entirely vulnerable to its people. All the refineries, nuclear facilities, power stations, military bases, government offices, rely finally on human security. Finally the people are responsible for whether the society will function or not. Perception management in the government’s statements and media propaganda offer the illusion of its control over millions of powerless individuals. Yet each person thinks, and loves, and wants a future. So if the U.S. President insists on another illegal attack on yet another Muslim country it isn’t only up to Congress, which may show the limited understanding of a very wealthy elite, but the decision of a people who pays for the government’s decisions with their future.

A defesa da paz. Para a paz e contra a ingerência em Siria

September 5th, 2013 by Denis J. Halliday

Esta chamada para a Paz émana de ex-altos funcionarios das Nações Unidas.

Os tambores da guerra rufam mais uma vez no Médio Oriente, desta vez com a possibilidade de um ataque iminente à Síria, após a alegada utilização de armas químicas pelo seu governo. É precisamente em tempos de crise como este que a defesa da paz pode ser feita da maneira mais clara e mais óbvia.

Em primeiro lugar, não temos qualquer prova sólida de que o governo sírio tenha utilizado armas químicas. Mesmo se tal prova fosse apresentada por governos ocidentais teríamos de permanecer cépticos, recordando os muitos incidentes dúbios ou falsificados utilizados para justificar corridas à guerra: o incidente do Golfo de Tonquim, o massacre de bebés na incubadora do Kuwait, o massacre Racak no Kosovo, as armas de destruição maciça no Iraque e a ameaça de um massacre em Bengazi. Vale a pena notar que a evidência que aponta a utilização de armas química pelo governo sírio foi proporcionada aos Estados Unidos pela inteligência israelense, a qual não é exactamente um actor neutro.

Mesmo que desta vez as provas fossem autênticas, isso não legitimaria acção unilateral por parte de ninguém. A acção militar ainda precisa de uma autorização do Conselho de Segurança. Aqueles que se queixam da sua “inacção” deveriam ter em mente que a oposição russa e chinesa à intervenção na Síria é motivada em parte pelo abuso das potências ocidentais da resolução do Conselho de Segurança a fim de executar “mudança de regime” naquele país. Aquilo que no Ocidente é chamado de uma “comunidade internacional” desejosa de atacar a Síria está reduzido essencialmente a dois países importantes (Estados Unidos, e França), dentre as quase duas centenas de países do mundo. Não é possível qualquer respeito pelo direito internacional sem o respeito pela opinião decente do resto da humanidade.

Mesmo se uma acção militar fosse permitida e executada, o que podia ela conseguir? Ninguém pode controlar armas química seriamente sem por “botas sobre o terreno”, o que não é considerado uma opção realista após os desastres do Iraque e do Afeganistão. O Ocidente não tem aliado verdadeiro e confiável na Síria. Os jihadistas a combaterem o governo não tem mais amor ao Ocidente do que aqueles que assassinaram o embaixador dos EUA na Líbia. Uma coisa é receber dinheiro e armas de um país, mas outra muito diferente é ser um aliado genuíno.

Tem havido ofertas de negociação provenientes dos governos sírio, iraniano e russo, as quais têm sido tratadas com arrogância pelo Ocidente. Aqueles que dizem “não podemos conversar ou negociar com Assad” esquecem que isto foi dito acerca da Frente de Libertação Nacional na Argélia, de Ho Chi Minh, Mao, a União Soviética, a OLP, o IRA, a ETA, Mandela e o ANC e muitas guerrilhas na América Latina. A questão não é se alguém fala com o outro lado, mas após quantas mortes desnecessárias se aceita fazê-lo.

O temo que os EUA e seus poucos aliados remanescentes actuavam como polícia global está realmente ultrapassado. O mundo está a tornar-se mais multipolar e os povos do mundo querem mais soberania, não menos. A maior transformação social do século XX foi a descolonização e o Ocidente deveria adaptar-se ao facto de que não tem nem o direito, nem a competência, nem os meios para dominar o mundo.

Em parte alguma a estratégia de guerras sem fim fracassou mais miseravelmente do que no Médio Oriente. No longo prazo, o derrube de Mossadeg no Irão, a aventura do Canal de Suez, as muitas guerras israelenses, as duas guerras do Golfo, as ameaças constantes e sanções assassinas primeiro contra o Iraque e agora contra o Irão, a intervenção líbia, não conseguiram nada mais do que novos banhos de sangue, ódio e caos. A Síria só pode ser mais um fracasso para o Ocidente sem uma mudança radical na política.

A verdadeira coragem não consiste em lançar mísseis de cruzeiro meramente para exibir um poder militar que se está a tornar mais ineficaz. A verdadeira coragem jaz e romper radicalmente com essa lógica mortal. Em obrigar, ao invés, Israel a negociar de boa fé com os palestinos, convocar a conferência Genebra II sobre a Síria e discutir com os iranianos o seu programa nuclear, levando em conta honestamente os legítimos interesses económicos e de segurança do Irão.

A recente votação contra a guerra no Parlamento Britânico, bem como reacções nos media sociais, reflectem uma alteração maciça de opinião pública. Nós no Ocidente estamos cansados de guerras e estamos prontos para juntarmo-nos à comunidade internacional real exigindo um mundo baseado na Carta das Nações Unidas, desmilitarização, respeito pela soberania nacional e igualdade de todas as nações.

O povo do Ocidente também pede para exercer seu direito à auto-determinação: se tiverem de ser travadas guerras, elas devem tem como base debates abertos e a preocupação pela nossa segurança nacional e não sobre alguma mal definida noção de um “direito a intervir”, o qual pode ser facilmente manipulado e abusado.

Cabe a nós obrigar nossos políticos a respeito esse direito. 

 

Hans Christof Graf von Sponeck, Secretário-Geral Assistente da ONU, Coordenador Humanitário para o Iraque (1998 -2000).

Denis J. Halliday, Secretário-Geral Assistente da ONU, (1994-98)

Dr. Saïd Zulficar, funcionário da UNESCO (1967-1996), Director, Divisão do Património Cultural (1992 -1996).

Dr. Samir Radwan, Funcionário da OIT (1979 – 2003). Conselheiro do Director Geral da OIT sobre politicas de desenvolvimento (2001 – 2004). Antigo ministro das Finanças do Egipto.

Dr. Samir Basta, director do gabinete regional para a Europa da UNICEF (1990-1995). Director do Gabinete de Avaliação da UNICEF (2985-1990)

Miguel d´Escoto Brockmann, President UN General Assembly (2008-2009) and Nicaraguan Foreign Minister (1979-1990).

José L. Gómez del Prado, Ancien Fonctionnaire du Haut Commissariat aux droits de l’homme des Nations Unies, Membre du Groupe de travail des Nations Unies sur l’utilisation des mercenaires (2005-2011).

 

Tradução do francés Mediapart

Texto em francés :

Jordan Invites US Targets for Syrian Retaliation

September 5th, 2013 by Nicola Nasser

Located at the crossroads of several regional crises, including the Palestinian – Israeli and Iraqi conflicts, Jordan has been in the eye of the Syrian storm for more than thirty months, and managed to navigate safely so far, but the reportedly imminent US strike is pressuring the country between the rock and the hard place of the antagonists of the war on Syria.
Heavily burdened by the pressure of its strategic allies and financers in the US and the GCC Arab states, who have been leading an unwavering bloody campaign for a “regime change” in Damascus , Jordan could not but yield to their demands for logistical facilities in the country, consequently shooting its self-proclaimed neutrality in the legs.
Thus, grudgingly or otherwise, Jordan has in practice invited potential US targets for Syrian retaliation on its territory if and when the Syrian government perceives that those facilities are used in any US-led strike, now expected.
Anthony Cordesman, an analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, on August 29, interviewed by abcnews online, said that “Jordanian targets” could be targeted by Syria or by a Syrian allied “third party,” a possible development that could embroil the US in defense.
Should such a scenario develop, Jordan will evolve unwillingly into a war zone, to regret yielding to the prerogatives of its strategic alliance with the United States regardless of who emerges winner or loser in the war.
US Targets Invited
When the Eager Lion 2013 exercise ended in June this year, Jordan , inviting a US target for Syrian retaliation, asked the US military to leave behind some equipment, including some F-16s and a Patriot missile defense system.
Then, Jordan’s Prime Minister, Abdullah al-Nsour, indicated a second US target when he told reporters that some 900 U.S. military personnel were in the country, of whom 200 are experts training Jordanians to handle a chemical attack and 700 manning the Patriot system and reportedly 45 F-16 fighter jets.
On last August 14, Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that Jordan asked the United States to provide manned US surveillance aircraft to help keep an eye on its border with Syria; thus a third US target for Syrian retaliation was invited.
The USA embassy would be a fourth target should any planned US strike target Syrian non-military presidential or governmental headquarters.
However the Centcom’s Forward Command in Jordan , officially called Centcom Forward-Jordan (CFJ), remains the oldest and the most important US target for Syrian retaliation.
In mid-August, Gen. Martin Dempsey was in Amman to inaugurate the CFJ, which is manned by 273 US officers, with a closed section, which “houses CIA personnel who control the work of US agents going in and out of Syria,” and also a communications center, where “atop the underground facility is a large surface structure accommodating the American military and civilian offices dealing with Syrian issues from Jordan,” according to the Israeli www.debka.com on August 17, 2013, which confirmed a report two days earlier by The New York Times according to which “American correspondents were allowed to visit the site under ground rules that its location not be disclosed.”
However, on October 18 last year the Egyptian Al-Ahram Weekly reported that the location chosen to host the CFJ was “a Jordanian military base built in an abandoned quarry north of the Jordanian capital Amman, just 35 miles from the Syrian border,” which extends 300 miles along Jordan’s northern flank, and some 120 miles from the Syrian capital Damascus.
Al-Ahram explained that “the origins of the previously secret US deployment in Jordan ” dated back to May the same year, “when the Pentagon sent American troops, including Special Forces units, to the country to participate in joint military exercises dubbed Operation Eager Lion. Some 100 military personnel stayed behind and were then joined by dozens more. The task force, according to the New York Times, is commanded by a ‘senior American officer’.”
Speaking to the media at the close of a two-day NATO defense ministers meeting at the time in Brussels, former US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta confirmed the existence of a “US task force that has been sent to Jordan this week after it was first reported in The New York Times,” Al-Ahram added. “The force would be tasked with ensuring the security of the chemical and biological weapons in Syria ,” Panetta was quoted as saying. Al-Ahram’s report added: “the outpost near Amman could play a broader role should American policy change” and Washington decide to launch an intervention in Syria .
Denial in Doubt
The denial of the initial reports about the existence of the CFJ as “not true” by a spokesman from the country’s armed forces, quoted by the state-run news agency Petra, sheds doubt on a statement by Jordan’s PM al-Nsour, quoted by the London –based pan-Arab daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi on Monday, that his country knows nothing about the timing, track and targets of a US military strike in Syria, which the US President is now seeking an “authorization” from the Congress to launch.
Al-Nsour’s “lack of knowledge” sounds odd in view of the long established multi-faceted strategic ties between Jordan and the United States, which makes it the obligation of Washington to inform Amman in advance of at least the “timing” of the imminent US strike and makes it an obligation of the Jordanian government to ask for it, at least to be on equal footing with the other Israeli strategic “partner” of the US; it is public knowledge now that the US is committed to inform Israel in advance of any imminent US strike on Syria.
In comparison, at least logistically, if not militarily, especially as far as the Syrian conflict is concerned, Jordan is much more important to the US than Israel to deserve a US warning in advance of any imminent strike.
Moreover, Jordan is in the immediate danger of being flooded with more Syrian refugees who for sure will be an integral part of the humanitarian crisis that the US strike will inevitably exacerbate in Syria .
Unless Jordan is denying its “lknowledge” to avert being accused by Syria of complicity with the US, al-Nsour’s “lack of knowledge” sounds more odd not only because his country hosts the CFJ.
Hosting and participating in the meetings of the US – led so – called “Friends of Syria,” as well as the military meetings of eleven chiefs of staff of “The Friends of Syria Core Group,” in addition to hosting the annual Eager Lion exercises, let alone the bilateral strategic ties between Jordan and the US and the anti-Syria members of the GCC, have all combined to posture the country as being an active member of what the Syrian government rename as the “Enemies of Syria,” who are party in the conflict and not part of its solution.
Moment of Truth Approaching
The Eager Lion exercises, from the start, focused on training to intervene and secure the purported Syrian chemical weapons if and when developments dictate such an intervention, which the imminent US strike is now turning into a matter of time.
Last June 18 the AP reported that the Eager Lion Drills “are focused on ground operations, involving commandos from Jordan … practicing offensive operations.” Although the Jordanian embassy spokeswoman in Washington D.C. , Dana Zureikat Daoud, told The Center for Public Integrity earlier this year that those drills are “not mission-oriented,” reported recent involvement of Jordanian commandos in Libya and elsewhere in the region gives credence to the reports on their possible involvement anew in Syria .
US Secretary of State, John Kerry, during his testimony at the Congress on Tuesday, while confirming that the administration of President Barak Obama “has zero intention of putting troops on the ground,” he in practice retained the option of sending US “boots” to Syria.
“I don’t want to take off the table an option that might or might not be available to the president of the United States” in a scenario where “Syria imploded” and stockpiles of chemical weapons needed to be secured from extremists, he said.
It is public knowledge now that what Obama said will be a strike “limited in time and scope” aims at “degrading” Syrian chemical “capabilities;” the purported Syrian chemical weapons which are now very well secured will be far less secured after the strike and will demand immediate intervention to secure them.
So the moment of truth is around the corner for an intervention either from or with the participation of Jordan , where training in preparation for this moment has been going on by leaps and bounds for the past two years, expectedly inviting reciprocal Syrian preparations for retaliation.
A Syrian possible military clash with Jordan or with Jordanian – hosted US – led intervention units was only a postponed development and will most likely be accelerated by the US planned strike, which is expected to embroil Jordan militarily in the Syrian conflict, willingly or unwillingly.
Counterbalancing with Syrians
To counterbalance with the Syrians, who so far seem flexible enough or under too much pressure to open a diplomatic or non – diplomatic dispute with their southern Arab neighbor, Jordan kept the diplomatic and security channels of communication open with Damascus and went on record to offset its “enemy” posture, but only verbally, to make Jordan a place where words and deeds collide.
As recently as August 29, Jordan’s King Abdullah II after a meeting with Pope Francis, according to an official Vatican statement, reaffirmed that dialogue is the “only option” to end the conflict in Syria .
More than twenty two months ago, in comments in the Oval Office alongside President Obama, King Abdullah II was the first Arab leader to urge Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step aside. “I believe, if I were in his shoes, I would step down,” he told BBC World News in an exclusive interview.
So far, Jordan declined to go public and on record in a clear-cut opposition to the imminent US strike; not excluding the military option, Information Minister Mohammad Momani said that “Jordan believes diplomatic efforts must be exhausted before Washington opts for military action,” but PM Al-Nsour said there will be “no strategic” benefit in insisting on striking Syria and he as well his Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh reiterated that the territory of the kingdom “will not be a launchpad for any military operation against Syria.”
Jordan’s noninterference in internal Syrian affairs is the officially declared policy, but the reported training in the country of Syrian opposition fighters, the recent visit to the country by the President of the Syrian National Coalition (SNC), Ahmad al-Jarba, the latter’s visit to southern Syria across the Jordanian borders and the reports about opening a SNC representative office in Amman after al-Jarba’s meeting with Nasser Judeh, and the reported infiltration of arms and “Jihadists” from Jordan into Syria are all indications that compromise Jordan ’s officially declared policy of noninterference.
In April this year, Syrian President al-Assad said that Amman “is facilitating the passage of thousands of fighters into our country;” it was his first public warning to Jordan . His state TV told the Jordanians they were “playing with fire.” The Syrian newspaper Al-Thawra, also said in a front-page editorial that the Jordanian government “could not claim neutrality” anymore.
Al-Assad added that he had sent envoys to the kingdom during the preceding two months to remind Amman of the two countries’ shared goal of fighting the “terrorists.” “The fire does not stop at our border and everyone knows that Jordan is exposed to what Syria is exposed to.”
In November 2005, al-Qaeda mounted a series of devastating bomb attacks at three luxury hotels in the Jordanian capital, killing some 60 people. The attacks were said to be in retaliation for Jordan hosting training centers for the new Iraqi army and police, and for becoming a de facto logistical transit base in support of the US occupation of Iraq in 2003.
 

 I and my fellow plaintiffs have begun the third and final round of our battle to get the courts to strike down a section of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that permits the military to seize U.S. citizens, strip them of due process and hold them indefinitely in military facilities. Carl Mayer and Bruce Afran, the lawyers who with me in January 2012 brought a lawsuit against President Barack Obama (Hedges v. Obama), are about to file papers asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear our appeal of a 2013 ruling on the act’s Section 1021.

“First the terrorism-industrial complex assured Americans that they were only spying on foreigners, not U.S. citizens,” Mayer said to me recently. “Then they assured us that they were only spying on phone calls, not electronic communications. Then they assured us that they were not spying on American journalists. And now both [major political] parties and the Obama administration have assured us that they will not detain journalists, citizens and activists. Well, they detained journalist Chris Hedges without a lawyer, they detained journalist Laura Poitras without due process and if allowed to stand this law will permit the military to target activists, journalists and citizens in an unprecedented assault on freedom in America.”

Last year we won round one: U.S. District Judge Katherine B. Forrest of the Southern District of New York declared Section 1021 unconstitutional. The Obama administration immediately appealed her ruling and asked a higher court to put the law back into effect until Obama’s petition was heard. The appellate court agreed. The law went back on the books. I suspect it went back on the books because the administration is already using it, most likely holding U.S. citizens who are dual nationals in black sites in Afghanistan and the Middle East. If Judge Forrest’s ruling were allowed to stand, the administration, if it is indeed holding U.S. citizens in military detention centers, would be in contempt of court.

In July 2013 the appellate court, in round two, overturned Forrest’s ruling. All we have left is the Supreme Court, which may not take the case. If the Supreme Court does not take our case, the law will remain in place unless Congress strikes it down, something that federal legislators have so far refused to consider. The three branches of government may want to retain the ability to use the military to maintain control if widespread civil unrest should occur in the United States. I suspect the corporate state knows that amid the mounting effects of climate change and economic decline the military may be all that is left between the elite and an enraged population. And I suspect the corporate masters do not trust the police to protect them.

If Section 1021 stands it will mean that more than 150 years of case law in which the Supreme Court repeatedly held the military has no jurisdiction over civilians will be abolished. It will mean citizens who are charged by the government with “substantially supporting” al-Qaida, the Taliban or the nebulous category of “associated forces” will be lawfully subject to extraordinary rendition. It will mean citizens seized by the military will languish in military jails indefinitely, or in the language of Section 1021 until “the end of hostilities”—in an age of permanent war, for the rest of their lives. It will mean, in short, obliteration of our last remaining legal protections, especially now that we have lost the right to privacy, and the ascent of a crude, militarized state that serves the leviathan of corporate totalitarianism. It will mean, as Forrest pointed out in her 112-page opinion, that whole categories of Americans—and here you can assume dissidents and activists—will be subject to seizure by the military and indefinite and secret detention.

“As Justice [Robert] Jackson said in his dissent in the Korematsu case, involving the indiscriminate detention of Japanese-American citizens during World War II, once an unconstitutional military power is sanctioned by the courts it ‘lies about like a loaded weapon, ready for the hand of any authority,’ ” Mayer said.

In our lawsuit the appellate court never directly addressed the issue of using the military to hold citizens and strip them of due process—something that is clearly unconstitutional. Instead, the court held that I and the other plaintiffs did not have standing to bring the case. It said that because none of us had been imminently threatened with arrest we had no credible fear. This was an odd argument. When I was a New York Times reporter I was, as stated in court, arrested and held by the U.S. military in violation of my First Amendment rights as I was covering conflicts in the Middle East. In addition I was briefly detained, without explanation, in the Newark, N.J., airport by Homeland Security as I returned from Italy, the court was told.

During the five years I covered the war in El Salvador the Reagan administration regularly denounced reporters who exposed atrocities by the Salvadoran military as “fifth columnists” for the rebel movement, a charge that made us in the eyes of Reagan officials at the very least accomplices to terrorism. This, too, was raised in court, as was the fact that during my seven years as a reporter in the Middle East I met regularly with individuals and groups, including al-Qaida, that were considered terrorists by the U.S. government. There were times in my 20-year career as a foreign correspondent, especially when I reported events or opinions that challenged the official narrative, that the U.S. government made little distinction between me and groups that were antagonistic to the United States. In those days there was no law that could be used to seize and detain me. Now there is.

Journalist Alexa O’Brien, who joined the lawsuit as a plaintiff along with Noam Chomsky, Daniel Ellsberg and others, was incorrectly linked by the security and surveillance state to terrorist groups in the Middle East. O’Brien, who doggedly covered the trial of Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning, co-founded US Day of Rage, an organization dedicated to electoral reform. When WikiLeaks in February 2012 released 5 million emails from Stratfor, a private security firm that does work for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Marine Corps and the Defense Intelligence Agency, it was revealed that the company was attempting to tie O’Brien and her organization to Islamic radicals and websites as well as jihadist ideology.

Fred Burton, Stratfor’s vice president for counterterrorism and corporate security and a former deputy director of the counterterrorism division of the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service, and Thomas Kopecky, director of operations at Investigative Research Consultants Inc. and Fortis Protective Services LLC, had an email exchange over this issue. Kopecky wrote: “I was looking into that US Day of Rage movement and specifically asked to connect it to any Saudi or other fundamentalist Islamic movements.

Thus far, I have only hear[d] rumors but not gotten any substantial connection. Do you guys know much about this other than its US Domestic fiscal ideals?” Burton replied: “No, we’re not aware of any concrete connections between fundamentalist Islamist movements and the Day of Rage, or the October 2011 movement at this point.” But that soon changed. Stratfor, through others working in conjunction with the FBI, falsely linked US Day of Rage to al-Qaida and other Islamic terrorist organizations. Homeland Security later placed her group on a terrorism watch list.

This will be the standard tactic. Laws passed in the so-called war on terror will be used to turn all dissidents and activists into terrorism suspects, subjecting them to draconian forms of state repression and control. The same tactic was used during the anti-communist hysteria of the 20th century to destroy union leaders, writers, civil rights activists, intellectuals, artists, teachers, politicians and organizations that challenged entrenched corporate power.

“After 12 years of an undeclared permanent war against an undefined enemy and multiple revelations about massive unconstitutional spying by the government, we certainly hope that the Supreme Court will strike down a law that replaces our civilian system of justice with a military one,” said Mayer. “Unless this happens there will be little left of judicial review during wartime.”

Afran, a law professor at Rutgers University, asked last week during a conversation with me:“Does the Army have to be knocking on your door saying, ‘Come with me,’ before there will be the ability to challenge such a law?” He said the appellate court’s ruling “means you have to be incarcerated before you can challenge the law under which you’re incarcerated.”

“There’s nothing that’s built into this NDAA [the National Defense Authorization Act] that even gives a detained person the right to get to an attorney,” Afran said. “In fact, the whole notion is that it’s secret. It’s outside of any judicial process. You’re not even subject to a military trial. You can be moved to other jurisdictions under the law. It’s the antithesis of due process.”

The judges on the appellate court admitted that we as plaintiffs had raised “difficult questions.”

“This is a way of acknowledging they’re troubled by the apparent lack of constitutionality of the law,” Afran said during our conversation. “But they were not willing to face the question head on. So, in effect, they said, ‘Well, when someone’s threatened with arrest, then we have a concrete injury.’ But no one’s going to be threatened with arrest. They’ll simply be arrested. They’re not going to send a letter saying, ‘By the way, on Thursday next we’re going to place you in military custody.’ … The whole point of the law is that they’re going to come in and take you [in secrecy].”

The appellate court stated that the law does not apply to U.S. citizens and permanent residents. In reading the law this way the justices were saying, in effect, that I and the other plaintiffs had nothing to fear. Afran called this a “circular argument.” The court, in essence, said that because it did not construe the law as applying to U.S. citizens and lawful residents we could not bring the case to court.

“They seem to accept a lot of what we said, namely that the whole history of the jurisprudence, of the court decisions, is that American civilians cannot be placed in military custody,” Afran said. “And they accept the idea that Section E of the statute says, ‘Nothing herein shall be construed to affect existing authorities as to the detention of U.S. citizens.’ So on the basis of that they say this is not meant to add any new powers to the government and since the government doesn’t have power over civilians in this way the law can’t be extended to civilians. The problem is by saying there’s no standing, they deprive the district court of entering an order, saying and declaring that the statue does not apply to U.S. citizens or permanent residents, lawful residents in the U.S.”

The court, in essence, accepted the principle that citizens cannot be taken into military custody but refused to issue a direct order saying so that would be enforceable.

“We have the absurdity of the court of appeals, one of the highest courts in the country, saying this law cannot touch citizens and lawful residents, but depriving the trial court of the ability to enter an order blocking it from being used in that way,” Afran said. “The lack of an order enables future [military] detentions. A person may have to languish for months, maybe years, before getting a court hearing. The [appellate] court correctly stated what the law is, but it deprived the trial court of the ability to enter an order stopping this [new] law from being used.”

“A law is not constitutional just because habeas corpus says you have a right to go to court to try to get out,” Afran said in speaking about the legal mechanism by which someone might challenge custody. “The citizen is entitled not to be detained in the first place absent probable cause. Habeas corpus is a remedy of last resort. It’s not there to justify the use of unconstitutional detention laws.”

The Supreme Court takes between 80 and 100 cases a year from about 8,000 requests. There is no guarantee our appeal will ever be heard. If we fail, if this law stands, if in the years ahead the military starts to randomly seize and disappear people, if dissidents and activists become subject to indefinite and secret detention in military gulags, we will at least be able to look back on this moment and know we fought back.

There is a wonderful scene unfolding on Capitol Hill. In the past, President Barack Obama has insisted that he alone decides what constitutes a war and when he needs a congressional declaration. It was a claim that was challenged in federal court when I represented members of Congress.

Now, however, England has refused to go along with the latest American-led military venture and there is heavy opposition in the public.
Obama therefore is now saying that he wants to consult with Congress while his aides insist that he really does not need such consultation and, unless they agree with him, may just ignore them. Welcome to the new Imperil Presidency and what now constitutes checks and balances.

What is interesting is that Obama appears to be looking for an out after he painted himself in a corner by declaring a “red line” over the use of chemical weapons. According to some reports, that was not in the prepared comments for him to read but, once he said it, it became U.S. policy.

He was clearly ready to go to war to show that he is not to be mocked but then the English balked at his latest military venture. It appears that he may be willing to blame Congress if there is a vote against the attacks, even though he continues to maintain that he does not need such approval. He is calling for a vote in direct conflict with his position in the Libyan war.

I have spoken to people at the Pentagon who have complained privately that there appears to be no adult supervision at the White House and that there is major opposition to this course in the military. The feeling is that Obama aides are drifting again into a war with wider implications and uncertain ends.

What is left is utter confusion. You have a President who claims unchecked powers who wants to attack another nation.

You have an attack that has been steadily downgraded into “limited” and “brief” operations to try to get the world to just let Obama carry out his threat and leave.

You have a Congress that it desperately trying to pretend that it is relevant in any respect to this country going to war while not making any substantive decision. This is what comes from departing from the clear language of the Constitution in requiring declarations of war before attacking another country.

The Dangers of Nuclear War: The Grim Facts on Nuclear Stockpiles

September 5th, 2013 by Global Research News

The Grim Facts About Global Nuclear Stockpiles
Image source: www.gradschoolhub.com

 by Wesley Messamore

Washington doesn’t merely lack the legal authority for a military intervention in Syria.

It lacks the moral authority. We’re talking about a government with a history of using chemical weapons against innocent people far more prolific and deadly than the mere accusations Assad faces from a trigger-happy Western military-industrial complex, bent on stifling further investigation before striking.

Here is a list of 10 chemical weapons attacks carried out by the U.S. government or its allies against civilians..

1. The U.S. Military Dumped 20 Million Gallons of Chemicals on Vietnam from 1962 – 1971

10, chemical, weapons, attacks, washington, doesnt, want, you, to, talk, about,

Via: AP

During the Vietnam War, the U.S. military sprayed 20 million gallons of chemicals, including the very toxic Agent Orange, on the forests and farmlands of Vietnam and neighboring countries, deliberately destroying food supplies, shattering the jungle ecology, and ravaging the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent people. Vietnam estimates that as a result of the decade-long chemical attack, 400,000 people were killed or maimed, 500,000 babies have been born with birth defects, and 2 million have suffered from cancer or other illnesses. In 2012, the Red Cross estimated that one million people in Vietnam have disabilities or health problems related to Agent Orange.

2. Israel Attacked Palestinian Civilians with White Phosphorus in 2008 – 2009
10, chemical, weapons, attacks, washington, doesnt, want, you, to, talk, about,

Via: AP

White phosphorus is a horrific incendiary chemical weapon that melts human flesh right down to the bone.

In 2009, multiple human rights groups, including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and International Red Cross reported that the Israeli government was attacking civilians in their own country with chemical weapons. An Amnesty International team claimed to find “indisputable evidence of the widespread use of white phosphorus” as a weapon in densely-populated civilian areas. The Israeli military denied the allegations at first, but eventually admitted they were true.

After the string of allegations by these NGOs, the Israeli military even hit a UN headquarters(!) in Gaza with a chemical attack. How do you think all this evidence compares to the case against Syria? Why didn’t Obama try to bomb Israel?

3. Washington Attacked Iraqi Civilians with White Phosphorus in 2004
10, chemical, weapons, attacks, washington, doesnt, want, you, to, talk, about,

Via: AP

In 2004, journalists embedded with the U.S. military in Iraq began reporting the use of white phosphorus in Fallujah against Iraqi insurgents. First the military lied and said that it was only using white phosphorus to create smokescreens or illuminate targets. Then it admitted to using the volatile chemical as an incendiary weapon. At the time, Italian television broadcaster RAI aired a documentary entitled, “Fallujah, The Hidden Massacre,” including grim video footage and photographs, as well as eyewitness interviews with Fallujah residents and U.S. soldiers revealing how the U.S. government indiscriminately rained white chemical fire down on the Iraqi city and melted women and children to death.

4. The CIA Helped Saddam Hussein Massacre Iranians and Kurds with Chemical Weapons in 1988
10, chemical, weapons, attacks, washington, doesnt, want, you, to, talk, about,

CIA records now prove that Washington knew Saddam Hussein was using chemical weapons (including sarin, nerve gas, and mustard gas) in the Iran-Iraq War, yet continued to pour intelligence into the hands of the Iraqi military, informing Hussein of Iranian troop movements while knowing that he would be using the information to launch chemical attacks. At one point in early 1988, Washington warned Hussein of an Iranian troop movement that would have ended the war in a decisive defeat for the Iraqi government. By March an emboldened Hussein with new friends in Washington struck a Kurdish village occupied by Iranian troops with multiple chemical agents, killing as many as 5,000 people and injuring as many as 10,000 more, most of them civilians. Thousands more died in the following years from complications, diseases, and birth defects.

5. The Army Tested Chemicals on Residents of Poor, Black St. Louis Neighborhoods in The 1950s

10, chemical, weapons, attacks, washington, doesnt, want, you, to, talk, about,

In the early 1950s, the Army set up motorized blowers on top of residential high-rises in low-income, mostly black St. Louis neighborhoods, including areas where as much as 70% of the residents were children under 12. The government told residents that it was experimenting with a smokescreen to protect the city from Russian attacks, but it was actually pumping the air full of hundreds of pounds of finely powdered zinc cadmium sulfide. The government admits that there was a second ingredient in the chemical powder, but whether or not that ingredient was radioactive remains classified. Of course it does. Since the tests, an alarming number of the area’s residents have developed cancer. In 1955, Doris Spates was born in one of the buildings the Army used to fill the air with chemicals from 1953 – 1954. Her father died inexplicably that same year, she has seen four siblings die from cancer, and Doris herself is a survivor of cervical cancer.

6. Police Fired Tear Gas at Occupy Protesters in 2011
10, chemical, weapons, attacks, washington, doesnt, want, you, to, talk, about,

The savage violence of the police against Occupy protesters in 2011 was well documented, and included the use of tear gas and other chemical irritants. Tear gas is prohibited for use against enemy soldiers in battle by the Chemical Weapons Convention. Can’t police give civilian protesters in Oakland, California the same courtesy and protection that international law requires for enemy soldiers on a battlefield?

7. The FBI Attacked Men, Women, and Children With Tear Gas in Waco in 1993

10, chemical, weapons, attacks, washington, doesnt, want, you, to, talk, about,

At the infamous Waco siege of a peaceful community of Seventh Day Adventists, the FBI pumped tear gas into buildings knowing that women, children, and babies were inside. The tear gas was highly flammable and ignited, engulfing the buildings in flames and killing 49 men and women, and 27 children, including babies and toddlers. Remember, attacking an armed enemy soldier on a battlefield with tear gas is a war crime. What kind of crime is attacking a baby with tear gas?

8. The U.S. Military Littered Iraq with Toxic Depleted Uranium in 2003
10, chemical, weapons, attacks, washington, doesnt, want, you, to, talk, about,

Via: AP

In Iraq, the U.S. military has littered the environment with thousands of tons of munitions made from depleted uranium, a toxic and radioactive nuclear waste product. As a result, more than half of babies born in Fallujah from 2007 – 2010 were born with birth defects. Some of these defects have never been seen before outside of textbooks with photos of babies born near nuclear tests in the Pacific. Cancer and infant mortality have also seen a dramatic rise in Iraq. According to Christopher Busby, the Scientific Secretary of the European Committee on Radiation Risk, “These are weapons which have absolutely destroyed the genetic integrity of the population of Iraq.” After authoring two of four reports published in 2012 on the health crisis in Iraq, Busby described Fallujah as having, “the highest rate of genetic damage in any population ever studied.”

9. The U.S. Military Killed Hundreds of Thousands of Japanese Civilians with Napalm from 1944 – 1945

10, chemical, weapons, attacks, washington, doesnt, want, you, to, talk, about,

Napalm is a sticky and highly flammable gel which has been used as a weapon of terror by the U.S. military. In 1980, the UN declared the use of napalm on swaths of civilian population a war crime. That’s exactly what the U.S. military did in World War II, dropping enough napalm in one bombing raid on Tokyo to burn 100,000 people to death, injure a million more, and leave a million without homes in the single deadliest air raid of World War II.

10. The U.S. Government Dropped Nuclear Bombs on Two Japanese Cities in 1945
10, chemical, weapons, attacks, washington, doesnt, want, you, to, talk, about,

Although nuclear bombs may not be considered chemical weapons, I believe we can agree they belong to the same category. They certainly disperse an awful lot of deadly radioactive chemicals. They are every bit as horrifying as chemical weapons if not more, and by their very nature, suitable for only one purpose: wiping out an entire city full of civilians. It seems odd that the only regime to ever use one of these weapons of terror on other human beings has busied itself with the pretense of keeping the world safe from dangerous weapons in the hands of dangerous governments.

A military strike on Syria could lead to a nuclear catastrophe if a missile were to hit a reactor containing radioactive uranium, a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman warned. The remark comes as the US continues to push for a military strike on Syria.

“If a warhead, by design or by chance, were to hit the Miniature Neutron Source Reactor (MNSR) near Damascus, the consequences could be catastrophic,” Aleksandr Lukashevich said in a Wednesday statement.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry urged the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to complete a risk evaluation as the US continues to seek support for military action. It asked the agency to “react swiftly” and carry out “an analysis of the risks linked to possible American strikes on the MNSR and other facilities in Syria.”

Lukashevich stated that the region could be at risk of “contamination by highly enriched uranium and it would no longer be possible to account for nuclear material, its safety and control.” He added that such material could fall into the wrong hands.

USS NImitz (AFP Photo / Navy Media Content Services / HO / Raul Moreno)

The IAEA said that it is aware of the statement, but it is waiting for a formal request asking the agency to complete a risk evaluation. “We will consider the questions raised if we receive such a request,” Reuters quoted an IAEA spokesperson as saying.

The agency said in a report to member states last week that Syria had declared there was a “small amount of nuclear material” at the MNSR, a type of research reactor usually fuelled by highly enriched uranium.

Although this type of a reactor would not contain a lot of nuclear material, it would be enough to cause “a serious local radiation hazard” if the reactor was hit, nuclear expert Mark Hibbs from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace told Reuters.

The United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted on Wednesday to approve President Obama’s plan to strike Syria in retaliation against the alleged use of chemical weapons by President Bashar Assad’s regime.

Should Congress move to approve the president’s request, the US could soon initiate a limited strike on Syria.

On the other hand, Moscow needs convincing proof – not rumors – from UN experts that chemical weapons were used in Syria, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with AP and Channel 1 on Tuesday.

“We believe that at the very least we should wait for the results of the UN inspection commission in Syria,” Putin said. He added that so far there is no information regarding exactly which chemical agent was used in the attack in the Damascus suburb, or who was behind it.

By Julie Wilson

Wednesday the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved authorization of US military action in Syria. While the vote still needs to be approved by the full Senate next week, the action is a slap in the face for a majority of Americans who oppose any sort of military intervention in the Middle Eastern country.

The “resolution,” which came in at a vote of 10-7, leaves innumerable holes that could allow the White House to “expand military action well beyond what Congress appears to intend,” reports The Washington Times.

“Two Democrats voted ‘no,’ a third voted ‘present’ and five Republicans voted against it, including Rand Paul,” reports the Daily Mail.

Jonathan Weisman, Congressional reporter for the New York Times, released the following statement:

A divided Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday approved an authorization of force against the Syrian regime, setting up a showdown next week in the full Senate on whether President Obama should have the authority to strike.

The 10-7 vote showed bipartisan support for a strike, but bipartisan opposition as well. Yes votes included Senators John McCain, Republican of Arizona, Bob Corker, Republican of Tennessee, and Jeff Flake, Republican of Arizona. No votes included Democratic Senators Tom Udall of New Mexico and Chris Murphy of Connecticut. The Senate’s newest member, Edward Markey, Democrat of Massachusetts, voted present.

The resolution would limit strikes against the regime of Bashar al-Assad to 60 days, with the possibility of 30 more days upon consultation with Congress, and it would specifically block the use of ground troops. But to keep Mr. McCain’s crucial support, the committee toughened some of the language.

The panel set aside a resolution by Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky and a fierce opponent of a strike, that would have declared the president has authority to act unilaterally only when the nation faces attack, then approved language by Senators McCain and Chris Coons, Democrat of Delaware, to add more rhetorical bite.

The McCain-Coons language noted “absent decisive changes to the present military balance of power on the ground in Syria, sufficient incentives do not yet exist” to force a political settlement of the Syrian civil war. It also reiterated that “it is the policy of the United States to change the momentum on the battlefield in Syria,” urging “a comprehensive U.S. strategy” to not only degrade the regime’s weapons of mass destruction but also to upgrade the military capabilities of “elements of the Syrian opposition.”

Copyright Infowars.com 2013

Americans have been repeatedly told that Al Qaeda under the helm of the late Osama bin Laden was responsible for the 9/11 attacks.

Formulated in the wake of the tragic events of september 11, 2001, the U.S. and its allies launched a “Global War on Terrorism” (GWOT) directed against the numerous “jihadist” Al Qaeda affiliated terror formations in the Middle East, Africa, Central Asia and South East Asia. The first stage of the “Global War on Terrorism” was the bombing and invasion of Afghanistan.

In the wake of 9/11, the” Global War on Terrorism” served to obfuscate the real economic and strategic objectives behind the US-led wars in the Middle East and Central Asia.

The Patriot legislation was implemented. The national security doctrine stated unequivocally that the American Homeland was to be protected against “Islamic terrorists”.

For the last 13 years, war on terrorism rhetoric has permeated political discourse at all levels of government. Al Qaeda related threats and occurrences are explained –by politicians, the corporate media, Hollywood and the Washington think tanks– under a single blanket “bad guys” heading, in which Al Qaeda (“the outside enemy of America”) is casually and repeatedly pinpointed as “the cause” of numerous terror events around the World.

But somehow, in the last few months, this  “Al Qaeda paradigm” has shifted. The American public has become increasingly skeptical regarding the validity of the “Global War on Terrorism”

In recent months, with the unfolding events in Syria, something rather unusual has occurred, which has had a profound impact on the public’s perception and understanding of Obama’s “Global War on Terrorism”.

The US government is actively and openly supporting Syria’s Al Nusrah, the main fighting force affiliated to al Qaeda, largely composed of foreign mercenaries.

Tax dollars are relentlessly channeled to the “rebels”. In turn, Secretary of State John Kerry meets with rebel commanders who oversee the Al Qaeda affiliated entity.

Is this part of a “new normal”: the unity of opposites whereby “terrorism” and “counter-terrorism” are merged into a single foreign policy focus?

Is it “politically correct” for a US Senator to mingle with leaders of a terrorist organization, while at the same time paying lip service to the “Global War on Terrorism”?

While this may be “business as usual” for the US Secretary of State, American servicemen and women are now “refusing to fight” a war in favor of terrorism under the emblem of the “Global War on Terrorism”.

Channeling money and weapons to Al Qaeda in Syria is carried out “in the open”, via the US State Department and the Pentagon rather than in the context of a covert CIA operation.

John McCain enters Syria illegally and poses for photo ops with Al Qaeda leaders.

Hawkish US Senator John McCain (C) poses with infamous kidnapper in Syria, Mohamed Nour (seen with his hand on his chest and holding a camera)

Hawkish US Senator John McCain (C) poses with infamous kidnapper in Syria, Mohamed Nour (seen with his hand on his chest and holding a camera)

The Movement within the US Armed Forces

Needless to say, this mingling of politicians and terrorists strikes at the very foundations of the “Global War on Terrorism”.

Despite the tide of media disinformation, people are increasingly aware that these US sponsored rebels are not “revolutionaries” and that US military aid is being channeled to the terror brigades.

A spontaneous movement on social media networks has emerged involving active members of the armed forces.

“I will not fight for al Qaeda”.

“Obama, I will not fight for your al Qaeda rebels in Syria.”

 

“Our government tells us that we are fighting a war on terrorism.” That is what is taught to new recruits in the Armed Forces. “We’re spreading democracy by combating terrorism”.

Yet in recent months, millions of Americans have become aware of the fact that the Obama administration is lying.

Supporting the Terrorists

Barack Obama and John Kerry are not fighting terrorism. Quite the opposite: They are actively supporting Al Qaeda terrorists in Syria, who are responsible for the most despicable crimes, killings and atrocities directed against the civilian population.

These crimes have been amply documented.  Beheadings, executions of children. The most gruesome massacres.

The Al Nusrah brigades have performed thousands of executions. A recently released video reveals how two young boys are executed following the reading of a death sentence.”In the video can be seen a terrorist reading death sentence to the boys, gunfire is heard, boys fall dead.”

Screenshot YouTube

 

Are these the people who are being supported by the US government?

The terrorists are directly recruited by the Western military alliance.  They are trained in Saudi Arabia and Qatar in liaison with the US and NATO.

These are the rebels who, according to CNN, have also been trained by Western special forces in the use of chemical weapons. And they have used chemical weapons against innocent Syrian civilians.

US servicemen and women are adamant. “I did not join the army to fight for al Qaeda.”

We were recruited to wage a “Global War on Terrorism” and now our government is collaborating with Al Qaeda.

Congressman Dennis Kucinich said “striking Syria would make the U.S. Military ‘Al-Qaeda’s Air Force’”.

The concept which is spreading across the land is that the Obama administration is supporting Al Qaeda.

It’s a bipartisan consensus: the Republican leadership in the US Congress and the Senate have endorsed support and financial aid to the al Nusrah brigades in Syria.

In the eyes of public opinion, the Global War on Terrorism has, so to speak, fallen flat.

Who is Supporting Whom? Who is Waging a War of Aggression?

The spontaneous movement in the armed forces is based on the notion that the “US government is supporting al Qaeda”.

The corporate media has failed to reveal the nature of the longstanding relationship between Al Qaeda and the US government, which goes back to the Soviet-Afghan war.

Al Qaeda –the “outside enemy of America” as well as the alleged architect of the 9/11 attacks– is a creation of the CIA. Al Qaeda and its affiliates are often referred to as “intelligence assets”

From the outset of the Soviet-Afghan war in the early 1980s, the US intelligence apparatus has supported the formation of “Islamic brigades”.

Propaganda purports to erase the history of Al Qaeda, drown the truth and “kill the evidence” on how this “outside enemy” was fabricated and transformed into “Enemy Number One”.

The Global War on Terrorism is not geared towards curbing the “Islamic jihad”.  The significant development of “radical Islam” in the wake of the Cold War was consistent with Washington’s hidden agenda. The latter consists in sustaining rather than combating international terrorism, with a view to creating factional divisions within countries and destabilizing national societies.

The numerous al Qaeda affiliated entities are routinely used in CIA covert operations. They are recruited, trained and indoctrinated under the supervision of the CIA and its intelligence counterparts in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Qatar and Israel. Unknown to the American public, the US has spread the teachings of the “Islamic jihad” in textbooks “Made in America”, developed at the University of Nebraska

Al Qaeda is an intelligence asset which serves the interests of the US administration.

With regard to Syria, the US government is not “supporting Al Qaeda” Quite the opposite, the Al Qaeda mercenaries in Syria, recruited and trained in Saudi Arabia and Qatar,  are “supporting the US government”. They are being used by the US military intelligence apparatus. They are paid killers.

Their actions are implemented as part of a military agenda; they are the foot-soldiers of the Western military alliance. The atrocities committed by the terrorists are the direct result of paramilitary training and indoctrination. The US government is behind this process. Obama is responsible for the crimes committed by the “rebels” against the Syrian people.

Concluding Remarks

We are at an important crossroads. The “Global War on Terrorism” constitutes the cornerstone of war propaganda. Yet at the same time the lies which uphold the GWOT are no longer credible and the thrust and effectiveness of the propaganda campaign are threatened.

No one can reasonably believe in a “war on terrorism” which consists in channeling money and weapons to the terrorists. Its a non sequitur.

“Support to terrorists”, portrayed as “revolutionaries” cannot be heralded as part of a foreign policy agenda which officially consists in “going after the terrorists”.

But Obama desperately needs to hold on to the “Global war on Terrorism”. It’s the cornerstone of US military doctrine. It’s a worldwide crusade.

Without the “Global War on Terrorism”, the Obama administration does not have a leg to stand on: its military doctrine collapses like a deck of cards.

Undermining the credibility of the “Global War on Terrorism” is a powerful instrument of counter-propaganda.

We call on people across the land: Mobilize against Obama’s war.

The war on Syria is illegal and criminal.

The President and Commander in Chief’s decision to support Al Qaeda in Syria is in violation of international law and US anti terrorism legislation .

US and coalition troops have a moral and legal obligation to refuse to fight in Obama’s “humanitarian war” on Syria, which consists in supporting Al Qaeda affiliated terrorists.

The President and Commander in Chief has blatantly violated all tenets of domestic and international law. So that making an oath to “obey orders from the President” is tantamount to violating rather than defending the US Constitution.

“The moral and legal obligation is to the U.S. Constitution and not to those who would issue unlawful orders, especially if those orders are in direct violation of the Constitution and the UCMJ.” (Mosqueda, US troops have “A Duty To Disobey all Unlawful orders”. http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/MOS303A.html )

“Refusing to fight” an illegal war implies a rejection of the legitimacy of the Commander in Chief.  It denies the Obama administration the authority to conduct an illegal and criminal war on behalf of the American people.

And the American people must support the US servicemen and women who refuse to fight in an illegal war.

Obama is a war criminal. He is supporting terrorists, who are his paid killers. Amply documented Syria’s rebels have been trained in the use of chemical weapons and they have used chemical weapons against innocent civilians.

The Global War on Terrorism is a fabrication and a lie.

War is an illegal undertaking.

According to Nuremberg jurisprudence, the ultimate war crime consists in starting a war. Obama and his European counterparts including David Cameron and Francois Hollande are responsible for the supreme crime: “the crime against peace.” This war is illegal irrespective of a decision of the UN Security Council to intervene in the internal affairs of a sovereign state:

All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations…   Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state or shall require the Members to submit such matters to settlement under the present Charter.” UN Charter – 1: Purposes and Principles  

 

 

 

 

Jobs, Healthcare, Schools, Not War.

September 5th, 2013 by Global Research News

By Charlene Muhammad

Your money, war money equal fewer services

anti-war_demonstration_09-10-2013c.jpg

(FinalCall.com) – Over the years, cable TV and internet newscasts have shown images of war-torn campaigns as men, women and children

buckle under shock and awe campaigns waged by the U.S. military and her allies. But often lacking is portrayal of the damage America’s wars cause to citizens in her own backyard.

The drumbeats to war have again started with the president’s declaration of plans to strike Syria militarily for alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians—claims which have been disputed in many quarters.

“It’s going to mean what war always means to the American people. It’s going to mean that while the politicians are telling us that the country’s broke and we have to cut public schools, we have to cut social services, and access to health care and so forth, that billions and billions and billions of our tax dollars are going to be thrown away in the form of Cruise missiles and high powered missiles launched to a country against people that we have no reason to be fighting,” said Michael Prysner, an Iraq War veteran and member of A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) in Los Angeles, when asked about war talk and Syria.

He joins the voices of millions who argue Syria poses no threat to America. The claims of humanitarian intervention there are just as bogus as the claims of humanitarian intervention when the U.S. went into the Iraq War, Mr. Prysner insisted.

“This is a war where the U.S. government wants to assure the American people that the bleeding only has to happen on one side. No Americans have to die. ‘Only these evil Syrians have to die,’ which is just such a racist characterization of a war,” Mr. Prysner continued.

As Americans will be experiencing hardship in this country, they’re going to be watching money that could be spent on human needs here sent to kill their brothers and sisters in Syria, he argued.

 President Barack Obama has allocated more than half ($652.99 billion) of America’s $1.15 trillion discretionary spending budget for 2014 to defense, according to the National Priorities Project.

anti-war_demonstration_09-10-2013b.jpg

In March 2013, the government began automatic, across the board trillion dollar cuts across to help reduce the country’s deficit. Cuts to education alone amounts to approximately $3 billion, according to the National Education Association.

The cuts amount to a loss in services for millions of students, as exhibited by 50 school closures in Chicago, a loss in funding for children living in poverty, less funding for special education, financial aid for college students, after school programs, and tens of thousands of jobs.

“While we need to be protesting, we need to be in the street doing what we can to influence the domestic calculations of the U.S. government as they prepare to go to war, really, what happens in moments like this, the system is exposed for what it is,” an imperialist system of endless war for empire, Mr. Prysner told The Final Call.

 Anti-war activists told The Final Call that as the U.S. threat to move Syrian President Bashar al-Assad out of office heightens, people must understand what costs Americans will pay for an unjust war.

 Carlos Montes, an anti-war and labor union activist, Chicano leader and member of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression, told The Final Call the threat of bombing Syria is unjustified, morally and political wrong, and has nothing to do with human rights violations.

Such money could be used to relieve unemployment, lower incarceration rates for  Black and Latino men and women, create jobs, and fund education, infrastructure development and housing, he said.

“I could go on and on about the high unemployment and lack of healthcare and other problems, but all of that money that we’re paying in our federal income taxes should be used to come back into the community for human needs not for war,” Mr. Montes told The Final Call.

 “You have to understand that war is good business for the military industrial complex,” said Prathap Chatterjee, executive director of Corpwatch, a non-profit organization which works to expose corporate wrongdoing.

 With the war ended in Iraq and winding down in Afghanistan, and questions being raised in Pakistan, the Pentagon and intelligence budget has been cut, Mr. Chatterjee noted. But, while contractors are cutting back, they’ll benefit along with the Pentagon if spending rises due to war with Syria, he said.

 “Military spending is largely going to hiring computer analysts to sit and go through citizens’ e-mails and build large computer systems to vacuum up stuff,” according to Mr. Chatterjee.

“Why in the hell are we spending $50 billion in the official intelligence budget, plus another $20 billion or $30 billion in hidden budgets if they’re not coming up with anything? Well, they’ve got to be able to prove that Bashar Assad has been using chemical weapons,” he explained.

spending_-_discretionary_pie_2014.jpg

 

Pipeline Politics and the Syrian War

September 4th, 2013 by Pepe Escobar

Roving correspondent and frequent guest Pepe Escobar of Asia Times Online joins us once again to discuss the geopolitical machinations behind the latest developments in Syria.

We discuss the possibility of an Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline and how the regional players react to such a proposal, and Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia’s role in the current conflict.

Like this video? Visit our YouTube channel and click the “Subscribe” link to get the latest videos from Global Research!

Tune into Global Research TV for the latest video updates from Global Research!

 

 

WWIII Scenario

U.S.-NATO Should Not Be “Al Qaeda’s Air Force”

September 4th, 2013 by Washington's Blog

Kerry’s Claim that Syrian Rebels Are Not Associated with Al Qaeda Has Been Thoroughly Debunked

Politico notes:

“We certainly don’t have a dog in the fight,” [Senator Ted] Cruz said, calling it a civil war in Syria. “We should be focused on defending the United States of America. That’s why young men and women sign up to join the military, not to, as you know, serve as Al Qaeda’s air force.”

 

Last week, former Congressman Dennis Kucinich said striking Syria would make the U.S. Military ‘Al-Qaeda’s Air Force’.

U.S. troops and veterans agree.

John Kerry claimed yesterday – in response to grilling from Congress – that the Syrian opposition is not made up of Al Qaeda terrorists:

Senator Ron Johnson: It seems like initially the opposition was maybe more Western-leaning, more moderate, more democratic, and as time has gone by, it’s degraded, become more infiltrated by al-Qaeda.

John Kerry: No, I—

Senator Ron Johnson: Is that—is that basically true?

John Kerry: No, that is—

Senator Ron Johnson: Or to what proportion has that happened?

John Kerry: No, that is actually, basically not true. It’s basically correct. The opposition has increasingly become more defined by its moderation, more defined by the breadth of its membership, and more defined by its adherence to some, you know, democratic process and to an all-inclusive minority-protecting constitution, which will be broad-based and secular with respect to the future of Syria.

But the evidence is to the contrary. Senator Cruz noted that – of the nine major rebel groups – seven have ties to Al-QaedaHe’s right.

Indeed, Kerry’s claims have been thoroughly debunked by the New York Times, (and here), Wall Street Journal, USA TodayCNN, McClatchy (and here), AP, TimeBBC, the Independent, the Telegraph, Agence France-PresseAsia Times, and the Star (and here).

Indeed, the the New York Times has reported that virtually all of the rebel fighters are Al Qaeda terrorists.

“If true, this is the setup of all time,” says Limbaugh

by Julie Wilson

Conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh acknowledges building evidence that the chemical weapons attack in Syria was staged to frame President Bashar al-Assad.

On Tuesday’s broadcast of the Rush Limbaugh show, the talk show host acknowledged reports from the Associated Press that the admitted intelligence on Syria’s chemical weapons attack was “no slam dunk.”

He also announced he believes Obama may have been “complicit” in the attack and possibly helped plan it.

Limbaugh expressed doubt over allegations Assad used chemical weapons against his own people. Limbaugh asked if the allegations are true, what does Assad have to gain?

On Saturday morning, the talk show host received a note from a friend who spent time in the Middle East. In the note, Limbaugh’s friend vouched for Assad, claiming there’s “nothing in it for him,” and “he’s not that kind of guy,” describing the note as “almost a personal reference for Bashar.”

Limbaugh initially dismissed the claim and filed the note away stating “everybody wants to do my job” and “everybody wants to influence what I say.”

“Anybody can write me anything and say anything, says Limbaugh. I have to be very careful.

“I just can’t accept what somebody sends me in an email and run with it. So, I ran the theory by a couple of people whose opinion on these things I respect over the years. They both said ‘Na, na, na, that’s a little crazy.’”

However, Limbaugh changed his mind when he discovered another piece making similar accusations by a journalist named Yossef Bodansky.

In the article Bodansky argues the “deception playing out in Syria is a deception similar to the one used in Sarajevo in 1995 to provoke air strikes against the Serbs for the benefit of the Bosnian Muslims.”

According to Limbaugh, “If this is true, this is the setup of all time.”

The article alleges the “US had intel involvement dating a week before the alleged chemical weapons attack in meetings that were anticipating a war changing event.”

“We could be looking at a frame job. Pretty big setup,” says Limbaugh.

“The rebels nerve gassed themselves in order to engineer a response that takes out Bashar, putting the US on the side of Al-Qaeda,” alleges Mr. Bodansky.

Limbaugh’s skepticism of the White House narrative regarding the chemical weapons attack in Syria adds him to a growing list of people who believe the attack to be a staged false flag provocation.

The talk radio icon joins a long list of credible experts including Pat Buchanan, Ron Paul, Rand Paul and Jerome Corsi, who see evidence the Obama administration helped staged the chemical weapons attack in Syria with Al-Qaeda to frame the Assad regime.

Copyright Infowar.com, 20013

Impeach Obama Now!

September 4th, 2013 by Stephen Lendman

A previous article called impeaching him a national imperative. Do it now. Do it before it’s too late.

He’s already guilty of multiple high crimes of war, against humanity and genocide.

He plans much more ahead. He intends lawless aggression against Syria. He risks regional war. He’s menacing humanity.

He risks WW III. He cares only about advancing America’s imperium. Mass killing and destruction are small prices to pay. So is risking humanity’s annihilation.

Francis Boyle wants him impeached. He urged doing so when Congress returns on September 9.

Last December, Boyle spoke at the Puerto Rican Summit Conference on Human Rights. US militarism threatens WW III, he said.

A century after earlier imperial aggressions, “neoconservative Republican Bush Junior administration and the neoliberal Democratic Obama administration are now threatening” global war, he said.

Obama, other high administration officials, and their subordinates “are responsible for the commission of crimes against peace.”

The Nuremberg Charter, Judgment, and Principles, other international laws, and US Army Field Manual (FM) 27-10 define them.

In “international legal terms,” said Boyle, “the United States government” is guilty of “serial wars of aggression, crimes against peace, crimes against humanity, and war crimes that are legally akin to those perpetrated by the former Nazi regime in Germany.”

US citizens are constitutionally empowered to resist, he explained. They’re entitled to challenge their own government.

They’re obligated to do so. They should “prevent, impede, thwart, or terminate (its) ongoing criminal activities.”

“Today’s civil resisters are the sheriffs! The US government officials are the outlaws!”

They “disobeyed fundamental principles of international law as well as US criminal law, and thus committed international crimes and US domestic crimes as well as impeachable violations of the United States Constitution.”

“The American people must insist upon the impeachment, dismissal, resignation, indictment, conviction, and long-term incarceration of all US government officials guilty of such heinous international and domestic crimes.”

Fundamental rule of law principles are inviolable. They apply to everyone. Presidents, other top officials, and military commanders aren’t excluded.

Obama can’t be allowed to commit more egregious crimes. Impeaching, removing, and indicting him is essential. The alternative risks potential annihilation.

Obama exceeds the worst of his predecessors. He’s guilty of repeated high crimes. They’re too grave to permit. They can’t be allowed to go unpunished.

The Constitution’s Article 2, Section 4 states:

“The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

In January 2003, Francis Boyle prepared a draft impeachment resolution against Bush. It applies to Obama. Substituting his name for Bush along with text changes relevant to him, it states:

“Impeaching Barack Hussein Obama, President of the United States, for high crimes and misdemeanors.

Resolved, That Barack Hussein Obama, President of the United States is impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors, and that the following articles of impeachment be exhibited to the Senate:

Articles of impeachment exhibited by the House of Representatives of the United States of America in the name of itself and of all of the people of the United States of America, against Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, in maintenance and support of its impeachment against him for high crimes and misdemeanors.

ARTICLE I

In the conduct of the office of President of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama, in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has attempted to impose a police state and a military dictatorship upon the people and Republic of the United States of America by means of ‘a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations’ against the Constitution since January 20, 2009.

This subversive conduct includes but is not limited to suspending the constitutional Writ of Habeas Corpus; imposing sweeping police state powers; reauthorizing the totalitarian USA Patriot Act; the mass-round-up and incarceration of foreigners; kangaroo courts; waging war on freedom; appointing himself judge, jury and executioner; interfering with the constitutional right of defendants in criminal cases to lawyers; violating and subverting the Posse Comitatus Act; authorizing unconstitutional spying; unlawful and unreasonable searches and seizures; violating the First Amendment rights of the free exercise of religion, freedom of speech, peaceable assembly, and to petition the government for redress of grievances; packing the federal judiciary with hand-picked right-wing judges, and undermining the judicial independence of the Constitution’s Article III federal court system; violating the Third and Fourth Geneva Conventions and the US War Crimes Act; violating the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination; violating the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, the Convention against Torture, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; and waging war on humanity.

In all of this, Barack Hussein Obama has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President and subversive of constitutional government, to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.

Wherefore Barack Hussein Obama, by such conduct, warrants impeachment and trial, and removal from office.

ARTICLE II

In the conduct of the office of President of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama, in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution.

US soldiers in the Middle East are overwhelmingly poor White, Black, and Latino and their military service is based on the coercion of a system that has denied viable economic opportunities to these classes of citizens.

Under the Constitution, all classes of citizens are guaranteed equal protection of the laws, and calling on the poor and minorities to fight a war for oil to preserve the lifestyles of the wealthy power elite of this country is a denial of the rights of these soldiers.

In all of this, Barack Hussein Obama has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President and subversive of constitutional government, to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.

Wherefore Barack Hussein Obama, by such conduct, warrants impeachment and trial, and removal from office.

ARTICLE III

In the conduct of the office of President of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama, in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has violated the US Constitution, federal law, and the United Nations Charter by bribing, intimidating and threatening others, including the members of the United Nations Security Council, to support belligerent acts against Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Palestine, Syria and other nations.

In all of this, Barack Hussein Obama has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President and subversive of constitutional government, to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.

Wherefore Barack Hussein Obama, by such conduct, warrants impeachment and trial, and removal from office.

ARTICLE IV

In the conduct of the office of President of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama, in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has prepared, planned, and conspired to engage in a massive war and catastrophic aggression against Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Palestine, Syria, and other nations by employing methods of mass destruction that will result in the killing of hundreds of thousands of civilians, many of whom will be children.

This planning includes the threatened use of nuclear weapons, and the use of such indiscriminate weapons and massive killings by aerial bombardment, or otherwise, of civilians, violates the Hague Regulations on land warfare, the rules of customary international law set forth in the Hague Rules of Air Warfare, the Four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and Protocol I thereto, the Nuremberg Charter, Judgment, and Principles, the Genocide Convention, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and US Army Field Manual 27-10 (1956).

In all of this, Barack Hussein Obama has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President and subversive of constitutional government, to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.

Wherefore Barack Hussein Obama, by such conduct, warrants impeachment and trial, and removal from office.

ARTICLE V

In the conduct of the office of President of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama, in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has committed the United States to acts of war without congressional consent and contrary to the United Nations Charter and international law.

The President has not received a formal Declaration of War by Congress, and in contravention of the written word, the spirit, and the intent of the US Constitution wages wars regardless of the views of the American people.

In failing to seek and obtain a formal Declaration of War and violating UN Charter provisions, Barack Hussein Obama has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President and subversive of constitutional government, to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.

Wherefore Barack Hussein Obama, by such conduct, warrants impeachment and trial, and removal from office.

ARTICLE VI

In the conduct of the office of President of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama, in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has planned, prepared, and conspired to commit crimes against the peace by waging aggressive wars against Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Palestine, Syria, and other nations in violation of Article 2(4) of the United Nations Charter, the Nuremberg Charter, Judgment, and Principles, the Kellogg-Brand Pact, US Army Field Manual 27-10 (1956), numerous other international treaties and agreements, and the Constitution of the United States.

In all of this, Barack Hussein Obama has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President and subversive of constitutional government, to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.

Wherefore Barack Hussein Obama, by such conduct, warrants impeachment and trial, and removal from office.”

Congress is obligated to exercise its authority to do so!

A Final Comment

In his January 2009 inaugural address, Obama said:

“I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors.”

“On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.”

“The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.”

“We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan.”

“To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect.”

“To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society’s ills on the West – know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy.

“Let it be said by our children’s children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God’s grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.”

Obama promised hope and change. He delivered imperial wars, police state ruthlessness and betrayal.

Impeaching, removing and indicting him for high crimes is a national imperative. Emergency conditions exist. It’s essential to do it now!

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

His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.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 Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour 

http://www.dailycensored.com/impeach-obama-now/

Breathtaking U.S. Hypocrisy on Chemical Weapons

September 4th, 2013 by Washington's Blog

The U.S. has Repeatedly Violated the “Red Line” on Chemical Weapons

The U.S. encouraged Saddam Hussein’s use of chemical weapons against Iran … which was the largest use of chemical weapons in history.  While the number of people killed in the August 21st chemical weapons attack has been estimated at between 350 and 1,429, 20,000 Iranians and 5,000 Kurds were killed by Saddam’s chemical weapons attacks with full U.S. support and backing.

The U.S. sprayed nearly 20,000,000 gallons of material containing chemical herbicides and defoliants mixed with jet fuel in Vietnam, eastern Laos and parts of Cambodia. Vietnam estimates 400,000 people were killed or maimed, and 500,000 children born with birth defects as a result of its use.   The Red Cross of Vietnam estimates that up to 1 million people are disabled or have health problems due to Agent Orange.

The United States has used chemical weapons in the last 10 years.

The U.S. agreed pursuant to the international Chemical Weapons Convention to destroy its chemical weapons stockpiles by April 2007.  It received several extensions. The final extension expired in April 2012.  The U.S. failed to comply with the deadline.  (Syria was never a signatory to the treaty.)

Given the above, does the U.S. have the moral or legal standing to accuse Syria of violating a “red line” on chemical weapons?

Notes: U.S. military action in Libya and Syria have also caused chemical weapons to fall into the hands of Al Qaeda … and Al Qaeda has in fact used those weapons.

Britain has also used chemical weapons within the past 10 years, and has been caught allowing its companies to sell nerve gas chemical weapons to Syria for years.

Obama, Congress and the Coming War Against Syria

September 4th, 2013 by Bill Van Auken

President Barack Obama’s change of course in seeking US congressional authorization for military aggression against Syria, far from representing a more measured or democratic approach, is aimed at providing political cover for an unpopular war of unlimited scope. What is being planned goes far beyond anything that the US and world public have been led to expect.

The administration on Tuesday kicked off a relentless propaganda campaign, described by aides as “flooding the zone.” With the full collaboration of the media, the aim is to obliterate any critical thinking in relation to the lies and pretexts that have been put forward to justify another unprovoked war against an oppressed former colonial country. At the same time, the war propaganda is designed to delegitimize and intimidate opposition and make military action seem inevitable.

Congress is being enlisted in this effort in the form of an Authorization of the Use of Military Force (AUMF) resolution, which is to be rammed through with the support of the leaderships of both big business parties, the Democrats and Republicans.

The pretense that the coming war is a “limited” humanitarian venture aimed at punishing Syria’s Assad regime for the alleged use of chemical weapons is being thoroughly debunked in the process.

While administration spokesmen, led by Secretary of State John Kerry—formerly the richest person in the US Senate—have vilified the Assad regime as the equivalent of Hitler’s Third Reich, Washington has yet to produce a shred of verifiable evidence that the Syrian military was responsible for a chemical weapons attack on August 21 outside Damascus, the casus belli for the coming US aggression.

Instead, it has merely amplified propaganda from the US-backed opposition—a group of cutthroat militias spearheaded by Al Qaeda. Thus, in laying out the case for a US attack, Kerry made the claim that 1,429 people were killed in the August 21 attack, while Washington’s principal ally, Britain, put the number at 350. Even the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a group supporting regime-change in Syria, put the figure at roughly 500 and dismissed the US estimate as “propaganda.”

Such a gross exaggeration is symptomatic of a concocted pretext for war. While Washington’s claims have been discredited, there is mounting evidence that the August 21 deaths were caused by the opposition, which had the most to gain by staging such an attack—on the very day that UN weapons inspectors began their work in Damascus—and blaming it on the regime.

The coming military action is not about chemical weapons or saving Syrian lives. Rather, untold thousands of Syrian soldiers and civilians are to be massacred in US imperialism’s bid to redraw the map of the Middle East and demolish any impediments to its hegemony over the strategically vital and energy-rich regions of the Persian Gulf and Central Asia.

The draft of the Authorization of the Use of Military Force submitted by the White House to Congress is crafted accordingly.

It should be recalled that 12 years ago, the Bush administration obtained an Authorization for the Use of Military Force from Congress that remains in effect to this day. In the name of an ill-defined “war on terror,” it has been used by both the Bush and Obama administrations as the justification for wars of aggression against Afghanistan and Iraq, the suspension of habeas corpus, the Guantanamo prison camp, torture, rendition, warrantless wiretaps and massive domestic spying as well as the indefinite military detention and even the assassination of US citizens on the sole say-so of the US president.

The passage of a new AUMF on the pretext of responding to the use of chemical weapons in Syria will have effects that are easily as far-reaching and potentially even more catastrophic.

Not accidentally, among the more penetrating analyses of the Obama administration’s proposed AUMF is one by Jack Goldsmith, the Harvard University law professor who resigned from his post in the Bush Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel over the so-called torture memos.

Writing on the web site Lawfare, Goldsmith warns, “There is much more here than at first meets the eye. The proposed AUMF focuses on Syrian WMD but is otherwise very broad. It authorizes the President to use any element of the US Armed Forces and any method of force. It does not contain specific limits on targets—either in terms of the identity of the targets (e.g., the Syrian government, Syrian rebels, Hezbollah, Iran) or the geography of the targets.”

The resolution authorizes the use of force “in connection with the use of chemical weapons,” to prevent the use or proliferation “within, to or from Syria” of not only such weapons, but any “components of or materials used in such weapons.” In addition, force can be used to “protect the United States and its allies and partners against the threat posed by such weapons.”

Such language would allow Obama to order an attack on either Iran or Russia on the grounds that their material support for the Syrian regime was “connected” to its ability to use chemical weapons. It allows US military action in response to supposed threats to Israel, Turkey or Jordan. In short, it clears the deck for a region-wide and even global war.

The timid proposals for amending the resolution by the House and Senate leaderships only underscore the scope of the planned military action. One proposed change would limit military action to 60 days, with a possible extension of another 30. In other words, up to three months of US bombardment of Syria, an already war-devastated country, are being contemplated, something that would immensely compound the already existing humanitarian catastrophe. Limits on “boots on the ground” would apparently include exemptions for insertion of US Special Forces troops as needed.

The Obama administration, like that of Bush before it, will use any authorization to do whatever the US military and intelligence complex deems necessary to achieve US imperialism’s aims, and will brush aside any restrictions written into a resolution as meaningless and non-binding.

From talking of firing a “shot across the bow” of the Assad regime and conducting a “limited and tailored” operation, Obama has begun assuring members of Congress, and particularly right-wing Republicans, that the coming US military operation will have serious “teeth” and will be aimed in large measure at both “degrading” the military capabilities of the Syrian government and “upgrading” the capacities of the so-called “rebels.”

This was the intention all along, with chemical weapons dragged in as a pretext for a military intervention aimed at reversing the defeats suffered by the Al Qaeda-led militias over the past several months.

Significantly, the first members of Congress whose support was sought by Obama were Republican senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, who have been the administration’s harshest critics for failing earlier to conduct a direct military intervention in support of the Western-backed anti-Assad forces.

The lining up of McCain and Obama exposes the fraud of American democracy. Little more than five years ago, Obama ran against McCain and was swept into office on a tide of hostility to the wars and crimes carried out under the Bush administration. Now, he turns to the likes of McCain for support, under conditions in which the overwhelming majority of the American people oppose a new war based on lies in the Middle East.

The Democratic administration of Obama, like its predecessor, is inveterately hostile to these sentiments and determined to pursue the predatory aims of America’s corporate and financial establishment even if it costs the lives of millions.

The fight must begin to develop a broad popular movement against a new war. Such a movement can be organized only if it is independent of the two big business parties and Congress. Led by the working class, it must mobilize students and youth in opposition to war and militarism and the crisis-ridden capitalist system from which they arise.

US Congress Lines Up Behind Drive for War Against Syria

September 4th, 2013 by Andre Damon

Leading members of the US Congress have moved quickly to declare their support for President Barack Obama’s proposed resolution enabling the use of force against Syria.

The move to get a congressional authorization is aimed at providing a fig-leaf of legitimacy to a unpopular war that is based on lies. In this way it is similar to the 2001 Authorization of Use of Military Force, which became the rationale for sweeping military attacks and domestic repression.

Following a closed-door meeting between Obama and leading members of Congress Tuesday morning, Republican House Speaker John Boehner declared that he would “support the president’s call to action.” He added, “This is something that the United States, as a country, needs to do. … I believe that my colleagues should support this call for action.”

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi added her support, saying, “from a national security standpoint, we have to send a very clear message to those who have weapons of mass destruction of any variety that they should forget about using them,” adding that “It is really something that, from a humanitarian standpoint, cannot be ignored, or else we cannot say never again.”

Congressmen from both political parties entirely accept the lies promoted by the Obama administration, above all the claim that the planned action in Syria will be “limited.” Before the meeting with Boehner and Pelosi, Obama himself reiterated this claim, insisting that what is planned is not “Iraq or Afghanistan” and that there will be no “boots on the ground.”

In fact, the administration is seeking the resolution in part because it is planning a major military operation to reverse the course of the Syrian civil war and unseat or kill Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. This is merely a prelude to action against Syria’s main ally, Iran, and behind it, Russia.

While insisting that its plans are limited in order to help sell the war to the American people, administration officials have repeatedly made clear that they want to “degrade” the Syrian military—that is, destroy large sections of the air force—and “upgrade” the opposition by directly supplying lethal weapons.

The leaders of both parties accepted entirely the pretext employed by the administration to justify the war: Assad’s supposed use of chemical weapons. This state of affairs was summed up in the comments of Adam Schiff, a California Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, who told the press earlier in the day, “The debate is shifting away from ‘Did he use chemical weapons?’ to ‘What should be done about it?’ ”

The aims of the war drive were elaborated in an afternoon hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in which Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Defense Charles Hagel, and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey made the case for bombing Syria.

Kerry opened his remarks by saying “some people here and there, amazingly, have questioned the evidence of this assault on conscience. I repeat here again today that only the most willful desire to avoid reality can assert that this did not occur as described or that the regime did not do it. It did happen, and the Assad regime did it.”

Kerry’s statement was aimed not at members of the committee, but at the US population, which is skeptical of the administration’s claims and overwhelmingly opposed to military action. The Senators accepted the vague and unsubstantiated claims that Syrian president Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons despite the fact that no new evidence was presented. Any minor questions about the administration’s claims were referred by the panelists to a closed-door session to take place Wednesday.

The panelists sought to further reinforce the claim by Obama that he is seeking a limited military engagement, and sought to rule out any sort of ground invasion. Kerry insisted, “let me be clear: President Obama is not asking America to go to war… We all agree, there will be no American boots on the ground.” For the US Secretary of State, launching military strikes aimed at taking out a foreign country’s military is not “war.”

These pretenses were undermined in statements earlier Tuesday by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who framed Obama’s proposal for a “limited war” in a much broader context. “The Syrian conflict is not merely a civil war; it is a sectarian proxy war that is exacerbating tensions throughout the Muslim world,” he said. “It is clear Iran is a principal combatant in this conflict, and its direct involvement is an integral part of Iran’s bid to establish regional hegemony. Were Assad and his Iranian patrons to come out on top it would be a strategic victory for Iran, embolden Hezbollah, and convince our allies that we cannot be trusted.”

In the Senate testimony, Kerry himself outlined a scenario in which US troops invade Syria on the pretext of securing chemical weapons supplies as the country “imploded.” He said it would be “preferable not to” have a prohibition on ground troops. Kerry latter backtracked, saying that the administration was comfortable with a resolution that did not authorize ground troops. “There will not be boots on the ground with respect to the civil war,” he said, in carefully worded language that avoided mention of what would happen afterward.

The administration, in any case, sees any resolution passed in Congress as authorizing action but not restricting it. That is, nothing the Congress may or may not pass will be interpreted as prohibiting any action by the president. In the only significantly confrontational exchange with Kerry, Republican Senator Rand Paul said, “You’re probably going to win; just go ahead and say it’s real. And let’s have a real debate in this country and not a meaningless debate that in the end you lose and you say, oh, well, we have the authority anyway.”

In response, Kerry restated the administration’s claim that the president had the right to disregard a congressional vote. “I will leave to the man who was elected to be president of the United States the responsibility for telling you what his decision is, if and when that moment came.”

Throughout the hearing, protesters denouncing the war plans were unceremoniously ejected from the Senate chambers.

A vote on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which will likely take place today, is expected to pass by a wide margin.

Hubo un tiempo, a principios de la década de 1970, en que muchas personas, incluido yo mismo, pensaban que todas las “luchas” de aquella época estaban relacionadas: la Revolución Cultural en China, las guerrillas en América Latina, la Primavera de Praga y los“disidentes” de la Europa del Este, mayo del 68, el movimiento de los derechos civiles [estadounidense], la oposición a la guerra de Vietnam y los nominalmente socialistas movimientos anticoloniales en África y Asia. También pensábamos que, por analogía con la Segunda Guerra Mundial, los regímenes“fascistas” de España, Portugal y Grecia solo podrían ser derrocados por medio de la lucha armada, muy probablemente prolongada.

Ninguna de estas suposiciones era correcta. La Revolución Cultural no tenía nada que ver con los movimientos antiautoritarios en Occidente, los disidentes de la Europa del Este en general eran procapitalistas y proimperialistas, y a menudo de una manera fanática, las guerrillas latinoamericanas eran una quimera (excepto en América Central) y los movimientos de liberación nacional eran exactamente eso: con bastante acierto, su objetivo era la liberación nacional y se denominaban a sí mismos socialistas o comunistas solo por el apoyo que les ofrecían la Unión Soviética o China. Los regímenes “fascistas” del sur de Europa se transformaron ellos mismos sin ofrecer una resistencia importante y no digamos ya una lucha armada. Muchos otros regímenes autoritarios siguieron el ejemplo: en la Europa del Este, en América Latina, en Indonesia, África y ahora en parte del mundo árabe. Algunos se desmoronaron desde dentro, otros después de unas pocas manifestaciones.

Me acordé de todas esas ilusiones juveniles cuando leí una petición “en solidaridad con los millones de sirios que han estado luchando por la dignidad y la libertad desde marzo de 2011”, cuya lista de signatarios verdaderamente incluye a las figuras más destacadas de la izquierda occidental. La petición afirma que “[...] La revolución en Siria es una parte fundamental de las revoluciones del norte de África, pero es también una extensión de la revuelta zapatista en México, el movimiento de los sin tierra en Brasil, las revueltas europeas y norteamericanas contra la explotación neoliberal, y un eco de los movimientos por la libertad en Irán, Rusia y China”.

Los signatarios piden, por supuesto, que Bashar al-Assad abandone inmediatamente el poder, lo cual se supone es la única “esperanza para un sistema unificado, libre, e independiente en Siria”. También afirman que Rusia, China e Irán “han mantenido su apoyo al régimen a pesar de la masacre de personas”, a pesar de que “supuestamente eran amigos de los árabes”; reconocen que “EE.UU. y sus aliados del Golfo, han intervenido en apoyo de los revolucionarios”,pero les acusan de haberlo hecho “con un claro y cínico interés propio” y tratando de “aplastar y subvertir el levantamiento”. No está claro cómo cuadra esto con la siguiente línea del texto que afirma que “las potencias regionales y mundiales han dejado el pueblo sirio solo”.

El resultado final de la petición consiste en una grandiosa afirmación de “solidaridad” de “intelectuales, académicos, activistas, artistas, ciudadanos interesados y movimientos sociales”, “con el pueblo sirio para enfatizar la dimensión revolucionaria de su lucha y para evitar las batallas geopolíticas y guerras de poder que tienen lugar en su país”.¡Nada menos!

Merece la pena analizar la petición al detalle porque resumen muy bien todo lo que hay de erróneo en la corriente principal del pensamiento de izquierda actual, e ilustra y explica por qué no hay izquierda en Occidente. El mismo tipo de pensamiento dominó el pensamiento de la izquierda occidental durante las guerras de Kosovo y Libia, y en cierto modo durante las guerras de Afganistán (“solidaridad con las mujeres afganas”) e Iraq (“estarán mejor sin Saddam”).

En primer lugar, es muy dudosa la manera de presentar los hechos acerca de Siria. No soy un experto en Siria, pero si el pueblo está tan unido en contra del régimen, ¿cómo es que este ha resistido durante tanto tiempo? Ha habido relativamente pocas deserciones en el ejército o entre el personal diplomático y político. Dado que la mayoría de los sirios son sunníes y que constantemente se describe al régimen como uno que se basa en el apoyo de la “secta alauita”, algo debe de brillar por su ausencia en el relato acerca de Siria.

A continuación, nos guste o no, las acciones de “Rusia, China e Irán” en Siria han sido acordes con el derecho internacional, a diferencia de las de “Estados Unidos y sus aliados del Golfo”. Desde el punto de vista del derecho internacional, el actual gobierno de Siria es legítimo y responder a su petición de ayuda es perfectamente legal, mientras que armar a los rebeldes no lo es. Por supuesto, las personas de izquierda que firman la petición probablemente pondrían objeciones este aspecto del derecho internacional porque favorece a los gobiernos por encima de los insurgentes. Pero imaginemos el caos que se crearía si en todo el mundo cada gran potencia armara a los rebeldes que le pareciera. Se podría deplorar la venta de armas a“dictaduras”, pero Estados Unidos no está en posición de dar lecciones al mundo en este aspecto.

Por otra parte, “Rusia y China” son quienes, por medio de su votación en la ONU, impidieron otra intervención estadounidense, como la de Libia, a la que la izquierda occidental se opuso con muy poco entusiasmo, si es que se opuso. De hecho, dado que Estados Unidos utilizó la Resolución de la ONU sobre Libia para llevar a cabo el cambio de régimen que no había autorizado la Resolución, ¿no es natural que Rusia y China sienta que se les tomó el pelo en Libia y digan: “¡nunca más!”?

La petición considera los acontecimientos en Siria como una“extensión de la revuelta zapatista en México, el movimiento de los sin tierra en Brasil, las revueltas europeas y norteamericanas contra la explotación neoliberal, y un eco de los movimientos por la libertad en Irán, Rusia y China”, pero tienen cuidado de no relacionarlos con los gobiernos antiimperialistas en América Latina ya que estos gobiernos están completamente en contra de las intervenciones exteriores y defienden el respeto de la soberanía nacional.

Por último, ¿qué debería hacer cualquier persona que crea que la salida “inmediata” de Bashar al-Assad llevaría a una“Siria libre, unificada e independiente”? ¿Acaso los ejemplos de Iraq y Libia no son suficientes para arroja algunas dudas sobre estos optimistas pronunciamientos?

Esto nos lleva al segundo problema de la petición, que es su tendencia al romanticismo revolucionario. La izquierda occidental actual es la primera en denunciar a los regímenes“estalisnistas” del pasado, incluidos los de Mao, Kim Il Sung o Pol Pot. Pero, ¿olvidan que Lenin luchó contra el zarismo, Stalin contra Hitler, Mao contra el Kuomintang, Kim Il Sung contra los japoneses y los dos últimos, así como Pol Pot lucharon contra Estados Unidos? Si la historia debe enseñarnos algo es que luchar contra la opresión no te convierte necesariamente en un santo. Y dado que se han echado a perder tantas revoluciones violentas en el pasado, ¿qué razón hay para creer que la “revolución” en Siria, cada vez más dominada por religiosos fanáticos, emergerá como un ejemplo deslumbrante de libertad y democracia?

Ha habido repetidas ofertas de negociación por parte tanto de“Rusia, China e Irán” como del “régimen de Assad” tanto con al oposición como con sus patrocinadores (“Estados Unidos y sus aliados del Golfo”). ¿No habría que dar una oportunidad a la paz y a la diplomacia? El “régimen sirio” ha modificado su constitución, ¿por qué estar tan seguro de que esto no puede llevar a un “futuro democrático”, mientras que una revolución violenta sí puede? ¿No habría que dar una oportunidad a la reforma [política]?

Con todo, el principal defecto tanto de esta petición como de llamamientos similares de la izquierda intervencionista humanitaria en el pasado es ¿a quién están hablando? Los rebeldes en Siria quieren la mayor cantidad de armas sofisticadas posible; ninguno de los firmantes de la petición se las puede proporcionar y resulta difícil ver cómo lo puede hacer la “sociedad civil global y no [a] los gobiernos ineficaces y manipuladores”. Esos rebeldes quieren que los gobiernos occidentales les proporcionen esas armas y no les podría preocupar menos lo que piense la izquierda occidental. Y esos gobiernos occidentales apenas saben que existe siquiera la izquierda. Y aunque lo supieran, ¿por qué iban a escuchar a personas que no tiene un apoyo popular serio y, por ello, no tienen medios de presionar a los gobiernos? La mejor prueba de ello es la causa a la que muchos de los firmantes han dedicado parte de sus vidas: Palestina. ¿Qué gobierno occidental presta atención alguna a las reivindicaciones del “movimiento de solidaridad con Palestina”?

Solo porque la petición no tenga efecto en Siria no quiere decir que no tenga efecto tout court. Debilita y confunde lo que queda de los sentimientos en contra de la guerra al poner el acento en que “nuestra” prioridad debe ser gestos vacíos de solidaridad con una rebelión a la que ya apoya militarmente occidente. Una vez conseguida esta manera de pensar, se hace psicológicamente difícil oponerse a la intervención estadounidense en los asuntos internos de Siria ya que la intervención es precisamente lo que desean los revolucionarios a los que debemos “apoyar” (al parecer, a diferencia de los signatarios, no se han dado cuenta de que Occidente desea “aplastar y subvertir el levantamiento”). Por supuesto, quienes defienden la petición dirán que ellos no“apoyan” a los extremistas más violentos en Siria, pero, entonces, ¿a quién están apoyando exactamente y cómo? Por otra parte, la falsa impresión de que las “potencias[regionales y] mundiales han dejado al pueblo sirio solo”(aunque, de hecho, hay un flujo constante de armas y de yihadistas a Siria) proviene en parte del hecho de que Estados Unidos no es tan demente como para arriesgarse a una Guerra Mundial dado que Rusia para decir en serio lo que dice en este caso. Parece que a los signatarios nunca se les ocurre que podemos estar al borde de una Guerra Mundial.

Quienes defienden la petición probablemente dirán que “nosotros” debemos denunciar tanto al imperialismo estadounidense como a los regímenes opresivos contra los que se “revuelve” el pueblo. Pero esto no hace sino mostrar la profundidad de su error: ¿por qué reivindicar hacer dos cosas a la vez cuando uno no es capaz de hacer ninguna de las dos, siquiera parcialmente?

Si estas peticiones son peores que no hacer nada, ¿qué debería hacer entonces la izquierda? En primer lugar, ocuparse de sus propios asuntos, lo que significa luchar en casa. Esto es mucho más duro que expresar una solidaridad que no significa nada con personas de países lejanos. Y, ¿luchar por qué? La paz a través de la desmilitarización de Occidente, una política no intervencionista y situar la diplomacia, no las amenazas, en el centro de las relaciones internacionales. Casualmente, los libertarios y la derecha paleoconservadora defienden una política no intervencionista. La izquierda utiliza constantemente este hecho sumando a la invocación de la historia previa a la Segunda Guerra Mundial (la guerra civil española, los Acuerdos de Munich) para dar mala fama al antiintervencionismo.

Pero es ridículo: en realidad no se resucita constantemente a Hitler y Occidente no se enfrenta a ninguna amenaza militar seria. En la situación actual, recortar los costes del Imperio es una preocupación perfectamente legítima de los ciudadanos estadounidenses.

De hecho, sería perfectamente posible establecer una amplia coalición de derecha e izquierda de personas que se oponen al militarismo y al intervencionismo. Por supuesto, dentro de esta coalición se podría seguir estando en desacuerdo sobre el matrimonio homosexual pero, aún siendo esta una cuestión importante, quizá no debería impedirnos trabajar juntos en cuestiones que también pueden parecer importantes a algunas personas, como la paz mundial, la defensa de la ONU y del derecho internacional, y el desmantelamiento de las bases del imperio estadounidense. Además, no es improbable que se pudiera ganar a una gran parte del público estadounidense a favor de estas posturas si se establecieran unas campañas continuas y bien organizadas para persuadirle.

Pero, por supuesto, el espíritu de la petición va exactamente en la dirección contraria, hacia más implicación e intervenciones de Estados Unidos. Sin duda muchos de los signatarios se consideran a sí mismos antiimperialistas y defensores de la paz, y algunos de ellos han desempeñado un papel importante en la oposición a anteriores guerras de agresión estadounidenses. Pero no parecen haberse dado cuenta de que las tácticas del imperialismo han cambiado desde los tiempos de los movimientos de liberación nacionales. Ahora que ha terminado la descolonización (con excepción de Palestina,), Estados Unidos ataca a los gobiernos, no a los movimientos revolucionarios, que considera que son demasiado independientes. Y para hacerlo utiliza una variedad de medios que son similares en sus tácticas a los movimientos revolucionarios o progresistas del pasado: la lucha armada, la desobediencia civil, O“N”Gs financiadas por el gobierno, revoluciones de colores, etc.

El último ejemplo de estas tácticas es el intento por parte de los gobiernos occidentales de utilizar a la comunidad lesbiana-gay-bisexual-transexual (LGBT) como soldados de las tropas de asalto contra Rusia y los Juegos de Invierno, en un intento transparente de desviar la atención del público del embarazoso asunto de que en el caso Snowden es Rusia y no Estados Unidos quien está del lado de la libertad. Es de temer que la izquierda intervencionista humanitaria se suba al carro de esta nueva cruzada. Sin embargo, como ha señalado Gilad Atzmon con su habitual estilo ligeramente provocativo, es poco probable que esto beneficie en algo a la comunidad LGBT en Rusia ya que este tipo de apoyo permite a sus oponentes tildarlos de portadores de influencia extranjera. No es una buena idea para una minoría, sea de la parte del mundo que sea, ser considerada como agentes de una potencia extranjera y, menos aún, de un gobierno tan odiado por su arrogancia y su intervencionismo como el actual gobierno estadounidense. Y, por cierto, las personas que piden el boicot de los Juegos de Invierno en Rusa no pusieron ninguna objeción a celebrar los Juegos Olímpicos en Londres, lo que implica que, para ellos, tomar medidas en contra de los homosexuales es un crimen grave mientras que las guerras en Afganistán e Iraq son meros deslices.

Las personas que sucumben a las ilusiones del romanticismo revolucionario o que se ponen de parte del supuesto desvalido, independientemente de la agenda del desvalido, están siendo engañadas por las tácticas del imperialismo actual. Pero aquellas personas que aspiran a un orden mundial más pacífico y más justo, y que creen que una condición previa para este orden es el debilitamiento del imperialismo estadounidense, ven fácilmente a través de este camuflaje. Estas dos diferentes visiones del mundo dividen tanto a la derecha como a la izquierda: intervencionistas liberales y neoconservadores en un lado, libertarios, paleoconservadores e izquierdistas tradicionales en otro, y eso puede llamar a alianzas nuevas y heterodoxas.

Jean Bricmont
Counterpunch, 14 de agosto de 2013.

URL de este artículo:
http://www.silviacattori.net/article4793.html

 

leftThe Unwitting Agents of the Imperial Order: “The Wishful Thinking Left”  16 de Agosto de  2013

Traducción del inglés: Carmen Martínez (03.09.2013)

JEAN BRICMONT enseña física en la Universidad de Louvain en Bélgica. Es el autor de Humanitarian ImperialismSe puede contactar con él en[email protected]

When it comes to war, isn’t our account overdrawn? 

When the president asks Congress for a blank check for war, why does the Congress fret about setting a limit on war powers instead of just saying: “NO” to any check? What happened to checks and balances (as if we all didn’t know)?

Already quislings of both parties in the Senate – Democrat Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Republican Pat Roberts of Kansas – are staking out the “compromise” position of a limited war in response to President Obama’s proposal for an open-ended war authorization.  According to Leahy, Democratic senate staffers are working on an alternative authorization for killing Syrians.

Several Republican senators, including John McCain of Arizona, Bob Corker of Tennessee, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina just want the Obama administration to start killing people, the sooner the better, their only caveat being that the president should have a plan.

McCain wants the US to do more – he hasn’t said how much more, or if he would accept any military limitations.  “It can’t just be, in my view, pinprick cruise missiles,” McCain said, describing a weapon that doesn’t exist outside of military fantasy.

Rand Paul offers tepid resistance, flatters president for obeying law

One of the few clear voices opposed to the US engaging even “surgically” in the Syrian civil war is Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who calls the president’s proposal an effort to “save face and add bad policy to bad policy.”  Paul also said:

“I would ask, ‘How do you ask a man to be the first to die for a mistake?’ I’m not sending my son, your son or anybody else’s son to fight for a stalemate.”

  With as mealy a mouth as anyone, Paul stands with the apparently overwhelming majority of our elected leaders, bravely telling reporters he was “proud” of the president for coming to Congress for war-making support. Translation: “Oh thank you Mr. President for not acting like a dictator and embarrassing us with our complete lack of spine to oppose your imperial enterprise (which is, after all, our imperial enterprise, too, but we really don’t like having to say so and some of us even blush).”

  Conventional wisdom on September 2 predicted that the Senate would endorse whatever the president wants to do, just not as long as he might want to do it.  The prediction for the House is generally iffy, but House Minority Leader Democrat Nancy Pelosi of California is cheerleading from the front of the war bandwagon.

  Such actual Congressional opposition to the whole idea of putting the US any deeper into Syria for ay reason comes from a few representatives in the House:

  • Republican Chris Gibson of New York, an Army veteran with multiple foreign deployments: “I hope my colleagues will fully think through the weightiness of this decision and reject military action. The situation on the ground in Syria is tragic and deeply saddening, but escalating the conflict and Americanizing the Syrian civil war will not resolve the matter.”

  • Democrat Betty McCollum of Minnesota: “Unilateral U.S. military action against the Syrian regime at this time would do nothing to advance American interests, but would certainly fuel extremist groups on both sides of the conflict that are determined to expand the bloodshed beyond Syria’s borders.”

  • Republican Devin Nunes of California: “The apparent chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime is an appalling, unconscionable act by a bloodthirsty tyrant. The ‘limited’ military response supported by President Obama, however, shows no clear goal, strategy, or any coherence whatsoever, and is supported neither by myself nor the American people.”

  The blank check comes with no due date, late fees, or penalties

  The White House draft “authorization for use of United States armed forces” is problematical from the first “whereas,” which asserts as a fact a charge that remains in dispute:

  “Whereas, on August 21, 2013, the Syrian government carried out a chemical weapons attack in the suburbs of Damascus, Syria, killing more than 1,000 innocent Syrians….”

If this premise is wrong, as seems quite possible, than the following seven “whereas paragraphs are mostly accurate but irrelevant, with some demagoguery thrown in to persuade or intimidate Congress.

But even if the premise turns out to be correct, the “authorization should be unacceptable for the unlimited scope of action allowed to the president, who still uses the 2001 AUMF (Authorization for Use of Military Force) against terrorism to justify his authority to wage war by whatever means he chooses in Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Mali, and elsewhere.  That law remains open-ended and unmodified by Congress, allowing the president “to use all necessary and appropriate force” against pretty much anyone he “determines” deserves to be attacked.

  The new authorization gives the president the freedom “to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in connection with the use of chemical weapons or other weapons of mass destruction in the conflict in Syria,” which seems as if it’s at least limited to the geography of Syria, and only as long as there’s a conflict there.  Of course it implicitly leaves it up to the president to determine what a “conflict” is and even, arguably, what “Syria” is.

Such limitation is a chimera.  Unfettering the president from even that illusory constraint, the authorization goes on to allow him respond to any “proliferation” inside – or outside – of Syria “of any weapons of mass destruction, including chemical or biological weapons or components of or materials used in such weapons….”

And just in case that’s not broad enough to let the president do most anything he chooses, the authorization goes on to allow him to do anything necessary to “protect the United States and its allies and partners against the threat posed by such weapons.” 

When protecting against a “threat,” nothing is ruled out, no matter how crazy paranoid the threat may be.  In post-9/11 United States, threat perceptions don’t have much restraint on the paranoid crazy.

In a fundamentally cowardly Congress, members are unlikely to oppose this kind of threat to the national interest, especially now that they getting their egos stroked by the White House.

Iraq and Libya have been taken out, and Iran has been heavily boycotted. Syria is now in the cross-hairs. Why? Here is one overlooked scenario . . . 

In an August 2013 article titled “Larry Summers and the Secret ‘End-game’ Memo,” Greg Palast posted evidence of a secret late-1990s plan devised by Wall Street and U.S. Treasury officials to open banking to the lucrative derivatives business. To pull this off required the relaxation of banking regulations not just in the US but globally. The vehicle to be used was the Financial Services Agreement of the World Trade Organization.

The “end-game” would require not just coercing support among WTO members but taking down those countries refusing to join. Some key countries remained holdouts from the WTO, including Iraq, Libya, Iran and Syria. In these Islamic countries, banks are largely state-owned; and “usury” – charging rent for the “use” of money – is viewed as a sin, if not a crime.That puts them at odds with the Western model of rent extraction by private middlemen. Publicly-owned banks are also a threat to the mushrooming derivatives business, since governments with their own banks don’t need interest rate swaps, credit default swaps, or investment-grade ratings by private rating agencies in order to finance their operations.

Bank deregulation proceeded according to plan, and the government-sanctioned and -nurtured derivatives business mushroomed into a $700-plus trillion pyramid scheme. Highly leveraged,  completely unregulated, and dangerously unsustainable, it collapsed in 2008 when investment bank Lehman Brothers went bankrupt, taking a large segment of the global economy with it. The countries that managed to escape were those sustained by public banking models outside the international banking net.

These countries were not all Islamic. Forty percent of banks globally are publicly-owned. They are largely in the BRIC countries—Brazil, Russia, India and China—which house forty percent of the global population. They also escaped the 2008 credit crisis, but they at least made a show of conforming to Western banking rules. This was not true of the “rogue” Islamic nations, where usury was forbidden by Islamic teaching. To make the world safe for usury, these rogue states had to be silenced by other means. Having failed to succumb to economic coercion, they wound up in the crosshairs of the powerful US military.

Here is some data in support of that thesis.

The End-game Memo

In his August 22nd article, Greg Palast posted a screenshot of a 1997 memo from Timothy Geithner, then Assistant Secretary of International Affairs under Robert Rubin, to Larry Summers, then Deputy Secretary of the Treasury. Geithner referred in the memo to the “end-game of WTO financial services negotiations” and urged Summers to touch base with the CEOs of Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Bank of America, Citibank, and Chase Manhattan Bank, for whom private phone numbers were provided.

The game then in play was the deregulation of banks so that they could gamble in the lucrative new field of derivatives. To pull this off required, first, the repeal of Glass-Steagall, the 1933 Act that imposed a firewall between investment banking and depository banking in order to protect depositors’ funds from bank gambling. But the plan required more than just deregulating US banks. Banking controls had to be eliminated globally so that money would not flee to nations with safer banking laws. The “endgame” was to achieve this global deregulation through an obscure addendum to the international trade agreements policed by the World Trade Organization, called the Financial Services Agreement. Palast wrote:

Until the bankers began their play, the WTO agreements dealt simply with trade in goods–that is, my cars for your bananas.  The new rules ginned-up by Summers and the banks would force all nations to accept trade in “bads” – toxic assets like financial derivatives.

Until the bankers’ re-draft of the FSA, each nation controlled and chartered the banks within their own borders.  The new rules of the game would force every nation to open their markets to Citibank, JP Morgan and their derivatives “products.”

And all 156 nations in the WTO would have to smash down their own Glass-Steagall divisions between commercial savings banks and the investment banks that gamble with derivatives.

The job of turning the FSA into the bankers’ battering ram was given to Geithner, who was named Ambassador to the World Trade Organization.

WTO members were induced to sign the agreement by threatening their access to global markets if they refused; and they all did sign, except Brazil. Brazil was then threatened with an embargo; but its resistance paid off, since it alone among Western nations survived and thrived during the 2007-2009 crisis. As for the others:

The new FSA pulled the lid off the Pandora’s box of worldwide derivatives trade.  Among the notorious transactions legalized: Goldman Sachs (where Treasury Secretary Rubin had been Co-Chairman) worked a secret euro-derivatives swap with Greece which, ultimately, destroyed that nation.  Ecuador, its own banking sector de-regulated and demolished, exploded into riots.  Argentina had to sell off its oil companies (to the Spanish) and water systems (to Enron) while its teachers hunted for food in garbage cans.  Then, Bankers Gone Wild in the Eurozone dove head-first into derivatives pools without knowing how to swim–and the continent is now being sold off in tiny, cheap pieces to Germany.

The Holdouts

That was the fate of countries in the WTO, but Palast did not discuss those that were not in that organization at all, including Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran. These seven countries were named by U.S. General Wesley Clark (Ret.) in a 2007 “Democracy Now” interview as the new “rogue states” being targeted for take down after September 11, 2001. He said that about 10 days after 9-11, he was told by a general that the decision had been made to go to war with Iraq. Later, the same general said they planned to take out seven countries in five years: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran.

What did these countries have in common? Besides being Islamic, they were not members either of the WTO or of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). That left them outside the long regulatory arm of the central bankers’ central bank in Switzerland. Other countries later identified as “rogue states” that were also not members of the BIS included North Korea, Cuba, and Afghanistan.

The body regulating banks today is called the Financial Stability Board (FSB), and it is housed in the BIS in Switzerland. In 2009, the heads of the G20 nations agreed to be bound by rules imposed by the FSB, ostensibly to prevent another global banking crisis. Its regulations are not merely advisory but are binding, and they can make or break not just banks but whole nations. This was first demonstrated in 1989, when the Basel I Accord raised capital requirements a mere 2%, from 6% to 8%. The result was to force a drastic reduction in lending by major Japanese banks, which were then the world’s largest and most powerful creditors. They were undercapitalized, however, relative to other banks. The Japanese economy sank along with its banks and has yet to fully recover.

Among other game-changing regulations in play under the FSB are Basel III and the new bail-in rules. Basel III is slated to impose crippling capital requirements on public, cooperative and community banks, coercing their sale to large multinational banks.

The “bail-in” template was first tested in Cyprus and follows regulations imposed by the FSB in 2011. Too-big-to-fail banks are required to draft “living wills” setting forth how they will avoid insolvency in the absence of government bailouts. The FSB solution is to “bail in” creditors – including depositors – turning deposits into bank stock, effectively confiscating them.

The Public Bank Alternative

Countries laboring under the yoke of an extractive private banking system are being forced into “structural adjustment” and austerity by their unrepayable debt. But some countries have managed to escape. In the Middle East, these are the targeted “rogue nations.” Their state-owned banks can issue the credit of the state on behalf of the state, leveraging public funds for public use without paying a massive tribute to private middlemen. Generous state funding allows them to provide generously for their people.

Like Libya and Iraq before they were embroiled in war, Syria provides free education at all levels and free medical care. It also provides subsidized housing for everyone (although some of this has been compromised by adoption of an IMF structural adjustment program in 2006 and the presence of about 2 million Iraqi and Palestinian refugees). Iran too provides nearly free higher education and primary health care.

Like Libya and Iraq before takedown, Syria and Iran have state-owned central banks that issue the national currency and are under government control. Whether these countries will succeed in maintaining their financial sovereignty in the face of enormous economic, political and military pressure remains to be seen.

As for Larry Summers, after proceeding through the revolving door to head Citigroup, he became State Senator Barack Obama’s key campaign benefactor. He played a key role in the banking deregulation that brought on the current crisis, causing millions of US citizens to lose their jobs and their homes. Yet Summers is President Obama’s first choice to replace Ben Bernanke as Federal Reserve Chairman. Why? He has proven he can manipulate the system to make the world safe for Wall Street; and in an upside-down world in which bankers rule, that seems to be the name of the game.

Ellen Brown is an attorney, president of the Public Banking Institute, and author of twelve books including the best-selling Web of Debt. In The Public Bank Solution, her latest book, she explores successful public banking models historically and globally. Her websites are http://WebofDebt.com, http://PublicBankSolution.com, and http://PublicBankingInstitute.org.

 This appeal against precipitous military strikes against the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad is signed by several former high-ranking officials of the United Nations, UNESCO, UNICEF and the International Labour Organization. “People who accuse the Security Council of inaction should remember how Western powers abused a Security Council resolution to stage a full-fledged attack on Libya in order to perform ’regime change’ in that country – this is what motivates Russia and China’s opposition to any Security Council motion that may lead to intervention in Syria,” they argue.

Syria: the case for peace

The drums of war are beating once more in the Middle East, this time with the possibility of an imminent attack on Syria, after the alleged use of chemical weapons by its government. It is precisely in times of crisis such as now that the case for peace can be made in the clearest and most obvious manner.

First of all, we have no proof that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons. Even if proofs were provided by Western governments, we have to remain skeptical, remembering the Tonkin Gulf incident and the Vietnam war, the incubator baby massacre in Kuwait and the first Gulf war, the Racak massacre and the Kosovo war, the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and the second Gulf war, the threat of massacre in Benghazi and the Libyan war. All these justifications for previous wars were fabricated or dubious. We may also notice that evidence for the use of chemical weapons was provided to the U.S. by Israeli intelligence which is not exactly a neutral actor.

Even if, this time, proofs were genuine, it would not legitimate unilateral action from anyone. That still needs an authorization of the Security Council. People who accuse the Security Council of inaction should remember how Western powers abused a Security Council resolution to stage a full-fledged attack on Libya in order to perform “regime change” in that country — this is what motivates Russia and China’s opposition to any Security Council motion that may lead to intervention in Syria.

What is called in the West the “international community” willing to attack Syria is reduced to essentially two major countries (US and France), out of almost two hundred in the world. No respect for international law is possible without respect for the decent opinions of the rest of mankind.

Even if a military action was allowed and carried on, what could it accomplish? Nobody can seriously control chemical weapons without putting “boots on the grounds”, which is not considered by anyone a realistic option after the disasters of Iraq and Afghanistan. The West has no real ally in Syria. The jihadists fighting the government have no more love for the West than those who assassinated the U.S. Ambassador in Libya. It is one thing to take money and weapons from some country, but quite another to be its genuine ally.

There have been offers of negotiations coming from the Syrian, Iranian and Russian governments, which have been treated with contempt by the West. People who say “we cannot talk or negotiate with Assad” forget that this has been said about the National Liberation Front in Algeria, Ho Chi Minh, Mao, the Soviet Union, the PLO, the IRA, the ETA, Mandela and the ANC, and many guerillas in Latin America. The issue is not whether one talks to the other side, but after how many unnecessary deaths one accepts to do so.

The time when the U.S. and its few remaining allies acted as global policemen and national sovereignty was considered passé is actually behind us. The world becomes more multipolar, not less, and the people of the world want more sovereignty not less. The greatest social transformation of the twentieth century has been decolonization and the West should adapt itself to the fact that it has neither the right, nor the competence, nor the means to rule the world.

There is no place where the strategy of permanent wars has failed more miserably than the Middle East, starting with the creation of Israel and the fateful decision to refuse the right of return to the Palestinian refugees. Then came the overthrow of Mossadegh in Iran, the Suez canal adventure, the many Israeli wars, the two Gulf wars, combined with the murderous sanctions against Iraq, the constant threats against Iran and now the war in Syria.

True courage does not consist in launching cruise missiles once more but in breaking radically with that deadly logic: force Israel to negotiate in good faith with the Palestinians, convene the Geneva II conference on Syria and discuss with the Iranian their nuclear program by taking honestly into account the legitimate security and economic interests of that country.

The recent vote against the war in the British Parliament, as well as reactions on social media, reflects a massive shift of public opinion in the West. We are getting tired of wars, and ready to join the real international community in demanding a world based on the U.N. Charter, demilitarization, respect for national sovereignty and equality of all nations.

The people of the West also demand to exercise their right of self-determination: if wars have to be made, they have to be based on open debates and direct concerns for our national security and not on some ill-defined and easily manipulable notion of “right to intervene”.

It remains to force our politicians to respect that right.

Signatories

Dr. Hans Christof von Sponeck, UN Assistant Secretary General and United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq (1998 -2000)

Dr. Denis J. Halliday, UN Assistant Secretary General (1994-1998)

Dr. Saïd Zulficar, UNESCO official (1967-1996). Director of Operational Activities, Division of Cultural Heritage (1992 -1996)

Dr. Samir Radwan, Adviser on Development Policies to the Director-General of ILO (2001-2003). Egyptian Finance Minister (January-July 2011).

Dr. Samir Basta, Director of UNICEF’s Regional Office for Europe (1990-1995). Director of UNICEF’s Evaluation Office (1985-1990)

Miguel d´Escoto Brockmann, President of the UN General Assembly (2008-2009). Nicaraguan Foreign Minister (1979-1990).

4 September 2013

50 verdades sobre la muerte de dos disidentes cubanos

September 4th, 2013 by Salim Lamrani

Oswaldo Payá y Harold Cepero murieron en un accidente de tránsito a causa de la imprudencia de Angel Carromero

1. En julio de 2012 Angel Carromero, ciudadano español, vicesecretario general de la organización Nuevas Generaciones, el movimiento juvenil del conservador Partido Popular (PP) español, y asesor del Ayuntamiento de Madrid, y el ciudadano sueco Jens Aron Modig, líder de la Liga de la Juventud Demócrata Cristiana (KDU), vinculada a la derecha sueca, viajaron a Cuba con visados de turistas.

2. La misión que les confiaron sus respectivos partidos políticos consistía en buscar y financiar a algunos miembros de la disidencia interna y elaborar planes de acciones contra el Gobierno cubano.

3. El Código Penal sanciona severamente este tipo de actividad, ilegal en Cuba como en la mayoría de los países del mundo.

4. Oswaldo Payá, líder del Movimiento Cristiano de Liberación (MCL), recibió la suma de 4.000 dólares, según Modig.

5. El 22 de julio, Carromero y Modig se encontraban en un coche con los disidentes cubanos Oswaldo Payá y Harold Cepero Escalante del MCL y fueron víctimas de un accidente de tránsito cerca de la ciudad de Bayamo.

6. Los dos opositores cubanos, que se encontraban atrás, sin cinturón de seguridad, perdieron la vida.

7. Los dos ciudadanos extranjeros, que se encontraban delante con el cinturón de seguridad puesto, sobrevivieron al accidente.

8. Payá falleció en el momento del choque debido a un traumatismo craneal y Cepero murió poco después, en el hospital, de una insuficiencia respiratoria.

9. Durante su declaración a la policía en el hospital de Bayamo, Carromero dijo que no vio la señal que indicaba una zona de obras y perdió el control del vehículo, estrellándose contra un árbol. La agencia de prensa española EFE confirma esta versión: “no llegó a ver una señal de tráfico de reducción de velocidad”.

10. Los testimonios de tres personas que se encontraban en la zona en el momento del accidente, José Antonio Duque de Estrada Pérez, Lázaro Miguel Parra Arjona y Wilber Rondón Barreroont, confirmaron que el vehículo iba a alta velocidad y que se estrelló contra un árbol tras resbalar en la carretera en obras.

11. El ciudadano sueco, ileso, regresó a su país unos días después tras declarar los hechos.

12. La hija de Oswaldo Payá, María Payá, que se encontraba en La Habana, indicó a la prensa que un coche había embestido varias veces por detrás al vehículo en el que viajaba su padre y acusó al Gobierno de haberlo asesinado.

13. Declaró que varias personas que vivían en Suecia recibieron mensajes telefónicos de Modig informando de que un vehículo los había atropellado.

14. No obstante, los elementos factuales y los testimonios contradicen la versión de la familia Payá. En efecto, además de los testimonios de las personas que se hallaban en el lugar, las fotos del vehículo no muestran ninguna marca de choque por detrás.

15. Modig desmintió la versión de la familia Payá. Según él, ningún otro vehículo estuvo implicado en el accidente. El Nuevo Herald de Miami, diario que representa el punto de vista del exilio cubano, confirma estas declaraciones en un artículo titulado “Político sueco niega que hubiera otros vehículos implicados en accidente en que murió Payá”.

16. Modig también rechazó las declaraciones de María Payá sobre los mensajes. Según él, no mandó ningún mensaje a nadie en Suecia.

17. Carromero también desmintió la versión familiar en una entrevista a Agencias  y EFE: “Ningún vehículo nos golpeó por detrás”.

18. También rechazó las teorías del complot de la familia Payá: “Pido a la comunidad internacional que se centre en sacarme de aquí y no utilizar el accidente de tránsito -que pudo haberle pasado a cualquier otra persona- con fines políticos”.

19. Del mismo modo, las acusaciones no resisten al análisis. En efecto, resulta difícil creer que el Gobierno cubano se arriesgara a atentar contra la vida de un prominente disidente mientras éste se encontraba con varios testigos, entre ellos dos ciudadanos extranjeros que salieron ilesos y fueron liberados.

20. En una declaración al diario de Estocolmo, el padre de Modig, Lennart Myhr, explicó que habló con su hijo después del accidente. En ningún momento se refirió a otro vehículo ni a una persecución de los servicios de inteligencia cubanos.

21. El líder disidente Elizardo Sánchez declaró a la Agence France-Presse que no creía la tesis del complot y que pensaba que se trataba de un accidente.

22. El Nuevo Herald publicó un artículo al respecto con el siguiente título: “Sobrevivientes niegan versión de familia de Payá”.

Agência EFE

María Payá, hirra de Oswaldo Payá

23. El diario español El País, poco favorable al gobierno cubano, también puso en tela de juicio la versión de la familia Payá: “La tesis de una tenebrosa conspiración para matar a Payá, que la familia y parte de la oposición sugirió al principio, se desvanece luego de las declaraciones del propio Carromero y Modig confirmando que todo fue un accidente fatal”.

24. Tras varios días de investigación y de interrogatorio, Carromero fue enjuiciado por homicidio imprudente. La excesiva velocidad fue la principal causa del accidente, según las autoridades cubanas.

25. Según los especialistas, el vehículo iba a una velocidad superior a los 120 kilómetros por hora en un segmento de carretera limitado a 60 kilómetros por hora y frenó repentinamente en una carretera resbaladiza sin asfalto. Carromero realizó el recorrido de La Habana a Bayamo, de 800 kilómetros, en menos de ocho horas, con tres paradas.

26. Según el Ministerio cubano de Interior, la “falta de atención [de Carromero] a su control del carro, el exceso de velocidad y la decisión errónea de frenar en una superficie resbaladiza fueron las causas de este trágico accidente que costó las vidas de dos seres humanos”.

27. Después de frenar, el vehículo resbaló 63 metros, lo que confirma la extrema velocidad.

28. En realidad, Carromero no cometía su primer delito de tránsito. Es un peligroso reincidente múltiple.

29. Le retiraron el carné en mayo de 2012 por exceso de velocidad. Fue condenado a una sanción de seis puntos y una multa de 520 euros, la más alta que prevé el Código de Circulación español y que se aplica sólo cuando un vehículo sobrepasa más de dos veces la velocidad permitida.

30. Así, Carromero manejó en Cuba de forma totalmente ilegal.

31. Carromero había acumulado 45 multas por delitos de tránsito desde marzo de 2011.

32. Tuvo que pagar un total de 3.700 euros.

33. Tras un juicio de varias semanas, la fiscalía pidió una pena de siete años de prisión por homicidio imprudente.

34. En octubre de 2012, el Tribunal condenó a Carromero a cuatro años de cárcel.

35. En diciembre de 2012, tras cuatro meses de prisión, se autorizó a Carromero a cumplir el resto de su condena en España por un acuerdo entre Madrid y La Habana.

36. Por su estatus de líder político se le conmutó la pena para evitarle la cárcel. Ahora lleva un brazalete electrónico.

37. En marzo de 2013, en una entrevista con el Washington Post, Carromero modificó sus declaraciones iniciales y afirmó que un coche estatal los había embestido por detrás, ocasionando la pérdida de control del vehículo y el accidente.

Wikimedia Commons

Carromero, que lleva camisa azul y blanca, tiene un malo historico como conductor

38. No obstante, las fotos del vehículo no muestran ninguna marca de choque atrás, lo que contradice la nueva versión de Carromero.

39. Carromero subraya también que le drogaron y le obligaron a firmar una declaración durante el juicio.

40. El Consulado General de España en Cuba contradice esta versión, puesto que calificó el juicio de “procesalmente impecable”.

41. En agosto de 2013, en una entrevista con el diario español El Mundo, Carromero afirmó que “los servicios secretos cubanos asesinaron a Oswaldo Payá”.

42. En la entrevista al Washington Post, Carromero afirmó que se desmayó durante el accidente y se despertó en la ambulancia: “Ni Oswaldo, ni Harold, ni Aron se encontraban conmigo”.

43. En cambio, en la entrevista con El Mundo, declaró recordar que Payá “salió vivo del accidente”, contradiciendo sus propias afirmaciones al Washington Post.

44. Ofelia Acevedo, la viuda de Payá, declara que “España tiene las pruebas de que su marido fue asesinado”.

45. Preguntada al respecto, la Unión Europea declaró sus reservas, limitándose a la siguiente declaración: “Si el señor Carromero tiene nuevas pruebas de las circunstancias de la trágica muerte del Premio Sajarov Oswaldo Payá, debería presentarlas ante los tribunales competentes”.

46. Por su parte el Gobierno español optó por ignorar las nuevas declaraciones de Carromero. Preguntado por el tema, el Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores rechazó la polémica: “Nuestras valoraciones sobre este asunto terminaron cuando el señor Carromero regresó a España”.

47. En aprietos tras las declaraciones de Carromero, el Partido Popular decidió guardar silencio y se negó a hacer cualquier declaración, anunciando que no hablaría del asunto.

48. El diputado por Asturias, Gaspar Llamazares, pidió a Carromero que acudiera a los tribunales pero dudó de la veracidad de las nuevas declaraciones. Según Llamazares, “si tuviera algo lo habría presentado a la justicia en su momento o cuando volvió a España”.

49. Por su parte el diputado Teófilo de Luis, miembro del Partido Popular, rechazó las nuevas afirmaciones de Carromero: “Mi gobierno se limita a lo que él explicó en La Habana. Se limita a aplicar el acuerdo de extradición, de acuerdo con lo que él dijo entonces”.

50. En marzo de 2013, tras la visita de la familia Payá a España, el gobierno de Mariano Rajoy expresó sus reservas y declaró “que no apoyará una investigación sobre la muerte de Oswaldo Payá”, legitimando así las conclusiones de La Habana.

Salim Lamrani

50 verdades sobre a morte de dois dissidentes cubanos

September 4th, 2013 by Salim Lamrani

Oswaldo Payá e Harold Cepero Escalante morreram por imprudência do espanhol Angel Carromero, condutor do veículo acidentado.

1. Em julho de 2012, Angel Carromero, cidadão espanhol, vice-secretário geral da organização Novas Gerações (movimento juvenil do conservador Partido Popular (PP) espanhol) e assessor da Câmera Municipal de Madrid, e o cidadão sueco Jens Aron Modig, líder da Liga da Juventude Democrática Cristã (KDU), vinculada à direita sueca, viajaram a Cuba com vistos de turistas.

2. A missão que seus respectivos partidos políticos lhes deu consistia em buscar e financiar alguns membros da dissidência interna e elaborar planos de ações contra o governo cubano.

3. O Código Penal sanciona severamente este tipo de atividade, ilegal em Cuba como na maioria dos países do mundo.

4. Oswaldo Payá, líder do Movimento Cristão de Liberação (MCL), recebeu deles 4.000 dólares, de acordo com Modig.

5. No dia 22 de julho, Carromero e Modig estavam em um carro com os dissidentes cubanos Oswaldo Payá e Harold Cepero Escalante, do MCL, e foram vítimas de um acidente de trânsito perto da cidade de Bayamo.

Leia mais: Opinião – Chamar médicos cubanos de escravos é forma de brasileiros desprezarem colegas

6. Os dois cubanos opositores, que estavam no banco de trás do carro, sem cinto de segurança, morreram.

7. Os dois cidadãos estrangeiros, que estavam na parte da frente usando cinto de segurança, sobreviveram.

8. Payá faleceu no momento do choque devido a um traumatismo craniano e Cepero morreu pouco depois, no hospital, de insuficiência respiratória.

9. Em sua declaração à polícia no hospital de Bayamo, Carromero disse que não viu a placa que indicava uma zona em obras e perdeu o controle do veículo, chocando-se contra uma árvore. A agência de notícias espanhola EFE confirma essa versão: “não viu a placa de redução de velocidade”.

10. Os testemunhos de três pessoas que estavam na área do momento do acidente, José Antonio Duque de Estrada Pérez, Lázaro Miguel Parra Arjona e Wilber Rondón Barreroont, confirmaram que o carro estava em alta velocidade e que se chocou com uma árvore depois de derrapar na rodovia em obras.

Leia mais: Opinião – Médicos cubanos são os mais respeitados em operações internacionais

11. O cidadão sueco, ileso, voltou a seu país dias depois de dar sua declaração.

12.  A filha de Oswaldo Payá, María Payá, que estava em Havana, disse à imprensa que um carro tinha investido várias vezes por trás do veículo em que viajava seu pai e acusou o governo de assassinato.

Agência Efe

Versão da filha de Payá é contestada por quem investigou o caso

13. Ela declarou que várias pessoas que viviam na Suécia receberam mensagens telefônicas de Modig informando que um carro os teria atropelado.

14. Entretanto, os elementos factuais e os testemunhos contradizem a versão da família de Payá. De fato, além dos testemunhos das pessoas que estavam no lugar, as fotos do veículo não mostram nenhuma marca de choque na parte de trás.

15. Modig desmentiu a versão da família Payá. Segundo ele, nenhum outro veículo esteve implicado no acidente. Para o El Nuevo Herald, de Miami, diário que representa o ponto de vista do exílio cubano, ele confirmou estas declarações em um artigo intitulado: “Político sueco nega que outros veículos estiveram implicados nos acidente em que morreu Payá”.

16. Modig também desmentiu as declarações de María Payá sobre as mensagens. Segundo ele, não mandou nenhuma mensagem a ninguém na Suécia.

17. Carromero também desmentiu a versão familiar em uma entrevista à EFE: “Nenhum veículo bateu por trás no nosso carro”.

18. Também negou as teorias do complô da família Payá. “Peço à comunidade internacional que se concentre em me tirar daqui e não utilizar o acidente de trânsito — que poderia ter acontecido com qualquer pessoa — com fins políticos”.

19. Da mesma maneira, as acusações não resistem a uma análise. De fato, é difícil crer que o governo cubano se arriscaria a atentar contra a vida de um proeminente dissidente enquanto ele estava com várias testemunhas, entre eles dois cidadãos estrangeiros que saíram ilesos e foram liberados.

20. Em uma declaração ao diário de Estocolmo, o pai de Modig, Lennart Myhr, explicou que falou com seu filho depois do acidente. Em nenhum momento se referiu a outro veículo nem a uma perseguição dos serviços de inteligência cubanos.

21. O líder dissidente Elizardo Sánchez declarou à agência France-Presse que não acreditava na tese e que achava se tratar de um acidente.

22. O Nuevo Herald publicou um artigo a respeito com o seguinte título: “Sobrevivente negam a versão da família de Payá”.

23. O diário espanhol El País, pouco favorável ao governo cubano, também colocou em questão a versão da família de Payá. “A tese de uma tenebrosa conspiração para matar Payá, que a família e parte da oposição sugeriram a princípio, se desvanece depois das declarações dos próprios Carromero e Modig, confirmando que tudo foi um acidente fatal”.

24. Depois de vários dias de investigação e interrogatório, Carromero foi processado por homicídio culposo. A velocidade excessiva foi a principal causa do acidente, de acordo com as autoridades cubanas.

25. De acordo com os especialistas, o veículo ia a uma velocidade superior aos 120 quilômetros por hora, em uma parte da rodovia limitada a 60 quilômetros por hora, e freou de repente em uma estrada escorregadia e sem asfalto. Carromero realizou o trajeto de Havana a Bayamo, de 800 quilômetros, em menos de oito horas, com três paradas.

26. De acordo com o Ministério de Interior cubano, a “falta de atenção [de Carromero] ao controle do carro, o excesso de velocidade e a decisão errônea de frear em uma superfície escorregadia foram as causas deste trágico acidente que custou as vidas de dois seres humanos”.

27. Depois de frear, o veículo derrapou por 63 metros, o que confirma a alta velocidade.

28. Na verdade, Carromero não estava cometendo seu primeiro delito de trânsito. É um perigoso reincidente múltiplo.

29. Perdeu sua habilitação em maio de 2012 por excesso de velocidade. Foi condenado a uma sanção de seis pontos e uma multa de 520 euros, a mais alta que prevê o Código de Circulação espanhol, aplicada somente quando um veículo ultrapassa mais de duas vezes a velocidade permitida.

30. Dessa forma, Carromero dirigiu em Cuba de forma totalmente ilegal.

31. Carromero tinha 45 multas por delitos de trânsito acumuladas desde março de 2011.

32. Teve de pagar um total de 3.700 euros por elas.

33. Depois de um julgamento de várias semanas, a promotoria pediu uma pena de sete anos de prisão por homicídio culposo.

34. Em outubro de 2012, Carromero foi condenado a quatro anos de prisão.

Wikicommons

Carromero, de camisa azul e branca, tem um currículo de imprudência ao volante

35. Em dezembro de 2012, depois de quatro meses de prisão, Carromero foi autorizado a cumprir o restante de sua pena na Espanha, depois de um acordo entre Madrid e Havana.

36. Por seu status de líder político, recebeu indulto parcial para evitar a prisão. Agora carrega um bracelete eletrônico.

37. Em março de 2013, em uma entrevista ao Washington Post, Carromero modificou suas declarações iniciais e afirmou que um carro estatal bateu neles por trás, o que causou a perda do controle do veículo e o acidente.

38. Entretanto, as fotos de veículo não mostram nenhuma marca da batida por trás, o que contradiz a nova versão de Carromero.

39. Carromero salienta também que foi drogado e obrigado a assinar uma declaração durante o julgamento.

40. O Consulado Geral da Espanha em Cuba contradiz essa versão, uma vez que qualificou o julgamento de “processualmente impecável”.

41. Em agosto de 2013, em uma entrevista ao diário espanhol El Mundo, Carromero afirmou que “os serviços secretos cubanos assassinaram Oswaldo Payá”.

42. Na entrevista para o Washington Post, Carromero afirmou que desmaiou durante o acidente e acordou na ambulância. “Nem Oswaldo, nem Harold, nem Aron estavam comigo”.

43. Por outro lado, na entrevista para o El Mundo, declarou se lembrar que Payá “saiu vivo do acidente”, contradizendo suas próprias afirmações ao Washington Post.

44. Ofelia Acevedo, a viúva de Payá, declara que “a Espanha tem as provas de que seu marido foi assassinado”.

45. Questionada a respeito, a União Europeia limitou-se a declarar: “Se o senhor Carromero tem novas provas das circunstâncias da trágica morte [do vencedor do] Prêmio Sajarov Oswaldo Payá, deveria apresentá-las aos tribunais competentes”.

46. De sua parte, o governo espanhol optou por ignorar as novas declarações de Carromero. Questionado sobre o tema, o Ministério de Assuntos Exteriores rejeitou a polêmica: “Nossas avaliações sobre esse assunto terminaram quando o senhor Carromero voltou para a Espanha”.

47. Em apuros depois das declarações de Carromero, o Partido Popular decidiu se manter em silêncio e se negou a dar qualquer declaração, anunciado que não falaria do assunto.

48. O deputado Gaspar Llamazares, do [principado de] Astúrias, pediu a Carromero que fosse aos tribunais, mas duvidou da veracidade das novas declarações. Segundo Llamazares, “se ele tivesse algo teria apresentado a justiça naquele momento ou quando voltou para a Espanha”.

49. Por sua vez, o deputado Teófilo de Luis, membro do Partido Popular, rejeitou as novas afirmações de Carromero: “Minha responsabilidade se limita ao que ele explicou em Havana. Limita-se a aplicar o acordo de extradição, que foi de acordo com o que ele disse na ocasião”.

50. Em março de 2012, depois da visita da família de Payá a Espanha, o governo de Mariano Rajoy encarou o tema com reservas e declarou “que não vai apoiar uma investigação sobre a morte de Oswaldo Payá”, legitimando assim as conclusões de Havana.

Salim Lamrani

Doutor em Estudos Ibéricos e Latino-americanos da Universidade Paris Sorbonne-Paris IV, Salim Lamrani é professor-titular da Universidade de la Reunión e jornalista, especialista nas relaciones entre Cuba e Estados Unidos. Seu último livro se chama The Economic War Against Cuba. A Historical and Legal Perspective on the U.S. Blockade, New York, Monthly Review Press, 2013, com prólogo de Wayne S. Smith e prefácio  de Paul Estrade. Contato: [email protected] ; [email protected]
Página no Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SalimLamraniOfficiel

As I observed in previous columns, obama was pushed out onto the end of the limb by Israel and the neoconservatives. The UN, NATO, the British Parliament, and the rest of the world left the White House Fool there, out on the limb where Israel put him, to make war on Syria all alone.

This proved to be beyond the Fool’s ability, but instead of crawling back off the limb and finding an excuse to get down, obama decided to buy the Congress and to tell more lies.  

The White House and its presstitute media are telling Congress that it is too humiliating for the President of “the world’s only superpower” to have to crawl back along the limb and get down just because he told a lie.  Congress must ”save face” for  the liar who is “America’s first black president,” or the prestige and credibility of the US will be lost.  

What this really means, of course, is that the credibility of the Israel Lobby and the neoconservatives will be lost unless America again commits a war crime and destroys the life and prospects of many more people in the Middle East.

Heaven forbid that Washington lose prestige!  So money, lots of it, is speaking in Washington and in European capitals. We know that the despicable Cameron will do all in his power to prostitute the British government for Washington.

 What has the “socialist” Hollande been promised that makes him so willing to demonstrate that France is obama’s whore? 

What larger share of NATO’s military budget is Washington promising to underwrite in exchange for NATO’s support for another American war crime?

Will bags of money enable Washington to gather support for its latest crime against humanity?

But first Congress has to be brought around.

Congress will be pressured “to show a common front” with the White House in order to maintain America’s credibility. Members of the House and Senate will be told that now that America has been abandoned by its allies, Congress cannot leave the President of the United States hanging out to dry.  Congress must rush to the rescue of America’s prestige or Washington will lose its clout and Congress will lose its campaign contributions from the Israel Lobby and the military/security complex.  

This argument can even be effective with the strongest opponents to the attack on Syria.  Americans have a long tradition of jingoism, and the prospect of lost prestige rankles. But before Congress is pushed into wrapping itself in the flag and giving its OK to another war crime, Congress needs to consider whether endorsing obama’s attack on Syria helps US prestige or hurts it. 

It is clear that the American people overwhelming oppose an attack on Syria. Whether Americans have caught on over the years to Washington’s endless war lies or whether they simply see no point to the wars and no gain to America from 12 years of costly war, I cannot say. At a time when a large percentage of Americans are having difficulty paying their mortgages, car payments, and putting food on the table, Washington’s wars seem an expensive luxury.

It is not only the civilian populations of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and Syria who have suffered.  Tens of thousands of America’s young have either been killed, maimed for life, or are suffering permanent post-traumatic stress.

Washington’s wars have caused thousands of divorces, alcoholism, drug addiction, and homelessness for veterans who were deceived and had their humanity abused by the criminals that rule in Washington.

For Congress, allegedly the representatives of the American people, not the backstop for the executive branch’s undeclared agenda, to ignore the people’s will and to endorse a war that the American people do not support would be another decisive blow against democracy.  If Congress endorses obama’s war, it will prove that American democracy is a hoax. 

If the White House were to succeed in using Congress’ OK to a military attack on Syria to convince the British Parliament and NATO to go along, despite the strong opposition of the British and European peoples, Western Democracy would everywhere be discredited. Where is the democracy when a few elites at the top can do whatever they want, commit any crime, despite the majority opposition of citizens?

If Congress endorses obama’s transparent lies, American democracy will never recover. If Congress makes itself the handmaiden of the executive branch, Congress will never again have an independent voice. Congress might as well close down.  It will have rendered itself superfluous and powerless.

If European governments endorse obama’s lies, it means the end of the West’s democratic prestige and will strip away the cloak behind which the West has hidden its  crimes against humanity. The voice of the West will never again carry any moral authority.

The loss of Western credibility is a huge price to pay in order to rescue a discredited president whom no one believes, not even his supporters. Essentially obama is a cipher whose term of office is complete. The obama regime epitomizes the degeneration of the American state.

Instead of voting on whether to allow obama to attack Syria, Congress should be voting to impeach obama and kerry. Their blatant lies, dictatorial claims, and arrogant inhumanity are powerful arguments for removing them from office.

The lies told by the obama regime are so transparent that it makes one wonder just how stupid the regime thinks the American people are. Little doubt the white house is relying on its Ministry of Propaganda, a.k.a., the presstitute media, to undermine Americans’ confidence in their common sense and to make them accept the latest fiction.  The tactic is to use the peer pressure of the prostitute media to silence Americans’ conscience.

Media insouciance is everywhere. Yesterday NPR calmly reported the lies about Assad that the obama regime has concocted to cover another act of naked aggression. In the same breath, NPR voiced “the world’s outrage” over the rape and murder of one woman in India.

I, of course, do not agree with the raping and killing of anyone, but just imagine the raping and killing that will occur when obama unleashes the dogs of war on Syria.

NPR is no longer an alternative voice. Yesterday NPR was beating the drums for war. NPR provided a forum for the head of one of the main neoconservative lobbies for war,  and in the next hour had Democratic and Republican House and Senate leaders repeating all of obama and kerry’s lies about how America’s prestige cannot tolerate allowing Assad to use “chemical weapons against his own people.”  No one listening to NPR heard the voice of those demanding peace and truth. NPR was too busy lying for Obama to care about truth and certainly gave truth no voice on the program.

The presstitute media and the House and Senate “leaders” who report to the military/security complex and to the Israel Lobby keep talking about Assad’s “own people,”  but Assad’s own people support him.  Polls of Syrians show that Assad has more support from the Syrian people than every head of every Western country has from their citizens. Cameron’s, Hollande’s, Merkel’s and obama’s poll numbers are dismal compared to the Syrian peoples’ support for Assad.  http://www.worldtribune.com/2013/05/31/nato-data-assad-winning-the-war-for-syrians-hearts-and-minds/  

Just as there was no evidence that Saddam Hussein had “weapons of mass destruction,” but the facts did not stop the Bush regime from telling its lies that resulted in massive deaths and destruction of Iraqis, deaths and destruction that continue as I write, Assad has not used chemical weapons “against his own people.”  All of the evidence points to a false flag event that obama could seize upon to launch America’s 7th war in 12 years.

Moreover, al-Nusra fighters are not Assad’s “own people.” The al-Nusra front are Islamist extremists recruited from outside Syria and sent in by Washington and Saudi Arabia to overthrow an elected Syrian government, just as Washington used the Egyptian military to overthrow the first elected Egyptian government in history and to shoot down in the streets hundreds of Egyptians who were protesting the military’s overthrow of the government that they had elected.

Whether or not Assad used chemical weapons against Washington-supported al-Nusra jihadists, and US Intelligence says that there is “no conclusive evidence,” it is nevertheless a war crime for Washington to attack a country that has not attacked, or threatened to attack, the US. Under the Nuremberg standard established by the United States, naked aggression is a war crime regardless of the character of the country attacked or the weapons it uses against forces that attack it.

If Washington succeeds in enabling the al-Nusra terrorists to overthrow the secular Syrian government, how will Washington get Syria away from al-Nusra? In Iraq the death and destruction continues today at the same pace as under the attempted US military occupation.  The criminal Bush regime did not bring “freedom and democracy” to Iraq. The Bush regime brought death and destruction that continues long after Washington’s exit. In Iraq today, as many people are blown apart and murdered as during the height of Bush’s war of aggression.

The chaos in which Washington left Iraq is a far cry from “freedom and democracy.” The obama war criminal did the same to Libya. In Afghanistan Washington added 12 years of war on top of the 10 years of war that Afghans fought with the Red Army.  The purpose of Washington’s war in Afghanistan has never been stated. No one knows what the war is about or why it continues.

According to the Bush regime, Afghanistan was attacked because the Taliban would not hand over Osama bin Laden without proof that he was responsible for 911. So why does the war continue 12 years after bin Laden died of renal failure and other diseases in December 2001 and then died again in May, 2011, two years and four months ago when obama claims to have had him killed by Navy SEALs, whose unit was mysteriously wiped out shortly thereafter in Afghanistan.  If the purpose of the Afghan war was to get bin Laden, why does the war continue when the man has twice died?

The lies being told by obama and kerry are so transparent that it makes one wonder if

their strategy is to make such a poor case for war that the control Israel and the neocons have over US foreign policy will be broken.  What else is one to make of such

absurd statements as john kerry’s claim that “this is our Munich moment!”  There is no comparison between Assad’s defensive effort to prevent the overthrow of the Syrian government by foreign jihadists supported by Washington and Hitler’s aggressive stance toward Czechoslovakia.

The Syrian government has initiated no war and has threatened no one.

America as my generation knew it no longer exists. Criminals have taken over and now rule.  Financial policy is in the hands of a small handful of banksters who control the US Treasury, the Federal Reserve, the financial regulatory agencies and who run the world for their own greed and profit. Foreign policy is the preserve of the Israel Lobby and the neoconservatives, every one of which is tightly tied to Israel.  Americans have no voice, and no representation. Whatever America is, the government is not influenced by the voices of the American people.

Whatever America is, it most certainly is not a democracy in which government is accountable to the people.

America is a country where a tiny elite has all power and does as it wishes.

If Congress rallies to obama’s war, Congress will have pushed the world closer to nuclear war. Russia and China see that the UN is powerless to prevent aggression and that Washington’s  aggression is aimed at them. As Russia and China build their nuclear forces, they will draw a starker line at Iran. Iran is Russia’s underbelly, and Iran is 20 percent of China’s oil supply.

From what I have been able to discern, both the Russian and Chinese governments have lost all confidence in Washington.  Neither government believes any of Washington’s lies and both countries are aware of Washington’s attempt to isolate them diplomatically and to surround them with military bases. Both countries know that they can expect the same demonization from the presstitute western media as Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi, and Assad have received. They understand that western demonization is the prelude to destabilization and to military attack.

With the hubris, arrogance, and insanity of Washington an established fact, Russia and China perceive an enemy that intends their destruction.  As neither country is going to accept their demise, Congress’ acquiescence to obama’s lies in order to save “america’s prestige” sets the stage for nuclear war.

However, if Congress refuses to be committed to a war crime based on a lie, rejects obama’s bribes and intimidation, and vetoes the war criminal’s attack on Syria, it means,  the end of the influence of the Israeli Lobby, the bloodthirsty neoconservatives, and war mongers John McCain and Lindsay Graham.

Without Washington’s neoconservative belligerence, the governments of the world might, despite powerful and selfish private interests, be able to come together to sustain life on earth by protecting an increasingly vulnerable ecology from the predations of private capitalism.

If Congress fails to restrain the war that obama seeks, the world doesn’t have long to exist before the life-destroying bombs drop.

In a stern tone, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned the West on Wednesday not to indulge any one-sided military action against Syria amid increasing fears that Washington is preparing to put this sinister idea into practical shape in cahoots with regional puppet regimes.

In an interview with Channel One television, Putin clarified his stance on the issue, saying that only the “UN Security Council can give approval for the use of force against another state,” and warned against any such move which would be considered as an act of “aggression.”

“Any other ways to justify the use of force against another sovereign and independent state are unacceptable and cannot be qualified as anything other than aggression,” Putin said.

 Yet, in a not-too-clandestine move, US Secretary of State John Kerry has formed a union with regional puppet regimes including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Turkey and marshaled up their servile support for military action against the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad with the express intention of sending Assad’s ‘regime’ straight to the morgue.

 The realities on the ground clearly indicate that Washington’s former partners have been replaced by new ones in its warmongering pursuits. The vocal support of Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar plus their dollar aids to those who persevere in fermenting chaos and commotion in Syria have sufficed to convince the Americans that they do not need to worry about the potentially colossal financial losses in case of a military strike as they would be taken care of. This fact, which strikes hard across the face of truth, was also reflected in the words of US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Tuesday during a hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

“Key partners, including France, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other friends in the region, have assured us of their strong support for US action,” Hagel said.

 On Tuesday, the White House won backing for military action from two powerful Republicans e.g. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner and House majority leader Eric Cantor.

 In the midst of all this came a joint missile test by the US and Israel conducted on Tuesday in the eastern Mediterranean where they fired a missile from the sea toward the Israeli coast “to test the tracking by the country’s missile defense system.”

Strangely enough, the missile test fire was initially denied by the US. However, a statement released later by the Pentagon on Tuesday confirmed US involvement in the exercise.

 Pentagon press secretary George Little told CBS that the US “provided technical assistance and support to the Israeli Missile Defense Organization flight test of a Sparrow target missile over the Mediterranean Sea.”

“The United States and Israel cooperate on a number of long-term ballistic missile defense development projects to address common challenges in the region,” added Little.

 Apart from the regional allies, France seems to be a stalwart supporter of aggression against the Arab country. In Paris, French President Hollande said, “A large coalition must therefore be created on the international scale, with the United States — which will soon take its decision — (and) with Europe … and Arab countries,” Hollande said.

Mitigating all irritating doubts, he made it clear that even a no-vote by the Congress would entail no changes in France’s attitude towards Syria.

If Congress votes no, France “will take up its responsibilities by supporting the democratic opposition (in Syria) in such a way that a response is provided,” he added.

In a naked lobbying effort, three pro-Israel groups i.e. by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) urged American lawmakers on Tuesday to authorize President Barack Obama to launch an attack on Syria.

In the ADL’s statement, National Chair Barry Curtiss-Lusher and National Director Abraham Foxman said that “any nation that violates international norms and obligations which threaten the peace and security of the world must face the consequences of those dangerous acts.”

As a major beneficiary to an invasion of Syria, Tel Aviv may end up a bad loser in the eventuality of a war on Syria.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad has warned that it would lob rockets at Israel if it enters the war. A high-ranking official from Islamic Jihad told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity, “Up until now, there has been no decision within Islamic Jihad to bomb Israel in response to an aggression on Syria. But that may happen in one circumstance: if Israel joins that war as a principal party.”

This warning aside, Israel will have to brook the ire of the entire Muslim world for partaking of the consequential chaos and for shedding the blood of innocent Muslim blood.

Despite all the intimidating techniques of the West and the lavish Zionist lobbying against the government of Syria, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad does not appear to want to waver an inch from his position as he says he has acquired conviction that those who fight against his government are but al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist groups and that he does not have the least intention of abandoning his country into the hands of those terrorists.

In an interview with the French newspaper Le Figaro published on Monday, Mr. Assad said,

“In the beginning, the solution should have been found through a dialogue from which political measures would have been born.”

“That is no longer the case,” he said, repeating his constant refrain that 90 percent of the opposition fighters are terrorists affiliated with Al Qaeda. “The only way to cope with them is to liquidate them,” he said. “Only then will we be able to discuss political measures.”

This collective effort to bring Syria down to its knees stems to a large extent from the fact that the country has always been viewed by the West as a hotbed for dramatic changes which could be geared towards the supremacy of imperialist powers if they ever seized their grasp upon the country. It is unfortunate to note that this goal is being advanced by some regional countries harnessed by the West in the course of time.

The bipolarization of the world into the West and the Rest is not a new story and an invasion of Syria is only to be seen as a continuation of that accursed legacy which has lingered since time immemorial.

This may be the biggest story you have ever read and may ever live to witness. It is straight out of a Robert Ludlum novel. And possibly his best one, yet to be written.

It all started on August 21st at about 3 am when there was a sudden burst of information about a major chemical weapons attack in Syria, and patients started streaming into hospitals.

We need to rewind a bit. It actually started on August 20th, when rebels had already started uploading videos of the attack on Youtube, before it had happened.

Camera’s and video recorders were handy and plentiful as tons of videos were hastily uploaded.

We can go back a bit further.

It is important we read this piece from Israeli born journalist, Yossef Bodansky in Globalresearch.ca, referenced yesterday by one of US’ top radio hosts, Rush Limbaugh:

On August 13-14, 2013, Western-sponsored opposition forces in Turkey started advance preparations for a major and irregular military surge. Initial meetings between senior opposition military commanders and representatives of Qatari, Turkish, and US Intelligence [“Mukhabarat Amriki”] took place at the converted Turkish military garrison in Antakya, Hatay Province, used as the command center and headquarters of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and their foreign sponsors. Very senior opposition commanders who had arrived from Istanbul briefed the regional commanders of an imminent escalation in the fighting due to “a war-changing development” which would, in turn, lead to a US-led bombing of Syria.

The opposition forces had to quickly prepare their forces for exploiting the US-led bombing in order to march on Damascus and topple the Bashar al-Assad Government, the senior commanders explained. The Qatari and Turkish intelligence officials assured the Syrian regional commanders that they would be provided with plenty of weapons for the coming offensive.

Indeed, unprecedented weapons distribution started in all opposition camps in Hatay Province on August 21-23, 2013. …   The weapons were distributed from store-houses controlled by Qatari and Turkish Intelligence under the tight supervision of US Intelligence.

Opposition officials in Hatay said that these weapon shipments were “the biggest” they had received “since the beginning of the turmoil more than two years ago”. The deliveries from Hatay went to all the rebel forces operating in the Idlib-to-Aleppo area, including the al-Qaida affiliated jihadists (who constitute the largest rebel forces in the area).

Several senior officials from both the Syrian opposition and sponsoring Arab states stressed that these weapon deliveries were specifically in anticipation for exploiting the impact of imminent bombing of Syria by the US and the Western allies. The latest strategy formulation and coordination meetings took place on August 26, 2013. The political coordination meeting took place in Istanbul and was attended by US Amb. Robert Ford.

More important were the military and operational coordination meetings at the Antakya garrison. Senior Turkish, Qatari, and US Intelligence officials attended in addition to the Syrian senior (opposition) commanders. The Syrians were informed that bombing would start in a few days.

“The opposition was told in clear terms that action to deter further use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime could come as early as in the next few days,” a Syrian participant in the meeting said. Another Syrian participant said that he was convinced US bombing was scheduled to begin on Thursday, August 29, 2013. Several participants — both Syrian and Arab — stressed that the assurances of forthcoming bombing were most explicit even as formally Obama is still undecided.

The descriptions of these meetings raise the question of the extent of foreknowledge of US Intelligence, and therefore, the Obama White House. All the sources consulted — both Syrian and Arab — stressed that officials of the “Mukhabarat Amriki” actively participated in the meetings and briefings in Turkey. Therefore, at the very least, they should have known that the opposition leaders were anticipating “a war-changing development”: that is, a dramatic event which would provoke a US-led military intervention.

The mere fact that weapon storage sites under the tight supervision of US Intelligence were opened up and about a thousand tons of high-quality weapons were distributed to the opposition indicates that US Intelligence anticipated such a provocation and the opportunity for the Syrian opposition to exploit the impact of the ensuing US and allied bombing. Hence, even if the Obama White House did not know in advance of the chemical provocation, they should have concluded, or at the very least suspected, that the chemical attack was most likely the “war-changing development” anticipated by the opposition leaders as provocation of US-led bombing. Under such circumstances, the Obama White House should have refrained from rushing head-on to accuse Assad’s Damascus and threaten retaliation, thus making the Obama White House at the very least complicit after the act.

This puts us at or before August 13th.

On August 8th, it was reported that the Saudi rulers urgently tried to bribe and ‘threaten’ Russia to abandon Syria. The offer was humongous. Over 15 billion dollars in deals as well as a promise cum threat to enable safe winter Olympics in Russia, as they, the Sauds ‘control the Chechnyan rebel/terrorists (Telegraph.uk).’ Russia rejected the offer.

But to appreciate what is really happening, we need to go back to July. 

Freeing Al Qaeda Operatives: The Coordinated Iraq, Libya and Pakistan Prison Breaks

On July 23, an Al Qaeda group attacked two Iraqi prisons and successfully freed more than 500 inmates, including senior members of the terrorist group. The attack was extremely well coordinated with mortars, suicide bombers and rocket-propelled grenades, these were coupled with systematic inmate riots and fires as CNN described it.

On Saturday, July 26, at a maximum security prison in Benghazi, Libya, there was an almost identical prison break to the one that happened in Iraq. There were riots within the prison, with fires set. Suddenly gunmen flocked upon the prison and opened fire. About 1,200 of Libya’s most deadly inmates escaped.

And midnight, July 29-30, Taliban gunmen with rocket launchers and suicide bombers, wearing police uniforms attacked the largest jail in Dera Ismail Khan, in a northern Pakistani province, releasing over 300 inmates. They came well coordinated, with rocket-propelled grenades and freed top militants–some of the Taliban’s most deadly men. They used loud speakers to announce the names of the men they needed. According to an official (Reuters), only 70 of the 200 guards on duty were at work that fateful night, suggesting higher level security-government involvement.

“Al Qaeda Legions From Hell”

So we have the most prominent al Qaeda leaders released in coordinated and uncannily successful prison breaks from Libya, through Pakistan to Iraq. We recollect that with the release of these men, it got so hot that the US temporarily shut down its embassies in the Middle East. Interpol suggested that there was link between these simultaneous prison breaks.

The history of flow of jihadist warriors and al Qaeda fighters from all over the world to Syria is not worthy of further elaboration. Now we have over a thousand released terrorists. The dogs are loose–and in preparation as we ‘read,’ to wreck deadly havoc on Damascus. The payback for their freedom. And then…

Ending the Rebellion

Syria has been making gains against the FSA (Free Syria Army) and al Qaeda linked Al Nusra front in recent days. Bashar al-Assad recently bragged that the US used his country as grounds to send hated terrorists to their predictable death; further stating that unless there was a total foreign invasion, the rebels could NEVER have any success. With the help of Hezbollah, the Syrian army defeating the rebels in the Qusayr ‘mother of all wars,’ retaking the strategic Quneitra border town, and splitting their Aleppo home turf with them, Syria was poised to end the rebellion. Times got desperate, something had to be done. According to the Telegraph, the Syrian government ministry of reconciliation has even been receiving hundreds of ‘disillusioned’ rebel fighters who have been returning to the government side.

Desperation saw the Syrian rebels engage in acts of cannibalism and blatant terror, firing rockets into civilian villages and eating human parts on camera.

Their character unveiled, they went after and kidnapped UN workers and slaughtered and killed children and Christian priests. Severally sending direct threats to the West who they blamed for failing them. To further compound events, the Egyptian president, Morsi who had lately attended a radical meeting in which Egyptians were encouraged to volunteer to replenish the anti-Syrian forces, faced troubles of his own, ending in his overthrow by military coup. The Turkish nation, a strong, vocal and strategic supporter of the war, also faced its own political problems, hence limiting Erdogan’s ability to muster support for Turkey’s continued engagement in the Syrian crises.

Again, something had to be done, and done fast. 100,000 Syrians have been killed in the war so far and over 2 million have fled to seek refuge. This war, which has already carried on for over two years, promises to continue for 10 more, at this pace. The effect on neighboring nations is also impossible to bear. Iraq has witnessed over 30-70 bombing and terror-related deaths every day for the last 2 months as a result of the fermenting arms and ‘bad’ men recruited to, and engaged across its border.

Finally, validating this ultimate story; in the news, Yesterday, U.S. President Barack Obama admitted that his mission was not just a ‘shot across the bow’ to discourage chemical weapons use, but that plans were in motion to arm and assist the rebels.

Does this include the 2000 Al Qaeda rebels recruited in the wake of the Iraqi, Libyan and Pakistani prison breaks.

Dr. Peregrino Brimah http://ENDS.ng [Every Nigerian Do Something]

Email: [email protected] Twitter: @EveryNigerian

NBC News’ report, “‘The great tragedy of this century’: More than 2 million refugees forced out of Syria,” stated:

More than 2 million Syrians have poured into neighboring countries as refugees, the United Nations revealed on Tuesday.

Around 5,000 people per day are fleeing the three-year conflict, which the U.N. says has already claimed over 100,000 lives.

“Syria has become the great tragedy of this century — a disgraceful humanitarian calamity with suffering and displacement unparalleled in recent history,” said António Guterres,  the U.N.’s high commissioner responsible for refugees.

But, while the UN and nations across the West feign shock over the growing humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in and around Syria, the goal of a violent sectarian conflict and its predictable, catastrophic results along with calls to literally “bleed” Syria have been the underlying strategy of special interests in the United States, Israel, Saudi Arabia and their regional partners since at least 2007.

A Timeline: How the Syrian Conflict Really Unfolded

Western media networks have ensured that a singular narrative of “pro-democracy” uprisings turning violent in the face of brutal oppression by the Syrian government after the so-called “Arab Spring” is disseminated across the public. In reality, “pro-democracy” protesters served as a tenuous smokescreen behind which armed foreign-backed extremists took to the streets and countrysides of Syria to execute a sectarian bloodbath years in the making. Here is a timeline that illuminates the true cause of Syria’s current conflict and the foreign interests, not the Syrian government, responsible for the tens of thousands dead and millions displaced during the conflict.

1991: Paul Wolfowitz, then Undersecretary of Defense, tells US Army General Wesley Clark that the US has 5-10 years to “clean up those old Soviet client regimes, Syria, Iran, Iraq, before the next great superpower comes on to challenge us.” Fora.TV: Wesley Clark at the Commonwealth Club of California, October 3, 2007.

2001: A classified plot is revealed to US Army General Wesley Clark that the US plans to attack and destroy the governments of 7 nations: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya Somalia, Sudan, and Iran. Fora.TV: Wesley Clark at the Commonwealth Club of California, October 3, 2007.

2002: US Under Secretary of State John Bolton declares Syria a member of the “Axis of Evil” and warned that “the US would take action.” BBC: “US Expands ‘Axis of Evil’” May 6, 2002.

2005: US State Department’s National Endowment for Democracy organizes and implements the “Cedar Revolution” in Lebanon directly aimed at undermining Syrian-Iranian influence in Lebanon in favor of Western-backed proxies, most notably Saad Hariri’s political faction. Counterpunch: “Faking the Case Against Syria,” by Trish Schuh November 19-20, 2005.

Image: Via Color Revolutions and Geopolitics: “As illustrated by the images above, Lebanon’s so-called [2005] Cedar Revolution was an expensive, highly-professional production.” (click image to enlarge) 

….

2005: Ziad Abdel Nour, an associate of Bush Administration advisers, policy makers, and media including Neo-Conservatives Paula Dobriansky, James Woolsey, Frank Gaffney, Daniel Pipes, Joseph Farah (World Net Daily), Clifford May, and Daniel Nassif of US State Department-funded Al Hurra and Radio Sawa, admits: “Both the Syrian and Lebanese regimes will be changed- whether they like it or not- whether it’s going to be a military coup or something else… and we are working on it. We know already exactly who’s going to be the replacements. We’re working on it with the Bush administration.” Counterpunch: “Faking the Case Against Syria,” by Trish Schuh November 19-20, 2005.

2006: Israel attempts, and fails, to destroy Hezbollah in Lebanon after a prolonged aerial bombard that resulted in thousands of civilian deaths. CNN: “UN: Hezbollah and Israel agree on Monday cease-fire,” August 13, 2006.

2007: Seymour Hersh in the New Yorker reveals that US, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Hariri in Lebanon as well as the Syrian arm of the Muslim Brotherhood were assembling, arming, training, and heavily funding a sectarian extremists front, many of whom had direct ties to Al Qaeda, to unleash in both Lebanon and Syria. The goal was to create and exploit a sectarian divide between Sunni and Shi’ia Muslims. Hersh interviewed intelligence officers who expressed concerns over the “cataclysmic conflict” that would result, and the need to protect ethnic minorities from sectarian atrocities. The report indicated that extremists would be logistically staged in northern Lebanon where they would be able to cross back and forth into Syria. New Yorker: “The Redirection,” by Seymour Hersh, March 5, 2007.2008: The US State Department begins training, funding, networking, and equipping “activists” through its “Alliance for Youth Movements” where the future protest leaders of the “Arab Spring,” including Egypt’s “April 6 Movement” were brought to New York, London, and Mexico, before being trained by US-funded CANVAS in Serbia, and then returning home to begin preparations for 2011. Land Destroyer: “2011 – Year of the Dupe,” December 24, 2011.

2009: The Brookings Institution published a report titled, “Which Path to Persia?” (.pdf), which admits that the Bush Administration “evicted” Syria from Lebanon without building up a strong Lebanese government to replace it (p. 34), that Israel struck a “nascent” Syrian nuclear program, and states the importance of neutralizing Syrian influence before any attack on Iran can be carried out (p. 109).  The report then goes on to describe in detail the use of listed terrorist organizations against the government of Iran, in particular the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) (p. 126) and Baluch insurgents in Pakistan (p.132). Brookings Institution: “Which Path to Persia? Options for a New American Strategy Toward Iran,” June 2009.

2009-2010: In an April 2011 AFP report, Michael Posner, the assistant US Secretary of State for Human Rights and Labor, admitted that the “US government has budgeted $50 million in the last two years to develop new technologies to help activists protect themselves from arrest and prosecution by authoritarian governments.” The report went on to admit that the US (emphasis added) “organized training sessions for 5,000 activists in different parts of the world. A session held in the Middle East about six weeks ago gathered activists from Tunisia, Egypt, Syria and Lebanon who returned to their countries with the aim of training their colleagues there.” Posner would add, “They went back and there’s a ripple effect.” AFP: “US Trains Activists to Evade Security Forces,” April 8, 2011.

2011: Posner’s US trained, funded, and equipped activists return to their respective countries across the Arab World to begin their “ripple effect.” Protests, vandalism , and arson sweep across Syria and “rooftop snipers” begin attacking both protesters and Syrian security forces, just as Western-backed movements were documented doing in Bangkok, Thailand one year earlier. With a similar gambit already unfolding in Libya, US senators begin threatening Syria with long planned and sought after military intervention. Land Destroyer: “Syria: Intervention Inevitable,” April 29, 2011.

http://libya360.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/sirte-after-nato-bombardments.jpg

Image: Real genocidal atrocities during the “Arab Spring” occurred at the hands of NATO and its proxy sectarian terrorists. Pictured is Sirte, Libya, after NATO-armed rebels surrounded it, cut off power, water, food, and emergency aid, and allowed NATO to bombard it with daily airstrikes before a final orgy of death and destruction left its streets and facades crumbling. This is the “civilian protection” the UN and its enforcement arm NATO plan on bringing to Syria.

….

2012: With NATO’s Libyan intervention resulting in a weak US-backed Tripoli client-regime, perpetual infighting, nationwide genocide, and the succession of Benghazi in the east, the NATO-backed Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), listed by the US State Department as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (listed #27) begins mobilizing weapons, cash, and fighters to begin destabilizing Syria. Headed by LIFG’s Abdul Hakim Belhaj, this would be the first confirmed presence of Al Qaeda in Syria, flush with NATO weapons and cash. The Washington Post would confirm, just as stated by Hersh in 2007, that the US and Saudi Arabia were arming the sectarian extremists, now labeled the “Free Syrian Army.” The Post also admits that the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, as stated in Hersh’s 2007 report, was also involved in arming and backing extremist fighters. Land Destroyer: “US Officially Arming Extremists in Syria,” May 16, 2012.


Image: Brookings Institution’s Middle East Memo #21 “Assessing Options for Regime Change (.pdf),” makes no secret that the humanitarian “responsibility to protect” is but a pretext for long-planned regime change.
….
2012: The US policy think-tank Brookings Institution in its Middle East Memo #21Assessing Options for Regime Change (.pdf),” admits that it does not seek any negotiated ceasefire under the UN’s “Kofi Annan peace plan” that leaves Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in power and would rather arm militants, even with the knowledge they will never succeed, to “bleed” the government, “keeping a regional adversary weak, while avoiding the costs of direct intervention.” This reveals that US policy does not view US interference in Syria as a moral imperative predicated on defending human rights, but rather using this false predication to couch aspirations of regional hegemony. Land Destroyer: “US Brookings Wants to “Bleed” Syria to Death,” May 28, 2012.

And, just this year, it was revealed that despite the West’s feigned military and political paralysis regarding the Syrian conflict, the US and Great Britain have been covertly funding and arming sectarian extremists to the tune of billions of dollars and arming them with literally thousands of tons of weaponry. Despite claims of “carefully vetting” “moderate” militant factions, the prominence of Al Qaeda-linked extremist groups indicates that the majority of Western support, laundered through Qatar and Saudi Arabia, is being purposefully put into the hands of the very sectarian extremists identified in Seymour Hersh’s 2007 article, “The Redirection.”

US Created and is Now Using Syrian Catastrophe to Justify Intervention

The non-debate taking place now to justify US military intervention in a conflict they themselves started and have intentionally perpetuated, is whether chemical weapons were used in Damascus on August 21, 2013 – not even “who” deployed them. The weakness of the US’ argument has seen an unprecedented backlash across both the world’s populations and the global diplomatic community. And despite only 9% of the American public supporting a military intervention in Syria, Congress appears poised to not only green-light “limited strikes,” but may approve of a wider military escalation.

In Seymour Hersh’s 2007 New Yorker article, “The Redirection,” Robert Baer, a former CIA agent in Lebanon, warned of the sectarian bloodbath the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia were planning to unleash. He stated:

“we’ve got Sunni Arabs preparing for cataclysmic conflict, and we will need somebody to protect the Christians in Lebanon. It used to be the French and the United States who would do it, and now it’s going to be Nasrallah and the Shiites”

Hezbollah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, also featured in Hersh’s report, would in turn also warn of an imminent and spreading sectarian war purposefully stoked by the West:

Nasrallah said he believed that President Bush’s goal was “the drawing of a new map for the region. They want the partition of Iraq. Iraq is not on the edge of a civil war—there is a civil war. There is ethnic and sectarian cleansing. The daily killing and displacement which is taking place in Iraq aims at achieving three Iraqi parts, which will be sectarian and ethnically pure as a prelude to the partition of Iraq. Within one or two years at the most, there will be total Sunni areas, total Shiite areas, and total Kurdish areas. Even in Baghdad, there is a fear that it might be divided into two areas, one Sunni and one Shiite.”

He went on, “I can say that President Bush is lying when he says he does not want Iraq to be partitioned. All the facts occurring now on the ground make you swear he is dragging Iraq to partition. And a day will come when he will say, ‘I cannot do anything, since the Iraqis want the partition of their country and I honor the wishes of the people of Iraq.’ ”

Nasrallah said he believed that America also wanted to bring about the partition of Lebanon and of Syria. In Syria, he said, the result would be to push the country “into chaos and internal battles like in Iraq.” In Lebanon, “There will be a Sunni state, an Alawi state, a Christian state, and a Druze state.” But, he said, “I do not know if there will be a Shiite state.”

It would be difficult for anyone to look across the scarred landscape of today’s Syria and not see that this horrific conspiracy was realized in full. The Western media is now acquainting the public with the possibility of a partitioned Syria, echoing the warnings of Nasrallah years ago. The goals of a US military strike would be to “degrade” the capabilities of the Syrian government, while bolstering the terrorist legions still operating within and along Syria’s borders.

What we are witnessing in Syria today is the direct result of a documented conspiracy, not by a “brutal Syrian regime” “oppressing” its own people, but of a US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia radicalizing, arming, and unleashing a sectarian tidal wave they knew well ahead of time would cause atrocities, genocide, mass displacements and even the geopolitical partitioning of Syria and beyond. The intentional destabilization of the region is meant to weaken Lebanon, Syria, Iran, and Iraq – and even Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, and others – to accomplish what the depleted, impotent US and Israeli forces could not achieve. Military intervention now seeks to tip the balance of an already teetering region.

The attacks on Syria are not humanitarian by any measure. They are simply the latest stage of a long-running plan to divide and destroy the region, leaving the West the sole regional hegemonic power.

Syria and “Conspiracy Theories”: It is a Conspiracy

September 4th, 2013 by Felicity Arbuthnot

We have met the enemy and he is us.” (Walt Kelly, 1913-1973.)

It was political analyst Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, in November 2006, who wrote in detail(1) of US plans for the Middle East:

“The term ‘New Middle East’, was introduced to the world in June 2006, in Tel Aviv, by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (who was credited by the Western media for coining the term) in replacement of the older and more imposing term, the “Greater Middle East’ “, he wrote.

Sanity dictated that this would be a U.S. fantasy rampage too far and vast – until realization hit that the author of the map of this New World, planned in the New World’s “New World Order”, was Lt. Colonel Ralph Peters, who, in one of the most terrifying articles ever published, wrote in 1997:

“There will be no peace. At any given moment for the rest of our lifetimes, there will be multiple conflicts in mutating forms around the globe. Violent conflict will dominate the headlines …The de facto role of the US armed forces will be to keep the world safe for our economy and open to our cultural assault. To those ends, we will do a fair amount of killing.”(2) (My emphasis.)

At the time, Peters was assigned to the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, where he was responsible: “for future warfare.” His plans for Iraq worked out just fine – unless you are an Iraqi.

A month after Nazemroaya’s article was published, William Roebuck, Director for the Office of the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, was composing an end of year strategy for Syria(3) from his study in the U.S. Embassy in Damascus, where he had been based between 2004-2007, rising to Deputy Chief of Mission.

The subject title was: “Influencing the SARG (Syrian Arab Regime Government) in the end of 2006.”

“The SARG ends 2006 in a much stronger position domestically and internationally (than in) 2005.” Talking of President Assad’s: “growing self-confidence”, he felt that this might lead to: “mistakes and ill-judged  … decisions … providing us with new opportunities.” Whilst: “additional bilateral or multilateral pressure can impact on Syria”, clearly he had even more ambitious plans:

“This cable summarizes our assessment of … vulnerabilities, and suggests that there may be actions, statements and signals, that the USG (US Government) can send that will improve the likelihood of such opportunities arising .”

The proposals would need to be: “fleshed out and converted into real actions and we need to be ready to move quickly to take advantage of such opportunities.” (no, not a Le Carré, Forsyth, or Fleming, “diplomat” in Damascus.)

“As the end of 2006 approaches” wrote Roebuck, “Bashar appears … stronger than he has done in two years. The country is economically stable …regional issues seem to be going Syria’s way.”

However: “vulnerabilities and looming issues may provide opportunities to up the pressure on Bashar … some of these vulnerabilities “(including the complexities with Lebanon)”… “can be exploited to put pressure on the regime. Actions that cause Bashar to lose balance, and increase his insecurity, are in our interest.”

The President’s: “ mistakes are hard to predict and benefits may vary, if we are prepared to move quickly and take advantage of opportunities …”

A “vulnerability”, wrote Roebuck, was Bashar al Assad’s protection of: “Syria’s dignity and international reputation.” Pride and “protection”, clearly a shocking concept.

In the light of the proposed Tribunal in to the assassination of Lebanon’s former`Prime Minister, Rafick Hariri (14th February 2005) killed with his friend, former Minister of Economy Bassel Fleihan and twenty colleagues and bodyguards, in a huge bomb, detonated under his motorcade, this “vulnerability” could be exploited.

Unproven allegations have pointed the finger at Israel, Syria, Hezbollah and myriad others, as behind another Middle East tragedy, but Roebuck regarded it as an: “opportunity to exploit this raw nerve, without waiting for the formation of the Tribunal.”

Another idea outlined under a further “vulnerability” heading, was the growing  alliance between Syria and Iran. “Possible action”, was to: “play on Sunni fears of Iranian influence.” Although these were: “often exaggerated”, they were there to be exploited:

“Both the local Egyptian and Saudi missions here … are giving increasing attention to the matter and we should co-ordinate more closely with their governments on ways to better publicize and focus regional attention to the issue.” Concerned Sunni religious leaders should also be worked on. Iraq-style divide and rule model, writ large.

The “divide” strategy, of course, should also focus on the first family and legislating circle, with: “ targeted sanctions (which) must exploit fissures and render the inner circle weaker, rather the drive its members closer together.”

The public should also be subject to: “continual reminders of corruption … we should look for ways to remind …”

Another aspect to be exploited was: “The Khaddam factor.”

Abdul Halim Khaddam, was Vice President,1984-2005, and acting President in 2000, during the months beween Bashir al Assad’s accession and his father’s death.

Thought to have Presidential ambitions himself, there was a bitter split between Khaddam and al Assad after Hariri’s death. Allegations of treasonous betrayal by Khaddam have validity.

The ruling party, writes Roebuck: “…follow every news item involving Khaddam, with tremendous emotional interest. We should continue to encourage the Saudis and others to allow  Khaddam access to their media … providing him with venues for airing the SARG’s dirty laundry.”

Morever, it was anticipated that:  “an over reaction by the regime [would] add to its isolation and alienation from its Arab neighbours.”

On January 14th 2006, Khaddam had formed a government in exile, and had predicted the end of the al-Assad government by the year’s end.

He is currently regarded as an opposition leader, and has claimed, on Israel’s Channel 2 TV.(4) receiving money from the US and the EU to help overthrow  the Syrian government.

The ever creative Mr Roebuck’s further plans included: “Encouraging rumours and signals of external plotting.” To this end: “Regional allies like  Egypt and Saudi Arabia should be encouraged to meet with figures like Kaddam  and Rifat (sic) al Assad, with appropriate leaking of the meetings afterwards. This … increases the possibility of a self-defeating over-reaction.”

Rifaat al Assad, Bashar’s uncle, was in charge of the Defence Brigade, who killed up to thirty thousand people in, and flattened much of, the city of Hama, in February 1982. So much for endlessly trumpeted concerns for: “human rights violations.” Rifaat al Assad lives in exile and safety, in London. Khaddam lives in Paris.(5)

Here is a serious cause for concern for the overthrow-bent: “Bashar keeps unveiling a steady stream of initiatives on reform and it is certainly possible he believes this is his legacy to Syria …. These steps have brought back Syrian expats to invest …  (and) increasing openness.”

Solution? “Finding ways to publicly call into question Bashar’s reform efforts.” Indeed, moving heaven and earth to undercut them, is made clear.

Further: “Syria has enjoyed a considerable up-tick in foreign direct investment”; it follows: foreign investment is to be: “discouraged.”

In May of 2006, complains Roebuck, Syrian Military Intelligence protested: “what they believed were U.S. efforts to provide military training and equipment to Syria’s Kurds.” The Iraq model, yet again.

The answer was to: “Highlight Kurdish complaints.”  This, however: “would need to be handled carefully, since giving the wrong kind of prominence to Kurdish issues in Syria, could be a liability for our efforts … given Syrian … civil society’s skepticism of Kurdish objectives.”

In “Conclusion”, this shaming, shoddy document states: “The bottom line is that Bashar is entering the New Year in a stronger position than he has been, in several years”, meaning “vulnerabilities” must be sought out. “If we are ready to capitalize, they will offer us opportunities to disrupt his decision-making, keep him off balance – and make him pay a premium for his mistakes.”

The cable is copied to: The White House, U.S. Secretary of State, U.S. Treasury, U.S. Mission at the UN, U.S. National Security Council, CENTCOM, all Arab League and EU countries.

The only U.S. Embassy which recieved a copy is that in Tel Aviv. William Roebuck worked at the Embassy in Tel Aviv (2000-2003) embracing the invasion of Iraq year.
In 2009, he was Deputy Political Consul In Baghdad: “leading efforts to support the critical 2009 Iraqi elections.” The “free and fair, democratic” ones, where people were threatened with the deaths of their children even, if they did not vote the “right” way.

The result was Nuri al Maliki’s premiership, complete with his murderous militias. The man under whose Ministry of the Interior, U.S. soldiers discovered tortured, starving prisoners.

The Damascus cable comes courtesy Wikileaks. Lt. Colonel Peters called, on Fox News, for founder, Julian Assange, to be assassinated. The forty second clip(6) is worth the listen.

The Colonel also writes fiction and thrillers under the name Owen Patterson. Perhaps he is living the dream.

Felicity Arbutnot is Global Research’s Human Rights Correspondent based in London
Notes

1. http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=3882

2. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article3011.htm

3. http://wikileaks.cabledrum.net/cable/2006/12/06DAMASCUS5399.html

4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COqBQYcrd9Q

5. http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=29501

6. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rS5h59iZg3o

Editor’s Note

We have not been able to verify the authenticity of this report. The Pentagon has issued a disclaimer.

by hackersnewsbulletin.com

The situation in Syria is still in the focus of world media. Experts predict another U.S. aggression for “human rights”. Washington regularly declares its readiness to attack Syria. The official version – to punish al-Assad and Syrian army for the use of chemical weapons against the civilian population.

Meanwhile, the media has spread new proofs of the U.S. intelligence involvement to chemical attack near Damascus.

Hacker got access to U.S. intelligence correspondence and published U.S. Army Col. ANTHONY J. MACDONALD’s mail. Macdonald is General Staff Director, Operations and Plans Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence the Army Staff. It’s about chemical attack in Syria.

In the message August 22 Eugene Furst congratulates Col. on successful operation and refers him to Washington Post publication about chemical attack in Syria. From the Anthony’s wife dialog with her friend it’s clear the video with the children killed in the chemical attack near Damascus was staged by U.S. Intelligence.

E.FURST: By the way, saw your latest success, my congratulations. Good job.

A.MACDONALD: As you see, I’m far from this now, but I know our guys did their best.

Another set of private correspondence between his wife Jeniffer MacDonald and Mary Shapiro reveals that colonel did not keep his mouth shut in the bedroom:

 M.SHAPIRO: I can’t stop thinking about that terrible gas attack in Syria now. Did you see those kids? I was really crying They were poisoned, they died. When is it over? I see their faces when in sleep. What did Tony say you about this?

J.MACDONALD: I saw it too and got afraid very much. But Tony comforted me. He said the kids weren’t hurt, it was done for cameras. So you don’t worry, my dear.

M.SHAPIRO: I’m still thinking about those Syrian kids. Thanks God, they are alive. I hope they got a kind of present or some cash.

Published data indicate Washington is willing to do anything to achieve its goals in the Middle East. Support for the Syrian opposition with political means and weapons hasn’t brought the expected results.

Under the circumstances the U.S. is ready once again to violate international law and attack Syria without UN Security Council approval. The world’s still the same – if policy doesn’t work, the aircraft carriers start acting!

Screenshots taken by Hacker of the COl. Mail:

Hacker also claimed to hack into various other Pentagon officers’ mail boxes:

  • Evans, Anthony O COL USARMY HQDA ASA ALT (US)
  • Sims, John D COL USARMY HQDA OCPA (US)
  • Griffith, David M COL USARMY (US)
  • Bell, Craig A COL USARMY (US)
  • Parramore, David J (Dave) COL USARMY MEDCOM HQ (US)
  • Morris, Daniel L COL USARMY (US)
  • Ellison, Brenda K COL USARMY (US)
  • Jennings, Wesley J COL USARMY HQDA DCS G-8 (US)
  • Eberle, Brian K COL USARMY HQDA DCS G-3-5-7 (US)
  • Bradsher, John M COL USARMY (US)
  • Fish, Charles A COL USARMY JS J8 (US)
  • Roquemore, Darlene M COL USAF (US)
  • Mott, Robert L Jr COL USARMY HQDA OTSG (US)
  • Parramore, David J (Dave) COL USARMY MEDCOM HQ (US)
  • Weeks, Colin A LTC USARMY (US)
  • Reynolds, M Bridget LTC USARMY HQDA DCS G-2 (US)
  • Grahek, Christopher J LTC USARMY HQDA OTSG (US)
  • Henderson, Valerie D LTC USARMY HQDA OCPA (US)

Hacker released a statement on Pastebin in which he also stated that he had no time to look through all their mails, might be more information he get and at last he said “I will upload their correspondence later.”

UPDATE: Well we are being asked by some of the media websites about the source that’s why we want to inform you that this news was also published in Telegraph and till now we also don’t have any info of hacker.

Submitted by: Said Al-Khalaki (Freelance journalist)

U.S. Military Intelligence Involved in Chemical Attack in Syria

September 4th, 2013 by Global Research News

by Oriental Review

 

The situation in Syria is still in focus of the world media. Another U.S.-led “humanitarian intervention” may be unleashed soon. The Pentagon announced that it is ready to attack Syria in order to punish Bashar al-Assad and Syrian army for the alleged use of chemical weapons against the civilians.

Meanwhile, the new evidence of the U.S. intelligence being involved in chemical attack near Damascus on August 21, 2013 has been leaked to Internet.

A hacker got access to the U.S. intelligence correspondence and published private emails of Col. Anthony J. Macdonald, who is the General Staff Director, Operations and Plans Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence the US Army Staff.

In an email exchange on August 22, 2013 with the US Army civilian analyst Eugene P. Furst congratulates Col. on successful operation and refers him to a Washington Post publication about chemical attack in Syria.

macd

 

E.FURST: By the way, saw your latest success, my congratulations. Good job.

A.MACDONALD: As you see, I’m far from this now, but I know our guys did their best.

Another set of private correspondence between his wife Jeniffer MacDonald and Mary Shapiro reveals that colonel did not keep his mouth shut in the bedroom:

Jennifer MacDonalds mails

 

M.SHAPIRO: I can’t stop thinking about that terrible gas attack in Syria now. Did you see those kids? I was really crying They were poisoned, they died. When is it over? I see their faces when in sleep. What did Tony say you about this?

J.MACDONALD: I saw it too and got afraid very much. But Tony comforted me. He said the kids weren’t hurt, it was done for cameras. So you don’t worry, my dear.

M.SHAPIRO: I’m still thinking about those Syrian kids. Thanks God, they are alive. I hope they got a kind of present or some cash.

From Col. MacDonalds’s wife dialog with her friend it’s clear that the video with the children killed in the chemical attack near Damascus was staged by the U.S. Military Intelligence.

This information sheds new light on the US administration’s confession that “there were indications three days prior that an attack [on August 21] was coming”.

As Y. Bodansky from GIS/Defense & Foreign Affairs wrote on Sunday:

“On August 13-14, 2013, Western-sponsored opposition forces in Turkey started advance preparations for a major and irregular military surge. Initial meetings between senior opposition military commanders and representatives of Qatari, Turkish, and US Intelligence [“Mukhabarat Amriki”] took place at the converted Turkish military garrison in Antakya, Hatay Province, used as the command center and headquarters of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and their foreign sponsors. Very senior opposition commanders who had arrived from Istanbul briefed the regional commanders of an imminent escalation in the fighting due to “a war-changing development” which would, in turn, lead to a US-led bombing of Syria.”

According to the same source,

On August 24, 2013, Syrian Commando forces acted on intelligence about the possible perpetrators of the chemical attack and raided a cluster of rebel tunnels in the Damascus suburb of Jobar. Canisters of toxic material were hit in the fierce fire-fight as several Syrian soldiers suffered from suffocation and “some of the injured are in a critical condition”.

The Commando eventually seized an opposition warehouse containing barrels full of chemicals required for mixing “kitchen sarin”, laboratory equipment, as well as a large number of protective masks. The Syrian Commando also captured several improvised explosive devices, RPG rounds, and mortar shells. The same day, at least four Hizballah fighters operating in Damascus near Ghouta were hit by chemical agents at the very same time the Syrian Commando unit was hit while searching a group of rebel tunnels in Jobar. Both the Syrian and the Hizballah forces were acting on intelligence information about the real perpetrators of the chemical attack.

The samples of toxic agents were reportedly sent to Moscow for a detailed analysis.

A photo taken by Marco di Lauro/AP in Iraq in 2003 was present by US State Secretary Kerry on August 30, 2013 as evidence of the 'Assad's chemical attack'.

Published data clearly indicate that the US administration is about to create any pretext to launch a military strike on Syria. Most recent revelation that the US Secretary of State John Kerry has used a photo taken in Iraq in 2003 to illustrate “Syrian victims of gas attack” last Friday to justify his bellicous message to the US Congressmen gives even more evidence that  the “intelligence information” the warmongers claim to be based on is groundless or simply fabricated.

Now the vast majority of people worldwide perfectly understand that a kind of tricky game is being played on their behalf. The British parliament has already met the demand of clearly expressed public opinion and opposed the suicidal war over Mediterranean. Will the US legislators show us the same prudence and common sense? We will see it next week.

Copyright The Oriental Review 2013.

President Obama´s Secretary of State John Kerry has said that the US condemns the use of chemical weapons. In order for this statement to be able to be taken seriously President Obama must account in detail for the US use of chemical weapons and demand legal responsibility for the crimes committed. Instead President Obama´s Justice Department has demanded immunity for his predecessor George W Bush and five of his close conspirators for war crimes. No responsible person on a high level in the US administration may be charged with war crimes!
by Iraq Solidarity Association in Stockholm
President Obama´s forthcoming visit to Sweden provides the Swedish government with an opportunity to speak in clear terms with the foremost leader of the United States, a superpower, which carries out a policy for domination of other countries, a policy that includes interference in the internal affairs of other countries and often wars of aggression wars and support to terror groups.

On the agenda with the Nobel Prize winning President Obama is among other things the question of an eventual American war of aggression against Syria.

We note that Swedish diplomats such as Hans Blixt and Jan Eliasson have maintained that the Swedish position is that the US must respect the UN Charter’s Prohibition of the Use of Force and not sidestep the Security Council with an open military attack against Syria.

The United States maintains that it has evidence that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons within their own country, but has not presented this evidence, either to the Security Council or to the public. Against this background we would like to bring to mind that the American superpower has used chemical weapons and other weapons with long-term horrendous effects on the civilian population in a war of aggression without UN support against Iraq and even in other countries. The Iraqi people are living in a poisoned land. The US used uranium weapons and white phosphorus and burned large amounts of chemicals in open pits outside their hundreds of bases in Iraq. This has seriously affected the civilian population of Iraq. Even American Iraq veterans are seriously ill.

Weapons with depleted uranium were previously used during the first Gulf War in 1991. The city of Basra suffered harshly. In 2004 the US carried out two big attacks against the city of Fallujah. Uranium weapons as well as white phosphorus were used against the civilian population. Many deformed children have been born in Fallujah at the General Hospital since then. In Fallujah, Basra, Najaf, Bagdad, Hawija and other cities children suffer from deformities, cancer and other illnesses.

We have previously encouraged the Swedish government to both nationally and internationally support independent, international investigations about the children and the causes of their serious genetic disorders and the increasing frequency of illnesses. You now have an excellent opportunity to encourage President Obama to reveal the systems and quantities of weapons the US used in Fallujah. This would be of enormous assistance to the research.

President Obama´s Secretary of State John Kerry has said that the US condemns the use of chemical weapons. In order for this statement to be able to be taken seriously President Obama must account in detail for the US use of chemical weapons and demand legal responsibility for the crimes committed. Instead President Obama´s Justice Department has demanded immunity for his predecessor George W Bush and five of his close conspirators for war crimes. No responsible person on a high level in the US administration may be charged with war crimes!

We encourage you as representatives of the Swedish people to make it clear to the esteemed guest that Sweden upholds international law and the basic principal of the UN Charter, the prohibition of wars of aggression, and that those responsible for crimes against international law, in accordance with the principles of the Nuremburg trials, are personally responsible and must be held accountable for their crimes.

Justice for Iraq demands that those responsible for a war of aggression, occupation and injustices are held accountable!

The Iraq Solidarity Association 130901

Mike Powers, Chair

Today’s the day I knew was coming.  Despite the fact that Jodi Rudoren mistakenly said that the Lobby would maintain radio-silence about Obama’s plan to strike Syria, I knew she was wrong. And she was.  Today, Obama pulled out all the stops and the Jewish leadership responded: virtually all the major organizations announced their support for military intervention.

This statement by the hawkish, pro-Israel Conference of Presidents highlights the real reason for the turnabout:

…Failing to take action would damage the credibility of the US and negatively impact the effort to prevent Iran from achieving a nuclear weapons capacity.

So, Syria is really a sideshow.  It’s a sort of precursor to war against Iran.  That’s the main attraction and all Israel or the Jewish leadership cares about.  All the mumbling about setting a moral example and parallels between Syria and Jews being gassed by the Nazis is a smokescreen.  We want the Ayatollahs and we want ‘em bad.

Aipac will let loose a lobbying barrage that will leave few members of Congress uncertain about which way they’re expected to vote (unless they’re prepared for a primary challenge from an amply endowed pro-Israel opponent).  It’s safe to say that Obama is going to win this round handily.  This will allow him the first opportunity in his presidency to bring the full force of U.S. military might on a Middle Eastern country.  You’ll recall a prior president who enjoyed that opportunity twice.  Obama will score a big gain in his popularity ratings.  Americans love a good Shock and Awe display.  But they will soon come down to earth and wonder what we’ve gained from raining cruise missiles on Damascus.  The answer will be: precious little.

An interesting sidebar to this story is a neat little bit of N.Y. Times self-censorship that M.J. Rosenberg noted.  In this story, the following passage originally appeared, but then mysteriously disappeared, apparently a product of pre-emptive censorship:

Administration officials said the influential pro-Israel lobby group Aipac was already at work pressing for military action against the government of Mr. Assad, fearing that if Syria escapes American retribution for its use of chemical weapons, Iran might be emboldened in the future to attack Israel. In the House, the majority leader, Eric Cantor of Virginia, the only Jewish Republican in Congress, has long worked to challenge Democrats’ traditional base among Jews.

One administration official, who, like others, declined to be identified discussing White House strategy, called Aipac “the 800-pound gorilla in the room,” and said its allies in Congress had to be saying, “If the White House is not capable of enforcing this red line” against the catastrophic use of chemical weapons, “we’re in trouble.”

In its own explanation, the Times noted that the second paragraph had already appeared in an article the day before.  Thus the paper was apparently trying to avoid redundancy.  The public editor, Margaret Sullivan, falsely stated that the entire quotation had appeared previously: “the quotation remains in the earlier article.”  It hadn’t, as I said.  So why not retain the first paragraph?

I’d have thought the first paragraph was dropped both because it referred to Eric Cantor as Jewish (fear of the “A” word), and because it explicitly notes the muscular role Aipac was planning to play in the intervention debate.  Aipac is notorious for not wanting its fingerprints to appear publicly.  It prefers to operate off the radar as much as possible so when the shit hits the fan, it can’t be blamed for policy failures.

M.J., who worked for Aipac for ten years and knows the organization pretty damn well, believes there were explicit conversations between it and the Times and that it made its displeasure known at the negative portrayal in the offending passage.

On a related matter, yesterday the Russians announced that their early warning tracking system picked up a mysterious missile launch in the Mediterranean.  The trajectory took the missile from its launch in the central Mediterranean to its fall in the eastern Mediterranean.  Within hours, the Israeli government confirmed that it had launched a “Sparrow” missile in a routine test.  The Sparrow is the missile used to test the Arrow anti-missile system.  It’s the missile which the Arrow hunts and kills.

Frankly, there is something fishy about this story.  Israel never intended for the launch to be public.  But Russia called Israel’s bluff and did so.  Either the Israelis tested a far more ambitious weapons system and lied about it being the Sparrow; or else they launched a missile as a shot across Assad’s (and Russia’s) bow, warning them that Israel would unleash its missile cache to defend from and respond to any Syrian attack.

Haaretz reporters, writing on behalf of their government sources, say Israel never dreamed of using the test as a warning to Syria.  Again, I don’t buy it.  If they didn’t, and the original government version of this report is true, then Netanyahu is an incredibly naïve figure who ratcheted up tension in a tinder box situation without even realizing how a missile test would be received by Israel’s enemies.  Israel’s leadership is many negative things, but certainly not naïve.

Even if you accept the government version of events, the Israeli military exhibited extraordinary stupidity.  It lit a match in an oil refinery.  Luckily the whole place didn’t blow up.  It could have.

 “Their [pro-Israel neocon] plan, which urged Israel to re-establish ‘the principle of preemption,’ has now been imposed by (Richard) Perle, (Douglas) Feith, (David) Wurmser & Co. on the United States.”

Patrick J. Buchanan, American political commentator, The American Conservative, March 24, 2003

“I wasn’t afraid to clash with [U.S. President Bill] Clinton. … I wasn’t afraid to clash with the United Nations. . . . I know what America is. America is something that can easily be swayed.”

Binyamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, (in the West Bank Israeli settlement of Ofra in 2001)

  [There] “is a memo [at the Pentagon] that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.”

General Wesley Clark, former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO (1997-2000), (March 2, 2007)

“The material I will present to you comes from a variety of sources. Some are U.S. sources and some are those of other countries. Some of the sources are technical, such as intercepted telephone conversations and photos taken by satellites. Other sources are people who have risked their lives to let the world know what Saddam Hussein is really up to.”

Colin L. Powell, George W. Bush’s Secretary of State, remarks to the United Nations Security Council (on February 5, 2003)

“We don’t know what the chain of custody is. This could’ve been an Israeli false flag operation, it could’ve been an opposition in Syria… or it could’ve been an actual use by [the government of] Bashar al Assad. But we certainly don’t know with the evidence we’ve been given. And what I’m hearing from the intelligence community is that that evidence is really flaky.”

Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, Secretary of State Colin Powell’s former chief of staff, “Israel may be behind Syrian chemical weapons use”, Jerusalem Post, May 4, 2013, (about reports of chemical weapons used in Syria)

“Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them.”

Mark Twain (1835-1910), American author and satirist

“Lying and war are always associated. Listen closely when you hear a war-maker try to defend his current war: If he moves his lips he’s lying.”

Philip Berrigan (1923-2002), American peace activist and former Roman Catholic priest

Chemical Weapons: Background

The Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad has categorically denied that it launched a poison chemical attack on August 21, 2013, against its own civilian population. Rather, it has pointed to Syrian rebels who are alleged to have recently carried out three such chemical weapon attacks against Syrian soldiers in the same area of the country.

Simple logic would also seem to be on the side of the Syrian government. Indeed, it would have been most idiotic for the Assad regime to launch a chemical attack against its own civilian people, especially a few days after the arrival of a U.N. chemical weapons inspection team (led by Ake Sellstrom with a 14-day mandate), on August 18, and knowing full well that this would most likely bring forth a foreign military intervention.

On the other hand, if there ever was a perfect timing for such a crime, it was for the rebels. Indeed, over the last few months, the Syrian rebels have been pushed back by the Syrian army, and such an horrific and immoral act makes a lot of sense, since it could be enough to provoke the hesitant Obama administration to come to their rescue. It is well known that the first question in a crime investigation is ‘who benefits most from the crime’? In this case, the answer is unequivocal, and it is the rebels in Syria and the countries that back and arm them.

The Mossad Report

Nevertheless, the Obama administration is quickly jumping to believe a report of the Israeli Mossad, based upon some mysterious intercepted phone conversations between unknown Syrian officials that the August 21 chemical attack, presumably with a nerve gas agent, like sarin, was carried out by the Syrian army. That the U.S. government stands ready to launch an illegal military attack against a sovereign country without the United Nations Security Council’s authorization on the basis of a Mossad report and on simple deductions is very bizarre. To launch an illegal war of aggression against a sovereign country on the basis of a report from the Israeli Mossad would seem to be the summum of irresponsibility and of naivety.

For one, the Israeli Mossad is known for its expertise in false flag operations. Secondly, there are reports that the Israeli secret police has been very active in Syria and has carried out covert operations in that country. Keep in mind that the Mossad’s motto, taken from the Bible, is: “By Way of Deception, Thou Shalt do War.” Therefore, it does not hide its methods of operation. According to insiders, the Mossad is expert in pulling off ‘false flag operations‘, and it maintains an active spy network in many countries, especially in the USA, using fake passports.

And thirdly, the Mossad has done it before.

A former Mossad agent, Victor Ostrovsky, described in two New York Times best seller books entitled “By Way of Deception (St Martins Press, 1990) and The Other Side of Deception (Harpercollins, 1994) how the Israeli Mossad operates. Consider that, according to Ostrovsky, the Mossad succeeded in fooling American President Ronald Reagan and tricking him into bombing Libya in 1986, when it used faked pre-recorded radio messages with the misinformation that Lybia was about to launch a massive terror attack on the West.

Now, the Mossad claims that it has intercepted phone calls between Syrian officials regarding a chemical attack, but does not give details and refuses to release the material evidence. There is, therefore, a good chance that these so-called ‘intercepted’ calls were staged to obtain the desired effect. That would be par for the course.

War Pretext Incidents

In a word, we may have here a machination that has all the signs of other staged coups, like the ‘Bay of Tonkin’ coup that President Lyndon B. Johnson used in 1964 to attack North Vietnam and like the ‘weapons of mass destruction in Iraq’ hoax that George W.Bush and Dick Cheney used to launch an attack against Iraq in 2003. —We all remember how U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair declared that he had “seen the evidence.” We also remember that the Head of the CIA said that there was a ‘slam dunk’ case that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, and that proved to have been most inaccurate and a false pretext for war.

Pro-Israel sycophants in Washington D.C. then were pushing for a U.S. attack of Iraq, as they are now pushing for a U.S. attack of Syria, using similar bogus intelligence “proofs.” Keep in mind that the same group of sycophants advised the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in 1996 “to contain Syria, drawing attention to its weapons of mass destruction program.” Anybody who has not read their report entitled “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm” cannot really understand what has happened in the Middle East since, and why the Israeli government has wished ever since to overthrow the Assad regime in Damascus.

There are numerous other examples when similar disinformation and manipulation have been relied upon to persuade a reluctant public to accept war.

In October 1990, George W. Bush’s father, George H., used the subterfuge of babies who supposedly had been taken out of incubators in a Kuwaiti hospital and let die by the Saddam Hussein Iraki regime so that Iraqi babies could have the incubators, a claim that turned out to be a total fabrication. —Each time a government is circulating photos of dead babies to justify a military aggression, one has to ask if this is not part of a campaign of artful disinformation to manipulate public opinion.

When it comes to the U.S. government to justify military aggression abroad, its credibility is very low indeed.

It is a sad fact that even in so-called democracies, it seems that all wars are based and sold with official lies and fraudulent fabrications in order to fool the people. Warmongers in government know that people do not like wars, especially illegal wars of aggression, against countries which have not attacked them, and that is why their first reflex is to attempt to drag the people along with lies and false pretexts for war, and by dehumanizing any potential enemy through propaganda.

That is why I say that this 2013 sudden haste to bomb the country of Syria has all the appearances of a classical false flag operation to circumvent international law and perpetrate more killing in the name of unaware, uninformed or credulous ordinary Americans.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Ronald Reagan, George H. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush or Barack H. Obama, —it does not matter who is president, any U.S. “Commander-in-Chief” can be expected to lie and use subterfuges to launch military attacks against other countries. —All of them have done so. As Noam Chomsky (1928-) said, “If the Nuremberg laws were applied, then every post-war American president would have been hanged.”

In Washington D.C., political faces change but not the imperial hubris. American Vice President Joe Biden, for one, is today mimicking Dick Cheney, when he declares solemnly that “there is no doubt” that the Syrian government forces of Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons of mass destruction. So is Secretary John Kerry who says the evidence is “clear”. —Are these two politicians the new Dick Cheneys and the new Colin Powells, i.e. professional liars?

The Obama-Biden administration also claims that it has satellite pictures showing that missiles carrying chemical poison originated from Syrian controlled areas. Did we not learn that satellite intelligence can be most inaccurate? There is a civil war going on in Syria and there are numerous exchanges of missile attacks. How does one determine with certainty that one missile or one rocket rather than another one carries chemical poison?

We all remember when the Bush-Cheney administration claimed that it had satellite intelligence on the Iraq government of Saddam Hussein regarding its weapons of mass destruction program. They showed “satellite images of a chemical weapons factory.” In fact, they were images of empty trailers in the desert!

We remember also the images of the famous aluminum “tubes” that Iraq was supposed to be using in centrifuges for uranium enrichment to build a nuclear weapon “within a year.” Following the American-led 2003 military invasion, no centrifuges, aluminum or otherwise, were found. It turned out that these were all lies to justify the planned aggression.

The fact is that you can have satellite pictures interpreting anything that your fiction mind wants it to be.

There is a more logical explanation, certainly more logical than the official hogwash we have been served so far, about why a few foreign countries (essentially the U.S. and …France!) want to intervene militarily in Syria, even if that means violating international law. (N.B.: So far, the British Parliament has succeeded in stopping David Cameron from doing so). There is indeed a logical reason why the Syrian rebels and some of the countries backing them could have resorted in desperation to a chemical attack against civilians.

The Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad was on its way to winning its 2 1/2-year-old war against the rebels, some of whom are cannibalist terrorists, many originating from outside Syria. The Syrian national army had these Islamist terrorists on the run in the Damascus countryside and in the Eastern Ghouta.

This development created panic in the chancelleries of the main countries supporting the Syrian terrorists, i.e. Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Israel, plus the United States, the U.K. and France, among others. Something had to be done to force the hand of a wavering U.S. President Barack Obama, a man whom Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu despises profoundly.

In the U.S., before the barrage of propaganda began in the media, a Reuters/Ipsos poll indicated that only 9 percent of the American people supported a bombing campaign against Syria. However, there is no doubt that with enough lies and enough propaganda, the Obama-Biden team can raise the public support for a military intervention in Syria.

As for the U.S. Congress, it has been demonstrated time and again, over the last thirty years, that Congress is neocon territory and so riddled with corruption that it is beyond hope. It’s no surprise that the Obama-Biden administration, just like the Bush-Cheney administration, is asking these politicians for a blank check to bomb another foreign country. That’s par for the imperial hubris.

There is little doubt that the U.S. Congress, led by the McCainiacs and other neocon warmongers, will give the Obama-Biden administration all the backing it wants for a unilateral military attack against the country of Syria. This will be in violation of international law and against the wishes of the American people. But who cares about the rule of law?

As U.N. Secretary Ban Ki-Moon has repeated, “the use of force is only legal when it is in self-defense or with a U.N. Security Council authorization”. If the Obama administration does not want to abide by the U.N. Charter, it should leave the United Nations and join the club of rogue states.

Dr. Rodrigue Tremblay, a Canadian-born economist, is the author of the book “The Code for Global Ethics, Ten Humanist Principles”, and of “The New American Empire”)

Please visit the book site about ethics at:

www.TheCodeForGlobalEthics.com/     

Syria “Wag the Dog”. Towards a Major Mideast War?

September 4th, 2013 by Mark H. Gaffney

The United States is being manipulated into another even bigger Mideast War, and the only thing that can prevent it is an informed citizenry. The upcoming debate in Congress, scheduled to begin on September 9, will tell the tale.

 President Obama lied to the nation, last Saturday, when he told us that a US attack on Syria would be “narrow” and “limited”, and would not involve boots on the ground. As I write, US special forces may already in Syria. According to Israeli on-line intel news Debkafile, several days before the chemical attack in Damascus hundreds of armed rebels crossed over into Syria from a newly established CIA base in Jordan. The rebels were led by US commanders. The Debkafile report was subsequently confirmed by the French paper Le Figaro, which claimed that CIA personnel accompanied the rebels across the border.

Debkafile also reported that Centcom, the US military command for the Middle East, has established a new underground war room near Amman, Jordan, for the purpose of commanding Syrian operations. Recently, General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, visited Amman to inaugurate the new forward command center.

These important stories should have been headline news here in the US. But, thus far, I have seen no mention of them in the fawning US press. Clearly, the American people are being kept in the dark about the true extent of US involvement in the Syrian civil war, which is about to go viral. We are also being jollied about US objectives in the region.

The American people need to understand that a US missile attack on Syria will not be the end of it–––only the start. Passage of Obama’s war resolution by Congress will commit the United States to supporting the geopolitical agenda of two US allies, Saudi Arabia and Israel, both of which, while they have not been friendly with one another in the past, now find themselves perversely allied in a common cause. Both seek the destruction of the sovereign nations of Syria and Iran. The current battle for Damascus is simply one step on the road to Tehran.

The bottom line is that the corrupt Saudi monarchy feels threatened by the Shi’ite crescent that extends from Lebanon through Syria and Iraq to Iran. King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia is using his vast oil wealth and the influence that money buys to redraw the political map. Last year, Abdullah, along with Qatar and Turkey, pledged $50 billion to arm the Syrian rebels, whose ranks include fighters linked to the Al Qaeda terrorist group, Ansar al-Sharia, which attacked and killed the US ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, last September, in Benghazi.

Let us also be clear: the Saudis have no intention of installing a democratic government in place of the authoritarian Assad regime; though by necessity they dance around the issue with the Americans so as not to offend US sensibilities about liberty and freedom. The curious word-play in a recent article in the Wall Street Journalcaptures the dilemma faced by CIA officers in the field, who must look the other way while agents from Saudi Arabia pass out arms and cash to hired mercenaries. This past May, one such group of rebel fanatics reportedly massacred the entire population of a Christian village near Homs.

Saudi Arabia remains one of the most repressive and misogynistic societies on the planet, and over the last 30+ years has spent untold billions exporting the world’s most extreme form of Sunni Islam, Wahhabism, to places like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Libya and now…Syria, where a failed state along the lines of “liberated” Libya will be regarded as a successful outcome.

On this point the Israelis concur. Although itself a democracy, Israel’s top priority is to control a tough neighborhood; and a failed state next door fits the bill perfectly. The Israelis recently granted oil rights in the Golan Heights to Genie Energy, whose major shareholders include Rupert Murdoch and Lord Jacob Rothschild. If they ink the deal it will be illegal for the simple reason that the Golan is part of Syria. Twenty years ago, the Israelis attempted a similar gambit but had to back off when the US objected. Now, however, the Israelis sense that the goal (Eretz Israel) is within reach. Once the sovereign nation of Syria is no more everything will become possible. The incorporation of parts of Lebanon will similarly follow, once Hezbollah has been dealt with. Perennially short of water, Israel has long coveted the Litani River in southern Lebanon.

 Obama’s proposed missile strike on Syria will help to pave the way. One of the strike’s probable objectives will be to degrade Syria’s air defenses, so that the Israeli Air Force can safely enter Syrian airspace and bomb the country at will.

To be sure, Syria will not go quietly into that good night. The Syrian government has warned that it will respond to a US strike by attacking Israel, which has bombed Syria repeatedly in recent months. A state of war has existed between the two nations for many years.

This is the grim reality. Obama’s proposed attack to punish Syria will likely trigger a wider Mideast war. The fighting will quickly spread to Lebanon, and may also involve Turkey, Jordan, Iraq and…Iran. The Iranians have made it clear they will not stand by while their ally Syria is destroyed.

If a regional war unfolds, it will be a human disaster beyond reckoning. Such a war will make the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan look like a warm up. Although in June the Russians closed down their naval base at Tartus, on the Syrian coast, and have withdrawn all or most of their military personnel from Syria (which is good news), the Russians still maintain a naval presence in the eastern Mediterranean. If their ships come under fire, whether by accident or miscalculation, the resulting crisis could escalate in a matter of hours to a nuclear showdown reminiscent of the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. The world will stand at the brink…

 But why go there? Indeed, why take the chance? It is all so unnecessary.

Official US policy is that the various parties to the Syrian conflict should come to the table and negotiate a political settlement. All well and good, but why then is the US aiding the rebels (who have been the recalcitrant party) instead of using its influence to persuade them to go to Geneva? And why attack the Assad regime which is already on board with peace talks? Americans will not like the answer.

The root problem is the vacuum of leadership in Washington. In blunt language, Obama is a spineless wimp, incapable of standing up to Israel and the Saudis, let alone Wall Street and the US war machine. This is why the tail wags the dog, i.e., why official policy is subordinated to the agenda of banksters, industrialists, and foreign governments.

Hence, the vital importance of the upcoming debate in Congress over Obama’s war resolution. The president needs a wake up call, a spine stiffener, a clear mandate from the people to bolster his resolve to do what is right for the nation. So that Obama can just say “no” to war.

Mark H. Gaffney is the author of five books. His latest is Black 9/11: Money, Motive and Technology (2012, Trineday) Check out his website at www.GnosticSecrets.com Mark can be reached for comment at [email protected]

The California prison hunger strike against inhumane prison conditions has passed its 50th day and Governor Brown has to decide.  WIll he negotiate about their basic demands, and if not, will he allow them to die protesting? At least 45 hunger strikers have ingested nothing but water, vitamins, and electrolytes since the 8th of July and must therefore be risking blindness, hearing loss, kidney failure, heart attack, coma, and death.  In May 1981, 10 Irish Hunger Strikers died after refusing food for periods between 44 and 73 days. Bobby Sands somehow arranged to spend the last days of his life lying on a water bed to protect his fragile bones.

Ghandi’s longest fast was 21 days.

Last week Judge Thelton Henderson gave medical officers the authority to force feed prisoners, even if they have signed “do-not-resuscitate” forms. In an irresolute moment, chief medical officer Steven Tharratt then stated that they will probably do no more than administer intravenous nutrient streams to prisoners who lapse into coma, or become otherwise incapable of deciding to live or die.

Some prison advocates say that there are hundreds of strikers still risking death. We have little way of knowing the truth about that or anything else behind the state’s prison walls. On Friday, August 23rd, Democracy Now aired a recording made by a lawyer talking to one of the hunger strikers on a prison phone, from the other side of a glass separation wall at Pelican Bay Prison.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) responded to the prisoners demand that a member of the press be present at any hunger strike negotiations with a statement that, “While CDCR is committed to transparency and is willing to engage in discussions with various stakeholders, it is not efficient to have a member of the press present at every discussion.”

It’s no surprise that a cult of secrecy and totalitarian rule resembling the Stasi’s have emerged in California prisons, which were crowded to twice their capacity by 2009 and are still way overcrowded. And Governor Jerry Brown surely realizes that this is largely the consequence of mandatory minimum sentencing established during his first two terms as California’s governor, between 1975 and 1983.

One of the few things we do know, from the hunger striking prisoners advocates, is that they are willing to negotiate, but Governor Brown is not, not even regarding demands for adequate food, a weekly phone call, an annual photograph, access to radio, and correspondence courses that require proctored exams.

Brown appeared to be counting on popular dehumanization of prisoners when his top prison official Jeffrey Beard penned an LA Times Op-Ed claiming that the hunger strike is just a gang power play. But where’s the gang power to be gained by eating adequate food, listening to the radio, or completing a correspondence course?

Tom Hayden has argued that negotiation on these “supplemental demands” could end the strike with dignity on both sides. The core demands, including the end of indefinite solitary confinement, must then be litigated, he said, because neither Governor Brown nor the prisoners are negotiable about them.

I don’t need an expert to convince me that indefinite solitary confinement is torture, in some cases 10, 20, 30, 40 and more years of it. Nor do I need an expert to convince me that it has crippling psychic consequence. This hunger strike did inform me that many California prisoners are confined in solitary after being identified as gang members simply because, for example, they have tattoos, possess Aztec drawings or books by George Jackson, or use an African or Native American language – not because of anything they did inside or outside prison walls. Or, because another prisoner seeking to escape further punishment, identified them as gang members.

California prisoners are human beings and they did not surrender their 8th Amendment right to be protected from cruel and unusual punishment upon sentencing. The limits to sentencing are like the limits to surveillance also promised in the Bill of Rights. They are limits to what the state has the right to do to us. Any of us.

Ann Garrison is an independent journalist who contributes to the San Francisco Bay View, Global Research, and the Black Star News, and produces radio for KPFA-Berkeley and WBAI-New York City.

Militarization and Political Crisis in Mexico

September 4th, 2013 by Robert Sandels

One of Mexico’s most respected military officers, Gen. Tomás Ángeles Dauahare, was recently released from prison after being falsely accused of having drug cartel connections. He warned that Mexico was heading for chaos and cited as one harbinger of the upheaval that was to come an obscure leftist guerrilla front operating in the southern state of Oaxaca

But the threat does not come from guerrilla bands or even from the political left, which is supine at the moment, but rather from the political class and its various subdivisions known as parties. It was not guerrillas or radical leftists who jailed and tortured Ángeles Dauahare and a number of other high-ranking military officers on trumped up, politically motivated charges; it was President Felipe Calderon (2006-2012).

There is indeed a widespread feeling in Mexico that the country is living in a disaster. The southwestern state of Michoacán, for example, is becoming ungovernable as cartels fight for territory. Police abandon whole towns to their fate, military forces are unable or unwilling to restore order and townspeople arm themselves to defend against violence, extortion and the inoperational institutions of the state.

President Enrique Peña Nieto has not changed his predecessor’s militarized anti-drug strategy that led to an estimated 122,000 deaths in six years. (There are much higher estimates.) Policy inertia is visible in many other areas such as the government’s lassitude in the face of perpetual and increasing poverty.

The electoral void

While members of the political class are aware of the deterioration in the country’s institutional and social fabric — they talk about it incessantly — the electoral process is incapable of addressing it. 

The last two elections, the presidential one in July 2012 and the state and local elections in July 2013, give one the feeling that Mexico has drifted into a electionless, partyless, political fog in which nothing is going to be decided that has not already been decided.

Two of the major parties, Peña Nieto’s Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) and the compliant, conservative Partido Acción Nacional (PAN), reflexively united long ago to suppress anything that looks like a challenge from even the mildest reformers on the left.

All progressive structural remedies are rejected. That may seem like an extravagant statement since Peña Nieto ran on a reform platform and, following  his inauguration in December 2012, he has been aggressively pressing a 95-point plan for financial, labor, education, energy and other reforms, most of them aimed at making Mexico look good to foreign investors.

The reforms cover just about everything that needs fixing, but those most likely to be enacted as intended are little more than the almost-everywhere-else discredited IMF/World Bank disaster recipe of privatization, starved public programs, regressive taxation, labor “flexibility” and upward transfers of wealth.  

Almost by definition, labor reform for the benefit of laborers is impossible since the context is Peña Nieto’s ambition to take advantage of Mexico’s cheap labor – now on a par with China’s  – to make Mexico the preferred offshoring destination of US manufacturing and  capital.

If the labor reform rescinds some important labor guarantees and reduces business costs, it’s considered a plus for Mexican global competitiveness. If the education reform disciplines teacher demands and adopts a no-Mexican-child-left-behind system that closes schools based on the standardized testing fetish, it helps to justify the government’s habitual underfunding of public schools.     

But Peña Nieto is going to be judged finally by whether he can privatize the state oil monopoly Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) where others have failed. Though despised for its corruption, Pemex has been the symbol of Mexican sovereignty since President Lázaro Cárdenas (1934-1940) expropriated Mexico’s oil in 1938. It is the third rail of Mexican politics.

The political class and what Mexican analysts call poderes fácticos (de facto powers like the television duopoly that branded and packaged Peña Nieto for popular consumption) are furiously pushing for the Ninety-five Theses of Peña Nieto. If he is successful, the country will be locked by law and constitution into the neoliberal model that has dominated the economy and failed for more than 30 years.

The economic miracles promised since the 1980s by legions of technocrats have failed to materialize, but beneficiaries from that model have profited. Ports, airports, toll roads, mines, railroads and banks have been auctioned off creating great family fortunes and a monopoly-dominated economy.

The model has not created much economic growth – just 1.8% on average in the period 2006-2012 and the numbers are expected to be about the same or lower this year. If population increase is taken into consideration, there has been little or no growth since the 1980s.

Every new president tell us that Mexico’s growing middle class is about to catapult the country into national prosperity. However, a report by the government’s statistical office shows that so far in Peña Nieto’s first year in office the largest class (59.1%) is still the poor.   

Amidst all the discouraging economic numbers, perhaps the most alarming one comes from another government report announcing that 80% of Mexicans are either living in poverty or precariously close to it.

The taxation system seems to be modeled on that of Louis XIV as it leans heavily on every kind of regressive tax to offset generous exemptions for the wealthy and favored businesses. One of the 95 reforms would apply the 16% value-added tax to food and medicine. That’s in addition to the hidden tax behind the ongoing 43 monthly increases in gasoline prices.

To make up for revenues lost through skewed tax policy,  Pemex pays a major part of its oil income to help run what is surely one of the most expensive per-capita governments in the world. (Peña Nieto will soon be flying in his new presidential Boeing 787 Dreamliner.)

A pact fills the void

Whereas presidents of the old PRI, which ruled from 1929 to 2000, simply made phone calls and laws were passed or inconvenient governors defenestrated, Peña Nieto inherited an office whose powers had leeched out to the Congress, state governors and poderes fácticos.

Even with colossal vote buying, Peña Nieto took only 38% of the popular vote in 2012 aided by a tiny green party. His coalition is short of a majority in both houses of Congress.

Acting on the initiative of the center-left Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD), Peña Nieto invited the three major parties to sign a pact (Pacto por México) that commits them in principle to share his view of the future.

In return, they get the semblance of a share in power and greater access to political office through changes they want in the hopelessly dysfunctional electoral system.

The alacrity with which  the presidents of the PAN and PRD signed the pact sent signals abroad that Peña Nieto was about to set in motion great engines of macro-economic progress and political efficiency that could turn Mexico into what international financial markets want it to seem to be.

When Peña Nieto had been in office scarcely four months, Time magazine declared him one of the world’s most influential people. Business publications, addressing those he was influencing, discussed the coming opening of Pemex. A positive State Department report on Mexico’s investment climate referred to a previous failed attempt at privatizing Pemex as a “shortcoming” that Pena Nieto must fix.

But the pact is just a deal between the political class and itself that excluded the parties’ militants and the electorate. The importance of this all-party alliance can’t be overestimated since it undermines elections, marginalizes the legislature and redefines “opposition party.”

Voting for the perceived corrupt

The pact is not a power-sharing device though there may be rewards as we see in the July 7 local and state elections. These were supposed to be the elections to show that the PRI, returned to national power eight months earlier after a 12-year hiatus, could strengthen its grip on the country by achieving the carro completo (full car) with all the PRI candidates on board wining.

But Peña Nieto backed away from challenging the questionable outcome in the important Baja California gubernatorial race after the mysterious collapse of early vote-counting. Instead of loudly demanding a recount, the president graciously recognized the PAN candidate’s victory.

Well, why not? A previous president from Peña Nieto’s party allowed the PAN to take over the state in 1989 in the first of many alliances with the party that strengthened the PRI’s bulwarks against the left.

The perfectly reasonable explanation for Peña Nieto’s generosity is that it was worth losing Baja California to keep the PAN from exiting the pact and withholding its votes for the crucial Pemex privatization.

The elections also were notable for a none-of-the-above voter indifference as turnout hovered around 30%-40% in the 14 states that held elections.  Indifference is reflected too in the ratings political parties received in the latest report from Transparency International.  According to its annual survey of perceived corruption, Mexicans rated their parties near the maximum in corruption scoring 4.4 points out of a possible 5, placing Mexico near the bottom among the 107 countries included in the survey.

Popular disdain for political parties may also account for the fine performance of Morris the Cat, who received over 7,000 votes for mayor of Xalapa, Vera Cruz. Then there was the officially deceased accused rapist who won a mayoral race in San Agustín Amatengo, Oaxaca.

However, the real stealth candidate was the narco industry, which for years has controlled elections in some parts of the country. There were reports of kidnapped election officials and murdered candidates while some candidates in Chihuahua, Michoacán and Sinaloa dropped out due to death threats. No one knows how much narco money has entered the system.

A pact in trouble

The Pemex question is not being decided by the ballot or by open national debate but rather by a pact signed by three men and by the votes of their delegates in Congress. The popular vote on the issue will be confined to an unofficial referendum, which the government opposed because it would represent popular opinion, and mass mobilizations in September.

PRD founder CuauhtémocCárdenas, son of President Lázaro Cárdenas, led a march on September 1 in Mexico City. On September 8, Andrés Manuel López Obrador will conduct a rally in the capital’s main square (Zócalo). Coincidentally, CuauhtémocCárdenas lost to a PRI candidate in the fraudulent election of 1988 and López Obrador lost to Peña Nieto in the fraudulent election of 2012.

But the pact has not snuffed out party interests. Just nine months into his six-year term, Peña Nieto’s pact shows signs of coming apart.  The PAN, heartened by the outcome in Baja California, remains loyal, even advancing its own Pemex privatization plan. But it is hardly united as it goes from handwringing over the stupendous loss suffered in the 2012 presidential election to open warfare between factions fighting for possession of the party’s corpse and any crumbs of power and privileges Peña Nieto might toss them.

And there is unrest in the PRD, which lost badly in 2013 after having risen to its highest point since 1988 during López Obrador’s 2012 presidential run. López Obrador, the only reform leader with a mass national following, has taken his wing of the PRD with him to form the Movement Regeneración Nacional (Morena).

It is perhaps with these setbacks in mind that some PRD officials have begun finding fault with the pact as though they had just discovered what was in it.   The party’s secretary general is now saying the pact is “a smoke screen,” and that Peña Nieto is only promising political reforms to get support for privatizing Pemex.

PRD president Jesús Zambrano, who signed the pact, is warning against Pemex privatization, which, of course, is in the pact. Now, he says his own party, which he personally committed to Peña Nieto’s ambitions, is not even a real party and most of its organizational structures do not work. They are, he said, “supplanted by factional leaders who are the real structures for making decisions, limiting themselves to negotiating jobs and candidacies.”

With the inevitable popular resistance to Pemex privatization and many other toxic reform plans, more PRD loyalists may well find that being a not-party signed into a smoke screen to legitimize the ruling party holds no rewards for them and may migrate to Morena. López Obrador said some of them would not be welcomed.

The reforms emerging from Congress have already created continuous popular protests. Peña Nieto had no accomplishments to report in his state of the nation message September 2. Normally, the ruling party should get all the blame, but the Pacto por México, which is starting to look like a spectacular act of self-immolation, incriminates all of them.

 Robert Sandels is a retired academic and lives in Mexico. He can be reached at [email protected].

Secretary of State John Kerry: “There is no doubt that Saddam al-Assad has crossed the red line. … Sorry, did I just say ‘Saddam’?”

A US drone has just taken a photo of Mullah Omar riding on a motorcycle through the streets of Damascus. 1

So what do we have as the United States refuses to rule out an attack on Syria and keeps five warships loaded with missiles in the eastern Mediterranean?

  • Only 9 percent of Americans support a US military intervention in Syria. 2
  • Only 11% of the British supported a UK military intervention; this increased to 25% after the announcement of the alleged chemical attack. 3
  • British Prime Minister David Cameron lost a parliamentary vote August 29 endorsing military action against Syria 285-272
  • 64% of the French people oppose an intervention by the French Army. 4 “Before acting we need proof,” said a French government spokesperson. 5
  • Former and current high-ranking US military officers question the use of military force as a punitive measure and suggest that the White House lacks a coherent strategy. “If the administration is ambivalent about the wisdom of defeating or crippling the Syrian leader, possibly setting the stage for Damascus to fall to Islamic fundamentalist rebels, they say, the military objective of strikes on Assad’s military targets is at best ambiguous.” 6
  • President Obama has no United Nations approval for intervention. (In February a massive bombing attack in Damascus left 100 dead and 250 wounded; in all likelihood the work of Islamic terrorists. The United States blocked a Russian resolution condemning the attack from moving through the UN Security Council)
  • None of NATO’s 28 members has proposed an alliance with the United States in an attack against Syria. NATO’s Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that he saw “no NATO role in an international reaction to the [Syrian] regime.” 7
  • The Arab League has not publicly endorsed support of US military action in Syria; nor have key regional players Saudi Arabia and Qatar, concerned about a possible public backlash from open support for US intervention. 8
  • We don’t even know for sure that there was a real chemical attack. Where does that accusation come from? The United States? The al-Qaeda rebels? Or if there was such an attack, where is the evidence that the Syrian government was the perpetrator? The Assad regime has accused the rebels of the act, releasing a video showing a cave with alleged chemical-weapon equipment as well as claiming to have captured rebels possessing sarin gas. Whoever dispensed the poison gas – why, in this age of ubiquitous cameras, are there no photos of anyone wearing a gas mask? The UN inspection team was originally dispatched to Syria to investigate allegations of earlier chemical weapons use: two allegations made by the rebels and one by the government.
  • The United States insists that Syria refused to allow the UN investigators access to the site of the attack. However, the UN request was made Saturday, August 24; the Syrian government agreed the next day. 9
  • In rejecting allegations that Syria deployed poison gas, Russian officials have argued that the rebels had a clear motivation: to spur a Western-led attack on Syrian forces; while Assad had every reason to avoid any action that could spur international intervention at a time when his forces were winning the war and the rebels are increasingly losing world support because of their uncivilized and ultra-cruel behavior.
  • President George W. Bush misled the world on Iraq’s WMD, but Bush’s bogus case for war at least had details that could be checked, unlike what the Obama administration released August 29 on Syria’s alleged chemical attacks – no direct quotes, no photographic evidence, no named sources, nothing but “trust us,” points out Robert Parry, intrepid Washington journalist.

So, in light of all of the above, the path for Mr. Obama to take – as a rational, humane being – is of course clear. Is it not? N’est-ce pas? Nicht wahr? – Bombs Away!

Pretty discouraging it is. No, I actually find much to be rather encouraging. So many people seem to have really learned something from the Iraqi pile of lies and horror and from decades of other American interventions. Skepticism – good ol’ healthy skepticism – amongst the American, British and French people. It was stirring to watch the British Parliament in a debate of the kind rarely, if ever, seen in the 21st-century US Congress. And American military officers asking some of the right questions. The Arab League not supporting a US attack, surprising for an organization not enamored of the secular Syrian government. And NATO – even NATO! – refusing so far to blindly fall in line with the White House. When did that last happen? I thought it was against international law.

Secretary of State John Kerry said that if the United States did not respond to the use of chemical weapons the country would become an international “laughingstock”. Yes, that’s really what America and its people have to worry about – not that their country is viewed as a lawless, mass-murdering repeat offender. Other American officials have expressed concern that a lack of a US response might incite threats from Iran and North Korea. 10

Now that is indeed something to laugh at. It’s comforting to think that the world might be finally losing the stars in their eyes about US foreign policy partly because of countless ridiculous remarks such as these.

United States bombings, which can be just as indiscriminate and cruel as poison gas. (A terrorist is someone who has a bomb but doesn’t have an air force.)

The glorious bombing list of our glorious country, which our glorious schools don’t teach, our glorious media don’t remember, and our glorious leaders glorify.

  • Korea and China 1950-53 (Korean War)
  • Guatemala 1954
  • Indonesia 1958
  • Cuba 1959-1961
  • Guatemala 1960
  • Congo 1964
  • Laos 1964-73
  • Vietnam 1961-73
  • Cambodia 1969-70
  • Guatemala 1967-69
  • Grenada 1983
  • Lebanon 1983, 1984 (both Lebanese and Syrian targets)
  • Libya 1986
  • El Salvador 1980s
  • Nicaragua 1980s
  • Iran 1987
  • Panama 1989
  • Iraq 1991 (Persian Gulf War)
  • Kuwait 1991
  • Somalia 1993
  • Bosnia 1994, 1995
  • Sudan 1998
  • Afghanistan 1998
  • Yugoslavia 1999
  • Yemen 2002
  • Iraq 1991-2003 (US/UK on regular no-fly-zone basis)
  • Iraq 2003-2011 (Second Gulf War)
  • Afghanistan 2001 to present
  • Pakistan 2007 to present
  • Somalia 2007-8, 2011 to present
  • Yemen 2009, 2011 to present
  • Libya 2011
  • Syria 2013?

 

The above list doesn’t include the repeated use by the United States of depleted uranium, cluster bombs, white phosphorous, and other charming inventions of the Pentagon mad scientists; also not included: chemical and biological weapons abroad, chemical and biological weapons in the United States (sic), and encouraging the use of chemical and biological weapons by other nations; all these lists can be found in William Blum’s book “Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower”.

A story just released by Foreign Policy magazine, based on newly-discovered classified documents, reports how, in 1988, the last year of the 8-year Iraq-Iran War, America’s military and intelligence communities knew about and did nothing to stop a series of nerve gas attacks by Iraq far more devastating than anything Syria has seen. 11 Indeed, during that war the United States was the primary supplier to Iraq of the chemicals and hardware necessary to provide the Saddam Hussein regime with a chemical-warfare capability. 12

Now, apparently, the United States has discovered how horrible chemical warfare is, even if only of the “alleged” variety.

Humanitarian intervention

Some of those currently advocating bombing Syria turn for justification to their old faithful friend “humanitarian intervention”, one of the earliest examples of which was the 1999 US and NATO bombing campaign to stop ethnic cleansing and drive Serbian forces from Kosovo. However, a collective amnesia appears to have afflicted countless intelligent, well-meaning people, who are convinced that the US/NATO bombing took place after the mass forced deportation of ethnic Albanians from Kosovo was well underway; which is to say that the bombing was launched to stop this “ethnic cleansing”. In actuality, the systematic forced deportations of large numbers of people from Kosovo did not begin until a few days after the bombing began, and was clearly a Serbian reaction to it, born of extreme anger and powerlessness. This is easily verified by looking at a daily newspaper for the few days before the bombing began the night of March 23/24, and the few days after. Or simply look at the New York Times of March 26, page 1, which reads:

… with the NATO bombing already begun, a deepening sense of fear took hold in Pristina [the main city of Kosovo] that the Serbs would NOW vent their rage against ethnic Albanian civilians in retaliation.

On March 27, we find the first reference to a “forced march” or anything of that sort.

But the propaganda version is already set in marble.

If you see something, say something. Unless it’s US war crimes.

“When you sign a security clearance and swear oaths, you actually have to abide by that. It is not optional.” – Steven Bucci, of the neo-conservative Heritage Foundation, speaking of Chelsea Manning (formerly known as Bradley) 13

Really? No matter what an individual with security clearance is asked to do? No matter what he sees and knows of, he still has to ignore his conscience and follow orders? But Steven, my lad, you must know that following World War II many Germans of course used “following orders” as an excuse. The victorious Allies of course executed many of them.

Their death sentences were laid down by the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, Germany, which declared that “Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience. Therefore individual citizens have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring.”

Nuremberg Principle IV moreover states: “The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him.”

Manning, and Edward Snowden as well, did have moral choices, and they chose them.

It should be noted that Barack Obama has refused to prosecute those under the Bush administration involved in torture specifically – he declares – because they were following orders. Has this “educated” man never heard of the Nuremberg Tribunal? Why isn’t he embarrassed to make this argument again and again?

I imagine that in the past three years that Manning has had to live with solitary confinement, torture and humiliation, adding mightily to her already existing personal difficulties, the thought of suicide has crossed her mind on a number of occasions. It certainly would have with me if I had been in her position. In the coming thousands and thousands of days and long nights of incarceration such thoughts may be Manning’s frequent companion. If the thoughts become desire, and the desire becomes unbearable, I hope the brave young woman can find a way to carry it out. Every person has that right, including heroes.

The United States and its European poodles may have gone too far for their own good in their attempts to control all dissenting communication – demanding total information from companies engaged in encrypted messaging, forcing the closure of several such firms, obliging the plane carrying the Bolivian president to land, smashing the computers at a leading newspaper, holding a whistle-blowing journalist’s partner in custody for nine hours at an airport, seizing the phone records of Associated Press journalists, threatening to send a New York Times reporter to jail if he doesn’t disclose the source of a leak, shameless lying at high levels, bugging the European Union and the United Nations, surveillance without known limits … Where will it end? Will it backfire at some point and allow America to return to its normal level of police state? On July 24, a bill that would have curtailed the power of the NSA was only narrowly defeated by 217 to 205 votes in the US House of Representatives.

And how long will Amnesty International continue to tarnish its image by refusing to state the obvious? That Cheleas Manning is a Prisoner of Conscience. If you go to Amnesty’s website and search “prisoner of conscience” you’ll find many names given, including several Cubans prominently featured. Can there be any connection to Manning’s omission with the fact that the executive director of Amnesty International USA, Suzanne Nossel, came to her position from the US Department of State, where she served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Organizations?

A phone call to Amnesty’s office in New York was unable to provide me with any explanation for Manning’s omission. I suggest that those of you living in the UK try the AI headquarters in London.

Meanwhile, at the other pre-eminent international human rights organization, Human Rights Watch, Tom Malinowski, the director of HRW’s Washington office, has been nominated by Obama to be Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. Is it really expecting too much that a high official of a human rights organization should not go to work for a government that has been the world’s leading violator of human rights for more than half a century? And if that designation is too much for you to swallow just consider torture, the worst example of mankind’s inhumanity to man. What government has been intimately involved with that horror more than the United States? Teaching it, supplying the manuals, supplying the equipment, creation of torture centers in much of the world, kidnaping people to these places (“rendition”), solitary confinement, forced feeding, Guantánamo, Abu Ghraib, Bagram, Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Chicago … Lord forgive us!

Surrounding Russia

One of the reactions of the United States to Russia granting asylum to Edward Snowden was reported thus: “There was a blistering response on Capitol Hill and calls for retaliatory measures certain to infuriate the Kremlin. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), long one of the Senate’s leading critics of Moscow, blasted the asylum decision as ‘a slap in the face of all Americans’ and called on the administration to turn up the pressure on Moscow on a variety of fronts, including a renewed push for NATO expansion and new missile-defense programs in Europe.” 14

But we’ve long been told that NATO expansion and its missiles in Europe have nothing to do with Russia. And Russia has been told the same, much to Moscow’s continuous skepticism. “Look,” said Russian president Vladimir Putin about NATO in 2001, “this is a military organization. It’s moving towards our border. Why?” 15 He subsequently described NATO as “the stinking corpse of the cold war.” 16

We’ve been told repeatedly by the US government that the missiles are for protection against an Iranian attack. Is it (choke) possible that the Bush and Obama administrations have been (gasp) lying to us?

America’s love affair with Guns

Adam Kokesh is a veteran of the war in Iraq who lives in the Washington, DC area. He’s one of the countless Americans who’s big on guns, guns that will be needed to protect Americans from their oppressive government, guns that will be needed for “the revolution”.

On July 4 the 31-year-old Kokesh had a video made of himself holding a shotgun and loading shells into it while speaking into the camera as he stood in Freedom Plaza, a federal plot of land in between the Washington Monument and the Capitol. This led to a police raid of his home and his being arrested on the 25th for carrying a firearm outside his home or office. The 23-second video can be seen on YouTube. 17

I sent Kokesh the following email:

“Adam: All your weapons apparently didn’t help you at all when the police raided your house. But supposedly, people like you advocate an armed populace to protect the public from an oppressive government. I’ve never thought that that made much sense because of the huge imbalance between the military power of the public vs. that of the government. And it seems that I was correct.”

I received no reply, although his still being in jail may explain that.

Kokesh, incidentally, had a program on RT (Russia Today) for a short while last year.

Notes

  1. The three preceding jokes are courtesy of my friend Viktor Dedaj of Paris
  2. Reuters/Ipsos poll, August 26, 2013
  3. Sunday Times (UK), YouGov poll, August 25
  4. Le Parisien, August 30, 2012
  5. Christian Science Monitor, August 29, 2013
  6. Washington Post, August 29, 2013
  7. The Wall Street Journal, August 30, 2013
  8. Washington Post, August 31, 2013
  9. UN Web TV, August 27, 2013 (starting at minute 12:00)
  10. The Washington Post, August 31, 2013
  11. Shane Harris and Matthew M. Aid, “CIA Files Prove America Helped Saddam as He Gassed Iran”, Foreign Policy, August 26, 2013
  12. William Blum, “Anthrax for Export”, The Progressive (Madison, Wisconsin), April 1998
  13. Washington Post, August 22, 2013
  14. Washington Post, July 31, 2013
  15. Associated Press, June 16, 2001
  16. Time magazine, December 2007
  17. Washington Post, August 13, 2013

Prince Bandar and the Syrian Chemical False Flag

September 3rd, 2013 by Pepe Escobar

Siria no es Iraq

September 3rd, 2013 by Hans von Sponeck

“La decisión sigue adelante, igual que en la invasión de Iraq de 2003, excepto que ahora el comandante en jefe es el presidente Obama y sus compinches están en Londres y en París, y no es el presidente del Consejo de Seguridad de Naciones Unidas”.

Siria no es Iraq, sin embargo, la intensificación del drama en Siria nos recuerda al de Iraq en la invasión de 2003 a manos de la coalición anglo-estadounidense. Las teorías de la conspiración abundaron, la desinformación hizo que los periódicos y los dirigentes políticos engañaron a la opinión pública sin duda. Otra vez millones personas inocentes tienen que huir de sus casas; un gran número de personas están siendo asesinadas y la destrucción continúa. Estos son los hechos que nos constan.

Al mismo tiempo la flota estadounidense y barcos de la OTAN se reúnen en el Mediterráneo, las palabras de Chuck Hagel, secretario de Defensa estadounidense son: “[…] Estamos preparados para atacar”. Estados Unidos, un país moral, económica y políticamente exhausto, prefiere los misiles lanzados desde el mar que las botas sobre el terreno. La decisión sigue adelante, igual que en la invasión de Iraq de 2003, excepto que ahora el comandante en jefe es el presidente Obama y sus compinches están en Londres y en París, y no es el presidente del Consejo de Seguridad de Naciones Unidas.

Washington ha dicho a los inspectores de Naciones Unidas desplegados en Siria para investigar los hechos “[…] No pierdan el tiempo. Es demasiado tarde para que cambien las cosas”, lo mismo que se les dijo a los inspectores desplegados en Iraq. Otra vez estamos ante un premeditado acto de agresión que se va a producir de forma ilegal y sin mandato del Consejo de Seguridad de Naciones Unidas. En la puerta del Consejo de Seguridad debería haber un cartel que dijera: “Hasta nueva orden, el Consejo está fuera de servicio”.

Las ramificaciones de las acciones militares contra Siria —en lugar de llevar adelante negociaciones multilaterales— son difíciles de prever. El precio lo pagará en primer y último lugar el pueblo sirio, que se ve forzado a unirse a los otros muchos que antes que ellos se han convertido en víctimas de la hipocresía hegemónica. Los enfrentamientos se intensificarán más allá de las fronteras de Oriente Próximo. La impunidad no sobrevivirá. Los ciudadanos del mundo están indignados e iracundos, pero algo es seguro: demostrarán su indignación.

Hans C. von Sponeck

El texto original en inglés fue remitido a la CEOSI por correo electrónico el 28 de agosto de 2013

IraqSolidaridad (www.iraqsolidaridad.org), 29 de agosto de 2013

Traducción Paloma Valverde

No a la intervención de Estados Unidos y la OTAN en Siria

September 3rd, 2013 by BRussells Tribunal

“La población siria ha sido la mayor víctima de todos los tipos de violencia y claramente no necesitan más bombardeos ni destrucción ni de Estados Unidos ni de la OTAN”

Cada guerra que emprende Estados Unidos lo hace afirmando que es el castigo contra un acto deleznable cometido. El uso de armas químicas por parte del gobierno sirio es el último pretexto invocado para justificar la guerra inminente contra Siria, como anteriormente lo fue el incidente del Golfo de Tonkin para la guerra de Vietnam; la masacre de las incubadoras en Kuwait para la primera Guerra del Golfo; la masacre de Racak para la guerra de Kosovo; las armas de destrucción masiva para la invasión y ocupación de Iraq, y la masacre de Bengasi para la guerra de Libia.

Todas estas razones fueron prefabricadas o son muy dudosas, pero lo que realmente sí sabemos es que 12 miembros de las fuerzas rebeldes sirias fueron detenidos en Turquía en mayo pasado. Los rebeldes estaban en posesión de unos dos kilos [4,5 libras] de gas sarin, el gas toxico que se dice que se ha utilizado en el reciente ataque. También sabemos que Carla del Ponte, investigadora del Consejo de Derechos Humanos de Naciones Unidas, declaró en mayo pasado: “[…] Según lo que hemos establecido hasta ahora, los oponentes al régimen son quienes han utilizado el gas sarín”.

E incluso si las últimas acusaciones [contra el gobierno sirio] son ciertas, los ataques aéreos estadounidenses supondrían una agresión ilegal de acuerdo con la legalidad internacional, en tanto en cuanto Estados Unidos y Reino Unido [y Francia] pretenden emprender una guerra sin mandato de Naciones Unidas.

Estados Unidos y Europa no intervienen en Siria para defender los derechos humanos o al pueblo sirio, sino por sus propios intereses imperialistas. Al igual que en guerras anteriores, el odio, el caos y la destrucción es lo único que se conseguirá con el lanzamiento de los misiles estadounidenses contra el pueblo sirio. Una acción militar estadounidense o de la OTAN pondría a la región en llamas.

La población siria ha sido la mayor víctima de todos los tipos de violencia y claramente no necesitan más bombardeos ni destrucción ni de Estados Unidos ni de la OTAN.

Estamos en contra de cualquier tipo de intervención militar extranjera, incluida la intervención de las milicias, que convierten la lucha [de los pueblos] en un baño de sangre sectario y amenazan la unidad de Siria.

El mundo ha aprendido de los desastres de Iraq, Afganistán y Libia; incluso el pueblo estadounidense está cansado de estas guerras costosas y fútiles.

Nosotros, el pueblo —enfrentados perpetuamente con dirigentes políticos criminales de guerra, corruptos y que carecen de integridad—, estamos superados en número por la desalmada violencia, la avaricia de las industrias armamentísticas y su hegemonía.

Nosotros, el pueblo, exigimos que se detenga de manera inmediata la agresión contra el pueblo sirio y que se renueven los intentos de encontrar una solución política a la crisis.

 

Comité ejecutivo del Tribunal BRussells

Tribunal BRussells (www.brussellstribunal.org), 28 de agosto de 2013
IraqSolidaridad (www.iraqsolidaridad.org), 29 de agosto de 2013

Traducción Paloma Valverde

Duty to Warn: 9/11 and Cognitive Dissonance

September 3rd, 2013 by Dr. Gary G. Kohls

There is an epidemic of a psychological phenomenon called cognitive dissonance in the world today. Everybody is susceptible to the reality of cognitive dissonance in one degree or another, but, to many observers, it seems to be especially prevalent in average Americans today.

Cognitive dissonance refers to the psychological or emotional discomfort felt when one is confronted with new information or a new reality that contradicts one’s deeply held beliefs or belief systems. It seems especially common among people who have been victimized by TV commercials and other methods of brain-washing and propaganda. It is also true of cult membership that is led by a charismatic, deceptive leader or membership in some other authoritarian system, including punitive parenting and religious or political indoctrination.

When there is a confrontation of conflicting and mutually exclusive beliefs, intelligent, open-minded and thoughtful people are usually willing to change their minds by re-evaluating their prior stances, looking carefully and honestly at the new evidence, reassessing the credibility of both positions and then making a decision to adopt or reject the new information, depending on the evidence before them.

Close-minded, distracted, uninformed, ignorant, too-busy, addicted or intensely conservative people may not, for a variety of reasons, have the time, inclination, intelligence or political will to look at new evidence that might run contrary to their ingrained beliefs. Therefore they may unconsciously or reflexively reject the new information, even if the evidence is overwhelmingly and provably true.

Two good examples of avoidance of unwelcome truths (and the fear of cognitive dissonance) about atrocities committed during US wars of aggression are the corporate media’s total blackballing of these taboo subjects: veterans of the Vietnam War and the Afghanistan/Iraq wars coming home to testify about the war crimes they committed overseas. (See http://www.wintersoldier.com/; http://links.org.au/node/3343; and  http://www.ivaw.org/wintersoldier)

Of course the threat of being ostracized or accused of being insufficiently patriotic, traitorous or risking one’s job for telling the truth are also huge factors in covering up the Crime of the Century. The hidden message is “what is happening to Julian Assange, Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden and what happened to JFK, RFK, MLK and Paul Wellstone might happen to you!” As Daniel Ellsberg, the famous whistle-blowing Pentagon Papers “conspiracy theorist” that leaked the painful truths about the atrocity-producing Vietnam War, said: “I have had the owners of highly-regarded media companies confide in me privately that they don’t believe the government’s version of 9/11 but are scared of discussing it publicly because they don’t want to be tarred-and-feathered for discussing “conspiracy theories”. (See http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=25286)

People who freeze, faint, flee or fight when they are confronted with information that contradicts what they thought they knew are often influenced by spokespersons for authoritarian entities that have hidden agendas involving survival, greed and power. Usually such thought-leaders are financed by wealthy elites of the ruling class that have easy access to powerful propaganda machinery. One only has to look at America’s various media empires – owned and operated by excessively wealthy, politically conservative corporations – whose real interests are well hidden.

Holding conflicting ideas simultaneously is difficult or impossible for most people (except for the bribed, the ignorant, the distracted, the semiconscious, the drugged or those with an “I don’t give a damn” attitude). So the natural instinct for most humans is to make a judgment in favor of the old, deeply embedded idea. The tendency to be dismissive of the new information, even to the point of angrily labeling the new idea a “conspiracy theory” and then ridiculing the “conspiracy theorists” who have challenged them with unwelcome facts.

Not to do so may result in having to admit ones errors, which, to many people (especially Western men), can be psychologically intolerable. Another good example of cognitive dissonance and denial are certain religious fundamentalists who, while professing that the bible is inerrant, have to be in denial of the fact that there are numerous internal contradictions and inconsistencies between the Old Testament’s ethical teachings that often justifies homicidal violence and the nonviolent ethics of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount that forbids homicidal violence.

Cognitive dissonance and 9/11 truth

The best recent example of society-wide cognitive dissonance that has placed America on the slippery slope of global conflagration, economic collapse, “Big Brother” surveillance states, endless foreign wars and domestic martial law is what has been happening ever since millions of observant, open-minded patriots saw, and then courageously said something about, what really happened on 9/11/01.

What they saw  contradicted what the 24/7 corporate  media reportage that was coming out of the Cheney/Bush/Rumsfeld/Rove White House and the NeoCons of the Project for the new American Century (google PNAC and 911). The disinformation was obediently echoed – and enforced – by the NSA, the FBI, the CIA, the Pentagon and by members of both political parties who couldn’t admit that they were destined to be part of a major conspiracy that would lead to the evisceration of the Constitution and the deaths of and disruptions to millions of innocent, unarmed men, women and children in the Middle East.

Believe your eyes and not the lies

People who watched the events of 9/11/01 on live television or were actually present in Manhattan saw fireballs erupt near the top of both 110 story twin towers and then burn out rapidly. Most eyewitnesses didn’t see the first plane hit a tower until a day or two later when accidental coverage by some French videographers was shown on US television. President Bush had lied when he said that he had seen the first plane hitting the tower because there was no live TV coverage of that incident.

Many credible eyewitnesses (especially the scores of NYFD firefighters) saw and heard multiple explosions in multiple sites in both towers just before they exploded and were reduced to pyroclastic clouds of fine dust. There is testimonial and video evidence of widespread destruction in the bottom floors of the Twin Towers before the buildings were imploded. See: http://911blogger.com/news/2010-10-06/new-video-911-firefighters-reveal-huge-explosions-towers-collapsed

Sturdy, over-engineered steel girders up to 4 inches thick were nicely sectioned by cutter charges into easily transportable lengths before they hit the ground. Some of those multi-ton steel beam sections had been thrown, at high speed, horizontally, embedding themselves into adjacent buildings up to 600 feet away. Mayor Rudy Giuliani illegally tampered with the crime scene when he ordered the sectioned beams to be hastily shipped overseas as scrap metal to be melted down before they could be examined in the US.

According to the testimony of hundreds of interviewees, some of the explosions originated in the basements of the towers in the minutes before the collapses and after the fireballs had burned out at the top of the towers. One eyewitness who worked in World Trade Center # 7 (later to be demolished by obvious controlled demolition at 5:20 pm – on the direct order of WTC complex owner Larry Silverstein) testified that there were explosions in # 7 before any planes hit the other two towers. That man has since died under suspicious circumstances after giving his dramatic and dissonance-inducing testimony on live TV.

Many physicists, engineers, chemists, architects, jet pilots, demolition experts, scientists, intelligence agents and others (those not co-opted or bribed by special interests) have been exhaustively evaluating the video footage of the collapses of the three towers. They have concluded that the official conspiracy theories were patently false.

Any honest viewer of even a few of the thousands of YouTube videos on the subject of 9/11 will agree with those expert observers. The scientists among them have proven, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that all three towers came down at accelerating free-fall speed, meaning that there was nothing structurally intact below the top of the collapsing buildings. Pulverized concrete and suddenly transected steel columns offered no resistance to the falling buildings, a reality that totally destroys the absurd pancake theory that the White House and uninformed others want gullible people to believe.

The twin towers had suddenly disintegrated an hour or so after the fires had extinguished themselves and only black, oxygen-starved smoke from low temperature office fires was coming from the buildings. No plane hit #7 and only a few insignificant, easily controllable office fires (which did not occur because of falling debris, since no windows had been broken on the involved floors) were present in that over-engineered (for sturdiness and safety) high security building. Curiously, WTC 7 contained many offices of powerful entities like the CIA, Mayor Giuliani’s emergency command center and the SEC’s (Security and Exchange Commission) files on Enron and other corrupt corporations that were heading to litigation.

Within hours of the twin towers being explosively pulverized into fine dust, the corporate media was already reporting that culprits had suddenly been identified, accused, convicted and condemned, all without a jury trial. Suddenly there were pictures on every news report of 19 young Saudi Arabian men and the terminally-ill, recent American ally Osama bin Laden (who had already been nicely demonized in the American media). The major media conveniently failed to report later that at least six of these alleged suicide bombers had been found, alive and well, in the Middle East. Go figure.

The “lone assassin” and false flag operations fool most of the people most of the time

It is important to de-mystify the favored “blame it on a deranged lone shooter instead of guilty entities that profit from the killing” explanation (and therefore non-conspiratorial] for assassinations that governments love to trot out when their official pat answers about how the latest progressive leader or journalist or whistleblower had been “offed”.

Recall the “lone assassins” Lee Harvey Oswald, James Earl Ray and Sirhan Sirhan who had been fingered as ending the lives and missions of antifascist peace and justice advocates like JFK, MLK and RFK.

There is abundant evidence, always silenced by a total media blackout, that legitimately questions the validity of the official theories of, for example, who killed JFK, MLK and RFK, or Paul Wellstone, for that matter. (See Dr. James Fetzer’s www.assassinationscience.com and http://911caper.com/2011/03/12/paul-wellstone-they-killed-him-a-15-part-documentary/ for much more on these and other critically important issues that can cause cognitive dissonance.)

Devious opinion leaders and disinformation agents like to proclaim simplistic, superficially plausible explanations for complex events, especially when corporate or state interests are at stake. These entities hire cunning communications experts that are geniuses at “explaining/propagandizing” everything with pithy slogans and 20-second sound bites that are articulated by “embedded” journalists and their “news reports” (that are actually propaganda pieces) that most of us patriotic (and very short-attention-span) Americans want to believe. Even incredibly complex situations like American invasions of or attacks against sovereign nations are often only given simplistic explanations whose opposing points of view are rarely given adequate media exposure.

False flag operations are clever, pre-planned propaganda events that governments orchestrate in order for it to justify going to war.

In addition to the obvious false flag operation of 9/11, the Berlin Reichstag Fire, Operation Northwoods and the Gulf of Tonkin episodes (google them) come readily to mind. False flag ops, breathlessly proclaimed and endlessly referred to (and therefore ultimately accepted as truth by most folks), fool many supposedly smart Senators and Representatives, as well as presidents. Of course, one must also wonder how many or our so-called leaders in the fall of 2001 were in on the deception or have since been part of the cover-up (and therefore an accomplice of the crime).

Many citizens simply want to be led by a charismatic leader or an attractive Prime Minister or President, but what happens if these citizens are incapable of using what may be seriously atrophied critical thinking skills? Do they wind up believing what they have been told over and over again by the ruling elites who have control of the White House, the Congress, the Supreme Court and fraudulent investigative committees like the 9/11 Truth [sic] Commission? Indeed that is the case. And what guarantees the success of the elite ruling class’s agenda is their control over what gets published or discussed in the media.

Lone assassin theories and false flag operations are absurdly easy to propagate by endlessly repeating the sound bites and perpetually re-stating lies as truth. 19 brown-skinned, bearded Arabs and a dying, despised Osama bin Laden were easy patsies, just like the patsies Oswald, Ray, Sirhan and the pilots of Wellstone’s fatal plane. (See the documentary “Wellstone: They Killed Him” at http://www.snowshoefilms.com/wellstone.html and the black-balled [in the US] book exonerating James Earl Ray, titled “An Act of State: The Execution of Martin Luther King”. Also learn about the 1999 jury trial convicting Lloyd Jowers and “other unnamed co-conspirators” for MLK’s murder and listen to King family attorney William Pepper on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWS1KPCmOrI (Preview) and at http://www.williampepper.com/).

It is far too easy for the propagandists to convince us busy, distracted, over-entertained Americans to believe their lies, whether repeated by talking heads on Fox News, CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, MSNBC, PBS, NPR, or regurgitated by normal people in the local bars, street corners or pulpits. And it’s hard to speak up when one is likely to be shouted down by a crowd of dis-informed folks whose opinions have been shaped by cunning propagandists who have had control of the megaphone.

Lessons from Joseph Goebbels, Minister of Propaganda and Public Enlightenment

The master propagandist, now unconsciously emulated was Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda and Public Enlightenment.

Goebbels had authoritarian control over all of Nazi Germany’s print media, radio broadcasts and the movie industry. If it was broadcast on German radio in the 1930s, it was information that was right-wing, state-sanctioned and pro-Nazi. Dissension was verboten, and no alternative news reporting was allowed. Liberal printing presses were smashed and their editors and journalists were often thrown in prison or concentration camps.

As an example of the many official (and legal) repressive actions, Goebbels was able to suppress the showing of the classic antiwar movie “All Quiet on the Western Front” by, initially, having his obedient brown-shirted, thuggish, traumatized ex-combat vets (from World War I) in the right-wing SA set off stink bombs and released mice in the theaters.

Goebbels subsequently banned the showing of that movie, which, by the way, is likewise frowned upon as being too truthful about the savagery of war by all militarized nations, including our own. Goebbels’ techniques of brain-washing eventually were supplemented by harsh legislation that was enforced by the Gestapo and punished by the People’s Courts (often resulting in the death penalty). Listening to radio broadcasts from the BBC was a capital crime in Nazi Germany.

The three “wise” monkeys

As children we all saw the pictures of the “three wise monkeys” that we were told were supposedly telling us to “See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil”. I thought about that “lesson” a lot as I grew up. There was something profoundly true about the image of the monkeys holding their hands over eyes, ears and mouths, but there was something subtly wrong with the sentiment that was giving children a moral message to stay away from evil.

I now think that the three monkeys were actually conveying to us something entirely different. They could as easily have been conveying this much more sobering message, one of obedience to authority: “Avoid seeing, listening or speaking painful truths”; be good little patriots and mindlessly say the pledge of allegiance to the flag every day.

The Sicilian Mafia, who demanded unconditional obedience to authority, probably saw the image and message that way. That brutal organization actually still uses the symbol of the monkeys as emblematic of their code of conduct and “honor”, which is a code of secrecy similar to the oath of allegiance that many powerful institutions abide by, including such groups as the National Security Agency, the Pentagon, the CIA, the FBI, local law enforcement agencies, multinational corporations and many political groups.

The Mafia – as is true of most of the other groups mentioned above – never admits their criminality, immorality or unconstitutional behaviors. The reason that they promote falsehoods or engage in other illegal activities does not involve cognitive dissonance. Rather, they remain silent (pleading the 5th Amendment if they ever get subpoenaed) because they are threatened, are afraid for their lives or livelihood or have been paid off. The rule in many such authoritarian groups is “if you rat on us – you die”. Such “traitors” are cold-shouldered, blackballed, imprisoned or disappeared, which was or will be the fate of all those whistleblowers mentioned above, but their motivation is not the fear of psychological discomfort.

Trying to save the soul of our errant nation by speaking truth to power

Most of the whistleblowers that I know are altruistic patriots who have seen the dark underbelly of their own nations and choose to overcome their cognitive dissonance and courageously speak the painful truth, risking the chance that they will be unfairly labeled “conspiracy theorists” by those that don’t know any better. They are trying to save the souls of their errant, but beloved nations.

The painful truth of the matter is this: contrary to the drumbeat we have heard over and over again about 9/11 for the last 12 years, the Cheney/Bush/Rumsfeld/Rove White House Conspiracy Theory about 9/11 is provably false and the proof has been available since 2001. There has been so much evidence disproving it that it is almost laughable that anybody who looks at the evidence and still believes the lies could still defend their beliefs.  9/11 is still regarded as a taboo subject in America and one of the reasons for average citizens remaining ignorant about it is cognitive dissonance, the reluctance to admit to having been fooled by the propaganda machine. The ability to accept the humiliation of being conned into believing a falsehood is not a common trait among Americans.

Many American may not care enough and perhaps are too distracted, too busy or too addicted (to brain-altering drugs, entertainment, video gaming, food, sports, religion, etc) to take the time to do their own research and to double-check the veracity of what has been proven over and over again about the WTC towers: they were demolished by unknown insiders who pre-planted the explosives and not by foreigners. That is both important and tragic, for 9/11 is the Crime and Cover-up of the Century. It is the most serious issue of our day, the cause of massive death, destruction and wars and one that is deciding the increasingly dismal future that may not be able to sustain a healthy living environment for those who are following us.

To continue to ignore the truths uncovered by the multitudes of thoughtful, highly intelligent and courageous prophetic voices world-wide and to continue to believe the absurd official theories when there is overwhelming evidence to the contrary is to helplessly go along with the evil agenda of shadowy, exploitative, psychopathic powers that are not your friends; nor are they the friends of your children, your nation or the earth. To continue to be oblivius about the Crime and Cover-up of the Century will be putting our children and their planet in peril.

For more information, please start your research here:

(check out these very informative websites that reveal the truth about 9/11, including Dr James Fetzer’s Scholars for 9/11 Truth at http://911scholars.org/, Richard Gage’s Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth at: http://www.ae911truth.org/ or Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Justice at www.----escape_autolink_uri:c5cecbe446d091cf4ad970877ba3442b----.

Dr. Kohls is a retired physician who practiced holistic mental health care for the last decade of his career. He has been involved in peace and justice issues for decades and continues to speak out against totalitarianism, fascism, corporatism, militarism, racism and other anti-democratic movements. He is also a member of Medical Professionals for 9/11Truth

Yes, I know I keep banging on about the BBC but it is such an influential power, not only nationally but also globally, so much so that its pronouncements are most often taken as gospel (objective, impartial, unbiased). But any reading of the history of the BBC should disabuse you of this piece of fiction.

Take the latest swipe at Syria: in a sidebar to the main story, ‘French MPs see ‘evidence’ of Syria chemical weapons‘ (BBC News Website, 2 September 2013. my emph. WB), of which more later, Jeremy Bowen, one of an apparently endless supply of BBC Middle East editors tells us,

“Faisal Mekdad [Syrian deputy foreign minister] is considered to be a very influential man within the regime.

“As you’d expect, the Syrian leadership is quite relishing where it is – it sees itself as eyeball to eyeball with the Americans.

“Syrian leaders see their country as the vanguard of Arab nationalism, the bastion of resistance to Israel. So they’re standing defiant right now.

“I think they will continue their preparations to ride out an American strike.”

This statement, all by itself, sums up the role that the BBC plays in the scheme of things. It’s unashamedly his master’s voice speaking. Frankly, I find this language quite disgusting; “As you’d expect, the Syrian leadership is quite relishing where it is…eyeball to eyeball with the Americans”? This ain’t news, it’s sick entertainment, of a kind that ultimately demonises the Syrian government as bloodthirsty tyrants, who want nothing more than a fight with the USA. But of course without this view of Assad and indeed any ‘dictator’ in a third world country, it would be much more difficult to persuade us that whatever we do, no matter how many we murder in the process of ‘saving’ them, is ultimately for the benefit of the Syrian people (those left alive, that is).

Then Bowen nails the BBC’s political allegiance firmly to the mainmast of HMS Blowemallup with his comment about Syria’s position as being in the “vanguard of Arab nationalism” as though the events in Ghouta are somehow connected to its alleged ‘vanguard’ position? This is nothing less than outrageous propaganda for the Empire and the very fact that it’s placed before us, singled out in a sidebar, is indicative of the nature of the BBC as the mouthpiece for British imperialism.

But note that now, the BBC puts ‘evidence’ in quotes, a change from last week’s ‘news’ coverage, again echoing the vote in Parliament and the necessity to adopt a more circumspect approach to the problem of selling war[1]. Yet throughout its coverage since August 21, aside from the odd reference, there has been no attempt to present an alternative view of what happened in East Ghouta. The assumption is, that it’s in the nature of the Syrian government to commit such a heinous crime. You’ll note that this a permanent feature of Western thinking, what Edward Said called ‘orientalism’, transforming mostly people of colour, into the ‘other’, less than human and hence not worthy of treatment as equals.

It’s Robert Cooper’s ‘law of the jungle’ written in part to rationalise the invasion of Iraq:

The challenge to the postmodern world is to get used to the idea of double standards. Among ourselves, we operate on the basis of laws and open cooperative security. But when dealing with more old-fashioned kinds of states outside the postmodern continent of Europe, we need to revert to the rougher methods of an earlier era Ð force, pre-emptive attack, deception, whatever is necessary to deal with those who still live in the nineteenth century world of every state for itself. Among ourselves, we keep the law but when we are operating in the jungle, we must also use the laws of the jungle. In the prolonged period of peace in Europe, there has been a temptation to neglect our defences, both physical and psychological. This represents one of the great dangers of the postmodern state. – ‘The new liberal imperialism‘ By Robert Cooper

In yet another piece, this time by Mark Mardell, the BBC’s North American editor, he tells us,

“If Congress doesn’t back him, it will be disastrous for the president.

“His decision to call for a vote will look foolish and he would be left with an appalling choice.

“Ignore the vote and enrage Congress and many Americans. Or don’t strike and live with John Kerry’s words that America will be weakened, petty dictators emboldened and history’s judgement harsh on America’s leaders.” – ‘Syria crisis: Obama’s gamble on Congress‘, BBC News Website, 2 September 2013

And not only disastrous for the Prez, it will be disastrous for the BBC and its endless warmongering. Echoing the ‘official’ position, Mardell chooses to select Kerry’s bellicose statements. It’s outrageous! As far as the BBC is concerned it’s war, war and yet more war.

But at least one US congressman was not impressed by the secret ‘evidence’, even if Mardell is (although he’s not seen it),

ÒI have just attended a classified Congressional briefing on Syria that quite frankly raised more questions than it answered. I found the evidence presented by Administration officials to be circumstantialÓ É. liberal Democrat Tom Harkin says in a statement released after todayÕs classified Capitol Hill briefing. – Democrat, Tom Harkin, ‘Weekly Standard‘, 1 September 2013

Craig Murray, former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, and someone with direct experience of the UK’s spying operations in the Middle East tells us,

Israel has now provided ÒintelligenceÓ to the United States designed to allow the United States to join in with IsraelÕs bombing and missile campaign.

The answer to the Troodos Conundrum is simple. Troodos did not pick up the intercepts because they do not exist. Mossad fabricated them. John KerryÕs ÒevidenceÓ is the shabbiest of tricks. — Craig Murray, ‘The Troodos Conundrum, 31 August 2013

Moreover, as more and more reports become available that run counter to the official story (here, here and here, and here), surely its incumbent on the BBC to at least consider them? Yet you can trawl through the ninety-four, yes ninety-four stories the BBC’s news website has carried since 21 August on Ghouta (until 2 September) and not find a single story dedicated to any view other than the official line, that the Syrian government did it.

This is a criminal dereliction of duty on the part of the BBC, whose mandate is to report, accurately and impartially, events. Instead, the BBC’s ‘news’ coverage amounts to nothing more than propaganda for the state, without the slightest attempt at presenting conflicting views or interpretation of events. Is this what we should expect from a publicly funded news organisation especially one that has cloaked itself in a veneer of objectivity?

But the BBC operates according to Robert Cooper’s view of the world, one that represents white people, and rich white people at that numbering no more than a few tens of thousands of individuals, that 1%. That in ‘Tomahawking’ Syria, we are saving ‘civilisation’ for the 1%.

Note

1. This change alone should make you stand up and take notice! How can something, that last week, was presented to us as fact, now be in question? How does the BBC justify the quotes?

Al-Qaeda fanatics performed thousands of executions, however, a new shocking video comes from Syria.

The victims in the video are two boys. In the video can be seen a terrorist reading death sentence to the boys, gunfire is heard, boys fall dead.

Screenshot YouTube

It is known that al-Qaeda is fighting against Assad regime in Syria. This is one of many cruel executions in Syria – one video showed rebels pulling out a heart of a Syrian army soldier.

Another shocking video revealed rebels slaughtering two Christian priests with knives in the presence of women and children.

US-Backed Terrorists Behead 24 Syrians Including Baby

September 3rd, 2013 by Global Research News

Al-Qaeda linked terrorists in Syria have beheaded all 24 Syrian passengers traveling from Tartus to Ras al-Ain in northeast of Syria, among them a mother and a 40-days old infant.

Gunmen from the terrorist Islamic State of Iraq and Levant stopped the bus on the road in Talkalakh and killed everyone before setting the bus on fire.

According to media reports, the attack was carried out because the passengers who were from three different villages in Ras al-Ain, supported anti-terrorist Kurdish groups which were formed recently to defend Kurdish population against anti-Syria terrorists.

Bodies of a mother and her 40-days infant were also seen among the dead, which were recognized by their relatives.

Hawkish US Senator John McCain (C) poses with infamous kidnapper in Syria, Mohamed Nour (seen with his hand on his chest and holding a camera)

Hawkish US Senator John McCain (C) poses with infamous kidnapper in Syria, Mohamed Nour (seen with his hand on his chest and holding a camera)

Syrian Kurdish leader Saleh Muslim warned on Friday that the Kurd minority is facing an ethnic cleansing by al-Qaeda terrorists.

While there is no end in sight to the bloody foreign-fueled conflict in Syria, another front has been formed between the Kurdish militia and extremist militants in Northern Syria.

Al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist groups operating in the country, including the al-Nusra Front, are trying to capture Kurdish territories and make them part of a state they want to create in the region.

Following deadly attacks on Kurdish regions in recent months, groups of Kurdish militia were formed to protect their people.

Anti-Syria armed groups continue to target civilians amid US threats against Syrian army and government which have made militants find it easier to widen their attacks.

Following worldwide criticism, US President Barack Obama delayed an imminent military strike against Syria on August 31, sending the matter to the Congress to get more support.

 

by Greg Shupak

The Libyan campaign not only caused extensive death and human rights violations, but it may usher in decades of more war.

Liberal interventionists thought they had this one.  Their doctrine had seemingly triumphed in Libya.  Not only were the usual suspects, the Christopher Hitchenses, the Bernard-Henri Levys, peddling the notion that NATO could be a global constabulary for the enforcement of human rights, but more careful commentators like Juan Cole and Gilbert Achcar had also backed Western intervention. If NATO’s war in Libya has now lost some of its initial luster, it is primarily because the murder of US Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other Americans brought worldwide attention to the nature of the forces the war unleashed and to the chaotic state in which Libyans now find themselves.

But the shine was, from the start, an illusion, as Maximilian Forte proves in his important new book, Slouching Towards Sirte. Forte thoroughly chronicles NATO’s bombing of Libya and the crimes against humanity for which NATO is responsible. The author takes us on a tour of Sirte after it had been subject to intense NATO bombardment by chronicling journalists’ impressions of the city in October 2011. Reporters observed, “Nothing could survive in here for very long,” that the city was “reduced to rubble, a ghost town filled with the stench of death and where bodies litter the streets,” that it was a place “almost without an intact building,” whose infrastructure “simply ceased to exist,” and resembled “Ypres in 1915, or Grozny in 1995,” or postwar “Leningrad, Gaza or Beirut.”

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Forte describes numerous NATO operations which, he argues, rose to the level of war crimes. For example, he discusses a NATO strike on a farming compound in the town of Majer on 8 August 2011. A Human Rights Watch investigation concluded that NATO fired on the compound twice, the second time killing 34 civilians who had come to look for survivors —a tactic familiar to those who follow US drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen—and found no evidence that the target had been used for military purposes. In its examination of five sites where NATO caused civilian casualties, the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) found that at four of those sites NATO’s characterization of the targets as “‘command and control nodes’ or ‘troop staging areas’ was not reflected in evidence at the scene and witness testimony.” In view of these and other killings of civilians by NATO, Palestinian lawyer Raji Sourani remarks that the Independent Civil Society Mission to Libya of which he was a part has “reason to think that there were some war crimes perpetrated” by NATO. Through this method, Forte shows the fundamental contradiction of humanitarian wars: they kill people to ensure that people are not killed.

Racist Rebels

One lesson liberal interventionists should draw from the Libyan war is that the mere fact of opposing a tyrant does not indicate that a given rebel group values human rights. Forte persuasively demonstrates that the thuwar – the anti-Qadhafi fighters – had no such standards.  On October 21 2011, 66 bodies were found at the Mahari Hotel, at least 53 of whom were executed by a rebel militia.  An undetermined portion of these were Qadhafi loyalists who had been captured along with Qadhafi himself.  Those killed at the hotel were shot with rifles and many had their hands tied behind their backs and some can be seen on video being abused before their execution. NATO plainly shares responsibility for these crimes because before NATO bombing commenced, the insurgents were on the verge of defeat and could not have won the war without NATO air cover, arms, money, and diplomatic support.

The most serious indictment of NATO’s rebel allies is their violent treatment of black Libyans and migrant workers from countries in southern Africa.  For instance, when Tripoli fell to rebels in August 2011, a reporter for The Independent visited a makeshift hospital controlled by the insurgents and found the decomposing bodies of 30 men, many of whom had their hands bound behind their backs and almost all of whom were black. Hostility towards these groups has its origin in the rumor that Qadhafi employed large numbers of mercenaries from southern Africa, a notion popularized early in the rebellion, and spread throughout Western media and the pro-intervention Al-Jazeera English.  On this aspect of the war Forte quotes Jean Ping, chair of the African Union, as saying that the “NTC seems to confuse black people with mercenaries….They are killing people, normal workers, mistreating them.”

Other evidence confirms Forte’s account. For example, an Amnesty International report notes that the rebels “have ‘arrested’” many suspected African mercenaries “although such ‘arrests’ are better described as abductions.”  The UNHRC report notes, “From the beginning of the uprising in February 2011, dark-skinned migrant workers were targeted – including being killed” [sic]. It appears no mercenaries were used by Qadhafi, and even if he had used such fighters, it would not justify widespread discriminatory practices or pigment-based violent attacks. In any case, as Forte points out, executing captured mercenaries is prohibited by international law.

Forte pays particular attention to the experience of the black residents of Tawergha, a town adjoining Misrata.  Insurgents from Misrata depopulated Tawergha of virtually all of its 10,000-30,000 predominantly black residents and looted and vandalized their homes.  The officer in charge of the rebel garrison in the town said, “We gave [the Tawergha] thirty days to leave.  We said if they didn’t go, they would be conquered and imprisoned.  Every single one of them has left, and we will never allow them to come back.” The UNHRC supports Forte’s account.  It found that “thuwar have extra-judicially executed, otherwise unlawfully killed and tortured to death Tawerghans,” that they have “arbitrarily arrested Tawerghans in locations across Libya,” that “the continuing destruction of Tawergha in the post-conflict period has been done with the intent of . . . preventing the return of displaced Tawerghans,” that these activities constitute “a war crime” and that “the facts indicate crimes against humanity have taken place.”

A Propaganda Campaign

To the extent that the enduring conservative justification for militarism is that every world leader opposed to Western interests is another Hitler, the equivalent for liberal interventionists is the notion that any party to a conflict that they both side with, and deem  likely to lose, are the next Rwandan Tutsis.  The latter group is cast as an innocent, helpless and defenceless people who can only be saved by the might of benevolent and disinterested Western militaries. Thus the residents of Benghazi were put forth as the Tutsis in the Western imaginary – a claim with little basis in fact.

Hysterical claims that Qadhafi was on the verge of carrying out a genocide rang out in the Western press. However, these had little basis. Forte quotes Alan J. Kuperman, noting that, “The best evidence that Khadafy did not plan genocide in Benghazi is that he did not perpetrate it in the other cities he had recaptured either fully or partially — including Zawiya, Misurata, and Ajdabiya.”  During his 42 year rule, Qadhafi faced numerous coup attempts and armed revolts. Though he typically dealt with the alleged perpetrators in a brutal fashion, at no point did his regime behave in a genocidal manner.

Furthermore, the ground for instituting a no-fly zone over Libya through UN Security Council Resolution 1973 was the assertion that Qadhafi was bombing protestors from the sky.  Yet, as Forte demonstrates, US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said that he had no confirmation that Qadhafi fired on Libyans from the air.  Similarly, Al-Jazeera English, US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice, and then-Secretary of State Hilary Clinton circulated the claim that Qadhafi had fed his military Viagra so as to facilitate mass rape.  While it is clear that Qadhafi’s forces committed acts of sexual violence, Forte draws on Amnesty International and other sources to demonstrate that the dissemination of Viagra no more took place than did the Iraqi military’s killing of babies in Kuwaiti incubators in 1991.

The Legitimacy of Political Violence

 Underlying Forte’s accounts of the use of force are vital questions about the legitimacy of political violence. Forte rightly questions why the “international community” permits NATO to carry out a brutal counter-insurgency that is designed to keep Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s undemocratic regime in power instead of a ruthless insurgency but is indignant at the prospect of Qadhafi’s undemocratic regime doing the same to keep itself in power and ward off a ruthless insurgency. Liberal interventionists apparently believe that all violence enacted by NATO militaries or anyone on their side is legitimate, whereas the opposite is true for the violence of NATO’s antagonists. Part of what’s at play here is the question of how social change takes place.

Even in view of the troubles of “democracy” imposition in Afghanistan and Iraq, the liberal interventionists seem to assume that the best way that dark-skinned peoples in the global South can achieve “freedom” is under the tutelage of NATO bombs: “This is a bleak vision of humanity that has been erected by the ‘humanitarians,’” as Forte writes, “one at odds with history, sociology, and anthropology, which are rich with countless cases of people who have been able to fight, resist, and practice multiple forms of self-protection; indeed, local actors struggling for change often prefer their own solutions over those imposed by outsiders.”

Yet, on the question of the legitimacy of political violence, one could argue that Forte at times ensnares himself in a parallel trap.  Hostile readers of his book may come away with the impression that Forte believes Libyans had no right to undertake armed struggle against Qadhafi’s dictatorship under any circumstances – or perhaps even that he views the very idea of a Libyan uprising as something that is, even apart from NATO involvement, to be opposed.  What is needed is for debates about the legitimacy of political violence and intervention to be based on a consistent application of coherent principles and scrupulous attention to the particular details of each conflict, for there are no simple, one-size-fits-all answers to questions about the legitimacy of the use of political violence. 

And while in the early stages of the Libyan conflict there was no guarantee that a protracted war would solve the issues under contestation, it should have been clear to any observer that prolonging combat would displace, kill and maim large numbers of civilians and destroy infrastructure.

For these reasons, the right position on the situation faced by Libyans in February-March 2011 would have been to seek the earliest possible end to armed hostilities. Ample opportunities for a negotiated settlement to the Libyan conflict existed, and Forte shows how NATO and its allies scuttled all attempts to facilitate a peaceful solution to the war.  Qadhafi’s five ceasefire offers were rejected out of hand, including one that was offered hours after the passage of UN Resolution 1973 authorized the use of “all necessary measures” to protect civilians. The African Union’s (AU) attempt at facilitating a ceasefire and negotiations in April was obstructed by NATO and its allies and in June a derivative of this plan was put forth by US Congressman Dennis Kucinich, who later revealed that a peaceful settlement was on the verge of realization but officials in the US State Department deliberately de-railed it.

African Contexts

 The blockage of the AU plan is crucial because it offers some insight into the question of why the West fought its war in the Jamahiriya.  As Forte’s book clarifies, NATO’s war in Libya was at least in part a war for power and control in Africa, one which has hastened the militarization of the continent.  At the centre of what Forte calls a “new scramble for Africa” is the United States’ Africa Command (AFRICOM), an organization based in Germany, and in charge of US military relations with 53 African states.  The Qadhafi regime’s opposition to AFRICOM is a context in which NATO’s decision to intervene on the side of anti-Qadhafi forces must be understood. 

Citing cables from the US embassy in Tripoli, Forte documents American frustration with African governments, “mostly notably…Libya,” who prevented the U.S from establishing a base for AFRICOM operations in Africa and who viewed AFRICOM as a vehicle for “latter-day colonialism.” While the organization claims that its command is “indirect” and that it will collaborate with civilian agencies, Forte quotes AFRICOM commander General Ham as saying that this “does not mean we simply wait for others to ask for our support. I expect our Command to actively seek and propose innovative and imaginative approaches through which we may apply the considerable military capability of the United States to its best advantage.”

The rise and fall of the Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD) is another key context.  CEN-SAD is a Tripoli-Based regional body, formed in 1998 to promote trade, free movement, telecommunications, and security among its member countries.  The organization, which included approximately half of the population and territory of Africa, was a building block of and a source of competition with the AU. Under Qadhafi, Libya was a major player in CEN-SAD as shown by the country’s launching and funding of the Sahel-Saharan Bank for Investment and Commerce (BSIC) and its establishing the Fund for Assistance and Support to Women, Children and Youths. In 2007, CEN-SAD issued a statement “categorically rejecting” AFRICOM and any foreign military presence in any member state. Because of this, US officials were irritated by CEN-SAD, and misrepresented it as a solely Libyan organization.  What CEN-SAD represented was an organization of African states that collectively had the potential to curtail US influence and to chart an independent path for much of the continent.

In view of this, it will come as no surprise that in the month of Qadhafi’s murder, the U.S announced it was sending troops to the Central African Republic, Uganda, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. With Qadhafi’s regime gone, AFRICOM announced before Libya could have an election that a new military relationship had been established between AFRICOM and a post-Qadhafi Libyan government that was appointed by the NTC.  Furthermore, the U.S established an Office of Security Cooperation at the U.S Embassy in Tripoli to “help coordinate security assistance, international military education and training and other security cooperation.” CEN-SAD, meanwhile, is all but defunct.

Another key background point to the war on Libya is China’s ongoing competition with Western interests for access and influence in Africa. In 2009, China surpassed the U.S. as Africa’s largest trading partner. The continent supplied China with a third of its imports and was its second largest source of oil. Africa is a continent rich with not only oil but also strategic minerals. The U.S is heavily import-dependent on materials such as columbium, chromium, and cobalt for its weapons manufacturing. Mozambique, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Congo are major sources of these. Consider in this context Forte’s account of the African Oil Policy Initiative Group, an organization involving Congressional representatives, oil industry lobbyists, and members of the military.  As far back as 2002, this group was calling for an increased American military presence in Africa as a means of securing control of resources, and it identified China and Libya as barriers to this goal.

As NATO’s war in Libyan played out, it was primarily understood within two narratives – a humanitarian one, as well as that of the so-called Arab Spring. Both conceptions suffer from their lack of understanding of the war’s African contexts, which suggest that the continent is at risk of again becoming a global hotspot over which foreign powers battle.  Self-described humanitarians would do well to consider how their advocacy of the Libyan campaign not only caused extensive death and human rights violations but may prove to have helped usher in decades of more war in this continent.

France’s intelligence services released a perfunctory, eight-page brief for war with Syria yesterday, as Socialist Party (PS) Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault met with leaders of France’s right-wing opposition parties to press them to support President François Hollande’s war drive.

Hollande’s intelligence brief is a collection of already-discredited lies, non sequiturs, and unsupported claims. Reviewing it makes clear that Hollande’s charges against the Syrian regime are as unsubstantiated as those of British Prime Minister David Cameron, who suffered a humiliating defeat when he tried to obtain parliamentary approval for war in Syria last week.

The document’s central claim is that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons “notably sarin, in limited attacks against his own people, in particular in April 2013. Intelligence available to us today leads us to estimate that on August 21, 2013, the Syrian regime launched attacks on certain neighborhoods of the Damascus suburbs held by opposition units, with both conventional weapons and the massive use of chemical agents.”

The first lie, that Assad regime forces used chemical weapons in the cities of Saraqeb and Jobar in April, has already been refuted by UN inspector Carla del Ponte. In May, based on UN investigations on the ground in Syria, she stated that the US-backed opposition was responsible for the use of chemical weapons (see: “UN says US-backed opposition, not Syrian regime, used poison gas”). Separately, Turkish authorities found that Syrian opposition fighters in Turkey possessed quantities of sarin gas.

The French brief neither mentions nor attempts to refute these findings, but simply covers up evidence that Al Qaeda-linked forces among its own proxies are responsible for the chemical weapons attacks, both in April and in August.

After spending four pages on details about the composition and command structure of Syria’s chemical weapons forces—that do nothing to show that Assad actually used these weapons—the brief turns to the alleged August 21 attack in Ghouta. Citing “47 original videos” and “other independent evaluations, such as those by Doctors without Borders,” it concludes that reports of events in Ghouta were consistent with Syrian chemical attack. It cites “credible intelligence from many partners” that chemical weapons were part of a Syrian regime attack plan.

It concludes by asserting, “No group in the Syrian opposition currently has the capacity to stock and use such agents, a fortiori in quantities like those deployed on the night of August 21, 2013 in Damascus.”

None of these claims have any credibility. Firstly, the brief was published after first reports emerged of opposition forces claiming responsibility for chemical attacks in Damascus in August—reports that, again, the brief does not address (see: “Report links US-backed Syrian opposition to Ghouta gas attack”). Nor does the brief give any information about the sources of the videos or the “partners” who have given it intelligence.

These “partners” could be the CIA, the Saudi regime, or Al Qaeda-linked forces in Syria—all of which have a vested interest in provoking a war with Syria and a record of lying about major events.

As for the Doctors without Borders organization, it is hardly an “independent” source. It has a long history of ties with US intelligence—notably during the 1980s, when it took US funds and helped promote the Afghan mujahedin who fought the USSR together with the precursors of Al Qaeda. Its former president, Rony Brauman, who still serves on its oversight board, recently penned a column in Le Monde calling for air strikes on Syria.

Accounts of the right-wing politicians’ meetings with Ayrault yesterday further underscored that Paris’ campaign for war against its former colony is based on lies and fabrications.

Describing the government’s case for war after hearing classified intelligence information at his meeting with Ayrault, right-winger Jean-Louis Borloo said: “There is an argumentation, but not evidence.” Despite his euphemistic admission that the Hollande administration had no case for war, Borloo sought to find some way to salvage Hollande’s war drive, proposing “either a UN mandate or a vote in the parliament” to legitimize imperialist aggression against Syria.

The PS’ war drive testifies to the bankruptcy of the entire political establishment. Not only the Hollande administration, but also reactionary petty-bourgeois “left” groups like the Left Front and the New Anti-capitalist Party are implicated in enormous crimes. These parties supported Hollande’s election and have worked to promote the Syrian opposition forces working with the CIA and French intelligence as part of a “revolution” (see: “Gilbert Achcar seeks to cover up his support for Middle East wars”).

They have supported an imperialist proxy war in Syria that now threatens to escalate into a direct US-French intervention and a broad regional war. Such a war—like the wars in Afghanistan or Iraq before it—would cost hundreds of thousands or millions of lives. The campaign for war has been carried out in defiance of broad opposition in the population. Polls Monday showed that 64 percent of the population in France oppose war, up five percent from Thursday.

Ayrault indicated yesterday evening that the French parliament would not vote on war when it meets on Wednesday. He said, “It’s up to the president of the Republic to decide whether there should be a vote … On Wednesday, there will be a debate but no vote.”

This reflects in part the fear of a possible repeat of the stunning defeat Cameron suffered in the British parliament. There is also concern about what will happen in the US Congress. Obama’s about-face to seek Congressional authorization for war after the scheduled French parliamentary debate took Paris by surprise. It does not have the military capability to attack Syria alone.

Press commentators bitterly described Hollande as “trapped” by Obama, with Le Républicain Lorrain calling him as a “magnificent cuckold” whose war plans were jilted by his US partner.

The Hollande administration can sidestep a parliamentary vote for now, however, due to anti-democratic provisions of France’s 1958 constitution, which grants the president extraordinary powers in foreign policy. It was fashioned during the Algerian war for Charles de Gaulle, who took power amid a putsch by parachutists and intelligence operatives to install a government devoted to crushing the Algerian people’s struggle for independence. It specifies that the French president can wage war for 4 months without parliamentary approval.

The Syrian war today testifies to the deepening class divide and the sharpening social tensions between the working class and the entire political establishment. Fifty-five years after the 1958 putsch, the intelligence agencies have fashioned a lying case for war in another former French colony, now with the direct assistance of the pseudo-left parties. These forces are united in their support for imperialist aggression abroad and their hostility to anti-war sentiment in the working class at home.

A concerted campaign is underway for a second vote in Britain’s parliament to sanction war against Syria.

These efforts come in the wake of President Obama’s announcement that he will seek congressional authorisation for military strikes.

This cynical political manoeuvre was forced on Washington by last Thursday’s defeat in the UK parliament of a government motion approving military intervention.

The vote dramatically exposed the absence of credible evidence backing British and American claims that the Assad regime was responsible for the chemical attack on Ghouta—the basis on which they intended to legitimise their long-standing goal of regime change in Syria.

This meant that, faced with mass public opposition and divisions within the ruling elite over the timing and planning of the proposed intervention, the Cameron-led government lost by 13 votes.

Backed by an intensive media and political campaign of lies and misinformation, Obama hopes that his own decision to seek congressional authorisation will provide the much-needed political cover to go to war in defiance of overwhelming anti-war sentiment in the US population.

Likewise, senior figures from all the official parties in Britain regard Obama’s announcement as an opportunity to rerun Thursday’s vote and get the result they intended.

Asked whether Obama had “reopened the question [of war] for parliamentary approval,” former Conservative Party leader Lord Michael Howard replied, “Well I hope so, because I think Parliament, or at least the Opposition in Parliament last week got itself into something of a muddle.”

His comment underscores the absence of any genuine democratic constituency within the bourgeoisie. On the one occasion that parliament accidentally came anywhere near to a vote in line with the wishes of the mass of the population, this is treated as a catastrophe that must be overturned immediately.

In the Telegraph, Conservative London mayor Boris Johnson, stated that Obama’s delayed attack on Syria “is good for Britain—and the PM [David Cameron].”

Johnson airily dismissed the fact that the US itself “used defoliants and napalm in Vietnam” and the “plenty of seemingly authoritative reports on the web—mainly emanating from Russia or Iran—that suggest the chemicals were in fact in the possession of the rebels, or had been supplied by the Saudis.”

The delay would enable the “more difficult question” to be clarified of what the US-led strike was meant to achieve. “Is this a slap on the wrist, or six of the best? Or is it regime change?” he asked.

“If there is new and better evidence that inculpates Assad, I see no reason why the Government should not lay a new motion before Parliament, inviting British participation”, he wrote.

Writing in Rupert Murdoch’s Times, former Conservative defence secretary and chairman of the parliamentary intelligence committee Sir Malcolm Rifkind made clear that Labour leader Ed Miliband had the responsibility to bring such a motion forward.

Labour had tabled an amendment to last Thursday’s government motion calling for United Nations weapons inspectors to be given time to report back before Britain could join in a military assault.

Its purpose, as with Obama’s latest move, was to provide an illegal war with the appearance of legitimacy. The move backfired, however, because although Labour’s amendment was defeated, it exposed divisions—particularly in the Conservative Party—that led to the fall of the government motion.

Rifkind expressed his sympathy with Miliband’s efforts to distance his party from “the shadow of Tony Blair and the irresponsible rush to war in Iraq by Mr. Blair and George W. Bush.”

But the Labour leader had a “very special obligation over the next few days”, he continued. While a number of those who defeated the government motion were opposed to war against Syria, this was not the case with Miliband, Rifkind said, who had “emphasise[d] several times in his speech that he and the Labour Party were not necessarily against military intervention as proposed by the Prime Minister,” including “without the express approval of the Security Council.”

Now that the timing of an attack had changed, he went on, Miliband and Cameron “should meet privately and discuss whether there is now sufficient common ground that would allow them to agree a common British policy together with our international allies.”

“It would not be easy for either of them, but the national interest and the need to restore Britain’s international reputation must take precedence.”

Separately, former Liberal Democrat leader Lord Paddy Ashdown called on Miliband to hold a debate on the so-called evidence against the Syrian regime produced by Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday. Parliament could “think again…in light of new developments,” Ashdown said.

Publicly, the government has ruled out putting a new motion. A spokesperson for Cameron said that the “government has absolutely no plans to go back to parliament”.

Foreign Secretary William Hague had also said that he did not believe there was an “immediate possibility” of rerunning the vote. But he hinted that military intervention could be back on the table, provided the Labour leadership played “a less partisan and less opportunistic role and be prepared to take yes for an answer in terms of the motions that we present to the House of Commons.”

Interviewed on Channel 5 on Friday, Miliband admitted that Labour’s amendment was not intended to rule out British involvement altogether but to establish the basis on which it could take place.

Telegraph columnist and Blair supporter Dan Hodges, who announced he was resigning from Labour in response to the vote, said Cameron should “call Ed Miliband’s bluff.”

Noting the Labour leader’s comment immediately after the vote that “we must not abandon the Syrian people”, Hodges said Cameron should announce a timetable for parliament to “finally give a definitive view on military action” and put Miliband “to the test.”

Labour has responded pathetically out of fear that it has inadvertently upset the only constituency that really matters to it—multibillionaire oligarchs such as Rupert Murdoch.

Such is the clamour now going up amongst its ranks for a second vote that the Guardian ’s Andrew Sparrow wrote in his parliamentary blog, “we have now got to the point where Labour are sounding more interventionist” than the Tories.

Labour’s defence secretary, Jim Murphy, has said if there were “really significant developments in Syria…of course the Prime Minister has the right to bring that back to Parliament.”

Former Labour culture secretary Ben Bradshaw said Cameron should “accept our amendment and let’s come back and do it”.

In parliament yesterday, Labour’s business secretary, Chuka Umunna, stated,

“If in light of changing circumstances, the Prime Minister chooses to come back to parliament, then as a responsible opposition we must consider that.”

by Desmond Fernandes

In ‘Means of attack identified, but not motive” (Guardian, 30 August), it was reported that Britain’s Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) assessment on the Syrian chemical weapons (CW) attacks based its “conclusion that the Syrian regime was ‘highly likely’ to be responsible, … partly on precedent and the firm view that the opposition was not capable of carrying out attacks on this scale”.

JIC’s assessment, which was used by Cameron “to build the case for action” against the Syrian regime (‘Cameron forced to rule out British attack on Syria’, Guardian, 30 August), asserted that

“it is being claimed, including by the regime, that the attacks were either faked or undertaken by the Syrian Armed Opposition. We have tested this assertion using a wide range of intelligence and open sources, and invited HMG (Her Majesty’s Government) and outside experts to help us establish whether such a thing is possible. There is no credible intelligence or other evidence to substantiate the claims or the possession of CW by the opposition. The JIC has therefore concluded that there are no plausible alternative scenarios to regime responsibility”.

The JIC report appears to have cynically dismissed the following findings and conclusions. On 25 June 2013, Professor Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research stated:

“If we look at various media reports, including CNN but it is also acknowledged in Israeli media, the rebels, namely Al-Nusra, are in possession of chemical weapons but, moreover, it is acknowledged that western forces are actually training Al-Nusra rebels in Jordan and Turkey and this is confirmed by a December 9 CNN report. We had subsequently the report of the United Nations independent mission which confirms that rebel forces are in possession of sarin nerve gas and the United Nations human rights investigators actually made a statement to that effect … In fact, what they said is that the rebels were in possession of chemical weapons. Then, we also had a Turkish police report, which essentially confirmed these previous reports, the fact that the Al-Nusra terrorists who are supported by the Western military alliance, they were arrested with sarin gas in their possession” (‘Obama overtly supports al-Qaeda, provides terrorists with chemical weapons’, Global Research).

A 9 December 2012 CNN report confirmed that the Western military alliance had also sent in military contractors and special forces to train the rebels in chemical weapons related issues.

John Glaser also noted in an Antiwar.com article (‘US Defence contractors training Syrian rebels’, 10 December 2012) that

“the US decision to hire unaccountable defence contractors to train Syrian rebels to handle stockpiles of chemical weapons seems dangerously irresponsible in the extreme”.

As Chossudovsky concluded on 17 June 2013:

“Lets be under no illusion. This is not a rebel training exercise in non-proliferation of chemical weapons. While president Obama accuses Bashar Al Assad, the US-NATO military alliance is channeling chemical weapons to Al-Nusra, a terrorist organisation on the State Department blacklist. In all likelihood, the training of Al-Nusra rebels in the use of chemical weapons was undertaken by private military contractors … The forbidden truth, which the Western media has failed to reveal, is that the US-NATO-Israel military alliance is not only supporting the Al-Nusra Front, it is also making chemical weapons available to its proxy ‘opposition’ rebel forces (‘The Forbidden Truth: The US is Channeling Chemical Weapons to Al Qaeda in Syria, Obama is a Liar and a Terrorist’, Global Research).

Journalist Gearóid Ó Colmáin  reported on 30 May 2013 that,

“in January 2013, Russian television station RT published leaked documents from British corporation Britam Defense, which revealed a plan by Qatar to deliver chemical weapons to Homs in Syria, with the aid of Britam Defense. The British company was to provide Ukrainian personnel to act as Russian military advisors in order to implicate the Russian government in the crime. The email suggested that the Qataris were providing ‘enormous’ amounts of money for the plan and that it was approved by Washington. The Japhat Al-Nusra terrorist organisation has not hidden its desire to gas the Alawite minority in Syria. A video was posted on U-tube on December 4 2012 showing terrorists testing chemical weapons on rabbits, while vowing to exterminate Alawite Syrians in a similar fashion” (‘Turkish Police find Chemical Weapons in the Possession of Al Nusra Terrorists heading for Syria’, Global Research).

Why was none of this mentioned or even acknowledged in the JIC report? Is Scotland Yard investigating allegations made about Britam Defense? Why did our PM publicly refrain from equally informing the House about the nature of these assessments, findings and concerns?

Desmond Fernandes is policy analyst and former Senior Lecturer at De Montfort University.

Troodos is highly effective – the jewel in the crown of British intelligence.  Its capacity and efficiency, as well as its reach, is staggering.  The US do not have their own comparable facility for the Middle East.  I should state that I have actually been inside all of this facility and been fully briefed on its operations and capabilities, while I was head of the FCO Cyprus Section in the early 1990s.  This is fact, not speculation.

troodos2

It is therefore very strange, to say the least, that John Kerry claims to have access to communications intercepts of Syrian military and officials organising chemical weapons attacks, which intercepts were not available to the British Joint Intelligence Committee.

On one level the explanation is simple.  The intercept evidence was provided to the USA by Mossad, according to my own well  placed source in the Washington intelligence community.  Intelligence provided by a third party is not automatically shared with the UK, and indeed Israel specifies it should not be.

But the inescapable question is this.  Mossad have nothing comparable to the Troodos operation.  The reported content of the conversations fits exactly with key tasking for Troodos, and would have tripped all the triggers.  How can Troodos have missed this if Mossad got it?  The only remote possibility is that all the conversations went on a purely landline route, on which Mossad have a physical wire tap, but that is very unlikely in a number of ways - not least nowadays the purely landline route.

Israel has repeatedly been involved in the Syrian civil war, carrying out a number of illegal bombings and missile strikes over many months.  This absolutely illegal activity by Israel- which has killed a great many civilians, including children - has brought no condemnation at all from the West.  Israel has now provided “intelligence” to the United States designed to allow the United States to join in with Israel’s bombing and missile campaign.

The answer to the Troodos Conundrum is simple.  Troodos did not pick up the intercepts because they do not exist.  Mossad fabricated them.  John Kerry’s “evidence” is the shabbiest of tricks.  More children may now be blown to pieces by massive American missile blasts.  It is nothing to do with humanitarian intervention.  It is, yet again, the USA acting at the behest of Israel.

The Future of Healthcare in Rural California

September 3rd, 2013 by Project Censored

By Gregory J. Duncan, M.D.

In rural California, a David vs. Goliath battle over the future healthcare is in its final stages.  The story began in 2009, when Sutter Health Corporation, a multibillion dollar healthcare management firm affiliated with 24 locally owned  hospitals, acted to transfer ownership of the hospitals into regions, a process which Sutter Health termed “Regionalization.”   Under the plan, local hospital Boards of Directors were dissolved and replaced with Regional Boards, appointed by Sutter Health.  So far, 22 local hospital Boards in Northern California were convinced to transfer hospital ownership to Sutter Health, although in Santa Rosa, the local hospital did so in exchange for guaranteed representation on the Regional Board.  In Crescent City, Sutter Health executives are attempting to transfer ownership of Sutter Coast Hospital (“SCH”) to Sutter Health’s West Bay Region.  Sutter’s tactics, and their plans for Sutter Coast Hospital, have united the community in opposition.

During their attempt to convince the local hospital Board to transfer hospital ownership to Sutter Health’s West Bay Region, seven executives of Sutter Health provided demonstrably false information to the hospital Board, County Board of Supervisors, hospital employees and physicians, and the community at large.  For example, when asked if local representation could be guaranteed, Sutter West Bay Region President Mike Cohill stated to the SCH Board that local representation was never provided to local hospitals.  Mr. Cohill neglected to mention the guarantee of local representation to Sutter Medical Center of Santa Rosa, even though it is a matter of public record that Mr. Cohill arranged guaranteed local representation, and the paperwork bears his signature.

Sutter Health also provided one attorney, an employed executive of Sutter Health, to provide legal advice to two different corporate entities  (Sutter Health and Sutter Coast Hospital), as the SCH Board was deliberating whether  to dissolve themselves and transfer hospital ownership to Sutter Health.   This attorney also wrote over 1300 changes into the bylaws of SCH, which strengthened the powers of Sutter Health at the expense of SCH, and were approved by the SCH Board in a single meeting, following minimal discussion. Thus, one attorney represented two parties during the bylaws re-write and the transfer of ownership of SCH, without explaining his employment relationship to the SCH Board, nor obtaining their consent to simultaneously represent two parties during an asset transfer.  The office of the California Attorney General is currently reviewing that information.

If Sutter Health succeeds in their effort to take ownership, all decision making authority of SCH will be made in San Francisco, 350 miles away.  The first decision facing the SCH Board is whether to downsize the hospital by 50% to qualify for increased Medicare reimbursement under the federal “Critical Access” program.  Critical Access was funded by Congress to maintain access to care in rural areas, but Sutter Health’s intended use of the program will increase costs to patients and to Medicare, while decreasing access to care.  Sutter Health’s own consultant estimated 247 patients would have required emergency transfers out of Crescent City in 2011, had Critical Access been implemented.  Due to SCH’s remote geography, patients are nearly always transferred by fixed wing aircraft, the cost of which averages over $40,000, and is borne by the patient.

Sutter Health claims Critical Access is necessary to stem for financial losses, but for 24 consecutive years, SCH was profitable.  SCH only began reporting losses two years ago, after Sutter Health fired the hospital CFO.  For over two years, SCH has operated without a CFO, in violation of the California Corporations Code and the hospital bylaws, which  require SCH to employ its own CFO.  In 2012, Sutter Health declared net profits of $735 million.

Every elected body in Del Norte County, including the County Board of Supervisors,  City Council, Sheriff, United Indian Health Service (representing seven local Native American tribes), and over 3,000 local residents have provided written opposition to Sutter Health’s plans for their community.   Nevertheless, Sutter Health refuses to listen.  Despite formal requests from the Board of Supervisors, Sutter Health refuses to release SCH meeting minutes or financial data.  Instead, Sutter Health arranged a “strategic options” study for SCH, and invited 15-18 local residents to participate on a confidential steering committee for the study.  Despite community calls for transparency and inclusion, the steering committee composition, meeting times, places, and content, all remain confidential.

Sutter Health claims they implemented Regionalization to make their health care system “more flexible and efficient for patients,” yet Sutter Regional President Mike Cohill has been unable to offer any examples of how Regionalization improves efficiencies—Regional supply chains and centralized work centers already exist, without Regionalization.  In fact, Regionalization transfers all decision making authority away from local communities and eliminates the right of local hospital Boards to negotiate management contracts with companies other than Sutter Health.  Thus, Regionalization empowers Sutter Health at the expense of the hospitals Sutter has long advertised, and sought donations for, under the banner of “community based.”  By eliminating choice among local Boards, Regionalization also increases Sutter Health’s control over patient care.  According to healthcare attorney John Harwell, Esq., Regionalization violates California law protecting physician autonomy and self-governance.  For Sutter Health, Regionalization brings control, not efficiency, over healthcare markets and patients.
_________________________________________________________________________
Gregory J. Duncan, M.D. is the Chief of Staff and Board Member Sutter Coast Hospital
Crescent City, CA. He can be contacted at [email protected] (707) 465-1126

Edward Snowden Whistleblower Award 2013

September 3rd, 2013 by Global Research News

 Address, delivered by Edward Snowden on the occasion of the presentation of the Whistleblower Award 2013, donated  by  Transparency International, the International Association Of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (Ialana) and the Association of German Scientists, Aug. 30, 2013

It is a great honor to be recognized for the public good created by this act of whistleblowing. However the greater reward and recognition belongs to the individuals and organizations in countless countries around the world who shattered boundaries of language and geography to stand together in defense of the public right to know and the value of our privacy.

It is not I, but the public who has affected this powerful change to abrogation of basic constitutional rights by secret agencies. It is not I, but newspapers around the world who have risen to hold our governments to the issues when powerful officials sought to distract from these very issues with rumor and insult. And it is not I, but certain brave representatives in governments around the world who are proposing new protections, limits and safeguards to prevent future assault on our private rights and private lives.

My gratitude belongs to all of those who have reached out to their friends and family to explain why suspicionless surveillance matters. It belongs to the man in a mask on the street on a hot day and the women with a sign and an umbrella in the rain, it belongs to the young people in college with a civil liberty sticker on their laptop, and the kid in the back of a class in high school making memes. All of these people accept that change begins with a single voice and spoke one message to the world: governments must be accountable to us for the decisions that they make. Decisions regarding the kind of world we will live in. What kind of rights and freedoms individuals will enjoy are the domain of the public, not the government in the dark.

Yet the happiness of this occasion is for me tempered by an awareness of the road traveled to bring us here today. In contemporary America the combination of weak legal protections for whistleblowers, bad laws that provide no public interest defense and a doctrine of immunity for officials who have strayed beyond the boundaries of law has perverted the system of incentives that regulates secrecy in government. This results in a situation that associates an unreasonably high price with maintaining the necessary foundation of our liberal democracy – our informed citizenry. Speaking truth to power has caused whistleblowers their freedom, family, or country.

This situation befits neither America nor the world. It does not require sophistication to understand that policy equating necessary acts of warning with threats to national security inevitably lead to ignorance and insecurity. The society that falls into the deterrent trap known in cultural wisdom as “shooting the messenger” will quickly find that not only is it without messengers but it no longer enjoys messages at all. It is right to question the wisdom of such policies and the unintended incentives that result from them. If the penalty providing secret information to a foreign government in bad faith is less than the penalty for providing that information to the public in good faith, are we not incentivizing spies rather than whistleblowers?

What does it mean for the public when we apply laws targeting terrorism against those engaged in acts of journalism? Can we enjoy openness in our society if we prioritize intimidation and revenge over fact-finding and investigation? Where do we draw the lines between national security and public interest, and how can we have confidence in the balance when the only advocates allowed at the table of review come from the halls of government itself?

Questions such as these can only be answered through the kind of vigorous public discussion we are enjoying today.  We must never forget the lessons of history regarding the dangers of surveillance gone too far, nor our human power to amend such systems to the public benefit. The road we travel has been difficult, but it leads us to better times. Together we can guarantee both the safety and the rights of the generations that follow.

  To all of those who have participated in this debate, from the highest official to the smallest citizen, I say thank you.

Peter Sterry

As President Obama inches ever closer towards a new war in the Middle East, France has suddenly been pushed to centre stage, following a democratic incident which took place on the floor of the British Parliament last Thursday, which saw David Cameron’s war motion vote stopped in its tracks.

Will America go it alone, or can they manage to shoe horn the French in there, in order to bake a glorious transatlantic red, white and blue coalition? Imagine that. As it stands, the decision for an international military intervention could rest on the French.

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of trying to close a business deal with a ‘French businessman’, you may attest to what an absolutely frustrating experience this can be. When the deal starts out, the talk is big and promises are even bigger. After a few bottles of wine and an exquisite lunch, you’re thinking that the deal is sealed so you draw up the MOU’s and the contracts – only find out later down the line, at the eleventh hour that your French businessman mysteriously pulls out at the last second.

France’s prime minister Francois Hollande has been busy over the last 48 hours, showing leaders of his parliament intelligence - better referred to in political circles theses days as “evidence”, which he insists, proves that President Assad’s forces ordered chemical warfare against its own people. Paris announced that it would soon declassify its top-secret documents on Assad’s alleged chemical weapons in Syria, which is said to include “several hundred tons of mustard gas” and “sarin”, a total exceeding 1,000 tons of chemical agents. For those of you who are not good at maths, that’s 1,000 tons more chemical weapons than Saddam Hussein had in Iraq.

Like in the UK, and the US, calls for democracy have been made in Paris, with French parliament due to debate an attack on Syria this Wednesday afternoon, although not between 12pm and 2pm (lunch, we’re in France don’t forget). Originally, the Opposition was asking for not just a debate on Wednesday, but a vote for or against military action targeting the regime of Bashar al-Assad. The government has now said it won’t hold a vote, which leaves it all up to President Hollande to handle le décision importante.

All three political leaders, Obama, Cameron, and Hollande, certainly gave the impression early on that of a unitary executive, but each of them in this case, has been forced to bring there case to elected representatives following Cameron’s humiliating public defeat.

So what is Hollande in this story? According to Le Huff Post yesterday:

“He was happy to proceed via the sacred union of military action in order to regain some popularity points. That is why, today, by delivering the decision to intervene in the hands of Parliament appears to be take a step backwards in terms of authority. ”But whatever happens, Francois Hollande will be weakened in this sequence of events because it shows that it is not France that dictates the agenda”, says Jérôme Fourquet.

Hollande drinking a beerAgain, the crowd cheers: by consulting with his Parliament, François Hollande shows once again that France’s democratic values are aligns with the United Kingdom and the US. But the French constitution, a masterpiece of weasel words, says only parliament has the right to declare war, but the President has a “reserved domain” of special war powers and can declare war all on his own and then “inform parliament within 3 days”. It’s a big decision for what his detractors refer to as a small town ex-mayor and Parti Socialiste.

If Hollande is knocked hard in the press this week, or by the opposition in debate, or if the issue is forced to a vote, then it’s certain that France will not be joining in on Washington’s war. And that means the US and Obama will be completely on there on – making it more unlikely, save some magical CIA-inspired false flag attack somewhere in Europe, or another magical chemical weapons attack in Syria with more YouTube videos, that the US could proceed as planned.

SO, what about those pesky, inconvenient cretens sometimes referred to in elite circles as the useless eaters? In the US, polls are showing that 90% of Americans aren’t on boards with the Syria war, and Britain polls show that about 70% are against it. As it stands, the French public opinion, like that of public opinions in the US and Great Britain, is largely hostile to a military intervention in Syria without a UN mandate. And 9 out of 10 muslims in Paris and Marseilles will tell you that France needs a war in the Middle East like it needs a hole in the head.

Hollande could easily spoil a bit of good history this week. Let’s not forget that not so long ago, France actually made the correct decision regarding the invasion of Iraq in 2003 led by the United States – where France elected not to participate in Washington and London’s dodgy “coalition of the willing”, because the French believed at the time that military action was not justified by the presence of weapons of mass destruction which, in fact, have never been discovered.

Al Qaeda is losing ground against the Syrian government and the west is very upset about this. Putin is taunting Obama and Cameron in public, so it’s become a face-saving exercise for the moral crown of the international community. Both Britain and France first tried by lobbying to lift the EU ban on arming the rebels in Syria, which failed, so they’ve left it up to the Saudi and Qatari cash to fund the imported terrorist brigades in Syria, with political cover and propaganda campaigns delivered by the US and UK governments and corporate media outlets.

Meanwhile, the French media and talk show rounds are a buzz this week with the somewhat bizarre, and slightly arrogant machinations that they somehow have “unfinished business” on a civilizing mission in their former colony of Lebanon-Syria – which of course is bombing business. The frumpy Elisabeth Gigou, a senior Parti Socialiste hack almost said that out loud yesterday, but manged to hold her crumpet just long enough not go full German.

One thing is certain however, and that is no matter how strong Hollande wants to look over Syria, he will not do a thing unless the US is brings it’s on the smart missile cavalry and air force fully on board. No way.

So as it stands, the Brits are out, the Germans are out, the Italians are out. Denmark is out. Finland is out. Not a good look for France to be seen as the ‘aggressor’ at home or abroad, especially as the winter of austerity approaches – a crunch that could hit the French economy especially hard.

And others I forgot – oh yes, NATO Secretary-General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen wants badly to be in this war, issuing a drooling political statement yesterday: “I can tell you that personally I’m convinced, not only that a chemical attack has taken place but I’m also convinced that the Syrian regime is responsible.” So who is kidding who?

So NATO wants badly to be in, but alas, it is out.

Will Hollande be forced to take French leave over Syria…?

More to the point, what is all this about, and why the bloody rush?

Incredible, but we’re quietly hoping that the ‘French businessman’ stereotype holds up regarding The Syrian Deal.

Non! Baguettes, not bombs!

American War Crimes

September 3rd, 2013 by Global Research News