Western Mercenaries in Ukraine?

May 12th, 2014 by Ulson Gunnar

Recent rumors of notorious Blackwater US mercenaries operating inside of Ukraine invoked a plausible narrative so convincing even news outlets across the West began echoing it. 

UK’s Daily Mail article “Has Blackwater been deployed to Ukraine? Notorious U.S. mercenaries ‘seen on the streets of flashpoint city’ as Russia claims 300 hired guns have arrived in country” stated “a Russian diplomat in Kiev told the Interfax news agency on Wednesday that 300 employees of private security companies had arrived there.”

The article continued by stating, “‘These are soldiers of fortune proficient in combat operations. Most of them had operated under private contracts in Iraq, Afghanistan and other states,” the source said. Interfax reported that the diplomat did not disclose the nationalities of the mercenaries but said, ‘Most of them come from the United States’.” 

An accompanying video showed unidentified armed men running through the streets of the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, however it appeared unrelated to the claims made by the Russian diplomat.

The Murky Tracks Left by US Mercenaries 

The notoriety of US private contractor Blackwater, also known as Xe, and more recently Academi, has exposed the usually shadowy nature of modern mercenaries. Mercenaries have been used all throughout history, particularly by empires who lacked the manpower necessary within their own military ranks to carry out their adventures abroad, but had the cash to pay those who did. 

More recently in Iraq, this was also the case, where the United States lacked the necessary manpower to provide security for the exceedingly large number of administers they had deployed in the region. Primarily, Blackwater provided security for the US State Department and other officials building up the “new” Iraq as the US saw fit. 

The scale on which Blackwater operated made it impossible to keep their role in the war hidden from the public. In September of 2007, Blackwater mercenaries opened fire killing 11 Iraqi civilians. Also during that year, a number of other incidents occurred also involving Blackwater. While the company became the scapegoat for Western contractors operating in Iraq, other news reports, such as the New York Times article “Use of Contractors Added to War’s Chaos in Iraq” and NBC’s “Contractors accused of firing on civilians, GIs” told a troubling tale in which massive numbers of hired mercenaries from many companies were working and killing inside of Iraq with little or no oversight, and zero accountability.

The NBC piece in particular states, “there are now nearly as many private contractors in Iraq as there are U.S. soldiers — and a large percentage of them are private security guards equipped with automatic weapons, body armor, helicopters and bullet-proof trucks.” 

The article also reports, “they operate with little or no supervision, accountable only to the firms employing them. And as the country has plummeted toward anarchy and civil war, this private army has been accused of indiscriminately firing at American and Iraqi troops, and of shooting to death an unknown number of Iraqi citizens who got too close to their heavily armed convoys.”

NBC also adds, “not one has faced charges or prosecution.” 

Tellingly, the report states, “there is great confusion among legal experts and military officials about what laws — if any — apply to Americans in this force of at least 48,000.”

What the US has created in Iraq is essentially a shadowy mercenary force, tens of thousands strong, that is heavily armed, well funded, has unlimited access and limitless impunity to carry out whatever its mission may require, and whatever else it may feel like doing along the way.

It is difficult to imagine something more disturbingly dangerous than such a force. Beyond Iraq, US military contractors have found themselves on the shores of Somalia. Blackwater founder Erik Prince, in an AP article titled, “Blackwater founder secretly backing Somali militia,”  was said to be involved in “a multimillion-dollar program financed by several Arab countries, including the United Arab Emirates, to mobilize some 2,000 Somali recruits to fight pirates who are terrorizing the African coast.” 

Beyond Iraq and Somalia, it was suggested that private mercenaries were also involved in the destabilization of Syria backing foreign militants who have been invading the country and waging war for now 3 years. CIA agents have been admittedly working along Syria’s borders directing arms and other gear into the hands of these militants, as confirmed by the New York Times. And these weapons were being provided by the very same interests that had hired Prince to raise armies in Somalia. Would they also be interested in hiring Prince, or someone else like him, to raise armies to carry the arms they had so generously flooded Syrian territory with?

The Question of Western Mercenaries in Ukraine

And if mercenaries are turning up across every battlefield the US demarcates around the world, why would Ukraine be any different? Already it is admitted that at least some of the leading factions of the Euromaidan protests were armed, thus driving out the government in Kiev. The West, including the United States has made it abundantly clear that they wholly back the new regime that has now taken over. Why wouldn’t US mercenaries be in Ukraine arming, training, and enhancing the capabilities of armed militants they will need to continue their favored regime’s consolidation of power? 

It is a question that needs to be both asked, and carefully answered. For the Russians, it would be essential to find evidence of US mercenary activity inside of Ukraine, as well as the newly independent region of Crimea. Exposing such forces working along side the already increasingly unsavory elements leading the new regime in Kiev would attach to them the well-deserved taint US mercenaries have earned through their misdeeds in Iraq, Afghanistan, and beyond.

Experience garnered throughout the fighting in Syria can be utilized within Ukraine regarding how these foreign forces mesh with Ukrainian militants now being prepared for potential confrontations both within Crimea, and with Russia directly. 

Finally, it should be remembered that within the US itself, politicians have called openly for both the sending of arms and “advisers” to aid the new Ukrainian regime, including US Senator John McCain (Republican-Arizona) who stated in frank terms, “they only have a few thousand combat troops and would be overwhelmed by the Russians if it came to that. One of their urgent requests is to have us supply them with weapons.” 

The supplying of the regime with weapons and advisers would be the job of the CIA and perhaps military contractors. They may be on their way to Ukraine, along with aid the Pentagon has already officially approved, or they may be sent eventually.

The specter of Western mercenaries hangs over Ukraine, threatening to sow the same sort of chaos, death, and injustice seen everywhere else they carry out their dark deeds. For Ukrainians on either side of the conflict, especially those supporting the current regime, they must ask themselves carefully exactly what it is they really want, and what price they are willing to pay to obtain it… with the burning carnage of Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan in clear hindsight.

Ulson Gunnar is a New York-based geopolitical analyst and writer for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook

The Yatsenyuk regime’s anti-terrorism operations in the southern and eastern oblasts (regions) of Ukraine are really a use of martial force against Ukrainian civilians opposed to the coup-installed regime in Kiev. Predominately peaceful Ukrainian citizens opposing the coup leaders and not “armed separatists”  have been the main target of the regime’s militias.

The discourse about “pro-Russian” separatists is a misleading attempt to hide the real nature of the protests against the regime, which is opposition to a coup. The main issue is one of anti-coup protesters versus a junta and not separatists and federalists versus Kiev. To refer to the junta in Kiev as the government of Ukraine is to reject or ignore its illegality. 

Welcome to Ukraine Nulandistan

Wherever the US government says it is promoting democracy and freedom, as US Assistant-Secretary of State Victoria Nuland professes about Ukraine, there has been destruction, impoverishment, sectarianism, fighting, and death. Welcome to post-coup Ukraine or Nulandistan. It follows the precedents and traditions of destabilization and violence honoured by US officials like Senator John McCain in the Syrian Arab Republic (McCainistan) and by Hillary Clinton in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya  (Clintonistan).

Arseniy Petrovych Yatsenyuk, who has illegally taken the post of Ukrainian prime minister with the support of the US and European Union, was never favoured by many of the authentic protesters in Euro-Maidan or even the grassroots members of his allies. When, without any election or public discussion, he was arbitrarily given the office of prime minister, many in the Euro-Maidan protest movement booed him and some even cried “bullet to his head.” His party boss, the infamously corrupt Yulia Volodymyrivna Tymoshenko, was booed too after she arrived.  In reality, Yatsenyuk and the other Ukrainian politicians identifying themselves with Euro-Maidan, like the ultra-nationalist Svoboda’s Oleh Tyahnybok, appropriated the hopes and dreams of the Ukrainians that were protesting against not only the Ukrainian government of Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych, but the entire corrupt Ukrainian political establishment. Hiding behind the protesters, Yatsenyuk and Tymoshenko’s Batkivshchyna Party used the militias of their ultra-nationalist political allies to launch a violent coup in Kiev.

There is no functioning democracy in Ukraine and, with the full support of the European Union and the US government, free speech inside Ukraine is under attack by the new regime and its thugs. Yatsenyuk’s coup-installed regime has cracked down on media freedoms, sent the Ukrainian military and security forces to attack anti-coup protesters under the pretext of NATO-backed anti-terrorism operations, and started purges and witch hunts all over Ukraine. This started with the head of the National Television Company of Ukraine, Aleksandr Panteleymonov, being threatened and beaten into resigning by Svoboda deputies Igor Miroshnynchenko and  Andrey Ilyenko.

A atmosphere of intimidation and bullying is the new order of the day in Nulandistan and politicians opposing the regime are regularly threatened and beaten, some to the point of near death. Intimidation and violent tactics have also been used to force Ukrainian politicians and civil servants to resign or hand over power across Ukraine.

Inside the Verkhova Rada or Ukrainian Parliament any of the remaining deputies who dare to speak against the regime and its policies are silenced and beaten up. This is the US-supported freedom of speech that has been brought to Ukraine, Nuland-style. For example, senior deputy Petro Symonenko has been caught on film being pushed and prevented from speaking, just for daring to condemn the use of the Ukrainian military and security forces against civilian protesters by Yatsenyuk’s regime. Before being silenced, Symonenko made the key point of noting how the ultra-nationalists were serving foreign interests and not the national interests of Ukraine and actually dividing the Eastern European country. The senior Rada deputy’s party offices have also been burned, like those of other political parties in Ukraine opposing the coup. Again, welcome to Nulandistan: brought to you by the  US Department of State, CIA, USAID, National Endowment for Democracy (NED), and a whole host of other US tentacles.

Since they took power, the so-called Euro-Maidan “democrats” of the Yatsenyuk regime began killing those Ukrainians that opposed them or protested against them. In the process the Yatsenyuk regime is denying them the rights that Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Victoria Nuland, John McCain, Catherine Ashton, and the Euro-Maidan movement claimed legitimized the US-backed coup and violent takeover of power in Kiev.

The House of Trade Unions Massacre in Odessa

In the famous port city of Odessa, on the coast of the Black Sea, the Yatsenyuk regime tried to create sectarian provocation by allowing a football match between Chernomorets Odessa and Metalist Kharkov, knowing that thousands of ultra-nationalist regime supporters would flock into Odessa for the match on May 2, 2014. After the match the regime supporters held a rally sanctioned by the regime-installed local authorities where they started yelling “knife the Russians” using derogatory language. Then what appeared to be anti-coup activists, which either support federalization or separation, wearing St. George’s Ribbons and red bands on their sleeves confronted the regime supporters, which led to a violent confrontation in Odessa.

In retrospect, it has become clear that these thugs were really undercover agents and agent provocateurs. Some of the riot police and security forces, which were sent by the regime in Kiev from outside Odessa, were also wearing the same red bands around their sleeves and associating with the fake anti-coup activists. After the fake anti-coup activists, which are being called the “third party” in retrospect, disappeared the pro-coup side attacked the unrelated and peaceful anti-coup activists that were near Odessa’s House of Trade Unions. When the anti-coup activists ran inside the building for safety, it was set ablaze with Molotov cocktails. The police watched as the pro-coup side attacked and killed the peaceful activists in the House of Trade Unions while ambulances and fire trucks were prevented from saving many of the people inside that burned.

 

There is video evidence that shows Svoboda and Euro-Maidan supporters firing on the  people inside the House of Trade Unions with guns while others are killing people inside the building (see the photographs above). A man who presented himself as sotnik Mykola, a leader of Euro-Maidan, is even caught on tape firing into the building at people trying to escape the fire. A pregnant women was taped screaming for help before she was strangled to death by a regime supporter wearing a white and blue jacket (see the first figure). One of the ultra-nationalist supporters of the Yatsenyuk regime that was in Odessa during the attacks proudly wrote about the murder of the anti-coup activists in her Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/angela.aravina). “My jacket smells of burned rubber and it is stained with blood. On the one hand, there is horror, when I think of the faces of the dead people, on the other hand, there is pride, and there is nothing you can do about it,” she wrote (see figure below).

Russia’s  Perviy Kanal (Channel One or First Channel) network would use the publicly available YouTube footage about the clashes in Odessa to point out what happened in the city, which is called “the Pearl of the Black Sea.” Their important observations about the lead-up to the clashes would be reported by RT International in English for international audiences. Tatyana Ivananko, a survivor of the attack from the anti-coup activists camp in Odessa, would tell RT International’s Ukrainian journalist Alexey Yaroshevsky in a in-depth interview that the ”police were idle not doing anything” and that the coup’s supporters “finished off some of the people who managed to escape [the fire], and threw from the windows those who did not, to kill them on the ground.” She also confirmed that there were no foreign nationals among their ranks and that the  agent provocateurs of the ”third party” were not involved with her group whatsoever.

 

TheYatsenyuk Regime’s Phony Anti-Terrorism Operations Are a Smokescreen

There has been a siege on Donestsk Oblast by the coup-installed regime in Kiev. Unarmed Ukrainian civilians were killed in Mariupol by orders of the Yatsenyuk regime on May 9, 2014. Raw footage from Mariupol shows how unarmed Ukrainian civilians were killed in the name of phony anti-terrorism operations by order of the Yatsenyuk regime in its efforts to gain control in the parts of Ukraine that do not recognize the illegal February coup that ousted the government of Ukraine.

More Ukrainian civilians were killed on May 10, 2014, at a time when voting in a referendum was supposed to take place in several of Ukraine’s oblasts located in an area of Ukraine that is controversially called  Novorossiya for historical and sociological reasons. Albeit skirmishes did take place between the regime and armed resistance fighters in such places as Slavyansk, the US-backed Yatsenyuk regime killed Ukrainian civilians in this region when they tried to exercise their democratic rights to vote peacefully in the referendums. For example, instead of allowing the inhabitants of Krasnoarmeysk, in Donetsk Oblast, to vote on their future, the US-backed junta sent its militias to prevent the people there from freely voting. This was done under the pretext of anti-terrorism operations. The US-backed anti-terrorism operations are really a smokescreen aimed at hiding the regime’s motives to disrupt the referendum.

The regime is using the so-called National Guard of Ukraine to force its will on its opponents. What is important to note is that this National Guard  was created in March 2014 by the coup-installed government to secure their hold on power. The militia has incorporated sections of the same ultra-nationalist groups that helped violently oust the legal Ukrainian government in Kiev in February 2014. In other words, many of the same armed men that stormed Ukrainian government offices in a coup are now acting in an official capacity. Moreover, albeit the National Guard is officially categorized as the reserve force of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, it is under the jurisdiction and control of the Interior Ministry, which is advised by US government agencies (i.e., the CIA and FBI) and heavily under ultra-nationalist control. The reason for this is, because the Ukrainian military is not loyal to the coup-installed regime in Kiev. The irregular National Guard, which has ultra-nationalist gunmen that are loyal to the regime integrated into its ranks, on the other hand is dependable for the coup leaders and more than willing to do the regime’s dirty work, like killing unarmed civilians, that many members of the Ukrainian military would refuse to do.

The Yatsenyuk Regime’s Predisposition to Commit Atrocities and Crimes in Ukraine

The Yatsenyuk junta and its supporters were itching to use force against those opposing them. The discourse about “pro-Russians” and, even, Russian-speakers is misleading. The real nature of the opposition in the southern and eastern portions of Ukraine is opposition to an illegal government installed through a foreign-backed coup. Calls for local autonomy, federalization, separation, or reunification with Russia are all byproducts of this.

As early as March 10, 2014, Euro-Maidan supporters like the Ukrainian businessman Gennady Balashov began to say publicly that the protesters in the eastern and southern parts of Ukraine should be killed. Balashov also called for the blockage of natural gas from Russia to the countries of the European Union and for deliberate attempts to provoke the Russian Federation. He candidly discouraged any dialogue and called for bloodshed and ethnic cleansing, more properly termed as genocide, in places like Crimea, Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, and Donetsk. Anyone that opposes the coup-installed regime in Kiev, he clarified should be murdered without mercy. This includes those wearing the orange and black St. George’s Ribbon.

The St. George’s Ribbon, which is a ribbon that is displayed to commemorator the end of the Second World War (or the Great Patriotic War, as it is called in Ukraine and Russia) and the defeat of Nazi Germany. This symbol has become the distinguishing mark of the anti-coup protesters in Ukraine who view the US-supported February 2014 coup as the reemergence of the threat of fascism. This is why Balashov and the ultra-nationalist hate and attack anyone that displays it.

Talking about the protesters in the eastern and southern parts of Ukraine, Balashov stated: “We must block the pipeline. We must not allow the trade of natural gas. Only this can stop the invaders. We must block the pipeline and let them send Alpha to shoot everyone there. These people are on foreign territory. Crimea, Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, Donetsk are Ukrainian cities. If they wear the St.George ribbon, if they tear down our flag, we must shoot them in the head because they are the enemy. We should not talk to them or educate them…”

Gennady Balashov’s comments echo those of the infamous anti-Russophone and anti-Russian Iryna Dmytrivna Farion, a deputy in the Rada for Svoboda. Farion bluntly and without any hesitation tells the media that the coup-installed Yatsenyuk regime in Kiev should take the opportunity to kill all the Ukrainians protesting against the new regime in Kiev. The US-supported Ukrainian ultra-nationalist politician even says that the Ukrainian protesters opposed to the US-supported regime in Kiev are “aliens” that need to be killed as a means of cleansing the country.  She calls for nothing short of a genocidal operation and even calls her compatriots “creatures” that need to be eliminated.

Iryna Farion’s otherization of Russophones and Russkiyes (ethnic Russians) is unusual, because as a philologist she should be aware that ethnic Ukrainians, Russkiyes, and Belarusians (White Russians) are ethno-linguistically one people which splintered or became distinct from one another due to being cutoff by the boundaries of different empires that led to regional distinctions and, over time, the eventual construction of new ethnic and civic identities. The terms Velikorus (Great Russian), Malorus (Little Russian) and Belorus (White Russian) were geographic concepts originally before they were socially constructed into the loosely-knit ethnic identities and social structures that are Russkiye, Ukrainian, and Belarusian.

This does not mean that the Ukrainian identity is inauthentic or that Ukrainians are a sub-group of Russkiyes, what it means is that Ukrainians and Russkiyes are the same people with different perceptions of identity. Their perceived ethnographic differences, which are social constructs, have been utilized as geopolitical tools by the US and its allies to dupe nationalist elements inside Ukraine, as well as the Russian Federation, into fighting and opposing their own kin and to destroy their own societies from the inside, pursuing a fictitious purification of their societies and people; these nationalist quests are what enfeeble national unity and cohesion.

Additionally, the Russophone people or Russian-speakers in Ukraine are just as Ukrainian as the Ukrainaphone people or Ukrainian-speakers in Ukraine. Their situation is the same as the members of the Irish population who speak English and not Irish; no one in Ireland’s Irish-speaking community questions the Irishness of the English-speaking Irish, because they speak English and not Irish. In the same context, concerning Russophone Ukrainians there is no question about their Ukrainianness or its authenticity.

The majority of the Russophones and Ukrainian-speakers are the descendants of the same local ancestors. The difference between the two groups is merely that one community adopted Russian as their main language. Regardless, the two East Slavic languages of Ukrainian and Russian are almost identical and the majority of the Ukrainian population are bilingual in Ukrainian and Russian anyway. The mythical tribalism informing the views of Iryna Farion and other nationalists in Ukraine is nothing more than a distraction from the gross injustices and unequal distribution of power and wealth in Ukrainian society; it distracts the local population from the real issues about improving their lives and divides the country’s citizens, preventing them from confronting their oligarch exploiters and the unjust structures in their society.

The Perpetrators of Terrorism are Blaming the Victims: Who Are The Real Terrorists?

Who are the real terrorists? Unarmed civilians trying to vote or coup figures like the foolish Arseniy Yatsenyuk, a self-appointed leader of  the “EuroMaidan” movement, that have sent armed groups to threaten and kill them? Moreover, the actions of the Yatsenyuk regime validate the premise in Moscow that Russian troops needed to be sent into the Crimean Peninsula to allow for the voting not to be disrupted.  If this did not happen the referendum on March 16, 2014 may have never taken place, with fighting taking its place in Crimea.

Unarmed Ukrainian citizens can be clearly heard bravely yelling at the Yatesenyuk regime’s so-called National Guard militias  that they are “fascists” in much of the footage that is beginning to emerge from coup-controlled Ukraine. These people are the Yatsenyuk regime’s terrorists. Unarmed Ukrainians civilians that have tried to peacefully prevent the Ukrainian military and National Guard from entering their towns and cities are portrayed as outlaws and villains (see figure below). The crime of these unarmed civilians is that they have tried to prevent the regime from either illegally establishing what is essentially martial law in their towns and homes or that the have tried to prevent the regime from using Ukrainian military and security forces to prevent the anti-coup segment of the Ukrainian population from voting freely. These people are the ones that the US government and the European Union are condemning while trying to scapegoat Russia for the regime’s murder of innocent civilians.

The real terrorists and fascists are the coup leaders in Nulandistan that have sold themselves and Ukraine to foreign powers. Also, among the real terrorists and fascists are the foreign-backers of the Yatsenyuk regime in the US, Britain, France, Poland, Canada, and Germany, which have brought division, ruin, and destruction across the globe, from the former Yugoslavia, Iraq, and Libya to Syria, Mali, the Central African Republic, and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

If Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the former president of Iran, is mistranslated and misrepresented by the mainstream media in North America and Western Europe about saying he wants to “wipe Israel off the map” during a conference, the US government and European Union have field days condemning Iran. In Nulandistan, however, the coup-installed head of Khersonshchyna, Governor Yuri Odarchenko, can praise the invasion of Ukraine by Adolph Hiter and Nazi Germany, like he did on May 9, 2014 to the anger of Ukrainian war veterans, while the US, Canada, and European Union all keep silent.

Do not expect any in-depth reporting by CNN, the BBC, France 24, Fox News, or their ilk about the murder of unarmed civilians in Ukraine by the Yatsenyuk regime either. These media networks are conducting an information war against any countries and governments opposed to the US and its allies. Instead of reporting what is actually taking place, the mainstream media in North America and the European Union will continue to distort the truth by blaming Russia and those Ukrainians that it deceivingly, as a means of refusing to acknowledge their legitimate opposition and resistance to the illegal regime in Kiev, calls  ”pro-Russian.”

Meditations: Greece Past and Present

May 12th, 2014 by Prof. James Petras

            I stopped.  A funeral was going by.  A pauper’s burial.  Only a woman and a child followed.  I asked an old man looking on who it was.

            “A neighbor who sold fruit and vegetables and couldn’t pay the rent”.

            He looked up puzzled. “How could they afford a coffin, a burial site and a stone if he couldn’t put food on the table when he was alive?”

            My grandfathers, stone cutters would find plenty of work:  people of all ages are dying every day .The authorities call them “unnatural deaths”.  But how many grave sites have tomb stones?

            I gaze up at the Acropolis and the marble columns of the Parthenon shimmer under a brilliant blue sky . . . and I trip over a ragged body stretched across the sidewalk, a blackened hand grasping a crust of bread.

            I walk past the dead.  I walk over the dying. And I hurry away from a wild-eyed, white bearded raving madman screaming in a high-pitched hoarse voice. “The crises is over! The banks are rich!  We are saved!”

       I enter the Byzantine museum, a refuge from the turmoil, an inexpensive escape into the past . . . or is it? The ticket sellers, guards and guides are nowhere to be seen … Are they on strike?  Or have they been fired? Or both?  I walk alone, unmolested, through a thousand years:  the rise and fall of Constantinople.

            Is there a museum of modern Greece? Two hundred years of revolutions and imported monarchs.  Of Great Ideas that bred Catastrophes.Of unsavory dictators and collaborators.Of heroic resistance fighters and concentration camps.Of juntas and student martyrs.Of alternating Conservative and Socialist kleptocrats.

            A museum depicting the collapse of illusions of wealth and streets paved with euros.  A European city converted into the home for one hundred thousand beggars and two million unemployed.

            The bagmen are coming – its election time.  The scrawny hands of impoverished pensioners reach out . . . A grizzly bald Socratic look-alike lines up at a soup kitchen.  He questions the Athenians :  “Do you believe the democratic authorities will add meat to the watery soup?”.

            Kimon, a recent graduate of Athens University, a classical scholar, sells counterfeit ancient coins on a street corner.  He tells me an authentic fifth century Arethusa dekadrachm signed by Kimon or Euainetos or Eumenos would feed a thousand unemployed Greeks for a year, maybe two, if they are vegetarians.

            I stood behind a small crowd in front of a kiosk reading the headlines of the newspapers (who buys them these days?).  An excited woman pushed her way out of the semi-circle and screeched to the silent on-lookers.  “The Nazis called the Jews, Communists… the gas chambers,  showers. The Americans call the fascists who burned alive three dozen workers in Odessa, Ukrainian Nationalists”.  She turned abruptly and walked quickly down the street.  The others mumbled incoherently and drifted away.  A nattily dressed businessman smiled at me and nodded his head as if to say “Only a crazy woman screams in the street like her”.

 

US Covert Ops: The Disintegration of South Sudan

May 12th, 2014 by Abayomi Azikiwe

The United States has “a lot at stake” in South Sudan and if the new African country disintegrates and unravels, many people around the world will hold Washington responsible, a political commentator in Detroit says.

The US Treasury Department on Tuesday imposed sanctions on two people on opposing sides of the ethnic violence in South Sudan, indicating to the growing frustration in Washington with leaders in an African country it helped create.

Violence erupted in South Sudan in December 2013, following fighting between troops loyal to President Salva Kiir and defectors led by his sacked deputy, Riek Machar.

The conflict soon turned into an all-out war between the army and the defectors, with the violence taking on an ethnic dimension that pitted the president’s Dinka tribe against Machar’s Nuer ethnic group. Thousands of people have so far been killed and more than one million displaced in the war.

“I think the United States has a lot of stake vis-à-vis its relationship with Africa in regard to how the situation in South Sudan turns out,” said Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire.

“If the entire South Sudan society and political system disintegrates, this will represent a tremendous failure of United States foreign policy in Africa. So this is the reason why they are threatening the government of President Salva Kiir,” Azikiwe told Press TV on Tuesday.

“Many people within the international community will be looking at the United States and holding them responsible for this fighting as well as the disintegration of the South Sudanese society,” he added.

Mass killings in South Sudan, which appear to be ethnically motivated, have sparked international condemnation. UN sources say despite a January ceasefire, government and opposition forces are still engaged in heavy fighting in several areas including Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile states.

 

On April 17, 2014 Algeria held its presidential election. As expected, the incumbent Abdelaziz Boutiflika won the election with 81.53 percent of the vote against the leading opposition candidate Ali Benflis, who received 12.18 percent of the vote.

Benflis was widely proclaimed in the French press as being the candidate of ‘change’ and ‘democratic reform.’ It is clear that Benflis was the preferred candidate for the French corporate and political elite. The French media launched a concerted campaign to discredit Boutiflika before the election, while there was much talk about the anti-government youth movement ‘barakat,’ as well as the separatist claims of Kabylie and Berber cultural autonomy.

Algeria is a staunchly independent country with vast hydrocarbon resources. It has more than once been criticized for its ‘resource nationalism.’ In 2006 Reuters reported: ‘Algeria, long seen as an energy investment hot spot, has taken a step towards resource nationalism with plans to unravel a reformist law and claw back some profits from foreign operators.’

Resource nationalism constitutes a cardinal sin for any developing country in the context of an evolving New World Order, where a handful of multinationals divide up the world between themselves. Given the Western backed coups that have ensued in Tunisia and Egypt in 2011 and the subsequent wars waged by NATO and the Gulf Cooperation Council against Libya and Syria, the likelihood of further destabilisation in Algeria is becoming a distinct possibility.

The American Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook states the principle problem the Empire has with Algeria thus:

Algeria’s economy remains dominated by the state, a legacy of the country’s socialist post-independence development model. In recent years the Algerian Government has halted the privatization of state-owned industries and imposed restrictions on imports and foreign involvement in its economy.

A resource-rich country with a large, autonomous state is anathema to multi-national corporate-financier interests. We can therefore assume that the chief legislators and executioners of unbridled, global capitalism, that is to say the United States and its European allies, have a regime change programme for Algeria, a plan that would replace a state serving a large section of the country’s population with a gang that serves foreign interests.

Algeria is certainly not a ‘socialist’ country as the CIA indicates, but for the CIA any country that imposes controls of the free flow of capital is ‘socialist’ and the CIA’s role has always been to subvert developing states who prioritize national interests before those of transnational corporations and international financial institutions.

In order to contextualize the background of a possible NATO-backed destabilization of Algeria, it is necessary to discuss previous NATO-backed coups in other countries and their economic and political implications. We hope to show that current US foreign policy is characterized by two key features:

1. Formation of dissent and political subversion using youth groups, ‘human rights’ activism and ‘democracy’ NGOs.

2. Covert support for mercenaries in the form of Sunni extremist terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda or neo-Nazi groups such as in Ukraine and Venezuela, who are used as battering rams to break the internal order of the bourgeois nation state, handing over the targeted nation’s natural and human resources to international institutions protected by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

The former policy is marketed to domestic audiences as the West’s noble mission to spread freedom and democracy all over the world, while covert support for Al Qaeda provides a pretext for the destruction of civil liberties at home, and domestic acquiescence in the policy of endless foreign wars to protect ‘Western civilization’; this bellicose policy is necessitated by neo-liberal economics whereby an increasingly miniscule oligarchy is acquiring unprecedented control over the planet’s wealth.

Understanding the complex nature of this twofold process is essential if one is to grasp the extremely complex and paradoxical nature of current US foreign policy with a view to predicting future targets of its imperial strategies.

2 People-Power Coups masquerading as Revolutions

Over the past decade the world has witnessed a series of ‘revolutions’ in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, North Africa and the Middle East. The Orange Revolution in the Ukraine in 2004; the Rose Revolution in Georgia, the Revolution in Kyrgyzstan; the Cedar Revolution in Lebanon; the Arab Spring in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Syria; the Vinegar Revolution in Brazil; the protest movement in Venezuela, and the recent ‘revolution’ in Ukraine.

All these ‘revolutions’ have one thing in common. They were all planned, funded and orchestrated by the US government in conjunction with its partners in the European Union, through the activities of NGOs such as the National Endowment for Democracy, the International Republican Institute, Freedom House, Movements.Org, The Spirit of Democracy, the Centre for Non Violent Actions and Strategies (CANVAS) and many more.

The aim? To overthrow governments Washington considers to be a hindrance to the furtherance of US/Israeli, NATO global hegemony, a project for ‘full spectrum dominance’ without borders that would put an end once and for all to that great creation of the 17th century, the “nation state”, replacing it with networks of trans-national corporations under the aegis of highly centralized global governance structures frequently referred to as the ‘New World Order.’

Some of the countries on the regime change target list were already run by dictators installed by the Central Intelligence Agency such as Ben Ali of Tunisia, dictators who had served their purpose and reached their expiry date according to the calendar of the US State Department and the Council on Foreign Relations. Thus Tunisia and Egypt succumbed to NGO Youth Industry regime change programmes, backed by covert snipers. The role of the US government in planning and orchestrating the ‘Arab Spring’ has been openly admitted by the NGOs involved.

For leftists, still clinging on to the dogma that ‘the masses make history,’ we say “yes, but people and powerful institutions play a role too!” It’s never too late to learn!

Other countries on the list were led by revolutionaries such as Colonel Gaddafi of Libya. NATO realized a long time ago that the popular democratic system in Libya established by Gaddafi during the Green Revolution in 1974 meant that ordinary people had too much power and therefore a people-power coup against the state would simply not work. Libya was run on a model of direct democracy and was a highly inclusive and progressive society with the highest living and education standards in Africa and high levels of equality, due to a distributive mass-state that provided subsidies for cheap accommodation and grants for agricultural development. The Libyan Jamahirya was far more democratic than most if not all of the countries attacking it. In order to bring down the Libyan State-of-the-masses Al-Qaeda mercenaries and military intelligence assets were NATO’s only option.

In Syria, the popular nature of the reformist capitalist national democratic government (Yes, Syria IS a democracy) led by Bashar Al-Assad meant that NATO were unable to sufficiently weaken national state institutions from the inside. Therefore a vast armada of fanatics, misfits and mentally deranged criminals were transported into the country. Bankrolled by the Gulf satrapies, managed by Turkey and supervised by Israel, France, Britain and the United States; these hordes of psychopaths came in different shapes and sizes. Some had names that could be sold to the unwitting Western public as ‘democratic revolutionaries’ such as the CIA-formed ‘Free Syrian Army’, others such as Al Nusra, could commit the most heinous atrocities without implicating Western governments who could claim they were doing their utmost to make sure that weapons did ‘not fall into the hands of extremists’. This two-fold strategy has characterized NATO’s genocide against the Syrian people since unknown snipers opened fire on protestors and police in the city of Daraa in March 17th 2011.

Capitalism’s ‘permanent revolution’

To echo George Bush senior’s State of the Union speech in 1991, the New World Order is a ‘big idea’. In fact, it’s a revolutionary idea. And today, the governments of the United States and the European Union are attempting to foment a global revolution, a permanent revolution, a great awakening of the masses, popular uprisings; workers revolts; strikes; peaceful protests; peaceful sit-ins; naked protests involving blond women; occupy the street protests; protests of the indignant; flash mobs of all shapes and sizes chasing dictators and inaugurating a new era of ‘democracy’ and ‘freedom’.

In short, capitalism in crisis has borrowed tactics from the left in order to break down the last obstacle to its global supremacy: the bourgeois nation state.

In order to change the face of US foreign policy in Latin America during the Cold War-where the US had imposed brutal military dicatorships throughout the continent in order to ‘protect’ the continent from communism- the US government decided in 1983 to create the National Endowment for Democracy. The organization had a role in ensuring that the ‘popular uprising’ against the US-backed dictator Augusto Pinochet in Chile would result in a neo-liberal regime which would clean up capitalism’s image while preserving US corporate interests. This is exactly what the people got. A similar process of covert support for ‘democratisation’ was followed in Brazil and Argentina where the Central Intelligence Agency had organized military coups in 1964 and 1976 respectively.

Covert US support for corporate funded ‘pro-democracy’ movement in client dictatorships who were no longer seen as efficient executives of US corporate interests has been standard US foreign policy since the mid-eighties.

The aim of the people power coups in Eastern Europe since 2004 has been to roll back Russian influence in former Soviet republics, by installing pro-US rulers subservient to the IMF, World Bank, EU, USA and NATO. Regime change in North Africa has been on the drawing board for many years. During the Cold War, the US government tolerated Arab Nationalist regimes as the ‘lesser of two evils’ in terms of corporate and strategic interests. The Arab Nationalist regimes were petit-bourgeois in character; they were opposed to the dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry, that is to say socialism as it had been constructed in the USSR from the 1920s to the 1950s; in this sense they did not pose a threat to capitalism as they did not hold out the possibility of a viable, revolutionary alternative that could work in the long term.

As the Arab Nationalist regimes were anti-communist, they could easily be manipulated by the US. In fact, many of their leaders were agents of the Central Intelligence Agency. Sadat of Egypt, Ben Ali of Tunisia and Nimery of Sudan were CIA sponsored dictators who did their utmost to further US interests, while Saddam Hussein of Iraq was put in power by the agency with the express orders to liquidate Iraq’s labour leaders and communists . Some of these leaders did a pretty good job killing their own people on behalf of US interests until they became a liability when the global balance of power changed.

When the USSR was dissolved in 1991 by the Soviet Government against the wishes of the Soviet citizens, the situation changed. The US was now the sole superpower. The end of history had arrived. There was now no more opposition.

A whole series of theatre wars and humanitarian wars inaugurated a new era in international politics with the gloomy prospect of a megalomaniac unipolar order forcing its will upon the world.

The terror attacks of September 11th 2001 in America set the stage for a series of theatre wars, preemptive military strikes and humanitarian interventions that are continuing to escalate around the world today. The American ‘left-wing’ opposition media Democracy Now! interviewed former commander of NATO General Wesley Clark in 2007 where he revealed that, immediately after the 911 terror attacks, the Pentagon had earmarked 7 countries to be ‘taken out’ in 5 years: Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Lebanon, Syria and Sudan. The ‘radical’ TV station and its collaborators would appear to be suffering from chronic amnesia since the ‘Arab Spring’, unashamedly backing the CIA’s far right wing ‘revolutionaries’ in Libya, Syria and Ukraine, just as it did during the bombing of Serbia in 1999.

The plan to change entrenched Arab nationalist regimes in North Africa through the training and coordination of opposition Youth Groups is openly discussed in the 2008 Rand Corporation document entitled ‘The Kefaya Movement: A Case Study of a Grass Roots reform movement.’ The document reveals that while the Mubarak regime did serve US interests for many years, divergences emerged over Mubarak’s opposition to the Iraq war and reluctance to go along with the War on Terror.

It has since been revealed that Mubarak, a former Airforce pilot, had serious doubts about the US government’s version of the 911 terrorist attacks.

The ‘youth groups’ in Egypt had been trained by US NGOs since 2005, with the Centre for Applied Non-Violent Actions (CANVAS) and Strategies playing a key role in forming the young ‘revolutionaries’ of the 2011 Arab Spring.

The Arab Spring ousted quasi-nationalist regimes and replaced them with regimes linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, who have had links with the secret services of Britain and the United States and Nazi Germany since the 1930s.

A major strategy of the Arab Spring uprisings was to present them as being uprisings against US backed dictatorships. This was of course true, except that the US backed the uprisings! The anti-US rhetoric was a central feature of Al Jazeera (the Qatari dictatorship’s TV station) coverage of the Arab Spring. This confused most people on the left in Europe and America into following the hype about a ‘popular uprising’.

Leftists took the bait and the scene was set for avalanche of neo-colonial conquest in Africa beginning with the carpet bombing of Libya, the destruction of its infrastructure, civil society, political and social institutions, its vast development programme throughout the African continent and the last bastion of anti-colonialist struggle in Africa. Had it not been for the deception regarding the popular nature of the Tunisian and Egyptian uprisings, the bombing of Libya would have been more contested.

Leftists played a key role in this assault by playing up the ‘Arab Spring’ nonsense to mask their support for the racist thugs, criminals and terrorists of the highest order who committed crimes against humanity in order to frame the Libyan government and bring the proud nation under the control of NATO and the Gulf Cooperation Council. The process was repeated in Syria but the high morale, organization and indefatigable resistance of the Syrian people, together with strong support from Russia and Iran, have thus far defeated the harpies of the New World Order which the mainstream media and pseudo-leftist opposition media continue to support

Corporate revolution in Algeria?

One only has to read the French press to get a sense of what Algeria can expect over the next few weeks, months, years. The Courrier Internationalproudly tells us that ‘Electoral Fraud is an official fact’ and that the election campaign is a ‘farce’. The front page of the April 2014 edition has a picture of the President Boutiflicka with the caption ‘Boutiflika ca suffit‘ (that’s enough). The caption is reference to the latest CIA youth group Barakat (That’s enough!). Just like Otpor in Serbia, Zubr in Belarus, Kmara in Georgia, Pora in the Ukraine, Ceder in Lebanon, Kelkel in Kyrgyzstan, Kefaya in Egypt, Oborona in Russia, Girifina in Sudan, Red Shirts in Thailand, Bersih in Malaysia, the Movement for Democratic Change in Zimbabwe, Mjaft in Albania, and Faor in Brazil, Barakat were top of the pops in France’s liberal leftist media in the run up to the Algerian elections.

In a Le Monde article entitled ‘The Post Boutiflicka era has started’, this is what the author says about worker opposition to the Algerian regime:

In challenging the state on a non-ideological basis, but demanding basic rights, the protestors are renegotiating citizenship in terms of their marginalization. The strikes of autonomous unions paralyzing the country are no doubt aiming for a rise in wages, but they are delegitimizing the representative character of the General Union of Algerian Workers,(UGTA), the union of the regime. The protests of unemployed collectives in the South associate their misery with the corrupt appropriation of oil resources in their region.1

The opposition groups pitched against Boutiflicka are, we are told, ‘non-ideological’. This is new-speak for the right-wing. The author politely confirms this by the subtle use of the conjunction ‘but’. The strikes carried out by the ‘autonomous syndicates’ that are paralyzing the country are aimed at pay rises, BUT their real aim is to delegitimize the General Union of Algerian Workers. The conjunction ‘but’ means contrary in French, English and most languages. Another way of putting this would be as follows: While the strikes carried out by the autonomous unions pretend to be aimed at increasing the wages of workers, their real aim is to delegitimize state structures by confusing the workers into participating in a revolution carried out by Big Capital, aimed at shredding all their hard earned rights and entitlements, or what is left of them. Once the national bourgeoisie is overthrown in a ‘revolution’, there’ll be no more collective bargaining, and their already meager wages will be reduced further as multinational corporations replace state structures. That signifies total enslavement of the working class.

This is precisely what happened in Egypt in 2011 where independent labour unions linked to the American Federation of Labour Unions and the Sons of the Land Association for Human Rights were used to overthrow President Mubarak and replace him with the ultra right-wing Muslim Brotherhood. The first thing the reactionary ‘revolutionaries’ and the ‘independent unions’ did when in power was to pass laws making it legal for companies to stop production in times of slumps without having to pay their workers and banning pay for workers who went on strike.

Many prominent left wing intellectuals mentioned the important ‘labour struggles’ in Egypt that led to the revolution in 201l. Noam Chomsky, who supported the bombing of Libya, mentioned the Ghazel Al Mahalla Textile Workers strikes of 2006-7 as attesting to the ‘popular uprising’ in Egypt against a US-backed dictator. The revered American linguist failed to realize who the instigators of the ‘labour struggles’ were and what their aims were. The ultra-right wing Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, however, did not fail to understand the ‘democratic’ nature of the ‘labour struggles,’noting that:

Egyptian workers have started to shift their demands from strictly economic—salaries, bonuses, and industrial safety—to the more political question of re-configuring their relation to the state.

Any political analyst who knows his labour history will not need to be told that American industrialist Andrew Carnegie was no friend of the working class and will immediately suspect ulterior motives for Carnegie Endowment approval of labour struggles in developing countries. Not so for left liberals such as Noam Chomsky who gave full backing to the US destablisation of Egypt on the basis of phony labour struggles organized by US intelligence. Theveteran leftist told the BBC that the West had a duty to do something in Libya, where NATO was about to embark upon one of the most brutal colonial wars in Modern history.

Such leftists have enjoyed much kudos over the years. But their support for NATO’s ‘humanitarian’ bombings and neo-colonial wars has exposed them as weak political thinkers at best or downright fakers at worst.

The co-optation of workers in the service of capitalism has its roots in the nineteenth century and its widespread use was documented by Frederich Engels in his essay ‘The History of the Working Class in England’ where the German philosopher describes how the ruling class managed to co-opt the labour movement to steer it in the interests of capital:

out of ten strikes they make, nine are provoked by the manufacturers in their own interests, as the only means of securing a reduced production. You can never get the masters to agree to work “short time,” let manufactured goods be ever so unsaleable; but get the work-people to strike, and the masters shut their factories to a man

The destruction of nation states by rogue corporations: an open secret

In a report entitled: ‘The Algerian Regime: An Arab Spring Survivor,’ the author states that one of the reasons for the failure of regime change in Algeria has been the fact that ‘The country reinjects tens of billions of dollars in social transfers—unemployment insurance, health care system, subsidies and food price reductions—every year, thanks to petroleum income.’

The country’s welfare state policies are the reason why the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the police force of Western capitalism, would like to see the Algerian state experiencing ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’ in the form of a violent civil war that would definitively break up the country, reducing it to fiefdoms run by war lords and open to unfettered exploitation by multinational corporations.

The war by multinational corporations against the bourgeois nation-state is no secret. In a surprisingly candid article in Le Monde, anthropologist Jean-Loup Amselle discretely admits this fact when writing in relation to the French intervention in the Central African Republic:

Today Africa is the scene of the implosion of the bureaucratic state and of a redefinition of social and political relations, which, far from systematically revealing ethnic conflicts, rather attests to the emergence of diverse forms of religious recomposition. This collapse of the state certainly poses a problem to developed states and international organisations in terms of the maintenance of order on the continent, but it also enables mulitnationals and the great powers to procure the raw materials they need at the lowest price.2

What such an eloquent description omits, however, is that the ‘grandes puissances,’ are actively fomenting subversion, terrorism and instability in resource-rich African nations, creating the context for international organisations to call for humanitarian intervention. In this sense, the claim that the disorder in Africa is a problem for European states is without foundation.

The Third Great Crisis of Capitalism

The strategy of permanent revolution, of upheavals and strikes in the service of big capital, this is the strategy of the third great crisis of capitalism. To get an insight into the implications of the third great crisis of capitalism and its drive towards a world war three scenario, it is useful to refer to the only country in history that managed to defeat capitalism, namely the USSR. In the following text, the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the USSR describes the relationship between capitalism and war. The text is worth quoting at length:

It would be wrong to think that the Second World War broke out accidentally, or as a result of blunders committed by certain statesmen, although blunders were certainly committed. As a matter of fact, the war broke out as the inevitable result of the development of world economic and political forces on the basis of present-day monopolistic capitalism. Marxists have more than once stated that the capitalist system of world economy contains the elements of a general crisis and military conflicts, that, in view of that, the development of world capitalism in our times does not proceed smoothly and evenly, but through crises and catastrophic wars. The point is that the uneven development of capitalist countries usually leads, in the course of time, to a sharp disturbance of the equilibrium within the world system of capitalism, and that group of capitalist countries regards itself as being less securely provides with raw materials and markets usually attempts to change the situation and to redistribute “spheres of influence” in its own favour — by employing armed force. As a result of this, the capitalist world is split into two hostile camps, and war breaks out between them.

Perhaps catastrophic wars could be avoided if it were possible periodically to redistribute raw materials and markets among the respective countries in conformity with their economic weight by means of concerted and peaceful decisions. But this is impossible under the present capitalist conditions of world economic development.

Thus, as a result of the first crisis of the capitalist system of world economy, the First World War broke out; and as a result of the second crisis, the Second World War broke out.

What the recent wars in Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe and the uprisings against left-leaning governments in Latin America have revealed is that the Third Great Crisis of Capitalism is leading the world towards a Third World War scenario. In the 1930s, fascism was the means whereby the ruling classes of Europe fought labour. Fascism was a social movement which co-opted labour in the service of big capital, while rallying populations in support of foreign wars of aggression.

Its purpose was to save capitalism from communist revolution. Today, capitalism has again become ‘revolutionary’. This time ‘human rights’ ‘democracy’ and ‘liberty’ are the memes employed by the ruling class to divide and conquer the world, as it was these principles which enabled the bourgeoise to seize power in 18th century America and France, establishing the supremacy of the capitalist mode of production.

The ideological roots of these people power revolutions are in Trotskyism, a counter-revolutionary trend in the labour movement that developed in tandem with fascism during the 1930s. It is no surprise to find that many of the key players in current US foreign policy were former Trotskyites.

This is the ideological origin of petty-bourgeois leftism today and it is most blatantly manifested in the reactionary garbage published by the Socialist Worker’s Party since the start of the wars against Libya and Syria.

Conclusion

The French press is openly advocating a military coup that would replace the current leadership and place Algeria under the control of a ‘Transitional Council’. With President Boutiflicka in ill health and terrorist attacks mounting against the Algerian army, a military coup, following by a phony ‘revolution’ is a distinct possibility.

In June 2010, the leader of the Movement for Kabyle Autonomy Ferhat Mehenni proclaimed the formation of a provisional government in Paris. Covert support for Kabyle separatists and Al-Qaeda militants will most likely constitute NATO’s policy of creative destruction against one of Africa’s last anti-colonial states, bringing an end to the nation-state and welfare-state capitalism in developing countries and inaugurating an era of global neo-feudalism, reducing the world proletariat to the status of slaves. The first step in fighting back is simply to understand that all these so-called ‘revolutions’ are fake and that, the real people’s revolution will not be televised.

  1. En interpellant l’Etat sur une base non idéologique mais en demandant le respect de droits basiques, les protestataires renégocient une citoyenneté à partir de leur marginalisation. Les grèves des syndicats autonomes qui paralysent le pays visent certes des augmentations de salaire, mais délégitiment la représentativité imposée de l’Union générale des travailleurs algériens (UGTA), le syndicat du régime. Les manifestations des collectifs de chômeurs du Sud relient leur mal-vie à l’appropriation corrompue des ressources pétrolières de leur région. Le Monde. []
  2. ‘L’Afrique est aujourd’hui le cadre d’une implosion de l’Etat bureaucratique d’une redéfinition du lien social et politique qui, loin de revêtir systématiquement le caractère de conflits ethniques, témoigne plutôt de l’émergence de formes diverses de recomposition religieuse. Cet effondrement de l’Etat pose certes aux pays développés et aux organisations internationales des problèmes de maintien de l’ordre sur ce continent, mais il permet aussi aux multinationales et aux grandes puissances de se procurer à moindre coût les matières premières dont elles ont besoin’. Le Monde. []

Gearóid Ó Colmáin is a political analyst based in Paris. He is a frequent contributor to Russia Today, Radio Del Sur and Inn World Report. His blog can be reached at MetrogaelRead other articles by Gearóid.

Obama Comes Clean as a Republican

May 12th, 2014 by Eric Zuesse

On May 9th, Dave Jamieson at Huffington Post headlined, “Once a Walmart Boycotter, Obama Now on Cozier Terms with Retailer,” and he reported that despite the outrage from progressives, Obama is now openly on Walmart’s team, supporting the international race to the bottom in workers’ wages and benefits, for the benefit of stockholders throughout the world.

Many of the reader-comments there were, basically, still in denial of this reality, simply because Obama continues his liberal rhetoric of “hope” and “change,” as if to serve as ongoing rhetorical target-practice for the more overt fascist Sarah Palin, who openly laughs at any hope and change at all, except of the fascist type: the type that says, just open the floodgates to corporate-government corruption, and “Drill, baby, drill!”

Liberals still don’t get it: they still refuse to recognize that they’ve been had, for over 5 years now, by this Manchurian Candidate, Republican Trojan Horse in the Democratic Party, conservative fox in the liberals’ chicken-coop, who pours forth liberal rhetoric (such as his favoring “equality”) while he pursues the international mega-corporate agenda, for the benefit of the aristocracy, who own practically all of the corporate stock (and that’s not even factoring in any of the estimated $21-$32 trillion of it that’s stashed away by them offshore and hidden entirely from the public but still accruing dividends and capital gains as those stock-values go up), and who serve on corporate boards and run the corporations and receive the enormous bonuses from their stock-values going up — and to hell with the workers, as their wages go down, in order to help make those stocks go up.

It took a gutsy Harry Reid in the U.S. Senate finally to say, on 29 January 2014, in effect: No more; you’re going too far; I’ve got to block you, even though you’re unfortunately now the head of our Party.

But, since Obama won re-election in 2012, he no longer even needs to worry about what congressional Democrats, or any Democrats for that matter, think; and, when Republicans take over the U.S. Senate after November, as all of the polling suggests they will, Obama will have clear sailing, no longer with a leader in the U.S. Senate who was chosen by the Senate’s Democrats, but instead with a leader who will be chosen by the Senate’s Republicans. And, then, he’ll be able to do everything he wants to do, and has wanted to do all along.

Democratic voters have been taken for a ride with Obama. The end of it won’t be pretty.

After all: he’s clearly with the fascists in Ukraine, which shows (in the most raw fashion) where his heart lies. And lies. And lies.

And, even before Obama so much as first entered the White House, he was trying to wrangle John Boehner to agree to accept things he wanted to propose that Republicans had actually been fighting for under Bush when Democrats had power in Congress to block those things, but Boehner just responded, in effect: No dice, we now demand even more. Their unrelenting mantra was: We want you to be a one-term president.

And, now that Obama’s in his second term, and will soon no longer even need to pretend to be a Democrat any longer, will Democrats (whom he has merely snubbed ever since he won the White House in 2008) then be treated like the Russian-speakers in Ukraine already are, under the reign of his chosen stooges there?

Of course, that’s a rhetorical question: it’s intended only to make unequivocally clear where his heart really lies. And lies. And lies.

It’s clearly not with us. And it never actually was.

And, now, his anointed successor would be (that former member of the board of directors at Walmart) Hillary Clinton: who is even worse.

But, isn’t there a limit to how long liberals can be taken for suckers? (When they will say: “Enough — no more. No more!”)

The time has arrived for congressional Democrats to come out now publicly, while they are still in Congress, and to disown Obama, as not one of them. Let Obama hang, by his own lies, so that their Party won’t continue to be hung, by his lies, any longer.

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

 

By subverting the elected government of The Ukraine, President Obama has restarted a dangerous and costly Cold War with Russia that literally threatens life on the planet.

This reckless president, who has already bombed six countries, (Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq) is risking a possible escalation of the Ukraine crisis he helped foster, into World War III against Russia.

Victoria Nuland,  Obama’s Undersecretary of State for Europe and Eurasia, stated at a Washington conference last Dec. 13 that since 1991 the U.S. has invested $5 billion in Ukraine to install “a good form of democracy.”

But in a recent article published by Global Research, Bill Van Auken identified the “good democrats” the U.S. has been aiding in The Ukraine as those responsible for last February’s “fascist-led coup that installed an unelected ultra-nationalist government in which neo-Nazis from the Right Sector and the Svoboda party hold prominent positions.”

Paul Craig Roberts, of the Institute For Political Economy and former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury under President Reagan, has written the U.S. objective in the current crisis

“is to restart the Cold War by forcing the Russian government to occupy the Russian-speaking areas of present day Ukraine where protesters are objecting to the stooge anti-Russian government installed in Kiev by the American coup.”

The heightened tensions, says The Nation in its May 19th editorial,

“will almost certainly result in a new nuclear arms race, a prospect made worse by Obama’s provocative public assertion that ‘our conventional forces are significantly superior to the Russians.’”

Russian authority Professor Francis Boyle of the University of Illinois, Champaign, says the U.S./NATO/European Union

“are promoting the destabilization and the breakup of Ukraine in order to achieve the NATO goal of moving into Ukrainian territory closer to Russia.”

The U.S., for a long time, has been attempting to get The Ukraine into NATO, he noted.

Obama now has broken the promise President George H.W. Bush gave to Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev that if he agreed to the reunification of Germany, NATO would move no farther east, toward Russia’s boundaries, Boyle said. He adds,

“The Obama administration and NATO are maneuvering humanity into a reverse Cuban Missile Crisis right on the borders of Russia. Can World War III be far behind?”

Author Roberts said NATO official Alexander Vershbow, the former U.S. ambassador to Russia, told reporters NATO has given up on “drawing Moscow closer” and soon will deploy a large number of combat forces in Eastern Europe. And so the dreaded Cold War, with all its staggering cost, with all its immeasurable weight of fear, begins again.

One wonders what the U.S. reaction might be to a Russian warning that it was going to station armies in Mexico or Canada? It should not be forgotten that Russian foreign policy in recent years has been one of peaceful contraction while President Obama’s has been one of violent expansion.  This is reflected in the official figures for military spending last year compiled by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

The U.S., it reports, spent $640 billion of a world total of $1747 billion, or 37% of all. After the U.S. came China, $188 billion; Russia $88 billion; Saudi Arabia, $67 billion and France $61 billion. U.S. arms spending is now greater than the next nine nations combined.

And while Russia has fewer than a dozen military bases world-wide, most of them built in former Soviet territory, the U.S. has more than 1,000 bases, in addition to 1,000 located on its own soil.

Given the fact that the U.S. is pounding on Moscow’s door; that it is actively engaged in half a dozen shooting wars; that it has 1,000 military bases abroad; that it leads the world in military spending by a wide margin; and that it has spent $5 billion to aid the neo-Nazis in an overthrow by force and violence in The Ukraine; it is hard to disagree with Roberts when he asserts “Washington has no intention of allowing the crisis in Ukraine to be resolved.”

Sherwood Ross formerly reported for the Chicago Daily News, UPI and Reuters. He now runs a public relations firm and can be reached at [email protected]

Alan Gross, agente estadounidense, cumple una pena de prisión de 15 años en Cuba desde 2009. Por otro lado, tres agentes cubanos están encarcelados en Estados Unidos desde 1998. Existe la posibilidad de un intercambio de presos y el caso de Gerardo Hernández, uno de los tres cubanos, condenado a dos cadenas perpetuas, se prestaría particularmente a un acuerdo humanitario. He aquí las razones en 25 puntos.

1. Durante los años 1990, tras el desmoronamiento de la Unión Soviética, el sector radical del exilio cubano basado en Florida multiplicó los atentados contra Cuba, particularmente contra la industria turística –sector vital para la frágil economía cubana- Esos atentados con bombas causaron decenas de víctimas. Ante la impunidad de la que gozaban esos grupúsculos violentos por parte de las autoridades estadounidenses, el Gobierno de La Habana decidió mandar a varios agentes a Estados Unidos para que se infiltraran en esas organizaciones criminales e impidieran la realización de actos potencialmente mortíferos.

2. En junio de 1998, tras reunir las pruebas relativas a las actividades terroristas de 64 exilados de Florida, el Gobierno cubano invitó a La Habana a dos oficiales del FBI para entregarles el informe. En vez de arrestar a los responsables de los actos criminales, el FBI decidió arrestar a los cinco agentes de los servicios de inteligencia infiltrados. Se trata de René González Sehweret, Ramón Labañino Salazar, Fernando González Llort, Antonio Guerrero Rodríguez y Gerardo Hernández Nordelo.

3. Tras un juicio denunciado por muchas instituciones jurídicas por sus numerosas irregularidades, los cinco cubanos ganaron la primera apelación en la Corte de Atlanta. El Tribunal estimó que no tuvieron un juicio justo. Pero el Gobierno de Estados Unidos, a su vez, apeló esa decisión y finalmente los cinco fueron condenados en total a cuatro cadenas perpetuas más 77 años. El 13 de octubre de 2009 el Tribunal de Florida, obligado por la Corte de Apelación de Atlanta a modificar las sentencias de tres de los cinco detenidos, hizo públicas las nuevas condenas. Así, la pena de Antonio Guerrero pasó de cadena perpetua y 10 años a 21 años más 5 años de libertad supervisada. El 8 de diciembre de 2009 la condena de Fernando González pasó de 19 años a 17 años y 9 meses. En cuanto a Ramón Labañino, se rebajó su condena a una cadena perpetua más de 18 años a 30 años de prisión. Fernando González y René González salieron de prisión tras cumplir sus condenas.

4. Gerardo Hernández fue condenado a dos cadenas perpetuas más 15 años por conspiración para cometer un cuádruple asesinato. Se le acusa de estar directamente involucrado en el incidente del 24 de febrero de 1996. Ese día dos avionetas en las que se encontraban cuatro pilotos de la organización terrorista Brithers to the Rescue (BTTR), basada en la Florida, fueron derribados por las fuerzas aéreas cubanas tras violar 25 veces el espacio aéreo cubano en 20 meses.

5. José Basulto, presidente de BTTR, es un antiguo agente de la CIA que participó en la invasión de la Bahía de Cochinos. Está gravemente implicado en el terrorismo contra Cuba. Basulto admitió públicamente en una entrevista televisiva en un canal de Miami haber participado en varios atentados contra Cuba, incluso en el ataque de hotel con bazuca en agosto de 1962.

Reproducción

Alan Gross, agente estadounidense, cumple pena de prisión de 15 años en Cuba desde 2009

6. BTTR se fundó en 1991 para auxiliar a los cubanos que intentaban alcanzar la Florida en balsas. En 1994, Washington y La Habana firmaron acuerdos migratorios que permiten otorgar 20.000 visas al año a los cubanos que desean emigrar. Esos acuerdos estipulan también que todo candidato a la emigración encontrado en pleno mar sería automáticamente devuelto a Cuba. A partir de esa fecha, BTTR perdió su razón de ser y empezó entonces a organizar incursiones en el espacio aéreo cubano.

7. Una cronología de los hechos permite entender los principales elementos de esta historia. Durante los meses anteriores al grave incidente del 24 de febrero, las autoridades cubanas advirtieron varias veces a Estados Unidos mediante notas diplomáticas y canales no oficiales de que las reiteradas violaciones de su espacio aéreo constituía una amenaza para la seguridad nacional y que las avionetas corrían el riesgo de ser derribadas. Washington decidió ignorar esas advertencias.

8. Varias veces, las avionetas de BTTR provocaron a las fuerzas armadas cubanas en el espacio aéreo nacional e ignoraron las advertencias sobre el riesgo de ser derribadas. Además de sus incursiones en la capital, BTTR creaba interferencias entre la torre de control de La Habana y los aviones comerciales que despegaban y aterrizaban en el aeropuerto internacional José Martí, poniendo en peligro la vida de miles de pasajeros cubanos y turistas extranjeros.

9. El 13 de julio de 1995, BTTR sobrevoló el centro de la ciudad de La Habana y lanzó 20.000 folletos, incitando a la población a sublevarse contra el Gobierno.

10. Ese mismo día, las autoridades cubanas transmitieron un correo a la Administración Federal de Aviación de Estados Unidos enfatizando el carácter ilegal de las incursiones en el espacio aéreo nacional y las “graves consecuencias” que semejantes actos podían ocasionar si se repitieran, aludiendo a la posibilidad de una respuesta militar.

11. El Gobierno de Estados Unidos, en vez de tomar las medidas necesarias para impedir esas graves violaciones del Derecho Internacional, dio todo el margen necesario para que BTTR multiplicara sus incursiones, a pesar de que rellenó varias veces falsos planes de vuelo que entregó a la Administración Federal de Aviación.

12. Gerardo Hernández no participó en ningún momento en las violaciones del espacio aéreo cubano ni incitó a los miembros de BTTR a que cometieran esos actos ilegales y peligrosos. Gerardo Hernández no disponía del nivel jerárquico necesario en BTTR para impedir esos vuelos. Todo se encontraba bajo el control de José Basulto.

13. El Departamento de Estado emitió varias declaraciones alertando a BTTR de que sus avionetas corrían el riesgo de ser derribadas si persistían en violar el espacio aéreo cubano.

14. En enero de 1996, BTTR lanzó 500.000 folletos sobre La Habana incitando a la población a rebelarse contra el Gobierno. El 15 de enero de 1996, Cuba exigió otra vez que Estados Unidos pusiera fin a las repetidas violaciones de su espacio aéreo.

15. Tras las violaciones del espacio aéreo nacional en enero de 1996, Cuba advirtió a Washington de que en caso de nuevos vuelos las avionetas serían derribadas. La Habana reiteró esas advertencias a todas las personalidades que visitaron la isla entre el 15 de enero de enero y el 23 de febrero de 1996.

16. El 22 de enero de 1996, el Departamento de Estado alertó a la Agencia Federal de Aviación: “Uno de esos días, los cubanos derribarán una de esas avionetas”. José Basulto declaró repetidas veces en los medios informativos que era consciente del peligro.

17. En febrero de 1996, las autoridades cubanas enviaron un mensaje a sus agentes en Miami indicándoles que de ninguna manera debían participar en los vuelos de BTTR.

18. El 23 de febrero de 1996, la Agencia Federal de Aviación transmitió una “alerta Cuba” a varias agencias indicando que BTTR había previsto una nueva incursión en el espacio aéreo cubano para el día siguiente. “El Departamento de Estado indicó que sería poco probable que el Gobierno cubano se quedara cruzado de brazos esta vez”.

Wikimedia Commons

Grupo de los cinco cubanos

19. El 24 de febrero de 1996, el Gobierno de Estados Unidos advirtió a las autoridades cubanas de que tres avionetas de BTTR acababan de despegar de Miami y que era posible que entraran en el espacio aéreo cubano.

20. Tras varias advertencias, las fuerzas armadas cubanas derribaron dos de las tres avionetas en el espacio aéreo cubano, lo que constituye un acto de autodefensa según el Derecho Internacional. Ningún país del mundo –aún menos Estados Unidos– habría esperado a la violación número 26 de su espacio aéreo por una organización, que lanzaba llamados a la sublevación, para tomar semejante medida.

21. No obstante, Estados Unidos afirma que, según sus datos satelitales, las dos avionetas fueron derribadas en la zona internacional, lo que constituiría un crimen del que se acusa a Gerardo Hernández. La publicación de los datos satelitales permitiría levantar toda ambigüedad al respecto. Ahora bien, desde 1996, Washington se niega a publicar esas informaciones por cuestiones de “seguridad nacional”, a pesar de que los abogados de Gerardo Hernández lo han pedido reiteradamente.

22. En ningún momento Hernández estuvo implicado en la decisión de derribar las avionetas que tomaron las autoridades cubanas al más alto nivel.

23. Para condenar a Gerardo Hernández, la fiscalía debía demostrar que existía un proyecto ilegal de derribar las avionetas de BTTR en el espacio aéreo internacional, que Hernández tenía un conocimiento preciso de este proyecto ilegal y que brindó su apoyo a semejante acción. La fiscalía no pudo presentar la menor prueba que demostrase la implicación de Gerardo Hernández en ese incidente. Mejor aún, el fiscal reconoció que “a la luz de las pruebas presentadas en el juicio, esto [probar la implicación de Hernández] constituye un obstáculo insuperable para Estados Unidos”.

24. La jueza Phyllis A. Kravitch, de la Corte de Apelación de Atlanta, expresó su punto de vista sobre el caso de Gerardo Hernández: “No es suficiente que el Gobierno simplemente muestre que ocurrió un derribo en el espacio aéreo internacional, el Gobierno debe probar más allá de toda duda razonable que Hernández estuvo de acuerdo con un derribo en el espacio aéreo internacional. […] El Gobierno no presentó prueba alguna, ni directa ni circunstancial, de que Hernández estuviera de acuerdo con un derribo en el espacio aéreo internacional. En cambio los indicios apuntan hacia una confrontación en el espacio aéreo cubano, lo que niega el requisito de que estuviera de acuerdo en cometer un acto ilícito”.

25. Por todas esas razones, Barack Obama debe usar sus prerrogativas como Presidente de Estados Unidos e indultar a los tres agentes cubanos que aún quedan en prisión. Ello tendría como efecto inmediato conseguir la liberación de Alan Gross y de este modo pacificar las relaciones entre Washington y La Habana.

Salim Lamrani

Doctor en Estudios Ibéricos y Latinoamericanos de la Universidad Paris Sorbonne-Paris IV, Salim Lamrani es profesor titular de la Universidad de La Reunión y periodista, especialista de las relaciones entre Cuba y Estados Unidos. Su último libro se titula Cuba. Les médias face au défi de l’impartialité, Paris, Editions Estrella, 2013, con un prólogo de Eduardo Galeano.

Contacto: [email protected] ; [email protected]

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Alan Gross, agente norte-americano, cumpre uma pena de prisão de 15 anos em Cuba desde 2009. Por outro lado, três agentes cubanos estão presos nos Estados Unidos desde 1998. Existe a possibilidade de uma troca de presos e o caso de Gerardo Hernández, um dos três cubanos condenados a duas penas perpétuas, seria negociado em um acordo humanitário. Aqui estão os motivos para isso em 25 pontos:

1. Durante os anos 1990, após o desmoronamento da União Soviética, o setor radical do exílio cubano estabelecido na Flórida multiplicou os atentados contra Cuba, particularmente contra a indústria do turismo – setor vital para a frágil economia cubana. Esses atentados à bomba provocaram dezenas de vítimas. Diante da impunidade que gozaram esses grupelhos violentos por parte das autoridades norte-americanas, o Governo de Havana decidiu mandar vários agentes aos Estados Unidos para se infiltrarem nessas organizações criminosas e impedirem a realização de atos potencialmente letais.

2. Em junho de 1998, após reunir as provas relativas às atividades terroristas de 64 exilados na Flórida, o governo cubano convidou a Havana dois oficiais do FBI para lhes entregar as informações. Em vez de prender os responsáveis pelos atos criminosos, o FBI decidiu prender os cinco agentes dos serviços de inteligência infiltrados. Trata-se de René González Sehweret, Ramón Labañino Salazar, Fernando González Llort, Antonio Guerrero Rodríguez e Gerardo Hernández Nordelo.

3. Após um julgamento denunciado por muitas instituições jurídicas por conta de suas inúmeras irregularidades, os cinco cubanos ganharam a primeira apelação na Corte de Atlanta. O Tribunal avaliou que não tiveram um julgamento justo. Mas, o governo dos Estados Unidos, por sua vez, apelou dessa decisão e finalmente os cinco foram condenados, no total, a quatro penas perpétuas e mais 77 anos. Em 13 de outubro de 2009, o Tribunal da Flórida, obrigado pela Corte de Apelação de Atlanta a modificar as sentenças de três dos cinco detidos, tornou públicas as novas condenações. Assim, a pena de Antonio Guerrero passou de prisão perpétua mais 10 anos para 21 anos e mais 5 anos de liberdade supervisionada. Em 8 de dezembro de 2009, a pena de Fernando Gonzáles passou de 19 anos para 17 anos e 9 meses. Quanto a Ramón Labañino, sua pena foi de uma prisão perpétua e mais 18 anos para 30 anos de prisão. Fernando González e René González saíram da prisão depois de cumprir suas penas.

4. Gerardo Hernández foi condenado a duas penas perpétuas e mais 15 anos por conspirar para cometer quatro assassinatos. Ele é acusado de estar diretamente envolvido no incidente de 24 de fevereiro de 1996. Naquele dia, dois aviões nos quais estavam quatro pilotos da organização terrorista Brothers to the Rescue (BTTR), sediada na Flórida, foram derrubados pelas forças aéreas cubanas após violar 25 vezes o espaço aéreo cubano no período de 20 meses.

5. José Basulto, presidente da BTTR, é um ex-agente da CIA que participou da invasão da Baía dos Porcos. Está gravemente envolvido no terrorismo contra Cuba. Basulto admitiu publicamente, em uma entrevista para a um canal de TV de Miami, ter participado de vários atentados contra Cuba, inclusive naquele com bazuca ataque ao hotel em agosto de 1962.

Reprodução

Alan Gross cumpre pena de prisão desde 2009 em Cuba

6. A BTTR foi fundada em 1991 para ajudar os cubanos que tentavam chegar à Flórida por meio de barcos. Em 1994, Washington e Havana assinaram acordos migratórios que permitiram conceder 20 mil vistos ao ano para cubanos que quisessem emigrar. Esses acordos estipulam também que todo candidato à emigração encontrado ao mar seria automaticamente devolvido a Cuba. A partir dessa data, a BTTR perdeu sua razão de existir e então começou a organizar incursões ao espaço aéreo cubano.

7. Uma cronologia dos fatos permite entender os principais elementos dessa história. Durante os meses anteriores ao grave incidente de 24 de fevereiro, as autoridades cubanas advertiram os Estados Unidos várias vezes mediante notas diplomáticas e canais não oficiais de que as reiteradas violações de seu espaço aéreo constituíam uma ameaça para a segurança nacional e que os aviões corriam o risco de serem derrubados. Washington decidiu ignorar essas advertências.

8. Em diversas ocasiões, os aviões da BTTR provocaram as forças armadas cubanas no espaço aéreo nacional e ignoraram as advertências sobre o risco de serem derrubadas. Além de suas incursões na capital, BTTR criava interferências entre a torre de controle de Havana e os aviões comerciais que decolavam e aterrissavam no aeroporto internacional José Martí, colocando em risco a vida de milhares de passageiros cubanos e turistas estrangeiros.

Leia também: Cuba sinaliza disposição em negociar libertação de norte-americano, mas lembra do “Grupo dos 5″

9. Em 13 de julho de 1995, a BTTR sobrevoou o centro da cidade de Havana e lançou 20 mil folhetos, incitando a população a se sublevar contra o governo.

10. Naquele mesmo dia, as autoridades cubanas transmitiram uma mensagem à Administração Federal de Aviação dos Estados Unidos enfatizando o caráter ilegal das incursões ao espaço aéreo nacional e as “graves consequências” que tais atos poderiam ocasionar caso se repetissem, referindo-se à possibilidade de uma resposta militar.

11. O governo dos Estados Unidos, em vez de tomar as medidas necessárias para impedir essas graves violações do direito internacional, deu toda a margem necessária para que a BTTR multiplicasse suas incursões, apesar de esta ter preenchido várias vezes falsos planos de voo e os ter entregado à Administração Federal de Aviação.

12. Gerardo Hernández não participou, em nenhum momento, das violações do espaço aéreo cubano nem incitou os membros da BTTR a cometer esses atos ilegais e perigosos. Gerardo Hernández não dispunha do nível hierárquico necessário na BTTR para impedir esses voos. Tudo estava sob o controle de José Basulto.

13. O Departamento de Estado emitiu várias declarações alertando que a BTTR que seus aviões corriam o risco de ser derrubados se persistissem violando o espaço aéreo cubano.

14. Em janeiro de 1996, a BTTR lançou 500 mil folhetos sobre Havana incitando a população a se rebelar contra o governo. Em 15 de janeiro de 1996, Cuba exigiu novamente que os Estados Unidos colocassem fim às repetidas violações de seu espaço aéreo.

Leia também: 50 verdades sobre o caso dos 5

15. Após as violações do espaço aéreo nacional em janeiro de 1996, Cuba advertiu a Washington de que, em caso de novos voos, as aeronaves seriam derrubadas. Havana reiterou essas advertências a todas as personalidades que visitaram a ilha entre 15 de janeiro e 23 de fevereiro de 1996.

16. Em 22 de janeiro 1996, o Departamento de Estado alertou a Agência Federal de Aviação: “Em um dia desses, os cubanos derrubarão uma dessas aeronaves”. José Basulto declarou repetidas vezes nos meios de comunicação que estava consciente do perigo.

17. Em fevereiro de 1996, as autoridades cubanas enviaram uma mensagem a seus agentes em Miami indicando que, de nenhuma maneira, deveriam participar dos voos da BTTR.

18. Em 23 de fevereiro de 1996, a Agência Federal de Aviação transmitiu um “alerta Cuba” a várias agências, informando que a BTTR havia previsto uma nova incursão no espaço aéreo cubano para o dia seguinte. “O Departamento de Estado indicou que seria pouco provável que o governo cubano ficaria de braços cruzados desta vez”.

Wikimedia Commons

O grupo dos 5, da esq. para dir.: Antonio Guerrero, René González (já libertado), Fernando González (também solto), Gerardo Hernández e Ramón Labañino

19. Em 24 de fevereiro de 1996, o Governo dos Estados Unidos informou as autoridades cubanas que três aviões da BTTR haviam acabado de decolar de Miami e que era possível que entrassem no espaço aéreo cubano.

20. Após várias advertências, as forças armadas cubanas derrubaram duas das três aeronaves no espaço aéreo cubano, o que constitui um ato de autodefesa segundo o direito internacional. Nenhum país do mundo – menos ainda os Estados Unidos – havia esperado a violação número 26 de seu espaço aéreo por uma organização, que lançava chamados à sublevação, para tomar medida semelhante.

21. No entanto, os Estados Unidos afirmam que, segundo seus dados de satélite, as duas aeronaves foram derrubados na zona internacional, o que constituiria um crime do qual Gerardo Hernández é acusado. A publicação dos dados de satélite permitiria sanar toda a ambiguidade a respeito. Mas, desde 1996, Washington se nega a publicar essas informações por questões de “segurança nacional”, apesar de os advogados de Gerardo Hernández os terem pedido reiteradamente.

22. Em nenhum momento, Hernández esteve envolvido na decisão de derrubar as aeronaves que desfiaram as autoridades cubanas no mais alto nível.

23. Para condenar Gerardo Hernández, a promotoria devia demonstrar que existia um projeto ilegal de derrubar as aeronaves da BTTR no espaço aéreo internacional, e que Hernández tinha um conhecimento preciso desse projeto ilegal, manifestando seu apoio a semelhante ação. A promotoria não pôde apresentar qualquer prova que demonstrasse o envolvimento de Gerardo Hernández nesse incidente. Melhor ainda, o promotor reconheceu que, “à luz das provas apresentadas no julgamento, isso [provar o envolvimento de Hernández] constitui um obstáculo insuperável para os Estados Unidos”.

24. A juíza Phyllis A. Kravitch, da Corte de Apelação de Atlanta, expressou seu ponto de vista sobre o caso de Gerardo Hernández: “Não é suficiente que o governo simplesmente mostre que ocorreu uma derrubada no espaço aéreo internacional. O governo deve provar para além de qualquer dúvida razoável que Hernández esteve de acordo com uma derrubada no espaço aéreo internacional […] O governo não apresentou prova alguma, nem direta nem circunstancial, de que Hernández estivesse de acordo com uma derrubada no espaço internacional. Em contrapartida, os indícios apontam em direção a uma confrontação no espaço aéreo cubano, o que nega o requisito de que estivesse de acordo em cometer um ato ilícito”.

25. Por todas essas razões, Barack Obama deve usar de suas prerrogativas como presidente dos Estados Unidos e indultar os três agentes cubanos que ainda estão na prisão. Isso teria como efeito imediato a liberação de Alan Gross e, desse modo, pacificaria as relações entre Washington e Havana.

Salim Lamrani

Doutor em Estudos Ibéricos e Latino-americanos pela Universidade Paris Sorbonne-Paris IV, Salim Lamrani é professor titular da Universidade de la Reunión e jornalista, especialista nas relações entre Cuba e Estados Unidos. Seu último livro é intitulado Cuba: les médias face au defí de l’impartialité (Cuba: os meios de comunicação diante do desafio da imparcialidade), Paris, Editions Estrella, 2013, com prólogo de Eduardo Galeano.

Contato: [email protected] ; [email protected]

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Addressing the public on a Victory Day, the governor of Ukraine’s southern Kherson region trampled on the feelings of many veterans and desecrated the memory of all those who perished during the war against Nazi Germany by calling Hitler a “liberator.”

Governor of Kherson region Yuri Odarchenko was booed by thousands including WWII veterans when he told the previously cheering crowd that the Soviet Union tried to enslave Ukraine, while Hitler on the other hand tried to bring freedom to their land.

“Those [Soviet] aggressors justified their capture not only by their desire to seize others’ territory and enslave the people, but they also put forward slogans about liberating nations and people that inhabit the lands which Hitler hoped to capture,” Odarchenko told the crowd.

 

Photo from twitter.com user @infoborona

Photo from twitter.com user @infoborona

Painting his version of the events further, he challenged history by saying that “if you read history books, we have a number of documentaries on this, then we see that he [Hitler] first of all put forward a slogan of liberating people from the communist yoke, and liberating people from the tyrant Stalin,” Odarchenko said, sparking anger and outraged by the crowd.

As thousands yelled out “shame”, a young woman with a child approached the governor, stripped him of the microphone, before throwing it away.

Historians, citing data available from Second Secretary of the Regional Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine, shows that Nazi forces in Kherson region killed 72,130 citizens and shipped about 40,000 to Germany to work in labour camps, while Germans ruled a crucial port on the Black Sea and Dnieper River from August 21, 1941 to March 13, 1944. Other historians place the figures at 105,000 Soviet citizens killed and more than 60,000 sent to Germany as slave labor.

As far as Hitler’s vision of liberty and justice for the people of Ukraine, there are those among the veterans who still remember what Nazi reign in Kherson was all about. Many witness accounts of the Nazi’s actions were written down in history books.

“All those arrived were stripped naked and led to the trench,” eyewitness A. K. Mestkovsky recalled in V. Baraniuk’s historic study of Hitler’s ‘liberation’ of Soviet ‘sub-humans’ in Kherson region. “The adult women and the elderly were stripped to their underwear, placed by the trench on their knees, and shot by the machine guns.”

In the autumn of 1941, about 10,000 Jews were killed in the city of Kherson alone. It is estimated that at least 47,000 Red Army soldiers died while force-crossing the Dnieper as they tried to liberate the city from the Nazis.

The Kherson governor offended the veterans on their most important holiday, Russia’s deputy Prime Minister, Dmitry Rogozin, said in his twitter post, calling him a “bastard.”

Any attempts to rewrite history and equate executors with their victims are unacceptable, the Russian leadership continues to stress. Russian President Vladimir Putin has numerously reiterated Russia’s position on the Soviet nation’s struggle during the Great Patriotic War and said future generations should know the truth about WWII heroes.

“We will always guard this sacred, unfading truth, and we will not allow the heroes to be betrayed or forgotten – everyone who saved peace on the planet, not sparing oneself [from death],” Putin said at the Red Square parade on May 9.

“Chief of police shooting his subordinates for supporting the activists”

New details came to light in the morning events ATC Mariupol.

The police chief Valery Androschuk in Mariupol ordered the use of force [including live ammunition] against protesting citizens.

Rank and file policemen told their the police chief that they [were unwilling to shoot at civilians]  In response Androschuk pulled out his gun and shot one of his subordinates, seriously wounding him.

Androschuk barricaded himself in one of the offices in the building and called the police department to help the National Guard (Natsgvardiyu). Those promptly arrived and started the attack.

At the time of the assault on the city streets , there were many people taking part in the May 9 Victory Day parade.

National Guard fighters shot to kill both civilians and police. One policeman and two civilians were killed. More than two dozen people were injured.

Androschuk during the assault tried to escape. Locals caught him and beat him up. There is no information as yet on the fate of the police chief

City residents were shocked that the National Guard (Natsgvardiya) was using heavy equipment [and live ammunition] against civilians. [A large part of  the funding of the National Guard  is provided by the US. Western special forces are involved in training the National Guard, M.Ch. GR Editor]

They expressed their willingness to defend [the city] to the best of their abilities and at any cost.

Currently, The National Guard ( Natsgvardiya) has left the city, fearing people’s vengeance, as well as barricades established in the city .

Photo: http://yadi.sk/d/z1e_UDNTPkNPE

Video: The Department of Internal Affairs DIA of Mariupol on fire http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvkhgEJiAo0

The leader of the public movement “South-East” Oleg Tsarev: 30 people were killed and more than 100 wounded, 17 of them are in intensive care. http://rusvesna.su/news/1399741221

http://rusvesna.su/news/1399657205 -

Editing of Russian translation. Michel Chossudovsky

 British Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary Owen Paterson is a staunch supporter of the GM sector (1). Despite criticisms of him being an industry puppet (2) and content to ignore the devastating, deleterious health, environmental, social and agricultural impacts of GMOs (3), both he and other officials like the EU’s chief science advisor Anne Glover (4) have been more than happy to act as mouthpieces for the GM sector by making false statements and claims about the benefits and safety of GMOs that fly in the face of scientific findings.

Paterson’s support for GMOs is being carried out in partnership with a number of institutions, including the Agricultural Biotechnology Council (ABC), which is backed by GM companies such as Monsanto, Syngenta and Bayer CropScience (5).

Evidence recently emerged of meetings and briefings involving ministers and the ABC and its industry backers, despite no such meetings with groups worried about the impact of GM on human health and the countryside. In response, GeneWatch UK made a Freedom of Information request to find out what was said at the briefings. Paterson’s department refused to give details. GeneWatch lodged a formal complaint with the Information Commissioner in the hope that ministers will be forced to admit how GM companies are driving government policy. The evidence strongly suggested that the Government is colluding with the GM industry to manipulate the media and plot the return of GM crops to Britain.

Paterson’s department refused to provide details of a telephone conference between the department and the ABC on June 10 last year. Ten days later, Paterson made a speech calling for opposition to be dropped and claiming GM crops and food were ‘probably safer’ than the conventional equivalent. It also refused to release a “message on media suggestions” sent by the ABC to the ministry last April, or details of discussions between Monsanto and the ministry two months before. In addition, his ministry would not provide details of a meeting and emails between former environment minister David Heath and the ABC.

However, details of certain emails have now been made public. They reveal what the veil of secrecy is trying to hide and what many strongly suspected: collusion between the government and the GM sector is rife.

The emails between civil servants and the GM industry reveal how the two developed a media strategy to convince the public about the merits of GM food. Writing on the Mail Online website (6), Sean Poulter notes that the email contacts were part of a wider strategy designed to relax European regulations on growing GM crops and spend millions of taxpayers’ money on GM research in British fields. Owen Paterson has pushed for faster approval of new crops and lobbying for public support and has lobbied the EU to allow biotech crops to be planted in Britain even if they are banned elsewhere.

Poulter argues that such support represents a coup for the GM industry and follows a meeting with ministers and researchers in 2012 which came up with a series of ‘to do’ lists.

The GM sector is working to get its products into Britain by infiltrating or creating institutions and co-opting strategically placed politicians and officials in order to influence decision making and manipulate public perception about GM crops. The ABC has been central in influencing government policy. Indeed, Poulter notes that email exchanges often coincided with major announcements by ministers, which shifted government policy in support of GM crops.

Civil servants hosted a meeting with industry leaders in June 2013 to decide how to present the government’s agri-tech strategy. Officials at the Business, Innovations and Skills (BIS) department even emailed the ABC asking for advice on how to promote the policy. Poulter writes that one BIS official asked for “any ideas you may have that will showcase agri-tech – as you are aware it will need to be eye-catching but reflect the main themes of the strategy.”

BIS also created a list of journalists and influential people who should be targeted with information about the new strategy and asked the ABC if it wanted to add any names or flag up “potential pitfalls.” The ABC responded by adding some names, but it also highlighted a number of journalists on the list who had been critical of GM.

The GM sector – via Paterson’s and his Environment, Food and Rural Affairs department, the BIS, the ABC, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Science and Technology in Agriculture (7), strategically placed scientists with their ‘independent’ reports (8) and the industry-backed Science Media Centre (9) – is mounting a full-fledged assault on Britain.

Its strategy also involves an ongoing attempt to get GM food into the EU via the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP/TAFTA), which is also shrouded in secrecy. The negotiations for this treaty are backed by the US GM sector: it is aimed at dismantling regulations on behalf of big corporations, bypassing democratic procedures and threatening governments with legal action (10-14).

The majority of the British public who express a view on GM food do not want it (15). However, we are experiencing a consistent, multi-pronged attack on democracy that seeks to distort the debate over the GM issue, hijack institutions, co-opt so-called ‘public servants’ and pass off vest commercial interests as the ‘public good’.

The GM sector will only get its products into Britain (and elsewhere) if its institutions and mouthpieces in government, academia and the media are left unchallenged. Part of the strategy involves counting on a misinformed and easily manipulated public.

 Be informed and take action:

http://www.stopthecrop.org/

http://corporateeurope.org/

http://www.genewatch.org/

http://www.gmwatch.org/

http://indiagminfo.org/?page_id=175

 Notes   

1)  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9733589/Food-minister-Owen-Paterson-backs-GM-crops.html

2) http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/tory-mp-says-progm-environment-secretary-owen-paterson-is-industry-puppet-8686133.html

3) http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-realities-of-gmo-and-petro-chemical-agriculture-allergies-toxins-new-diseases/5367760

 4) http://www.gmwatch.org/index.php/news/archive/2014/15308-eu-chief-science-adviser-s-gmo-safety-claims-are-a-lie

5) http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Agricultural_Biotechnology_Council

6) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2621058/Secret-emails-reveal-ministers-plotted-GM-lobbyists-Documents-two-worked-campaign-win-sceptical-consumers.html

7) http://www.genewatch.org/article.shtml?als%5Bcid%5D=492860&als%5Bitemid%5D=571543

8) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2581387/Scientists-hidden-links-GM-food-giants-Disturbing-truth-official-report-said-UK-forge-Frankenfoods.html

9) http://www.deccanherald.com/content/405309/scientists-sale-way-multinationals-039buy039.html

10) http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-us-eu-trans-atlantic-free-trade-agreement-tafta-devastating-social-and-environmental-consequences/5375692

11) http://www.globalresearch.ca/us-eu-transatlantic-free-trade-agreement-more-secrecy-and-more-duplicity-revealed/5369272

12) http://www.globalresearch.ca/free-trade-agreements-the-bypassing-of-democracy-to-institute-economic-plunder/5354197

13) http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-us-eu-transatlantic-free-trade-agreement-tafta-big-business-corporate-power-grab/5352885

14) http://www.globalresearch.ca/us-eu-free-trade-agreement-a-corporate-stitch-up-by-any-other-name/5339789

 15) http://yougov.co.uk/news/2014/02/21/many-britain-remain-sceptical-gm-foods/

For the second time in a week, Ukrainian anti-regime protesters holed up in a building were killed by fires set by pro-regime attackers with ties to newly formed neo-Nazi security forces, reports Robert Parry.

In Ukraine, a grisly new strategy – bringing in neo-Nazi paramilitary forces to set fire to occupied buildings in the country’s rebellious southeast – appears to be emerging as a favored tactic as the coup-installed regime in Kiev seeks to put down resistance from ethnic Russians and other opponents.

The technique first emerged on May 2 in the port city of Odessa when pro-regime militants chased dissidents into the Trade Unions Building and then set it on fire. As some 40 or more ethnic Russians were burned alive or died of smoke inhalation, the crowd outside mocked them as red-and-black Colorado potato beetles, with the chant of “Burn, Colorado, burn.” Afterwards, reporters spotted graffiti on the building’s walls containing Swastika-like symbols and honoring the “Galician SS,” the Ukrainian adjunct to the German SS in World War II.

Ukrainian Secretary for National Security Andriy Parubiy.

Ukrainian Secretary for National Security Andriy Parubiy.

This tactic of torching an occupied building occurred again on May 9 in Mariupol, another port city, as neo-Nazi paramilitaries – organized now as the regime’s “National Guard” – were dispatched to a police station that had been seized by dissidents, possibly including police officers who rejected a new Kiev-appointed chief. Again, the deployment of the “National Guard” was followed by burning the building and killing a significant but still-undetermined number of people inside. (Early estimates of the dead range from seven to 20.)

In the U.S. press, Ukraine’s “National Guard” is usually described as a new force derived from the Maidan’s “self-defense” units that spearheaded the Feb. 22 revolt in Kiev overthrowing elected President Viktor Yanukovych. But the Maidan’s “self-defense” units were drawn primarily from well-organized bands of neo-Nazi extremists from western Ukraine who hurled firebombs at police and fired weapons as the anti-Yanukovych protests turned increasingly violent.

But the mainstream U.S. press – in line with State Department guidance – has sought to minimize or dismiss the key role played by neo-Nazis in these “self-defense” forces as well as in the new government. At most, you’ll see references to these neo-Nazis as “Ukrainian nationalists.”

Turning to the Neo-Nazis

However, as resistance to Kiev’s right-wing regime expanded in the ethnic Russian east and south, the coup regime found itself unable to count on regular Ukrainian troops to fire on civilians. Thus, its national security chief Andriy Parubiy, himself a neo-Nazi, turned to the intensely motivated neo-Nazi shock troops who had been battle-tested during the coup.

These extremists were reorganized as special units of the National Guard and dispatched to the east and south to do the dirty work that the regular Ukrainian military was unwilling to do. Many of these extreme Ukrainian nationalists lionize World War II Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera and – like Bandera – dream of a racially pure Ukraine, free of Jews, ethnic Russians and other “inferior” beings. The slur of calling the Odessa protesters Colorado beetles — as they were being burned alive — was a reference to the black-and-red colors used by the ethnic Russian resistance in the east.

Though the mainstream U.S. press either describes Parubiy simply as the interim government’s chief of national security (with no further context) or possibly as a “nationalist,” his fuller background includes his founding of the Social-National Party of Ukraine in 1991, blending radical Ukrainian nationalism with neo-Nazi symbols. Last year, he became commandant of the Maidan’s “self-defense forces.”

Then, on April 15,  after becoming the Kiev regime’s chief of national security and finding Ukrainian troops unwilling to fire on fellow Ukrainians in the east, Parubiy went on Twitter to announce, “Reserve unit of National Guard formed #Maidan Self-defense volunteers was sent to the front line this morning.”

Those National Guard forces also were reported on the ground in Odessa when the trade unions building was torched on May 2 and they showed up again in Mariupol as the police station was burned on May 9, according to a report in the New York Times on Saturday.

The Times mentioned the appearance – and then disappearance – of the National Guard without providing any useful background about this newly organized force. In the language used by the mainstream U.S. press and the Kiev regime, the neo-Nazi brigades are “volunteers” and “self-defense” units while the rebels resisting the post-coup regime are “pro-Russian militants” or “terrorists.” The Times reported the May 9 attack in Mariupol this way:

“Ukraine’s interior minister, Arsen Avakov, wrote on Facebook that about 60 pro-Russian militants had tried to seize the city’s police headquarters. The police called for support from the Ukrainian national guard, a newly formed force of quickly trained volunteers drawn from participants in last winter’s street protests in the capital. Mr. Avakov wrote that 20 ‘terrorists’ had died in the fighting, while those who survived dispersed and hid in a residential neighborhood.”

The Times added:

“The national guard, though, pulled out of the city soon afterward …. Residents who had gathered around the police station offered an account that differed from the interior minister’s. The city police, they said, were sympathetic to the pro-Russian side and had mutinied against an out-of-town chief newly installed by the interim government in Kiev.

“Armored vehicles had driven into the city to confront the rebellious police, not the militants, residents said. Holes in the brick wall suggested heavy weaponry. Gunfire echoed downtown.”

After the deaths inside Mariupol’s police station, the Kiev regime rejoiced at the extermination of a large number of “terrorists.” As the UK’s Independent reported,

“The military action is accompanied by stridently aggressive rhetoric from politicians in Kiev who are crowing about the numbers of ‘terrorists’ killed and threatening further lethal punishment.”

The Kiev’s regime’s concern that some local police forces have at best mixed loyalties has led it again to turn to the Maidan “self-defense” forces to serve as a special “Kiev-1” police force, which was dispatched to Odessa amid that city’s recent violence.

Deniable Forces

Though many Americans don’t want to believe that their government would collaborate with neo-Nazis or other extremist elements, there actually has been a long history of just that. In conflicts as diverse as the revolutions in Central America and the anti-Soviet Afghan war in the 1980s to the current civil conflicts in Syria and Ukraine, it has not been uncommon for the side favored by the United States to rely on extremist paramilitary forces to engage in the most brutal fighting.

In Central American conflicts that I covered for the Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s, some of the “death squads” associated with pro-U.S. regimes were drawn from neo-fascist movements allied with the far-right World Anti-Communist League. In Afghanistan, the CIA relied on Islamist extremists, including Saudi jihadist Osama bin Laden, to kill Russians and their Afghan government allies.

Today, in Syria, many of the most aggressive fighters against Bashar al-Assad’s government are Arab jihadists recruited from across the region and armed by Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf oil sheikdoms. So, it fits with a pattern for the U.S. government to hold its nose and rely on neo-Nazis from western Ukraine to take the fight to rebellious ethnic Russians in the east and south.

The key to all these unsavory alliances is for the American people not to know about the real nature of these U.S. clients. In the 1980s, the Reagan administration advanced the concept of “public diplomacy” to intimidate journalists and human rights activists who dared report on the brutality of U.S.-backed forces in El Salvador and Guatemala and the CIA-trained Contra rebels in Nicaragua.

Thus, most Americans weren’t sure what to make of recurring reports about right-wing “death squads” killing priests and nuns and committing other massacres across Central America. Regarding Afghanistan, it took the American people until Sept. 11, 2001, to fully comprehend whom the Reagan administration had been working with in the 1980s.

Similarly, the Obama administration has tried to maintain the fiction that the Syrian opposition is dominated by well-meaning “moderates.” However, as the brutal civil war has ground on, it gradually has become apparent that the most effective anti-Assad fighters are the Sunni extremists allied with al-Qaeda and determined to kill Shiites, Alawites and Christians.

So, it should come as no surprise that the Kiev regime would turn to its Maidan “self-defense” forces – formed around neo-Nazi militias – to go into southern and eastern Ukraine with the purpose of burning to death ethnic Russian “insects” occupying buildings. The key is not to let the American people in on the secret.

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

For a limited time, you also can order Robert Parry’s trilogy on the Bush Family and its connections to various right-wing operatives for only $34. The trilogy includes America’s Stolen Narrative. For details on this offer, click here.

America Has Switched Sides: Now Backs Al Qaeda and Nazis

May 11th, 2014 by Washington's Blog

Why Did America Switch Sides?

America fought the Nazis in World War II and Al Qaeda since 2001. But – as hard as it is to believe – our government has now switched sides. William Blum writes:

In Libya, in Syria, and elsewhere the United States has been on the same side as the al-Qaeda types….

In Ukraine the United States is on the same side as the neo-Nazi types, who – taking time off from parading around with their swastika-like symbols and calling for the death of Jews, Russians and Communists – on May 2 burned down a trade-union building in Odessa, killing scores of people and sending hundreds to hospital; many of the victims were beaten or shot when they tried to flee the flames and smoke; ambulances were blocked from reaching the wounded. Try and find an American mainstream media entity that has made a serious attempt to capture the horror.

***

[Obama] partners with jihadists and Nazis and has waged war against seven nations.

Sound like hyperbole? It’s actually true …

Backing Al Qaeda

The U.S. “switched sides” to arm and support Al Qaeda in Libya, so they would topple Gaddaffi. This misguided effort actually created a terrorist safe haven in Libya.

The same thing happened in Syria.  The Syrian rebels are mainly Al Qaeda, and the U.S. has been supporting these terrorists for years.  Indeed, as reported in the Wall Street Journal, the National and other sources, Al Qaeda’s power within the Syrian rebel forces is only growing stronger.

Rank-and-file Syrian rebels have:

In fact, the head of the Syrian rebels is also the global boss of Al Qaeda … and he is calling for fresh terrorist attacks on America. CBS News reports:

Al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahri called has called on Muslims to continue attacking Americans on their own soil in order to “bleed” the U.S. economy.

***

“To keep up the hemorrhage in America’s security and military spending, we need to keep the Unites States on a constant state of alert about where and when the next strike will blow,” Zawahiri said.

Reuters noted in February 2012 that al-Zawahri is backing the Syrian rebels, and asking his followers to fight the Syrian government.  But al-Zawahri has since taken control of the main Al Qaeda rebel terrorist group in Syria: al-Nusra.

Terrorism experts at the Bipartisan Center’s Homeland Security Project (co-chaired by 9/11 Chairs Lee Hamilton and Thomas Kean) report (page 24):

A recent illustration of the fractured nature of the al-Qaeda network was provided during the spring of 2013 when Zawahiri [the global head of Al Qaeda] personally intervened to settle a dispute between Jabhat al-Nusra and al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). Zawahiri rejected AQI’s assertion of control over al-Nusra and declared the Syrian group to be under his direction.

In doing so, Zawahiri was trying to assert control over two of al-Qaeda’s most virulent affiliates. AQI had mounted a series of spectacular attacks in Iraq over the past year, demonstrating that it was a force to be reckoned with. According to the Congressional Research Service, there were some dozen days in 2012 in which AQI carried out simultaneous multicity attacks that killed hundreds of Iraqis. And the al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria is widely acknowledged as the most effective fighting force in the war against Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

But we are supporting these murderers.  Indeed, Obama signed a special exemption to the law barring arming of terrorists.

We’re now shipping heavy weapons to the rebels such as anti-tank (“TOW” missiles) and possibly even anti-aircraft weapons

http://img.rt.com/files/news/24/d8/90/00/38.si.jpg
Screenshot from Youtube video showing Syrian rebel using a TOW provided by the U.S.

Let’s recap … Most of the Syrian “rebels” are Al Qaeda. The U.S. government has designated these guys as terrorists. Things are getting worse, not better: Al Qaeda is gaining more and more power among the rebels. The U.S., Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Israel have been backing these guys for years. Indeed, we’ve long known that most of the weapons we’re shipping to Syria are ending up in the hands of Al Qaeda. And they apparently have chemical weapons.

Summary:  We’re arming the same guys who are threatening to blow us up.

Backing Nazis

The U.S. is backing neo-Nazis in Ukraine (and see this).

These savages have already committed mass murder in broad daylight … on camera while being filmed.

The leader of the “protests” in February 2014 which ousted the president of Ukraine (Andriy Parubiy) is a neo Nazi and follower of a prominent Ukrainian Nazi.

He’s now the head of national security in Ukraine.  In that role, he has organized neo-Nazi brigades to murder Russian-speaking Ukrainians en masse.

As former Associated Press and Newsweek reporter Robert Parry writes:

As resistance to Kiev’s right-wing regime expanded in the ethnic Russian east and south, the coup regime found itself unable to count on regular Ukrainian troops to fire on civilians. Thus, its national security chief Andriy Parubiy, himself a neo-Nazi, turned to the intensely motivated neo-Nazi shock troops who had been battle-tested during the coup.

These extremists were reorganized as special units of the National Guard and dispatched to the east and south to do the dirty work that the regular Ukrainian military was unwilling to do. Many of these extreme Ukrainian nationalists lionize World War II Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera and – like Bandera – dream of a racially pure Ukraine, free of Jews, ethnic Russians and other “inferior” beings. The slur of calling the Odessa protesters Colorado beetles — as they were being burned alive — was a reference to the black-and-red colors used by the ethnic Russian resistance in the east.

Though the mainstream U.S. press either describes Parubiy simply as the interim government’s chief of national security (with no further context) or possibly as a “nationalist,” his fuller background includes his founding of the Social-National Party of Ukraine in 1991, blending radical Ukrainian nationalism with neo-Nazi symbols. Last year, he became commandant of the Maidan’s “self-defense forces.”

Then, on April 15,  after becoming the Kiev regime’s chief of national security and finding Ukrainian troops unwilling to fire on fellow Ukrainians in the east, Parubiy went on Twitter to announce, “Reserve unit of National Guard formed #Maidan Self-defense volunteers was sent to the front line this morning.”

Those National Guard forces also were reported on the ground in Odessa when the trade unions building was torched on May 2 and they showed up again in Mariupol as the police station was burned on May 9, according to a report in the New York Times on Saturday.

The neo-Nazis – under the control of Parubiy and the other Nazi-wannabes in the new Ukrainian government – have now twice committed mass murder by setting fire to buildings where Russian speakers were trying to take cover.

As Parry explains:

In Ukraine, a grisly new strategy – bringing in neo-Nazi paramilitary forces to set fire to occupied buildings in the country’s rebellious southeast – appears to be emerging as a favored tactic as the coup-installed regime in Kiev seeks to put down resistance from ethnic Russians and other opponents.

The technique first emerged on May 2 in the port city of Odessa when pro-regime militants chased dissidents into the Trade Unions Building and then set it on fire. As some 40 or more ethnic Russians were burned alive or died of smoke inhalation, the crowd outside mocked them as red-and-black Colorado potato beetles, with the chant of “Burn, Colorado, burn.” Afterwards, reporters spotted graffiti on the building’s walls containing Swastika-like symbols and honoring the “Galician SS,” the Ukrainian adjunct to the German SS in World War II.

This tactic of torching an occupied building occurred again on May 9 in Mariupol, another port city, as neo-Nazi paramilitaries – organized now as the regime’s “National Guard” – were dispatched to a police station that had been seized by dissidents, possibly including police officers who rejected a new Kiev-appointed chief. Again, the deployment of the “National Guard” was followed by burning the building and killing a significant but still-undetermined number of people inside. (Early estimates of the dead range from seven to 20.)

Some Ukrainian police are disgusted with the brutality. As Parry notes:

The [New York] Times added … Residents who had gathered around the police station offered an account that differed from the interior minister’s. The city police, they said, were sympathetic to the pro-Russian side and had mutinied against an out-of-town chief newly installed by the interim government in Kiev.

“Armored vehicles had driven into the city to confront the rebellious police….

***

The Kiev’s regime’s concern that some local police forces have at best mixed loyalties has led it again to turn to the Maidan “self-defense” forces to serve as a special “Kiev-1” police force, which was dispatched to Odessa amid that city’s recent violence.

In other words, the new Ukrainian government is sending in neo-Nazi brigades to do the hatchet work that the local police refuse to carry out.

The Ukrainian neo-Nazis are also supporting Islamic terrorists.

And yet the U.S. is heavily supporting these thugs.   Once again, America has switched sides … from fighting Nazis in World War II to backing them today.

Why Are We Backing the Bad Guys More than the Good Guys?

True, our government has  backed Islamic terrorists and Nazis before.

But it has now gotten so out of hand that we seem to be backing the bad guys much more than the good guys.

As Parry writes:

Though many Americans don’t want to believe that their government would collaborate with neo-Nazis or other extremist elements, there actually has been a long history of just that.

***

In Central American conflicts that I covered for the Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s, some of the “death squads” associated with pro-U.S. regimes were drawn from neo-fascist movements allied with the far-right World Anti-Communist League.

***

The key to all these unsavory alliances is for the American people not to know about the real nature of these U.S. clients. In the 1980s, the Reagan administration advanced the concept of “public diplomacy” to intimidate journalists and human rights activists who dared report on the brutality of U.S.-backed forces in El Salvador and Guatemala and the CIA-trained Contra rebels in Nicaragua.

Thus, most Americans weren’t sure what to make of recurring reports about right-wing “death squads” killing priests and nuns and committing other massacres across Central America.

***

So, it should come as no surprise that the Kiev regime would turn to its Maidan “self-defense” forces – formed around neo-Nazi militias – to go into southern and eastern Ukraine with the purpose of burning to death ethnic Russian “insects” occupying buildings. The key is not to let the American people in on the secret.

Sadly, experts on both the left and the right agree that the U.S. has now become the world’s largest sponsor of terrorism.

Former United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has come under fire for refusing demands to list Nigeria-based Boko Haram as a terrorist group.

A US media report has quoted an unnamed official as saying the State Department under Hillary Clinton argued in 2012 that adding Boko Haram to the terrorist list would cause more harm than good and would make US interests a target of the group’s attacks.

The Daily Beast reported on Wednesday that other US government agencies, including the CIA, along with several members of Congress had called on the State Department when Clinton was secretary of state to officially designate the Nigerian group a terrorist organization.

“The one thing she could have done, the one tool she had at her disposal, she didn’t use. And nobody can say she wasn’t urged to do it. It’s gross hypocrisy,” a former senior US official who was involved in the debate told the Daily Beast. “The FBI, the CIA, and the Justice Department really wanted Boko Haram designated, they wanted the authorities that would provide to go after them, and they voiced that repeatedly to elected officials.”

After Clinton stepped down and John Kerry took office, the US designated Boko Haram as a terrorist organization.

Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau has vowed to sell hundreds of schoolgirls abducted in the village of Chibok, in Borno state, north Nigeria, last month.

“I abducted your girls. I will sell them in the market” Shekau said in a new video.

The kidnappings have sparked numerous protests throughout Nigeria. Parents have grown increasingly frustrated by what they perceive as a feckless governmental response. Some relatives have launched their own search, riding motorcycles deep into the surrounding forests in search of their girls.

RA/MB
- See more at: http://en.alalam.ir/news/1592862?utm_source=Alalam+English+Website&utm_campaign=471ec7c2f8-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e03004d72d-471ec7c2f8-304233709&mc_cid=471ec7c2f8&mc_eid=422c39d74e#sthash.2H58DoRZ.dpuf

The central purpose of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which celebrated its twentieth anniversary on January 1, was the consolidation of the neoliberal domestic agendas of the three member countries (Canada, United States and Mexico). Private corporate interests and the governing bodies of the three countries systematically sought to decrease labour costs and militancy, erect barriers against economic nationalism, and push the public sector and common goods into the profit streams of private capital.

By incorporating low-wage, low-rights Mexico into the continental production system, a process that was well under way before NAFTA, big business sought both to discourage labour militancy as well as to harmonize labour costs downward in Canada, the United States, and in the older industrialized and unionized regions of Mexico. NAFTA “constitutionalized” these transformations by treaty, seeking to make them near impossible to change. As Jaime Zabludovsky, the coordinator of Mexico’s negotiating team for NAFTA put it: “By consolidating the opening of its economy in an international treaty with its powerful neighbour, Mexico made economic reforms permanent and, thus, extended the planning horizons for domestic and foreign investors.”

 

Workers in Mexico, Canada and the United States stand up for their rights.

And now, 20 years later, the roadblock of the nationalized Mexican oil company, PEMEX, already permeated by disguised and partial policies of privatization, has largely been removed by the energy reforms recently passed in Mexico.

State power has not declined in Mexico’s transition from a one-party state to a regime of constrained electoral competition and an imagined ‘free market.’ The Mexican state continues to play a central role in shaping the economy and repressing resistance. Its coercive role is greater than ever as shown in the rise of human rights abuses throughout the country. The liberalization of the electoral system has taken place within the straightjacket of growing corporate hegemony and the increasing fusion of state and big business. Public assets continue to be sold to private capital at very low prices; workers’ rights continue to be violated by business and the regime, and those workers who challenge these violations face brutal repression through state and private violence.

The Growth of Privatization and ‘Free Market’

The publically owned goods (natural resources, especially mines and energy) won in the Mexican revolutionary process are all being transferred to the hands of the rich and powerful. And the drug war, a real conflict between rival factions of the state-drug cartel complex, is being fought out in the very regions of recent industrialization, such as the northern border, and in the key regions of transport of global commodities, such as the state of Michoacán. The brutal drug war is a powerful, if unintended, force of intimidation against attempts at collective organization and public protest.

The ongoing war of big business against workers in Mexico, as well as the continuing transfer of the national patrimony to corporate hands, has been sped up in the first year of the presidency of Enrique Peña Nieto. One of Peña Nieto’s first actions in office was to arrest Elba Esther Gordillo, the corrupt, authoritarian head of the national teachers’ union who had once been a powerful force in Peña Nieto’s own party. It was clear to all Mexicans that Gordillo was arrested not for her well known and officially tolerated self enrichment, but for her opposition to the new president’s neoliberal agenda in the field of public education. This was a clear message to teachers and to all unionists that any resistance to neoliberal transformation of education was hopeless, a message modeled on a similar action at the beginning of the presidency of Carlos Salinas, Peña Nieto’s mentor, against the head of the oil workers’ union.

Peña Nieto, as Salinas before him, has shown a willingness to authorize ferocious repression. Mexico’s electoral liberalization has been accompanied by a deepening repressiveness of the regime as described in many of the articles in this report. Space for electoral competition has been opened up within limits at the same time that space for workers’ struggles has been sharply narrowed by state, private, and corporatist union repression and now by labour law changes designed to undermine if not completely destroy workers’ rights and unions.

The State of Mexican Workers

The working-class constitutes the vast majority of the Mexican population, a population that is overwhelmingly urban. Sixty-three percent of Mexicans live in cities or municipal centers with over 100,000 people, that is, 75 million of a total population of 120 million as of mid-2014. Official statistics in 2013 show that there were 52 million people in the economically active population as of the last quarter of that year, of which 20 million were women, the highest share in Mexico’s history. If we add the 8 million workers born in Mexico who work in the United States, we arrive at a grand total of 60 million people in the Mexican labour force. The average wage of workers covered by the Mexican Social Security system (i.e. formal-sector workers), both blue collar and white collar, is $2.60 per hour as compared to $12.50 per hour of foreign-born Latino workers within the United States. If we only looked at blue-collar workers within Mexico’s formal sector, the hourly wage would only be $1.30 per hour. But the vast majority of wageworkers are actually in the informal sector where wages and working conditions are even worse.

The neoliberal reorganization of the Mexican economy and its integration into a continental production system has involved a massive geographical relocation of industry and a restructuring of the labour market and labour processes. Just as factories left the U.S. midwest and northeast in the 1980s and early 1990s to head for the anti-union south and southwest, so factories left central Mexico and re-established themselves near the northern border both to escape areas of strong union traditions as well as to take part in the continentalization of North American production. As the north was sparsely populated, new workers, from a variety of regions and backgrounds, were recruited for the then-expanding sector of assembly plants known as maquilas or maquiladoras.

The first wave of maquilas – electronics and textiles – mainly recruited young women for their plants. But in later waves of maquila development, especially in auto parts, men were the main recruits. The recent character of migrations to the border, along with extremely repressive corporate and government policies, has made collective organization and resistance very difficult, though there have been recurrent attempts to organize genuine unions.

The decline in unionization rates in the country has been a decisive factor in the decline in real wages in recent decades. The rate of unionization of the working population decreased from 22.4% to 13% between the first half of the 1990s to 2012. Having said that, however, we must add that Mexican unions – excluding the very large number that are phantom unions with only a paper existence – are hybrid institutions that blend featuresof a state institution, a party machine, and an authoritarian union. Their leaders have been part of a state-linked elite whose career paths often flowed from their role in authoritarian unions to important positions in the ruling party, the government, state enterprise, and even the private sector. Their personal advancement depended on controlling their members. They were the ‘labour lieutenants’ of Mexico’s one-party, state-guided capitalism and continue to play that role for Mexico’s neoliberal capitalism. In the past, a challenge to a corporatist union in any important sector was seen as a challenge to the state. Now, it is seen as a challenge to the new regime of neoliberal authoritarianism and its fluid, and fragile system of labour control.

There are very few independent unions, and even fewer that are both independent and democratic. And all, whatever their ideology and structure, have to function within the iron cage of Mexico’s sophisticated system of labour exploitation. Mexican workers face the challenge of gaining democratic control of existing state-linked unions and building new ones, two aspects of the same struggle.

A common thread in the struggles of electrical workers, maquila workers, and miners alike is over the right to choose their own union. A second common thread is the right to dignity, including safe working conditions, respect for labour rights, funding for the school system (in the case of teachers), and freedom from harassment and arbitrary management practices.

The task of navigating between the immediate and short-term interests of the members and the long-term goals and necessity of transformation is a terribly difficult one for unions, whatever the strategy, structure, and politics of the union. It is all the more complex and difficult in Mexico’s situation of multiple crises (economic, political legitimacy, drug war, violence). And the complexity is deepened by the trans-border character of the Mexican working-class and of integrated continental production, which would make major conflicts in Mexico resonate almost immediately throughout much of North America.

The Mexican working-class has been formed and has formed itself in the shifting cauldron of class dynamics within two nations that have become more and more economically integrated. Mexican industrial workers, on both sides of the border, are often part of an increasingly continental system of production. And all Mexican workers in the United States, whether in the industrial or the service sector, are linked through their own lives, their families, their collective organizations, and their experiences to the working classes both in Mexico and the United States. Developments in either society, especially developments in the struggles for labour, democratic, and social rights, are likely to have important ramifications on their consciousness and politics. Hopes, sentiments, ideas, accountings of experiences, and strategies will travel both ways along the length of this transnational working-class through myriad means. There are the beginnings of formal transnational organizations of Mexican workers as well as a variety of formal and informal links within bi-national Mexican communities.

Mexican workers provide a vast reservoir of cheap and vulnerable labour to U.S. capitalism, both in Mexico and in the United States. Over 58 per cent of Mexicans who are employed in the formal economy are employed continentally – either in the United States itself or in activities that are part of a continental production process, such as maquilas, auto assembly, trucking, export agriculture, and mining. One of four industrial workers in Mexico is employed in a maquila and as many as one of three employed Mexican nationals are working in the United States. One of six workers in the United States in 2010 was Latino and it is estimated that Mexicans make up 63 per cent of the 50 million Latinos in the United States.

A Continental Labour Response?

The deep integration of the continent makes a continental labour response necessary and possible. However, the prospects of such a response depend on the political evolution in the Mexican working-class on both sides of the border, the political evolution of unions in North America, and more general developments in the politics and economy of each country. A continental movement will have to struggle in the framework of each of the three NAFTA states. The attempt to lock in neoliberal domestic changes, as articulated by Jaime Zabludovsky, has to be challenged at the level of each national state. But because of the very integration of the continent and the pre-eminent power and ambition of the U.S. capitalist class and state, the struggles, to be successful, have to be both national and continental at the same time. The transformation of the continent could well start in its politically weakest, albeit most repressive link, Mexico, but to be successful it would have to extend well beyond Mexico.

There are many important local struggles taking place in Mexico as well as in Canada and the United States. The challenge is to help these movements grow and coalesce with each other into larger regional, national, and continental movements. But to have any hope of halting and challenging the neoliberal juggernaut, they will eventually have to challenge capitalist power at the national and continental level. The building of such a movement will necessarily require an inspiring vision of transformation and major organizational resources sooner or later, whether the movement starts as actions from below or a strategy from the major organized unions of North America. These unions can only play this role if they themselves transform their vision, their strategies, and their politics, and propose a continental economic strategy that facilitates solidarity and not competition. Such a strategy could be built around a set of immediate, concrete demands that directly challenge Mexico’s low-wage, low-rights regime and the neoliberal transformation of all of North America.

These demands could include the right to freely choose a union, the right to a job, the right to migrate or stay home, the right to a living wage, and the right to safe working conditions. Such a movement would, of course, face great repression in Mexico, and continental and international workers’ solidarity would be crucial to its survival. La lucha sigue. •

Richard Roman is professor emeritus of sociology at the University of Toronto.

Edur Velasco Arregui is a member of the law department, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Mexico City, and former secretary general of SITUAM, the university union.

They are the authors of Continental Crucible: Big Business, Workers and Unions in the Transformation of North America (2013). See the book launch in Toronto, LeftStreamed No. 171.

This article was first published as an introduction to the NACLA Spring Issue Mexico: The State Against the Working Class.

            Some things do not change, despite world-historic catastrophes.  Back in the late 19th century, Isaac Babel witnessed and described mobs, self-described as “Black Hundreds”, rampaging the streets of Odessa, dragging red-bearded Jews through the streets, sacking and burning their stores.  Dozens of Jews were murdered and hundreds fled to sanctuaries.  Terrible times, indeed!

            But how much worse today when the progeny of the Black Hundreds and the proud descendants of Nazi collaborators, who now call themselves the ‘Right Forum’, roam the streets of Odessa with impunity and license, beating whomever they encounter.

            Women, adolescents and pensioners fled, seeking refuge in a Trade Union Center.  The contemporary Nazi’s firebombed the Center, incinerating forty and forcing others to jump from windows to their death.  And those injured from their fall… beaten to a bloody pulp.

            The Right Forum flaunts the worst of the Black Hundreds and Nazi legacy of mayhem and massacres.

            The pogroms of the Black Hundreds of the pre-revolution were nothing compared to the genocide of the Ukrainian Waffen Galician Nachtigall and Roland Division.  Eighty thousand Ukrainian fascists led by Stepan Bandera  served as Hitler’s willing executioners.  They murdered millions of Poles and Jews and Ukrainians.  Even their Nazi overseers were appalled by the buzz-saw assassinations.

            The children of the Bandera genocidists, in recognition of their Nazi roots, first called themselves the “Social-National Party of the Ukraine”.  They changed to “Right Sector” and “Svoboda”, so as not to offend the sensibilities of their new Western paymasters.  Still, in remembrance of times past, the Right Sector, in the tradition of Bandera, knows best how to burn alive those “fake Ukrainians” who speak Russian or support socialists or protest the American designated junta that they, the Right Sector, brought to power.

            Ukrainian fascists have been  given license to kill: in the past at the service of the Tsar, later with Hitler, today for the United States.  The Ukraine is the center of the resurgence of European fascism taking state power:  armed and willing to exterminate any enemy of the puppet junta.

Yes, Odessa has ‘changed’ since the time of Babel.  It was liberated by Revolution, ravaged by civil war, starved by Stalin, genocided by Germans and Ukrainian Nazis . . .  who juxtaposed the swastika to a background of national colors.

Yes, the Nazis were defeated . . . but not forever!

Yes, the pogroms of the Jews ended . . . because there were so few.

Yes, half the population speaks Russian . . . but for how long?

Yes, there are new industries . . .  but they are closing.

            Yes, the “black earth” was the granary of Russia . . . but now it is owned by foreign billionaires.

            Yes, the Ukraine was independent . . . but elections, uprisings and coups were bought and sold in, by and for… the free market.

The Ukraine is ruled by a US appointed junta that seized power through a US financed coup.  A junta which rules through pogroms and military massacres.  They terrorize the towns and countryside; they roam the city streets and occupy the squares.  They hate to death the workers self-governing councils and popular militias which have sprang up spontaneously, free of Russian tutelage and junta appointed oppressors.

In Babel’s time, Jewish workers, under fascist siege, joined the Red Army and wealthy merchants offered their daughters in marriage to Bolshevik commanders.

Today the architect of the  pogroms, the ethnic cleansing of Russian speakers, is a leading American policymaker, a Jew ,who calls herself Victoria Nuland (nee Nudelman).

In Odessa and throughout the Ukraine , under the heel of  the Kiev junta, the legacy of the Black Hundreds and the Nazi collaborators lives on, despite a century of world shattering events.  Only the sponsors, organizers and paymasters have changed.

But let’s not forget the other legacy of the Ukraine:  the four million heroic Ukrainians who fought in the victorious Red Army that defeated Nazi Germany and decimated its Ukrainian collaborators.  That legacy lives on, in today’s self-governing workers councils and popular militias.

Why are Americans puzzled that foreigners consider the U.S. to be the nation that’s the biggest threat to world peace?

Consider how we are being lied to by the propaganda media that pass for “news” media in our country.

Of course, there was the infamous example of how we were lied to about “Saddam’s WMD,” which lies caused us to support invading Iraq and replacing there a local tyrant with something that’s far worse for the Iraqi people. We don’t complain about having been deceived into wasting $3 trillion of our own tax dollars, and thousands of American lives, and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives, in a venture that increased misery for Iraqis and that produced nothing of benefit to ourselves (but lots of business for American-owned firms). However, there are lots of recent examples, too, such as today’s civil war in Ukraine, which was caused by Barack Obama, but which our “news” media blame instead on Vladimir Putin.

Here is documentation that the regime that the U.S. put in place in Ukraine in February 2014 is massacring Russian-speaking Ukrainians, and here is more; and following here will be provided documentation that Obama did it:

Max Blumenthal at Alternet, headlined on February 24th, “Is the U.S. Backing Neo-Nazis in Ukraine?” and he provided evidence that the answer is yes.

On 16 March 2014, OpedNews had an exclusive news report from Ukraine, “The Nazis Even Hitler Was Afraid Of,” which documented that Obama was backing Ukraine’s neo-Nazis to take over that country.

OpedNews had yet another exclusive news report from George Eliason in Ukraine on 14 April 2014, “Kiev’s War Against the Peace-Loving People of South-East Ukraine,” which opened,

“On the night of April 12, the city of Odessa in Ukraine celebrated the 70th anniversary of its liberation from Nazi Germany. That same night, as reported by Interfax, John Brennan [Director of our CIA] had a meeting with the Kiev junta and advised it, as a first act of suppression, to put down a demonstration by protesters in Slovyansk who were pushing for a referendum on federalization that would establish its autonomy. That action was to begin on April 13. Under-Secretary of Defense Dimitri Yarosh announced a full mobilization of Pravy Sektor, the ultra-nationalist paramilitary collective, to squelch the protesters. Troops had been mobilized to Donbass by train and military vehicles, including tanks and armored troop carriers, and seven of the latter were stationed on the outskirts of Slovyansk.”

Nonetheless, when “Kiev ordered Berkut units–the Special Security forces, including the Special Forces Alpha unit that stood down during Euro Maidan–and various police units to squelch the protests, all refused. None would fire on his own people.” Obama’s coup in Ukraine was running into trouble from the local troops, who didn’t want to mass-murder Ukrainians whose sole sin was to seek to remain as Ukrainians who were also speakers of Russian.

At Consortium News on 20 April 2014, Robert Parry bannered “Ukraine’s Neo-Nazi Imperative,” and documented that The New York Times and other major U.S. “news” media were at least as deceptive regarding Obama’s coup against Ukraine as they had been regarding GWB’s coup against Iraq. The NYT still had lots of “Judith Miller”s.

On 29 April, Britain’s Guardian bannered, “Ukraine Crisis: Kiev Powerless as East slips Out of Its Control.” Barack Obama’s neo-conservative play to grab Ukraine and deliver it to “the European Union” (but really to aristocrats mainly in the U.S.) had failed.

So, how does America’s conservative Politico cover this? On 10 May, they headlined “That War You Were Expecting? Putin’s Already Won It,” and David Patrikarakos reported from Ukraine that “Russian strategy remains unchanged and clear: destabilize, destabilize, destabilize.” It’s still the Cold War to America’s aristocracy, who hire people like that to deliver to us the “news.”

Russian-speaking Ukrainians are being terrorized and massacred by people that Obama placed in power, and Americans are deceived to blame the victims, and to blame Russian leader Vladimir Putin, as the source of the problem.

So: Why are Americans puzzled that foreigners consider the U.S. to be the nation that’s the biggest threat to world peace?

Maybe it’s because we live in a dictatorship of the type that George Orwell’s novel 1984 described.

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

 

The U.S. government’s latest attempt to topple Cuba using social media is just the tip of the iceberg, but what’s really interesting is how connects to the Ukrainian crisis.

The U.S. government’s latest attempt to topple Cuba using social media is just the tip of the iceberg, but what’s really interesting is how connects to the Ukrainian crisis.

On April 2nd  the Associated Press released an report exposing how the U.S. government recently attempted to topple the Cuban government yet again. This time the plot hinged on the creation of a communications network called “ZunZuneo” which was essentially a primitive version of Twitter. The plan, which was cooked up by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. State Department, was to build up a large following of users and then push them towards revolt. The network was built using shell companies and financed through a foreign bank to hide their connection to Washington. The Obama administration defended the program saying that it “had disclosed the initiative to Congress”.

Of course we all know that attempting to topple a foreign government is perfectly fine as long as you let congress know a bit in advance.

As shocking and absurd as these revelations may be to the general public, the truth of the matter is that this is just the tip of the iceberg. The U.S. government and its allies have been using the internet as a covert weapon for some time now. Much of the evidence of these activities got mainstream coverage, but the corporate media is very careful not to refer to that evidence in the context of current events.

So let’s connect a few dots here.

In 2011 it came to light that the U.S. military had developed a ‘sock puppet’ software for creating and managing fake online identities. These sock puppet accounts were to be used to spread propaganda on social media sites, forums and blogs. The software which was described as an “online persona management service” allows one soldier to control up to 10 separate identities based all over the world. When this program was exposed the U.S. government claimed that the program was never used on English speaking audiences. Considering that these are the same people who swore up and down that the NSA surveillance program never targeted U.S. citizens, we can take that with a grain of salt, but it’s worth noting that they explicitly acknowledged in their statement that the program was intended for covert operations in foreign countries.

A leaked document recently made public by Glenn Greenwald showed that the UK’s GCHQ has been running a similar program through a unit called the Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (or JTRIG). You can download the file that Greenwald leaked here.

According to the documents, JTRIG relies on two primary tactics: (1) the injection of false material onto the internet in order to destroy the reputation of its targets; and (2) the use of social sciences and other techniques to manipulate online discourse and activism towards desired outcomes.

Among the methods promoted in the document were “false flag operations” (posting material to the internet and falsely attributing it to someone else), fake victim blog posts (pretending to be a victim of the individual whose reputation they want to destroy), posting “negative information” on various forums, luring targets into sexual encounters to destroy their reputations (honey-traps), sending emails and text messages to the target’s friends, neighbors and coworkers, and “crafting messaging campaigns to go ‘viral’.”

The documents placed an emphasis on using online techniques to trigger events in the real world.

GCHQ - JTRIG - Social Media Manipulation

 

GCHQ - JTRIG - Social Media Manipulation 2

 

GCHQ - JTRIG - Social Media Manipulation 3

 

GCHQ - JTRIG - Social Media Manipulation 4

 

Now remember the copy cat Twitter network designed to topple Cuba was put together by USAID. USAID maintains a public front of humanitarian aid and democracy promotion, but the Cuba scandal confirms what many geopolitical analysts have been saying for years: that USAID, like it’s sibling The National Endowment for Democracy, is nothing more than a branch of the U.S. intelligence apparatus in disguise.

This confirmation also further exposes Washington’s hand in toppling the Ukrainian government earlier this year.

Remember Victoria Nuland, the U.S. State Department diplomat who got caught in a leaked phone call discussing who should and should not be allowed into the new Ukrainian government?

In December of 2013 that same Victoria Nuland, made a speech at the U.S. – Ukraine Foundation in which she talked about how the U.S. government had invested over 5 billion dollars in Ukraine since 1991 to strengthen democracy.

She also specifically highlighted the important role the U.S. – Ukraine Foundation played in achieving their objectives.

Her statements taken on their own aren’t incriminating,  but if you go to the U.S. – Ukraine foundation’s website you’ll find that their programs are funded and run by the U.S. State Department and USAID. Remember this  is the same USAID that just got caught attempting to topple Cuba.

USAID’s connections to the Ukrainian coup don’t end there.

It just so happens that Larry Diamond, the executive producer of the “I am Ukrainian” video that went viral at the height of the crisis in Kiev, isn’t just a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the National Endowment for Democracy, and an advisor for the U.S. State Department, his public profile also mentions that he works for USAID.

That’s interesting. Let’s connect the dots a bit more shall we?

Remember that drama in March where Lis Wahl quit RT News on air in protest over their coverage of the events in Ukraine? It created quite the stir, even among activists that are usually critical of U.S. foreign policy.

That event was staged. A neo-con think tank called the Foreign Policy Initiative knew the stunt was about to happen and began tweeting out hints twenty minutes in advance.

The first tweet:
“#WordOnTheStreet says that something big might happen on RT in about 20-25 minutes.”

Then, 10 minutes before Wahl would quit on air they tweeted:
“#WordOnTheStreet says you’re really going to want to tune in to RT:http://rt.com/on-air/rt-america-air/ #SomethinBigMayBeGoingDown”

And finally, at 5:26 p.m., at the very moment Wahl quit, the Foreign Policy Initiative’s Twitter account broke the news: “RT Anchor RESIGNS ON AIR. She ‘cannot be part of a network that whitewashes the actions of Putin.’ ”

Remember our friend Victoria Nuland? It just so happens that her husband, Robert Kagan, sits on the board of directors for the Foreign Policy Initiative. Wow, what a coincidence. An organization that Victoria Nuland’s husband controls launches a smear campaign against RT at a time when RT is one of the few major outlets broadcasting her  leaked audio.

Robert Kagan also serves on the U.S. State Department’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board and he co-founded the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) with William Kristol, who also sits on the board of the Foreign Policy Initiative. Do a little research into the Project For a New American Century if you want to really dig up some interesting connections.

All just coincidences.

I’m sure it’s also just a coincidence that James Kirchick, who happens to be a member of the Foreign Policy Initiative, released an exclusive interview with Lis Wahl on the DailyBeast just one hour after her choreographed stunt.

Here’s James and Lis posing together in a “freedom selfie”.

Liz Wahl - James Kirchick PR Stunt

The Liz Wahl stunt was a fairly benign example of social media being used to manipulate public opinion. To really understand how far these kinds of psychological operations are taken we need to step back to February 20th when a video went viral showing snipers shooting protesters in Kiev.

Almost everyone assumed that these were Ukrainian government forces firing the shots, but they weren’t. The following phone conversation between EU foreign policy chief Cathy Ashton and Estonia’s foreign minister Urmas Paet, which was leaked to the public on March 5th, makes this very clear.

The short version of the leaked call:

Urmas Paet: “All the evidence shows that the people who were killed by snipers from both sides, among police men and people in the street, that they were the same snipers killing people from both sides.”

Cathy Ashton: “Well that’s, yeah…”

Urmas Paet: “And she also showed me some photos and she said that has medical doctor, she can say that it is the same handwriting…”

Cathy Ashton: “Yeah…”

Urmas Paet: “Same type of bullets… and it’s really disturbing that now the new coalition, that they don’t want to investigate what exactly happened. So that there is now stronger and stronger understanding that behind the snipers, it was not Yanukovich, but it was somebody from the new coalition.”

The long version of the leaked call:

It doesn’t a rocket scientist to figure out that the only parties who would benefit from shooting both police and protesters at the same time are those who were working to topple the Ukrainian government.

That much is obvious.

The only real question here is whether the footage of the shootings in Kiev was filmed and released by the perpetrators themselves. We’ll never know for sure unless there’s a real investigation, and no, having the primary suspect run an investigation doesn’t count.

We saw this same tactic of killing civilians, and using a coordinated social media campaign to pin the blame on a government targeted for regime change, in Syria in 2013.

These were U.S. backed rebels that killed thousands of innocent civilians with nerve gas. Those that funded this atrocity are still walking free. Those who coordinated the sniper killings in Kiev are still walking free, and the mainstream media, and these so called   world leaders don’t even so much as call them out.

Think about that.

Front groups, sock puppets, public relations stunts, and outright murder. That’s how Washington and its allies topple governments and manipulate public opinion in the age of the internet, but make no mistake this is not new.

Copyright StormCloudGathering 2014

http://scgnews.com/how-washington-and-its-allies-use-social-media-to-topple-governments-manipulate-public-opinion

In Ukraine, Adolph Hitler is Praised as a Liberator

May 11th, 2014 by Global Research News

In Kherson City, Hitler is Praised as a Liberator during the May 9 Celebration of Victory Day, commemorating Nazi Germany’s Defeat by the Soviet Union.

In Kherson, South Eastern Ukraine, Kiev’s newly appointed Governor referred to ” Hitler the Liberator ”

Whistling and shouting, outraged residents responded to the speech of the Governor of Kherson oblast (region) Yury Odarchenko.

According to the report of correspondent of IA REGNUM, the Governor praised Adolph Hitler who “saved Ukraine from the Communist yoke ” (see video below)

“He [Hitler] first put forward the slogan – the liberation of people from the Communist yoke, to deliver people from the tyrant Stalin ” said the Governor at at public May 9 Commemoration gathering in Kherson City.

After these words, his presence at the meeting raised the cry of ” Shame! “.

One of the participants, a young woman with a baby, snatched the microphone from the governor.

Odarchenko then tried to continue his speech with another microphone, but the protesters snatched it from him.

Those attending the event forcefully responded and the hapless governor was removed from the podium.

Governor Odarchenko is a member of the VO ” Fatherland.” party.

Since April 2011 he held the position of head of the Kiev city party organization. After the coup, on March 2, 2014, he was appointed governor of the Kherson oblast.

Kherson Oblast (Херсонська область) is an oblast (region) in south-eastern Ukraine, just north of Crimea. the capital of the oblast is Kherson city.

Copyright IA Regnum, original Russian.

Translation and editing, Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, 2014

Video

http://www.regnum.ru/news/polit/1800107.html # ixzz31MzHlQpV

 

 

 

The United States has sent military and security “advisers” to Nigeria to help President Goodluck Jonathan’s government rescue more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by the Islamist group Boko Haram.

Britain has also sent security forces, with the former colonial power stating Thursday that it will be working closely with Washington.

On Friday, US secretary of state John Kerry said: “Our inter-agency team is hitting the ground in Nigeria now and they are going to be working in concert with President Goodluck Jonathan’s government to do everything that we possibly can to return these girls to their families and their communities.”

The kidnapping presents Washington, whose requests to mount military and intelligence operations from Nigeria had repeatedly been rebuffed, with a golden opportunity to secure a foothold in the oil-rich country, now Africa’s largest economy. This is part of its efforts to build up a string of military bases across the Horn of Africa, the Sahel and West Africa.

The move is in line with a broader “pivot to Africa,” aimed at securing control of the continent’s huge mineral and energy resources and containing, if not excluding, China from Africa. China has now surpassed the US as Africa’s foremost trading partner and has huge mining, energy and infrastructure investments in the continent.

The US has used the “war on terror” to justify its interventions in North Africa, the Sahel and now the West African state of Nigeria. But the reality is that the US-NATO war for regime change in Libya—carried out at least in part because Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi had for decades blocked Washington’s efforts to dominate Africa—served to destabilise the entire region.

The political divisions of Africa

Islamist forces, this time Boko Haram—the very forces that the US and NATO backed and armed in Libya as a proxy ground force in the war to topple Gaddafi—are being used as the bogey man to justify the intervention of US military forces.

The major European powers that once ruled large parts of Africa, but which no longer have the military resources to resume control of their former colonial possessions unaided, have welcomed the US military interventions in Africa, most recently in Libya, Mali, Niger and the Central African Republic, as a means of securing their own interests.

It was with American geostrategic interests in mind that in 2008 the Bush administration set up US Africa Command (AFRICOM). The Obama administration has expanded AFRICOM to around 5,000 personnel stationed in Africa, with a presence in 38 countries. The US now has more troops in Africa than at any time since its intervention in Somalia in 1993.

AFRICOM also has a civilian component to provide it with a development, good “governance” and “humanitarian” cover, able to influence the domestic and foreign policies of African states, under conditions where there is widespread opposition to the basing of US military forces. Since no African nation has been willing to host a full US base, AFRICOM is based in Stuttgart, Germany.

The scale of its activities is vast. AFRICOM commander General David Rodriguez said that last year the US military carried out 546 “activities” on the continent, up from 172 in 2008, making a total over the years of around 1,000 “activities”.

The TomDispatch.com web site gained access to a cache of previously undisclosed military briefing documents prepared for top commanders and civilian officials in 2013. It revealed that military operations were far more extensive than previously reported. The US army in Africa took part in about 80 percent of AFRICOM activities. Its activities with at least 49 of the 54 African nations (excluding Egypt) during 2012 and 2013 ranged from special ops raids to training proxy forces. Last year, US Special Forces carried out training exercises with the Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Nzara on the outskirts of Yambio in southwest South Sudan.

A similar level of activity is planned for 2014 that will include full-scale exercises with the armed forces of at least 20 African countries, and “counterterrorism” activities.

Only a few weeks ago, AFRICOM undertook a series of naval manoeuvres not far from the Nigerian port of Lagos, under the guise of strengthening the security of the states of West Africa. According to Deutsche Welle, “More than 30 warships from 20 countries are engaged in major manoeuvres along the West African cost. In addition to 11 West African nations, France, Germany, Portugal, Spain and the Netherlands as well as Denmark, Turkey, Brazil and the United States have dispatched ships, making the training manoeuvres one of Africa’s largest.” Of the non-African participants, Germany had the largest presence.

In February of this year, US special operations troops were training Tunisian troops in a remote base in Western Tunisia in counterterrorism tactics.

Washington claims that it has only a “light footprint” in Africa, with only one permanent AFRICOM base at Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti, the tiny state in the Horn of Africa, adjacent to Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia. This base is used for launching drone missile attacks and air strikes in Yemen, Somalia and East Africa, and is scheduled for a $750 million expansion.

But TomDispatch’s examination of official documents shows that the US in fact operates out of seven cooperative locations (CSLs) and a number of forward locations (FOLs) in Gabon, Kenya, Mali, Morocco, Tunisia, Namibia, Senegal, Uganda, Ethiopia and Zambia. It has reached an agreement with Sao Tome for a naval base there to safeguard US oil interests in the Gulf of Guinea.

The Joint Special Operations Task Force-Trans Sahara uses an airbase in Burkino Faso’s capital Ouagadougou for its “high-risk activities”, while an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) unit operates out of Chad. The US military has 29 agreements to use international airports in Africa as refuelling centres.

In January 2013, President Barack Obama announced that he had secured an agreement with the Nigerien government to deploy 250 to 300 military personnel, including remote pilots and security and maintenance crews, in Niger, in the first instance in the capital Niamey. There were reportedly “no constraints to military-to-military cooperation” within that agreement.

The US Air Force used Niamey to launch Predator drones over Mali as part of US military support for the French invasion that included airlifting French and allied African troops and refuelling French military aircraft that have bombed cities and towns controlled by Islamist insurgents and Tuareg separatists. As part of the Mali operation, US Special Forces were sent to Niger, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Togo and Ghana.

In the 15 months since the agreement was announced, US activity out of Niamey has vastly increased. The international airport is now routinely used to launch drones for the aerial surveillance of all the North African and Saharan countries and to carry out aerial strikes against its opponents. A US State Department official warned this was an “open-ended” campaign that could last years, and was only “the first phase”.

The US has plans to build a new compound in Niger and other bases for surveillance in Ethiopia and the Seychelles, amid indications that it has a previously unacknowledged compound near Gao in northern Mali. US forces groomed the military officer who overthrew Mali’s elected government in 2012.

In January, Washington acknowledged that it had sent a team of advisers to Somalia in December. This is the first time American troops have been stationed there since militia fighters in the capital Mogadishu shot down two helicopters and killed 18 US servicemen in the 1993 “Black Hawk Down” incident. The ostensible purpose is to “support” African Union troops fighting al-Shabab Islamists in Somalia.

The US also has a rapid reaction force of 550 Marines stationed at an air base in Moron, Spain. With six V-22 Ospreys, tilt-rotor aircraft that take off and land like helicopters, and two refuelling tankers, the Marines are able to fly thousands of miles to remote locations in Africa. Last month, the Spanish government approved an increase in the numbers of troops to 850, and the number of aircraft to 16.

… And May Not Even Want to Build One

Ynet reports:

An insider in Israel’s nuclear program believes that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is employing needless fearmongering when it comes to Iran’s atomic aspirations, in order to further his own political aims.

Brigadier General (res.) Uzi Eilam, who for a decade headed the Israel Atomic Energy Commission, does not believe that Tehran is even close to having a bomb, if that is even what it really aspires to.

“The Iranian nuclear program will only be operational in another 10 years,” declares Eilam, a senior official in Israel’s atomic program. “Even so, I am not sure that Iran wants the bomb.”

***

Uzi Eilam comes from the heart of Israel’s secret security mechanisms, having served in senior roles in the defense establishment that culminated in a decade as the head of the atomic agency.

***

Eilam is one of the central figures in the development of Israel’s nuclear and missile programs in the last half century: Before his decade heading the Atomic Energy Commission, he was head of the IDF’s Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure ….

Netanyahu and other politicians have struck terrible, unnecessary fear into the hearts of the Israeli public, and thankfully the flames fanned over the issue seemed to have died down for now.”

***

“Besides, what good would bombing do? It would only unite the Iranian people behind its government, and provide it with an incentive to continue the project, with far more resources. Bombing would achieve the direct opposite of what we desired.”

No, the old man hasn’t lost his mind … This is what many top level Israeli, American and international leaders have been saying for years.

For example, Haaretz noted in 2012:

The intelligence assessment Israeli officials will present later this week to [Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin ] Dempsey indicates that Iran has not yet decided whether to make a nuclear bomb.

The Israeli view is that while Iran continues to improve its nuclear capabilities, it has not yet decided whether to translate these capabilities into a nuclear weapon – or, more specifically, a nuclear warhead mounted atop a missile. Nor is it clear when Iran might make such a decision.

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said in 2012:

Are they [the Iranians] trying to develop a nuclear weapon? No. But we know that they’re trying to develop a nuclear capability. And that’s what concerns us.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper confirmed in a Senate hearing – following the release of the classified National Intelligence Estimate in 2011 – that he has a “high level of confidence” that Iran “has not made a decision as of this point to restart its nuclear weapons program.”

Mohamed ElBaradei – who spent more than a decade as the director of the IAEA – said that he had not “seen a shred of evidence” that Iran was pursuing the bomb.

Six former ambassadors to Iran within the last decade say that there is no evidence that Iran is building nuclear weapons, and that Iran is complying with international law.

The International Atomic Energy Agency states:

All nuclear material in the facility remains under the Agency’s containment and surveillance.

In other words, all nuclear fuel is accounted for and is being controlled and monitored by the international agency tasked with nuclear non-proliferation.

What about Iran’s enriching uranium to 20%? The IAEA considers 20 percent enriched uranium to be low-enriched uranium and “a fully adequate isotopic barrier” to weaponization. In other words, 20% is well within the legal guidelines for developing a program of nuclear energy.

Indeed, under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Iran is acting in a wholly legal fashion. As the six former ambassadors cited above note:

In terms of international law, the position of Europe and the United States may be less assured than is generally believed.

***

Most experts, even in Israel, view Iran as striving to become a “threshold country”, technically able to produce a nuclear weapon but abstaining from doing so for now. Again, nothing in international law forbids this ambition. Several other countries are close to, or have already reached, such a threshold, with a commitment not to acquire nuclear weapons. Nobody seems to bother them.

Nuclear physicist Yousaf Butt – former fellow in the Committee on International Security and Arms Control at the National Academy of Sciences, scientific consultant for the Federation of American Scientists, and frequent contributor to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists – points out:

Iran is not doing anything that violates its legal right to develop nuclear technology. Under the NPT, it is not illegal for a member state to have a nuclear weapons capability— or a “nuclear option.” If a nation has a fully developed civilian nuclear sector — which the NPT actually encourages — it, by default, already has a fairly solid nuclear weapons capability. For example, like Iran, Argentina, Brazil, and Japan also maintain a “nuclear option” — they, too, could break out of the NPT and make a nuclear device in a few months, if not less. And like Iran, Argentina and Brazil also do not permit full “Additional Protocol” IAEA inspections.

The real legal red line, specified in the IAEA’s “Comprehensive Safeguards Agreements,” is the diversion of nuclear materials to a weapons program. However, multiple experts and official reports have affirmed over the years that they have no evidence that any such program exists.

The IAEA stated in 2011 that Iran’s research program into nuclear weapons:

Was stopped rather abruptly pursuant to a ‘halt order’ instruction issued in late 2003.

And Americana and Israeli intelligence chiefs say that attacking Iran will actually speed up its ability to produce a nuclear bomb.

The good news is that there is a simple solution to the ongoing tensions with Iran.

Specifically, a fuel swap would end the tensions. As Yousaf Butt writes:

[A commentator] proposes a fuel swap to resolve the nuclear standoff: Iran would curtail its enrichment in exchange for foreign-supplied 20 percent enriched uranium fuel plates for its research reactor. In fact, in 2010, just such a deal was brokered by Turkey and Brazil but the United States could not take “yes” for an answer. Though Iran has just accepted an offer of new talks brokered by Turkey, new sanctions passed by Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama have made it even more unlikely that the two sides can reach an agreement.

So why are so many pushing for war with Iran, instead of doing a fuel swap?

Perhaps because:

  • The people pushing for war against Iran are the same neocons who pushed for war against Iraq based on false statements that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. See thisthis and this
  • The U.S. has been claiming for more than 30 years that Iran was on the verge of nuclear capability (and the U.S. apparently helped fund the Iranian nuclear program)
  • The CIA admits that it hired Iranians in the 1950′s to pose as Communists and stage bombings in Iran in order to turn the country against its democratically-elected prime minister
  • Pulitzer-prize winning investigative reporter Seymour Hersh says that the Bush administration (and especially Dick Cheney) helped to fund terrorist groups within Iran (see confirming articles here andhere)
  • The New York TimesWashington Post and others are reporting, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, former national security adviser Fran Townsend and former Attorney General Michael Mukasey – who all said that the terrorists were going to get us if we didn’t jettison the liberties granted under the Bill of Rights – are now supporting terrorists in Iran
  • The war against Iran has already begun. See thisthis and this

Donetsk People’s Republic leaders said Mariupol self-defense forces were attacked with chemical weapons. A statement issued said:

“Kiev bears the entire responsibility not only for their state agencies’ actions, but also for the actions by citizens who illegally apply means of chemical warfare.”

“Armed groups controlled by Kiev used unidentified chemical weapons on May 6 while storming the City Council headquarters.”

“The defenders of the City Council have left the contaminated area.”

“Many of them had their breathing systems damaged, which is likely to have consequences and probably be a danger to their lives.”

A toxic choking agent was used. One victim was diagnosed with unidentified gas poisoning.

Others were affected. Symptoms include first-degree chemical-inflicted eye burns, alcoholic-like intoxication, bodily lacerations and fainting. Victims were hospitalized.

At the same time, Kiev forces attacked Mariupol. They did so with tanks and other heavy weapons.

Federalization supporters screamed “Fascists.” Armored vehicles fired on unarmed civilians. Reports suggest around 20 deaths. Many more were wounded.

The 0629.ua news service reported “a tank seized at the crossroads of Lenina and Torgovaya streets by the representatives of the Donetsk People’s Republic.”

“At 12.50, 14 tanks were spotted coming from the agricultural base towards Mariupol. According to medics, there are two dead and 8 wounded,” the report added.

“(O)n Lenin avenue, two people were seriously wounded – one in the head and another in the stomach.”

“A huge pool of blood (was) next to the Arbat cafe. It’s not known whether the wounded people have survived.”

“Witnesses sa(id) they were driven away in a passenger car. The fighting (went) on next to the main police department.”

“Gunfire (was) heard. Two armored vehicles blocked Artyom street.” Residents barricaded streets. They burned tires. They overturned cars

They stormed Mariupol’s Interior Ministry building. According to a self-defense force representative:

“Camouflaged people…storm(ed) the building of the city’s interior ministry department. A bus with soldiers dr(ove) up.”

“They (came) from a military unit located in the vicinity of Mariupol. Policemen who refuse to obey Kiev regime’s orders (were) detained.”

“Policemen of the city department refused to obey Kiev’s orders and guard the building of the city council, which had been seized a day earlier by the Ukrainian security services.”

“As a result, Kiev authorities decided to storm the building of the city Interior Ministry department. Policemen are shooting back.”

“The building (was) surrounded.” Self-defense forces said “(a)rmored vehicles approached (it) and opened fire with heavy weapons.”

“The building is old and has thick walls, so you can’t penetrate it with machine-gun fire.” A city resident added:

“On the central street of the city, I saw tanks and armored vehicles with the Ukrainian flags at around 11.40 am (local time).”

“Then, the city residents started to gather near the city executive committee building.”

“Then some of the protesters tried to go to the district department of interior, but it seemed that the Kiev regime military was beginning to shoot at those who attempted to approach.”

“I don’t know if they were shooting to kill, but at their legs – that’s for sure.”

A separate report said the Interior Ministry was set ablaze.

RT International reported what happened. Its stringer was wounded. He’s identified only as Andrey for his safety.

It happened while filming. He sustained a stomach injury. His bulletproof vest didn’t help. He’s hospitalized in serious condition. Reports suggest he’ll survive.

On Friday, gun battles raged. Ukrainian MP Oleg Lyashko said:

“The perimeter around the Interior Ministry department building in Mariupol is completely blocked by the armed forces.”

“Terrorists are barricaded inside and are now returning fire. An order has been issued not to take anyone alive.”

Friday was Victory Day. It commemorated Nazi Germany’s defeat. Russia honored heroes of its Great Patriotic War.

Ukrainians did so nationwide. Many thousands were on city streets. Imagine waging war this day. Imagine attacking civilians.

Imagine targeting unarmed ones. Imagine doing so with thousands in harm’s way.

Imagine US mainstream media ignoring what happened. Imagine European ones misreporting it.

Imagine them calling freedom fighters “terrorists.” Imagine them ignoring civilian casualties.

Imagine fascists fighting this way. Imagine Washington supporting their worst brutality. Imagine direct orders to commit mass murder. One fascist regime supports another.

About 1,500 Mariupol residents participating in Victory Day commemoration marched on police headquarters.

They did so resisting Ukraine’s military. According to a self-defense forces spokesman:

“Demonstrators – about 1,500 in all – rushed to the police department building.”

“Men wearing black camouflage walk(ed) towards them, firing shots in the air.”

Other residents burned tires near City Council headquarters. Mariupol is one of many Eastern Ukrainian battlegrounds.

Kharkov is Ukraine’s second largest city. On Friday, an anti-government rally was held. Around 1,500 residents participated.

One held a sign reading: “Referendum. We’re not separatist!” Residents oppose Kiev’s “junta.” They called coup-appointed officials “US henchemen.”

Putschists are waging “war against (their) own people,” they said. Thousands of Donetsk residents rallied. They chanted greetings to Great Patriotic War veterans.

“Congratulations!” “Hurrah!” and “Russia!,” they shouted. Self-defense forces leader Denis Pushilin thanked veterans for defeating fascism.

He urged people to vote in Sunday’s referendum, saying:

“We must confirm our choice on May 11, confirm our holy duty to continue to carry the banner of Victory.”

“We are Russians. The great Russian heritage is awakening in us, and we will win a victory whatever the cost.”

Police were supportive. They wore St. George’s ribbons. City residents applauded them.

Thousands in Slavyansk rallied. They celebrated Victory Day. They did so despite Kiev-imposed martial law.

Recently released People’s Governor Pavel Gubarev urged residents throughout Southeast Ukraine “to join the people’s militia under the command of Igor Strelkov.”

Slavyansk People’s Mayor Vyacheslav Ponomarev called on them to fight fascism. Vote in Sunday’s referendum, he stressed.

Odessans displayed a red banner over the Trade Union House building. They did so honoring hundreds Right Sector thugs killed on May 2. Most were inside.

Crowds assembled in Taras Shevchenko Park. They did so to honor Soviet soldiers killed in the Great Patriotic War.

Others gathered in Kulikovo Field. Right Sector thugs burned activist tents on May 2. Doing so was prelude to murdering 300 unarmed civilians inside and outside the Trade Union House building.

Odessan mayoral candidate Aleksey Albu said:

“We have plans to put up a new tent camp after May 9. This time, there will be many more people there.”

Odessa and other Eastern Ukrainian cities remain battlegrounds. Expect no end of fighting soon. Perhaps bloodbath conditions before things end.

Orders come straight from Washington. Eliminate opposition elements. Do it at all costs.

Unleash violence without mercy. Use tanks, artillery, mortars, APCs, helicopter gunships, and other heavy weapons against civilians.

Murder them in cold blood. Lie. Claim they’re terrorists. Say you’re protecting Ukraine.

Good journalism is the first casualty of war. It’s a “weapon of war,” said John Pilger.

Censorship is longstanding policy. Truth-telling is verboten. Mainstream media suppress what people most need to know.

Managed news misinformation substitutes. Reporting on Ukraine has been appalling and then some. It matches the worst against Saddam, Gaddafi and Assad.

Bad fiction substitutes for hard truths. It persists daily. Presstitutes make street whores look good by comparison. Marching in lockstep with US policy alone matters.

Expect lots more of the same ahead. Ukrainian crisis conditions promise to get worse. Perhaps much worse before things end.

Perhaps Obama bit off more than he can chew. Ukraine isn’t the walkover he planned. He’s his own worst enemy.

He may have shot himself in the foot. Putin makes him look amateurish by comparison.

He outsmarted him since crisis erupted last November.  At times he made him look foolish.

Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland mocks the office she holds.

She was caught on tape using obscene language. She admitted Washington spent over $5 billion dollars toppling Ukraine’s democratically elected government.

On Thursday, House Foreign Affairs Committee members challenged her with tough questions on Ukraine.

Dana Rohrabacher (R. CA) said Ukrainians had a “legitimate election before, and the legitimate president was removed after we had major street violence.”

“There were pictures of people running around that we were told were neo-Nazis.”

Nuland was hard-pressed to answer. Rohrabacher wanted straight talk. She failed to deliver. She lied saying:

“First of all, the vast majority of those who were participating on Maidan were peaceful protesters. There were mothers and grandmothers and veterans.”

Rohrabacker interrupted her. He didn’t mince words stressing:

“I saw those pictures, and I also saw a lot of people throwing fire bombs at groups of policemen.”

“There were people shooting into the ranks of police. So, yes, there were mothers with flowers, but there were also very dangerous street fighters engaged in those demonstrations.”

“The question is: were there neo-Nazi groups involved?”

Nuland was nonplussed. She couldn’t deny credible video evidence. “There were many colors of Ukraine involved including very ugly colors,” she said.

She stopped well short of truth, the whole truth, and nothing else. US-supported neo-Nazis bore full responsibility for Maidan violence. Likeminded extremists shared it.

Clear evidence proved it. Coverup and denial suppressed it. Ousted President Viktor Yanukovych had no involvement. Nor members of his government.

Nuland didn’t explain. She’s a war criminal. She’s guilty of high crimes. Her policy positions indict her.

She belongs in prison doing hard time. So does Washington’s entire criminal class. They mock legitimate governance.

They shame positions they hold. Washington makes more enemies than friends. They’re heading America for tyranny and ruin.

It’s too late for mere scattered reforms. Hubris, arrogance and overreach assure ending imperial rampaging sooner or later.

America is plagued by the same dynamic that doomed past empires. It’s spending itself to death. It’s bullying nations into supporting what harms their own interests.

It’s threatening outliers that don’t. It’s increasingly having to work harder to accomplish less. It’s falling short or failing more often. It’s the world’s top pariah state.

It bears repeating. It’s heading for tyranny, bankruptcy and ruin. Misguided policies wreck all empires. Washington is no exception.

The bigger they are, the harder they fall. When America goes, the crash will resonate worldwide. It can’t happen a moment too soon.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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

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

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

With the open support of Washington and its European allies, the regime installed by Washington and Berlin in last February’s fascist-led putsch is now extending its reign of terror against all popular resistance in Ukraine. That is the significance of the events in the major eastern Ukrainian city of Mariupol yesterday.

After tanks, armoured personnel carriers and heavily armed troops were unleashed on unarmed civilians in the city, the Kiev regime claimed to have killed some 20 people. The Obama administration immediately blamed the violent repression on “pro-Russian separatists.”

The violence bore all the hallmarks of a calculated provocation on the 69th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany by the Soviet Red Army. “Victory Day,” long a day of celebration and pride among Russian and Ukrainian workers, who made immense sacrifices to end the Nazi war of extermination in the east, is hated and despised by the neo-Nazi gangs that propelled the US puppet regime in Kiev into power. These admirers of Hitler and his Ukrainian collaborators are now serving, with Washington’s full support, as the regime’s shock troops against popular opposition centred in the industrialised east of the country as well as in Russian-speaking centres such as Odessa in the south.

The same forces have been given free rein to attack anyone in the west of the country who dares to oppose the fascistic government in Kiev.

Outraged accounts from residents of Mariupol, verified by journalists on the ground, make it clear that many of those targeted by the Ukrainian National Guard and associated fascist elements on Friday had been participating in a Victory Day rally commemorating the anniversary.

Participants in the rally came to the defence of police officers who were barricaded inside the local Interior Ministry building after refusing to fire on civilians. Kiev’s armed forces then assaulted the building, using heavy weaponry and tanks, and turned their weapons on residents who flocked to the scene. Later, in scenes reminiscent of last week’s massacre in Odessa, the building was torched. Government troops then evacuated the city along streets lined with incensed and jeering residents.

Video footage, photos and eye-witness accounts appearing on social media show tanks and armoured personnel carriers rampaging through city streets and parks, and troops confronting residents.

Other postings document Ukrainian forces setting fire to the police building in which officers were barricaded and opening fire on unarmed protesters.

At yesterday’s US State Department press briefing, responding to a reporter’s question about the “worrying escalation of the violence” witnessed in Mariupol, spokeswoman Jen Psaki blamed opponents of the Kiev regime, declaring: “Well, we condemn the outbreak of violence caused by pro-Russia separatists this morning in Mariupol, which has resulted in multiple deaths.”

Her remarks, underscoring Washington’s support for the repression, came after Ukraine’s interim interior minister, Arsen Avakov, gloated on his Facebook page that security forces had killed about 20 “terrorists”—the regime’s term for all those who have opposed the Kiev putsch.

According to Mariupol health officials, at least seven people were killed and 39 injured, some seriously.

Once again, as with last week’s atrocity in Odessa, the US and Western media sought to obscure the facts of what happened on the streets of Mariupol, a large working class port city of half a million people. Vague reports of “clashes with separatists” whitewashed the escalation of the unelected Kiev regime’s military-fascist offensive in eastern Ukraine.

CNN, for example, cited Ukrainian authorities for its report that “at least seven people were killed and 39 others were injured in clashes between separatists and Ukrainian government forces in the flashpoint southeastern city of Mariupol.”

Such reports stand in stark contrast to the multitude of social media postings of the military violence and the involvement of fascist elements. “The National Guard went to war with local police,” local anti-fascist committee representative Pyotr Komissarov told the Russian media outlet RT. Neo-Nazi Right Sector elements were identified, he said, and described the attackers as “volunteers, mercenaries” from central and western parts of the country.

Ukrainian MP Oleg Lyashko, who represents the ultra-nationalist Radical Party, claimed on his Facebook account that Kiev’s forces had orders “not to take anyone alive.” During the assault on the Interior Ministry building in Mariupol, he wrote: “Terrorists are barricaded inside and are now returning fire. An order has been issued not to take anyone alive.”

Earlier in the week, Lyashko posted photographs on his blog of him personally interrogating Igor Kakidzyanov, the self-proclaimed defence minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic, who was captured by Ukrainian forces on Tuesday. Kakidzyanov had been stripped to his underwear and had his hands tied behind his back.

None of this naked military-fascist killing and terror would be possible without the protection and immunity provided by Washington and Berlin. Kiev’s bloody crackdown began after visits and discussions with the regime by CIA Director John Brennan and US Vice President Joseph Biden.

In her State Department briefing, Psaki revealed that Secretary of State John Kerry held a phone call yesterday morning, just as the events in Mariupol were unfolding, with acting Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. According to Psaki, “Prime Minister Yatsenyuk provided an update on the security situation on the ground, efforts to maintain calm, and preparations for the election”—a reference to the presidential poll planned for May 25 to try to legitimise the regime.

The US is overseeing and directing the crimes being carried out in Ukraine by its puppet regime in Kiev.

Psaki’s State Department briefing underscored Washington’s patent double standard. The Obama administration hailed as heroes of democracy the fascist Right Sector and Svoboda party forces who mounted armed protests, seized government buildings and fired on security forces to destabilise and overthrow the elected government of President Viktor Yanukovych last February. The White House declared at the time that Yanukovych had forfeited his legitimacy by mobilising police and security forces against the armed demonstrators.

Now, Washington denounces anti-government protesters who have seized official buildings in the east as Russian agents, echoing the Kiev government’s attack on them as “terrorists.” It backs the government’s use not just of police, but of tanks, troops, helicopter gunships and fascist thugs organised in the “National Guard” and “special units” to murder the regime’s opponents.

This is the second time in a week that the Obama administration has defended the role of the Kiev government in the murder of anti-government demonstrators, having done so following the Odessa killings (see: “US defends role of Kiev regime and fascists in Odessa massacre”).

Desperate to reach an accommodation with Washington, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday urged pro-Russian eastern Ukrainians to abandon planned separatist or autonomy referenda set for Sunday. But these efforts have been rebuffed by Washington.

Putin is unable to control the resistance that has spread across eastern Ukraine, with separatist spokesmen denouncing him as a “coward” and “traitor” for issuing his call.

It is clear, despite the non-stop flood of propaganda and lies from the Western governments and their compliant media, that the opposition to the Kiev regime in the east is broadly based and indigenous. There is deep hostility, particularly in the working class, to the resurgence of the fascist threat, which is associated with the deaths of millions during World War II. And there is widespread anger over appalling levels of unemployment and poverty throughout the industrial centres of Ukraine two decades on from the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

“We are on the brink of an uprising of poor against rich, of chaos, of a terrifying rebellion,” Sergei Chertkov, a regional administration official in the eastern town of Konstantinovka, told the Guardian. “America, Russia, Europe, the politicians in Kiev, everyone has tried to play their games here, and they have played so hard that now we are on the brink of catastrophe.”

Fearful that Ukraine’s descent into civil war could trigger a working-class movement against his own oligarchic regime, Putin is resorting to Russian nationalism and chauvinism to shore up his position, fueling precisely the divisions in the working class upon which the stooge regime in Kiev and its imperialist backers rely.

Appearing in Moscow and the Crimean port city of Sevastopol yesterday for Victory Day parades, Putin sought to associate the liberation of Ukraine from the Nazis with the supposed glories of the Russian Tsarist empire, declaring that 230 years ago Russian Empress Catherine the Great gave Sevastopol its name.

In response to Putin’s appearance in Sevastopol, Washington and Berlin stepped up their threats against Russia. German Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned Putin’s visit and the White House said it would exacerbate tensions.

TIME Magazine echos Wall Street and Washington – so when it speaks, readers must listen in that context. Nothing shows the link between TIME’s biased, intentionally misleading propaganda and the agenda of the corporate-financier elite that rule America better than the fact that its last managing editor left in 2013 to join the US State Department. Politico would report in its article, “Richard Stengel leaving Time for State Department,” that:

Richard Stengel, the top editor of Time magazine for the past seven years, is planning to step down as managing editor for a new job at the U.S. Department of State, sources familiar with the situation tell POLITICO and Capital New York.

With this revolving door spinning between TIME’s editorial board and the US State Department in mind, readers must understand that what TIME publishes isn’t reality, but rather “reality” according to what suits US interests, and more specifically, Wall Street and Washington’s interests. 

It is then no surprise to open up its most recent issue covering what it calls “The 100 Most Influential People” and find the likes of Hillary Clinton heaping on praise for John Kerry, or Madeleine Albright condemning Russian President Vladimir Putin. It is the US State Department’s version of the Oscars, an annual ritual centered around self-aggrandizement and the reinforcement of the West’s perceived worldview.

Of current US Secretary of State John Kerry, former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would claim:

Diplomacy is in John Kerry’s blood. As the son of a foreign-service officer, he grew up understanding that America’s destiny is entwined with that of the wider world.

Diplomacy takes stamina, passion and perspective, and John embodies these traits. He is relentless in the face of the most persistent obstacles — keeping alive the dream of peace in the Middle East, standing up to Russia’s ongoing aggression in Ukraine, negotiating the removal of chemical weapons from Syria and signing an interim nuclear deal with Iran. And his work on climate change exemplifies these qualities. Addressing the dangers posed by global warming has long been a personal commitment for him. I know from experience just how hard this is. There’s nobody better suited to carry the cause forward than John Kerry. The people of the United States can be proud he’s representing America and its interests abroad. I know I am.

“The people of the United State can be proud he’s representing America and its interests abroad…” Clinton claims. Ironically, the picture featured alongside Clinton’s comments was of Kerry in Riyadh visiting the unelected Saudi regime who currently preside over a kingdom where state resources are squandered funding sectarian extremists abroad in places like Libya and Syria, and domestically where women can neither vote nor drive, and enemies of the state – which include heretics, homosexuals, and political opponents (charged for treason, sedition, or terrorism) – are beheaded publicly by swordsmen. Surely Kerry is not representing America or its interests – but rather corporations and financiers residing within America and their interests.

TIME Magazine would continue, with commentary by yet another former US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright. Albright took on Russian President Vladimir Putin, claiming:

In 2008, in these same pages, I wrote that Putin would “remain an irritant to NATO, a source of division within Europe and yet another reason for the West to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels.” I was wrong. It’s worse.

Through his illegal actions in Ukraine, Putin has reminded us that leaders of great countries are most dangerous when they make up their own facts. Putin’s worldview is colored by toxic fictions.

Putin’s ultra-nationalistic instinct has upped his poll numbers, but his increased influence will be temporary. Russia has acquired territory but lost credibility. Putin has bought himself a pile of problems at the cost of the international ties Russia needs to prosper. He has betrayed Russia’s best resource — its people — who will eventually realize his rhetoric is nothing more than a fantasy inside a delusion wrapped in a tissue of lies.

To some, Putin has “won” Crimea. Will he recognize his “victory” is Pyrrhic — or try to repeat it? History is filled with aggressors who triumphed for a moment. Then failed.

Had Albright not mentioned Putin by name, one may have thought she was reflecting on her own career – one which included the sanctioning of Iraq at the cost of starving to death over half a million children, before an illegal war based on “toxic fictions” that led to the death of another 1 million civilians, and left the nation of Iraq to this day in perpetual violent conflict.

Albright’s parting shot of, “history is filled with aggressors who triumphed for a moment. Then failed,” could just as easily be directed at US President George Bush who proclaimed aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln in 2003, “mission accomplished,” before America was dragged through a nearly decade long occupation of Iraq that ended in its withdrawal and Iranian influence filling the remaining void.

The audacity of American politicians standing in judge of the world, even as their own hands are covered in the blood of millions, condemning others for simply reacting to their extraterritorial meddling, is generally the hallmark of an empire at its height. But as history teaches, empires at their height merely stand at the edge of their inevitable and irreversible decline.

The world according to TIME is thankfully not the true world we inhabit. The annual self-aggrandizing of TIME and other publications and productions across the Western media are designed to reinforce a fiction aimed at justifying and legitimizing otherwise unjustified and illegitimate leadership and agendas. Seeing through this ill-constructed facade is the first step in tearing it down and letting the light of truth finally shine through.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.

9/11 Truth: WTC Debris and The Debate on Nano Thermite

May 10th, 2014 by Dimitri Diamant

Briefly, as an introduction, this otherwise lengthy article deals with recent new developments as to the events of September 11, 2001. The nature of these developments is such that additional review in terms of Internet closely related and sometimes subtle topics is warranted; and so the discussion here is presented now in an outline format:

1. Earlier, prominent independent research as to 9/11 was conducted by Steven Earl Jones, Ph.D., Professor of Physics at Brigham Young University, Utah. Dr. Jones is an expert in an area of science known as muon cold fusion, and, from the point of view of physics, this is somewhat related to the various uses of thermite. Naturally, Dr. Jones was somewhat concerned about the presence of thermite residue afterwards at Ground Zero, suggesting the possibility of demolition. However, thermite can also be used when cutting steel, such as the large columns of steel remains that then had to gradually be removed from the scene. Thus, the concerns of Dr. Jones were confronted by his being placed on paid leave, and he then resigned his tenure at Brigham Young University.

2. A discussion as to the American Society for Quality, website address www.asq.org, can now be of interest. Their mission statement includes:

“Long-known as the American Society for Quality and established in 1946, ASQ has been the sole administrator of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Program Award since 1991. ASQ marks the 25th anniversary of its International Team Excellence Award at the World Conference on Quality and Improvement in 2010. ASQ’s participation and influence in international standards includes its role as the administrator of the U.S. Technical Advisory Group of the ISO 26000 standard on social responsibility, to be released in 2010.

“Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wis., ASQ supports membership services and business operations through ASQ Global, ASQ China, and ASQ Mexico; with ASQ WorldPartners® around the globe; and through its work with ANAB and RABQSA.”

The ASQ conducts periodic examinations leading to the award of the title Certified Quality Engineer. This is an area of expertise that can convey the aspects of one being an expert technician, although those with both BS and MS degrees are more recently entering the field.

3. Consequently, Congress has created a federal agency known as the National Institute of Standards and Technology, often known as the NIST. A few years ago, an Environmental Health Manager with Underwriters Laboratories, Kevin R. Ryan, CQE, became concerned with assigned 9/11 evaluation activities being conducted by the NIST, and so he communicated with them accordingly. It happens that the work of CQE’s exactly matches the work of the NIST. Similar, one could say, to the outcomes concerning Dr. Steven Jones, Kevin Ryan was then dismissed by Underwriters Laboratories.

4. Next, there is the question of peer review. All Ph.D. faculty members of major universities, especially in the sciences, are expected to conduct periodic research, and they then send papers, always with an introductory abstract, to professional journals, which then have confidential referees who conduct a peer review to see if the paper warrants publication.

 By means of the Internet, one can find www.bentham.org. This is an organization that now sponsors a relatively large number of scientific journals, and their offices are located in the United Arab Emirates. This is the small country that has put up the Burj Tower, a building actually twice the height of the Sears Tower. After you arrive at their home page, you can then click Bentham Open Home, and then click Journals A-Z. After a bit of a search, you can then find the Open Chemical Physics Journal, and then click View Journal Articles, and then Volume 2, Year 2009. The following entry is then found:

Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe

 pp.7-31 (25) Authors: Niels H. Harrit, Jeffrey Farrer, Steven E. Jones, Kevin R. Ryan, Frank M. Legge, Daniel Farnsworth, Gregg Roberts, James R. Gourley, Bradley R. Larsen

Some have expressed concern that peer review activities have traditionally taken place in America and Europe; but the world is changing now, and an adequate review of www.bentham.org shows that responsible scientists from all over the world are, in fact, properly represented here.

5. Here, a certain digression is needed, in the interests of Internet verification. There is a company known as RealVNC, Ltd., with offices in Cambridge, England. VNC stands for Virtual Network Computing, and this appears to involve quite extensive communications, mutually agreeable, between a computer A and a computer B at two different locations. The Internet address for this company is www.realvnc.com, and they do make available, apparently as a starter, a free version known as vncviewer4. Of course, this company will be expanding this technology for use by the iPhones, etc.

6. Next, there is a website known as cipshare.com. The letters cip probably stand for (British) Columbia Internet Providers. All their website does is to make available a free download of vncviewer4.exe. At the upper left, if you click View and then Source, all their very brief html does is to exactly provide you with this free, and nothing more. This turns out to be satisfactory as to the legalities of RealVNC, Ltd., but one might ordinarily want to get this instead from the usual location, realvnc.com. Meanwhile, after consulting whois and internic, the owners of cipshare.com do what many do, and they maintain their privacy. Otherwise, their Registrar is Wild West Domains, Inc., website wildwestdomains.com.

7. Now, as what amounts to a conscientious gesture, cipshare.com has added a subpage (no need for reference within the html) known as:

 /NielsHarrit_org

Notice the clever substitution of the underscore for the usual period. This is actually a reference to the lead author cited in 4. above, Niels Holger Harrit. What the sponsors of cipshare.com have done is to, in effect, relieve the additional burden otherwise necessitated here. It turns out that /nielsharrit_org provides a full description of the credentials and a full description of the work of Prof. Niels H. Harrit, Ph.D., Department of Chemistry, University of Copenhagen. After adding all of this up, we find that everything here is responsible and correct. -

8. Now, the introductory Abstract to the relevant paper of Dr. Niels Harrit and colleagues is presented:

“We have discovered distinctive red/gray chips in all the samples we have studied of the dust produced by the destruction of the World Trade Center. Examination of four of these samples, collected from separate sites, is reported in this paper. These red/gray chips show marked similarities in all four samples. One sample was collected by a Manhattan resident about ten minutes after the collapse of the second WTC Tower, two the next day, and a fourth about a week later. The properties of these chips were analyzed using optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray energy dispersive spectroscopy (XEDS), and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The red material contains grains approximately 100 nm across which are largely iron oxide, while aluminum is contained in tiny plate-like structures. Separation of components using methyl ethyl ketone demonstrated that elemental aluminum is present. The iron oxide and aluminum are intimately mixed in the red material. When ignited in a DSC device the chips exhibit large but narrow exotherms occurring at approximately 430 °C, far below the normal ignition temperature for conventional thermite. Numerous iron-rich spheres are clearly observed in the residue following the ignition of these peculiar red/gray chips. The red portion of these chips is found to be an unreacted thermitic material and highly energetic.”

9. Further discussion of all of this is now warranted. Whereas Prof. Steven E. Jones is a physicist, Prof. Niels H. Harrit is a chemist. There is a German website known as www.gulli.com, and a search here (suche) can be made for wtc 9/11. A rigorous interview, also presented there in English, of Dr. Harrit can be found. During the interview, Dr. Harrit stated that the debris material that they collected was actually, in effect, weapons grade nano-thermite, aspects of which are classified information. In a colloquial sense, one could say that this is something that a Manhattan resident isn’t going to ordinarily find lying around, let us say, at the Bronx Zoo. The question then becomes, this being the case, how could Dr. Harrit have access to the specifics of this substance? The answer is that Dr. Harrit specializes in nano-chemistry. This means that whatever material you might present to someone with this background, he or she will know how to gradually diagnose just exactly what the substance amounts to, or, as turns out to be the conclusion, just how powerfully explosive the diagnosed substance at hand happens to be. During the interview, Dr. Harrit stated:

 ”Yes, the particles are much smaller. But it is prepared in a radically different way compared to ordinary thermite, where the small particles are made by making bigger particles smaller. In nanomaterials, the particles are prepared from atoms and molecules.”

Some have suggested that iron oxide and aluminum were naturally present within the collapsed structures, eventually scattered here and there with concrete, etc.; but this is totally different from weapons grade nano-thermite, prepared as a uniform powder, from atoms and molecules.

10. The interview also rigorously probed as to exactly how the debris material was collected for analysis. Dr. Harrit then referred the interviewer to his paper. Here is a detailed, and somewhat surprising explanation as to how this was done:

“It was learned that a number of people had saved samples of the copious, dense dust, which spread and settled across Manhattan. Several of these people sent portions of their samples to members of this research group. This paper discusses four separate dust samples collected on or shortly after 9/11/2001. Each sample was found to contain red/gray chips. All four samples were originally collected by private citizens who lived in New York City at the time of the tragedy. These citizens came forward and provided samples for analysis in the public interest, allowing study of the 9/11 dust for whatever facts about the day might be learned from the dust.

“The earliest-collected sample came from Mr. Frank Delessio who, according to his videotaped testimony [17], was on the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge about the time the second tower, the North Tower, fell to the ground. He saw the tower fall and was enveloped by the resulting thick dust which settled throughout the area. He swept a handful of the dust from a rail on the pedestrian walkway near the end of the bridge, about ten minutes after the fall of the North Tower. He then went to visit his friend, Mr. Tom Breidenbach, carrying the dust in his hand, and the two of them discussed the dust and decided to save it in a plastic bag. On 11/15/2007, Breidenbach sent a portion of this dust to Dr. Jones for analysis. Breidenbach has also recorded his testimony about the collection of this dust sample on videotape [17]. Thus, the Delessio/Breidenbach sample was collected about ten minutes after the second tower collapsed. It was, therefore, definitely not contaminated by the steel-cutting or clean-up operations at Ground Zero, which began later. Furthermore, it is not mixed with dust from WTC 7, which fell hours later.

“On the morning of 9/12/2001, Mr. Stephen White of New York City entered a room in his apartment on the 8th floor of 1 Hudson Street, about five blocks from the WTC. He found a layer of dust about an inch thick on a stack of folded laundry near a window which was open about 4 inches (10 cm). Evidently the open window had allowed a significant amount of dust from the WTC destruction the day before to enter the room and cover the laundry. He saved some of the dust and, on 2/02/2008, sent a sample directly to Dr. Jones for analysis.

“Another sample was collected from the apartment building at 16 Hudson Street by Mr. Jody Intermont at about 2 pm on 9/12/2001. Two small samples of this dust were simultaneously sent to Dr. Jones and to Kevin Ryan on 2/02/2008 for analysis. Intermont sent a signed affidavit with each sample verifying that he had personally collected the (nowsplit) sample; he wrote:

“‘This dust, which came from the “collapsed” World Trade Center Towers, was collected from my loft at the corner of Reade Street and Hudson Street on September 12, 2001. I give permission to use my name in connection to this evidence’. [Signed 31 January 2008 in the presence of a witness who also signed his name].

 ”On the morning of 9/11/2001, Ms. Janette MacKinlay was in her fourth-floor apartment at 113 Cedar St./110 Liberty St. in New York City, across the street from the WTC plaza. As the South Tower collapsed, the flowing cloud of dust and debris caused windows of her apartment to break inward and dust filled her apartment. She escaped by quickly wrapping a wet towel around her head and exiting the building. The building was closed for entry for about a week. As soon as Ms. MacKinlay was allowed to re-enter her apartment, she did so and began cleaning up. There was a thick layer of dust on the floor. She collected some of it into a large sealable plastic bag for possible later use in an art piece. Ms. MacKinlay responded to the request in the 2006 paper by Dr. Jones by sending him a dust sample. In November 2006, Dr. Jones traveled to California to visit Ms. MacKinlay at her new location, and in the company of several witnesses collected a second sample of the WTC dust directly from her large plastic bag where the dust was stored. She has also sent samples directly to Dr. Jeffrey Farrer and Kevin Ryan. Results from their studies form part of this report.

“Another dust sample was collected by an individual from a window sill of a building on Potter Street in NYC. He has not given permission for his name to be disclosed, therefore his material is not included in this study. That sample, however, contained red/gray chips of the same general composition as the samples described here.”

11. We are now at a time when very large numbers of professionals in the United States and Europe, and in other parts of the world as well, are becoming increasingly aware that, to say the least, something is wrong here. Meanwhile, those who continue to push the Bush story on this are dwindling in number, they are becoming more desperate, and they are using more and more language that is crude.

For example, there is a Mr. Joseph Nobles who has changed the top level domain name of org to info, and, although he is neither an architect nor engineer, he has registered his domain name as ae911truth.info. Within his website, Mr. Nobles describes his background as follows:

“I am currently a live voice writer, which means I produce captions for live television using voice recognition software. I used to be a working actor with the various “day jobs” such a profession requires. I also graduated from International Bible College (now Heritage Christian University) with a BA in Bible, and attended Harding Graduate School of Religion for two years pursuing a Masters in Christian Theology. I am now an agnostic on all matters religious.”

Then, as an example or two of the language that Mr. Nobles uses, we find:

 ”They pretend to be spreading real and valuable information, but their website and presentations are filled with misinformation and lies.

“The Top 10 Boneheaded Mistakes made by Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth.” (available there for clicking)

12. At the website globalresearch.ca, can be found an excellent article by Elizabeth Woodworth that provides an ample anthology of how the responsible media that they still have throughout Europe are already reacting to the findings of Dr. Niels H. Harrit.

Has America Lost its Proxy War on Syria? What Now?

May 10th, 2014 by Dr. Ismail Salami

Thanks to the indefatigable efforts of Iran and Russia, Syria is gradually recuperating a callous crisis wrought by Washington and its regional Arab puppets.

According to an agreement brokered by the UN, Russia and Iran, foreign-backed militants left the Syrian city of Homs on Thursday and the city is now fully under the full control of government forces.

“Old Homs is totally clean of armed terrorist groups,” a banner on Syrian TV read.

“What has been achieved was a result of efforts that lasted for months starting through evacuating hundreds of civilians from the Old City and settling the cases of nearly 820 gunmen who have given up and handed over their weapons to authorities,” said the provincial governor, Talal al-Barazi.

A country hitherto reduced to desperation and dereliction, Syria has sustained wounds which will take years to heal. Barely is there now any hope whatsoever for removing President Bashar al-Assad from power and installing a US-friendly regime instead in the country.

That is a fact we can’t deny and nor can Washington.

The naked truth is that Washington has by now relinquished all hopes for putting this pernicious plot into a practical shape. In fact, the foreign-backed militants fighting in Syria will soon have to leave the country with their tails between their legs.

 Interestingly, there is a mounting fear that the homegrown brainwashed European Takfiris in Syria many of whom hailed from Britain and France may now return to their countries with their overblown ambitions for inspiring terror and atrocity in their own lands. In other words, there is a great angst that chickens come home to roost.

In an Op-ed for the New York Post, John Bolton, a former US ambassador to the UN, implicitly confessed to the manifest debacle of the West in handling the situation in Syria, their political ineptitude and gargantuan miscalculations on a systematic paradigm of regime change followed by Washington in different parts of the world.

An amusing character whose knowledge of events is chiefly culled from the figments of his imagination rather than from the realities on the ground, Bolton has blatantly accused Syria of trying to use chemical weapons for a second time.

 By now, the entire world knows that the use of chemical weapons by Damascus is a threadbare lie and even the UN report pointed with all force to the absurdity of this claim by the West. However, Mr. Bolton does not bother to read or watch news and relies instead on his truncated perceptions. Or maybe he prefers to turn a deaf ear or a blind eye to the realities like his American compeers.

 He states that

“chaos is growing, with increased fighting among the opposition groups … and fresh evidence that Bashar al-Assad is again using chemical weapons. But the chaos of US Syria policy is growing too, with the news that the administration is now supplying the rebels advanced weapons.”

 In the end, Bolton who has come to a similar conclusion concerning Syria, comes up with a genius idea: i.e. Washington should focus on “the real threats, neither minimizing nor dismissing them, and not be distracted by Syria’s conflict… Iran’s unrelenting pursuit of nuclear weapons may yet awaken our president from dreamland.”

The question is: when the West in cahoots with the Arab puppet regimes participated in a dangerous game in Syria, destroyed the infrastructure of the country, demolished the dreams of a nation, and caused the deaths of over 150,000 people including innocent women and children, were they fundamentally propelling a popular uprising in Syria?

It is now more than naïve to presume that Washington entertains humanitarian objectives in Syria. Basically, the country was viewed as a definitive road to Tehran and a subsequent empowerment of Tel Aviv in the region much to the chagrin of resistance movements such as Hezbollah.

As for Iran there is almost a general consensus that the country’s ‘nuclear weapons program’ is a lie invented by the US government to foment Iranophobia on the one hand and vindicate an eventual invasion of the country in the eyes of the international community on the other hand.

This farcical notion has been recently rejected even by the Israelis. In a recent interview with Israel’s Ynet, Israeli Brigadier General Uzi Eilam berated Benjamin Netanyahu’s policies on Iran, saying he and “other politicians have inspired terrible and unnecessary fear into the hearts of the Israeli public.”

Eilam who headed the Israel Atomic Energy Commission (IAEC) from 1976-1985 said, “The Iranian nuclear program will only be operational in another 10 years… Netanyahu is using the Iranian threat to achieve a variety of political objectives” and that he was pursuing his personal goals.

After all, Iran does not need an Israeli to prove that it is pursuing a civilian nuclear program and that it does not have the least intention of using the achieved nuclear technology to produce nuclear weapons as the idea runs counter to the very principles upon which the Islamic Republic has been built. Besides, it violates the binding fatwa issued by the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei against the production and proliferation of nuclear weapons.

Any Syria-style conceived plot by Washington against Iran is sure to end in failure– a more mortifying debacle indeed.

In the final analysis, Iran is apparently seen as a geopolitical thorn in Washington’s side and any desperate attempt to remove this thorn will only intensify the pain. 

Africa Is Up For Sale By The Acre To The Highest Bidder

May 10th, 2014 by Atheling P Reginald Mavengira

Africa is up for sale by the acre to the highest bidder. But how can rice exports from Ethiopia to Saudi Arabia be justified?

Land grabs have grabbed global attention. It’s on the agenda at the World Economic Forum this week, and as the trend for large land acquisitions accelerates, it has moved from being primarily a story about Middle Eastern petrodollars pouring into Africa, to a much more widely spread phenomenon affecting many parts of south-east Asia, such as the Phillipines, as well as Latin America.

In Cambodia, 15% of land has been signed over to private companies since 2005, a third of which are foreign. A new set of research studies from the International Land Coalition find the competition for land increasingly global and unequal.

Many of the deals are shrouded in secrecy, so the scale of what is happening is not clear, nor is it clear who is benefiting from these deals; a number of new reports try to tease these issues out, such as theInternational Institute for Environment and Development’s analysis of legal contract, which is published on Monday.

It’s not hard to see why the subject generates so much attention. It’s partly the secrecy element, partly the fear: who is buying up the future? Large-scale land acquisition prompts all too vividly visions of a dystopian future in which millions of the hungry are excluded from the land of their forefathers by barbed wire fences and security guards as food is exported to feed the rich world.

This is no longer just a fear for the future. The US environmentalist Lester Brown points out in his new book, World on the Edge, that in 2009 Saudi Arabia received its first shipment of rice produced on land it had acquired in Ethiopia while at the same time the World Food Programme was feeding 5 million Ethiopians. Similarly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, China has acquired 7 million hectares for palm oil production and yet millions of people in the DRC are dependent on international aid for food.

Brown warns that “land grabbing is an integral part of the global power struggle for food security”. He argues that geopolitics for several centuries have been dominated by the issue of access to markets, but increasingly in the future this will be replaced by the overriding importance of access to supplies. Food importing countries are anxiously securing their food supplies, all too aware that exporting countries can impose export bans to meet their needs. In 2007 both Russia and Argentina, major grain exporters, put in place export bans and it sent waves of panic around the world, which have probably played a big part in fuelling land acquisition deals.

Much of the attention so far has focused on Africa. Most of the biggest deals have been in countries such as Ethiopia, Mali and Sudan. The imminently independent south Sudan has seen investors queuing up to exploit one of the areas of greatest potential for as yet under developed agricultural land. In comparison with many other areas of the world, land in Africa is very cheap; in Ethiopia, land can be leased for as little as $1 an acre.

China is acquiring land at the fastest rate, but South Korea is not far behind. It has now set up an agency specifically dedicated to making direct agreements with farmers and landowners to secure supplies.

Many African governments are defensive about the deals. Ethiopian President Meles Zenawi is expected to talk on the subject in Davos this week; in the past he has argued that investment in African agriculture is crucial to improve the continent’s low agricultural productivity. He has argued that foreign investors bring in mechanisation and expertise which is vital for development. Many campaigners would agree that investment is badly needed, but insist that the future for African agriculture is not mechanised monocultures for export but supporting sustainable smallholder agriculture. They argue that the latter is far more likely to ensure food security for the poorest Africans.

Some land deals claim to try to meet the needs of smallholders and bring investment at the same time. When I visited Mali recently, a number of local campaigners argued that the Millennium Challenge Account project had invested in the irrigation needed and was training local farmers.

But this small example was outweighed by the enormous anxiety in Mali about the foreign investors who were leasing hundreds of thousands of hectares in a country where the population is rapidly expanding and the land suitable for agriculture is shrinking as the desert expands. Lester Brown rightly points out that the real issue here is not so much land deals as water deals. What is driving the land grabs is the scarcity of water. Saudi Arabia used to produce a lot of wheat, but it is the decline of its aquifers that is forcing it to look abroad to secure its future food.

Leasing and buying land are always ultimately about access to water, and in many parts of Africa this could be a major source of future conflict. Sudan and Ethiopia both feed water into the Nile; intensifying production in these areas could divert water. The Libyan lease of 100,000 hectares in Mali has involved the construction of a massive dam, diverting water from the Niger, a river on which several countries, including Niger and Nigeria, depend.

So what can be done? The World Bank has proposed guidelines for these kinds of deals, but has no way of enforcing them. Many campaigners, such as the international NGO GRAIN work with groups in affected countries who demand accountability and transparency from their governments. In Mali I heard how the CNOP, Coordination Nationale des Organisation Paysannes de Mali was bravely challenging the government, but it was far from clear what success it had had in checking the pace of land acquisitions.

This phenomenon reflects all too starkly the powerlessness of smallholder farmers across the world. They lack the formal land rights or the access to political power in their countries which would enable them to ensure these deals worked in their interests. Instead, the future of their children is being sold over their heads.

Atheling P Reginald Mavengira is founder and Chairman of APRM Capital Holdings.  He is incredibly effective at analyzing both unstructured and structured data/information and thus have an unequaled capacity and capability of converting/manipulating that into effective intelligence.

As most in the former USSR celebrated the 69th Victory Day over Nazi Germany today, the US-backed government in Kiev (which took power after the February coup) decided to launch one of its bloodiest military operations thus far, this time against the anti-coup protesters Mariupol, eastern Ukraine. As much of the Ukrainian military has proven unreliable to the post-coup regime in Kiev, the new interim authorities have assembled their own “national guard” and other militias from the extreme nationalists who were behind the violence in Kiev just two months ago. The result is an extremely aggressive “shock troop” force that seems to shoot first when faced with protesters.-Bloodukraine

Mariupol May  9, 2014
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The US government has repeatedly claimed that protesters in eastern Ukraine who reject the legitimacy of the post-coup government in Kiev are in fact Russian agents. With an intelligence budget of nearly $100 billion, however, US authorities have only been able to put forth debunked claim after debunked claim. First it was satellite imagery proving Russian troops massing on the border. Debunked. Then it was the blatant “anti-Semitic” forgery which Kerry insisted he was certain had been issued by the anti-Kiev authorities in the east. Debunked. Then it was photos hustled by the State Department said to show Russian special forces active in Ukraine. Debunked. And so on. It seems that to the US government, facts simply do not matter. In pre-February 22 Kiev, the legitimate government was warned against using any force to put down an armed revolt. That rebellion, now in power, is actually encouraged by the US to use military force against civilians in eastern Ukraine.And force it uses. Here, protesters armed only with folding chairs found themselves under live fire from Kiev forces. Warning: two unarmed protesters are shot in the video, which is extremely graphic. One of them is shot in the head, to the horror of the crowd all around him. Here is another angle. Here, Kiev forces open fire on a police station in Mariupol that announced it would no longer take orders from Kiev. You can see one of the troops — in a civilian neighborhood — fire a rocket-propelled grenade directly into the police headquarters. The police building was demolished with an unknown number of dead. Still, protesters continue to resist the rule of Kiev. Today, as the pro-Kiev governor of Kerson oblast spoke fondly of Hitler’s forces trying to “liberate” Ukraine from communist rule, one brave mother could take it no longer. She marched right up to the podium (starting at 1:40) with her baby in arms, told the politician off, grabbed his microphone, and threw it to the ground. That’s non-violent resistance at its best. Things weren’t much better for coup-installed president Turchynov and prime minister Yatsenyuk.
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In Kiev, capitol of the revolution, they were heckled by the crowd at the Victory Day gathering, who drowned them out chanting “Hitler Kaputt! Bandera Kaputt!” Nevertheless, they retain support from the force that still matters: the US government and its NATO war machine, which seems totally uninterested in military violence against civilians. In fact, the US administration has called these military operations against unarmed civilians “proportionate and reasonable.” US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, who had just two months ago cheered on armed protesters seeking to overthrow the elected government in Kiev and warned that government against any response to the violent protests, was singing a different tune now that the US-backed insurgents have attained power.
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As Ukrainian military forces launched a bloody operation last week in the eastern city of Slavyansk, she told her UN counterparts that the Kiev “response is reasonable, it is proportional, and frankly it is what any one of our countries would have done in the face of this threat.” Even Salon.com is finding it difficult to stomach the odious Samantha Power, calling her a “brazen hypocrite.” What other word could be used to describe the sickening silence from the White House and State Department as their allies burn unarmed protesters alive in Odessa (warning!), murder civilians at random in Slavyansk, and shoot Victory Day celebrators in the head in Mariupol?
Hypocrisy. Sickening hypocrisy.
The next battle against Wall Street may be brewing and this one is in Los Angeles City Hall.

If it erupts, the soldiers will be a scrappy, wonky, and sophisticated phalanx of labor, neighborhood, and religious activists. Their research has exposed the fact that Wall Street banks were paid $200 million in fees alone last year by the City of Los Angeles; many millions more than the city spent on fixing its streets.

The comparison between City Hall and our streets makes City Hall officials wince; claiming it mixes apples with oranges. But there’s more than catchiness in the comparison. The new report, Fix LA, shows that at least $106 billion in public money overall, from airports, seaports, utilities and pension funds, goes to private financial institutions that profit from fees, lending and leveraging those funds.

Citizens and elected officials often are overwhelmed and under-qualified to understand the weird and complicated transactions – debt swaps and derivative trades, for example – that Wall Street employs to extract maximum profit from all that public capital. There is no single Los Angeles official mandated to bargain with Wall Street. No official consumer watchdog, no fledgling Elizabeth Warren or Ralph Nader. No inspector-general to investigate financial industry fraud. No mainstream investigative reporters on the case, not so far anyway. While insiders and advocates will pore over the city’s multi-billion annual budget this month, no single monitor is minding the hundreds of millions funneled to Wall Street’s predatory care, as the report charges.

City officials will have their chance to respond in public hearings over the next several weeks, based on a motion being introduced by Councilman Paul Koretz this Friday; one seconded by Council member Gil Cedillo. Budget and Finance Committee chair Paul Krekorian, waiving the report, promised thorough public scrutiny of its data and claims.

Koretz is challenging the prevailing notion that the main role of local government is to cut its budgets for essential services, embrace austerity as inevitable, and pray that Wall Street investors notice. The city’s budget already has been cut 19 percent per capita since the Wall Street crash. The city paid out $133 million in taxpayer money last year alone to Wall Street firms for managing its pension funds.

While labor contracts are always “on the table” in budget talks, no one ever suggests that the city should put its Wall Street contracts “on the table” for cuts or renegotiation.

While public employers are blamed perennially in the media and politics for making excessive wage demands, when was the last time anyone questioned Wall Street for making excessive fee demands?

While the public absorbs sixty percent cuts in the city budget for picking up debris and trash, who complains about banks charging $7.9 million for managing the city’s cash?

The Koretz motion calls on the city to either renegotiate or terminate a financial deal involving the City of Los Angeles and Bank of New York Mellon, which turned sour after the 2008 Wall Street crash. Koretz says the deals like this have cost the City $65 million since 2008.

According to a Brookings Institute report, “A growing body of evidence…suggests that borrowing costs are too high. Given that the value of municipal bonds outstanding is $2.9 trillion, municipal borrowers and their investors are leaving billions of dollars on the table every year because of borrowing costs, fees, and other transaction costs. These costs are a drain on state budgets; (and) make investments in education, infrastructure, health care and utilities more expensive…”

From a Wall Street perspective, cities look like large and inviting pools of public capital waiting to be privatized, just like Social Security on the national level. But in the progressive tradition, the role of government is to deploy public resources to maximize returns in the public interest. Progressive public officials are tasked with striking the best deal for their constituents. From the Wall Street perspective, financial transactions should be carried out in milliseconds, which leaves no role for public hearings, oversight or regulations. Campaign contributions are meant to lubricate the bureaucratic machine.

The Fix LA report just might force a debate over the role of a democratic government in a market economy because the report is potentially much more than fifteen pages plus an appendix. The research is sound enough to embarrass many observers who claim to “know” Los Angeles. The effort is led by the Coalition of LA City Unions, including SEIU Local 721 and AFSCME District Council 36, representing collectively 22,000 city workers with the resources of staff, structure, and a budget for organizing. Only last week they sent out tens of thousands of glossy campaign-style pamphlets complete with readable headlines and charts. Union members are pouring over the report’s findings. The question is whether their campaign takes root with a broader public. The issues are complicated. The injuries inflicted are harder to notice than home foreclosures. The ideological argument over austerity has divided even liberals. The power of campaign contributions can be chilling. The public mood may be too cynical at the moment.

A truly grassroots campaign might begin change all that. The Fix LA organizing effort, which already has sponsored a town meeting in South Central and advocates’ visits to Council offices, relies on neighborhood-based organizations like Community Coalition, the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and a roster of clergy with roots in the past and present campaigns for a living wage. If the forces that were aroused by Occupy Wall Street in 2011 are ready for ignition, there’s a possibility of bringing the fight with Wall Street to Main Street LA, the address of City Hall.

Update May 5, 2014

As promised, the City Council budget committee held a several-hour hearing Monday on the issues raised by the Fix LA Coalition’s research paper on Wall Street profits from LA city funds. Chaired by Council member Paul Krekorian, the hearing saw five Council members engaging intently with the report’s authors, labor leaders and community-based representatives. The hearing was uniquely significant in that the labor-community advocates for the first time were invited to have a seat at the table as part of the official city agenda. The hearing, which lasted several hours, was televised live on the LA city channel.

In a few weeks, the Fix LA Coalition will also hold another lengthy and detailed dialogue with City Controller Ron Galperin and experts from his office. Galperin, who is one of only three LA citywide elected officials, has independent audit powers. Recent Controllers’ reports have questioned whether the city has gotten the best return on its investments, and whether passively managed investments are sometimes perform better than actively-managed ones, which obtain the higher management fees.

Normally, Wall Street fees and management practice are evaluated by methods comparing other cities and pension funds. Therefore if all comparable fees are within the same range, they are considered acceptable. In the growing debate in LA, officials are being asked to compare Wall Street fees with budget cuts for essential services like street repair and with the long-term costs of downsizing urban services.

For full testimony, see A Balanced Plan to Fix LA and the Coalition of LA City Unions Presenation to the LA City Council Budget & Finance Committee

AFRICOM Prepares for More Conflicts in Mali, Nigeria and Somalia

May 10th, 2014 by Timothy Alexander Guzman

This incisive text first publish by GR in March 2013 sheds light on the hidden agenda behind Washington’s R2P military intervention in Nigeria. 

Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in Northern Mali is a direct threat to US national security interests according to Major General Carter F. Ham during a House Armed Services Committee hearing on March 15th, 2013.  Ham said that although there have been progress in AFRICOM’s mission; new threats have emerged this year that is a strategic importance to the United States and its allies.  According to American Forces Press Service of the U.S. Department of Defense:

“The general said three violent extremist organizations are of particular concern in Africa: al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, or AQIM, active in northern and western Africa; Boko Haram in Nigeria; and al-Shabaab in Somalia.”

Ham’s main concern however was in Northern Mali because it threatens U.S. national security interests directly.  With France’s invasion back in January 2013 to stop al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has not been a military success obviously since AFRICOM’s leadership is concerned.  AQIM is tied to the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) the same group France intervened with in Libya during NATO’s invasion of Libya that provided weapons, aircraft and Special Forces to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi’s government.  Now AFRICOM who supported NATO’s intervention in Libya is now fighting AQIM in Mali.  A convenient excuse for AFRICOM to expand its military operations in Africa to fight terrorists:

“The growing collaboration of these organizations heightens the danger they collectively represent,” he said. “Of the three organizations, AQIM, which exploited the instability that followed the coup d’état in Mali and seeks to establish an Islamic state in northern Mali, is currently the most likely to directly threaten U.S. national security interests in the near- term.”

Ham admitted that AFRICOM is aiding the French and African military against AQIM and other affiliated terrorist organizations in northern Mali with drone operations operating in Niger.

“We are supporting French efforts with information, airlift, and refueling, and are working with the Department of State to support the deployment of West African forces to the African-led International Support Mission to Mali,” he said. “Recently, we began unarmed, remotely piloted aircraft operations from Niger in support of intelligence gathering efforts in the region.”

Ham said that AQIM is spread across the Sahel region of north-central Africa south of the Sahara Desert and that it requires a regional effort to challenge the threat with AFRICOM, the State Department and USAID under the Trans-Sahara Counter-Terrorism Partnership.  Ham said that “The partnership involves 10 northern and western African nations and the United States, he said, and aims to develop partner militaries’ counter-terrorism capabilities and build regional cooperation against AQIM and related extremist groups.” Expect AFRICOM to expand its footprint throughout Africa since terrorist groups are still considered a formidable threat.

However, the real threat to “US national security interests” in Africa is not AQIM, Boko Haram or al-Shabaab, it is China’s demand for natural resources for their growing economy. The US and France plan to counter the threat along with Africa’s puppet government’s that will pose a challenge to China’s economic and diplomatic influence in the region.  The new Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang will have to confront this reality in the near future.

The US and French governments want to assure themselves that the new Chinese leadership will not continue its beneficial relationships with resource-rich African nations that have been a success in the past.  Therefore, the ‘War on Terror’ will create instability and will disrupt China’s economic growth.  AFRICOM mission is to create war in the name of fighting terrorism and that is what “US national security interests” in Africa is really about.

 

The establishment media has yet to report on a deadly attack in Gamborou Ngala in the Borno State. According to a report posted today by Vanguard, a Nigerian newspaper, the jihadist terror group Boko Haram stormed the town and killed around 300 people.

Boko Haram’s official name is Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihad, which translated from the Arabic means “People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet’s Teachings and Jihad.” The group is a Takfiri offshoot of the Salafi movement. Salafi-Takfiris attack other Muslims and Christians they consider apostates. Boko Haram has worked to impose sharia law in Nigeria, north Cameroon and Niger. It has killed Christians, bombed churches, attacked schools, police stations, government installations, and has kidnapped western tourists.

Prior to the attack, the establishment media covered an announcement on Monday issued by the Obama administration stating the United States will send military, intelligence and law enforcement advisors to Nigeria to help the government there locate and rescue more than 270 teenage girls abducted by Boko Haram.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the team will not be used for military purposes and will share intelligence investigative services in the search for the students kidnapped April 14 from a rural high school in Nigeria’s predominately Muslim northeast. Obama said the abductions may “mobilize the entire international community to finally do something against this horrendous organization.” In October 2013, the U.S. designated Boko Haram a terrorist group.

In 2012, Obama invoked the War Powers Resolution to increase the number of U.S. military personnel deployed to Nigeria. The incoming Commander of the U. S. Africa Command (Africom) at the time, Gen. David M. Rodriguez, said Boko Haram operations threatened Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger, Mali and Chad. Rodriguez said the U.S. has authority in Africa in response to the threat posed by al-Qaeda.

In 2012, The Nigerian Tribune reported Boko Harm’s funding was traced to the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia, specifically from the Al-Muntada Trust Fund. In 2005, The Center for Security Policystated “Al-Muntada has, incidentally, been particularly active in promoting Wahhabi-style Islamism in Nigeria… Al-Muntada… pays for Nigerian clerics to be ‘brainwashed’ in Saudi universities and imposed on Nigerian Muslims through its well-funded network of mosques and schools.”

Similar schools, known as madrassas, were established in Pakistan during the CIA’s covert war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. They were financed by Saudi Arabia and its network of charities. “Between 1982 and 1992, some 35,000 Muslim radicals from 43 Islamic countries in the Middle East, North and East Africa, Central Asia and the Far East would pass their baptism under fire with the Afghan mujahideen,” writes Phil Gasper. The Afghan mujahideen would ultimately produce al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

In addition to support by the Saudis, Boko Haram has received indirect assistance from NATO via Libya’s al-Qaeda mercenaries.

“During an interview conducted by Al-Jazeera with Abu Mousab Abdel Wadoud, the AQIM leader states that Algeria-based organizations have provided arms to Nigeria’s Boko Haram movement ‘to defend Muslims in Nigeria and stop the advance of a minority of Crusaders.’ It remains highly documented that members of Al-Qaeda (AQIM) and the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) who fought among the Libyan rebels directly received arms and logistical support from NATO bloc countries during the Libyan conflict in 2011,” writes Nile Bowie.

AQIM and Boko Haram, however, pose less of a threat in Africa than China does. “The US and France plan to counter the threat along with Africa’s puppet government’s that will pose a challenge to China’s economic and diplomatic influence in the region,” writes Timothy Alexander Guzman.

Nigeria is the 13th largest oil producer in the world. The western Africa nation’s other natural resources include natural gas, tin, iron ore, coal, limestone, niobium, lead, zinc and arable land.

“The US and French governments want to assure themselves that the new Chinese leadership will not continue its beneficial relationships with resource-rich African nations that have been a success in the past.  Therefore, the ‘War on Terror’ will create instability and will disrupt China’s economic growth.  AFRICOM mission is to create war in the name of fighting terrorism and that is what ‘US national security interests’ in Africa is really about.”

This incisive article by Nile Bowie was first publish two years ago by GR in April 2012 sheds light on recent events.

While the atrocities committed by Boko Haram are being used to justify an R2P “humanitarian” intervention in Nigeria, it is worth noting that covert financial support as well as military training has been channeled to Boko Haram by two of America’s staunchest allies: Saudi Arabia and the UK.

Boko Haram receives funding from different groups from Saudi Arabia and the UK, specifically from the Al-Muntada Trust Fund, headquartered in the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia’s Islamic World Society [8]. ..

Moreover Boko Haram has ties to two Al-Qaeda affiliated organizations namely Al QWaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), both of whicha were supported covertly by Western intelligence and NATO (during the war on Libya).

What is the hidden agenda of this diabolical covert operation directed against Nigeria?

Weaken and destabilize Nigeria as a Nation State of 160 million people, trigger sectarian divisions and then come to the rescue of Nigeria under a humanitarian military banner.

Michel Chossudovsky, GR Editor, May 10, 2014   


CIA Covert Ops in Nigeria:  Fertile Ground for US Sponsored Balkanization

by Nile Bowie

Global Research, April 11, 2012

While the Sahel security crisis continues to deteriorate following Tuareg rebels’ declaration of an independent state in Mali’s troubled northern territory [1], recent events in Nigeria indicate a potential for increased regional instability. Boko Haram, a Salafist organization seeking to overthrow the secular administration of Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, has recently killed 38 civilians in a suicide car bomb targeting nearby churches holding Easter services in the northern city of Kaduna [2].

As part of an ongoing campaign of sectarian violence, the group has strived to implement sharia law through the establishment of an Islamic State in northern Nigeria [3]. The group’s belligerent acts of violence claimed more than 500 lives during 2011 [4], prompting President Jonathan to call the current security crisis more dire than that experienced during 1967’s Biafran civil war, adding that jihadi sympathizers have successfully infiltrated his government and security agencies [5].

The group has claimed responsibility for the August 2011 bombing of the United Nations headquarters in the Nigerian capital, Abuja [6], and its adoption of sophisticated tactics indicate that Boko Haram is receiving arms and training from abroad. Mainstream outlets can now be seen readying public opinion for an increased presence in Africa under the Right to Protect Doctrine (R2P) by warning of increased terrorist attacks in Europe, following shifts in Islamist activity away from Iraq and Afghanistan, to the “ungoverned spaces” of the Sahel [7]. While the ongoing War on Terror provides the needed justification for the US Africa Command (AFRICOM) to expand its base of operations throughout the Sahel and the troubled regions of east and central Africa, the modus operandi of Boko Haram indicates foreign nurturing in numerous mediums.

The Nigerian Tribune has reported that Boko Haram receives funding from different groups from Saudi Arabia and the UK, specifically from the Al-Muntada Trust Fund, headquartered in the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia’s Islamic World Society [8]. During an interview conducted by Al-Jazeera with Abu Mousab Abdel Wadoud, the AQIM leader states that Algeria-based organizations have provided arms to Nigeria’s Boko Haram movement “to defend Muslims in Nigeria and stop the advance of a minority of Crusaders” [9].

It remains highly documented that members of Al-Qaeda (AQIM) and the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) who fought among the Libyan rebels directly received arms [10] and logistical support [11] from NATO bloc countries during the Libyan conflict in 2011. While top AFRICOM General Carter Ham claims terrorist networks pose a “real challenge” to the United States [13], warning of the threat posed by Al-Qaeda and the stock of chemical weapons they obtained after raiding Gaddafi’s weapons bunker [12], the confirmed reports accusing the US of arming and training Islamist terrorist groups remain safely neglected in official Pentagon press statements.

While NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander, Admiral James Stavridis openly acknowledged the presence of Al-Qaeda fighters among Libya’s rebels [14], the New Yorker has recently confirmed that the US has trained members of the Iranian opposition group Mujahideen-e-Khalq in Nevada [15], a US State Department listed terrorist organization (#29) [16] responsible for the recent assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists [17]. As the UN warns that weapons such as rocket-propelled grenades and explosives from Libya may reach Boko Haram [18], armed Tuareg fighters in northern Mali have been seen operating in army issue Toyota Hi-Lux technical trucks [19], armed with mortars, machine guns, anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons originally belonging to the LIFG, al-Qaeda affiliated Libyan rebels [20]. UN reports also disclose that Boko Haram members from Nigeria and Chad had received training at Al-Qaeda camps in Mali in 2011 [21].

Nigerian recruits were reportedly trained in an earlier incarnation of AQIM, referred to as the Algerian Groupe Salafiste pour la Prédication et le Combat (GSPC) [22], and superficial aspects of Boko Haram’s operations reflect Nigeria’s 1982 Maitatsine uprisings, a fundamentalism movement countering perceived government oppression [23]. As sectarian violence continues unimpeded, the prospects for a civil war between Nigeria’s economically dominant Christians in the South and marginalized Muslims in the North remains ever present. Although most Nigerians find themselves less divided by religious differences and more victimized by the nations notoriously corrupt political institutions, outside forces funding Boko Haram’s deplorable campaign of violence are bent on exploiting tension between Nigeria’s two largest religious groups.

A divided and warring Nigeria ultimately serves the interests of the United States as cited by Zbigniew Brzezinski, top adviser to Barack Obama and leading US foreign policy theoretician. Brzezinski, who co-founded the Trilateral Commission and openly credits himself with the creation of the Afghan Mujahideen [24], has influenced policy that encourages the division of existing nation-states by the succession and emergence of microstates, based on all cultural, ethnic and religious peculiarities. Author and historian Dr. Webster G. Tarpley writes, “For Africa, Brzezinski recommends the so-called ‘micro-nationalities’ concept, which means that national boundaries established in the 19th century should be swept aside in favor of a crazy quilt of petty tribal entities, each one so small that it could not hope to resist even a medium-sized oil multinational” [25].

Following the mass exodus of Chinese business interests during the Libyan conflict, a shattered Nigeria would ultimately create conditions where China’s growing cooperation with Abuja can be challenged and ultimately, disrupted. China has provided extensive economic, military and political support to Nigeria, an important source of oil and petroleum for Beijing. In addition to sponsoring Nigeria for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council [26], China has invested in Africa’s booming telecommunications market by building and launching a geostationary commercial satellite, owned by Nigeria and operated in Abuja, [27] as a gesture of increased partnership between the two nations. In 2010, China and Nigeria signed a $23 billion deal to construct three fuel refineries in Nigeria, adding an extra 750,000 barrels per day of domestic refining capacity [28].

While Algerian intelligence confirms a direct link between Boko Haram and western-financed AQIM [29], Boko Haram spokesman Abu Qaqa claims to have visited Mecca with Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau, where the group received financial and technical support from Al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia (AQAP) [30]. While US officials acknowledge the presence of Al-Qaeda within the militant Syrian opposition [31], the Saudi Arabian Monarchy and other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have created a multimillion-dollar fund to pay salaries to members of the rebel Free Syrian Army, to encourage soldiers to defect from the Syrian military and join opposition ranks [32], as part of an ongoing regime change program. A recently released subcommittee report issued by the United States Department of Homeland Security entitled “Boko Haram: Emerging Threat to the US Homeland” [33] further indicates the long-term objectives of counter terrorism operations in the region. The document reiterates the importance of sensitive resources within the Niger Delta region, and calls for using extrajudicial assassinations and unmanned aerial drone bombardments to combat the growing threat of Boko Haram in northern Nigeria.

The United States Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania conducted a series of African war game scenarios in preparation for the Pentagon’s expansion of AFRICOM under the Obama Administration. One scenario tested the US Africa Command’s capacity to respond to a disintegrating Nigeria on the verge of collapse amidst civil war, by sending 20,000 US troops to battle vying rebel factions seeking to control the Niger Delta oil fields [34]. At a press conference at the House Armed Services Committee on March 13, 2008, former AFRICOM Commander, General William Ward stated that AFRICOM would operate under the theatre-goal of “combating terrorism” to prioritize the issue of America’s growing dependence on African oil [35]. At an AFRICOM Conference held at Fort McNair on February 18, 2008, Vice Admiral Robert T. Moeller openly declared the guiding principle of AFRICOM is to protect “the free flow of natural resources from Africa to the global market”, before citing China’s increasing presence in the region as challenging to American interests [36].

In 2007, US State Department advisor Dr. J. Peter Pham commented on AFRICOM’s strategic objectives of protecting access to hydrocarbons and other strategic resources which Africa has in abundance, a task which includes ensuring against the vulnerability of those natural riches and ensuring that no other interested third parties, such as China, India, Japan, or Russia, obtain monopolies or preferential treatment.” [37] As covertly supporting terrorist organizations to achieve foreign policy aims appears to be the commanding prerequisite of foreign policy operations under the Obama Administration, Boko Haram exists as a separate arm of the US destabilization apparatus, aimed at shattering Africa’s most populous nation and biggest potential market. As Russia and China continue to assert themselves in the UNSC against calls to intervene on behalf of Syria’s militant opposition, the international community must adequately investigate the sources responsible for orchestrating insurgent activity in the Sahel and reprimand those parties accordingly.

Notes

[1] Triumphant Tuareg rebels fall out over al-Qaeda’s jihad in Mali, The Telegraph, April 07, 2012 
[2] Suicide Bomb Attack in Divided Nigeria Damages 2 Churches, The New York Times, April 8, 2012
[3] Who are Nigeria’s Boko Haram Islamists? BBC, January 11, 2012

[4] Nigeria stunned by Kano attacks that killed more than 150, Los Angeles Times, January 21, 2012

[5] Nigeria’s Goodluck Jonathan: Officials back Boko Haram, BBC, January 8, 2012

[6] Abuja attack: Car bomb hits Nigeria UN building, BBC, August 26, 2011

[7] Mali’s coup matters in London, too, The Guardian, April 3, 2012
[8] Boko Haram’s funding traced to UK, S/Arabia, The Nigerian Tribune, February 13, 2012
[9] Al-Qaida makes a move on troubled Nigeria, UPI, June 17, 2010
[10] France defends arms airlift to Libyan rebels, Reuters, June 30, 2011
[11] Surveillance and Coordination With NATO Aided Rebels, The New York Times, August 21, 2011
[12] Top US General warns of coordination between al-Qaeda-linked African terror groups, The Telegraph, March 01, 2012
[13] Statement of General Carter Ham U.S. Army Commander, United States Africa Command, AFRICOM, February 29, 2012
[14] Libya: al-Qaeda among Libya rebels, Nato chief fears, The Telegraph, March 29, 2011
[15] Our Men in Iran? The New Yorker, April 6, 2012
[16] Foreign Terrorist Organizations, Bureau of Counterterrorism, U.S. Department of State, Janurary 27, 2012
[17] ‘US operated deep in Iran, trained assassins’, YNET News, April 8, 2012
[18] Spiking Arms Proliferation, Organized Crime, Terrorism, Part of Fallout from Libyan Crisis Afflicting Sahel, Security Council Told, United Nations, January 26, 2012
[19] Arab Spring Bleeds Deeper into Africa, Asia Times March 24, 2012
[20] Qaddafi’s Weapons, Taken by Old Allies, Reinvigorate an Insurgent Army in Mali, The New York Times, February 5, 2012
[21] Arms from Libya could reach Boko Haram, al Qaeda: U.N. Reuters, Jan 26, 2012
[22] An Interview With Abdelmalek Droukdal, The New York Times, July 1, 2008
[23] Is Nigeria al-Qaeda’s new frontier? Geneva Centre for Security Policy, March 20, 2012
[24] How Jimmy Carter and I Started the Mujahideen, Counterpunch, January 15, 1998
[25] Obama: The Postmodern Coup: Making of a Manchurian Candidate, Dr. Webster Griffin Tarpley, Progressive Press, 2008
[26] UN Security Council: China Backs Nigeria, AllAfrica, October 29, 2004
[27] China Builds And Launches A Satellite For Nigeria, The Washington PostMay 14, 2007
[28] Nigeria and china sign $23bn deal for three refineries, BBC, May 14, 2010
[29] Algeria says Nigeria’s Boko Haram tied to al Qaeda, Reuters, November 13, 2011 
[30] Boko Haram vows to fight until Nigeria establishes sharia law, The Guardian, January 27, 2012
[31] Al-Qaeda infiltrating Syrian opposition, U.S. officials say, The Washington Post, February 17, 2012
[32] Saudi Arabia, Gulf countries to fund Free Syrian Army, The China Post, April 2, 2012
[33] Boko Haram: Emerging Threat to the US Homeland, United States Department of Homeland Security, 2011
[34] Africa: U.S. Military Holds War Games on Nigeria, Somalia, AllAfrica, August 14, 2009
[35] Ibid
[36] Ibid
[25] China and the Congo Wars: AFRICOM. America’s New Military Command, Centre for Research on Globalization, November 26, 2008

Nile Bowie is an independent writer and photojournalist based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia;Twitter: @NileBowie

Israel has carved economic inroads into Asia deep enough to compromise the traditional Asian political support for Arabs. If this trend continues, the growing economic Israeli-Asian relations could in no time translate into political ties that would neutralize Asia in the Arab-Israeli conflict.   

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s official visit to Japan from May 11-15 is not an historic breakthrough per se in bilateral relations that date back to 1952.

Neither is the normalization of relations in “a matter of weeks” between Israel and Turkey, which was the first major Muslim country to recognize the State of Israel in 1949, as promised by the Turkish premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan on last April 27.

However both events should highlight the historic breakthrough Israel has discreetly and quietly achieved in pivoting to Asia, once an Arab reservoir of support in their conflict with Israel over Palestine .

“For the first time, in 2014, Israeli exports with Asia will exceed trade with the US, pushing it from second to third place (behind the EU),” director of the Foreign Trade Administration at Israel’s Ministry of the Economy, Ohad Cohen, was quoted as saying by Israeli “Globes” on April 27.

While opening more trade attaché offices in Asia, the Israeli Ministry of the Economy has closed a number of European trade offices in Austria , Hungary , Finland and Sweden “in order to refocus on emerging markets,” Cohen explained.

“Today we have five offices in China , three in India , and we have added attaché in Vietnam and an office in Manila ,” he added.

US President Barak Obama was in Asia last April trying to demonstrate that his promised Asian strategic shift was at last real. Meanwhile, the Israelis were already secured in their strategic shift to Asia .

  While Obama was trying to forge a US-Asian counterbalance to China in what Chinese commentators described as “Cold War mentality,” Israel was courting the emerging Chinese economic superpower as well as India, which the World Bank on last April 29 reported it had overtaken Japan as the world’s third largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity.

“‘Pivot to Asia’ is a term that might be applied to Israel ,” Roger Cohen wrote in The New York Times on April 24, citing a boom in its trade with China to more than $8 billion in 2013. Israel ’s military and technological cooperation with China had once created a crisis in the U.S. – Israeli relations.

Cohen noted that while the US and Europe continue to “huff and puff” about the illegal Israeli colonial settlements in the occupied Palestinian West Bank “ Asia does business. India has already bought sea-to-sea missiles, radar for a missile-intercept system and communications equipment from Israel .”

India a case study

India could be a case study of Israel ’s historic breakthrough.

According to the web site of the embassy of India in Cairo, Egypt, “Much of our external trade passes along the Suez Canal, the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden,” all almost exclusively Arab sea routes, and “Our total bilateral trade with the Arab countries is over US$ 110 billion and the region is home to 4.5 million Indians and caters to 70% of our energy imports.”

Indian Defence Minister Shri A.K. Antony told the 15th Asian Security Conference in February last year that “West Asia is a critical region” for India and the “Gulf region is vital for India’s energy security.”

During 2011 to 2012, India’s trade with the Arab Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) was more than U.S. $145 billion (with exports and imports from the region standing at 20 percent and 14 percent, respectively), Antony said.

The “links” with West Asia “have got deepened and further strengthened in the era of globalization.” Former Prime Minister of India ’s Special Envoy to West Asia, Chinmaya R. Gharikhan, was on record to attribute the Indian economy growth at more than 8% to India ’s “dependence” for 70% of its energy needs on West Asia .

Former Indian ambassador to Oman , UAE and Saudi Arabia , Talmiz Ahmad, on last December 29, wrote in Deccan Chronicle:

“The security and stability of the Gulf and West Asia are crucial for the long-term interests of the Asian countries. This calls for a review of the Asian security role in the Gulf.”

Yet, despite these vital Indian – Arab relations, India is now the largest customer of the military equipment, the largest military partner and the largest Asian economic partner of Arabs’ arch enemy, Israel .

  Such Indian and Chinese exchanges with Israel have neutralized Asian pro-Arab and pro-Palestinian influence or at least created a contradiction between Asia ’s economic dealings and its verbal political speech.

These Asian-Israeli exchanges deprived Israel of an influential incentive for making peace. They should have been at least postponed as an Asian prize for ending the Israeli military occupation of Arab lands in Palestine , Syria and Lebanon .

Until peace is made with Arabs and Palestinians in particular, Israel will continue to be the main destabilizing factor in the region.

Even then, it will continue to consider itself an integral part of western culture and strategy and to be a western influence doing its best to make the region a free market for western interests and a strategic monopoly of western powers.

Adding to the US empowerment of the Hebrew state by bolstering its strategic power will only bolster a formidable obstacle to peace in the region.

Controversial explanation

  Writing in Forbes on May 14 last year, professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver , Jonathan Adelman, and the acting executive director for Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME), Asaf Romirowsky, had a controversial explanation of Israel ’s breakthrough in Asia :

 Historically, “Asia largely lacks the anti-Semitism that was so prominent in Europe” and “ Israel was like most Asian states … a new state born after World War II after a struggle with a Western colonial power, in this case Great Britain ,” they said.

“Geographically, Israel is in West Asia, only four hours by air from India and 11 hours by air from China .

  “Economically, Israel ’s rapid transition from Third World power to First World ‘start-up nation’ echoes the great transformation underway in such Asian countries as India , China and the Four Tigers.

  “Scientifically, Israel has emerged as a high-tech superpower, thereby very attractive to Asian high tech powers.

  “Militarily, the Israeli military, a world leader in anti-missile technology (Iron Dome) … is attractive to Asian countries developing their own militaries.

“Politically, the growing threat of Islamism draws many of Asian countries towards a country that is in the forefront of fighting this threat.”

In intelligence matters, Israeli “Mossad, with its strong human intelligence capabilities, is attractive for helping these countries overcome foreign threats.”

Adelman and Romirowsky sound like labouring to produce an academic commercial to “sell” Israel to Asia .

  Ironically both of them had nothing to say about Israel being promoted mainly by its US strategic sponsor as “the only democracy in the Middle East .”

Historically Israel was not born after a struggle with the colonial power of Great Britain but was imposed by this colonial power by force on the region and born after military ongoing ethnic cleansing of the native Arab Palestinians of the land.

Militarily, the anti-missile Iron Dome technology has not proved a success in three Israeli wars on Gaza Strip and Lebanon since 2006.

Politically, the Israeli logistical support of the most extreme among the Islamist insurgents who are fighting against the government of Syria doesn’t vindicate that Israel is “in the forefront of fighting” their threat.

  Taking the wrong side 

The argument that Mossad is attractive for helping Asian countries overcome their threat deserves more elaboration.

The fact that the Muslim population in Asia is almost double that of the Arab countries combined is a factor that could potentially create a cultural bridge for more interaction between the overwhelmingly Arab West Asia and its mother continent, but nonetheless there is a worrying negative side.

The rise of Islamist extremism could make use of this cultural bridge as well, but the Israeli occupying power is making the best use of it by exploiting this threat to cement its intelligence ties with Asia .

But these extremists are at war with the Arabs and not with Israel , which was so far safe from their threat not because of its defence capabilities against them, but because it was not and is still not targeted by them.

Of course Asia could not idly watch the rise of Islamist extremism and could not avoid taking sides and embark on a defensive battle against it outside its borders otherwise it will be risking fighting this evil within its own borders sooner or later.

However, Asia seems to take the wrong side. The Israeli occupying power is not Asia’s best ally to pre-empt this threat, but the Arabs who have gained enough intelligence about them and enough experience in fighting them from Morocco in the far west of the Arab world to Iraq in the far east.

Nicola Nasser is a veteran Arab journalist based in Birzeit, West Bank of the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories. An edited version of this article was first published by Middle East Eye. ([email protected])

Putin displays Ukraine Chess Mastery

May 10th, 2014 by Pepe Escobar

Russia’s celebrations of the 69th anniversary of the defeat of fascism in World War II come just days after Ukrainian neo-fascists enacted an appalling Odessa massacre. For those who know their history, the graphic symbolism speaks for itself. 

And then a geopolitical chess gambit added outright puzzlement to the trademark hypocrisy displayed by the self-proclaimed representatives of “Western civilization”. 

The gambit comes from – who else – Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is now actively mixing chess moves with Sun Tzu’s Art of War and Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching. No wonder all those American PR shills, helpless State Department spokespersons and NATOstan generals are clueless.

Unlike the Obama administration’s juvenile delinquent school of diplomacy – which wants to “isolate” Putin and Russia – a truce and possible deal in the ongoing Ukrainian tragedy has been negotiated between adults on speaking terms, Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, then discussed and finally announced in a press conference by the president of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Didier Burghalter.

The deal will hold as long as the regime changers in Kiev – which should be described as the NATO neo-liberal, neo-fascist junta – abandon their ongoing “anti-terrorist operation” and are ready to negotiate with the federalists in Eastern and Southern Ukraine. [1]

Putin’s gambit has been to sacrifice not one but two pieces; he’d rather have the referendums this Sunday in Eastern Ukraine be postponed. At the same time, changing the Kremlin’s position, he said the presidential elections on May 25 might be a step in the right direction.

Moscow knows the referendums will be erroneously interpreted by the misinformed NATOstan combo as an argument for Eastern Ukraine to join Russia, as in Crimea. They could be used as pretext for more sanctions. And most of all Moscow is keen to prevent any possible false flags. [2]

Yet Moscow has not abandoned its firm position from the start; before a presidential election there should be constitutional changes towards federalization and more power for largely autonomous provinces. It’s not happening anytime soon – if at all.

With the Kiev NATO junta making an absolute mess of “governing”; the International Monetary Fund already running the disaster capitalism show, Russia cutting off trade and energy subsidies, and the federalist movement growing by the minute after the Odessa massacre, Ukraine is so absolutely toxic that Moscow has all the time in the world on its side. Putin’s strategy is indeed Tao Te Ching meets Art of War: watch the river flow while giving enough rope for your enemy to hang himself.

You’re with us or against us

Putin asking the people in the Donbass region to postpone the referendum – which will take place anyway [3] – unleashed a fierce debate, in eastern Ukraine and across Russia, over a possible Russian betrayal of Russian speakers in Ukraine.

After all, the NATO neo-liberal, neo-fascist junta has unleashed an “anti-terrorist operation” against average Ukrainians where even the terminology comes straight from the “you’re with us or against us” Cheney regime.

And once again the Disinformer-in-Chief is – who else – US Secretary of State John Kerry, who is “very concerned about efforts of pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk, in Lugansk to organize, frankly, a contrived, bogus independence referendum on May 11″. It’s “the Crimea playbook all over again and no civilized nation is going to recognize the results of such a bogus effort”.

It’s hopeless to expect Kerry to know what he’s talking about, but still: the people in Donbass are not separatists. These are average Ukrainians – factory workers, miners, store clerks, farmers – who are pro-democracy, anti-NATO junta and – oh, the capital crime – Russian speakers.

And by the way, you don’t need to be Thomas Piketty to identify this as classic class struggle; workers and peasants against oligarchs – the oligarchs currently aligned with the NATO junta, some deployed as regional governors, and all planning to remain in charge after the May 25 elections.

The people in Donbass want federalism, and strong autonomy in their provinces. They don’t want to split from Ukraine. Against the US-prescribed, Kiev-enforced “anti-terrorism” onslaught, they have their popular defense committees, local associations and yes, militias, to defend themselves. And most of all “bogus” referendums to make it absolutely clear they won’t submit to a centralized, oligarch-infested junta.

So the referendums will go ahead – and will be duly ignored by the NATOstan combo. The May 25 presidential election will go ahead – right in the middle of an “anti-terrorist operation” against almost half of the population – and will be recognized as “legitimate” by the NATOstan combo.

Way beyond this cosmically shameful behavior of the “civilized” West, what next?

Nothing will make the ironclad hatred the NATO neo-liberal neo-fascist junta with its Western Ukraine neo-nazi Banderastan supporters feel against the eastern Donbass go away. But then, in a few months, all Ukrainians will feel in their skins what the IMF has in store for them, irrespective of location. And wait if the new president – be it chocolate billionaire Petro Porashenko or holy corrupt “Saint Yulia” Timoschenko – doesn’t pay Gazprom’s US$2.7 billion energy bill.

Once again, Putin does not need to “invade” anything. He knows this is not the way to “rescue” eastern and southern Ukraine. He knows the people in the Donbass will make life miserable for the NATO junta and its May 25 offspring. He knows when Kiev needs real cash – not the current IMF self-serving Mob-style loans – nobody in his right mind in the political midget EU will be forthcoming. Nobody will want to rescue a failed state. And Kiev will have to beg, once again, for Moscow’s help, the lender of first and last resort.

Lao Tzu Putin is far from going to checkmate. He may – and will – wait. The exceptionalist empire will keep doing what it does best – foment chaos – even as sensible Europeans, Merkel included, try somewhat for appeasement. Well, at least Washington’s prayers have been answered. It took a while, but they finally found the new bogeyman: Osama Bin Putin.

Notes:

1. Putin-Burkhalter talks: an elusive chance for Ukraine, Oriental Review, May 8, 2014.
2. Ukrainian forces prepare provocation against Russia in Donetsk, Voice of America, May 6, 2014.
3. 2 southeast Ukrainian regions to hold referendum May 11 as planned, RT, May 8, 2014. 

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007), Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge (Nimble Books, 2007), and Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).  He may be reached at [email protected].

So, what do we have here? In Libya, in Syria, and elsewhere the United States has been on the same side as the al-Qaeda types. But not in Ukraine. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that in Ukraine the United States is on the same side as the neo-Nazi types, who – taking time off from parading around with their swastika-like symbols and calling for the death of Jews, Russians and Communists – on May 2 burned down a trade-union building in Odessa, killing scores of people and sending hundreds to hospital; many of the victims were beaten or shot when they tried to flee the flames and smoke; ambulances were blocked from reaching the wounded. Try and find an American mainstream media entity that has made a serious attempt to capture the horror.

And how did this latest example of American foreign-policy exceptionalism come to be? One starting point that can be considered is what former Secretary of Defense and CIA Director Robert Gates says in his recently published memoir:

“When the Soviet Union was collapsing in late 1991, [Defense Secretary Dick Cheney] wanted to see the dismemberment not only of the Soviet Union and the Russian empire but of Russia itself, so it could never again be a threat to the rest of the world.”

That can serve as an early marker for the new cold war while the corpse of the old one was still warm. Soon thereafter, NATO began to surround Russia with military bases, missile sites, and NATO members, while yearning for perhaps the most important part needed to complete the circle – Ukraine.

In February of this year, US State Department officials, undiplomatically, joined anti-government protesters in the capital city of Kiev, handing out encouragement and food, from which emanated the infamous leaked audio tape between the US ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, and the State Department’s Victoria Nuland, former US ambassador to NATO and former State Department spokesperson for Hillary Clinton. Their conversation dealt with who should be running the new Ukraine government after the government of Viktor Yanukovich was overthrown; their most favored for this position being one Arseniy Yatsenuk.

My dear, and recently departed, Washington friend, John Judge, liked to say that if you want to call him a “conspiracy theorist” you have to call others “coincidence theorists”. Thus it was by the most remarkable of coincidences that Arseniy Yatsenuk did indeed become the new prime minister. He could very soon be found in private meetings and public press conferences with the president of the United States and the Secretary-General of NATO, as well as meeting with the soon-to-be new owners of Ukraine, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, preparing to impose their standard financial shock therapy. The current protestors in Ukraine don’t need PHDs in economics to know what this portends. They know about the impoverishment of Greece, Spain, et al. They also despise the new regime for its overthrow of their democratically-elected government, whatever its shortcomings. But the American media obscures these motivations by almost always referring to them simply as “pro-Russian”.

An exception, albeit rather unemphasized, was the April 17 Washington Post which reported from Donetsk that many of the eastern Ukrainians whom the author interviewed said the unrest in their region was driven by fear of “economic hardship” and the IMF austerity plan that will make their lives even harder:

“At a most dangerous and delicate time, just as it battles Moscow for hearts and minds across the east, the pro-Western government is set to initiate a shock therapy of economic measures to meet the demands of an emergency bailout from the International Monetary Fund.”

Arseniy Yatsenuk, it should be noted, has something called the Arseniy Yatsenuk Foundation. If you go to the foundation’s website you will see the logos of the foundation’s “partners”. Among these partners we find NATO, the National Endowment for Democracy, the US State Department, Chatham House (Royal Institute of International Affairs in the UK), the German Marshall Fund (a think tank founded by the German government in honor of the US Marshall Plan), as well as a couple of international banks. Is any comment needed?

Getting away with supporting al-Qaeda and Nazi types may be giving US officials the idea that they can say or do anything they want in their foreign policy. In a May 2 press conference, President Obama, referring to Ukraine and the NATO Treaty, said:

“We’re united in our unwavering Article 5 commitment to the security of our NATO allies”. (Article 5 states: “The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them … shall be considered an attack against them all.”)

Did the president forget that Ukraine is not (yet) a member of NATO? And in the same press conference, the president referred to the “duly elected government in Kyiv (Kiev)”, when in fact it had come to power via a coup and then proceeded to establish a new regime in which the vice-premier, minister of defense, minister of agriculture, and minister of environment, all belonged to far-right neo-Nazi parties.

The pure awfulness of the Ukrainian right-wingers can scarcely be exaggerated. In early March, the leader of Pravy Sektor (Right Sector) called upon his comrades, the infamous Chechnyan terrorists, to carry out further terrorist actions in Russia.

There may be one important difference between the old Cold War and the new one. The American people, as well as the world, can not be as easily brainwashed as they were during the earlier period.

Over the course of a decade, in doing the research for my first books and articles on US foreign policy, one of the oddities to me of the Cold War was how often the Soviet Union seemed to know what the United States was really up to, even if the American people didn’t. Every once in a while in the 1950s to 70s a careful reader would notice a two- or three-inch story in the New York Times on the bottom of some distant inside page, reporting that Pravda or Izvestia had claimed that a recent coup or political assassination in Africa or Asia or Latin America had been the work of the CIA; the Times might add that a US State Department official had labeled the story as “absurd”. And that was that; no further details were provided; and none were needed, for how many American readers gave it a second thought? It was just more commie propaganda. Who did they think they were fooling? This ignorance/complicity on the part of the mainstream media allowed the United States to get away with all manner of international crimes and mischief.

It was only in the 1980s when I began to do the serious research that resulted in my first book, which later became Killing Hope, that I was able to fill in the details and realize that the United States had indeed masterminded that particular coup or assassination, and many other coups and assassinations, not to mention countless bombings, chemical and biological warfare, perversion of elections, drug dealings, kidnapings, and much more that had not appeared in the American mainstream media or schoolbooks. (And a significant portion of which was apparently unknown to the Soviets as well.)

But there have been countless revelations about US crimes in the past two decades. Many Americans and much of the rest of the planet have become educated. They’re much more skeptical of American proclamations and the fawning media.

President Obama recently declared: “The strong condemnation that it’s received from around the world indicates the degree to which Russia is on the wrong side of history on this.”Marvelous … coming from the man who partners with jihadists and Nazis and has waged war against seven nations. In the past half century is there any country whose foreign policy has received more bitter condemnation than the United States? If the United States is not on the wrong side of history, it may be only in the history books published by the United States.

Barack Obama, like virtually all Americans, likely believes that the Soviet Union, with perhaps the sole exception of the Second World War, was consistently on the wrong side of history in its foreign policy as well as at home. Yet, in a survey conducted by an independent Russian polling center this past January, and reported in the Washington Post in April, 86 percent of respondents older than 55 expressed regret for the Soviet Union’s collapse; 37 percent of those aged 25 to 39 did so.(Similar poll results have been reported regularly since the demise of the Soviet Union. This is from USA Today in 1999: “When the Berlin Wall crumbled, East Germans imagined a life of freedom where consumer goods were abundant and hardships would fade. Ten years later, a remarkable 51% say they were happier with communism.”)

Or as the new Russian proverb put it: “Everything the Communists said about Communism was a lie, but everything they said about capitalism turned out to be the truth.”

A week before the above Post report in April the newspaper printed an article about happiness around the world, which contains the following charming lines:

“Worldwide polls show that life seems better to older people – except in Russia.” … “Essentially, life under President Vladimir Putin is one continuous downward spiral into despair.” … “What’s going on in Russia is deep unhappiness.” … “In Russia, the only thing to look forward to is death’s sweet embrace.”

No, I don’t think it was meant to be any kind of satire. It appears to be a scientific study, complete with graphs, but it reads like something straight out of the 1950s.

The views Americans hold of themselves and other societies are not necessarily more distorted than the views found amongst people elsewhere in the world, but the Americans’ distortion can lead to much more harm. Most Americans and members of Congress have convinced themselves that the US/NATO encirclement of Russia is benign – we are, after all, the Good Guys – and they don’t understand why Russia can’t see this.

The first Cold War, from Washington’s point of view, was often designated as one of “containment”, referring to the US policy of preventing the spread of communism around the world, trying to block the very idea of communism or socialism. There’s still some leftover from that – see Venezuela and Cuba, for example – but the new Cold War can be seen more in terms of a military strategy. Washington thinks in terms of who could pose a barrier to the ever-expanding empire adding to its bases and other military necessities.

Whatever the rationale, it’s imperative that the United States suppress any lingering desire to bring Ukraine (and Georgia) into the NATO alliance. Nothing is more likely to bring large numbers of Russian boots onto the Ukrainian ground than the idea that Washington wants to have NATO troops right on the Russian border and in spitting distance of the country’s historic Black Sea naval base in Crimea.

The myth of Soviet expansionism

One still comes across references in the mainstream media to Russian “expansionism” and “the Soviet empire”, in addition to that old favorite “the evil empire”. These terms stem largely from erstwhile Soviet control of Eastern European states. But was the creation of these satellites following World War II an act of imperialism or expansionism? Or did the decisive impetus lie elsewhere?

Within the space of less than 25 years, Western powers had invaded Russia three times – the two world wars and the “Intervention” of 1918-20 – inflicting some 40 million casualties in the two wars alone. To carry out these invasions, the West had used Eastern Europe as a highway. Should it be any cause for wonder that after World War II the Soviets wanted to close this highway down? In almost any other context, Americans would have no problem in seeing this as an act of self defense. But in the context of the Cold War such thinking could not find a home in mainstream discourse.

The Baltic states of the Soviet Union – Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania – were not part of the highway and were frequently in the news because of their demands for more autonomy from Moscow, a story “natural” for the American media. These articles invariably reminded the reader that the “once independent” Baltic states were invaded in 1939 by the Soviet Union, incorporated as republics of the USSR, and had been “occupied” ever since. Another case of brutal Russian imperialism. Period. History etched in stone.

The three countries, it happens, were part of the Russian empire from 1721 up to the Russian Revolution of 1917, in the midst of World War I. When the war ended in November 1918, and the Germans had been defeated, the victorious Allied nations (US, Great Britain, France, et al.) permitted/encouraged the German forces to remain in the Baltics for a full year to crush the spread of Bolshevism there; this, with ample military assistance from the Allied nations. In each of the three republics, the Germans installed collaborators in power who declared their independence from the new Bolshevik state which, by this time, was so devastated by the World War, the revolution, and the civil war prolonged by the Allies’ intervention, that it had no choice but to accept the fait accompli. The rest of the fledgling Soviet Union had to be saved.

To at least win some propaganda points from this unfortunate state of affairs, the Soviets announced that they were relinquishing the Baltic republics “voluntarily” in line with their principles of anti-imperialism and self-determination. But is should not be surprising that the Soviets continued to regard the Baltics as a rightful part of their nation or that they waited until they were powerful enough to reclaim the territory.

Then we had Afghanistan. Surely this was an imperialist grab. But the Soviet Union had lived next door to Afghanistan for more than 60 years without gobbling it up. And when the Russians invaded in 1979, the key motivation was the United States involvement in a movement, largely Islamic, to topple the Afghan government, which was friendly to Moscow. The Soviets could not have been expected to tolerate a pro-US, anti-communist government on its border any more than the United States could have been expected to tolerate a pro-Soviet, communist government in Mexico.

Moreover, if the rebel movement took power it likely would have set up a fundamentalist Islamic government, which would have been in a position to proselytize the numerous Muslims in the Soviet border republics.

 Notes

  1. See RT.com (formerly Russia Today) for many stories, images and videos
  2. Robert Gates, Duty (2014), p.97
  3. If this site has gone missing again, a saved version can be found here.
  4. Voice of Russia radio station, Moscow, April 18, 2014; also see Answer Coalition, “Who’s who in Ukraine’s new [semi-fascist] government”, March 11, 2014
  5. RT.com, news report March 5, 2014
  6. CBS News, March 3, 2014
  7. Washington Post, April 11, 2014
  8. USA Today (Virginia), Oct. 11, 1999, page 1
  9. Washington Post print edition, April 2, 2014; online here

The New York Times– bullhorn of lies for Washington – reports on 8 May 2014, with skeptical intonation and depreciative connotation on Mr. Putin’s press conference of Wednesday, 7 May, where he made a number of important steps of good-will towards easing the tension in Ukraine.

He recommended that the pro-Russia protestors postpone their referendum until after the Ukraine vote on 25 May. He also declared withdrawing Russian troops from the Ukrainian borders and suggested dialogue-dialogue-dialogue among the warring parties, including the opposition. He supported Ms. Merkel’s proposal of a round table discussion – and foremost, he asked all parties to abstain from violence.

This all happened in the context of a high-level meeting between Mr. Putin and the head of OSCE, who also happens to be the President of Switzerland.

However, the NYT article does not mention with one single word this important act of mediation between the Mr. Putin and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, of which Russia is a member –meeting that prompted the press conference in the first place.

Why would the prominent NYT not even mention the high-level OSCE mediation attempt?

Simple. Mentioning the President of OSCE conferring with Mr. Putin, would render the paper’s subsequent lies and slanders of the Russian leader, the only real statesman the world knows at present, highly questionable.

This is how the reporting on the ‘press conference’ is framed, “President Vladimir V. Putin, faced with rising violence in southeastern Ukraine that threatened to draw in the Russian Army at great cost and prompt severe new Western economic sanctions, pressed pause on Wednesday in what had started to look like an inevitable march toward war.

“But it remained unclear to analysts and political leaders on both sides of the Atlantic whether he was truly reversing course on Ukraine or if this was just another of his judo-inspired feints”.

While Mr. Obama apparently welcomes “a Russian military pullback” – the white House spokesman gratuitously and without a shred of proof added“there has been no evidence that such a withdrawal has taken place.” A statement that was confirmed by NATO officials – of course, what else! – And reported by the NYT.

The House of Brits, aping the White House, reacted equally with strong skepticism, putting more negative spin on Mr. Putin’s good-will. At least, according to the NYT,

“one official said that satellite photos that would better verify Mr. Putin’s assertions [of troop withdrawal] would take a while to come through.”

Later in the day more deprecating news appeared in the western media. References to Mr. Putin’s alleged untrustworthiness wereaccusing him of deliberate lack of influence over the pro-Russian demonstrators, to earlier broken promises of troop withdrawals (a sheer invention by Washington)and finally the ‘Crimea annexation’. For those who are still in doubt, Crimea was NOT annexed. By an act of self-determination as part of Crimea’s constitutional status of autonomy, 96% of Crimeans voted to re-join Russia of which they were part until 1954, and the Duma, the Russian parliament ratified their decision.

Such negative statements a few hours after Mr. Putin’s pronunciations are sowing but bad blood. No credit is given to the Kremlin’s good-will – good-will to mediate, good-will to stop the western inflicted violent disaster in Ukraine. There is never even an iota of a mention in the western media of the CIA-NATO-State Department evil troika’s instigation of the illegal coup and to its continuous support – financial and with military personnel. The continuation of US-led western anti-Russia propaganda is only aiming at increasing public pressure for war.

Whatever Mr. Putin does is not good enough. He will be forever criticized by the West and demonized with falsehoods, lies and slander.

This is an unequivocal war campaign carried out by the United States of America; until now with the connivance of European puppets. However Europe, led by Germany, is increasingly realizing that conflict with Russia will have nefarious consequences for Europe, as their dependence on trade with Russia, especially on energy, far outranks that with the US.

In its quest for absolute world hegemony, Washington closely follows the Road Map PNAC – Plan for a new American Century – a Road Map of endless wars and conflicts comparable to the 300 years of PaxRomana, the bloodiest period of the Roman Empire. The United States of America has developed during the last century into a sledgehammer culture, a culture of brutal wars at any price. It is no coincidence that the PNAC was originally called Pax Americana. The similarities of unwarranted violence and deception of populations are striking.

The sledgehammer culture has a distinct disadvantage. Due to its sheer rudeness  it has lost its susceptibilities to what is really going on around it and within it – increasing, though so far unspoken dissent for the former, and abject poverty, unemployment (in contrast to official statistics, real unemployment exceeds 20%), child malnutrition, in case of the latter. This insensitivity may turn into an advantage – a backlash by the people from within as well as from without, may come as a surprise.

The American Empire reached a point of no return: its economy is entirely dependent on war – bloody violent wars to bend non-conforming nations into its fold and at the same time aliment the mighty and all powerful US war industry. The US military / security complex and its related industries devour more than 50% of the national budget and contribute a similar amount to the US GDP. Without it the economy would collapse.

With the addiction for power, the US economic needs are hell-bent towards a never ending rise of weapons manufacturing, similar to the times after WWII, when the arms race – the Cold War – was the pillar of the growing US economy.The US economy (sic) has become an economy of destruction. The Western boundless neoliberal free market economy, nurtured by a nefarious Machiavellian banking system is the instrument that makes the machinations of this killing machine possible.

As Bill Dores eloquently compares in his piece in Global Research (May 8, 2014)

“In the Cleveland massacreof 1872, John D. Rockefeller drove hundreds of independent [oil] drillers out of business to create the Standard Oil trust. Apologists for capitalism have justified such practices as creative destruction.In its time of decay, the U.S. monopoly capitalist class and its state apparatus must destroy in order to survive”(emphasis added).

 The time of the empire’s decay has started. It must not be allowed to destroy more civilizations, more of the environment and cause more bloodshed until the world lies in ashes. In fact, the only way to prevent such disaster of global dimension is by introducing a new economic and financial monetary system; one that does not thrive on fiat money, unchecked banking and unlimited corruption of a reigning elite, but rather on an economy that is backed by its founders labor, scientific and cultural output, as well as by its sense of protecting the earth’s resources and societal health.

Such a system is in the making – by the BRICS(A) – Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa (and Associates). Just to repeat, in case you have not read this before, the BRICSA control about one third of the world’s economic output and comprise about half of the world’s population. First steps towards analternative economic system havealready been taken some two years ago, when the BRICS established their own development bank to gradually replace the western world’s instruments of deception, the IMF and the World Bank. The BRICS new trading model is slanted to make a huge dent in the western neoliberal world’s third instrument of deception – the World Trade Organization – WTO.

The BRICS development bank acts at the same time as an initial central bank, that is not linked in any way to the western monetary system, manipulated by the FED, Wall Street, and the BIS – the Bank for International Settlement – also known as the central bank of central banks.

In the meantime, the BRICS and associates are using their local currencies for international trade among each other, instead of the traditional money of reference, the US dollar. Russia has recently announced that all its trading in hydrocarbons – estimated at about a trillion dollars per year – will be carried out in rubles and currencies of their trading partners. It is expected that other oil and gas producers will eventually follow suit – reducing considerably the demand for the US dollar.

To back-up this new international trading deed, on 9 April 2014, the Central Bank of Russia has introduced a new logo, which just happens to be a gold ruble –  , meaning the Russian ruble is henceforth backed by gold, becoming a fully convertible currency, no longer vulnerable to western banks speculations and manipulations.

In December last year, the Vice-President of the Bank of China has declared that China will no longer buy US Treasury Bonds. In fact, what China has been doing since then, is gradually divesting their huge dollar reserves (about 1.6 trillion) into other currencies, closer to the Chinese markets.

Last week was made official what many economists already suspected – China will overtake the US economy later this year, thereby becoming the world’s largest economy.

Washington doesn’t like these developments one bit. Of course, it doesn’t spell out its displeasure, and the obedient mainstream media are quiet about it. However, part of Obama’s infamous and ridiculous war of sanctions lashed out against Russia and any nation or anybody linked with Russia, are a desperate attempt to damage Russia’s economy. Western (bought) economists go out of their way to declare how much these sanctions will hurt Russia, when in fact the long-term perspectives for the Russian economy which in trade and political savvy is closely related to that of China – are excellent – and getting better as the empire’s economy of destruction is faltering.

Clearly a new economic system is emerging.

Such Washington imposed destructive, totalitarian and inhuman calamities as are happening in Ukraine since 22 February 2014 should soon be a thing of the past – as an alternative world economy may bring the United States of America to its knees – even without spilling a drop of blood.

 Peter Koenig is an economist and former World Bank staff. He worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He writes regularly for Global Research,  ICH, the Voice of Russia and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe.

Victoria Nuland, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, lied by denying that there were armed Nazis supporting the ouster of Ukraine’s “free and fairly elected” President Victor Yanukovych, in testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee Thursday, despite repeated questions posed by Rep. Dana Rohrbacher (R-CA) about pictures of neo-Nazis armed with guns in the Maidan, and their affiliations with neo-Nazi groups in other countries.

The full committee hearing on the Ukraine crisis featured an opening statement by Rep. Dana Rohrbacher (R-CA), as Chair of its Subcommittee on Europe and Eurasia. Rohrbacher stated that the situation in Ukraine is “much murkier” than is being pretended. It is not simply a case of Russian aggression. Chaos began, said Rohrbacher, when the elected President of Ukraine (Yanukovych), who won an election — an election which observers from the OSCE declared “free and fair” — was forced out of office by street involvement. (emphasis in original). The problem started without any Russian involvement. It started when the Ukraine President decided to make an economic agreement with Russia, not the EU. It gets murkier. We should not be jumping into it.

Later, in his turn to question Nuland, Rohrbacher asked:

Rohrbacher: What will [intervening in Ukraine] cost the U.S., bottom line?

Nuland: $187m + $50m + $18m DOD budgeted for security services and border guards.

Rohrbacher: Did we guarantee any loans from the World Bank to Ukraine?

Nuland: $400m for Treasury of $1 billion from the IMF.

Rohrbacher: Do we have preferential payback?

Nuland: I don’t know; I’ll get back to you….

Rohrbacher: I think I know the answer.

We had a legitimate election before, but [the President] was removed. About the violence. There are pictures of neo-Nazis. Were the neo-Nazis involved in the street violence?

Nuland: The vast majority were peaceful protesters. We saw firebombs being thrown, and people people shooting into police ranks. All of these incidents are subject to investigation.

Rohrbacher: Guns were involved.

Nuland: As the demonstration became more violent both…

Rohrbacher: Was the neo-Nazi group affiliated with Nazi groups in other countries?

Nuland: I don’t know about the early period. Later, we see recruiting on neo-Nazi websites in Russia. We don’t have any information against neo-Nazi groups from Europe. There is no information to corroborate. Ukraine is investigating…

 

Victoria Nuland with leader of the Neo-Nazi Svoboda Part (left)

Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) also pointed to the anti-Russian bias of U.S. foreign policy in the alternating cases of U.S. support at times, for territorial integrity, and at other times, independence, as shown in South Sudan, South Ossetia, Moldova, and other cases. “It seems haphazard,” Sherman said, but “Every decision we make is anti-Moscow.”

Sherman: Has the Right Sector militia been disarmed?

Nuland: Ukraine has made a massive effort—

Sherman: How successful has it been?

Nuland: There’s progress, but more to do.

Sherman: Kiev wants to repeal the Russian language law.

Nuland: Language rights will be protected.

Other useful questioning of Nuland occurred. Rep. Albio Sires (R-NJ) asked Nuland why, if the Russian people were impacted by the sanctions, “Putin is getting more popular.”

Nuland’s testimony made clear that the plan for the May 25 referendum is a large vote turnout, with thousands of observers, and she claimed that 39 million voters had been registered online, while the International Republican Institute is predicting 84% are likely to vote. (Note: Non-quotes are paraphrases.)

Image: Western Mercenary forces in Ukraine

The following videos were sent  to us from a Correspondent in Eastern Ukraine:

Soldiers and Paramilitary are shooting indiscriminately at civilians in the Eastern Ukrainian city of Mariapul on the explicit orders of the Kiev Neo-Nazi regime.

In the words of Julia Timoshenko, with reference to the Odessa Trade Unions building massacre:

“We need to be tougher, Excuse me, I would just shoot them all,

Today’s reaction is absolutely legitimate,  Our people died. That is why these alien creatures [Russian speaking Ukrainians] who have come to Ukraine deserve only one thing, they should be killed”

This position not only describes official government policy, the CIA is advising Kiev on the conduct of these “counter-terrorist” operations directed against innocent civilians. 

Meanwhile the Western media remains silent, tacitly supportive and complicit in the conduct of crimes against humanity in the name of “democracy”.

 Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, April 09, 2014

Videos:

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Emblem of Third Reich’s “Operation Nightingale” in Ukraine. Supported by the  CIA after World War II

“Today’s massacre is Mariupol. They are just shooting people. They shot 12 cops that would not take part and about 18 (number on the fly right now). They are using rpgs, tanks and mounted guns. It’s still going on. In Slavyansk they just shot a 12-year-old twice for wearing a St George ribbon [marking support for Russian-speaking Ukrainians].” Message from an eastern Ukrainian, to me on May 9th

The  conservative newspaper Kyiv Post  headlines, also on 9 May 2014, “Ten People Injured Brought to Mariupol Hospital,” and reports that,

“Ten people with gunshot wounds have been hospitalized in Mariupol, where shooting continues since morning, local mass media outlet reported. … According to the information of the media outlet, ‘representatives of the Donetsk People’s Republic have seized a tank at the crossing of Lenin and Torhova [Streets].’”

The same day, the same newspaper banners, “Avakov Says 21 dead in Mariupol After Clashes Between Police and Separatists,” and reports:

“At least 21 people died in clashes between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists in the eastern Ukrainian city of Mariupol in Donetsk Oblast, according to Interior Minister Arsen Avakov. He said that some 60 ‘terrorists’ with automatic weapons attacked the city police headquarters earlier today and attempted to take over the building ‘without any preliminary demands.’

‘There was a fight in the building, which turned into a full-scale military clash after reinforcements arrived from the police and Omega unit of the National Guard,’ Avakov wrote on his Facebook page. He said 20 separatists died and four were arrested on the separatist side, and only one dead on the government side.”

So, according to the central government official Avakov, some “60 ‘terrorists’ with automatic weapons” who were “separatists” had fought against Avakov’s forces, and “20 separatists died,” while there was “only one dead on the government side,” even though they had been fighting “some 60 ‘terrorists’ with automatic weapons.” Who, then, were really the ‘terrorists’ here? The Ukrainian central government is having trouble lying: they’re not as skilled at it as their sponsors inside the U.S. White House and State Department are: they need lots of professional training.

Radio Liberty headlines, also on May 9th, “Heavy Clashes In Mariupol As Ukrainian Security Forces Target Separatists,” and reports not just Mariupol, but that:

“In separatist-controlled Luhansk, veterans rallied beneath flags of the self-declared Luhansk People’s Republic.” Moreover, ”In Odesa, a crowd of some 70 pro-Russian separatists marched to the trade union building to lay wreaths at a makeshift memorial to the dozens of people who were killed in a fire there during clashes with government supporters last week.”

On May 7th, Kyiv Post bannered, “Donetsk: Eastern Ukraine descends into chaos, lawlessness,” and reported that men in the east were secretly forming self-defense forces and “are armed with everything from wooden clubs and daggers to double-barreled hunting rifles and Kalashnikovs.” Another story in the same paper bannered “Ukrainians form militias to defend nation against chaos,” and reported that, at the same time, “Andriy Tarasenko, a high-ranking member of nationalist group Pravy Sektor (Right Sector), told the Kyiv Post that its military wing is cooperating with authorities on forming partisan units.”

In other words: this is going to be a war between, on the one side, Russian-speaking Ukrainians armed with hunting rifles; and, on the other side, Ukrainian Nazis armed by the U.S. Then, a third story in that same day’s edition of that same paper was headlined, “Odessa: Who is to blame for 46 Odessa deaths?” It reported that, “Despite rumors [which were being spread by Kiev’s central government] that there were Russian citizens among the dead, all the identified victims turned out to be from Odessa.” (The central government pretends that their enemy is Russia, not the majority of residents in the eastern half of Ukraine, even though that’s what they’re actually attacking.)

On May 5th, Reuters had bannered “Ukraine Moves Forces to Odessa, Helicopter Downed in East,” and reported that, “The violence in Odessa marked a watershed for Ukraine.” It certainly did. The myth that the Obama Administration is on the side of democrats in Ukraine is now ended forever.

That “violence in Odessa” had occurred on May 2nd. That’s when neo-Nazis, called “Right Sector” or “Pravy Sektor,” were sent in by the Kiev central government (the government that the U.S. installed to run Ukraine), to do what the local government officials in Odessa had refused to do, which was to kill all of the people who were occupying that city’s Trade Unions Building, where the workers were overwhelmingly sympathetic to the people who opposed Ukraine’s central government and thus didn’t resist this occupation of their building. The building’s occupiers also set up tents in front of the building, from which they distributed political literature that was unfavorable to the central government in Kiev.

The central government ordered the local Odessa police to assist the Pravy Sektor people in this killing operation. At the start of that operation, a large number of the local police force publicly threw down their shields and walked off, very publicly resigning from the police force.

All of this — the invasion of the Trade Unions Building, the throwing-down of shields, and the massacre of the people inside the building — is shown in cellphone videos that were posted to the Internet and youtube on May 2nd, as these events were unfolding. Those videos are shown here. The entire massacre is shown there, from start to finish. That report opens with an introduction describing it:

“For the first time in history, an organized massacre of civilians has been filmed by many people from many different angles and perspectives while it was happening, and is documented in extraordinary detail in ‘real time,’ the perpetrators having no fear of any negative consequences from their endeavor, and even cheering and celebrating the tortures and deaths as they were being imposed upon the helpless victims.

The perpetrators were unconcerned, because what they were doing was what the government (which the U.S. had imposed upon their country and which U.S. taxpayers had spent more than 5 billion dollars to bring about there) had wanted them to do, and had helped to organize them to carry out. These people were just having fun, like a party to them, nothing really serious at all. Sort of like Stanley Kubrick’s movie A Clockwork Orange, more than, say Auschwitz (such a bore!). But, if so, a hundredfold more. And none of these people (tragically including the victims) were actors!”

I wrote that, as the introduction to my news-report on that massacre, because after watching all of those videos, I was crying, and I wanted people to be prepared for a documentary experience that I had found, while preparing it, to be, in a way, even more gruesome than the documentaries on the anti-Semitic Holocaust were, because, this time, the perpetrators weren’t grim at all: they didn’t need to be paid to do this; it was play not work for them; you look at what they are doing and you see that it’s just one huge party for them; so many times their voices burst collectively into cheers as someone jumps from a window of the burning Trade Unions Building and isn’t even allowed to die in peace but is instead immediately attacked and beaten to death and the corpse is promptly just dragged off to who-knows-what, who-knows-where. (According to one account presented there, it was to someplace “six kilometers from Odessa,” but nobody other than the authorities and their perpetrators can really know for sure.

Also included there is the still-photo of the first published list of the identities of the first 36 of the corpses that remained on the premises and were able to be identified.

So many roasted corpses strewn around so many rooms of that building are hard to take, but the ones with gouged-out eyes are even harder to take; and the still photo of the young very pregnant woman who was lying on her back, half-draped over what was perhaps her work-desk there, after having been strangled to death by use of an electrical cord — a two-for-one killing occurring so late in a pregnancy — has a poignancy about it that is simply classic: this photo-image should be pinned to Barack Obama’s desk, perhaps near his Nobel Peace Prize.

Will Mr. Obama now return his Nobel Peace Prize? Will the Nobel Committee demand it back? After all, he installed this central government (see here and here), and he spent more than five billion dollars from U.S. taxpayers on the effort to install it (according to Victoria Nuland, his agent who had selected the people to lead the Ukrainian central government after having booted Viktor Yanukovych and installed Arseniy Yatsenyuk and his fascist team in their stead). (Nuland was especially famous for her “F–k the EU” remark, but Obama now is seeking the support of EU leaders.)

Just as there is resistance to Obama’s people on the part of the local policemen in eastern Ukraine, there also is resistance to Obama’s people on the part of some European Union officials and heads-of-state. On May 9th, Reuters headlined “EU’s Barroso Says Europe Divided Over Ukraine Crisis,” and reported that, “He said settling on a united response was ‘still a work in progress’ given different views by EU member states. ‘And this, let’s be honest, this is the issue,’ he said. EU countries have moved slowly towards agreeing a tougher line on applying sanctions against Russian companies but Barroso’s comments underline how difficult it will be to reach any more far-reaching agreement. Differences within the 28-member bloc, much of which depends on Russian gas supplies, have stood in the way of agreement on toughening the limited sanctions against members of the Russian elite. Germany, Europe’s most powerful economy, is urging more room for diplomacy while others, including Britain and France [are] pushing for tougher action. German growth could be reduced by up to 0.9 percentage points this year if the EU imposes tougher sanctions, a German magazine reported, citing a European Commission study.”

Barroso said that he personally favors the EU’s participating in Obama’s operation on this, because he wants the U.S. aristocracy to continue controlling the world: ”Barroso, who said he had met Russian President Vladimir Putin more than 20 times during his time in office and had spoken frequently with him during the crisis, said Putin’s ambition to strengthen ties with some of the former Soviet Union states to create a new Eurasian Union was behind the crisis. ’He wants to build on that and enlarge it to become a Eurasian Union, a kind of a pole of power opposed to the European Union, unfortunately,’ he said.” Barroso equated “the European Union” with Obama; and “a Eurasian Union” with an anti-European union, both positions being at least very questionable, and probably outright false. (After all, Nuland had said “F–k the EU.”) Yet, he acknowledged that perhaps Germany, and some other EU nations, might not agree with his dubious assumptions on this.

In a remarkable lapse, by reporting with a significant modicum of honesty, The New York Times headlined on May 4th, “Ukraine’s Reins Weaken as Chaos Spread,” (even the headline there was honest) and Andrew E. Kramer reported, with some accuracy, on the immediate sequel to the world’s best-documented massacre, which had so transparently been carried out on behalf of the Government that we had installed in Ukraine. He opened by transmitting the Obama Administration’s line, as represented here by the man whom Obama (through Nuland) had chosen to run Ukraine for the time being, Arseniy Yatsenyuk:

“Russian-speaking regions of Ukraine spun further out of the central government’s control on Sunday [May 4th] as a mob [on the Russian side, the NYT calls them 'a mob,' though it was actually our own side here, which was that: they operated like a ‘mob’] stormed a police station in this Black Sea port [Odessa] and freed from detention 67 pro-Russian militants [that's the NYT's term, 'militants,' for people who simply wanted protection from our actual mob, of not 'militants,' but straight-out Ukrainian fascists], on the same day that Ukraine’s prime minister was visiting the city. It was intended to be a chance for the prime minister, Arseniy P. Yatsenyuk, to express condolences for the dozens of people who died here on Friday in street fighting [the NYT's euphemism for the massacre inside the Trade Unions Building] and in a horrific fire at a trade union building, and to reinforce the government’s narrative that Russia and inept or disloyal local police were to blame. Speaking at a news conference, Mr. Yatsenyuk cast aspersion on the police, suggesting that if they had done their jobs instead of concentrating on soliciting bribes at an outdoor market, ‘these terrorist organizations would have been foiled.’”

Thus far, Mr. Kramer has done the usual NYT thing of serving as the U.S. President’s stenographer, not a journalist at all, though this time through the President’s agent, “Yats” as Nuland had so famously and endearingly referred to the man she selected to run Ukraine. Thus far, Kramer’s “reporting” is no different from what the NYT’s star reporter on Iraq, Judith Miller, had done during the build-up to our 2003 invasion of Iraq in order to eliminate equally fictitious “Saddam’s WMD.” And there is much more in Kramer’s story that comes straight out of the same playbook. However, there also was this morsel of almost straightforward truth in the story:

“As the building burned, Ukrainian activists [a euphemism intended to confuse the reader which side was which, because these people were on our side, against the Ukrainians who were being massacred] sang the Ukrainian national anthem [because they were fascist Ukrainians, which the NYT also doesn't want you to recognize], witnesses on both sides said. They also hurled a new taunt: ‘Colorado’ for the Colorado potato beetle, striped red and black like the pro-Russian ribbons [worn by the people who were being massacred]. Those [fascists who were] outside chanted ‘burn Colorado, burn,” witnesses said. Swastikalike symbols were spray painted on the building, along with graffiti reading ‘Galician SS’ [Hitler's Ukrainian Waffen SS division], though it was unclear when it had appeared, or who had painted it. [That statement by Kramer is a pro-U.S.-Administration lie.] ‘The biggest thing they ever did to make me hate this country was sing the anthem,’ Mr. Milteynus ['Yanus Milteynus, a 42-year-old construction worker and pro-Russian activist' who survived the massacre] said. ‘I was going to die, and they sang the anthem. [He did it to save his life.] I hate them deeply.’”

Kramer closed by quoting the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, the man whom Nuland had instructed to appoint “Yats” to run the country, and our Ambassador used here the same line that his chosen stooge, Yatsenyuk, used at the start of Kramer’s story:

“Geoffrey R. Pyatt, in a telephone interview with CNN, called for an investigation into the violence here and suggested that local police [who refused to participate in it] were complicit [in it].”

Then came Kramer’s capstone lie:

“The causes of the fire at the trade union building and [of] its terrible toll in lives is [are] sure to be carefully parsed.”

If he really cared about such things, he could have just looked at those videos and seen the answer to that question — and reported on that matter — but it’s too hard to lie when the evidence is so blatant, so his newspaper wouldn’t do such a foolish thing. Even Judith Miller wouldn’t have done it. So, instead, Kramer just issued here the question, as if (and pretending that) it didn’t already have an awesomely documented answer, which he’s essentially not being permitted to report.

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

 

La manipulación del tipo de interés LIBOR

La forma laxa con la que las autoridades de los principales países industrializados tratan la manipulación de los tipos de interés demuestra a las claras que la nueva doctrina “demasiado grande para ser condenado” se aplica a gran escala. En 2010 estalla el escándalo de la manipulación del LIBOR (siglas de su denominación en inglés, London Interbank Offered Rate), realizada por un grupo de dieciocho bancos durante el período 2005-2010. El LIBOR es el tipo de interés de referencia para el cálculo de los tipos en un mercado que supone 350 billones de dólares en activos y derivados financieros, y constituye el segundo tipo de referencia más importante del mundo después del tipo de cambio con el dólar. Su valor se determina a partir de la información que aportan dieciocho bancos sobre sus costes individuales de financiación en los mercados interbancarios. En 2012 se obtuvieron pruebas de que hubo colusión entre grandes bancos como UBS, Barclays, Rabobank (Países Bajos) y el Royal Bank of Scotland para manipular el LIBOR según sus intereses.

Si bien es cierto que las autoridades de control han abierto expedientes sancionadores en todos los rincones del mundo (Estados Unidos, Reino Unido, el resto de la Unión Europea, Canadá, Japón, Australia, Hong Kong), hasta el momento no se ha incoado ningún procedimiento penal contra los bancos y las multas impuestas son de un montante ridículo si se las compara con la magnitud de la manipulación realizada |1|. Aún no se han cerrado todos los procedimientos en curso. Grosso modo, hasta el momento presente las multas que se han abonado alcanzan una cifra cercana a los 10.000 millones de dólares. Además, la parte que ha pagado cada uno de los bancos es mínima en comparación con el daño causado. Varios cargos directivos de los bancos dimitieron de resultas del escándalo. Es el caso de Barclays (segundo banco británico) y de Rabobank (segundo banco de Países Bajos). Otra consecuencia fue el despido de decenas agentes de negociación (“trader” en la terminología inglesa). Sin embargo, y esto es lo más importante, a ninguno de los bancos se le ha retirado el derecho de operar en los mercados en los que han actuado cual una banda organizada, y ninguno de sus dirigentes ha terminado entre rejas.
A pesar de que los bancos en cuestión reconocieron las acusaciones de manipulación y, en consecuencia, aceptaron las sanciones que les impuso la justicia británica, la estadounidense procedió de forma escandalosa a la hora de dictar sentencia. El 29 de marzo de 2013, Naomi Buchwald, juez de distrito en Nueva York eximió a los bancos implicados en el escándalo de toda responsabilidad legal para con las personas o las instituciones afectadas por la manipulación del LIBOR |2|. Para proteger a los bancos de posibles demandas por colusión y prácticas monopolistas elaboró una motivación según la cual el cálculo del LIBOR no está sujeto a la legislación sobre la competencia. Por ello, a partir de ese momento los bancos pueden ponerse de acuerdo para fijar el valor del tipo de interés sin que ello suponga una infracción de la legislación antimonopolio de los Estados Unidos. Dado que la determinación de los tipos en los mercados de permutas (“swaps” en inglés), así como en los de permutas para cobertura de impagos (“CDS” en inglés) era similar (es decir, calculando la media de los tipos notificados por los participantes), con esta sentencia se sienta un peligroso precedente, ya que abre la puerta a que las grandes instituciones financieras manipulen sin más los precios y los tipos clave que rigen en funcionamiento de los mercados financieros mundiales. En marzo de 2014, el escándalo del LIBOR resurgió en Estados Unidos: la agencia de garantía de los depósitos bancarios interpuso una demanda contra más de una docena de grandes bancos (JP Morgan, Citigroup, Bank of America, UBS, Crédit Suisse, HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds, Barclays, Société Générale, Deutsche Bank, Royal Bank of Canada, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ,…) |3|. Está por ver si, lo mismo que con el caso precedente, todo termina con el sobreseimiento del caso. También es posible, desde luego, que se cierre con una multa pero sin condena.

Volviendo al caso del LIBOR, la Comisión Europea, por su parte, ha impuesto multas por un valor total de 1.700 millones de euros a ocho bancos tras haberlos acusado de haber establecido un cartel que manipuló el mercado de derivados |4|. Cuatro bancos se coaligaron para manipular el tipo de los derivados relacionados con el mercado cambiario del euro mientras que otros seis manipulaban el conjunto de los tipos de los derivados ligados al del yen. Una vez más se aplica la lógica de no condenar.

Además, como los bancos han accedido a pagar la multa, se ha reducido su cuantía en un 10%. Los bancos multados son: JP Morgan y Citigroup (primer y tercer banco de EE UU respectivamente), Deutsche Bank (primer banco alemán), Société Générale (tercer banco francés), Royal Bank of Scotland (tercer banco británico), y RP Martin. Dos bancos, en concreto UBS (el primer banco suizo) y Barclays (el segundo banco británico), se han librado de la sanción por haber denunciado al cartel.

En resumidas cuentas, hemos vuelto al sistema de las indulgencias: « Pague por redimir sus pecados y podrá usted permanecer en el paraíso de las finanzas. Retráctese de sus faltas y denuncie a los otros ladrones, así obtendrá dispensa y no se verá obligado a pagar las indulgencias, perdón, las multas ».

En Australia las autoridades han dado un giro de tuerca más a la farsa: se han limitado a amonestar a BNP Paribas por una conducta potencialmente ilícita (en inglés, literalmente, “potential misconduct”) relacionada con los tipos de interés interbancario de 2007 a 2010. BNP Paribas ha despedido a agentes de negociación (“traders”) y ha declarado que haría una donación de un millón de dólares australianos para fomentar la literatura financiera |5|. ¡Qué generosidad! ¿Pero de quién se están burlando?

Conclusión: hay poner punto y final a los mercados no regulados y prohibir la especulación y los productos derivados. Los bancos deben contratar seguros clásicos para cubrir los riesgos ligados a los tipos de interés.

Eric Toussaint


TRADUCCION : Fernando Lasarte Prieto y Verónica Lasarte Prieto

Notas

|1| Matt Taibbi, “Everything is rigged : The biggest price fixing scandal ever”, 25 de abril 2013,http://www.rollingstone.com/politic… Véase igualmente http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libor_…

|2| The Wall Street Journal, “Judge dismisses antitrust claims in LIBOR suits”, 29 de marzo 2013,http://online.wsj.com/article/SB100...

|3| AFP, « Le scandale du Libor rebondit aux Etats-Unis », 14 de marzo 2014,http://www.rtbf.be/info/economie/de…?

|4| Comisión Europea, “Antitrust: Commission fines banks € 1.71 billion for participating in cartels in the interest rate derivatives industry”, comunicado de prensa del 4 de diciembre de 2013,http://europa.eu/rapid/press-releas…

|5| Financial Times, « BNP Paribas sacks staff for interbank rate-fixing attempt », 29 de enero de 2014.

Eric Toussaint, maestro de conferencias de la Universidad de Lieja, preside el CADTM Bélgica y es miembro del comité científico de ATTAC Francia. Es el autor de los libros Procès d’un homme exemplaire, editorial Editions Al Dante, Marsella, 2013 ; Una mirada al retrovisor : el neoliberalismo desde sus orígenes hasta la actualidad, editorial Icaria, Barcelona, 2010. Próximo libro : Bancocratie, Aden, 1er semestre de 2014

25 verdades sobre Reporteros Sin Fronteras

May 9th, 2014 by Salim Lamrani

La organización francesa pretende sólo defender la libertad de prensa. En realidad, detrás de esta noble fachada, se esconde una agenda política muy precisa.

1. Fundada en 1985 por Robert Ménard, Jean-Claude Guillebaud y Rony Brauman, Reporteros Sin Fronteras tiene como misión oficial “defender la libertad de prensa en el mundo, es decir el derecho a informar y ser informado, conforme al Artículo 19 de la Declaración Universal de los Derechos Humanos”.

2. No obstante, a pesar de esta profesión de fe oficial, RSF dispone de una cara oscura y de una agenda política muy precisa, a menudo ligada a la de Washington, y arremete particularmente contra los gobiernos de izquierda en América Latina, preservando al mismo tiempo los países desarrollados.

3. Así, RSF ha sido financiada por el Gobierno de Estados Unidos mediante la National Endowment for Democracy. La organización lo reivindica: “Efectivamente, recibimos dinero de la NED. Y no es ningún problema para nosotros”.

4. La Fundación Nacional para la Democracia (NED) fue creada por el antiguo presidente estadounidense Ronald Reagan en 1983, en una época en que la violencia militar había tomado el paso sobre la diplomacia tradicional en los asuntos internacionales. Gracias a su poderosa capacidad de penetración financiera, la NED tiene como objetivo debilitar a los gobiernos que se opondrían a la política exterior de Washington.

5. Según el New York Times, [artículo de marzo de 1997], la NED “se creó hace 15 años para realizar públicamente lo que la Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) ha hecho subrepticiamente durante décadas. Gasta 30 millones de dólares al año para apoyar a partidos políticos, sindicatos, movimientos disidentes y medios informativos en decenas de países”.

6. En septiembre de 1991 Allen Weistein, padre de la legislación que dio nacimiento a la NED, expresó lo siguiente al Washington Post: “Mucho de lo que hacemos hoy lo hizo la CIA hace 25 años de modo clandestino”.

7. Carl Gershman, primer presidente de la NED, explicó la razón de ser de la Fundación en junio de 1986: “Sería terrible para los grupos democráticos del mundo entero ser vistos como subvencionados por la CIA. Vimos eso en los años 60 y por eso pusimos término a ello. Es porque no podíamos seguir haciéndolo que se creó la Fundación”.

8. Así, según el New York Times, Allen Weinstein y Carl Gershman, RSF es financiado por una oficina pantalla de la CIA.

9. RSF también recibió un financiamiento del Center for a Free Cuba. El director del organismo de entonces, Frank Calzón, fue anteriormente uno de los presidente de la Fundación Nacional Cubano Americana (FNCA). Ésa está gravemente implicada en el terrorismo contra Cuba, como lo reveló uno de sus antiguos directores, José Antonio Llama.

10. RSF recibió fondos de la Overbrook Fondation, entidad fundada por Frank Altschul, promotor de Radio Free Europe, estación de la CIA durante la Guerra Fría, y colaborador cercano de William J. Donovan, jefe de los servicios secretos estadounidenses en los años 50 y fundador del Office of Strategic Services, antepasado de la Central Intelligence Agency.

11. En el pasado, RSF silenció las exacciones que cometió el ejército de Estados Unidos contra los periodistas. Así, RSF sólo se acordó tardíamente  -cinco años después– del caso Sami Al-Hay, periodista del canal catarí Al-Jazeera, arrestado y torturado en Afganistán por las autoridades estadounidenses y luego trasladado a Guantánamo. Al-Haj fue liberado el 1 de mayo de 2008, tras más de seis años de calvario. Entonces RSF necesitó una investigación de cinco años para descubrir que Sami Al-Haj fue arrestado, secuestrado y torturado sólo por ser periodista.

12. En un informe del 15 de enero de 2004, RSF exoneró de toda implicación a los militares estadounidenses responsables del asesinato del periodista español José Couso y de su colega ucraniano Taras Protsyuk en el hotel Palestina de Bagdad. Según la familia Couso, “las conclusiones de este informe exculpan a los autores materiales y reconocidos del disparo al hotel Palestina en base a la dudosa imparcialidad de los empotrados, y al propio testimonio de los autores y responsables del disparo, trasladando esa responsabilidad a personas no identificadas. La realización del informe ha sido firmada por un periodista, Jean Paul Mari, con conocidas relaciones con el coronel Philip de Camp, militar que reconoció su implicación en el ataque y las muertes de los periodistas del hotel Palestina, y que, además, su informe se apoya en los testimonios de tres periodistas empotrados en las fuerzas de EE.UU, todos ellos estadounidenses, habiendo formado parte alguno de ellos -Chris Tomlinson- de los servicios de inteligencia del ejército de los Estados Unidos durante más de siete años. Ninguno de los periodistas españoles que se encontraban en el hotel ha sido consultado para la elaboración de este documento”. El 16 de enero de 2007, el juez madrileño Santiago Pedraz emitió una orden de arresto internacional contra el sargento Shawn Gibson, el capitán Philip Wolford, y el teniente coronel Philip de Camp, responsables de los asesinatos de Couso y Protsyuk y absueltos por RSF.

13. RSF hizo apología de la invasión de Irak en 2003 al afirmar que “el derrocamiento de la dictadura de Sadam Husein puso término a treinta años de propaganda oficial y ha abierto una era de libertad nueva, llena de esperanzas y de incertidumbres, para los periodistas iraquíes. Para los medios iraquíes, decenios de privación total de libertad de prensa, llegaron a su fin con el bombardeo del ministerio de Información, el 9 de abril en Bagdad”.

14. El 16 de agosto de 2007, durante el programa radial “Contre-expertise”, Robert Ménard, entonces secretario general de RSF, legitimó el uso de la tortura.

15. RSF apoyó el golpe de Estado contra el Presidente haitiano Jean-Bertrand Aristide, que organizaron Francia y Estados Unidos, con el título: “La libertad de prensa recuperada: una esperanza a mantener”.

16. Durante el golpe de Estado contra Hugo Chávez en abril de 2002 que organizó Washington, RSF publicó un artículo el 12 de abril de 2002 que retomaba sin reserva alguna la versión de los golpistas y trató de convencer a la opinión pública internacional de que Chávez había renunciado: “Recluido en el palacio presidencial, Hugo Chávez firmó su renuncia durante la noche bajo la presión del ejército. Después fue llevado a Fuerte Tiuna, la principal base militar de Caracas, donde está detenido. Inmediatamente después, Pedro Carmona, el presidente de Fedecámaras, anunció que dirigiría un nuevo gobierno de transición. Afirmó que su nombre era el objeto de un ‘consenso’ de la sociedad civil venezolana y de la comandancia de las fuerzas armadas”.

17. RSF siempre se ha negado a ocuparse del caso de Mumia Abu-Jamal, periodista negro encarcelado en Estados Unidos desde hace treinta años por denunciar en sus reportajes la violencia policial contra las minorías.

18. RSF organiza regularmente campañas contra Cuba, país donde ningún periodista ha sido asesinado desde 1959. La organización está en estrecha colaboración con Washington al respecto. Así, en 1996, RSF tuvo un encuentro en Paris con Stuart Eizenstat, embajador especial de la administración Clinton para los asuntos cubanos.

19. El 16 de enero de 2004, RSF se reunió con los representantes de la extrema derecha cubana de Florida para establecer una estrategia de lucha mediática contra el Gobierno cubano.

20. RSF lanzó varias campañas mediáticas difundiendo mensajes publicitarios en la prensa escrita, radia y televisual, destinados a disuadir a los turistas de viajar a Cuba. Es lo que preconiza el primer informe de la Comisión de Asistencia para una Cuba Libre que publicó el presidente Bush en mayo de 2004 y que recrudece las sanciones contra Cuba. Así, este informe cita a RSF en la página 20 como ejemplo a seguir.

21. RSF afirma abiertamente que sólo le interesan los países del Tercer Mundo: “Decidimos denunciar los atentados contra la libertad de prensa en Bosnia y en Gabón y las ambigüedades de los medios argelinos o tunecinos… pero no ocuparnos de los desmanes franceses”. ¿Por qué? “Porque si lo hacemos, corremos el riesgo de molestar a algunos periodistas, suscitar la enemistad de los grandes dueños de prensa e irritar al poder económico. Ahora bien, para mediatizarnos, necesitamos de complicidad de los periodistas, el apoyo de los dueños de prensa y del dinero del poder económico”.

22. Jean-Claude Guillebaud, cofundador de RSF y primer presidente de la asociación, abandonó la organización en 1993. Explicó las razones: “Yo pensaba que una organización de ese tipo solo podía ser legítima si incluía un trabajo de crítica del funcionamiento de los medios en Occidente. Ya sea sobre las derivas del trabajo periodístico (falsas entrevistas, etc.) o un trabajo profundo de reflexión sobre la evolución de esta profesión, sus prácticas y los posibles ataques a las libertades en las democracias. Si no, nos verían como neocolonialistas, como arrogantes que pretenden dar lecciones. Cuando se llama la atención a los líderes de los países del Tercer Mundo sobre los ataques a la libertad de prensa en sus países, la cuestión que se plantea automáticamente ante nosotros es saber qué uso damos nosotros a nuestra libertad. Aunque los objetivos no sean los mismos, es una interrogante esencial y yo pensaba que teníamos que dedicarle el 50% de nuestro tiempo y de nuestra energía (…). A medida que se desarrollaba la asociación, las operaciones se hacían más y más espectaculares. Se plantearon dos interrogantes: ¿no había una contradicción en denunciar ciertas derivas del sistema mediático y utilizar los mismos métodos en nuestras acciones de denuncia? Por su parte, Robert Menard pensaba que había que pasar por alto toda la actividad de crítica sobre los medios para obtener así el apoyo de los grandes diarios y de las grandes cadenas de televisión (…). A mí me parecieron demasiado cercanos a la prensa anti Chávez en Venezuela. Es indudable que había que haber sido más prudente. Me parece que se les oye muy poco sobre Estados Unidos”.

23. El diario francés Libération, fiel patrocinador de la organización, apunta que RSF permanece silenciosa sobre los abusos de los medios informativos occidentales: “En adelante, la libertad de prensa será exótica o no será. Muchos “le reprochan su ensañamiento contra Cuba y Venezuela y su indulgencia hacia Estados Unidos, lo cual no es falso”.

24. RSF no ha disimulado nunca sus relaciones con el mundo del poder. “Un día tuvimos un problema de dinero. Yo llamé al industrial Francois Pinault para que nos ayudara. (…) Enseguida respondió a mi pedido. Y eso es lo único que importa” porque «La ley de la gravedad existe, queridos amigos. Y también la ley del dinero”.

25. Así, a pesar de las reivindicaciones de imparcialidad y de defensa de la libertad de prensa, RSF tiene efectivamente una agenda política y arremete regularmente contra los países de la Nueva América Latina.

Salim Lamrani

Doctor en Estudios Ibéricos y Latinoamericanos de la Universidad Paris Sorbonne-Paris IV, Salim Lamrani es profesor titular de la Universidad de La Reunión y periodista, especialista de las relaciones entre Cuba y Estados Unidos. Su último libro se titula Cuba. Les médias face au défi de l’impartialité, Paris, Editions Estrella, 2013, con un prólogo de Eduardo Galeano.

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In the second half of his second term, Obama and his crew seek to rewrite the history of his administration. Attorney General Eric Holder now declares that no bank is too big to jail. But the reality is, Wall Street’s “impunity is infinite. Holder and Obama work for them.”

The Obama administration is in a makeover frenzy, cosmetically cleaning up its corporatist act for the sake of the lame duck president’s legacy and endangered Democrats in Congress. Evils must be reapportioned in the public mind, so that the balance between lesser and greater abominations is perceived to tilt in the Democrats’ favor – a tough trick, given the beating the party’s base constituencies have taken since 2008 at the hands of the duopoly Dem-Rep tag-team. Historical revisionism is, thus, the order of the day.

Eric Holder, the U.S. Attorney General who successfully intervened in federal court to prevent the retroactive release of thousands of mostly Black prisoners convicted under the old 100-to-1 crack cocaine laws, now acts as point man for his boss’s program of charitable sentencing commutations. Obama’s compassionate mood-swing occurred at whiplash speed; in his first six years in office, he had granted fewer clemencies than any president since Dwight Eisenhower. Obama’s brazenly hypocritical and slap-dash new program “will not represent any significant or permanent change to the nation’s universal policy of mass incarceration, mainly of poor black and brown youth,” as Bruce Dixon has written, but is designed purely to rehabilitate the president’s image among Black voters. With one empty gesture, the president’s record on criminal justice is revised.

Obama then takes his political theater troupe on a comedy tour. Attorney General Holder pretends to threaten Wall Street bankers with jail time – a notion so hilarious it should have had them rolling on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange. Jail the bankers? Obama has been their staunchest defender, the man who saved George Bush’s original bank bailout from defeat (weeks before the 2008 election), and has since configured the entire financial structure of the American State to the service of his most important constituents: Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Goldman Sachs. “My administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks,” Obamareminded the banksters in his Oval Office, back in 2009. He has never failed them, presiding over the infusion of roughly $30 trillion (2011 figures) directly into their accounts or as guarantees of their business transactions – roughly twice the Gross Domestic Product of the United States. Ain’t that love?

Eric Holder told his joke about jailing the bankers during a stand-up that was posted on the Justice Department’s website on Monday. Actually, it was only an inference – a bit of comic relief. “I intend to reaffirm the principle that no individual or entity that does harm to our economy is ever above the law. There is no such thing as ‘too big to jail,’” said Holder, clarifying his statement of last year, that “the size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult to prosecute them.”

Has the Obama administration picked up the pitchfork? Could JP Morgan chief Jamie Dimon, whom Obama called a “friend” and “one of the smartest bankers we’ve got,” be headed for the federal supermax prison in Florence, Colorado?

Does the Syndicate take orders from street hustlers? Barack Obama has a better chance of winding up behind bars than Dimon and his fellow oligarchs. Let’s not forget who the boss is, here in the U.S.A.

Holder failed to mention the names or corporate logos of those who might be targeted for doing “harm to our economy,” but his office no doubt encouraged the press to speculate that French bank BNP Paribas and some Swiss banks might be on the list – which makes sense. The French bank is charged with violating U.S. sanctions on trade with Iran and other targets of U.S. economic aggression. That puts them at odds with the national security state. The Swiss banks are alleged to have helped Americans hide their money from U.S. taxes, which is mainly a crime of individuals. Neither of the cases directly involve the Big Five U.S. banks that are the core institutions of U.S. finance capital, the guys that “are so large that it does become difficult to prosecute them,” as Holder said last year. They are the circle in the center of the Ruling Circles. Their impunity is infinite. Holder and Obama work for them.

Routine prosecutions of corporate crimes are actually at historically low levels under Obama, despite tsunamis of scandals, including several “Crimes of the Century.” Under the pressures of Obama history revisionism, Holder will snare some fat white faces to create the impression of a crackdown on corporate bad actors, confident that all Wall Street types look alike to the average consumer of news. Most people make little distinction between a Bernie Madoff, who lived like a king on a giant Ponzi scheme, and Jamie Dimon, who IS a king of the American Empire, with all the immunities accorded to those at the top of the Ruling Class. Bernie Madoff will die in prison. Jamie Dimon, whose bank turned ablind eye to Madoff’s Ponzi scheme and profited handsomely from it, remains on the top of the world (although JP Morgan Chase was fined $2 billion).

Throughout the whole of this administration – the past that Obama now wants you to forget – Holder “ruthlessly maneuvered every case against the oligarchs into his own jurisdictional arena, in order to protect the banksters from aggressive prosecution,” as we pointed out in BAR in November, 2013. Holder acted, not as a prosecutor, but as the Lords of Capital’s defender and guardian.

JP Morgan’s Jamie Dimon and each of his peers in the top U.S. banks could be sentenced to 20 years and $5 million fine for violating the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, a law passed following the 2001 recession that requires corporate chiefs to personally certify that documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission are accurate and that the corporation’s internal controls are adequate. Every case of bankster wrongdoing “settled” by Holder’s Justice Department is, almost by definition, proof of chief executive guilt under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

A report from the Real Economy Project shows how Wall Street’s (known) crimes are methodically decriminalized by Justice Department “settlements.” Holder uses his offices to immunize the big fish, and allow the corporations to escape with a fine. His own pattern of behavior is so clear as to also be indictable – if there were a State apparatus that was not controlled by the Ruling Class.

But, there is not, because Wall Street’s rule is “hegemonic”; both the Democrats and Republicans are their servants, as are the main media.

The history of the last six years tells us, unequivocally, that the five biggest banks, and the people who run them, are not just beyond the reach of the State, they control the State.

There can be no fundamental change without the utter destruction of the banks and the financial Ruling Class. Not broken into smaller pieces, but broken, totally. All else is reform and tinkering – which is worthwhile, but don’t call it Revolution or Social Transformation or Socialism.

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

25 verdades sobre os Repórteres Sem Fronteiras

May 9th, 2014 by Salim Lamrani

A organização francesa pretende apenas defender a liberdade de imprensa. Na verdade, por trás da nobre fachada, se esconde um agenda política muito precisa.

1. Fundada em 1985 por Robert Ménard, Jean-Claude Guillebaud e Rony Brauman, a Repórteres sem Fronteiras tem como missão oficial “defender a liberdade de imprensa no mundo, isto é, o direito de informar e ser informado, conforme o artigo 19 da Declaração Universal dos Direitos Humanos.”

2. Entretanto, apesar dessa profissão de fé oficial, a RSF tem uma face obscura e uma agenda política muito precisa, ligada à de Washington, e arremete particularmente contra os governos de esquerda da América Latina, preservando, ao mesmo tempo, os países desenvolvidos.

3. Assim, a RSF tem sido financiada pelo governo dos Estados Unidos pela National Endowment for Democracy (Fundação Nacional pela Democracia, a NED, por sua sigla em inglês). A organização o reconhece: “Efetivamente, recebemos dinheiro da NED. E não é nenhum problema para nós.”

Wikicommons

 

4. A NED foi criada pelo antigo presidente norte-americano Ronald Reagan em 1983, em uma época na qual a violência militar tinha tomado a dianteira da diplomacia tradicional nos assuntos internacionais. Graças à sua poderosa capacidade de penetração financeira, a NED tem como objetivo debilitar os governos que se oporiam à política externa de Washington.

[RSF nunca se pronunciou sobre o caso do jornalista Mumia Abu-Jamal, que cumpre prisão perpétua nos EUA]

5. De acordo com o New York Times (em artigo de março de 1997) a NED “foi criada há 15 anos para realizar publicamente o que a Central Intelligence Agency (Agência Central de Inteligência, a CIA) tem feito sub-repticiamente durante décadas. Gasta 30 milhões de dólares anuais para apoiar partidos políticos, sindicatos, movimentos dissidentes e meios de comunicação de dezenas de países.”

6. Em setembro de 1991, Allen Weinstein, pai da legislação que deu luz à NED, expressou o seguinte ao Washington Post: “Muito do que fazemos hoje tem sido feito clandestinamente pela CIA há 25 anos.”

7. Carl Gershman, primeiro presidente da NED, explicou a razão de ser da fundação em junho de 1986: “Seria terrível para os grupos democráticos do mundo inteiro serem vistos como subvencionados pela CIA. Vimos isso nos anos 60 e por isso demos um fim nisso. É porque não poderíamos continuar que a fundação foi criada.”

8. Assim, segundo o The New York Times, Allen Weinstein e Carl Gershman, a RSF é financiada por um escritório de fachada da CIA.

9. A RSF também recebeu financiamento do Center for a Free Cuba (Centro para uma Cuba Livre). O diretor da organização à época, Frank Calzón, foi anteriormente um dos presidentes da Fundação Nacional Cubano-Americana (FNCA), gravemente implicada no terrorismo contra Cuba, como foi revelado por um de seus antigos diretores, José Antonio Llama.

10.  A RSF recebeu fundos da Overbrook Foundation, entidade fundada por Frank Altschul, promotor da Radio Free Europe, estação da CIA durante a Guerra Fria, e colaborador próximo de William J. Donovan, chefe dos serviços secretos estadunidenses nos anos 50 e fundador do Office of Strategic Services (Agência de Serviços Estratégicos), predecessora da CIA.

11. No passado, a RSF se manteve em silêncio sobre as exações cometidas pelo Exército dos Estados Unidos contra os jornalistas. Assim, a RSF somente de lembrou tardiamente — cinco anos depois — do caso Sami Al-Haj, jornalista do canal do Qatar Al-Jazeera, preso e torturado no Afeganistão por autoridades norte-americanas e em seguida enviado para Guantánamo. Al-Haj foi libertado no dia 1 de maio de 2008, depois de mais de seis anos de calvário. Ou seja, a RSF precisou de uma investigação de 5 anos para descobrir que Al-Haj foi preso, sequestrado e torturado apenas por ser jornalista.

12. Em um relatório de 15 de janeiro de 2004, a RSF exonerou de qualquer envolvimento os militares norte-americanos responsáveis pelo assassinato do jornalista espanhol José Couso e de seu colega ucraniano Taras Protsyuk no hotel Palestina, em Bagdá. De acordo com a família de Couso, “as conclusões desse relatório isentam de culpa os autores materiais e reconhecidos do disparo contra o hotel Palestina baseando-se na duvidosa imparcialidade dos envolvidos e do próprio testemunho dos autores e responsáveis pelo disparo, deslocando essa responsabilidade para pessoas não identificadas. A realização desse relatório foi assinada por um jornalista, Jean-Paul Mari, que tem conhecidas relações com o coronel Philip de Camp, militar que reconheceu seu envolvimento no ataque e nas mortes dos jornalistas do hotel Palestina e, além disso, seu relatório se apoia no testemunho de três jornalistas das forças dos Estados Unidos, todos eles norte-americanos, tendo alguns deles feito parte — Chris Tomlinson — dos serviços de inteligência do Exército dos Estados Unidos durante mais de sete anos. Nenhum dos jornalistas espanhóis que estavam no hotel foram consultados para a elaboração desse documento”. No dia 16 de janeiro de 2007, o juiz madrilenho Santiago Pedraz emitiu uma ordem de prisão internacional contra o sargento Shawn Gibson, o capitão Philip Wolford e o tenente-coronel Philip de Camp, responsáveis pelos assassinatos de Couso e Protsyuk e absolvidos pela RSF.

Sami Al-Haj, jornalista do canal do Qatar Al-Jazeera, preso e torturado no Afeganistão:

13. A RSF fez apologia à invasão do Iraque em 2003 ao afirmar que “a derrubada da ditadura de Saddam Hussein pôs fim a 30 anos de propaganda oficial e abriu uma era de nova liberdade, cheia de esperanças e de incertezas, para os jornalistas iraquianos. Para os meios de comunicação iraquianos, décadas de privação total de liberdade de imprensa chegaram a seu fim com o bombardeio do ministério de Comunicação, no dia 9 de abril em Bagdá.”

14. No dia 16 de agosto de 2007, durante o programa de rádio “Contre-expertise”, Robert Ménard, então secretário-geral da RSF, legitimou o uso da tortura.

RSF

 

15.  A RSF apoiou o golpe de Estado contra o presidente haitiano Jean-Bertrand Aristide, que foi organizado pela França e pelos Estados Unidos, com o matéria “A liberdade de imprensa recuperada: uma esperança a ser mantida.”

[Campanha contra Cuba organizada pelos RSF]

16. Durante o golpe de Estado contra Hugo Chávez em abril de 2002, organizado por Washington, a RSF publicou um artigo, no dia 12 de abril de 2002, que retomava sem reserva alguma a versão dos golpistas e tentava convencer a opinião pública internacional de que Chávez tinha renunciado. “Recluso no palácio presidencial, Hugo Chávez assinou sua renúncia durante a noite, sob pressão do Exército. Depois foi levado para Fuerte Tiuna, a principal base militar de Caracas, onde está detido. Imediatamente depois, Pedro Carmona, o presidente da Fedecámaras (Federação de Câmaras e Associações de Comércio da Venezuela), anunciou que dirigiria um novo governo de transição. Afirmou que seu nome era fruto de um ‘consenso’ da sociedade civil venezuelana e dos comandantes das forças armadas.”

17. A RSF sempre negou tomar nota do caso de Mumia Abu-Jamal, jornalista negro preso nos Estados Unidos há 30 anos por denunciar em suas reportagens a violência policial contra as minorias.

18. A RSF organiza regularmente campanhas contra Cuba, país onde nenhum jornalista foi assassinado desde 1959. A organização está em estreita colaboração com Washington a esse respeito. Dessa forma, em 1996, a RSF teve um encontro em Paris com Stuart Eizenstat, embaixador especial da administração Clinton para assuntos cubanos.

19. No dia 16 de janeiro de 2004, a RSF se reuniu com os representantes da extrema-direita cubana da Flórida para estabelecer uma estratégia de luta midiática contra o governo cubano.

20. A RSF lançou várias campanhas midiáticas difundindo mensagens publicitárias nos meios de comunicação escritos, de rádio e de televisão, destinadas a dissuadir os turistas de viajar para Cuba. É o que preconiza o primeiro relatório da Comissão de Assistência para uma Cuba Livre, publicado pelo presidente George W. Bush em maio de 2004 e que recrudesce as sanções contra Cuba. Assim, esse relatório cita a RSF na página 20 como exemplo a ser seguido.

21.  A RSF afirma abertamente que somente lhe interessam os países do Terceiro Mundo: “Decidimos denunciar os atentados contra a liberdade de imprensa na Bósnia e no Gabão e as ambiguidades dos meios argelinos ou tunisianos… mas não tomamos nota dos excessos franceses”. Por quê? “Porque se o fazemos, corremos o risco de incomodar alguns jornalistas, suscitar a inimizade dos grandes donos de imprensa e irritar o poder econômico. Agora veja, para nos tornamos midiáticos, precisamos de cumplicidades dos jornalistas, do apoio dos donos de imprensa e do dinheiro do poder econômico.”

22. Jean-Claude Guillebaud, co-fundador da RSF e primeiro presidente da associação, abandonou a organização em 1993. Explicou as razões: “Eu pensava que uma organização desse tipo poderia ser legítima se incluísse um trabalho de crítica do funcionamento dos meios de comunicação ocidentais. Seja sobre os desvios do trabalho jornalístico (falsas entrevistas etc.) ou fazendo um trabalho profundo de reflexão sobra e evolução dessa profissão, suas práticas e os possíveis ataques às liberdades nas democracias. Caso contrário, nos veriam como neocolonialistas, como arrogantes que pretendem dar lições. Quando se chama a atenção dos líderes dos países do Terceiro Mundo sobre os ataques à liberdade de imprensa em seus países, a questão que se levanta automaticamente contra nós é saber que uso nós damos à nossa liberdade. Ainda que os objetivos não sejam os mesmos, é uma questão essencial e eu achava que tínhamos de dedicar a ela 50% do nosso tempo e de nossa energia (…). À medida que a associação se desenvolvia, as operações se tornavam mais e mais espetaculares. Foram levantadas duas questões: não havia uma contradição em denunciar certos desvios do sistema midiático e usar os mesmos métodos nas nossas ações de denúncia? Por sua vez, Robert Ménard achava que tinha de passar por cima de toda a atividade crítica aos meios de comunicação para conseguir o apoio da grande imprensa e das grandes cadeias de televisão (…). Para mim, pareciam próximos demais da imprensa anti-Chávez na Venezuela. Não há dúvida de que era necessário ser mais prudente. Eu acho que eles ouvem muito pouco sobre os Estados Unidos.”

23.  O diário francês Libération, fiel patrocinador da organização, aponta que a RSF permanece em silêncio sobre os abusos dos meios de comunicação ocidentais: “No futuro, a liberdade de imprensa será exótica ou não será. Muitos “reprovam sua ira contra Cuba e contra a Venezuela e sua indulgência em relação aos Estados Unidos, o que não é falso.”

24. A RSF nunca dissimulou suas relações com o mundo do poder. “Um dia tivemos um problema de dinheiro. Eu liguei para o empresário François Pinault pedindo que nos ajudasse (…). Ele respondeu meu pedido em seguida. E isso é a única coisa que importa” porque “a lei da gravidade existe, queridos amigos. E também a lei do dinheiro.”

25. Assim, apesar das reinvindicações de imparcialidade e de defesa da liberdade de imprensa, a RSF tem efetivamente uma agenda política e arremete regularmente contra os países da nova América Latina.

Doutor em Estudos Ibéricos e Latino-americanos, Salim Lamrani é professor-titular da Universidade de la Reunión e jornalista, especialista nas relações entre Cuba e Estados Unidos. Seu último livro se chama Cuba. Les médias face au défi de l’impartialité, Paris, Editions Estrella, 2013, com prólogo de Eduardo Galeano.

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petition to the President and the Attorney General has just been posted by several organizations, including one I work for, asking that the Department of Justice stop threatening New York Times reporter James Risen with prison if he refuses to reveal a confidential source.

This story, among other stunning features, I think, threatens to expose an unknown known of the highest magnitude — by which I mean, not something lying outside Donald Rumsfeld’s imagination, but something that everyone paying attention has known all about for years but which would explode the brains of most consumers of corporate media if they ever heard about it.

Here’s a great summary of the matter at the Progressive.  The focus there and in the petition is on the threat to freedom of the press.  But read this offhand bit of the explanation carefully:

“The information concerns a source for a chapter in Risen’s terrific 2006 book, ‘State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration.’ That chapter dealt with a scheme to give the Iranians faulty blueprints for a nuclear weapon.”

Not only is the Justice Department (universally understood to take its orders from the White House) trying to pressure a reporter to reveal a source, but it’s trying to pressure a reporter to reveal a source who told him that the United States gave Iran plans for building a nuclear bomb.

Imagine if the general public had a clue that this had happened!

Rather than reporter, I should probably be saying author.  And I should stop attaching the insulting modifier “New York Times” in front of “reporter”.  Because this was a story published in a book.  The same book included several interesting stories that I don’t think ever made it into major media outlets.

One exception was a story about NSA mass-surveillance.  The New York Times had sat on that story for over a year and explained that failure as a desire not to inform the public of what its government was up to prior to an election (the 2004 election).  When the book came out, the New York Times finally reported the story.  But if the Times or other outlets have informed the public that the CIA gave Iran nuke plans, I’ve missed it.  This shocker certainly has not been extensively covered.

The genius plan was to give Iran nuclear bomb plans with some little portion altered. But reportedly it was quite clear to scientists — yes, even in Iran they have scientists — which bit had been altered.

The result was not the development of an Iranian nuclear bomb program.  As Gareth Porter’s new book documents in detail, Iran has never had a nuclear bomb program, and we’ve simply been lied to about that fact for 35 years.

But, here’s the point: if your Uncle Homer knew the sort of moron stunts the CIA was engaged in with a nation marketed for 35 years as a force of evil, the result would out-do by far the outrage heard last summer when Obama and Kerry proposed joining a war in Syria on the side of al Qaeda (which everyone had been told was Evil Inc. up to that moment).

Don’t Obama and Holder risk bringing more attention to this lunacy by prosecuting James Risen? Can they really trust the Press Corpse (sic) to bury the substance of the story?

More to the point: Will we let them? Please sign the petition to the President and the Attorney General.

Sodier arresting child in Beit Omar, 2010 (Anne Paq / Activestills)

In a January 2014 New York Times op-ed that I somehow just noticed now, a South Africa-born Jew insists that Israel is not an apartheid state. Hirsh Goodman, a journalist and political commentator who immigrated to Israel in 1965, agrees that the occupation must end. Not because it’s evil to deprive a whole nation of its basic civil rights, but because it looks bad.

For Goodman, the problem is not the human rights abuses committed by Israel, but rather that anti-occupation activists, “some of whom have graduated from the best universities in the world,” are waging a campaign to “delegitimize” Israel by using the “buzzword” of apartheid. This is a false label, he asserts, which is sticking because Israel’s enemies are good at propaganda. Then, in a remarkable feat of unawareness, he goes on to make the case that Israel does preside over an apartheid-like system.

In apartheid South Africa, people disappeared in the night without the protection of any legal process and were never heard from again. There was no freedom of speech or expression and more “judicial” hangings were reportedly carried out there than in any other place on earth. There was no free press and, until January 1976, no public television. Masses of black people were forcibly moved from tribal lands to arid Bantustans in the middle of nowhere. A “pass system” stipulated where blacks could live and work, splitting families and breaking down social structures, to provide cheap labor for the mines and white-owned businesses, and a plentiful pool of domestic servants for the white minority. Those found in violation were arrested, usually lashed, and sentenced to stints of hard labor for a few shillings per prisoner per day, payable to the prison service.

None of this even remotely exists in Israel or the occupied territories.

In fact, almost all of these conditions exist in the territories controlled by Israel. Tweak this paragraph a bit, and you have a pretty accurate description of the system over which Israel has presided for 47 years —five years longer than apartheid existed in South Africa. Here’s the Israel-Palestine version:

Masses of Palestinians were forcibly moved from their ancestral lands to arid Bantustans in the middle of nowhere. An opaque permit system stipulates where Palestinians can live and work, splitting families and breaking down social structures, to provide cheap labor for the settlements and Jewish-owned businesses, and a plentiful pool of manual labor for the Jewish minority. Those judged to be in violation, even children as young as 8, are arrested by soldiers, usually beaten, tried in a military court that has a conviction rate of 99 percent and sentenced to stints of jail time for a few shekels per prisoner per day, payable to the prison service.”

Israel has been displacing Palestinians from their ancestral lands since the state was founded. After it conquered the West Bank in 1967, it systematically uprooted Palestinians from their homes there, starting with those who had the bad luck to occupy homes near the Jewish holy sites in Jerusalem’s Old City (Moshe Dayan gave the order to raze those homes, which stood where the plaza leading to the Western Wall is today). Over the past year or so, the army has been in the process of forcibly removing 27,000 Palestinians from their homes in Area C of the West Bank, most of whom have lived in the same place for at least 50 years. The human rights NGO B’Tselem has documented this extensively, as has Haaretz journalist Amira Hass. Soldiers evict the families by force and destroy their homes with bulldozers. Sometimes a whole village is bulldozed, including the local school. No alternative housing or compensation is provided. “Go to Area A or B,” the Palestinians are told. If anyone tries to stop the soldiers or offer aid to the newly homeless families, they are forcibly removed from the scene or arrested. Including EU diplomats.

A woman from the Palestinian Ghaith family stands amidst the remains of her home,  demolished by Jerusalem municipality workers in the east Jerusalem neighbourhood of At Tur, April 29, 2013.

In Jerusalem neighborhoods like Sheikh Jarrah, settlers protected by court orders and paramilitary police forcibly evict Palestinians from the homes they have lived in for decades, tossing the residents’ belongings on the street and leaving them homeless, with no recourse and nowhere to go. In the Negev, the Israeli government is trying under the Prawer Plan to uproot Bedouin from their ancestral homes, which have been systematically deprived of  amenities, like electricity and running water, that illegal Israeli settlers in the West Bank are granted as a matter of course, and herd them forcibly into urban areas. Paramilitary police have demolished the Bedouin village of al-Araqib several dozen times.

In the West Bank, the Israeli army regularly deploys soldiers to carry out pre-dawn arrests, rousting minor youths from their beds at 3 and 4 o’clock in the morning, as documented in this video (there are dozens of similar videos). The children are cuffed, taken in an army vehicle to a police station, and questioned aggressively, with neither a guardian nor a lawyer present. It is not uncommon for children as young as eight to be arrested by soldiers on suspicion of throwing stones. As this illustration shows, there is a stark disparity in the way Israel’s justice system treats Palestinian children, as compared to Israeli children who live in the same territory. A Palestinian child, for example, can be detained in military prison, an adult facility, for 180 days without being charged.

It’s true that since the separation barrier went up a decade ago, Israelis have largely replaced cheap Palestinian laborers with guest workers from places like the Philippines. But with the Palestinian economy crippled by Israel’s control over its borders and resources, unemployment is sky high and people are desperate for work. Some obtain permits to do construction work on Jewish settlements, enduring the humiliation of building houses for Jews on land that was stolen from them just so they can put food on the table for their children. A very lucky few obtain permits to work in Israel, queuing up like cattle early in the morning to pass through Israel’s military checkpoints. Still others, unable to obtain permits, travel for hours via circuitous routes that circumvent the checkpoints, then sneak through the porous parts of the wall in search of a day’s manual labor. Sometimes, they get shot and killed by border police as they are sneaking in. All for a day’s work that might pay $25 or so.

Palestinian women wait to cross from Qalandiya checkpoint outside Ramallah, West Bank, into Jerusalem to attend the Ramadan Friday Prayers in the Al-Aqsa Mosque, July 19, 2013. (Photo by: Oren Ziv/ Activestills.org)

Meanwhile, Palestinian citizens of Israel (often referred to as “Israeli Arabs”) who marry Palestinians from the occupied territories are prevented by law from obtaining residency or citizenship for their spouses. This means that families are torn apart, just as South African families were sundered by the apartheid policies Goodman describes. The same applies to West Bank Palestinians married to Gaza Palestinians. Israel controls the borders and population movement for both places, and refuses in all but a handful of cases to issue permits that would allow families to live together in one of the two territories.

Fortunately, Israel has a free and lively media that does often report on these violations of Palestinian human rights. But unfortunately, the Israeli public is not sufficiently moved to express vociferous disapproval, as witnessed by the fact that these reports elicit mild protest but never change. In fact, the situation of Palestinians has steadily deteriorated with the years, with more land confiscations and increased limitations on their freedom of movement.

The asylum seekers from countries like Eritrea and Sudan, writes Goodman, should be treated better. Not because helping people who survived desperate journeys across the desert after escaping war and torture is the right thing to do. And not because Israel has a legal obligation as a signatory to the 1951 UN treaty on the treatment and status of refugees. Rather, because jailing these poor souls instead of providing succor results in  ”…reams of footage to those who want to prove Israel is a racist society.” Goodman neglects to mention the racist incitement of members of Knesset like Likud’s Miri Regev, who infamously referred to the African refugees as “a cancer in our bodies.” According to a poll carried out by the Israel Democracy Institute, 51 percent of Israelis agree with Regev. No wonder Israel has a reputation for being a racist country.

African asylum seekers participate in a silent demonstration in front of the African Union office in Tel Aviv, calling for international support in their struggle for recognition as refugees, January 22, 2014. (photo: Oren Ziv, Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

But for Goodman, Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians and the asylum seekers are not a problem because they are cruel or deeply unjust. Nope. They’re just bad for hasbara. They make him worry about his image abroad. That is a shockingly immoral perspective. The occupation is not bad because it makes Israel look bad. It’s bad because it’s evil.

Don’t like the term apartheid? Okay. What’s in a name, after all? So here’s the question: Whatdo you call a system by which a colonizing government has controlled 2.5 million people for 47 years, depriving them of their basic civil rights based on their ethnicity?

As headlines in the main stream Western media, and Britain’s little Foreign Secretary, William Hague obediently echo White House propaganda and duplicity regarding Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland’s boasted $5 Billion illegal overthrow of Ukraine’s elected government (1) trumpeting Russian aggression rather than Western duplicity and illegality, correspondence has come to light which demonstrates that the US Administration was aware to the last detail exactly what the ramifications of their actions would be.
Further, the author of the minutely detailed cable outlining the complexities and dangers of US-EU-NATO meddling in Ukraine is William Burns, currently Deputy Secretary of State. From November 2005 to May 2008, he was US Ambassador to Moscow.
On 1st February 2008, in correspondence (2) marked “Confidential” and obtained by Wikileaks, he wrote in words that are positively clairvoyant. Here are some extracts:
“Following a muted first reaction to Ukraine’s intent to seek a NATO Membership Action Plan (MAP) at the Bucharest summit (Russian) Foreign Minister Lavrov and other senior officials have reiterated strong opposition, stressing that Russia would view further eastward expansion as a potential military threat.
“NATO enlargement, particularly to Ukraine, remains ‘an emotional and neuralgic’ issue for Russia, but strategic policy considerations also underlie strong opposition to NATO membership for Ukraine and Georgia.  In Ukraine, these include fears that the issue could potentially split the country in two, leading to violence or even, some claim, civil war, which would force Russia to decide whether to intervene.
“Additionally, the (Government of Russia) and experts continue to claim that Ukrainian NATO membership would have a major impact on … Russian-Ukrainian family connections, and bilateral relations generally.  In Georgia, the (Russian government) fears continued instability and ‘provocative acts’ in the separatist regions.”
Under: “NATO Enlargement, Potential Military Threat to Russia”, Burns writes:
“During his annual review of Russia’s foreign policy January 22nd-23rd, Foreign Minister Lavrov stressed that Russia had to view continued eastward expansion of NATO, particularly to Ukraine and Georgia, as a potential military threat.
“While Russia might believe statements from the West that NATO was not directed against Russia, when one looked at recent military activities in NATO countries (establishment of U.S. forward operating locations, etc.) they had to be evaluated not by stated intentions but by potential.
“Lavrov … acknowledged that the U.S. and Europe had ‘legitimate interests’ in the region. But, he argued, while countries were free to make their own decisions about their security and which political-military structures to join, they needed to keep in mind the impact on their neighbors.” Hardly the reflections of an unreasonable aggressor, but of a thoughtful, realistic, diplomatic pragmatist.
The Foreign Minister also: ”emphasized that Russia was convinced that enlargement was not based on security reasons, but was a legacy of the Cold War.  He disputed arguments that NATO was an appropriate mechanism for helping to strengthen democratic governments …
“Russia understood that NATO was in search of a new mission, but there was a growing tendency for new members to do and say whatever they wanted simply because they were under the NATO umbrella – e.g. attempts of some new member countries to ‘rewrite history and glorify fascists.’ “
Moreover, in a government press briefing on 22nd January a spokesman stressed: “that Russia was bound with Ukraine by bilateral obligations set forth in the 1997 Treaty on Friendship, Co-operation and Partnership in which both parties undertook to ‘refrain from participation in or support of any actions capable of prejudicing the security of the other …’ “, further noting: “Ukraine’s likely integration into NATO would seriously complicate the many-sided Russian-Ukrainian relations”, leading to Russia ‘considering appropriate measures.’ “
Ambassador Burns remarkable insight, perception and understanding of the regional complexities are reflected further:
 “Ukraine and Georgia’s NATO aspirations not only touch a raw nerve in Russia, they engender serious concerns about the consequences for stability in the region.  Not only does Russia perceive encirclement, and efforts to undermine Russia’s influence in the region, but it also fears unpredictable and uncontrolled consequences which would seriously affect Russian security interests.
“Experts tell us that Russia is particularly worried that the strong divisions in Ukraine over NATO membership, with much of the ethnic-Russian community against membership, could lead to a major split, involving violence or at worst, civil war.  In that eventuality, Russia would have to decide whether to intervene; a decision Russia does not want to have to face.”
What a crying shame on him that William Burns, Deputy to John Kerry and with the ear of President Obama, arguably the most unworthy Nobel Peace Prize winner since Henry Kissinger, has fallen cravenly silent and apparently forgotten his very wise, detailed predictions.
In Kiev on Wednesday, William Hague accused Moscow of disruptive behaviour, threatening larger numbers of NATO forces in eastern Europe: “in a way that should worry Russia in the long term … we will exclude Russia from the G8 and the OECD.” And please note: “Taken over the next decade these events will have a major effect on Russia.” (3) Wait until Russia cuts off Europe’s oil and gas supplies Mr Hague.
Yesterday (8th May 2014) Victoria Nuland outlined to the House Foreign Affairs Committee in some detail the US ongoing meddling in Ukraine and the propping up of an entirely illegal government and interference in the upcoming election on 25th May.
Washington is offering “financial, technical and non-lethal security assistance”, for the election.
“In addition to $92 million in 2013 State/USAID funds and $86 million in 2014 funds, we are providing an additional $50 million in technical assistance and the $1 billion dollar loan guarantee under the authority passed by Congress on April 1st.”
US “electoral assistance” includes “$11 million for non-partisan election activities, including efforts to support voter education and civic participation”, as well as participation as observers in the upcoming poll.
“In addition to the one hundred OSCE observers we are sending, the United States is supporting two hundred and fifty five long-term observers and over three thousand three hundred short-term observers,” Nuland said.
Also added is “$18 million in non-lethal security assistance to the Ukrainian armed forces and State Border Guard Service to enable them to fulfill their core missions.”(4)
Read fixers, manipulators and spooks at every level.
As I write and Russia commemorates the twenty six million souls who died fighting on the side of the West in World War 11, the Cold War is back. The US, UK, EU and NATO just could not countenance “giving peace a chance.” Beyond shame on them all.
Notes

Bashing Putin’s Diplomatic Proposal

May 9th, 2014 by Stephen Lendman

It bears repeating what other articles stressed. Putin represents responsible geopolitical leadership. Obama is polar opposite.

Responses to Putin’s diplomatic proposal didn’t surprise. According to State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki:

“(W)e need to see more from President Putin than simply calling for (Eastern Ukrainian referendums) to be postponed.”

“And we believe and we would call on Russia to use its influence to – with the militant groups to ensure a safe and secure environment for all Ukrainians to cast their ballots on May 25th. And that’s how they can deliver on these words.”

Russia is withdrawing its forces from close to Ukraine’s borders. They never threatened Ukraine. They engaged in Western-monitored military exercises.

Putin said Western nations can use satellite intelligence to confirm what he announced.

Not according to Psaki, saying: “We have not seen evidence of such movement to date.”

“(T)here are still efforts underway to hinder the preparations for the May 25th elections,” she claimed.

Tougher US sanctions are being considered, she added. She ludicrously called Kiev’s coup-appointed government “legitimate.”

She blames Russia irresponsibly for US crimes. So do other US officials. They represent the worst of Washington’s dark side.

Mainstream media support what demands denunciation. The New York Times responded dismissively to Putin’s responsible diplomatic proposal. It did so offensively, saying:

“(I)t remain(s) unclear to analysts and political leaders on both sides of the Atlantic whether he was truly reversing course on Ukraine or if this was just another of his judo-inspired feints.”

According to Times editors:

“NATO officials said they saw no pullback of the 40,000 Russian troops who have been threateningly massed on the Ukrainian border for several weeks now.”

Ongoing Eastern Ukrainian events “may have demonstrated to the Russian president that his strategy of manipulated rebellion could be getting out of hand.”

“Moreover, a referendum on secession in rebel-controlled zones would have produced a predictably lopsided vote without a shred of credibility, but would have curtailed Mr. Putin’s exit options.”

Fact: Putin’s announced pullback was genuine.

Fact: He wouldn’t have publicly said so otherwise.

Fact: Redeployment takes time.

Fact: By now, satellite images may show it clearly.

Fact: Washington bears full responsibility for Ukrainian crisis conditions.

Fact: Eastern Ukrainians acted solely on their own volition.

Fact: No evidence whatever suggests Russian involvement.

Fact: As of May 8, Donetsk and Lugansk referendum will be held as planned.

Times editors irresponsibly accused Putin of initiating a “lightening-fast annexation of Crimea.”

He “use(d) the threat of similar annexations in southeastern Ukraine to press Kiev and the West to agree to a federation structure (to) give Russia a strong influence over the eastern provinces and an effective veto against Ukraine forming alliances with the West,” they said.

False! Putin annexed nothing. Nearly 97% of Crimeans voted for reunification with Russia. Turnout was 83%.

Putin endorsed their wishes. He could do no less. No evidence whatever suggests he seeks territorial gains anywhere. Nor does any exist showing he’s meddling in Ukraine’s internal affairs.

He respects Ukrainian unity. He supports democratic governance. It’s up to citizens of countries themselves to pursue it.

International law prohibits outside interference. Putin respects its core provisions honorably. Washington consistently rejects them.

Times editors call Kiev’s coup-appointed government “legitimate.” They turned truth on its head claiming it.

Putin “deviously…exploited divisions in Ukraine,” they said. They lied. They do so in numerous anti-Russian editorials.

They suggested Putin’s diplomatic initiative may “prove to be another feint.” If so, they added:

“(T)he United States and Europe are left with no choice but to press ahead with extensive and stern economic sanctions against Russia.”

Fact: Times editors are notorious.

Fact: They’re irresponsible.

Fact: They march in lockstep with the worst of Washington’s dark side.

Fact: They substitute misinformation, distortion, and bald-face lies for truth and full disclosure.

Fact: It’s longstanding Times policy.

Washington Post reporting matches the worst of Times’ disinformation.

On May 7, it misinformed readers saying “key questions remained about whether Putin’s efforts would actually rein in violence, including whether Russia retained control over the bands of armed separatists who have taken over cities across eastern Ukraine and whether his proposals were palatable to the Ukrainians.”

Fact: Eastern Ukrainians aren’t “separatists.”

Fact: They’re ordinary people.

Fact: They’re freedom fighters.

Fact: They want rights everyone deserves.

Fact: Putin has no involvement in their activism.

Fact: Coup-appointed putschists unleashed violence.

Fact: They did so at Washington’s behest.

Chicago Tribune editors asked if Putin “blinked on Ukraine.”

They irresponsibly accused him of perhaps wanting diplomacy to resolve crisis conditions “he had a huge hand in creating.”

Fact: Since trouble erupted last November, he’s gone all-out to resolve things responsibly.

Fact: Washington escalated conflict lawlessly.

Fact: It deplores peaceful conflict resolution.

Fact: Longstanding policy prioritizes violence and instability.

Former national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinsk is a notorious Russian hater. Tribune editors irresponsibly quoted him, saying:

“What is at stake is a secure and open Europe.” The alternative is “some sort of a Russian imperial enterprise next door, based largely on force, and as a result probably quite unstable. So the stakes are really enormous.”

Tribune editors added:

“Russian tanks may or may not roll into Kiev one day, the way Soviet tanks rolled into Budapest in 1956 or Prague in 1968.”

“Europe can’t pursue business as usual with Russia. Not unless it wants to be responsible for losing Ukraine.”

Fact: Soviet Russia bears no relation to today’s. Any more than Berlin matches Nazi era harshness.

Don’t expect Tribune editors to explain. Putin bashing remains official policy.

Coup-appointed prime minister Arseny Yatsenyuk accused Putin of “talking through his hat.” His appeal was “hot air,” he added.

Leading Kiev presidential aspirant/multi-billionaire Petro Poroshenko said:

“We are even ready to have a (national) referendum but not under the barrels of machine guns or automatic rifles.”

“After the presidential election. After restoring law and order, we are ready to discuss any referendum and…constitutional changes…with anyone.”

Fact: After Kiev fascists solidify power!

Fact: After they crush democratic resistance.

Fact: After they eliminate freedom initiatives.

Fact: After more Odessa massacres.

Fact: After potentially replicating Cambodia’s Killing Fields.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen reacted dismissively to Putin’s proposal, saying:

“This is not yet the moment when we can announce with enthusiasm that the crisis is over. We both hope that perhaps Putin’s words indicate some kind of a more optimistic scenario, but today it is too early for us to confirm that.”

Poland marches in lockstep with lawless US policy. It’s Prime Minister Donald Tusk added:

“The Nato assessment, in line with ours, is that we should approach President Putin’s statement with great caution.”

Washington reacted as expected. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns accused Russia of heading down a “dangerous and irresponsible path.”

He promised stepped up US pressure. He ignored Washington full responsibility for ongoing events. He turned a blind eye to Russia’s forthright efforts to resolve them peacefully and diplomatically.

Anti-Russian political economist Nicolas Eberstadt got featured Wall Street Journal op-ed space.

“History is full of instances where a rising power, aggrieved and dissatisfied, acts aggressively to obtain new borders or other international concessions,” he said.

“In Russia today, we see a much more unusual case: This increasingly menacing and ambitious geopolitical actor is a state in decline.”

Irresponsible Russia bashing infested his op-ed. He outrageously accused Putin of “leading a country in serious decline.”

“If his dangerous new brinksmanship” continues, “we should expect more of it in the future, possibly much more, ” he claimed.

He ignored out-of-control US imperial adventurism. It’s risking possible WW III.

Francis Boyle addressed the threat, saying:

“The Ukrainian crisis had been planned as well as the war. There was a war plan. Then it was revised and implemented.”

“We are seeing steps now being taken that were planned in advance.” It’s despite no threat other than Washington invents.

It’s “being used as a pretext to” involve NATO belligerently. Things “are clearly going ahead” as planned.

“The US has already resumed the Cold War with the neo-Nazi coup d’etat in Ukraine that the United States sponsored, controlled, and directed.”

Washington wants “to provoke Putin to invade Ukraine. I think they plan to take over all of Ukraine to solidify control of Ukraine by the neo-Nazi thugs in Kiev, and then at least de jure to bring NATO military forces into Ukraine under one pretext or another.”

Former CIA analyst/State Department official  Larry Johnson fears something similar. A dangerous dynamic is unfolding, he said.

“Now there is a very strong element in the United States which is pushing for really almost a confrontation with Russia over Ukraine and they haven’t really thought through it,” he said.

“When they talk about arming the dissidents or arming folks opposing Russia in the Ukraine, they don’t appreciate the possibility of the escalation that that can create.”

“We tend to try to portray these things in a way that doesn’t really take into account all the dynamics that are involved. And I think it’s really dangerous,” he added.

Sergey Lavrov repeated earlier statements about “fostering a national dialogue aimed at carrying out fair constitutional reform that would take into account the interests of all political forces and regions” in Ukraine.

“Otherwise, the presidential elections in Ukraine scheduled for May 25 will be senseless,” he added.

Responsible comments like Lavrov’s fall on deaf ears. Reprehensible ones head things recklessly toward potential East/West confrontation.

Francis Boyle is right. Things are headed dangerously in the wrong direction. It bears repeating what previous articles stressed. The worst of all possible outcomes may follow.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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

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

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

Yesterday, officials in Washington and in the US puppet regime in Kiev dismissed attempts by Russian President Vladimir Putin to de-escalate the crisis in Ukraine, vowing to step up attacks on anti-Kiev regime protesters in eastern Ukraine.

On Wednesday, Putin had asked the protesters, who are calling for a May 11 referendum on autonomy or separation from the unelected regime in Kiev, to postpone the vote. He also endorsed the May 25 presidential elections planned by the Kiev regime and announced that Russian troops along the Ukraine-Russian border had returned to their normal bases.

The Kiev regime responded by threatening that military operations that have left dozens dead across eastern Ukraine and in last Friday’s fascist massacre in Odessa would continue. Yesterday, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk mocked Putin’s statements as “hot air.”

“Ukraine hasn’t planned any referendum on May 11. If terrorists and separatists, who are supported by Russia, were ordered to postpone what wasn’t planned, then it’s their internal affairs,” he said.

Defense Secretary Andriy Parubiy—a founding member of the Social-National Party, the precursor of the fascist Svoboda Party that now holds top ministerial posts in Kiev—said attacks would continue, whether or not pro-Russian protesters canceled the referendum.

“The counter-terrorist operation will continue unhindered, despite the presence of terrorist and insurgent groups in the Donetsk region,” he said.

Bloody clashes are in particular feared for today and the weekend. Today is the anniversary of the victory of the Soviet Union and the Allies over Nazi Germany. Earlier this week, several reports emerged of fears of a new fascist massacre in Odessa, directed against participants in May 9 rallies. Several officials in eastern Ukraine canceled planned festivities, citing the risk of bloodshed.

Obama administration officials turned reality on its head, denouncing Russia as the aggressor, and US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland attacked the Kremlin, saying that to date, Russia “has fulfilled none of its commitments” to reduce tensions in Ukraine.

With monumental hypocrisy, Nuland—who was caught on tape plotting the installation of Yatsenyuk during the right-wing protests that led to the putsch of February 22 in Kiev—attacked the Kremlin for its “efforts to destabilize eastern and southern Ukraine.”

US congressmen echoed the hard line of the Obama administration. “Despite the warnings issued and sanctions imposed by the US and our allies, Russia continues its aggression against Ukraine,” said Representative Ed Royce (R-California) in a House hearing on the Ukraine crisis. Royce also called for harsher sanctions to bring down Russia’s economy: “Instead, we must adopt a proactive strategy that will convince Putin that his aggression will have a significant and lasting cost to the Russian economy.”

The response of the anti-Kiev protesters in eastern Ukrainian regions around Donetsk and Luhansk undermined claims that the protests are simply an intelligence operation concocted by the Kremlin. They said they intended to ignore Putin’s request to postpone the referendum.

“The referendum will happen on May 11,” said Donetsk People’s Republic leader Denis Pushilin. “The date of the referendum will not be postponed.”

Officials in Slavyansk—which has been besieged by forces from the pro-Kiev Ukrainian National Guard and fascist Right Sector paramilitary group, suffering dozens of casualties in repeated Kiev regime attacks—also dismissed Putin’s advice to postpone the referendum.

“If we don’t have a referendum on the 11th, then we will lose the trust of the people,” a spokesman in Slavyansk said. “We face the choice: referendum or war, and we choose the peaceful way.”

The rejection by Washington and Kiev of Moscow’s attempt at an accommodation exposes the fraud of the presentation of the Ukraine crisis by Western governments and media outlets. The aggressor is not the Kremlin, which is ineffectually seeking to work out a truce that neither the Kiev regime nor its Western backers wants.

Rather, it is Washington and its European allies that have stoked up the situation by installing and encouraging an unpopular, far-right regime in Kiev that is determined to drown internal opposition in blood.

A recent poll by the Washington, DC-based Pew Research Center found that only 41 percent of Ukrainians support the Kiev regime. Disapproval ratings are above the national average of 59 percent in the eastern Ukraine, reaching 67 percent. Popular opposition can be expected to grow this month, as the Kiev regime’s unpopular 50 percent price increases for natural gas go into effect.

As for Kremlin oligarchs, while they are stunned by the drive for regime change and civil war in Ukraine unleashed by Washington and Berlin, they are above all afraid of the risk that popular opposition to the Kiev regime in Ukraine and in Russia could trigger a movement in the working class.

May Day rallies in Russia—the first since before the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991—reportedly gathered millions throughout the country and over a hundred thousand in Moscow for the international holiday of the working class.

Members of the anti-Kiev self-defense militia in Slavyansk denounced Putin for making concessions to Kiev. “He is a coward. He is afraid of losing his money,” one fighter, who gave his name as Rustem, told the Guardian .

“Instead of helping Russian people here, he is betraying us. He will pay for this with a revolution in Red Square,” Rustem added. “Russian people will not stand by and watch this happen.”

Rustem spoke during the funeral in Slavyansk for four men killed in the nearby town of Semovka by units loyal to Kiev—three anti-Kiev militia fighters and a truck driver who died when his truck became trapped in the crossfire and burned. A separate funeral had already been held for Irina Boevets, a 30-year-old teacher who was killed by a stray bullet when she walked out onto her balcony.

As mourners filed by the coffins of the four men, they chanted slogans against Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the two heads of state who have led the imperialist intervention in Ukraine: “Glory to Russia, shame on America, shame on the EU, Shame on Obama and Merkel!”

A Slavyansk housewife said, “It is impossible to turn back to Ukraine after the events in Slavyansk. We will not forgive the killing of our people.”

The Obama administration has entered into direct talks with the leader of the political front for Syria’s Western-backed “rebels” on arming them with US surface-to-air missiles, amid fresh confirmation that these forces are dominated by Al Qaeda-linked militias.

Ahmad al-Jarba, the chief of the Syrian Opposition Coalition, met Thursday at the State Department with Secretary of State John Kerry. He is scheduled to meet with President Barack Obama at the White House in the coming days. Meetings are also scheduled at the Pentagon and with members of the US Congress.

The visit is part of a shift toward renewed US escalation of its proxy war in Syria, fueled in no small part by the ongoing confrontation over Ukraine with Russia, a key ally of the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

In conjunction with al-Jarba’s arrival, the State Department announced that Washington is providing another $27 million in so-called “non-lethal aid” to the “rebels”—bringing the total reported aid thus far to $287 million—and is granting diplomatic status to missions set up by the Syrian Opposition Coalition in Washington and New York City. Last March, after the breakdown of talks in Geneva between the Western-backed forces and the Assad regime, the Obama administration ordered the shutdown of the Syrian embassy in Washington and Syrian consulates in other US cities.

Ahmad al-Jarba, however, left no doubt that the principal aim of his visit is to obtain new and more powerful weapons to stem the accelerating rout of the anti-Assad militias, which were compelled this week to evacuate Homs. Syria’s third largest city and an industrial center, Homs is strategically decisive because of its control of supply routes from the country’s Mediterranean coast to the capital, Damascus.

In both an interview with the New York Times and a speech Wednesday at the US Institute of Peace—a government agency tied to US intelligence services—al-Jarba stressed that the main item on his US agenda is procuring shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles, known as manpads.

He also confirmed that Washington had already supplied Free Syrian Army (FSA) “rebels” with at least 20 TOW anti-tank missiles. According to theTimes, he claimed that the shipment “had enabled the opposition to demonstrate that it was able to use and maintain control of advanced American weapons.”

Similarly, in his speech at the US Institute of Peace, he declared: “We need efficient weapons in the right hands, the hands of professionals, and we commit to keep them in the right hands. This is the only way to bring stability.”

But even as al-Jarba and his cohorts were making such claims, the Wall Street Journal published an article Thursday citing sources within the Free Syrian Army, reporting that the Syrian Revolutionaries Front, part of the supposedly “moderate” and “secular” FSA, have been operating jointly for the past few weeks with the Al Qaeda-affiliated Al Nusra Front in the southwestern province of Quneitra, near the Israeli-occcupied Golan Heights. It is on this southern front that the US has been most active in training and arming the “rebels.”

“The FSA and Nusra Front are closely cooperating on the front line,” Abu Omar Golani, a media coordinator for the Syrian Revolutionaries Front told the Journal. He added that the two factions were coordinating battlefield operations in five joint “military operational rooms” where they plan battles. He assured the US newspaper that the FSA and the Al Qaeda-affiliated Islamists had no intention of carrying out any action against neighboring Israel.

Even more damning was a report in the National, a United Arab Emirates daily, that a key commander of the US-backed FSA on the southern front had been captured by Al Nusra, which is vowing to try him for treason. The newspaper said that the incident underscored “the growing power of Al Qaeda on a battlefield in which its influence has long been considered minimal.”

The commander, Col. Ahmed Nehmeh, is a Syrian air force officer who joined the “rebels.” The paper stressed the “humiliation” that the detention represented for the US-backed “moderates,” noting that the FSA had issued a 48-hour ultimatum for the officer’s release, and, when the deadline passed, backed down, calling for “negotiations and conciliation.”

The National also reported that Nehmeh was unpopular even within the FSA, and that other officers may have welcomed his capture “in the hope that they can take over his role … and build up their own client networks through distributing weapons and cash.”

The newspaper concluded, “In taking Col. Nehmeh, Al Nusra has made it clear that inside Syria, even on the more moderate, better organized southern front, it, not foreign intelligence agents, call the shots.”

The “foreign intelligence agents” referred to include principally the CIA and its counterparts from Saudi Arabia and the other reactionary Gulf monarchies. The Obama administration placed the training and arming of the “rebels” on the southern front under the jurisdiction of the CIA, on the pretense that the operation was meant not only to further regime change in Damascus, but also to advance the “war on terrorism” by combating the influence of Al Nusra. This is a fraud and a farce.

If the administration moves ahead with the arming of the FSA with manpads, there is every probability that these weapons will fall into the hands of the Al Qaeda elements and may be used sooner rather than later in the downing of a civilian airliner.

It may do so anyway, however, because of the increasingly desperate position of the Syrian “rebels.” The retreat from Homs, which was brokered by Russia and Iran in return for the release of a group of captured Syrian soldiers, an Iranian woman and some 40 Alawite women and children taken hostage by the Sunni Islamist fighters, represents a strategic defeat in the US-backed war for regime change.

Combined with a series of truces negotiated with Islamist fighters in the Damascus suburbs, the regime has largely neutralized any immediate threat to its grip on power and defeated the opposition’s strategy of encircling and cutting off supplies to the capital.

While fighting continues in the north of the country, where the Islamists blew up a historic building facing the city of Aleppo’s 13th century citadel Thursday, much of the combat is between rival factions of the “rebels” for control of territory and loot.

The Obama administration’s main aim appears to be to keep the civil war and the horrendous bloodletting in Syria going, in order to prevent the Assad regime from restabilizing the country.

Meanwhile, as part of the Western strategy to demonize Assad and lay the political basis for overthrowing his regime, France has drafted a resolution for the United Nations Security Council to refer the Syrian war to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

The cynicism of this strategy was made clear by a report in the New York Times on the difficulty in “tailoring” this resolution to suit the interests of Washington, which has refused to ratify the Rome Statute establishing the court and rejects its jurisdiction.

In the first place, the French have had to strictly delineate the time frame for the acts to be investigated— after 2011—so that a case involving Syria cannot extend to the crimes carried out in the country by Washington’s main ally in the region, Israel. The US wants a guarantee that the Zionist state cannot be called to account for occupying Syria’s Golan Heights since 1967 and expelling its population.

Secondly, the resolution specifically exempts “current or former officials or personnel” of any country that has not ratified the Rome Statute, with the exception of Syria. The aim of this clause is to assure Washington that US officials and military personnel cannot be held accountable for war crimes, if and when the US decides to invade Syria to directly prosecute its war for regime change.

Stalin was certainly a tyrant: But U.S. warmongers have also been hyping the Russian threat with self-serving lies – and committing atrocities and telling lies – for some 70 years.  As an American, my concern is keeping America from destroying itself.  And – unless we learn our history – we could get in a lot of trouble.

America Launched the Cold War Even Before World War II Had Ended

Joseph Stalin and the Soviets were key in helping the U.S. to defeat the Nazis.  20 million Russians died fighting the Nazis in World War II.

And yet the U.S. started competing against Stalin – and treating him like an enemy – before WWII had even ended.

Specifically, dropping atomic bombs on Japan had a dual purpose: defeating the Japanese, and sending a message to Stalin that the U.S. was in charge.

History.com notes:

In the years since the two atomic bombs were dropped on Japan, a number of historians have suggested that the weapons had a two-pronged objective …. It has been suggested that the second objective was to demonstrate the new weapon of mass destruction to the Soviet Union. By August 1945, relations between the Soviet Union and the United States had deteriorated badly. The Potsdam Conference between U.S. President Harry S. Truman, Russian leader Joseph Stalin, and Winston Churchill (before being replaced by Clement Attlee) ended just four days before the bombing of Hiroshima. The meeting was marked by recriminations and suspicion between the Americans and Soviets. Russian armies were occupying most of Eastern Europe. Truman and many of his advisers hoped that the U.S. atomic monopoly might offer diplomatic leverage with the Soviets. In this fashion, the dropping of the atomic bomb on Japan can be seen as the first shot of the Cold War.

New Scientist reports:

The US decision to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 was meant to kick-start the Cold War rather than end the Second World War, according to two nuclear historians who say they have new evidence backing the controversial theory.

Causing a fission reaction in several kilograms of uranium and plutonium and killing over 200,000 people 60 years ago was done more to impress the Soviet Union than to cow Japan, they say. And the US President who took the decision, Harry Truman, was culpable, they add.

***

[The conventional explanation of using the bombs to end the war and save lives] is disputed by Kuznick and Mark Selden, a historian from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, US.

***

New studies of the US, Japanese and Soviet diplomatic archives suggest that Truman’s main motive was to limit Soviet expansion in Asia, Kuznick claims. Japan surrendered because the Soviet Union began an invasion a few days after the Hiroshima bombing, not because of the atomic bombs themselves, he says.

According to an account by Walter Brown, assistant to then-US secretary of state James Byrnes, Truman agreed at a meeting three days before the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima that Japan was “looking for peace”. Truman was told by his army generals, Douglas Macarthur and Dwight Eisenhower, and his naval chief of staff, William Leahy, that there was no military need to use the bomb.

“Impressing Russia was more important than ending the war in Japan,” says Selden.

John Pilger points out:

The US secretary of war, Henry Stimson, told President Truman he was “fearful” that the US air force would have Japan so “bombed out” that the new weapon would not be able “to show its strength”. He later admitted that “no effort was made, and none was seriously considered, to achieve surrender merely in order not to have to use the bomb”. His foreign policy colleagues were eager “to browbeat the Russians with the bomb held rather ostentatiously on our hip”. General Leslie Groves, director of the Manhattan Project that made the bomb, testified: “There was never any illusion on my part that Russia was our enemy, and that the project was conducted on that basis.”

University of Maryland professor of political economy – and former Legislative Director in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, and Special Assistant in the Department of State – Gar Alperovitz says:

Increasing numbers of historians now recognize the United States did not need to use the atomic bomb to end the war against Japan in 1945. Moreover, this essential judgment was expressed by the vast majority of top American military leaders in all three services in the years after the war ended: Army, Navy and Army Air Force. Nor was this the judgment of “liberals,” as is sometimes thought today. In fact, leading conservatives were far more outspoken in challenging the decision as unjustified and immoral than American liberals in the years following World War II.

***

Instead [of allowing other options to end the war, such as letting the Soviets attack Japan with ground forces], the United States rushed to use two atomic bombs at almost exactly the time that an August 8 Soviet attack had originally been scheduled: Hiroshima on August 6 and Nagasaki on August 9. The timing itself has obviously raised questions among many historians. The available evidence, though not conclusive, strongly suggests that the atomic bombs may well have been used in part because American leaders “preferred”—as Pulitzer Prize–winning historian Martin Sherwin has put it—to end the war with the bombs rather than the Soviet attack. Impressing the Soviets during the early diplomatic sparring that ultimately became the Cold War also appears likely to have been a significant factor.

***

The most illuminating perspective, however, comes from top World War II American military leaders. The conventional wisdom that the atomic bomb saved a million lives is so widespread that … most Americans haven’t paused to ponder something rather striking to anyone seriously concerned with the issue: Not only did most top U.S. military leaders think the bombings were unnecessary and unjustified, many were morally offended by what they regarded as the unnecessary destruction of Japanese cities and what were essentially noncombat populations. Moreover, they spoke about it quite openly and publicly.

***

Shortly before his death General George C. Marshall quietly defended the decision, but for the most part he is on record as repeatedly saying that it was not a military decision, but rather a political one.

General Dwight Eisenhower said, “Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary” and “the Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn’t necessary to hit them with that awful thing.”

And Truman’s chief of staff, Admiral William Leahy, who chaired the meetings of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, claims:

The use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the effective sea blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons.

America Has Waged a Brutal Dirty Tricks Campaign for 70 Years

Right after the end of WWII, the U.S. backed Nazi fighters in Ukraine in an attempt to dislodge Soviet control of that country.

Moreover:

In late September 1947, [George] Kennan urged Forrestal to establish a “guerrilla warfare corps”—a suggestion Forrestal heartily endorsed—although the [Joing Chiefs of Staff] recommended against establishing a “separate guerrilla warfare and corps.” In December, Truman approved secret annex NSC 4-A, authorizing the CIA to conduct covert operations. He had dismantled the OSS’s covert parmilitary operations capabilities in September 1945, but now he brought them back in force. In the summer of 1948, he approved NSC 10/2, which called for “propaganda, economic warfare, preventive direct action, including sabotage, anti-sabotage, demolition and evacuation measures; subversion against hostile states, including assistance to underground movements, guerrillas and refugee liberation groups, and support of indigenous anti-Communist elements in threatened countries of the free world.” These activities were to be done in a way that would always afford the US government plausible deniability. In August 1948, Truman approved NSC 20, which authorized guerrilla operations in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe ….

***

Beginning with Truman’s first day in office, his receptiveness to the views of hard-line anti-Communists, his denial of Roosevelt’s understanding with Staling, the provocative and unnecessary dropping of the atomic bombs, his spreading a network of military bases around the world, Churchill’s speech at Fulton, Truman’s call for fighting Communism in greece, the division and remilitarization of Germany, the continued testing of bigger and bigger atomic and hydrogen bombs which he used to threaten the Soviet Union, Truman’s deliberate exaggerations of the Communist threat both overseas and at home and his persecution and silencing of those who challenged these distortions. In all these matters, with few exceptions, the United states, after successfully liberating Western Europe, was now signaling fear and aggression ….

The U.S. also admits that the U.S. and NATO also used false flag terror attacks to discredit the Soviets.  For example:

  • The CIA admits that it hired Iranians in the 1950′s to pose as Communists and stage bombings in Iran in order to turn the country against its democratically-elected prime minister
  • As admitted by the U.S. government, recently declassified documents show that in the 1960′s, the American Joint Chiefs of Staff signed off on a plan to blow up AMERICAN airplanes (using an elaborate plan involving the switching of airplanes), and also to commit terrorist acts on American soil, and then to blame it on the Cubans in order to justify an invasion of Cuba. See the following ABC news report; the official documents; and watch this interview with the former Washington Investigative Producer for ABC’s World News Tonight with Peter Jennings.

The U.S. and NATO Have Been Trying to Encircle Russia Militarily Since 1991

President George H. W. Bush promised Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev that – if the Soviets broke up the Soviet Union and dissolved the Warsaw Pact – then NATO would not move into those former Soviet countries. This assured the Soviets that NATO would not encircle Russia.

http://i.imgur.com/xgBMhBb.jpg

 

Similarly, Germany promised Gorbachev that NATO would not expand “one inch to the east.”  As Andrew Gavin Marshall explains:

The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 prompted the negotiated withdrawal of the Soviet Union from Eastern Europe. The ‘old order’ of Europe was at an end, and a new one “needed to be established quickly,” noted Mary Elise Sarotte in the New York Times. This ‘new order’ was to begin with “the rapid reunification of Germany.” Negotiations took place in 1990 between Soviet president Gorbachev, German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, and President Bush’s Secretary of State, James A. Baker 3rd. The negotiations sought to have the Soviets remove their 380,000 troops from East Germany. In return, both James Baker and Helmut Kohl promised Gorbachev that the Western military alliance of NATO would not expand eastwards. West Germany’s foreign minister, Hans-Dietrich Genscher, promised Gorbachev that, ” NATO will not expand itself to the East.” Gorbachev agreed, though asked – and did not receive – the promise in writing, remaining a “gentlemen’s agreement.”

But Bill Clinton broke America’s promise, and the U.S. has pursued a campaign of encircling Russia ever since:

http://caelumetterra.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/bases-overseas.jpg

 

 

And NATO has also broken its promise, and now largely encircles Russia:

Credit: Small People Against Big Government

Download video (106.91 MB)

Radicals set the building with innocent people inside on fire in Odessa, then strangled the survivors and finished them with bats, while police did nothing to prevent the bloodshed. That’s the scary picture a survivor of the massacre told RT.

“First of all, nobody expected such cruelty, and secondly, it was too late to escape,” Tatyana Ivananko told RT’s correspondent Alexey Yaroshevsky about the Odessa tragedy on May 2, after which at least 46 people died in flames, when radicals set ablaze the local House of Trade Unions with anti-government protesters trapped inside.

According to the witness, pro-autonomy activists wanted to hide from the radicals by barricading themselves in the building.

“On our way up the stairs, we were taking plywood sheets inside so that we could block the doors and prevent them from getting into the building,” she says.

 

Tatyana Ivananko, Odessa massacre survivor (Still from RT video)

Tatyana Ivananko, Odessa massacre survivor (Still from RT video)

However, the crowd of pro-government supporters who were trying to enter the building was quickly becoming bigger.

“They were coming from everywhere,” she added.

According to Tatyana, the radicals started hurling Molotov cocktails, after which the first and the third floors of the House of Trade Unions burst into flames.

Tatyana also recalled that the outraged crowd outside was shouting that they wouldn’t let anybody out.

“They were also throwing firecrackers, so people in the halls were sitting on the floor, blinded.” She added, “At that moment you realize there is no way to help these people so you’d better rescue yourself.”

Public services such as police and fire brigade were not rushing to rescue the injured people.

“The police were idle not doing anything,” she recalls. “When firefighters arrived it was too late – too many people had already died, even though the closest fire station is 700 meters away from the site.”

According to the numerous videos released in the Internet, many victims of the Odessa massacre received bullet wounds. On some of the videos a man in a bulletproof vest who introduces himself as sotnik Mykola (“sotnik” is what Maidan group leaders in Kiev call themselves) is shooting several times in the direction of the burning House of Trade Unions.

“Have a look at the video,” says Tatyana, pointing to the footage where Micola is pictured. “This armed man in a vest is carrying a gun.”


 

People wait to be rescued on upper storeys at the trade union building in Odessa May 2, 2014. (Reuters / Yevgeny Volokin)

People wait to be rescued on upper storeys at the trade union building in Odessa May 2, 2014. (Reuters / Yevgeny Volokin)

According to her, the shooting started in Grecheskaya Street, in the north of the city.

Tatyana said that after the pro-government activists managed to enter the burning building, “many people were strangled. I didn’t know how they [pro-government activists] were able to get through the fire but they did,” she added.

She recalled that the radicals “finished off some of the people who managed to escape, and threw from the windows those who didn’t, to kill them on the ground.”

“17-year-old hooligans were finishing people with bats,” she added.

Meanwhile, the next day after the clashes, Ukraine’s Vice President, Vitaly Yarema, said that some of those who were killed in the Trade Union building were foreign nationals.

However, Tatyana denied this information saying that all the people who were killed on May 2 came from Odessa.

“They all loved their city deeply. We stood shoulder to shoulder from the very first day,” she said. “A regional council deputy, Vyacheslav Markin, is also known to have been killed in the flames.”

She also commented on the reports from mostly western outlets, which claim that some of those killed were “mercenaries from Russia.”

“If we had indeed been mercenaries, there would have been fewer victims, and not on our side,” adding that the only thing they received from Russia was “moral support.”


 

Mourners grieve at the coffin of Vyacheslav Markin, a regional parliament deputy who died in a fire at the trade union building on Friday, at his funeral in Odessa May 5, 2014. (Reuters / Gleb Garanich)

Mourners grieve at the coffin of Vyacheslav Markin, a regional parliament deputy who died in a fire at the trade union building on Friday, at his funeral in Odessa May 5, 2014. (Reuters / Gleb Garanich)

Those who died in the ablaze “were innocent civilians who wanted to live a normal life rather than just ‘survive’ – as is now the case in Ukraine,” Tatyana said, adding that the Kiev coup-appointed authorities are to blame for these crimes.

“The guilty party is the current government, which clearly seeks to divide Ukraine,” she added.

Numerous videos have been released on the Internet in which a woman’s voice is heard from the House of Trade Unions screaming for help and the pro-government activists in the crowd surrounding the building say, “that’s not a woman, she’s a separatist!” and “beat the s**t out of her, so that she finally shuts up!”

“Yeah, women sit at home with their children and this one’s an animal!” added another.

According to the acting Prosecutor General Oleg Makhnitsky, it is too early to say what exactly caused the blaze but the investigation is looking into several theories. The cause of the fire could be both Molotov cocktails thrown by the anti-government protesters and the blaze made by pro-Kiev activists, he said. Ukraine will invite independent experts mostly from the US to investigate the case, added Makhnitsky.

On Wednesday, Russian FM Sergey Lavrov said that what took place in Odessa on May 2 is “typical fascism” and Russia “will pursue the truth,” adding that Moscow will not permit Odessa’s events to be “swept under the carpet.”

 Repairing the “Broken Window” Fallacy

Extremely influential economists like Paul Krugman and Martin Feldstein promote the myth that war is good for the economy.

Talking heads like senior Washington Post political columnist David Broder parrot this idea.

Their ideas are based on the main economic myth encouraging war … the “broken window” fallacy.

David R. Henderson – associate professor of economics at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California and previously a senior economist with President Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers -  writes:

Is military conflict really good for the economy of the country that engages in it? Basic economics answers a resounding “no.”***

Money not spent on the military could be spent elsewhere.

This also applies to human resources. The more than 200,000 U.S. military personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan could be doing something valuable at home.

Why is this hard to understand? The first reason is a point 19th-century French economic journalist Frederic Bastiat made in his essay, “What Is Seen and What Is Not Seen.” Everyone can see that soldiers are employed. But we cannot see the jobs and the other creative pursuits they could be engaged in were they not in the military.

The second reason is that when economic times are tough and unemployment is high, it’s easy to assume that other jobs could not exist. But they can. This gets to an argument Bastiat made in discussing demobilization of French soldiers after Napoleon’s downfall. He pointed out that when government cuts the size of the military, it frees up not only manpower but also money. The money that would have gone to pay soldiers can instead be used to hire them as civilian workers. That can happen in three ways, either individually or in combination: (1) a tax cut; (2) a reduction in the deficit; or (3) an increase in other government spending.

***

Most people still believe that World War II ended the Great Depression …. But look deeper.

***

The government-spending component of GNP went for guns, trucks, airplanes, tanks, gasoline, ships, uniforms, parachutes, and labor. What do these things have in common? Almost all of them were destroyed. Not just these goods but also the military’s billions of labor hours were used up without creating value to consumers. Much of the capital and labor used to make the hundreds of thousands of trucks and jeeps and the tens of thousands of tanks and airplanes would otherwise have been producing cars and trucks for the domestic economy. The assembly lines in Detroit, which had churned out 3.6 million cars in 1941, were retooled to produce the vehicles of war. From late 1942 to 1945, production of civilian cars was essentially shut down.

And that’s just one example. Women went without nylon stockings so that factories could produce parachutes. Civilians faced tight rationing of gasoline so that U.S. bombers could fly over Germany. People went without meat so that U.S. soldiers could be fed. And so on.

These resources helped win the war—no small issue. But the war was not a stimulus program, either in its intentions or in its effects, and it was not necessary for pulling the U.S. out of the Great Depression. Had World War II never taken place, millions of cars would have been produced; people would have been able to travel much more widely; and there would have been no rationing. In short, by the standard measures, Americans would have been much more prosperous.

Today, the vast majority of us are richer than even the most affluent people back then. But despite this prosperity, one thing has not changed: war is bad for our economy. The $150 billion that the government spends annually on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (and, increasingly, Pakistan) could instead be used to cut taxes or cut the deficit. By ending its ongoing wars … the U.S. government … would be developing a more prosperous economy.

***

Whatever other reasons there may be for war, strengthening the economy is never one of them.

Indeed, we have thoroughly documented that war makes us poor.

Postscript: While war is bad for us, it is very good for a handful of defense contractors and banksters who make huge sums from fighting or financing unnecessary war.

Every month, rise or shine, the Federal Reserve Bank, an institution that most Americans believe is a branch of government, or a federally run Central Bank has one of its computers add $55 billion—that’s dollars with a B—to its ledger and balance sheet.

In actual fact, the FED, as its known is actually a private institution in government trappings,  owned by,  and run by,  the very banks it is thought to regulate.  It actually has kept the economy afloat since August 2007 when the financial crisis began (not 2008 as most media outlets have it with a printing press with an infusion of $3.4 TRILLION.

At first, the Fed’s Economics Professor turned Bank president,  Ben Bernanke was called “Heliopter Ben” in an allusion to all the money he was bombing the economy with His term ended, but the practice, now barely questioned, goes on.

And why is that? To put it simply, the financial crisis is still with us, whatever talk there is of “recovery” because of structural realities that haven’t changed. A weak “labor market, depressed housing market, and little economic growth keep unemployment up and misery high for our shining middle class and growing poverty class.

The folks in charge know how bad things are,  but they are committed to a monetary magic elixir of constant intervention by keeping interest rates low and purchasing mortgage backed securities in the so-called free market, Capitalism remains in deep crisis but you never hear officials use the “C word.”

Of course not: that would suggest a problem with the system.

Instead, we have a constant refrain of double talk, lips moving without saying anything and conjuring up that old joke:

Q: How do you know when they are lying?

A: When their lips are moving.

On the right, groups like Americans for Limited Government still harbor the illusion that this is all some kind of Socialist plot, while noting that new Fed head Janet Yellen, who recently replaced Bernanke is now admitting that there is little recovery in the supposed recovery.

Says she, “the recent flattening out in housing activity could prove more protracted than currently expected rather than resuming its earlier pace of recovery.”

Translation:There is no growth that is meaningful. The economy that tanked is still in the tank despite everything they have thrown out it,

The right and the left rarely address the same issues.

The right is in the Blame Obama demolition derby business, wrapped in misleading slogans in pursuit of a partisan agenda that seeks no deeper explanations.

The left is focused on growing inequality with Nobel Prize economists like Paul Krugman saying we are in “a new gilded age.”

He cites a new study by the French economist Thomas Picketty who analyzed economic statistics and tax records over 200 year and found the rise in the concentration of wealth is growing, and, more importantly, not self-correcting. His remedy is a global tax on wealth.

His book Capital has inspired a debate with some on the left arguing he doesn’t go far enough—but then, he does not come out of, or identify with leftist thought.

Critics  say that a wealth tax is unlikely to be passed or redistribute wealth adequately. Obama’s chief economist quibbles with his forecast, but at least, acknowledges his argument.

None of these perspectives reference what else is and is not going on: the lack of prosecutions of bankers who created the financial bubble and then profited by it, the persistence of a massive growth of student loan debt outpacing the mortgage debts that fueled the crisis in the first place,

And then, there’s the growth of poverty and the cutbacks in social services amidst  transfers of funds from the public sector to the private sector.

Obama has been blocked by a right-wing Congress in pursuing badly needed stimulative initiatives for the economy.  His opposition sees what use to be called‘priming the pump’ as examples of out of control government or covert Marxist plotting.

In response, he seems to have recognized what earlier Presidents saw:  that America needs new and scarier threats to justify more spending on security and spying to which there are fewer political objections.

He knows very well about the waste and inefficiency built into the military procurement process but it doesn’t matter because, politically, he keeps the military industrial complex on his side when he expands drone wars and military base building and global intervention. In essence, he buys their support along with the backing of the workers in military industries.

The Pentagon has become the manager of what there is of a real jobs program with no shortage of projects to spend money on.  These projects are well distributed in key Congressional districts so all the pols, Democrats and Republicans alike, can claim credit for funneling in federal dollars.

The President couldn’t be happier by the revival   of a cold war that requires more spending like this. The challenge posed by Vladimir Putin also gives our media machine someone to demonize now that old enemies like bin Laden, Saddam and Gadaffy are gone.

As international journalist Diana Johnstone notes, in Germany anyone who objects to the Russia bashing now underway in western media is a  “Putinversteher”,  (a Putin understander).

“That says it all,” she writes. “We are not supposed to understand.  We are supposed to hate.  The media are there to see to that.

 While the West doggedly refuses to understand Putin and Russia, Vladimir Putin, on the other hand, seems to understand things pretty well.

He seems to understand that he and his nation are being systematically lured into a death trap by an enemy which excels in the contemporary art of “communication”.  In a war situation, NATO communication means that it doesn’t matter who does what.  The only thing that matters is who tells the story. 

The Western media are telling the story in a way which depends on not understanding Russia, and not understanding Putin. Putin and Russia become fictional villains in the Western version, just the latest reincarnation of Hitler and Nazi Germany.”

Americans also seem to need a tough guy enemy to despise inorder to promote and engineer more defense spending on a massive scale.  Fear sells and national security isstill an issue that unites liberals and the right in a bought and compromised Congress.

 You can just hear the sigh of ‘quiet as its kept’ relief in Washington when Russia backed the annexation of Crimea.

 In just a days, new US missiles and planes were heading to Eastern Europe, while the President moved even further East to promote his “ Asia pivot” to insure that an “aggressive” China publicly becomes branded as a new Soviet Union on the media-driven chess board of geo-political game playing.

 Thank goodness, too, for the kidnapping of those girls in Nigeria so we can upgrade our US Africa Command and move more forcefully into Africa in a constant search for enemies the public can despise and new conflicts to become part of to justify our bloated budgets.

Thank you CNN for mounting an around the clock campaign to save victims of terrorism, however selective it is.

 It is events like these—a hot war in the Ukraine or a cold war in the offing that pumps up media attention and, then, in short order, comesnew requests for expanded Pentagon appropriations.

This jobs program, aided and abetted by building and buying of weapons that quickly become obsolete’ and must be replaced under the terms of endless cost-plus contracts.

Militarism in America has become essential to both bulking up the economy and controlling an insecure population. As the former struggles to produce jobs and exports, the latter is kept in check by an alarmist media that warns us of constant dangerswhile an unrestrained NSA keeps electronic tabs on us.

The reason for the connection is simple: people in power know how restless and angry the American population has become and have a legitimate fear of economic and political unrest.

The uprising in Ukraine as the one Egypt before it have serious economic underpinnings. In both countries, the military now is trying to put the cork back in the bottle.

Don’t think what is happening there cannot or will not “blow back” into our own fragile and seemingly permanent economic crisis.

News Dissector Danny Schechter edits Mediachannel.org and blogs at NewsDissector.net. He has made two films and written two books on the financial crisis. Comments to [email protected]

Police State USA: Call the Cops at Your Peril

May 9th, 2014 by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

“Live free or die” is the motto of the state of New Hampshire. I hope the residents are  prepared to die, because living free is not what they do. NH is merely a cog within the Amerikan Stasi State, but I am referring to what goes on within NH itself, not the police state existence imposed by Washington.

On May 5 attorney William Baer was arrested at a school board meeting at which he went over a 2-minute speaking rule while trying to get some explanation from the Gilford, NH, school board for assigning sexually explicit reading material to his 14-year old daughter’s English class. The evasiveness of the school board angered Mr. Baer, and he spoke out again in support of another parents protests, and was promptly arrested by a goon thug cop.

http://www.dailypaul.com/318393/fox-news-to-interview-william-baer-father-arrested-in-new-hampshire-for-going-over-two-minute-rule-in-school-board-meetin

The school board chairman, Sue Allen, who has no legislative power nevertheless managed to create a law backed by police violence. After all if Bush and Obama can create laws by edict, why not a school board chairman? Under Allen’s edict, if a parent violates the 2-minute rule that Allen imposed, she has the parent arrested. The goon thug cop wasn’t embarrassed to arrest a parent for making a legitimate complaint during the public comment period of a school board meeting.

Remember, we “freedom and democracy” ‘mericans have free speech and protest rights. Actually, don’t remember that, because you no longer have any such rights.These rights are dangerous. They enable terrorists and extremists such as those dangerous people who don’t believe The Government.

This is Amerika today. Mr Baer offered no resistance, but nevertheless was lucky that the goon thug cop did not taser him, pepper spray him, and call for a backup SWAT team to beat him senseless or even murder him.

Last month wedding guests at at the San Luis Hotel in Galveston, Texas, were set upon without reason by 34 crazed goon thug cops. The guests, including the father of the bride and the bride’s brother were brutally beaten and maced along with many guests including 13 who were arrested for asking, “what is going on?” The brother was so badly injured by the goon thugs that he had to be rushed via helicopter to a hospital.

The mayhem resulted from an off-duty goon thug witnessing a guest walk outside with an alcoholic beverage, thus violating the city’s “open container” law. Instead of advising the guest of the open container law and recommending that he step back inside, the goon thug called the cops who arrived on the scene in mass and enjoyed themselves by beating up the wedding party.
See http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article38424.htm [2]
http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/05/07/kangaroo-court-convicts-occupy-protester/ [3]

This is Stasi Amerika today. And it gets worse. In Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, Eileen Battisti, a 53-year old widow, had her $280,000 home seized by Beaver County officials and sold at auction for $116,000 because of an unpaid $6.30 interest fee on the late payment of her school district taxes. A corrupt judge did not insist upon justice for the widow but instead upheld the robbery that benefitted both the county and the purchaser at auction of her home, S.P. Lewis. Lewis offered to sell the widow her home back for $250,000.

http://www.policestateusa.com/2014/eileen-battisti/[4]

To see what cops are really like, read this: http://www.policestateusa.com/2014/justice- [5]

Whatever you do, never call the cops. However bad you might think the situation is, it  will be much worse once the goon thugs arrive: http://www.policestateusa.com/2014/candy-middleton/ [6]

And do not show any compassion for animals. Showing compassion for animals is proof that you are an animal-rights extremist which lumps you in with terrorists. In Albion, Michigan, extremists who feed a stray cat are fined and locked away for three months. Mary Musselman, an 81-year old Alzheimer sufferer was locked away for 90 days for feeding stray cats on her own property. When you see a starving animal, turn your back and walk away. Your inhumanity will be rewarded but your humanity will be severely punished. http://www.policestateusa.com/2014/albion-michigan-cat-feeding/ [7]

Just keep in mind that “we have freedom and democracy” and we are “the exceptional and indispensable people.” Our president told us so. This designation removes you from any responsibility to other humans, much less animals. Don’t lose sight of the fact that Amerikans are so exceptional and indispensable that we have murdered seven entire countries in the new 21st century, and we are just getting started. As it is perfectly acceptable for Amerika to murder countries, how can it possibly matter if a goon thug cop murders you, your pet or your wife or husband or daughter or son?

What is so discouraging is that this article could be hundreds of thousands of pages long. I could sit here writing this article for the rest of my life, adding one incident after another, and not get beyond the tip of the iceberg.

The inhumanity of which Americans are capable and indulge in every day must scare Satan himself.

Parents arrested for protesting the assignment of pornographic reading material to 14-year olds by school boards, elderly and ill people imprisoned for feeding starving animals, pets murdered by police who are supposed to protect the citizens but instead mace them, beat them, body slam them, and shoot them and their pets gratuitously for the thrill of committing violence against life are the reason the public sector is in disrepute.

The worst people in the country are in our public institutions. This is why there is so little sympathy for the public sector unions now under attack by the Republicans. Americans look at their county commissions, their city councils, their criminal justice (sic) system, their governors, state legislatures, Congress, and the White House, and all that they see is evil and corruption.

There is nothing else there.

Americans who trust the criminal justice (sic) system are completely stupid. A case of mass wrongful conviction that I wrote about years ago finally came to trial last November. Annie Dookham, a Massachusetts state chemist who falsified drug tests, thus sentencing thousands of innocent people to years in prison, destroying their lives and the lives of their families, was sentenced to 3 to 5 years in prison. Dookhan sent thousands of innocents to prison in order to aid prosecutors in attaining high conviction rates and in order to achieve her own rise as a highly productive state employee. The judge noted that Dookham had cost the state millions of dollars in settling wrongful convictions and had shaken to the core the integrity of the criminal justice (sic) system.

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/2013/11/22/annie-dookhan-former-state-chemist-who-mishandled-drug-evidence-agrees-plead-guilty/lhg1mwd9U3J8eh4tNBS63N/story.html [8]

State officials say that Dookhan’s fake evidence could have tainted 40,000 cases. Ask
yourself, what kind of person would destroy so many people in order to advance herself? And progressives think that the public sector is the answer.

You can ask the same question about the New York State Police and the Texas police who dropped little bags of ground up wallboard in cars stopped at random, conducted illegal searches, and arrested the occupants for drugs. Hundreds of innocents were convicted until finally one brave public defender demanded presentation of the alleged drugs and had the evidence tested. It came back: wallboard. All other public defenders had accommodated the conviction scheme and arranged plea bargains for their clients. You can read about these and other atrocities in my book, coauthored with Larry Stratton: The Tyranny of Good Intentions. [9]

Notes

[1] http://www.policestateusa.com/2014/galveston-wedding-beatdown/:http://www.policestateusa.com/2014/galveston-wedding-beatdown/

[2] http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article38424.htm:http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article38424.htm

[3] http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/05/07/kangaroo-court-convicts-occupy-protester/:http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/05/07/kangaroo-court-convicts-occupy-protester/

[4] http://www.policestateusa.com/2014/eileen-battisti/:http://www.policestateusa.com/2014/eileen-battisti/

[5] http://www.policestateusa.com/2014/justice-:http://www.policestateusa.com/2014/justice-

[6] http://www.policestateusa.com/2014/candy-middleton/ :http://www.policestateusa.com/2014/candy-middleton/

[7] http://www.policestateusa.com/2014/albion-michigan-cat-feeding/:http://www.policestateusa.com/2014/albion-michigan-cat-feeding/

[8] http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/2013/11/22/annie-dookhan-former-state-chemist-who-mishandled-drug-evidence-agrees-plead-guilty/lhg1mwd9U3J8eh4tNBS63N/story.html:http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/2013/11/22/annie-dookhan-former-state-chemist-who-mishandled-drug-evidence-agrees-plead-guilty/lhg1mwd9U3J8eh4tNBS63N/story.html

[9] The Tyranny of Good Intentions.:http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0307396061/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0307396061&linkCode=as2&tag=paulcraigrobe-20

 A number of years ago I read portions of a book entitled The First Casualty: From the Crimea to Vietnam: The War Correspondent as Hero, Propagandist and Myth Maker by Phillip Knightley.

Knightley points out in that book that in order to start (and then perpetuate) a war, a nation’s leaders have to lie, and the lies usually start with the war correspondents or “embedded” journalists who obediently only tell pre-approved sugar-coated, heavily censored versions of what is really happening in the war zone. Conservative editors, who are sensitive to the demands of patriotic advertisers, typically edit out the unpleasantness that has been written by their more progressive journalists, who want to write the truth, even if it is gory truth.

It is a historical reality that aggressive nation-states often cunningly provoke their intended nation-victims into drawing “first blood”. That is a tactic that most bullies employ, even inexperienced playground bullies. 

All militarized aggressor nations that are spoiling for a fight try to find ways to lie themselves into war, often by claiming “self-defense”. Invasion, occupation and colonization can easily be obfuscated by the nation’s propaganda machine by calling it “liberation” or “protective custody” rather than criminal acts of theft, rape and murder.

Sadly, whistleblowing truth-seekers who try to expose the dark underbelly of war usually are silenced and accused of being unpatriotic or subversive or, in the case of capitalist and fascist nations – “soft on communism” and insufficiently punitive.

Promoting lies and half-truths about a nation’s wars has certainly been true of most kingdoms, empires, dictatorships and other totalitarian states, and that includes the Greek and Roman Empires, the British Empire and the various Fascist imperialist powers like Hirohito’s Japan, Mussolini’s Italy and Hitler’s Germany, and it has also been true of almost every American war in recent memory.

Part of the propaganda campaign to glorify American war-making via propaganda was the change in the name of the pre-World War II Department of War to what is now benignly, and falsely, called the Department of Defense. Tellingly, the DOD has been behind many overt wars and hundreds of covert acts of lethal violence, many of which have met the definition of international war crimes and/or crimes against humanity – none of which have even come close to fulfilling the Christian Just War Theory precepts.

Lies Which Soldiers Kill and Die For

Examples of the “Lies that Men Kill and Die For” would include the following short list of just the last two American wars. In the first Gulf War, President George Herbert Walker Bush lied when he claimed that US satellite photos showed Iraqi troops massed on the border of Kuwait. Then he promoted the false testimony of a Kuwaiti girl (actually the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the US) who tearfully told a lie about Kuwaiti babies being thrown out of their incubators by cruel Iraqi troops. Both these and a number of other propaganda stories were soon shown to be lies, but most of us gullible Americans had already bought into the stories and enthusiastically endorsed the illegal invasion, led, of course, by paid war correspondents and uber-patriotic retired generals on CNN and all the other major media outlets.

In the second illegitimate Bush-led Gulf War (George W. Bush’s Operation Iraqi Liberation), this short list of lies was aggressively spread and dutifully repeated by the media: 1) Saddam Hussein had Weapons of Mass Destruction (no WMDs were ever found); 2) Hussein’s had plans to build a nuclear weapon (no yellow cake uranium or aluminum centrifuge tubes existed); 3) Hussein was allied with Osama bin Laden (they hated each other’s guts); and 4) Hussein’s military threatened the US. Bush also lied about his intention to ‘liberate’ Iraq and form a truly democratic government.

Then Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld, along with their assorted henchmen and henchwoman, lied about the progress of the war. They lied about the torture, the “extraordinary rendition” and the true economic costs of the war, and they refused to discuss the psychological, physical and spiritual costs to the returning soldiers. It seemed like there were more lies told than there were truths.

Gallipoli and the ANZAC Spirit Myth

Years ago a young Australian actor named Mel Gibson starred in a movie titled Gallipoli. The last half of the film told the story about First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill’s disastrous plan to invade World War I Turkey in 1915. The plan was hatched after Churchill realized that the western Front war against Germany had turned into a stalemate so he assigned the King’s Navy to reinforce the Eastern Front where Britain’s ally Russia was losing its war against Germany.

The ill-conceived plan was to open sea lanes to the Black Sea (in order to supply Russia with armaments) by invading Turkey and conquering Istanbul, one of the choke points in gaining naval access to the Black Sea. The necessary first step was to conquer and occupy the narrow sea lane that was called the Dardenelles strait, which was bordered on each side by land that was held by Turkey, an ally of Germany.

The Gallipoli peninsula, on the Adriatic side of the Dardenelles, was the initial target of Churchill’s invasion plan, and on April 25, 1915, a massive invasion force of mainly British Empire soldiers, including green Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (aka, ANZAC) troops. It was the first time Australian and New Zealand conscripts had fought a major battle, and they found themselves, on day one, suffering massive casualties as they tried to disembark from the ships. Those that managed to get to land found themselves trapped on the beach below the machine gun nests of the Turkish army that inflicted massive casualties. The water turned red with ANZAC blood.

35,000 Anzac troops died in the 10 month campaign, with the troops mostly immobilized beneath the well-protected cliffs above them. The botched invasion was a military misadventure of huge proportions and a logistical nightmare that should have been seen by the military strategists beforehand. A total of 120,000 deaths (and 250,000 total casualties) occurred among all combatants before the campaign ended in humiliating defeat for the United Kingdom.

Gallipoli was just another example of the many shameful episodes in the history of warfare that were lied about or unreported by the war correspondents, military leaders and politicians who were witnesses to the disaster but who refused, or were not allowed, to tell the horrifying truth.

And yet, 99 years later, Australia and New Zealand still seem to be in denial about the reality of Gallipoli, and, somehow, proudly celebrate the senseless death and dying every April 25th.

Down Under, April 25 is called ANZAC Day in New Zealand. In Australia it is called Australia Day, and the Australian national anthem, “Waltzing Matilda”, is played reverentially on that day (and often during the rest of the year as well). Most non-Aussies don’t understand the meaning of the lyrics, but they like the catchy tune.

“Waltzing Matilda” tells a strange tale about a loveless, solitary outback vagabond (whose knapsack he calls “Matilda”) who inadvertently poaches a sheep from some One absentee landowner and then drowns himself in a deep pool when the police are about to arrest him for his crime. To me, an American, it seems an odd theme for a national anthem that is more of a drinking song, but it is far easier to sing than the “Star-spangled Banner”.

An internet site says this about “Waltzing Matilda”):

“To non-Australians it must seem strange that this much-loved Australian song does not refer to the land itself, but rather mourns the suicide of a thieving vagabond. Nevertheless, “Waltzing Matilda” somehow speaks to the strong anti-authoritarian and independence streak in the Australian psyche, as it represents the battler struggling against the wealthy and being one with the Australian bush.”

Most Australians and New Zealanders have been led to believe in the heroic nature of the “Anzac Spirit”. As I understand the concept, it represents the courage and loyalty to the Crown that the first ANZAC infantrymen exhibited in their baptism by fire, obediently (and blindly) following the suicidal orders of their commanding officers to go “over the top” over and over again into the deadly machine gun fire.

Certainly ANZAC soldier’s misbegotten sense of loyalty to the British Crown was facilitated by the patriotic history book version of war which, as always, was written by the victor’s nationalistic pseudo-historians in order to divert attention from what were often fiascos. Not only was the Gallipoli campaign badly bungled, but it was then misrepresented in order to avoid admitting that tens of thousands of innocent troops had suffered and died in vain.

 In the following antiwar song, “The Band Played Waltzing Matilda”, singer/song-writer Eric Brogle tells the poignant truth about the futility of war and the cognitive dissonance that keeps Australians focused on their national anthem/drinking song rather than on the many unwelcome truths about war. Brogle wrote the song in 1971 and provides a dose of reality to a world awash in militarism, war profiteering, and pro-war propaganda. We Americans and our mis-leaders could learn a few lessons by acknowledging the many inconvenient truths about our own nation’s military misadventures. They are so numerous as to be uncountable.

 The Band Played Waltzing Matilda

 By Eric Bogle 1971 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WG48Ftsr3OI

 When I was a young man I carried me pack
And I lived the free life of the rover
From the Murray’s green basin to the dusty outback
I waltzed my Matilda all over

 Then in 1915 my country said: “Son,
It’s time to stop rambling, there’s work to be done”
So they gave me a tin hat and they gave me a gun
And they sent me away to the war

And the band played Waltzing Matilda
When the ship pulled away from the quay
And amid all the tears, flag waving and cheers
We sailed off for Gallipoli

Well I remember that terrible day
When our blood stained the sand and the water
And how in that hell they call Suvla Bay
We were butchered like lambs at the slaughter

 Johnny Turk, he was ready, he primed himself well
He rained us with bullets, and he showered us with shell
And in five minutes flat, we were all blown to hell
He nearly blew us back home to Australia

And the band played Waltzing Matilda
When we stopped to bury our slain
Well we buried ours and the Turks buried theirs
Then it started all over again

Oh those that were living just tried to survive
In that mad world of blood, death and fire
And for ten weary weeks I kept myself alive
While around me the corpses piled higher

 Then a big Turkish shell knocked me arse over head
And when I awoke in me hospital bed
And saw what it had done, I wished I was dead
I never knew there was worse things than dying

Oh no more I’ll go Waltzing Matilda
All around the green bush far and near
For to hump tent and pegs, a man needs both legs
No more waltzing Matilda for me

They collected the wounded, the crippled, the maimed
And they shipped us back home to Australia
The armless, the legless, the blind, the insane
Those proud wounded heroes of Suvla

 And when the ship pulled into Circular Quay
I looked at the place where me legs used to be
And thank Christ there was no one there waiting for me
To grieve and to mourn and to pity

And the Band played Waltzing Matilda
As they carried us down the gangway
Oh nobody cheered, they just stood and stared
Then they turned all their faces away

And so now every April I sit on my porch
And I watch the parade pass before me
I see my old comrades, how proudly they march
Reviving their dreams of past glories

 I see the old men all tired, stiff and worn
Those weary old heroes of a forgotten war
And the young people ask “What are they marching for?”
And I ask myself the same question

And the band plays Waltzing Matilda
And the old men still answer the call
But as year follows year, their numbers disappear
Someday, no one will march there at all

Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda
Who’ll come a-Waltzing Matilda with me?
And their ghosts may be heard as they march by the billabong
Who’ll come a-Waltzing Matilda with me?

President Vladimir Putin has overseen military drills on countering nuclear strike. The planned drills come ahead of the May 9 celebrations dedicated to victory in World War II.

“We are carrying out tests of the readiness of the Russian armed forces. It was announced last November. The exercises will involve all branches of the armed forces across the country,” Putin told reporters at the Defense Ministry.

Modern challenges and threats to the country’s national security demand that the army and the fleet are maintained in readiness for quick and effective retaliation in any conditions, the Russian Defense Minister and army general Sergey Shoigu told Putin in a report.

During the drills, it was demonstrated how the missile corps, artillery, aviation and anti-aircraft defenses can be used – for instance, to destroy troops on the ground or to counter massive missile, aviation or nuclear strikes by an enemy.

Plus, it was shown how to inflict a launch-through-attack strike with nuclear missiles.

RIA Novosti / Alexey Nikolsky

RIA Novosti / Alexey Nikolsky

The training exercises, which are due to include ground troops and artillery as well as the air force, were held during a summit of heads of state of a security bloc made up of former Soviet states.

Led by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russian aerospace defense troops have successfully overridden a massive nuclear missile strike, an official representative of the Russian Defense Ministry told RIA Novosti news agency.

“At the Priozersk training area (Kazakhstan), a successful interception of a ballistic target by a short-range countermissile was carried out. A massive rocket nuclear strike was repelled by a ballistic missile defense unit of air and missile defense troops,” the representative said.

The representative also detailed that the combat crews of Armies of Aerospace Defense have discovered and accompanied the ballistic targets with the launch of a short-range interception missile of the Amur complex.

“The anti-missile system successfully struck the target that imitated a ballistic rocket,” the representative added.

The strategic weapon carrier Tu-95MC conducted launches of six cruise missiles aiming at targets on the ground in the aviation training area of the Western military district, as part of the drills.

The simulated targets were key facilities of military infrastructure of a hypothetical enemy.

All the targets were hit as planned, Russia’s Defense Ministry confirmed.

The presidents of Belarus, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan observed the drills from the Russian National Defense Command Center.

Strategic bomber aircraft and underwater missile carriers of the Pacific and Northern fleets were involved in the drills. Also, strategic land-based mobile missile systems, as well as the missile corps of the Southern and Central military districts, participated in the tests.

Introductory Note

From October 12 to 15, 2010, I had extensive and detailed discussions with Fidel Castro in Havana, pertaining to the dangers of nuclear war, the global economic crisis and the nature of the New World Order. These meetings resulted in a wide-ranging and fruitful interview.

The first part of this interview published by Global Research and Cuba Debate focuses on the dangers of nuclear war.

The World is at a dangerous crossroads. We have reached a critical turning point in our history.

This interview with Fidel Castro provides an understanding of the nature of modern warfare: Were a military operation to be launched against the Islamic Republic of Iran, the US and its allies would be unable to win a conventional war, with the possibility that this war could evolve towards a nuclear war.

The details of ongoing war preparations in relation to Iran have been withheld from the public eye.

How to confront the diabolical and absurd proposition put forth by the US administration that using tactical nuclear weapons against Iran will  “make the World a safer place”? 

A central concept put forth by Fidel Castro in the interview is the ‘Battle of Ideas”. The leader of the Cuban Revolution believes that only a far-reaching “Battle of Ideas” could  change the course of World history. The  objective is to prevent the unthinkable, a nuclear war which threatens to destroy life on earth.

The corporate media is involved in acts of camouflage. The devastating impacts of a nuclear war are either trivialized or not mentioned. Against this backdrop, Fidel’s message to the World must be heard;  people across the land, nationally and internationally, should understand the gravity of the present situation and act forcefully at all levels of society to reverse the tide of war.

The “Battle of Ideas” is part of a revolutionary process. Against a barrage of media disinformation, Fidel Castro’s resolve is to spread the word far and wide, to inform world public opinion, to “make the impossible possible”, to thwart a military adventure which in the real sense of the word threatens the future of humanity.  

When a US sponsored nuclear war becomes an “instrument of peace”, condoned and accepted by the World’s institutions and the highest authority including the United Nations, there is no turning back: human society has indelibly been precipitated headlong onto the path of self-destruction.

Fidel’s “Battle of Ideas” must be translated into a worldwide movement. People must mobilize against this diabolical military agenda.

This war can be prevented if people pressure their governments and elected representatives, organize at the local level in towns, villages and municipalities, spread the word, inform their fellow citizens regarding the implications of a thermonuclear war, initiate debate and discussion within the armed forces.

What is required is a mass movement of people which forcefully challenges the legitimacy of war, a global people’s movement which criminalizes war. 

In his October 15 speech, Fidel Castro warned the World on the dangers of nuclear war:

There would be “collateral damage”, as the American political and military leaders always affirm, to justify the deaths of innocent people. In a nuclear war the “collateral damage” would be the life of all humanity. Let us have the courage to proclaim that all nuclear or conventional weapons, everything that is used to make war, must disappear!”

The “Battle of Ideas” consists in confronting the war criminals in high office, in breaking the US-led consensus in favor of a global war, in changing the mindset of hundreds of millions of people, in abolishing nuclear weapons.  In essence, the “Battle of Ideas” consists in restoring the truth and establishing the foundations of World peace.

Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG),

Montreal, Remembrance Day, November 11, 2010. 


“The conventional war would be lost by the US and the nuclear war is no alternative for anyone.  On the other hand, nuclear war would inevitably become global”
 
“I think nobody on Earth wishes the human species to disappear.  And that is the reason why I am of the opinion that what should disappear are not just nuclear weapons, but also conventional weapons.  We must provide a guarantee for peace to all peoples without distinction
 
“In a nuclear war the collateral damage would be the life of humankind.  Let us have the courage to proclaim that all nuclear or conventional weapons, everything that is used to make war, must disappear!”
 
“It is about demanding that the world is not led into a nuclear catastrophe, it is to preserve life.” 

Fidel Castro Ruz, Havana, October 2010.

CONVERSATIONS

Professor Michel Chossudovsky: I am very honored to have this opportunity to exchange views concerning several fundamental issues affecting human society as a whole. I think that the notion that you have raised in your recent texts regarding the threat against Homo sapiens is fundamental.

What is that threat, the risk of a nuclear war and the threat to human beings, to Homo sapiens?

Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz: Since quite a long time –years I would say- but especially for some months now, I began to worry about the imminence of a dangerous and probable war that could very rapidly evolve towards a nuclear war.

Before that I had concentrated all my efforts on the analysis of the capitalist system in general and the methods that the imperial tyranny has imposed on humanity.  The United States applies to the world the violation of the most fundamental rights.

During the Cold War, no one spoke about war or nuclear weapons; people talked about an apparent peace, that is, between the USSR and the United States, the famous MAD (Mutual Assured Destruction) was guaranteed.  It seemed that the world was going to enjoy the delights of a peace that would last for an unlimited time.


Michel Chossudovsky: … This notion of “mutual assured destruction” ended with the Cold War and after that the nuclear doctrine was redefined, because we never really thought about a nuclear war during the Cold War.  Well, obviously, there was a danger –as even Robert McNamara said at some point in time.

But, after the Cold War, particularly after September 11 [2001],  America’s nuclear doctrine started to be redefined.

Fidel Castro Ruz: You asked me when was it that we became aware of the imminent risk of a nuclear war, and that dates back to the period I talked to you about previously, barely six months ago.  One of the things that called our attention the most regarding such a war danger was the sinking of the Cheonan during a military maneuver. That was the flagship of the South Korean Navy; an extremely sophisticated vessel.  It was at the time when we found on GlobalReasearch the journalist’s report that offered a clear and truly coherent information about the sinking of the Cheonan, which could not have been the work of a submarine that had been manufactured by the USSR more than sixty years ago, using an outdated technology which did not require the sophisticated equipment that could be detected by the Cheonan, during a joint maneuver with the most modern US vessels. 

The provocation against the Democratic Republic of Korea added up to our own earlier concerns about an aggression against Iran.  We had been closely following the political process in that country. We knew perfectly well what happened there during the 1950s, when Iran nationalized the assets of the British Petroleum in that country- which at the time was called the Anglo Persian Oil Company.

In my opinion, the threats against Iran became imminent in June [2010], after the adoption of Resolution 1929 on the 9th of June, 2010, when the United Nations Security Council condemned Iran for the research it is carrying out and the production of small amounts of 20 per cent enriched uranium, and accused it of being a threat to the world.  The position adopted by each and every member of the Security Council is known: 12 member States voted in favor –five of them had the right to veto; one of them abstained and 2 –Brazil and Turkey- voted against. Shortly after the Resolution was adopted –the most aggressive resolution of of them all– one US aircraft carrier, embedded in a combat unit, plus a nuclear submarine, went through the Suez Canal with the help of the Egyptian government.  Naval units from Israel joined, heading for the Persian Gulf and the seas nearby Iran.

The sanctions imposed by the United States and its NATO allies against Iran was absolutely abusive and unjust.  I cannot understand the reason why Russia and China did not veto the dangerous Resolution 1929 of the United Nations Security Council.  In my opinion this has complicated the political situation terribly and has placed the world on the brink of war.

I remember previous  Israeli attacks against the Arab nuclear research centers.  They first attacked and destroyed the one in Iraq in June 1981.  They did not ask for anyone’s permission, they did not talk to anybody; they just attacked them and the Iraqis had to endure the strikes.

In 2007 they repeated that same operation against a research center that was being built by Syria.  There is something in that episode that I really don’t quite understand:  what was not clear to me were the underlying tactics, or the reasons why Syria did not denounce the Israeli attack against that research center where, undoubtedly, they were doing something, they were working on something for which, as it is known, they were receiving some cooperation from North Korea.  That was something legal; they did not commit any violation.

I am saying this here and I am being very honest: I don’t understand why this was not denounced, because, in my opinion, that would have been important. Those are two very important antecedents.

I believe there are many reasons to think that they will try to do the same against Iran:  destroy its research centers or the power generation centers of that country.  As is known, the power generation uranium residues are the raw material to produce plutonium.

Michel Chossudovsky:  It is true that that Security Council Resolution has to some extent contributed to cancelling the program of military cooperation that Russia and China have with Iran, especially Russia cooperates with Iran in the context of the Air Defence System by supplying its S-300 System.

I remember that just after the Security Council’s decision, with the endorsement of China and Russia, the Russian minister of  Foreign Affairs said: “Well, we have approved the Resolution but that is not going to invalidate our military cooperation with Iran”. That was in June.  But a few months later, Moscow confirmed that military cooperation [with Iran] was going to be frozen, so now Iran is facing a very serious situation, because it needs Russian technology to maintain its security, namely its [S-300] air defence system.

But I think that all the threats against Russia and China are intent upon preventing the two countries from getting involved in the Iran issue. In other words, if there is a war with Iran  the other powers, which are China and Russia, aren’t going to intervene in any way; they will be freezing their military cooperation with Iran and therefore this is a way [for the US and NATO] of extending their war in the Middle East without there being a confrontation with China and Russia  and I think that this more or less is the scenario right now.

There are many types of threats directed against Russia and China. The fact that China’s borders are militarized –China’s South Sea, the Yellow Sea, the border with Afghanistan, and also the Straits of Taiwan- it is in some way a threat to dissuade China and Russia from playing the role of powers in world geopolitics, thus paving the way and even creating consensus in favour of a war with Iran which is happening under conditions where Iran’s  air defence system is being weakened.   [With the freeze of its military cooperation agreement with Russia] Iran is a “sitting duck” from the point of view of its ability to defend itself using its air defence system.

Fidel Castro Ruz:  In my modest and serene opinion  that resolution should have been vetoed.  Because, in my opinion, everything has become more complicated in several ways.

Militarily, because of what you are explaining regarding, for example, the commitment that existed and the contract that had been signed to supply Iran the S-300, which are very efficient anti-aircraft weapons in the first place. 

There are other things regarding fuel supplies, which are very important for China, because China is the country with the highest economic growth.  Its growing economy generates greater demand for oil and gas.  Even though there are agreements with Russia for oil and gas supplies, they are also developing wind energy and other forms of renewable energy. They have enormous coal reserves;  nuclear energy will not increase much, only 5% for many years. In other words, the need for gas and oil in the Chinese economy is huge, and I cannot imagine, really, how they will be able to get all that energy, and at what price, if the country where they have important investments is destroyed by the US.  But the worst risk is the very nature of that war in Iran.  Iran is a Muslim country that has millions of trained combatants who are strongly motivated.

There are tens of millions of people who are under [military] orders,  they are being politically educated and trained, men and women alike.  There are millions of combatants trained and determined to die.  These are people who will not be intimidated and who cannot be forced to changing [their behavior]. On the other hand, there are the Afghans –they are being murdered by US drones –there are the Pakistanis, the Iraqis, who have seen one to two million compatriots die as a result of the antiterrorist war invented by Bush.  You cannot win a war against the Muslim world; that is sheer madness.  

Michel Chossudovsky:  But it’s true, their conventional forces are very large,  Iran can mobilize in a single day several million troops and they are on the border with Afghanistan and Iraq, and even if there is a blitzkrieg war, the US cannot avoid a conventional war that is waged very close to its military bases in that region.

Fidel Castro Ruz: But the fact is that the US would lose that conventional war. The problem is that nobody can win a conventional war against millions of people; they would not concentrate their forces in large numbers in a single location for the Americans to kill them.

Well, I was a guerrilla fighter and I recall that I had to think seriously about how to use the forces we had and I would never have made the mistake of concentrating those forces in a single location, because the more concentrated the forces, the greater the casualties caused by weapons of mass destruction….


From left to right: Michel Chossudovsky, Randy Alonso Falcon, Fidel Castro Ruz

Michel Chossudovsky: As you mentioned previously, a matter of utmost importance: China and Russia’s decision in the Security Council, their support of Resolution 1929, is in fact harmful to them because, first, Russia cannot export weapons, thus its main source of income is now frozen.  Iran was one of the main customers or buyers of Russian weapons, and that was an important source of hard currency earnings which supported Russia`s consumer goods economy thereby covering the needs of the population. 

And, on the other hand China requires access to sources of energy as you mentioned. The fact that China and Russia have accepted the consensus in the UN Security Council, is tantamount to saying: “We accept that you kill our economy and, in some ways, our commercial agreements with a third country”.  That’s very serious because it [the UNSC Resolution] not only does harm to Iran; is also harms those two countries, and I suppose –even though I am not a politician –that there must be tremendous divisions within the leadership, both in Russia and in China, for that to happen, for Russia to accept not to use its veto power in the Security Council.

I spoke with Russian journalists, who told me that there wasn’t exactly a consensus within the government per se; it was a guideline.  But there are people in the government with a different point of view regarding the interests of Russia and its stance in the UN Security Council.  How do you see this?

Fidel Castro Ruz: How do I see the general situation? The alternative in Iran –let me put it this way –the conventional war would be lost by the US and the nuclear war is not an alternative for anyone. 

On the other hand, nuclear war would inevitably become global.  Thus the danger in my opinion exists with the current situation in Iran, bearing in mind the reasons you are presenting and many other facts; which brings me to the conclusion that the war would end up being a nuclear war.


Filming of Fidel’s message on October 15. From left to right: Fidel Castro, TV crew, Michel Chossudovsky, Randy Alonso Falcon

Michel Chossudovsky: In other words, since the US and its allies are unable to win the conventional war, they are going to use nuclear weapons, but that too would be a war they couldn’t win, because we are going to lose everything.

Fidel Castro Ruz: Everyone would be losing that war; that would be a war that everyone would lose. What would Russia gain if a nuclear war were unleashed over there? What would China gain?  What kind of war would that be? How would the world react? What effect would it have on the world economy? You explained it at the university when you spoke about the centralized defence system designed by the Pentagon.  It sounds like science fiction; it doesn’t even remotely resemble the last world war.  The other thing which is also very important is the attempt [by the Pentagon] to transform nuclear weapons into conventional tactical weapons. 

Today, October 13th, I was reading about the same thing in a news dispatch stating that the citizens of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were drawing up strong protests about the fact that the US had just carried out subcritical nuclear tests.  They’re called subcritical, which means the use of the nuclear weapon without deploying all the energy that might be achieved with the critical mass. 

It reads:  “Indignation in Hiroshima and Nagasaki because of a United States nuclear test.”… 

 “The Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that suffered a nuclear attack at the end of WW II, deplored today the nuclear test carried out by the US on September last, called sub critical because it does not unleash chain nuclear reactions. 

“The test, the first of this kind in that country since 2006, took place on September 15th somewhere in Nevada, United States.  It was officially confirmed by the Department of Energy of that country, the Japan Times informed.”

What did that newspaper say? 

“I deeply deplore it because I was hoping that President Barack Obama would take on the leadership in eliminating nuclear weapons”, the governor of Nagasaki, Hodo Nakamura, stated today at a press conference.

A series of news items related to that follows. 

“The test has also caused several protests among the citizens of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, including several survivors of the atomic bombs attacks that devastated both cities in August of 1945.

“We cannot tolerate any action of the United States that betrays President Barack Obama’s promise of moving forward to a world without nuclear arms, said Yukio Yoshioka, the deputy director of the Council for the Victims of the Hiroshima Atomic Bomb.

“The government stated that it has no intention of protesting.”  It relegates the protest to a social level and then said: “With this, the number of subcritical nuclear tests made by the United States reaches the figure of 26, since July 1997 when the first of them took place.”

Now it says: 

“Washington considers that these tests do not violate the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) since they do not unleash any chain reactions, and therefore do not release any nuclear energy, and so they can be considered to be laboratory tests.”

The US says that it has to make these tests because they are necessary to maintain the “security of its nuclear arsenal”, which is the same as saying: since we have these great nuclear arsenals, we are doing this in order to ensure our security.  

Michel Chossudovsky:  Let us return to the issue of the threat against Iran, because you said that the US and its allies could not win a conventional war.  That is true; but nuclear weapons could be used as an alternative to conventional warfare, and this evidently is a threat against humanity, as you have emphasized in your writings. 

The reason for my concern is that after the Cold War the idea of nuclear weapons with a “humanitarian face” was developed, saying that those weapons were not really dangerous, that they do not harm civilians, and in some way the nuclear weapons label was changed.  Therefore, according to their criteria, [tactical] nuclear weapons are no different from conventional weapons, and now in the military manuals they say that tactical nuclear weapons are weapons that pose no harm to civilians. 

Therefore, we might have a situation in which those who decide to attack Iran with a nuclear weapon would not be aware of the consequences that this might have for the Middle East, central Asia, but also for humanity as a whole, because they are going to say: “Well, according to our criteria, these [tactical] nuclear weapons [safe for civilians] are different from those deployed during the Cold War and so, we can use them against Iran as a weapon which does not [affect civilians and] does not threaten global security.”  

How do you view that?  It’s extremely dangerous, because they themselves believe their own propaganda.  It is internal propaganda within the armed forces, within the political apparatus.

When tactical nuclear weapons were recategorized in 2002-2003, Senator Edward Kennedy said at that time that it was a way of blurring the boundary between conventional and nuclear weapons. 

But that’s where we are today; we are in an era where nuclear weapons are considered to be no different from the Kalashnikov. I’m exaggerating, but somehow nuclear weapons are now part of the tool box –that’s the word they use, “tool box” –and from there you choose the type of weapon you are going to use, so the nuclear weapon could be used in the conventional war theatre, leading us to the unthinkable, a nuclear war scenario on a regional level, but also with repercussions at the global level.

Fidel Castro Ruz: I heard what you said on the Round Table [Cuban TV] program about such weapons, presumably harmless to people living in the vicinity of the areas where they are to be targeted,  the power [explosive yield] could range from one-third of the one that was used in Hiroshima up to six times the power [explosive yield] of that weapon, and today we know perfectly well the terrible damage it causes.  One single bomb instantly killed 100,000 people.  Just imagine a bomb having six times the power of that one [Hiroshima bomb], or two times that power, or an equivalent power, or 30 per cent that power.  It is absurd. 

There is also what you explained at the university about the attempt to present it as a humanitarian weapon that could also be available to the troops in the theatre of operations.  So at any given moment any commander in the theatre of operations could be authorized to use that weapon as one that was more efficient than other weapons, something that would be considered his duty according to military doctrine and the training he/she received at the military academies.   

Michel Chossudovsky:  In that sense, I don’t think that this nuclear weapon would be used without the approval, let’s say, of the Pentagon, namely  its centralised command structures [e.g. Strategic Command]; but I do think that it could be used without the approval of the President of the United States and Commander in Chief.  In other words, it isn’t quite the same logic as that which prevailed during the Cold War where there was the Red Telephone and…

Fidel Castro Ruz: I understand, Professor, what you are saying regarding the use of that weapon as authorized by the senior levels of the Pentagon, and it seems right to me that you should make that clarification so that you won’t be blamed for exaggerating the dangers of that weapon.

But look, after one has learned about the antagonisms and arguments between the Pentagon and the President of the United States, there are really not too many doubts about what the Pentagon decision would be if the chief of the theatre of operations  requests to use that weapon because he feels it is necessary or indispensable. 

Michel Chossudovsky: There is also another element.  The deployment of tactical nuclear weapons now, as far as I know, is being undertaken by several European countries which belong to NATO.  This is the case of Belgium, Holland, Turkey, Italy and Germany.  Thus, there are plenty of these “little nuclear bombs” very close to the theatre of war, and on the other hand we also have Israel.

Now then, I don’t think that Israel is going to start a war on its own; that would be impossible in terms of strategy and decision-making.  In modern warfare, with the centralization of communications, logistics and everything else, starting a major war would be a centralized decision.  However, Israel might act if the US gives Israel the green light to launch the first attack.  That’s within the realm of possibilities, even though there are some analysts who now say that the war on Iran will start in Lebanon and Syria with a conventional border war, and then that would provide the pretext for an escalation in military operations.

Fidel Castro Ruz: Yesterday, October 13th, a crowd of people welcomed Ahmadinejad in Lebanon like a national hero of that country.  I was reading a cable about that this morning.

Besides, we also know about Israel’s concerns regarding that, given the fact that the Lebanese are people with a great fighting spirit who have three times the number of reactive missiles they had in the former conflict with Israel and Lebanon, which was a great concern for Israel because they need –as the Israeli technicians have asserted – the air force to confront that weapon.  And so, they state, they could only be attacking Iran for a number of hours, not three days, because they should be paying attention to such a danger.  That’s the reason why, from these viewpoints, every day that goes by they are more concerned, because those weapons are part of the Iranian arsenal of conventional weapons. For example, among their conventional weapons, they have hundreds of rocket launchers to fight surface warships in that area of the Caspian Sea.  We know that, from the time of the Falklands war, a surface warship can dodge one, two or three rockets.  But imagine how a large warship can protect itself against a shower of weapons of that kind.  Those are rapid vessels operated by well-trained people, because the Iranians have been training people for 30 years now and they have developed efficient conventional weapons. 

You yourself know that, and you know what happened during the last World War, before the emergence of nuclear weapons.  Fifty million people died as a result of the destructive power of conventional weaponry. 

A war today is not like the war that was waged in the nineteenth century, before the appearance of nuclear weapons.  And wars were already highly destructive.  Nuclear arms appeared at the very last minute, because Truman wanted to use them.  He wanted to test the Hiroshima bomb, creating the critical mass from uranium, and the other one in Nagasaki, which created a critical mass from plutonium.  The two bombs killed around 100,000 persons immediately.  We don’t know how many were wounded and affected by radiation, who died later on or suffered for long years from these effects. Besides, a nuclear war would create a nuclear winter. 

I am talking to you about the dangers of a war, considering  the immediate damage it might cause.  It would be enough if we only had a limited number of them, the amount of weapons owned by one of the least mighty [nuclear] powers, India or Pakistan.  Their explosion would be sufficient to create a nuclear winter from which no human being would survive.  That would be impossible, since it would last for 8 to 10 years.  In a matter of weeks the sunlight would no longer be visible.  

Mankind is less than 200,000 years old.  So far everything was normalcy.  The laws of nature were being fulfilled; the laws of life developed on planet Earth for more than 3 billion years.  Men, the Homo sapiens, the intelligent beings did not exist after 8 tenths of a million years had elapsed, according to all studies.  Two hundred years ago, everything was virtually unknown.  Today we know the laws governing the evolution of the species.  Scientists, theologians, even the most devout religious people who initially echoed the campaign launched by the great ecclesiastical institutions against the Darwinian Theory, today accept the laws of evolution as real, without it preventing their sincere practice of their religious beliefs where, quite often, people find comfort for their most heartfelt hardships.

I think nobody on Earth wishes the human species to disappear.  And that is the reason why I am of the opinion that what should disappear are not just nuclear weapons, but also conventional weapons.  We must provide a guarantee for peace to all peoples without distinction, to the Iranians as well as the Israelis.  Natural resources should be distributed.  They should!  I don’t mean they will, or that it would be easy to do it.  But there would be no other alternative for humanity, in a world of limited dimensions and resources, even if all the scientific potential to create renewable sources of energy is developed. We are almost 7 billion inhabitants, and so we need to implement a demographic policy.  We need many things, and when you put them all together and you ask yourself the following question:  will human beings be capable of understanding that and overcome all those difficulties? You realize that only enthusiasm can truly lead a person to say that he or she will confront and easily resolve a problem of such proportions. 

Michel Chossudovsky:  What you have just said is extremely important, when you spoke of Truman.  Truman said that Hiroshima was a military base and that there would be no harm to civilians.

This notion of collateral damage; reflects continuity in [America’s] nuclear doctrine ever since the year 1945 up until today.  That is, not at the level of reality but at the level of [military] doctrine and propaganda.  I mean, in 1945 it was said: Let’s save humanity by killing 100,000 people and deny the fact that Hiroshima was a populated city, namely that it was a military base.  But nowadays the falsehoods have become much more sophisticated, more widespread, and nuclear weapons are more advanced.  So, we are dealing with the future of humanity and the threat of a nuclear war at a global level. The lies and fiction underlying [US] political and military discourse would lead us to a Worldwide catastrophe in which politicians would be unable to make head or tails of their own lies.  

Then, you said that intelligent human beings have existed for 200,000 years, but that same intelligence, which has now been incorporated in various institutions, namely the media, the intelligence services, the United Nations, happens to be what is now going to destroy us.  Because we believe our own lies, which leads us towards nuclear war, without realizing that this would be the last war, as Einstein clearly stated. A nuclear war cannot ensure the continuation of humanity; it is a threat against the world. 

Fidel Castro Ruz: Those are very good words, Professor.  The collateral damage, in this case, could be humanity. 

War is a crime and there is no need for any new law to describe it as such, because since Nuremberg, war has already been considered a crime, the biggest crime against humanity and peace, and the most horrible of all crimes.

Michel Chossudovsky.-  The Nuremberg texts clearly state: “War is a criminal act, it is the ultimate act of war against peace.” This part of the Nuremberg texts is often quoted. After the Second World War, the Allies wanted to use it against the conquered, and I am not saying that this is not valid, but the crimes that they committed, including the crimes committed against Germany and Japan, are never mentioned.  With a nuclear weapon, in the case of Japan.

Michel Chossudovsky.-  It is an extremely important issue for me and if we are talking about a “counter-alliance for peace”, the criminalization of war seems to me to be a fundamental aspect. I’m talking about the abolition of war; it is a criminal act that must be eliminated.

Fidel Castro Ruz -  Well, who would judge the main criminals?

Michel Chossudovsky.- The problem is that they also control the judicial system and the courts, so the judges are criminals as well. What can we do?

Fidel Castro Ruz   I say that this is part of the Battle of Ideas.

It is about demanding that the world not be spearheaded into a nuclear catastrophe, it is to preserve life. 

We do not know, but we presume that if man becomes aware of his own existence, that of his people, that of his loved ones, even the U.S. military leaders would be aware of the outcome; although they are taught in life to follow orders, not infrequently genocide, as in the use of tactical or strategic nuclear weapons, because that is what they were taught in the [military] academies.     

As all of this is sheer madness, no politician is exempt from the duty of conveying these truths to the people. One must believe in them, otherwise there would be nothing to fight for.        

Michel Chossudovsky .- I think what you are saying is that at the present time, the great debate in human history should focus on the danger of nuclear war that threatens the future of humanity, and that any discussion we have about basic needs or economics requires that we prevent the occurrence of war and instate global peace so that we can then plan living standards worldwide based on basic needs;  but if we do not solve the problem of war, capitalism will not survive, right?          

Fidel Castro Ruz.- No, it cannot survive, in terms of all the analysis we’ve undertaken, it cannot survive. The capitalist system and the market economy that suffocate human life, are not going to disappear overnight, but imperialism based on force, nuclear weapons and conventional weapons with modern technology, has to disappear if we want humanity to survive.     

Now, there something occurring at this very moment which characterizes the Worldwide process of disinformation, and it is the following: In Chile 33 miners were trapped 700 meters underground, and the world is rejoicing at the news that 33 miners have been saved. Well, simply, what will the world do if it becomes aware that 6,877,596,300 people need to be saved, if 33 have created universal joy and all the mass media speak only of that these days, why not save the nearly 7 billion people trapped by the terrible danger of perishing in a horrible death like those of Hiroshima or Nagasaki?        

Michel Chossudovsky. -This is also, clearly, the issue of media coverage that is given to different events and the propaganda emanating from the media.

I think it was an incredible humanitarian operation that the Chileans undertook, but it is true that if there is a threat to humanity,  as you mentioned, it  should be on the front page of every newspaper in the world because human society in its totality could be the victim of a decision that has been made, even by a three-star general who is unaware of the consequences [of nuclear weapons].  

But here we are talking about how the media, particularly in the West, are hiding the most serious issue that potentially affects the world today, which is the danger of nuclear war and we must take it seriously, because both Hillary Clinton and Obama have said that they have contemplated using nuclear weapon in a so-called preventive war against Iran.

Well, how do we answer? What do you say to Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama regarding their statements pertaining to the unilateral use of nuclear weapons against Iran, a country that poses no danger to anyone?      

Fidel Castro Ruz.- Yes, I know two things: What was discussed. This has been revealed recently, namely far-reaching arguments within the Security Council of the United States.  That is the value of the book written by Bob Woodward, because it revealed how all these discussions occurred. We know the positions of Biden, Hillary, Obama, and indeed in those discussions, who was firmer against the extension of the war, who was able to argue with the military, it was Obama, that is a fact.

I am writing the latest reflection, actually, about that. The only one who got there, and gave him advice, who had been an opponent because of his Republican Party membership, was Colin Powell. He reminded him that he was the President of the United States, encouraging advice.         

I think we should ensure that this message reaches everybody; what we have discussed. I think many read the articles you have published in Global Research.  I think we need to disclose, and to the extent that we have these discussions and harbor the idea of disclosure. I am delighted every time you argue, reasonably, and put forth these issues, simply, in my opinion, there is a real deficit of information for the reasons you explained.        

Now, we must invent. What are the ways to make all this known? At the time of the Twelve Apostles, there were 12 and no more, and they were given the task of disseminating the teachings a preacher transmitted to them. Sure, they had hundreds of years ahead of them. We, however, we do not have that. But I was looking at the list of personalities, and there are more than 20 prominent people who have been working with Global Research, prestigious people, asking the same questions, but they do not have hundreds of years, but, well, very little time.       

Michel Chossudovsky. –  The antiwar movement in the United States, Canada and Europe is divided. Some people think the threat comes from Iran, others say they [the Iranians] are terrorists, and there is a lot of disinformation in the movement itself.          

Besides, at the World Social Forum the issue of nuclear war is not part of the debate between people of the Left or progressives. During the Cold War there was talk of the danger of nuclear conflict, and people had this awareness.

At the last meeting held in New York on non-proliferation, under the United Nations, the emphasis was on the nuclear threat from non-state entities, from terrorists. 

President Obama said that the threat comes from Al Qaeda, which has nuclear weapons.  Also, if someone reads Obama’s speeches he is suggesting that the terrorists have the ability of producing small nuclear bombs, what they call “dirty bombs”. Well, it’s a way of [distorting the issues] and shifting the emphasis.         

Fidel Castro Ruz. - That is what they tell him [Obama], that is what his own people tell him and have him believe. 

Look, what do I do with the reflections? They are distributed in the United Nations, they are sent to all governments, the reflections, of course, are short, to send them to all the governments, and I know there are many people who read them. The problem is whether you are telling the truth or not. Of course, when one collects all this information in relation to a particular problem because the reflections are also diluted on many issues, but I think you have to concentrate on our part, the disclosure of essentials, I cannot cover everything.         

Michel Chossudovsky. – I have a question, because there is an important aspect related to the Cuban Revolution. In my opinion, the debate on the future of humanity is also part of a revolutionary discourse.  If society as a whole were to be threatened by nuclear war, it is necessary in some form, to have a revolution at the levels of ideas as well as actions against this event, [namely nuclear war]. 

Fidel Castro Ruz .- We have to say, I repeat,  that humanity is trapped 800 meters underground and that we must get it out, we need to do a rescue operation. That is the message we must convey to a large number of people. If  people in large numbers believe in that message, they will do what you are doing and they will support what you are supporting. It will no longer depend on who are those who say it, but on the fact that somebody [and eventually everybody] says it. 

You have to figure out how you can reach the informed masses. The solution is not the newspapers. There is the Internet, Internet is cheaper, Internet is more accessible. I approached you through the Internet looking for news, not through news agencies, not through the press, not from CNN, but news through a newsletter I receive daily articles on the Internet . Over 100 pages each day. 

Yesterday you were arguing that in the United States some time ago two thirds of public opinion was against the war on Iran, and today, fifty-some percent favored military action against Iran.

Michel Chossudovsky .- What happened, even in recent months, it was said: “Yes, nuclear war is very dangerous, it is a threat, but the threat comes from Iran,” and there were signs in New York City  saying: “ Say no to nuclear Iran, “and the message of these posters was to present Iran as a threat to global security, even if the threat did not exist because they do not have nuclear weapons. 

Anyway, that’s the situation, and The New York Times earlier this week published a text that says, yes, political assassinations are legal. 

Then, when we have a press that gives us things like that, with the distribution that they have, it is a lot of work [on our part]. We have limited capabilities to reverse this process [of media disinformation] within the limited distribution outlets of the alternative media. In addition to that, now many of these alternative media are financed by the economic establishment.            

Fidel Castro Ruz.- And yet we have to fight.          

Michel Chossudovsky .- Yes, we keep struggling, but the message was what you said yesterday. That in the case of a nuclear war, the collateral damage would be humanity as a whole. 

Fidel Castro Ruz.- It would be humanity, the life of humanity. 

Michel Chossudovsky.-   It is true that the Internet should continue to function as an outreach tool to avoid the war. 

Fidel Castro Ruz.- Well, it’s the only way we can prevent it. If we were to create world opinion, it’s like the example I mentioned: there are nearly 7 billion people trapped 800 meters underground, we use the phenomenon of Chile to disclose these things.          

Michel Chossudovsky .- The comparison you make with the rescue of 33 miners, saying that there are 33 miners below ground there to be rescued, which received extensive media coverage, and you say that we have almost 7 billion people that are  800 meters underground and do not understand what is happening, but we have to rescue them, because humanity as a whole is threatened by the nuclear weapons of the United States and its allies, because they are the ones who say they intend to use them.        

Fidel Castro Ruz.- And will use them [the nuclear weapons] if there is no opposition, if there is no resistance. They are deceived; they are drugged with military superiority and modern technology and do not know what they are doing.      

They do not understand the consequences; they believe that the prevailed situation can be maintained. It is impossible.      

Michel Chossudovsky. – Or they believe that this is simply some sort of conventional weapon.           

Fidel Castro Ruz. – Yes, they are deluded and believe that you can still use that weapon. They believe they are in another era, they do not remember what Einstein said when he stated he did not know with what weapons World War III would be fought with, but the World War IV would be fought with sticks and stones. I added there: “… there wouldn’t be anyone to handle the sticks and stones.” That is the reality; I have it written there in the short speech you suggested I develop.          

Michel Chossudovsky .- The problem I see is that the use of nuclear weapons will not necessarily lead to the end of humankind from one day to the next, because the radioactive impact is cumulative.           

Fidel Castro Ruz. - Repeat that, please.          

Michel Chossudovsky. – The nuclear weapon has several different consequences: one is the explosion and destruction in the theater of war, which is the phenomenon of Hiroshima, and the other are the impacts of radiation which increases over time.           

Fidel Castro Ruz.- Yes, nuclear winter, as we call it. The prestigious American researcher, University of Rutgers (New Jersey) Professor Emeritus Alan Robock irrefutably showed that the outbreak of a war between two of the eight nuclear powers who possess the least amount of weapons of this kind would result in “nuclear winter”.

He disclosed that at the fore of a group of researchers who used ultra-scientific computer models.

It would be enough to have 100 strategic nuclear weapons of the 25,000 possessed by the eight powers mentioned exploding in order to create temperatures below freezing all over the planet and a long night that would last approximately eight years.  Professor Robock exclaims that it is so terrible that people are falling into a “state of denial”, not wanting to think about it; it is easier to pretend that it doesn’t exist”.  He told me that personally, at an international conference he was giving, where I had the honor of conversing with him.

Well, but I start from an assumption: If a war breaks out in Iran, it will inevitably become nuclear war and a global war. So that’s why yesterday we were saying it was not right to allow such an agreement in the Security Council, because it makes everything easier, do you see?

Such a war in Iran today would not remain confined to the local level, because the Iranians would not give in to use of force. If it remained conventional, it would be a war the United States and Europe could not win, and I argue that it would rapidly turn into a nuclear war. If the United States were to make the mistake of using tactical nuclear weapons, there would be consternation throughout the world and the US would eventually lose control of the situation.    

Obama has had a heated discussion with the Pentagon about what to do in Afghanistan; imagine Obama’s situation with American and Israeli soldiers fighting against millions of Iranians. The Saudis are not going to fight in Iran, nor are the Pakistanis or any other Arab or Muslim soldiers. What could happen is that the Yanks have serious conflicts with the Pakistani tribes which they are attacking and killing with their drones,  and they know that. When you strike a blow against those tribes, first attacking and then warning the government, not saying anything beforehand;  that is one of the things that irritates the Pakistanis. There is a strong anti-American feeling there.

It’s a mistake to think that the Iranians would give up if they used tactical nuclear weapons against them, and the world really would be shocked, but then it may be too late.  

Michel Chossudovsky .- They cannot win a conventional war.          

Fidel Castro Ruz .- They cannot win.        

Michel Chossudovsky. – And that we can see in Iraq; in Afghanistan they can destroy an entire country, but they cannot win from a military standpoint.          

Fidel Castro Ruz. - But to destroy it [a country] at what price, at what cost to the world, at what economic costs, in the march towards catastrophe? The problems you mentioned are compounded, the American people would react, because the American people are often slow to react, but they react in the end. The American people react to casualties, the dead.

A lot of people supported the Nixon administration during the war in Vietnam, he even suggested the use of nuclear weapons in that country to Kissinger, but he dissuaded him from taking that criminal step. The United States was obliged by the American people to end the war; it had to negotiate and had to hand over the south. Iran would have to give up the oil in the area. In Vietnam what did they hand over? An expense. Ultimately, they are now back in Vietnam, buying oil, trading. In Iran they would lose many lives, and perhaps a large part of the oil facilities in the area would be destroyed. 

In the present situation, is likely they would not understand our message. If war breaks out, my opinion is that they, and the world, would gain nothing. If it were solely a conventional war, which is very unlikely, they would lose irretrievably, and if it becomes a global nuclear war, humanity would lose.

Michel Chossudovsky.- Iran has conventional forces that are …significant.

Fidel Castro Ruz.-   Millions.

Michel Chossudovsky.-  Land forces, but also rockets and also Iran has the ability to defend itself.

 Fidel Castro Ruz.-   While there remains one single man with a gun, this is an enemy they will have to defeat.

Michel Chossudovsky.-  And there are several millions with guns.

 Fidel Castro Ruz.-   Millions, and they will have to sacrifice many American lives, unfortunately it would be only then that Americans would react, if they don’t react now they will react later when it will be too late; we must write, we must divulge this as much as we can.   Remember that the Christians were persecuted, they led them off to the catacombs, they killed them, they threw them to the lions, but they held on to their beliefs for centuries and later that was what they did to the Moslems, and the Moslems never yielded.

There is a real war against the Moslem world.  Why are those lessons of history being forgotten?  I have read many of the articles you wrote about the risks of that war.

Michel Chossudovsky.-  Let us return to the matter of Iran.  I believe that it is very important that world opinion comprehends the war scenario.  You clearly state that they would lose the war, the conventional war, they are losing it in Iraq and Afghanistan, Iran has more conventional forces than those of NATO in Afghanistan.

 Fidel Castro Ruz.-   Much more experienced and motivated.  They are now in conflict with those forces in Afghanistan and Iraq and one they don’t mention: the Pakistanis of the same ethnic group as those in the resistance in Afghanistan. In White House discussions,  they consider that the war is lost, that’s what the book by Bob Woodward entitled “Obama’s Wars” tells us.  Imagine the  situation if in addition to that, they append a war to liquidate whatever remains after the initial blows they inflict on Iran.  

So they will be thrust into a conventional war situation that they cannot win, or they will be obliged to wage a global nuclear war, under conditions of a worldwide upheaval.  And I don’t know who can justify the type of war they have to wage; they have 450 targets marked out in Iran, and of these some, according to them, will have to be attacked with tactical nuclear warheads because of their location in mountainous areas and at the depth at which they are situated [underground].  Many Russian personnel and persons from other nationalities collaborating with them will die in that confrontation.      

What will be the reaction of world opinion in the face of that blow which today is being irresponsibly promoted by the media with the backing of many Americans?

Michel Chossudovsky.-  One issue, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, they are all neighbouring countries in a certain way.  Iran shares borders with Afghanistan and with Iraq, and the United States and NATO have military facilities in the countries they occupy.  What’s going to happen? I suppose that the Iranian troops are immediately going to cross the border.

Fidel Castro Ruz.-   Well, I don’t know what tactic they’re going to use, but if one were in their place, the most advisable is to not concentrate their troops, because if the troops are concentrated they will be victims of the attack with tactical nuclear weapons. In other words, in accordance with the nature of the threat as it is being described, the best thing would be for them to use a tactic similar to ours in southern Angola when we suspected that South Africa had nuclear weapons; we created tactical groups of 1000 men with land and anti-air fire power.  Nuclear weapons could never within their reach target a large number of soldiers. Anti-air rocketry and other similar weapons was supporting our forces.  Weapons and the conditions of the terrain change and tactics must continuously change.

Michel Chossudovsky.-  Dispersed.

Fidel Castro Ruz.-   Dispersed, but not isolated men, there were around 1000 men with appropriate weapons, the terrain was sandy, wherever they got to they had to dig in and protect themselves underground, always keeping the maximum distance between components.  The enemy was never given an opportunity to aim a decisive blow against the 60,000 Cuban and Angolan soldiers in southern Angola.

What we did in that sister country is what, a thousand strong army, operating with traditional criteria, would have done.  Fine, we were not 100 000, in southern Angola there were 60,000 men, Cubans and Angolans; due to technical requirements the tactical groups were mainly made up of Cubans because they handled tanks, rockets, anti-aircraft guns, communications, but the infantry was made up of Cuban and Angolan soldiers, with great fighting spirit, who didn’t hesitate one second in confronting the white Apartheid army supported by the United States and Israel.  Who handled the numerous nuclear weapons that they had at that moment?

In the case of Iran,   we are getting news that they are digging into the ground, and when they are asked about it, they say that they are making cemeteries to bury the invaders. I don’t know if this is meant to be ironic, but I think that one would really have to dig quite a lot to protect their forces from the attack which is threatening them. 

Michel Chossudovsky.-  Sure, but Iran has the possibility of mobilizing millions of troops.

Fidel Castro Ruz.-   Not just troops, but the command posts are also decisive.  In my opinion, dispersion is very important.  The attackers will try to prevent the transmission of orders.  Every combat unit must know beforehand what they have to do under different  circumstances.  The attacker will try to strike and destabilize the chain of command with its radio-electronic weapons.  All those factors must be kept in mind.  Mankind has never experienced a similar predicament.  

Anyway,  Afghanistan is “a joke” and Iraq, too, when you compare them with what they are going to bump into in Iran: the weaponry, the training, the mentality, the kind of soldier…  If 31 years ago, Iranian combatants cleaned the mine fields by advancing over them, they will undoubtedly be the most fearsome adversaries that the United States has ever come across.   

  

Our thanks and appreciation to Cuba Debate for the transcription as well as the translation from Spanish.  

Fidel’s Message on the Dangers of Nuclear War

Recorded on the last day of the Conversations, October 15, 2010

TRANSCRIPT

The use of nuclear weapons in a new war would mean the end of humanity. This was candidly foreseen by scientist Albert Einstein who was able to measure their destructive capability to generate millions of degrees of heat, which would vaporize everything within a wide radius of action. This brilliant researcher had promoted the development of this weapon so that it would not become available to the genocidal Nazi regime.

Each and every government in the world has the obligation to respect the right to life of each and every nation and of the totality of all the peoples on the planet.

Today there is an imminent risk of war with the use of that kind of weapon and I don’t harbour the least doubt that an attack by the United States and Israel against the Islamic Republic of Iran would inevitably evolve towards a global nuclear conflict.

The World’s peoples have an obligation to demand of their political leaders their Right to Live. When the life of humankind, of your people and your most beloved human beings run such a risk, nobody can afford to be indifferent; not one minute can be lost in demanding respect for that right; tomorrow will be too late.

Albert Einstein himself stated unmistakably: “I do not know with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones”. We fully comprehend what he wanted to convey, and he was absolutely right, yet in the wake of a global nuclear war, there wouldn’t be anybody around to make use of those sticks and stones.

There would be “collateral damage”, as the American political and military leaders always affirm, to justify the deaths of innocent people.

In a nuclear war the “collateral damage” would be the life of all humanity.

Let us have the courage to proclaim that all nuclear or conventional weapons, everything that is used to make war, must disappear!

Fidel Castro Ruz

October 15, 2010

Lost and Stolen Liberty for Police State Security

May 9th, 2014 by Joachim Hagopian

Based on the May 2014 Supreme Court’s non-action regarding the 2012 NDAA law that allows the US military to come into our homes and arrest us and then throw away the key forever without any legal rights, I had to write the following article.

General Eisenhower as Commander-in-Chief knew better than anyone the ominous threat and fatal danger posed by a growing arms industry wedded to war makers and how its tyranny could destroy American democracy and liberty. Unfortunately his grave warning in his presidential farewell address in January 1961 went unheeded. And now as a result in this post 9/11 era, we face the monster that is now destroying America and our way of life, simultaneously taking seven billion of us on this planet hostage by making the entire world more armed and dangerous than any prior time in human history.

Meanwhile, since the 9/11 prearranged attacks, the Patriot Act and the prearranged Iraq and Afghanistan War debacles, American citizens have had their constitutional rights to privacy and due process totally stripped from them. Ever since the Authorization for Use of Military Force Act (AUMFA) voted in and signed by Bush within a week after the twin towers were pulled a little more than a dozen years ago, America’s president, regardless of party, has assumed God-like power to decide who the enemy is and destroy them through any means necessary. And now with this week’s Supreme Court decision, it’s official – if anyone important in the government now desires you behind bars, all they need do is label you an enemy sympathizer and all your rights to legal representation, due process protection, contact with family are now completely nonexistent.

After passage of Obama’s 2012’s the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), courageous author-journalist Chris Hedges and others representing all US citizens mounted a legal countersuit challenging the 2012 NDAA. A bold decision of one district court judge ruled in favor but was later overturned by an appeals court judge deferring the matter to America’s highest court the US Supreme Court. In a landmark decision that has nightmarish implications, earlier this week the Supreme Court elected to not even bother hearing the case, which in effect renders Hedges et al’s countersuit dead in the water, giving full power of the NDAA to authorize the misuse of the American military to legally break into our homes without a search warrant and arrest us, effectively eliminating our sixth amendment right to a speedy trial.

Now if you are suspected of being a terrorist or even a sympathizer, without any legal judge or warrant or charge, you can be arrested and not even notified of why you are arrested. As long as the US government’s open-ended “war on terror” (itself a convenient fascist fabrication) continues, you can be locked up forever. In this disturbing climate of increasing security surveillance and extreme punitive and oppressive control, the military’s role domestically at home insidiously expands to ensure total fulfillment of a fascist Orwellian police state.

A closer examination of US history sheds light on this dark cast that has been in the making for some time. Going back to the Second World War, purely out of racism and paranoia, President FDR in 1942 signed an Executive Order 9066 rounding up 120,000 Japanese Americans and placed them in forced labor camps for the next two and a half years for the duration of the war. Shortly after World War II, the Cold War produced the Red scare of McCarthyism that harassed and ruined the lives of many innocent Americans falsely accused of being Communist or Communist sympathizers.

Under the misguided bigoted leadership of J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI and US government have had a long history of illegally compiling government watch lists and targeting selected groups of the American population deemed a threat or danger to political status quo. Hence, Martin Luther King and his Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the Black Panthers, the American Indian Movement, and the Vietnam War protesters all became victims of the FBI’s surveillance and harassment campaign during the 1960’s and 1970’s. Selected Black Panthers in various cities as well as Native Americans at Wounded Knee were even assassinated in racist FBI raids and assaults. The FBI lied claiming that its counterintelligence operations were suspended by 1971 when actually government surveillance continued on indefinitely. In 1979 the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) came along as a national recovery plan set up in response to natural disasters to ensure that political and social order be restored.

In 1993 when agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) raided the Branch Davidian Compound in Waco, Texas, it quickly spun out of control. So under the direction of President Clinton and Attorney General Janet Reno, the FBI and US Army were called in to take over, mounting a 51-day siege. Under the Posse Comitatus Law that originatedin 1878 during post-Civil War Reconstruction and then updated in 1982, the US military role in incidents of domestic civil unrest is unlawful where state National Guard and civilian law enforcement have clear jurisdiction. But the FBI held press conferences repeatedly making false claims that the FBI was in charge of the operation. But in reality, a half dozen years before committing his war crimes over Kosovo, General Wesley Clark commanded the military operation that resulted in at least 82 deaths of family members, dozens of whom were women and children belonging to the religious cult. Yet the federal law at Waco was blatantly violated and covered up.

It was later confirmed that the initial BATF unit that raided the compound had just been given prior military training at the Army’s Home of the Armor branch, Fort Hood, and utilized two M1A1 tanks, one tank retrieval vehicle, nine Bradley fighting vehicles, and five combat engineering vehicles all operated by borrowed Fort Hood Active Duty Army personnel. Because original search warrants included suspicion of drugs, the BATF was authorized to receive Army training and equipment despite no drugs ever being found at the compound. However, with military involved in the attack, a federal law was definitely once again broken and many innocent Americans were needlessly murdered.

After the Oklahoma City bombings two years later, the FBI and federal government stepped up its surveillance toward potential homegrown terrorism. With use of corporate media, the public was barraged by hype of increasing danger from domestic terrorists like the Unabomber. Thus, numerous organizations on watch lists began being targeted for systematic harassment. Any citizens who were publicly promoting gun rights, property rights, constitutional rights, home schooling or religious groups labeled as cults all became prime suspects that were under highest priority surveillance and increasingly harassed throughout the 1990’s right into this century.

In 1999 the World Trade Organization (WTO) meetings in Seattle attracted 50 to 100,000 anti-globalization protesters from all over the world. Police brutality was rampant, multiple arrests were unlawfully made and many of the victims whose rights were violated were detained at a nearby Navy installation center, again a violation of both free speech and the Posse Comitatus law. These protests spawned the government’s first use of so called “free speech zones” designated far away from WTO activities, in effect cordoning off and limiting free speech dissidents from gathering where they can be seen and heard. Corporate media was overtly absent from the event, but then any coverage finally given was slanted and biased against the demonstrators. Independent media did ensure that evidence of unlawful abuse damning to law enforcement was documented, leading to the Seattle police chief’s resignation.

Those same restrictive, brutally oppressive tactics were also deployed against protesters in Denver in 2008 at the Democratic National Convention and more recently used to crush the Occupy Wall Street uprising in cities across the nation. The civil disobedience movement represents the growing awareness and unrest building amongst Americans that today’s extreme economic and social injustice must be challenged by us 99% have-nots.

Last year’s aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings was but a convenient preparatory practice drill for US martial law in the modern militarized US police state, a mere litmus seeing of how US citizens would react.

Of course ever since 9/11 under the Bush-Cheney neocons, the Patriot Act ushered in an era of over-the-top abuse with unconstitutional practices violating free speech, privacy and due process rights, many of which were secretly signed into law by presidential executive order. In 2002 Bush created a whole bureaucratic extension of the military industrial complex when he announced the formation of the Department of Homeland Security. The secrecy and lack of accountability of funding such a cumbersome unbridled entity that overlaps and duplicates both functions and agencies of both the State and Defense Departments have allowed enormous runaway federal expenditures again at taxpayer expense and burden.

In 2003 Bush placed FEMA under Homeland Security. Then in 2005 Hurricane Katrina struck, and the Posse Comitatus law again was violated when soldiers straight from the battlefields of Iraq were deployed to the designated urban war zone known as New Orleans. FEMA’s total lack of response many days after the flooding provided the overwhelming evidence that Bush’s mobilizing the military in a militarized police state took precedence over rescue efforts to save hurricane victims that were primarily the poor and black left behind in the most defenseless areas of the city. As a result, war criminal Bush has 1464 dead Americans on his bloody hands from that fiasco alone.

In that same year 2005 the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC) was opened. MIAC was a fusion center that was 28% funded by Homeland Security to work with local and state intelligence agencies to sniff out terrorists. A MIAC report entitled “The Modern Militia Movement” was leaked to WikiLeaks exposing the illegal profiling of individuals driving cars with “Ron Paul for President” bumper stickers as tied to militia groups. The same month it was discovered this kind of homegrown fascism was quietly suspended and shut down in 2009, four years after it began. But many state fusion centers across the nation still remain open. As extensions of Homeland Security, they illustrate the covert nature of such far reaching entanglement as flagrant first amendment violations due to the over-arching abusive and monolithic security agency.

William M. Arkin, author of “American Coup: How a Terrified Government Is Destroying the Constitution,” states that this self-serving monster of a governmental entity has grown exponentially in the ten years it has existed to involving a colossal 33% of the total adult American population between ages 20-64. The Department of Homeland Security counts as “part of the regimented conglomeration of troops, government workers, first-responders, private-sector enlistees and civilian volunteers.” This level of intrusive, secret spying and informing on your neighbor smacks of Nazi Germany. Its abuse of power is massive and blatant, not to mention sinfully wasteful.

In October 2006 Bush signed the Military Commissions Act into law that if even as an American citizen you are deemed an enemy of the state by the government, your right to habeas corpus, or right to defend yourself in a court of civil law, is forfeited and replaced by military tribunal. The right to habeas corpus is the oldest human right in the English speaking world regarded to be among the most important parts of the 1215 Magna Carta. One by one, under the boldface lie of security, Bush was effectively killing our liberties and rights guaranteed under the US Constitution. Fortunately in 2008 the US Supreme Court found this law unconstitutional, restoring the writ of habeas corpus and access to federal courts to any detainee, American citizen as well as foreign. 
 
Army Regulation 210-35 drafted in 1997 and then reformulated on Bush’s watch in 2007 provides military installations with a civilian inmate labor program as well as prison camps on military grounds. In 2006 Kellogg, Brown and Root (or now known as KBR, formerly a subsidiary of Halliburton and the largest non-union construction company in America) signed a lucrative $385 million dollar contract with Homeland Security to refurbish old military posts into civilian prison camps. The government holds the not-so- secret plan to fill up these military prisons with American citizens.

Despite all these too obvious ties to the Bush administration with sitting Vice President Cheney Halliburton’s ex-CEO and their flaunting record of no bid contracts, corruption and cronyism during the Bush years quietly went unchallenged both legally and in the media. Meanwhile, KBR has had numerous lawsuits of women allegedly gang raped while working in Iraq as well as charges of exploiting human trafficking victims for cheap slave labor.

As a generously paid consultant of the Carlyle Group, GW’s dad had just cemented a huge defense contract. So where does junior decide to visit? A Carlyle owned company fresh off his photo ops session on an aircraft carrier where he infamously and prematurely declared false victory in Iraq, stopping off for yet another photo op to celebrate his family making millions more in another shady deal engineered by daddy Bush. Yet not one media outlet bothered to connect these all too obvious shameless dots. Bush and Cheney’s unprecedented level of in-our-face corruption was so out in the open, complete with those cocky, smug twisted smiles of pure evil personified, knowing with certainty there would be no repercussions or consequences for being such blatant war criminals or for being the most crooked presidency in American history. Money and Israeli-Saudi bin Laden connections simply buy impunity.

With the ultimate betrayal of the demonically executed inside job of 9/11, the Bush-Cheney regime set into monstrous motion what dictator Obama has only accelerated, an unholy globalized merger between US Empire bullied national governments and Fortune 500 transnational corporations along with un-repayable IMF and World Bank loans, all serve the controlling shareholder interests of one-one hundredth of one per cent of the total world population that owns and controls virtually everything on our entire planet. This most obscene and perverse abomination is what humanity has tragically devolved and degenerated into on a global power structure scale. A corrupt and sinister caldron of unprecedented epic proportions presently forecasts only doom and gloom for an ailing planet earth and all its inhabitants.

Operation Garden Plot is a military plan developed in response to the civil unrest in the 1960’s. Its 253 pages represent the established protocol the US Army and National Guard have in place for responding to any major domestic civil disturbances within the United States. The plan is now under the control of the US Northern Command (NORTHCOM), providing federal military and law enforcement assistance to local governments during times of major civil unrest and crises.

For those who still dismiss all these in-our-face warning signs of how the US government has plans to lock up Americans who disagree with its unconstitutional practices and policies, declaring dissidents enemy sympathizers, as just more hocus pocus conspiracy theory gone mad, citizens need only check out the Department of Defense (DoD) document released in February 2010 entitled “Internment and Resettlement Operations” or FM-3-39.40. This document shows that with Obama in power, it predates the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act that Obama signed authorizing without warrants the military to be able to round up, arrest and detain US citizens for an indefinite period of time, denying all access to legal representation and constitutional rights. This same Obama signed law nullifies the previous Comitatus Law protecting Americans by prohibiting US military from arresting US citizens. And now that the US Supreme Court this week has opted not to even examine much less challenge the 2012 NDAA, USA tyranny is officially here to stay.

The 325 page document called FM-3-39.40 acts as undeniable evidence that in fact our government’s sinister agenda is very real, outlining in very specific detail how the DoD, FEMA, Homeland Security, and the United Nations together will be operating the military detention camps within US borders and beyond, targeting American political dissidents and citizens of the world for detainment. Psychological Operations Officers will be responsible for developing and executing indoctrination programs to reduce and remove antagonistic attitudes as well as identifying political activists. It calls for conditions that justify use of lethal force, in effect killing anyone caught trying to escape. This in itself proves detainees are not there for benign humanitarian disaster relief purposes.

Page 260 of this document covers the physical layout of these detainment camps that include interrogation areas, military tribunal areas and mortuaries. Mortuaries indicate that human deaths are part of the facility’s function that will house up to 4000 detainees. Clearly dissidents who oppose the tyranny of our government will be rounded up and imprisoned in these resettlement camps. Tactics utilized at these camps may well involve torture techniques similar to those currently used on foreign detainees at infamous Guantanamo Bay or Abu Ghraib prisons. Another page describes civilian resettlement facilities housing 8000 people that include many rows of barbed wire fence areas within the camp as well as around the camp perimeter along with fourteen guard towers. This proves that any American citizen who dares to speak out and resists our government’s tyranny as a dissident will be locked up and incarcerated.

And with extreme surveillance and names being added daily on dissident watch lists, the government has been preparing and is ready to execute this demonic plan that to most Americans is just too unimaginable and unreal. But unfortunately this document proves that imprisonment of American dissidents in America is very real, signed by Joyce E. Morrow, Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Army John McHugh.

Just as telling and alarming as civilian labor and resettlement camps on military installations might be, the fact is since 2009 the US Army actually has want ads out with the title for those military personnel who will be employed as prison guards at these military internment camps. The Army is currently advertising unlimited openings for “Internment Resettlement Specialists,” complete with a full training program preparing these soldiers to become armed prison guards at all the labor camps. The US prison industrial complex and Homeland Security complex right along with the military industrial complex are all growing exponentially gluttonous and ever more dangerous. The most shuddering, chilling thought is that our very taxpayer dollars we are now toiling away so hard to earn may inadvertently be funding the very same prisons where we end up incarcerated.

As if the civilian inmate camps manned by military Internment Resettlement Specialists is not shocking enough, a bill that died in committee in 2009 as of January 2013 was back in the House of Representatives, the National Emergency Centers Establishment Act (H.R. Bill 390). It proposed that six more massive emergency centers capable of holding thousands of people and families be built on military installations in America for “temporary housing under emergency situations.” What constitutes emergency situations? President Obama and the Director of Homeland Security will dictate those parameters.

Concerned skeptics of this massive proliferation and privatization of detainment centers across the country believe it is another ominous sign that proves what our government is expecting and planning for us. Multimillion dollar prisons for profit are not built to remain empty. So reasons why any particular group of American citizens risk being rounded up like the Americans who happened to be Japanese during World War II is a growing worry amongst those who see their once cherished liberty, rights and freedom being rapidly replaced by a tyrannical militarized police state. America is simply one false flag or natural disaster away from martial law and FEMA concentration camp roundups.

In this era of pervasive invasion of privacy, internet and drone surveillance and increasing dissident watch lists, it is not a paranoid stretch to speculate who will be the first group to be rounded up. To curb and/or eliminate any civil disobedient protest, unrest, riot and looting in the streets, angry, potentially armed citizens determined to take back their country, any persons caught outside their homes disobeying martial law curfew, the nation’s debtors, the chronically unemployed, anyone who looks like an illegal alien or “suspicious” at all, including anyone unwilling to go along with the government’s fascist agenda, all will most likely become targeted victims. Any and all of these reasons will meet the criteria our government sees fit to lock up American citizens. The scenarios are really endless as to who will be selected to end up detained indefinitely at one of these foreboding concentration camps.

Ironically as a cadet I stopped the unconstitutional practice at West Point that had been going on for nearly two centuries of railroading out any cadets at the academy deemed unfit, “suspicious” or unruly. Operating above the law meant that higher ranking officers possessed the right to arbitrarily run up demerits on false charges if they so much as did not like you and there was nothing a cadet could do about it for 170 years… until 1972 when I won in New York federal district court, forcibly ringing in the constitutional right to due process at this most honored service academy.

Now the same thing applies to all citizens in America. If someone higher up in the government happens to not like you, they now possess that same unconstitutional God-like power to round you up, throw you in prison and there is nothing you can do about it, since legal access when labeled an “enemy sympathizer” or even “political dissident” no longer exists. But instead of false charges in demerits, as a dissident it has now become false charges branding you an enemy sympathizer simply because you do not agree with the tyranny and fascism growing all around us. Just as I was vocally critical of an inhumane, unjust, totalitarian West Point system as a dissident, and without due process paid the price of being terminated from the Academy, with today’s stakes of no due process so much higher for all of US citizens, as dissidents our very lives can now be terminated.

Short of assassination for being a dissident, the government at the very least can indefinitely throw you in one of these prison camps where you no longer have any legal access to due process. Many of us aware of what has been unfolding fear that the government will next conveniently manufacture a national crisis in order to justify a population round-up, using typical propaganda ploys to demonstrate how Big Brother acts in our best interest to keep us safe, help take care of the poor, needy and most vulnerable among us during national emergencies and times of international crises.

By his repeated actions, in the name of security President Obama has declared war on anyone courageous enough to tell the truth about his administration’s misuse of power. The obvious question becomes whose security? Certainly not ours the public. If you dare disagree or speak out against this tyranny, you risk your life and freedom. Everything currently in America is inversely juxtaposed from the way it morally should be. Look at former Nobel Peace Prize nominee Private Bradley Manning’s fate – thirty five years in prison for exposing America’s war crimes against humanity in Iraq and Afghanistan. Prior to Russia granting him asylum, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden was a fugitive on the run charged with violating the Espionage Act for disclosing how Big Brother and NSA are violating our privacy as never before.

More individuals under Obama have been indicted on espionage act violations than all previous presidents combined in US history! Labeled criminals by the true criminals in our government, these valiant whistleblowers are being excessively punished for their bravery, honesty and true patriotism. Exposed and on the defensive, Obama and company are out to hang them in a ruthless effort to set an example of what happens to those brave enough souls who in good conscience are willing to tell the truth about the government’s murderous web of lies and deceit.

Demonstrating how the tide of public opinion is slowly turning in favor of recognizing the truth, a new year’s Op-Ed article featured in the mainstream embedded New York Times stated unconditionally that Snowden has already been vindicated and should be credited and ascribed the rights of a whistleblower:

“Considering the enormous value of the information he has revealed, and the abuses he has exposed, Mr. Snowden deserves better than a life of permanent exile, fear and flight.” 

In the near year since 33-year old investigative journalist Michael Hastings was likely assassinated last June 18th, it is clear that he was not a victim of just a freak car accident. Weeks earlier the Obama regime had declared open warfare on free journalism with aggressive surveillance and punitive retribution on AP reporters, even selected corporate media news reporters, clearly targeting those willing to reveal potentially damaging or threatening information about the US government’s tyranny. Hastings had a very high profile history since his June 2010 Rolling Stone article featuring Afghanistan War commander General Stanley McChrystal and his staff’s harsh critique of their Commander-in-Chief, subsequently resulting in McChrystal’s forced resignation. Hastings also wrote an unflattering article about General David Petraeus in the February 2011 Rolling Stone indicating “King David’s” losing proposition for turning the war in Afghanistan around with his surge on that warfront clearly a failure.

The very day he died, Hastings contacted friends and associates to report that he was under an FBI investigation, that he feared his car had been tampered with, and was about to release a major bombshell of a news story involving unlawful covert operations deployed by US intelligence agencies, specifically focusing on current CIA Director John Brennan. The UK’s Daily Mirror published an August 15, 2013 article stating that the CIA contractor Stratfor’s president claimed that Brennan was on a “witch hunt” for investigative journalists… sounds just like his boss Obama. Also a friend of the journalist came forth with the statement that Hastings had actually asked her if he could borrow her car the very day he died sharing his concern that his car had been tampered with.

Another friend US Army Staff Sgt. Joseph Biggs who spent three months with Hastings while doing the first Rolling Stone article also believes that Hastings was murdered. Biggs stated that the journalist’s life had been threatened should he proceed with publishing the McChrystal article. The sergeant was among those contacted by Hastings just prior to his death reporting the FBI investigation and that he needed to lay low to write the story exposing the US intelligence system.

His recent Mercedes Benz model was likely cyber-hacked. Research scientists at the University of Washington and UC San Diego three years ago released findings indicating how electronic systems in modern cars can easily be hacked and its functions remotely controlled, further corroborated since by the government’s own reputable Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Even ex-CIA counter-terrorism expert under Clinton and Bush Richard Clarke alluded to the possibility that the car explosion and expulsion of the engine 100 feet from the vehicle is consistent with cyber-hacking. That along with eyewitness accounts of a fiery explosion prior to the car hitting the tree all raise serious questions that foul play may well have caused the death of the bold young journalist who undauntedly vowed to expose shady truth no matter the risk. Michael Hastings’ uncompromising integrity and defiance to seek the truth no matter what most likely cost him his life.

While Obama is going after anyone bold enough to confront his lies of tyranny and oppression, he also has designs of turning groups like the Boy Scouts of America and AmeriCorps into an enormous civilian national security force to work alongside the government and military as their junior counterpart contingent – all too eerily reminiscent of prewar Nazi youth groups.

Even the US Census Bureau is doing its part to tighten the noose around citizens’ necks. For the first time during the 2010 census workers used GPS to identify and track any persons they encountered who failed to cooperate by refusing to fill out and submit required information. Those who resist are now violating federal law and subject to a $5000 fine and perhaps their names have been added to the next FEMA roundup list.

At the time of the so called 9/11 terrorist attack, West Point in all likelihood was still teaching the same outdated elective course that I took as a cadet thirty years earlier on counterinsurgency. Thus to quickly fill its obvious void, private funding established the Combating Terrorism Center
(CTC) at the US Military Academy a mere year and a half later. The single biggest financial contributor establishing the CTC was 1977 West Point grad Vincent Viola, former Chairman of the New York Mercantile Exchange, current owner of one of the largest electronic trading firms Vitro and NHL team owner of recent Stanley Cup finalist the Florida Panthers. Another major CTC financier was Annapolis graduate, former third party presidential candidate and multi-billionaire Ross Perot. My West Point roommate, current Council on Foreign Relations member and longest running commander of both the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars from 2003 to 2007, retired General John Abizaid, currently sits as the CDC’s Distinguished Chair. Though a private think tank for the US military, West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center is additionally part of the Academy’s Department of Social Sciences providing instruction to cadets as well as compiling research and issuing reports on its findings.

A research report entitled “Challengers from the Sidelines: Understanding America’s Violent Far-Right” was published last year by the CDC. According to Wikipedia, the report “provides a conceptual foundation for understanding different far-right groups and then presents empirical analysis of violent incidents to identify those perpetrating attacks and their associated trends.” In actuality the study seeks to brainwash America’s future leaders as well as Americans in general into believing that any and all US citizens who value and espouse lesser government interference in their lives, who oppose the US government’s totalitarianism and who support the US Constitution guaranteeing individual rights to privacy, due process, civil liberties and freedom are the real enemy of the state.

The 148-page report warns military personnel to be on the lookout for those individuals calling themselves true patriots standing up to the federal government’s oppression and tyranny. The research study’s author, Arie Perliger is an assistant professor in West Point’s Social Sciences Department and the Director of Terrorism Studies at the Combating Terrorism Center. Like the CDC’s Chair Abizaid, Perliger is also a current member of the Council on Foreign Relations as well as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and former instructor at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University.

The pro-Israel lobby and power in America and its foreign policy looms so large that critics contend the American government is but a puppet of Israel. The apartheid Israeli government’s subjugation and oppression of the Palestinians and the tacit approval by the US government has long been a barrier to peace and stability in the Middle East. Much has also been made of both the American banking and entertainment industries being controlled nearly exclusively by prominent Jewish Americans. Though some critics of the prominent Israeli-Jewish lobby in America may be fueled by underlying anti-Semitic bias, nonetheless there exists overwhelming concrete evidence substantiating the Israeli-Jewish connections’ inordinate amount of power. Perliger in his key position is but one anecdotal example. Speaking of the disproportionate power base of the Israeli-Jewish connection, it is worth mentioning the disclaimer that there is a complete difference between criticizing the strong Israeli-Jewish influence and power in America and criticizing Israeli citizens or Jewish people. Just as it is of paramount importance to distinguish between the American government and American citizens, the exact same principle applies.

In any event, in one broad stroke in his report Perliger appears to lump all American constitutionalists, freedom lovers, libertarians, progressives, left wing political activists and all government dissidents in with numerous ultra-conservative, violent far-right fringe groups, declaring all these citizens on both the left and right along with their A-Z group affiliations as serious threats to US national security.

In Perliger’s own words, he casts dispersions on those who “espouse strong convictions regarding the federal government, believing it to be corrupt and tyrannical, with a natural tendency to intrude on individuals’ civil and constitutional rights.” He even targets groups “driven by a strong conviction that the American political system and its proxies have been hijacked by external forces interested in promoting a New World Order.” In other words, anyone with awareness of what’s really going on in America and is highly concerned with these extremely disturbing developments since 9/11, is now on the government’s “shit” list, or more aptly put “hit” list. Perliger conveniently groups together all people critical of the federal government, both those leaning toward the left and the right. In this way he kills two birds with one stone, demonizing both those progressives critical of the government as well as all those so called fringe elements and organizations singled out during the 1990’s as potential homegrown terrorists – right wing extremists classified as anti-federalists, tea-partiers, fundamentalist Christians, survivalists, gun-rights advocates, pro-lifers and those who oppose high taxation.

When America’s Combating Terrorism Center’s research director and card-carrying CFR member, considered among the foremost experts on terrorism, emphatically declares anyone critical of the US federal government and its fascist agenda for increased police state security as enemies of the state, we are all in deep shit. The transparency of Perliger’s tactical move to link all government dissidents and political activists with violent far-right extremist groups is resorting to the age old slanderous ploy invoking guilt by association. This old divide and conquer strategy is designed to turn American citizen against American citizen, pro-constitutionalists vs. anti-constitutionalists, socioeconomic class against socioeconomic class and race against race.

As Bush alluded to in post 9/11 era, “You’re either with us or against us.” To have such dangerous, derisive, and toxic black and white thinking coming from someone in such powerful position to influence and mold the minds of America’s future leaders at West Point is but one more alarming sign of the times. President Obama and his power crew have been methodically prepping America for martial law and the hard times ahead by splitting the American populace into two opposing camps, the pro-government tyranny camp under the false notion of security and the anti-government individual freedom camp. Constitutional law professor and former dean of the Regent University School of Law Herbert W. Titus accused, “Perliger is not a serious scholar, but a propagandist for the existing regime.”

With last year’s IRS scandal that found the Internal Revenue Service guilty of singling out the exact same right wing elements that Perliger cited, conservative fundamentalist Christian organizations were clearly targeted for harassment with their filed applications to the IRS seeking federal tax breaks under religious tax code affiliation.

That along with the mounting draconian laws and the increasing militarized police state systematically now violating search and seizure laws and privacy rights of Americans, fast rising incidence of cold blooded murder of US citizens who posed no threat to SWAT teams police forces across America, all of this has become over-the-top evidence that America today is not the democracy we once thought it was. Scholars from Princeton and Northwestern Universities made it official last month, the US is now an oligarchy. With the US Constitution completely dismantled and rendered inoperable since 9/11, NSA and Homeland Security abuse have now become so blatant and utterly out of control.

Every personal aspect and private domain in every single American’s life are no longer personal and private at all, but compiled and stored data instantly accessible to be analyzed in one centralized location in an enormous NSA complex in Utah. With their across the boards practice of unconstitutional violations, systematic spying on every aspect and activity of our daily lives, scrutinizing and analyzing our every move that includes tracking all internet activity, all emails, all online instant message conversations, all filed documents, all website visits and contacts, as well as all personal phone calls, all text messages, and all postal snail mail correspondence, and with GPS tracking even our everyday comings and goings movement, the Orwellian nightmare is already here. We as a people are so closely monitored and controlled that anyone who dares to speak out against this unprecedented, insanely illegal, Big Brother government- run-amok tyranny and fascism is immediately placed on a watch list for even closer surveillance and control, and undoubtedly moved to the very top of the list to be rounded up under martial law and involuntarily imprisoned forever in FEMA concentration camps without any legal rights, representation or court access. This unfortunately is what America the land of the no longer free has become.

In the last decade alone a disturbing trend has unfolded nationally where one in three adult Americans is now in some way connected to either Homeland Security or the Department of Defense. Citizen turning in fellow citizen is fast becoming the despicable norm in this post 9/11 police state where a growing climate of fear, disinformation and propaganda not unlike prewar Nazi Germany rule. Obama’s crusade to amass an enormous “civil defense” corps amongst the US population that remains loyal to his tyrannical and sinister government abuses is but a case in point of what is happening right under our noses. And with an estimated eight million Americans already on an ever-expanding dissident watch list, the FEMA roundups of all dissidents and political activists are pre-eminent. A relatively benign glimpse into the dark future lay in our recent past with the post Boston Marathon fiasco. House to house searches and detainments conducted by armed active duty military personnel that we think can only happen in places like Africa or the Middle East in direct violation of the Comitatus Act is coming to a neighborhood near you sooner than you think or imagine. As the prophetic 1976 Paddy Chayefsky film “Network” sounds the alarm, it is high time we get “mad as hell and we’re not gonna to take it anymore!” if we as a people are ever to don’t let the bastards get us down.”

Sadly I must say as a West Point graduate, former US Army officer and still patriotic US citizen, I am no longer proud to be an American. Like millions of fellow citizens, I am both alarmed and outraged over how the US government has betrayed us all, resorting to the same totalitarian tactics of human rights abuse toward its citizens that Obama so frequently and hypocritically accuses of recently re-created cold war enemies Russia and China. With its Empire killing machine, America has tragically regressed into another pre-World War II Nazi Germany as the world’s worst human rights offender. With Americans the last to know, for years much of the rest of the world as victims of US Empire’s criminal aggression and oppression have viewed the US as global public enemy number one. It thoroughly sickens me to realize how this country I grew up loving, willing to at one time die for, and still very much love, has morphed and degenerated into the world’s most villainous “bad guy thug,” enslaving us who love our nation in police state bondage. How could our own government betray America and its own people? Stay tuned…

Joachim Hagopian is a West Point graduate and former Army officer. His written manuscript based on his military experience examines leadership and national security issues and can be consulted at http://www.redredsea.net/westpointhagopian/. After the military, Joachim earned a masters degree in psychology and became a licensed therapist working in the mental health field for more than a quarter century. He now focuses on writing.

 

 

On 13th and 14th May an exhibition and conference on Shale Gas (fracking) is taking place at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham UK. The exhibition is part of an international series, and is sponsored by Halliburton. The conference will be attended by CEOs and key personnel of the major gas companies, Members of Parliament and representatives from the majority of local councils and planning departments in the UK. There was an attendee list on Shale Gas World’s website but it was taken down after links were posted around social media (maybe coincidence) and is now only available upon request. In the lead up to the 14th PEDL licensing rounds this is an ideal lobbying opportunity for the gas companies.

Many UK citizens are concerned about the environmental damage and health risks connected with fracking. We are also opposed to the pursuit of fossil fuel extraction to the detriment of investment in the development of renewable clean energy and the subsequent effects on pollution and global warming. We are also appalled that despite a majority of public opinion against them our government is backing the gas companies to such an extent that they will change laws to prevent the public making legal challenges against them.

A group of concerned members of the public will gather in peaceful protest to demonstrate opposition to fracking outside the NEC Pavilion at 8am on the 13th May.

Conference website: http://www.terrapinn.com/conference/shale-gas-uk/index.stm

Protest event page on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/events/256488157867845/