KIEV, March 07, 20:53 /ITAR-TASS/. A district court in Kiev has issued an authorization to arrest the people’s governor of the country’s eastern Donetsk region, Pavel Gubarev, for a period of two months, a spokesman for the Security Service of Ukraine said Friday.

“A decision to choose arrest for a period of two months as a pretrial measure for Gubarev was taken by the judges Friday,” he said. “The court thus entertained a petition by the Security Service’s main department for investigation.”

Pavel Gubarev, whom a many-thousands-strong meeting of opponents of the incumbent Kiev government elected “people’s governor” of the predominantly Russian-speaking region March 1, is charged with crimes related to encroachments on Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, with actions aimed at an overthrow or toppling of the constitutional system or the seizure of state power, and seizure of government and public offices.

The U.S. and European Union countries played a key role in the overthrow of the elected government in the Ukraine headed by Victor Yanukovych and the Party of Regions. Listening to the politicians in Washington or watching the corporate media, it would be easy to believe that the coup in the Ukraine has ushered in new era of democracy for the people of that country.

Nothing could be further from the truth. The new, self-appointed government in Kiev is a coalition between right-wing and outright fascist forces, and the line between the two is often difficult to discern. Moreover, it is the fascist forces, particularly the Svoboda party and the Right Sector, who are in the ascendancy, as evidenced by the fact that they have been given key government positions in charge of the military and other core elements of the state apparatus.

Dmytro Yarosh, Right Sector neo-Nazi commander who said “our revival begins with our Maidan,” is now second-in-command of the National Defense and Security Council (covering the military, police, courts and intelligence apparatus).

Andriy Parubiy, co-founder of the fascist Social National Party, which later changed its name to Svoboda. He is the new top commander of the National Defense and Security Council.

New Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk [left], a powerful right-wing banker, meets with neo-con John McCain. Pictured center is neo-Nazi Svoboda leader Oleh Tyahnybok, now one of the most powerful figures in the country.

Ihor Tenyukh, member of neo-Nazi Svoboda party, now Minister of Defense.

Oleksandr Sych, member of neo-Nazi Svoboda, is one of three Vice Prime Ministers.

Oleg Makhnitsky, member of neo-Nazi Svoboda, now Prosecutor-General (Attorney General), and has immediately set out to indict the leaders of Crimea who do not want to live under the new order in Kiev.

That millions of Ukrainians, Russians, Greeks, Jews and others would abhor living under such a government should come as a surprise to no one. Seven decades ago, Nazi Germany and its allies invaded the Soviet Union, of which the Ukraine was a part.

It was inside the Soviet Union that the main forces of the Nazi war machine were destroyed—but at an appalling price. More than 27 million Soviet soldiers and civilians were killed and the country devastated. (By comparison, 416,800 U.S. personnel were killed in the same war, also a huge number itself, but one that only represents about 1.5 percent of Soviet deaths.)Highlighting its extreme right-wing character, among the first actions of the rump Rada (parliament) were terminating the official status of Russian and Greek as minority languages, rescinding the Crimea’s autonomy, and outlawing the Ukrainian Communist Party.The Fatherland party is leading the new government, headed by Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

A few weeks before the Feb. 24 coup, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland, then in Kiev to support the anti-government protests, was recorded calling for Yatsenyuk to become the new leader. Yatsenyuk is a banker, very Western-oriented, and seen as sure to accede to the demands of the International Monetary Fund and the international banks for austerity measures in exchange for a “bailout”  of the Ukraine’s debt.

In addition, Yatsenyuk is not from an overtly fascist party, a major public relations advantage for Western imperialist backers of the new regime.

The new Secretary of the powerful National Defense and Security Council is Andriy Parubiy, is also listed as being from the Fatherland party. But here the murky divide between the right-wing and fascist parties comes into view.

Parubiy was co-founder of the Social National Party in 1991, an openly fascist party whose symbol was the “Wolfsnagel,” which closely resembles a swastika. The SNP changed its name to Svoboda (“Freedom”) in 2004, and has tried to somewhat moderate its image while retaining its neo-Nazi core.

It was only in 2012 that Parubiy ran on the Fatherland ticket. During the opposition demonstrations in the Maidan Square, he was known as “the commandant.”

Parubiy’s deputy is Dmytro Yarosh, who was the leader of the fascist Right Sector’s para-military forces in Maidan. In a recent BBC video, a Right Sector leader said: “National socialist [Nazi] ideas are popular here…We want a clean nation, not like under Hitler, but a little bit like that.”

The new Defense Minister is Ihor Tenyukh, former head of the Ukrainian navy and from the Svoboda party. Oleksandr Sych, also from Svoboda, is one of three Vice Prime Ministers.

Another key post held by an open Svoboda member is that of Prosecutor-General. Oleg Makhnitsky is now the equivalent of Attorney General in the U.S., and has immediately set out to indict the leaders of Crimea who do not want to live under the new order in Kiev.

The new, self-appointed government in Kiev is a coalition between right-wing and outright fascist forces, and the line between the two is often difficult to discern.

Svoboda also holds the ministries of ecology and, especially critical in the Ukraine, agriculture in the new government.

Though not named as a government minister—clearly by choice—Oleh Tyahnybok is the leader of Svoboda, of which he was also a co-founder when it was known as the Social National Party. Now he is one of the most powerful figures in the country.

While Tyahnybok sought to moderate Svoboda’s public image beginning with the name change in 2004, a speech he gave the same year showed just how paper-thin that cover was.

Speaking at memorial to a commander of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UIA) that collaborated with the Nazis and massacred tens of thousands of Poles, Jews and communists, he called for Ukrainians to fight the “Muscovite-Jewish mafia” which he claimed were running the country.

Tyahnybok praised the UIA and the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists led by Stepan Bandera, who “fought against the Russians, Germans, Jews and other scum who wanted to take away our Ukrainian state.”  (For the terms “Russians” and “Jews,” he substituted extremely derogatory slurs).

In 2005, Tyahnybok signed an open letter to Ukraine leaders denouncing the “criminal activities” of “organized Jewry” who, he claimed, wanted to commit “genocide” against Ukrainian people.

Support for the fascists is surging in the Ukraine. In 2006, Svoboda received .36 of 1 percent in the elections; in 2012 it became the fourth largest party in the Rada (parliament) with 10.45 percent of the vote and 37 seats out of 450. In a public opinion poll taken at the beginning of February, 54 percent said they would vote for Tyahnybok for president if he ran against Yanukovych. (The poll was held three weeks before the overthrow of Yanukovych.)

The smiling faces of Victoria Nuland and Sen. John McCain, among other U.S. officials, have appeared in countless photos with Tyahnybok in recent months.

Ukraine and America’s Strive for World Domination

March 8th, 2014 by William Blum

When it gets complicated and confusing, when you’re overwhelmed with too much information, changing daily; too many explanations, some contradictory … try putting it into some kind of context by stepping back and looking at the larger, long-term picture.

The United States strives for world domination, hegemony wherever possible, their main occupation for over a century, it’s what they do for a living. The United States, NATO and the European Union form The Holy Triumvirate. The Holy Triumvirate has subsidiaries, chiefly The International Monetary Fund, World Bank, World Trade Organization, International Criminal Court … all help to keep in line those governments lacking the Holy Triumvirate Seal Of Approval: the IMF, WB, and WTO impose market fundamentalism, while foreign leaders who act too independent are threatened with being handed over to the ICC for heavy punishment, as the United States imposes sanctions on governments and their leaders as only the King of Sanctions can, lacking any sense of hypocrisy or irony.

And who threatens United States domination?

Who can challenge The Holy Triumvirate’s hegemony? Only Russia and China, if they were as imperialistic as the Western powers. (No, the Soviet Union wasn’t imperialistic; that was self-defense; Eastern Europe was a highway twice used by the West to invade; tens of millions of Russians killed or wounded.)

Since the end of the Cold War the United States has been surrounding Russia, building one base after another, ceaselessly looking for new ones, including in Ukraine; one missile site after another, with Moscow in range; NATO has grabbed one former Soviet Republic after another. The White House, and the unquestioning American mainstream media, have assured us that such operations have nothing to do with Russia. And Russia has been told the same, much to Moscow’s continuous skepticism. “Look,” said Russian president Vladimir Putin about NATO some years ago, “is this is a military organization? Yes, it’s military. … Is it moving towards our border? It’s moving towards our border. Why?”

The Holy Triumvirate would love to rip Ukraine from the Moscow bosom, evict the Russian Black Sea Fleet, and establish a US military and/or NATO presence on Russia’s border. (In case you were wondering what prompted the Russian military action.) Kiev’s membership in the EU would then not be far off; after which the country could embrace the joys of neo-conservatism, receiving the benefits of the standard privatization-deregulation-austerity package and join Portugal, Ireland, Greece, and Spain as an impoverished orphan of the family; but no price is too great to pay to for being part of glorious Europe and the West!

The Ukrainian insurgents and their Western-power supporters didn’t care who their Ukrainian allies were in carrying out their coup against President Viktor Yanukovych last month … thugs who set policemen on fire head to toe … all manner of extreme right-wingers, including Chechnyan Islamic militants… a deputy of the ultra-right Svoboda Party, part of the new government, who threatens to rebuild Ukraine’s nukes in three to six months.… the snipers firing on the protestors who apparently were not what they appeared to be – A bugged phone conversation between Urmas Paet, the Estonian foreign minister, and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, reveals Paet saying: “There is now stronger and stronger understanding that behind the snipers it was not Yanukovych, but it was somebody from the new coalition.”… neo-Nazi protestors in Kiev who have openly denounced Jews, hoisting a banner honoring Stepan Bandera, the infamous Ukrainian nationalist who collaborated with the German Nazis during World War II and whose militias participated in atrocities against Jews and Poles.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported on February 24 that Ukrainian Rabbi Moshe Reuven Azman advised “Kiev’s Jews to leave the city and even the country.” Edward Dolinsky, head of an umbrella organization of Ukrainian Jews, described the situation for Ukrainian Jews as “dire” and requested Israel’s help.

All in all a questionable gang of allies for a dubious cause; reminiscent of the Kosovo Liberation Army thugs Washington put into power for an earlier regime change, and has kept in power since 1999.

The now-famous recorded phone conversation between top US State Department official Victoria Nuland and the US ambassador to the Ukraine, wherein they discuss which Ukrainians would be to Washington’s liking in a new government, and which not, is an example of this regime-change mentality. Nuland’s choice, Arseniy Yatseniuk, emerged as interim prime minister.

The National Endowment for Democracy, an agency created by the Reagan administration in 1983 to promote political action and psychological warfare against states not in love with US foreign policy, is Washington’s foremost non-military tool for effecting regime change. The NED website lists 65 projects that it has supported financially in recent years in Ukraine.The descriptions NED gives to the projects don’t reveal the fact that generally their programs impart the basic philosophy that working people and other citizens are best served under a system of free enterprise, class cooperation, collective bargaining, minimal government intervention in the economy, and opposition to socialism in any shape or form. A free-market economy is equated with democracy, reform, and growth; and the merits of foreign investment in their economy are emphasized.

The idea was that the NED would do somewhat overtly what the CIA had been doing covertly for decades, and thus, hopefully, eliminate the stigma associated with CIA covert activities. Allen Weinstein, who helped draft the legislation establishing NED, declared in 1991: “A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.”

NED, receives virtually all its financing from the US government ($5 billion in total since 1991), but it likes to refer to itself as an NGO (Non-governmental organization) because this helps to maintain a certain credibility abroad that an official US government agency might not have. But NGO is the wrong category. NED is a GO. Its long-time intervention in Ukraine is as supra-legal as the Russian military deployment there. Journalist Robert Parry has observed:

For NED and American neocons, Yanukovych’s electoral legitimacy lasted only as long as he accepted European demands for new “trade agreements” and stern economic “reforms” required by the International Monetary Fund. When Yanukovych was negotiating those pacts, he won praise, but when he judged the price too high for Ukraine and opted for a more generous deal from Russia, he immediately became a target for “regime change.”

Thus, we have to ask, as Mr. Putin asked – “Why?” Why has NED been funding 65 projects in one foreign country? Why were Washington officials grooming a replacement for President Yanukovych, legally and democratically elected in 2010, who, in the face of protests, moved elections up so he could have been voted out of office – not thrown out by a mob? Yanukovych made repeated important concessions, including amnesty for those arrested and offering, on January 25, to make two of his adversaries prime minister and deputy prime minister; all to no avail; key elements of the protestors, and those behind them, wanted their putsch.

Carl Gershman, president of NED, wrote last September that “Ukraine is the biggest prize”.The man knows whereof he speaks. He has presided over NED since its beginning, overseeing the Rose Revolution in Georgia (2003), the Orange Revolution in Ukraine (2004), the Cedar Revolution in Lebanon (2005), the Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan (2005), the Green Revolution in Iran (2009), and now Ukraine once again. It’s as if the Cold War never ended.

The current unbridled animosity of the American media toward Putin also reflects an old practice. The United States is so accustomed to world leaders holding their tongue and not voicing criticism of Washington’s policies appropriate to the criminality of those policies, that when a Vladimir Putin comes along and expresses even a relatively mild condemnation he is labeled Public Enemy Number One and his words are accordingly ridiculed or ignored.

On March 2 US Secretary of State John Kerry condemned Russia’s “incredible act of aggression” in Ukraine (Crimea) and threatened economic sanctions. “You just don’t in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pre-text.”

Iraq was in the 21st century. Senator John Kerry voted for it. Hypocrisy of this magnitude has to be respected.

POSTSCRIPT:

Ukraine’s interim prime minister announced March 7 that he has invited the NATO Council to hold a meeting in Kiev over the recent developments in the country. “I invited the North Atlantic Council to visit Kiev and hold a meeting there,” Arseny Yatsenyuk said during a visit to Brussels, where he met with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and EU officials. “We believe that it will strengthen our cooperation.”

Notes

  1. Guardian Weekly (London), June 27, 2001
  2. RT television (RT.com, Moscow/Washington, DC), March 1, 2014
  3. Deputy Mikhail Golovko, RT, March 1, 2014
  4. RT, March 5, 2014, “The EU’s Ukraine policy and moral bankruptcy”; the phone conversation is believed to have taken place February 26.
  5. NED 2012 Annual Report
  6. Washington Post, September 22, 1991
  7. Victoria Nuland, speaking at the National Press Club, Washington, DC, December 13, 2013
  8. Washington Post, September 26, 2013
  9. “Face the Nation”, CBS, March 2, 2014

The Rutgers University Faculty Council has approved a resolution calling upon the university’s Board of Governors to rescind its invitation to Condoleezza Rice to speak at commencement.

It was just last month when the board unanimously picked Rice to receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree and serve as its principal commencement speaker for the upcoming graduation ceremonies. Rice, who was George W. Bush’s second Secretary of State, will also be paid $35,000 for her efforts.

But the faculty council’s resolution has thrown a sizable wrench into the university’s graduation gears, plans and festivities. It has reminded us all of Rice’s distasteful war record, including her misleading of the public about the ill-advised and costly Iraq war. Recall her dire warnings against Saddam Hussein’s soon-to-come “mushroom cloud” which would destroy us all?

“Condoleezza Rice … played a prominent role in (the Bush) administration’s effort to mislead the American people about the presence of weapons of mass destruction,” according to the resolution. And she “at the very least condoned the Bush administration’s policy of ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ such as water boarding,” the resolution read.

The professors were just warming up, though:

“A Commencement speaker… should embody moral authority and exemplary citizenship,” it continued, and “an honorary Doctor of Laws degree should not honor someone who participated in a political effort to circumvent the law.”

Ouch!

As might be expected, the professors are not alone in their opposition to Rice’s presence on campus. Several petitions are circulating among students as well.

“I’m a member of the faculty council and this seemed the right forum to raise the concern,” said Robert Boikess, a Chemistry professor who actually introduced the resolution. “Many students are very concerned as well.”

Rudolph Bell is a professor of history, and was willing to cut Rice at least a little slack: Rice would be welcome to speak on campus at any event other than graduation, because “…the person invited for the graduation, which is supposed to inspire graduating seniors, that is a different kind of setting,” he said. “Academic freedom doesn’t guarantee the right to be a speaker or receive an honorary degree.”

A spokeswoman for Rice declined to comment.

French professor Francois pointed to the “political” nature of this pick. “It seemed to me that this was a heavily political decision that had little to do with interest of our graduating students,” he said. “She was intimately involved in a campaign that was a manipulation. Whether she was aware of it or not. Our students are being manipulated to deliver a political point.”

At this writing, the university is not backing down. Rutgers spokesman Greg Trevor said that Board of Governors selection of Rice was “unanimously approved” on Feb. 4, and that:

“Dr. Rice is a highly accomplished and respected diplomat, scholar and author, and we are excited that she has agreed to address our graduates and guests at Commencement,” Trevor said.

Rutgers’ student newspaper published a letter from Lawrence Michael Ladutke, an alumnus, who was critical of the school’s choice as well: “Honoring such a dishonorable person is disgusting because doing so honors the inhumane and unconstitutional actions Rice carried out,” Ladutke wrote. “My face is red, and not with scarlet pride. Rather it is red from embarrassment and anger.”

Rice is no stranger to this kind of controversy, however. Back in 2006, while still in office, she gave the commencement address at Boston College. A large number of students and faculty stood and turned their backs to her throughout her address.

And as recently as 2012, she gave the commencement address at Southern Methodist University, home to the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. No back-turning occurred at that event, however.

Opinion

One of then-Sen. Barack Obama’s first votes in the Senate was in favor of the confirmation of Rice as secretary of state. I knew then that Obama was not all he was cracked up to be.

Recall that he campaigned vigorously for the Senate (and later for the presidency) as a staunch opponent of “Bush’s war.”

Folks in Chicago were left scratching our heads wondering how could he possibly vote to confirm Bush’s national security adviser as secretary of state?

Turns out that that was one of his less controversial betrayals of everything he ran and stood for.

My unsolicited advice, then, to the students and faculty of Rutgers is this: Yes, Rice is “free” to speak in the name of both “free speech” and “academic freedom.” But do not simply follow Boston College’s example by turning your backs on Rice. Actually get up and march out of the ceremony en masse if she dares to show her face.

There are rumored to be arrest warrants waiting for her, Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney – the whole damn crew – should they ever venture beyond the borders of the US.

References

http://crooksandliars.com/2014/02/rutgers-faculty-denounce-selection?utm_source=Crooks+and+Liars+Daily+Newsletter&utm_campaign=e250f8fcbd-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_d4904be7bc-e250f8fcbd-326965005

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CC8QqQIwAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nj.com%2Feducation%2F2014%2F02%2Frutgers_faculty_publicly_denounce_selection_of_condoleezza_rice_as_commencement_speaker.html&ei=F10TU7CiEuGfyQHOx4C4DQ&usg=AFQjCNHUDUaPzUBkEx-FwvWnuFdu3R8d2A&sig2=_jWnBaJvqci8lQ3nzsFI9g&bvm=bv.62286460,d.aWc

http://www.nj.com/education/2014/02/condoleezza_rice_named_rutgers_commencement_speaker.html

http://freakoutnation.com/2014/03/01/rutgers-faculty-denounce-selection-of-condoleezza-rice-as-commencement-speaker/

http://commencement.rutgers.edu/2014-commencement-speaker

http://wyblog.us/blog/education/rutgers-faculty-h8-condi-rice.html

http://liberalplanet.com/2014/03/01/rutgers-faculty-denounce-selection-of-condoleezza-rice-as-commencement-speaker/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Condoleezza_Rice

Herbert Dyer, Jr. is based in Chicago, Illinois, United States of America, and is an Anchor for Allvoices.

The hypocrisy that is part and parcel of US foreign policy throughout the globe has never been more glaring and blatant than now being demonstrated in Ukraine. Rather than succumb to the propaganda-disinformation blitz that it is Russia acting as the bad guy-oppressor, a slightly deeper examination of recent behind-the-scenes events in Ukraine would clearly indicate the opposite.

Since November it was the US and NATO forces in the form of a US State Department cover that launched an all out assault on the democratically elected Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych and his government.

That now infamous statement made by profanity-carping Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland obscured what otherwise was a transparently intended plan for the coup that was attained in February when armed US backed demonstrators and mercenaries began shooting and killing dozens of Ukrainian citizens in its capitol Kiev that then drove the Ukraine President fleeing his country to seek refuge in Moscow. While the Putin and Yanukovych governments are clearly not saints, the US government that carries on the charade of being so exceptionally virtuous and benevolent is even more clearly anything but.

What historically used to be the not so covert actions of the CIA and joint CIA-military operations throughout the world assassinating and triggering countless government overthrows and regime changes has undergone a not so hidden transformational shift to a covertly led, increasing US State Department role that funds and relies on Non-Government Organizations (NGO’s) with humanitarian window fronts to do its dirty work, craftily distancing and further obscuring any and all accountability and culpability in the growing destabilization of nations around the globe.

This shadowy transformation of US foreign policy has mirrored the development in recent decades of a slithering shadow elite that has formed a loose and informal neocon network of various linked organizations such as think tanks, NGO’s, private corporate sponsors and lobbyists acting as no bid contractors, university research grants, and various intertwined government and mainstream media organizations all designed to seal the cloak of secrecy and deception that permit the oligarchic global cabal to tighten its control, effectively conceal both its overt and covert misdeeds along with its enormous money laundering scam operation from all public scrutiny and accountability.

In recent months five billion dollars at taxpayers expense were invested and poured into Ukraine to topple the government to in effect, install and buy the current puppet regime. The systematically aggressive deployment of a widespread and pervasive strategy to turn every former outer Soviet nation-state against Moscow has been underway ever since the breakup of the Soviet Empire in 1991. One by one all the nations that comprised the former Iron Curtain are now solidly aligned with NATO, the European Union and the US-Western alliance complete with its ongoing schedule of anti-missile defense deployments providing the missile shield directly aimed at Russia along its border. Of course this has Russia reacting with its own missile shield deployment in what has once again ushered in a renewed arms race.

The intended US foreign policy in Eurasia is to cut off Russia from the rest of Europe and all its Central Asian neighbors, thereby weakening Russia’s geopolitical influence and economic power in the region. Once the US has Ukraine in its back pocket which of course this recent coup effectively secures, the gas pipelines that drive Europe’s dependency on Russia to supply 90% of its natural gas will quickly be eliminated and instead the oil and gas rich Ukraine can then be “groomed” as Europe’s new main supplier. So all that protesting since November in Ukraine calling for closer democratic ties to the West was a mere propagandist ploy designed to appear as though it was actually another impromptu, so called populist movement uprising (not unlike the other fake Arab spring neo-con job) ostensibly demanding more democratic freedom and civil liberties, sadly the very same rapidly disappearing freedom and liberties since 9/11 that have been usurped by US government tyranny and oppression in the militarized police state that has now come to firmly roost here in America.

Like a caged animal that for years has been backed into the corner and repeatedly prodded, Russia’s President Putin finally reacted in self-defense to this ever so thinly veiled US assault on his nation by invading Crimea, the part of Ukraine made up nearly entirely of fellow ethnic Russians under the guise of protecting his own people. But in actuality Putin’s so called defiantly offensive move into the Ukraine was a mere reactive gesture out of desperation directly caused by the rising US Empire hegemony and its imposing global, across-the-boards military, geo-political and economic dominance, purposefully designed to severely undercut and weaken Russia’s regional power and influence. In effect, it was Putin acting in self-defense in the face of the US’s full frontal assault on his nation. Yet predictably America is now gleefully leading the charge in its sanctimonious and self-righteous condemnation to impose immediate sanctions in order to swiftly punish Russia for its feeble, desperate attempt to defend itself from the US-led onslaught.

Meanwhile, under the radar it is the United States that has been the insidious and aggressive attacker of sovereign nations around the world, not Russia. It is the United States that has military occupiers waging covert wars in 134 nations around the world, not Russia. It is the United States that possesses over a thousand active military installations around the world on every inhabitable continent, not Russia. It is the United States that has made the world far more armed and dangerous today than any prior time in human history, supplying near twice as much arms including weapons of mass destruction to the rest of the world, not its next distant competitor Russia.

It is the United States that spends more money on its military than the rest of the world combined, not Russia. It is the United States that has murdered thirty million human beings waging nonstop wars around the world ever since World War II, not Russia. In actuality it is the American Empire that is the true enemy of the world, not Russia. Psychopathic lies of deception that constantly twist and distort the true reality are currently being used once again to maliciously demonize the US Empire’s next biggest foe Russia.

It is the covert manipulation of the United States that is center stage aggressively pushing the buttons and pulling the strings behind the Oz-like curtain, ready to be exposed as the true instigator of the resurging cold war now boiling over. But the pathology of US lies consistently used to cover up the systematic raping and plundering of this earth is about to be exposed for all the world to see like never before, and that it in fact is the United States that is the true world bully, serial nation-killer, serial mass murderer and brutal enemy of the rest of the world.

Photo: Debo Adegbile (left) Mumia Abu-Jamal (right).

Seven Senate Democrats voted against the nomination of Debo Adegbile to lead the civil rights division of the Department of Justice on Wednesday, defeating his appointment.

The seven Democrats rejected the nomination because Adegbile served as the litigation director of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund when the organization legally represented political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal in a 2011 appeal from the death penalty.

The move is a clear signal that admission into the highest echelons of the American government is available only to those who have no connection whatsoever to any effort to defend the democratic rights of the population of the United States.

Abu-Jamal, a former leader of the Black Panther Party in Philadelphia and an advocate against widespread police brutality, was convicted over 30 years ago for the 1982 killing of police officer Daniel Faulkner. Abu-Jamal was kept on death row for decades despite significant evidence of his innocence.

Since the trial, prosecution witnesses have admitted that they were coerced by police under threat of death into testifying against the defendant. Moreover, a man named Arnold Beverly signed an affidavit admitting that he himself had been ordered by crooked police officers to kill Faulkner. In a blatantly illegal move, the prosecution also withheld exculpatory evidence, including the results of Faulkner’s autopsy, which showed that the policeman was shot by a .44 caliber weapon. Abu-Jamal’s .38 could therefore not have been the murder weapon.

In 2011, the Third US Circuit Court of Appeals ordered that state prosecutors conduct a new sentencing hearing for Abu-Jamal on the grounds that the manner in which the death sentencing instructions were given to jury members was unconstitutional. According to the Third Circuit, the judge in Abu-Jamal’s trial unconstitutionally rammed through the death penalty sentence without properly considering whether there were any mitigating circumstances that should have been considered.

State prosecutors ultimately backed away from their threats to defend the death penalty in renewed sentencing hearings, ending the threat of Abu-Jamal’s execution. He remains in prison, serving life without parole.

It was the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, led at the time by Adegbile, which argued the case before the Third Circuit. Even then, Adegbile’s involvement in the case was attenuated at best. The NAACP only became involved in Abu-Jamal’s legal defense in 2006, when it challenged efforts by the prosecution to remove black members of the jury. Even after filing “friend of the court” briefs periodically, the NAACP only became directly involved in 2011. At no point was Adegbile part of the legal team that prepared the case on appeal.

Yet simply for belonging to an organization that attempted to reduce a political prisoner’s sentence from death to life imprisonment on clear constitutional grounds, Adegbile has been barred from heading the Department of Justice’s civil rights division.

It should go without saying that, given he was selected for the position by President Obama, the former NAACP lawyer is far from a political radical. And if the Senate had approved his nomination, Adegbile would simply have become another cog in the machinery of the capitalist state, working under the direction of Attorney General Eric Holder, the defender of a presidential “right” to assassinate any American citizen, using drone-fired missiles, without trial or any other form of judicial review.

This makes the Senate action all the more extraordinary. This vote to punish a lawyer for his legal representation of political prisoners underscores the deeply anti-democratic character of the American ruling elite. By the logic of this action, those accused of offenses against the state should be denied legal representation, or even trials of any kind, and railroaded straight to prison.

In other words, the type of “justice” being meted out to detainees at Guantanamo Bay should become the norm for all those who run afoul of the American police apparatus.

The contempt with which the American political establishment view democratic rights is expressed in the comments of those senators who voted against Adegbile’s nomination. They are particularly incensed because of Abu-Jamal’s unwavering stance that he is innocent and the victim of a frame-up.

Democratic Senator Chris Coons of Delaware defended his “no” vote with the statement that “the decades-long public campaign by others to elevate a heinous, coldblooded killer to the status of a political prisoner and folk hero has caused tremendous pain to the widow of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner and shown great disrespect for law enforcement officers and families throughout our region.”

Senator Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, said that Adegbile had “inserted his office in an effort to turn reality on its head, impugn honorable and selfless law enforcement officers, and glorify an unrepentant cop-killer. This is not required by our legal system. On the contrary, it is noxious to it.”

Contrary to the proclamations of McConnell (himself a lawyer), the protection of criminal defendants from being put to death by the state when there are serious questions as to their innocence is unquestionably required by the Fifth and Fourteenth amendments of the Constitution. That the government’s highest ranking political figures can state point-blank that such a right does not exist underscores the reality that the Constitution is a dead letter to the political representatives of the financial aristocracy.

The US economy added 175,000 jobs in February; barely enough to keep up with population growth, according to figures released Friday by the Department of Labor. The ranks of the long-term unemployed, those who have been out of work for more than 27 weeks, grew by 203,000, hitting 3.8 million.

Thirty-seven percent of unemployed people have now been out of work for six months or more. Before the 2008 crash, the long-term unemployed never amounted to more than 26 percent of the total jobless, while the total number of long-term unemployed was one-third its present level. The mean duration of unemployment currently stands at 35.4 weeks, up from 16.9 weeks in 2006.

The continued growth in the number of long-term unemployed comes after Congress and the White House cut off emergency federal jobless benefits at the end of last year for 1.3 million people. The number of unemployed workers denied benefits has since increased by 576,000, bringing the total to nearly 2 million. Counting the family members in these households, those affected could number as high as 6 million.

The latest report follows two months of dismal jobs reports. Job growth in December and January was the worst for any two-month period since 2010, and well below the already tepid monthly average of 160,000 from January through November of last year. The US economy created 129,000 jobs in January, and followed December’s increase of 75,000.

The total number of unemployed hit 10.5 million in February, up 223,000 over the previous month, and up from 6.8 million in 2007, according to Friday’s report.

February’s jobs figure was “well below the 200,000 to 300,000 jobs a month that a robust jobs recovery would have generated,” said Chad Stone, chief economist at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

There are now 651,000 fewer jobs than there were before the recession, even though the working-age population has grown by about 8 million during that time. Friday’s jobs report noted that the labor force participation rate is down by 0.5 percent from a year ago and is down by about 3.5 percentage points since 2007.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, 5.66 million “missing workers” have dropped out of the labor force over the past five years for economic, not demographic, reasons. If these missing workers were counted as unemployed, the unemployment rate would be 10 percent.

A large section of the jobs added in February were low skilled and low wage, such as food service workers and home health aides. Professional and business services added 79,000 jobs, a significant portion of which (24,000) came from temporary employment.

The food service sector added 21,000 jobs. The typical food preparation worker receives $9.18 per hour, or $19,100 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Private education and health services added 18,200 jobs, including 6,900 in home health care services, mostly consisting of home health care aides, who have a median pay of $9.70 per hour.

The number of federal government jobs fell by 6,000 in February, although the reduction was partially offset by increases in the number of state and local government jobs. Since February 2010, 617,000 government jobs have been eliminated, led by a reduction of 392,000 in local government.

February’s tepid jobs report comes amid a string of layoff announcements. Earlier this month, IBM began its planned series of layoffs that could entail the elimination of up to 15,000 workers, according to media reports. This will be on top of last year’s layoffs, in which some 3,000 workers lost their jobs.

This week, electronics retailer RadioShack announced that it would close over a thousand stores after worse than expected holiday sales, while Staples Inc., the office supply chain, announced plans to close 225 stores by the end of 2014.

Amid the staggering growth in the number of long-term unemployed, the media has dropped the issue of extended jobless benefits, with next to no coverage of the impact of the ending of the program.

The cutoff of emergency jobless aid is only the latest in a series of sweeping attacks on bedrock antipoverty programs. On November 1, food stamps were slashed by $11 billion, leading to benefit reductions for 46 million people. In January, Congress voted to slash an additional $8.7 billion from food stamps. Thus, millions of long-term unemployed workers are not only being cut off from cash assistance, but are also being hit with reductions in food aid.

Everyone says that they hate war, and most people really do, yet war has always been a part of human life. Nearly all societies throughout history have engaged in some form of warfare. And for as long as there has been war there have been good people trying to end it. Unfortunately, despite minor successes lasting peace has been a dream that has been impossible to realize. That dream has not died, however, and people continue the fight to end all war. A recent example is the new campaign called World Beyond War (WBW).

At the WBW website, the organizers call for new ideas and ask for feedback on the strategies outlined there. The group’s approach to ending war calls for “defeating the propaganda of war promoters and countering the economic interests of war promoters with alternative economic possibilities.” Furthermore, WBW stresses the need for “a combination of disarmament and investment alternatives.” This means that nations must disarm, stop selling arms, and negotiate disarmament agreements.

How to accomplish such things is the problem. The disarmament ideas would require governments to dramatically change course but the governments are often led by the “war promoters.” Changing the governments in any substantial way would necessitate a dramatic change in the mindset of most citizens. Similarly, although there are theoretical ways to counter the economic interests of war promoters, such as coordinating the purchasing and tax-paying decisions of citizens en masse, organizing for it would require unprecedented changes in public opinion. The arguments of the past won’t make that happen.

Like many others, I believe that unprecedented changes in public opinion can be achieved by taking a more courageous and committed approach to one of WBW’s key objectives. That objective is to “communicate the facts about war and discard the myths.” It takes courage to really examine the facts and myths about how wars begin and how they are maintained because most of us—even people who see themselves as peace activists—play a part in that process.

How do wars start, for what reasons, and by what mechanisms? To answer these important questions it might help to begin by dispelling several powerful myths about the origins of war.

Wars are often mistakenly seen as disputes based primarily on the differences between religions. But a closer examination of individual conflicts shows that this is not true. Sometimes differences in religion are emphasized by war promoters as a means of dividing the people and pitting them against each other. But war is not ever fundamentally about religion. The Arab-Israeli conflict, for example, began as a political and nationalist land grab following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. Only later did various arguments about who might be God’s “chosen people” play a part. Similarly, the 350-year long conflict in Ireland never had much to do with the differences between Catholicism and Protestantism. Although Oliver Cromwell was a Puritan, he was sent purely for the purpose of seizing the land.

War is also not about vengeance. It’s true that some people have been known to spend years seeking vengeance in small-scale acts of violence. The Apache chief Geronimo is an example as described in his memoirs. He spent decades killing Mexicans in guerrilla raids because of the murder of his wife and children in a place now called Arizona. But Geronimo and his small band of fighters ultimately fought, as did most Native Americans, simply to keep their land.

To be clear, war is not about religion or vengeance—it’s about the land and its resources.

The beginnings of every war can be traced back to efforts by a powerful few to control land and its strategic benefits. This fact is most easily seen in the wars that have been fought by the United States, the country that WBW hopes to focus on first. Whether it was for trade routes, or bases to establish military presence, or some other corporate access, all of the wars in which the U.S. has engaged have been about securing strategic property.

War ButtonThe ability to start and perpetuate large-scale war depends on the ability of the few to manipulate the emotional state of the masses. An old saying is that “truth is the first casualty of war” but that is misleading. War is born of deception and is manufactured for the benefit of the wealthy few. It is supported by people who gain through the military-industrial complex, and it is sold to everyone else through more deception.

The lies used to start and maintain wars are based on manipulating the natural mechanisms by which individuals protect their self-image. The most common form of this trickery was described by the founder of the Nazi Gestapo, Hermann Göring, who said “Why, of course, the people don’t want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? [But] the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.”

Göring and his cohorts used that very mechanism of deception to bring the Nazis to power in 1933 via the Reichstag Fire. The result was World War II and 60 million people dead. Since that time, the wars in which the U.S. has engaged have been initiated through the same kinds of lies. The U.S. military was committed to the Vietnam War as a result of a false claim about an attack in the Gulf of Tonkin. And the 1991 Gulf War was started by way of false testimony from a Kuwaiti girl who claimed that Iraqi troops were killing babies. Dick Cheney then falsely claimed that satellite photos showed Iraqi troops massing at the Saudi border. The cooperation of the American public and the Saudis followed quickly thereafter.

How are wars started? By telling the people that they are being attacked and by inventing outrageous claims that demonize the intended enemy. You know, the terrorists are out to get us. They want to steal our freedoms. They are a dark people with inhuman culture and violent religion. We’ll never know where they will strike next.

Once started, wars are perpetuated through propaganda that manipulates the public’s sense of patriotism. Whoever doesn’t support the war is accused of not supporting the troops. Whoever reveals anything truthful about the situation is accused of putting the country at risk, or of being a conspiracy theorist.

By recognizing what is happening we can understand how to eliminate war. The first and most important step is the same as for solving any other challenge. It is to realize the problem. As Sun Tzu said in The Art of War, “All warfare is based on deception.” Therefore war can only be ended by realizing and managing the mechanisms by which we are deceived. How do we realize when mass-deception has occurred? We can understand it academically or by rationalizing but it is only a gut wrenching here-and-now realization that can move us to do anything about it. Emotions are what drive people to do something.

This leads directly to the war-ending idea that has been ignored by many peace activists for the last 13 years. It’s an idea that has been shared by many others, including over one third of the American public according to a 2006 Scripps Howard poll. We don’t know what happened on September 11, 2001 and many people understand that fact. But it is overwhelmingly clear to anyone who examines the evidence that the accused 19 young men could not have accomplished most of what happened. And it’s clear that the 9/11 events and government responses followed the pattern of a war-initiating deception.

Those facts lead people to a catastrophic and catalyzing realization. The crimes of 9/11 represent the greatest war-generating scam of our lifetime. What a great opportunity to begin solving the problem of war!  If we have the courage to re-evaluate our understanding of that seminal event, we might still have the chance to leverage the resulting emotional power to drive the changes needed.

We can defeat the propaganda of war promoters and counter their economic interests with peace-promoting possibilities. We can disarm, stop selling arms, and negotiate disarmament agreements. We can do all these things now if we are willing to recognize and overcome the ego-based deceptions behind war. To do so we need to be willing to face the problem fundamentally and get out of our comfort zones. The good news is that 9/11 provides a real opportunity to do that and we still have time.

Everyone says that they hate war, and most people really do, yet war has always been a part of human life. Nearly all societies throughout history have engaged in some form of warfare. And for as long as there has been war there have been good people trying to end it. Unfortunately, despite minor successes lasting peace has been a dream that has been impossible to realize. That dream has not died, however, and people continue the fight to end all war. A recent example is the new campaign called World Beyond War (WBW).

At the WBW website, the organizers call for new ideas and ask for feedback on the strategies outlined there. The group’s approach to ending war calls for “defeating the propaganda of war promoters and countering the economic interests of war promoters with alternative economic possibilities.” Furthermore, WBW stresses the need for “a combination of disarmament and investment alternatives.” This means that nations must disarm, stop selling arms, and negotiate disarmament agreements.

How to accomplish such things is the problem. The disarmament ideas would require governments to dramatically change course but the governments are often led by the “war promoters.” Changing the governments in any substantial way would necessitate a dramatic change in the mindset of most citizens. Similarly, although there are theoretical ways to counter the economic interests of war promoters, such as coordinating the purchasing and tax-paying decisions of citizens en masse, organizing for it would require unprecedented changes in public opinion. The arguments of the past won’t make that happen.

Like many others, I believe that unprecedented changes in public opinion can be achieved by taking a more courageous and committed approach to one of WBW’s key objectives. That objective is to “communicate the facts about war and discard the myths.” It takes courage to really examine the facts and myths about how wars begin and how they are maintained because most of us—even people who see themselves as peace activists—play a part in that process.

How do wars start, for what reasons, and by what mechanisms? To answer these important questions it might help to begin by dispelling several powerful myths about the origins of war.

Wars are often mistakenly seen as disputes based primarily on the differences between religions. But a closer examination of individual conflicts shows that this is not true. Sometimes differences in religion are emphasized by war promoters as a means of dividing the people and pitting them against each other. But war is not ever fundamentally about religion. The Arab-Israeli conflict, for example, began as a political and nationalist land grab following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. Only later did various arguments about who might be God’s “chosen people” play a part. Similarly, the 350-year long conflict in Ireland never had much to do with the differences between Catholicism and Protestantism. Although Oliver Cromwell was a Puritan, he was sent purely for the purpose of seizing the land.

War is also not about vengeance. It’s true that some people have been known to spend years seeking vengeance in small-scale acts of violence. The Apache chief Geronimo is an example as described in his memoirs. He spent decades killing Mexicans in guerrilla raids because of the murder of his wife and children in a place now called Arizona. But Geronimo and his small band of fighters ultimately fought, as did most Native Americans, simply to keep their land.

To be clear, war is not about religion or vengeance—it’s about the land and its resources.

The beginnings of every war can be traced back to efforts by a powerful few to control land and its strategic benefits. This fact is most easily seen in the wars that have been fought by the United States, the country that WBW hopes to focus on first. Whether it was for trade routes, or bases to establish military presence, or some other corporate access, all of the wars in which the U.S. has engaged have been about securing strategic property.

The ability to start and perpetuate large-scale war depends on the ability of the few to manipulate the emotional state of the masses. An old saying is that “truth is the first casualty of war” but that is misleading. War is born of deception and is manufactured for the benefit of the wealthy few. It is supported by people who gain through the military-industrial complex, and it is sold to everyone else through more deception.

The lies used to start and maintain wars are based on manipulating the natural mechanisms by which individuals protect their self-image. The most common form of this trickery was described by the founder of the Nazi Gestapo, Hermann Göring, who said “Why, of course, the people don’t want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? [But] the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.”

Göring and his cohorts used that very mechanism of deception to bring the Nazis to power in 1933 via the Reichstag Fire. The result was World War II and 60 million people dead. Since that time, the wars in which the U.S. has engaged have been initiated through the same kinds of lies. The U.S. military was committed to the Vietnam War as a result of a false claim about an attack in the Gulf of Tonkin. And the 1991 Gulf War was started by way of false testimony from a Kuwaiti girl who claimed that Iraqi troops were killing babies. Dick Cheney then falsely claimed that satellite photos showed Iraqi troops massing at the Saudi border. The cooperation of the American public and the Saudis followed quickly thereafter.

How are wars started? By telling the people that they are being attacked and by inventing outrageous claims that demonize the intended enemy. You know, the terrorists are out to get us. They want to steal our freedoms. They are a dark people with inhuman culture and violent religion. We’ll never know where they will strike next.

Once started, wars are perpetuated through propaganda that manipulates the public’s sense of patriotism. Whoever doesn’t support the war is accused of not supporting the troops. Whoever reveals anything truthful about the situation is accused of putting the country at risk, or of being a conspiracy theorist.

By recognizing what is happening we can understand how to eliminate war. The first and most important step is the same as for solving any other challenge. It is to realize the problem. As Sun Tzu said in The Art of War, “All warfare is based on deception.” Therefore war can only be ended by realizing and managing the mechanisms by which we are deceived. How do we realize when mass-deception has occurred? We can understand it academically or by rationalizing but it is only a gut wrenching here-and-now realization that can move us to do anything about it. Emotions are what drive people to do something.

This leads directly to the war-ending idea that has been ignored by many peace activists for the last 13 years. It’s an idea that has been shared by many others, including over one third of the American public according to a 2006 Scripps Howard poll. We don’t know what happened on September 11, 2001 and many people understand that fact. But it is overwhelmingly clear to anyone who examines the evidence that the accused 19 young men could not have accomplished most of what happened. And it’s clear that the 9/11 events and government responses followed the pattern of a war-initiating deception.

Those facts lead people to a catastrophic and catalyzing realization. The crimes of 9/11 represent the greatest war-generating scam of our lifetime. What a great opportunity to begin solving the problem of war!  If we have the courage to re-evaluate our understanding of that seminal event, we might still have the chance to leverage the resulting emotional power to drive the changes needed.

We can defeat the propaganda of war promoters and counter their economic interests with peace-promoting initiatives like mass purchasing decisions and tax resistance. We can disarm, stop selling arms, and negotiate disarmament agreements. We can do all these things if we are all willing to recognize and overcome the ego-based deceptions behind war. To do so we need to face the problem fundamentally and get out of our comfort zones. The good news is that 9/11 provides a real opportunity to do that and we still have time.

The recent firing of scholar and activist Dr. Anthony Monteiro from Temple University is unquestionably a politically motivated and racist assault on a world-renowned professor and community leader. However, it is equally an attack upon the very foundation of higher education and the place of Black people, Black politics, and Black communities within it.

Dr. Monteiro, internationally recognized as one of the world’s leading authorities on W.E.B. DuBois and the Black left radical tradition, has been a fixture on the campus of Temple University in Philadelphia for more than a decade. His lectures, publications, annual W.E.B. DuBois symposia, community engagement, leadership in the movement to free Mumia Abu Jamal, and other activism have made him an indispensable figure at Temple University, in Philadelphia, and in the Black scholarly community more generally. So, the question then becomes…why was his contract terminated?

The Real Story

The events which led to the dismissal or, as Temple University Dean of the College of Liberal Arts Teresa Soufas lovingly refers to it, his “non-renewal,” have their roots in the struggle over the Chair of the African-American Studies department. In 2012, Soufas attempted to assert her control over the historic African-American Studies program (the first in the country to offer a PhD in Black Studies), by appointing her colleague and ideological ally Dr. Jayne Drake as interim Chair of the program. Dr. Drake, a white professor of American literature, was installed over the vociferous objections of many in the department and the campus community – objections voiced perhaps most strongly by Dr. Monteiro.

Monteiro supported Dr. Kariamu Welsh, a tenured professor from the Dance department of the Boyer College of Music and Dance to chair the department. In the struggle that ensued, Dean Soufas attempted to impose her will on the program with the appointment of Dr. Drake. Monteiro then led numerous demonstrations in collaboration with campus and community groups to unseat Soufas’ viceroy and, instead, reappoint the founder and former Chair of the program Dr. Molefi Asante. Despite initial resistance and continued threats and attacks upon the integrity and character of Dr. Monteiro, Soufas relented and Asante assumed the position of Chair of the department in 2013.

Although the struggle led by Monteiro was ultimately successful, this victory left a bullseye on his back, and it seems that Dean Soufas used the issue of his contract termination as her vengeance. As Dr. Monteiro stated:

This is a retaliatory act and firing for the [protest] we held to get Dr. Molefi Kete Asante as the chair of the [African-American Studies] department over her [Dean Soufas] objections…It’s nothing except her anger…It is her getting back at me for my standing up to her bullying, pointing fingers at Black men, her authoritarian attempt to take over African American Studies and my taking the struggles for the life and integrity of our department to the Black community — those to whom we are ultimately accountable.

When asked about this critical question of the motivation and ultimate responsibility for the decision to not renew the contract of one of the most highly regarded lecturers on campus, the story takes on an added dimension. Dean Soufas seems to imply that the ultimate decision was made by the department Chair Molefi Asante himself, while Dr. Asante asserts that he was merely informed of the Dean’s decision. Dean Soufas stated on the record that there was “no truth whatsoever” to Monteiro’s allegations. However, she also immediately pointed the finger at Dr. Asante who she said ultimately collaborated in the decision not to renew Monteiro’s contract.

Soufas explained that:

All decisions about the renewal of contracts of non-tenure-track faculty members are made jointly by department chairs and the dean’s office[emphasis added]. Often when departments revise their curricula, it is necessary to change faculty resources in the non-tenure-track ranks to match the new course directions. Dr. Asante, the chairman of African-American Studies, is making some exciting curriculum changes in the department and wanted different fields of study to be covered by instructors.

Of course, in response to the accusation that Asante himself made the decision, Dr. Asante replied that:

The dean writes the letter when she wants to write a letter about anybody in the department…Did she consult with me to tell me what she was going to do? Yes, she did. I didn’t provide any guidance at all. My position is he has a year-to-year contract and it’s up to the dean… [I am] not worried about [Monteiro’s contract not being renewed] because it is year-to-year…there are scores of African-American people who could help us build this program. The thing you can’t worry about … if somebody signs a [year-to-year] contract and then get upset when someone says your year is up.

At best, Asante shows a complete disregard and utter betrayal of a colleague who, just a year earlier, led the charge to have him reappointed to a prominent position. At worst, Asante actively participated in the decision to terminate Dr. Monteiro, demonstrating an insidious willingness to collaborate with a vindictive attack upon a colleague in the interest of pleasing those in positions of power. In his statement, Asante implies that Monteiro could easily be replaced by “scores” of other African-American scholars. Such a statement should be correctly understood as a personal insult not only to Monteiro, but to the thousands of undergraduate and graduate students at Temple who have studied under him, as well as the countless Philadelphia residents who have benefitted from his activism and engagement with the community.

Why Monteiro Matters

Dr. Monteiro, or Tony as his friends refer to him, is an absolutely essential figure for Temple University, Philadelphia, and the Black community as a whole. As a scholar and educator, he is world-renowned. He established the annual W.E.B. DuBois symposium to bring together scholars and activists from all over the world to not only celebrate DuBois’s great contributions to the fields of sociology, anthropology, political philosophy, and race theory, but also to engage communities in an understanding of DuBois’s relevance today. It is this connection between “the Academy” and the lives of working people, the poor and the otherwise marginalized that truly illustrates what Tony is about.

Tony goes further, leading the “Saturday Free School” which brought members of the community of North Philadelphia and surrounding areas onto the campus of the university – a grave sin in the eyes of the white establishment, investors, and real estate developer “philanthropists” – to truly incorporate the black community into the campus culture. He has worked tirelessly to bring together organized labor, community groups, political associations and others in order to build coalitions that could represent the interests of working people in and around Philadelphia and resist the continued privatization, gentrification, and liquidation of the poor and disadvantaged communities.

Tony is one of the principal organizers of Educators for Mumia Abu Jamal, a coalition of scholars and academics who continue to wage a tireless campaign to free the revolutionary activist, journalist, and leader Mumia Abu Jamal, as well as all other political prisoners languishing in the Great American Gulag. The movement that Tony helped build has grown throughout the US and internationally, with Monteiro as one of its key figures. Mumia himself, in speaking from prison about Dr. Monteiro, noted that, “Dr. Anthony Monteiro is a name known among scholars, among activists, among sociologists, and among the people of Philadelphia. A brilliant and incisive teacher and thinker, Dr. Monteiro is a scholar’s scholar.”

Monteiro has published over one hundred articles and essays in a wide variety of journals and publications, engaging wide-ranging fields of study including sociology, critical theory, African and African-American studies, and a host of other disciplines. He is the most cited scholar in his department, and one of the most cited DuBois scholars in the world. His work has received acclaim from academics the world over. For these reasons, he is respected by some of the most prominent scholars and public intellectuals in the United States, including Dr. Cornel West who, in support of Tony stated that Monteiro is, “one of our grand intellectual freedom fighters who works in the tradition of W.E.B. DuBois and C.L.R. James. I’m in his corner 120 percent…I’m so glad to see both his students, as well as the community, rise up and support Dr. Monteiro.”

One would think that with world famous intellectuals such as Cornel West and Mumia Abu Jamal, among many others, speaking on his behalf, there would be no question that Monteiro would be secure in his position, with tenure, and the respect afforded to a public intellectual of his stature. However, that is not the case. The question is why?

The Neoliberal Purge of Black Radicalism in Academia

The treatment of Dr. Monteiro by Asante and Soufas is worrying in and of itself. However, even more troubling is the fact that it represents a continuing trend within academia and, specifically, within the Black academic community. It would seem that the “Age of Obama” has done wonders to make some corners of the Black academic community feel as if, contrary to their previous status as outsiders who felt it their responsibility to challenge the power structure and agitate for radical progressive change, today there is a growing sense of participation in power.

No doubt, this is one of the deleterious effects of the Obama presidency where many white and black liberal scholars have felt it their responsibility to close ranks behind the President and, in so doing, transform the radical tradition itself. In discussing precisely this development Glen Ford, the renowned political commentator and Executive Editor of Black Agenda Report, explained in the context of Angela Davis’s support of Obama that:

The “delusional effect” that swept Black America with the advent of the First Black President has warped and weakened the mental powers of some of our most revered icons – and it has been painful to behold…Angela Davis diminished herself as a scholar and thinker in a gush of nonsense about the corporate executive in the White House…She called [his] campaign a ‘victory, not of an individual, but of…people who refused to believe that it was impossible to elect a person, a Black person, who identified with the Black radical tradition’… Angela Davis was saying that Barack Obama is a man who identifies with the Black radical tradition. She said it casually, as if Black radicalism and Obama were not antithetical terms; as if everything he has written, said and done in national politics has not been a repudiation of the Black radical tradition.

Ford correctly notes the feeling of betrayal by icons of the Black radical movement willingly deluding themselves into believing that the ruling class has suddenly transformed itself, that the black radical tradition, rather than being in opposition to Obama and the neoliberal order, is now a part of it. For Angela Davis, an icon of the liberation struggle and black academia, to spout this narrative, is indicative of the transformation currently underway – a transformation to sanitize the radical tradition and to annex it to the power structure, with Obama as the catalyst.

This same delusional thinking can be seen in the historical revisionism of Manning Marable in his book Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention in which Marable, a respected black scholar and author, essentially argued that Obama is the natural inheritor of the tradition of Malcolm X and of black radicalism. However, thankfully not all agree with such absurd revisionism. Noted author and lecturer Jared Ball wrote in his book A Lie of Reinvention: Correcting Manning Marable’s Malcolm X that Marable’s book, “is a corporate product, a simple commodity to be traded, but for more than money; it is a carefully constructed ideological assault on history, on radical politics, on historical and cultural memory, on the very idea of revolution.” Ball essentially argues that Marable, like Angela Davis, purges the radicalism from black radicalism in order to fit it within the narrative of contemporary political discourse, namely the discourse of power, the discourse of inclusion within the ruling class.

Davis and Marable (before his death), along with Molefi Asante, represent not only a betrayal of the radical tradition and a selling out to, and collusion with, neoliberal capitalism in the “Age of Obama”, they have made themselves into the arbiters of “acceptable discourse” within black academia. And it is precisely this acceptable discourse that Dr. Anthony Monteiro rejects. And it is for precisely this reason that Asante has spoken of “scores of African-Americans” who can take his place. Indeed, there are scores of African-American scholars willing and able to supplicate to corporate power and the de-radicalization of the radical tradition.

But not Monteiro. Rather than submit and cooperate, he continues to challenge power, whether it is the derisive wag of Dean Soufas’ white finger, or the limitless greed and racism of the white establishment and its black collaborators. He opposes them both with vigor, with fervor, and with uncompromising ethical and moral courage. He upholds the tradition of W.E.B. Dubois, and lives his principles. This is why he has been attacked. And this is why he must be supported.

Visit “Justice for Dr. Anthony Monteiro” on Facebook to see how you can get involved. If you are an educator, please contact [email protected] or [email protected] to sign the petition to reinstate Dr. Monteiro.

Join Dr. Monteiro and members of the community to show your support at a meeting of Temple University’s Board of Trustees meeting:

 

Monday March 10th, 2014 at 2pm.

Sullivan Hall

1330 Polett Walk

Philadelphia, PA 19122

 

Eric Draitser is the founder of StopImperialism.com. He is an independent geopolitical analyst based in New York City. You can reach him at [email protected].

 

Once again, the Oscars dominated headlines on US television networks as well for the last 86 Years. ‘12 Years a Slave’ based on the book by Solomon Northup won the 2014 Oscar for best picture of the year tells the story of how slaves of African ancestry were treated by its white owners. Host of the Oscars Ellen DeGeneres said “Tonight, there are so many different possibilities. Possibility number one: 12 Years a Slave wins Best Picture. Possibility number two: You’re all racists! Now, for our first white presenter, Anne Hathaway!”

That was funny, especially coming out of Hollywood. Racial politics seems to be the norm in the United States especially if you listen to the main stream media and its new propagandist, the Reverend Al Sharpton on MSNBC. An analysis by the Washington Free Beacon said that “MSNBC host Al Sharpton mentioned race in some capacity a total of 314 times on Politics Nation in 2013.”

Race is often used by the media to divide and conquer people at least in the United States especially between black and white. But the fact remains that there were millions of Africans transported to North and South America have been tortured, murdered, raped and exploited for slave labor.  African-Americans suffered a great deal because of the slave trade, and many still do today.  Many cultures throughout human history have suffered the same fate. Whether black, white, indigenous, Jewish or Irish, human tragedies have taken place. Race and class wars have played a part in many of these crimes against humanity. Sometimes a tyrannical system such as fascism or extreme communism for example, under the leadership of Pol Pot in the 1960’s who imposed slavery on society.

It is not just the human history of one group over another that we should acknowledge it is a systemic problem of our society. Slavery existedthroughout all regions of the world.  Many people were slaves including the Irish, Jews, and many others.  It was and still is a system of the elite class who wish to rule humanity because of their status. Today a modern-day form of slavery exists through debt.

However, there is a piece of history not mentioned in history books or in Hollywood movies. It was called “Anti-Italianism” during the early 20th Century in America. Italian immigrants were seen as the enemy in the United States especially during a time of tensions when it came to employment and the economic hard times. Anti-Italian immigrant movements developed in several areas of the United States in the 20th century. In an interesting article called “Dark Legacy” by David Pacchioli, it describes what filmmaker of Linciati: Lynchings of Italians in America, Heather Hartley discovered during her research:

As she proceeded, however, Hartley’s research turned up another lynching of Italians, then another. “The more I looked, the more I uncovered,” she remembers. Accounts told of lynchings in Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, Colorado, Kentucky, Illinois, Washington, and New York between the years of 1885 and 1915, some 50 killings in all

Pacchioli’s article explains why the lynching’s in the United States happened to the Italian community:

The most egregious example, in New Orleans, was precipitated by a rivalry between two groups of Italian dockworkers. When the city’s police chief was shot and killed shortly before he was to testify against one of these groups, Italian males in the city were rounded up indiscriminately. The New Orleans Times-Democrat captured the mood: “The little jail was crowded with Sicilians,” the paper reported, “whose low, receding foreheads, repulsive countenances and slovenly attire proclaimed their brutal nature”

Nine Italian men were tried and acquitted of murder. In response, a large mob led by some of the city’s leading citizens stormed the parish prison, shot nine men as they cowered in their cells, then dragged out and hanged two more. It was the largest lynching in American history, and although no one was indicted for the crime, President Benjamin Harrison subsequently paid reparations of $25,000 to the Italian government

In ‘Guns, Goats, And Italians: The Tallulah Lynching of 1899’ by Edward F. Haas of the North Louisiana Historical Association wrote:

Six times in the 1890s Italians fell prey to American mob violence. Three of these tragedies happened in Louisiana. The most famous case resulted from the fatal shooting of New Orleans Police Superintendent, David Hennessy, in October 1890. Before he died, the chief reportedly whispered, “The dagos did it.” Authorities attributed the crime to the Mafia and soon arrested a score of Italians. After a public meeting in downtown New Orleans on March 14, 1891, an angry mob that included numerous prominent citizens descended upon the city jail, and meeting no resistance, systematically shot or clubbed to death, eleven of the Italian prisoners. When an investigation excused the mob’s actions, the Italian government severed diplomatic relations with the United States and briefly contemplated war

What is important to understand is that many different people of society were affected one way or another by a society based on racism and exploitation. It is not just a problem of one or two groups. It is a societal problem that we face as human beings.  Slavery, torture and lynching hangs a dark cloud over all of humanity and understanding our past would allow us to better ourselves as a human race.

Here is an excerpt from a Documentary called “Pane Amaro (Bitter Bread)” about the lynching’s that took place involving Italian immigrants:

Members of Congress and the Obama administration have consistently placed the blame for the violence stemming from protests on the Venezuelan government, while overlooking or ignoring violent incidents by opposition protesters, including the decapitation of motorcycle riders, the burning of government buildings and metro stations, attacks against state media companies, and the killing of individuals seeking to dismantle barricades, including a National Guard officer. Officials have referred instead to “systematic” human rights abuses and government repression, without citing evidence.

Based on these assertions, momentum is building to implement sanctions on members of the Venezuelan government. U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) told the press on Monday that, “There should be sanctions on individuals. … The administration is looking at those.” Wasserman Schultz, the Democratic National Committee chairwoman, cited a “high-level” State Department official that she had recently spoken to.

That the administration is considering sanctions comes on the heels of demands from members of congress that the Obama administration go further in its application of pressure on the Venezuelan government. After introducing legislation “supporting the people of Venezuela as they protest peacefully for democracy,” Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) stated that:

“But this resolution can only be the first step to hold Maduro and his fellow regime thugs accountable for their violent response and their abuses of the Venezuelan people’s liberties and human rights. I have already begun circulating a letter amongst my colleagues in the House, addressed to President Obama, asking him to take immediate actions against Maduro and other Venezuelan officials who are responsible for violations of their people’s human rights. We are calling for the President to enact immediate sanctions against these officials, under authorities granted to him under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), including denying them visas to enter the United States, blocking their property and freezing their assets in the U.S., as well as prohibiting them from making any financial transactions in the U.S.”

Ros-Lehtinen also plans to introduce a bill that would require the administration to take these steps. The moves from the House of Representatives have been echoed in the Senate, where the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) have introduced a resolution calling for sanctions. Menendez stated:

“Now is the time to pursue a course of targeted sanctions by denying and revoking visas, and freezing the assets of Venezuelan officials complicit in the deaths of peaceful protestors. Human rights violators should be held accountable for the crimes they committed and their presence should not be welcome in our nation. Venezuelans today are denied basic rights, freedoms, and the ability to peacefully protest the dire economic circumstances caused by President Maduro and his government. We stand with the Venezuelan people and the brave opposition leaders in their pursuit to build a more hopeful Venezuela that embraces a bright future while discarding a failed past.”

Marco Rubio even made the case for sanctions on NBC News’ “Meet The Press,”telling host David Gregory that, “I would like to see specific U.S. sanctions against individuals in the Maduro government that are systematically participating in the violation of human rights and anti-democratic actions.” Florida Governor Rick Scott has also called for sanctions. Although neither the House nor the Senate have passed these resolutions calling for sanctions, Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters last week that, “with respect to Venezuela, Congress has urged sanctions.”

The call for sanctions has also been trumpeted by the press, with Miami Heraldcolumnist Andres Oppenheimer saying that if Venezuela does not respond to “international diplomatic pressures,” then the Congress “should revoke the U.S. visas of Venezuelan government and military leaders.” Further, Otto Reich, the former U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela and Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs at the time of the U.S.-backed coup of 2002, wrote an opinion piece for the National Review titled “It’s Time for Sanctions in Venezuela.”

None of the members of congress nor any of the resolutions mention the fact that of the 18 tragic deaths in Venezuela since the protests began, many were not protestors, but individuals removing barricades and motorcyclists killed by wires strung across streets, or by crashing into barricades. In one case, a member of the Venezuelan National Guard was shot and killed. The Senate resolution makes no call for both sides to refrain from violence nor does it condemn the violent actions of some from the protest movement, however it does deplore “the use of excessive and unlawful force against peaceful demonstrators in Venezuela and the inexcusable use of violence…to intimidate the country’s political opposition.”

While, undoubtedly, excessive force has been used by members of the Venezuelan security forces, over 10 individuals have been arrested for these actions and further investigations are under way. According to the Attorney General (AG) of Venezuela, there are currently 27 investigations into violations of human rights. The AG, Luisa Ortega Diaz, stated that her office “will not tolerate violations of human rights under any circumstance and that any official turns out to be responsible will be sanctioned as established by the laws of Venezuela.” Far from censoring information or trying to hide the extent of the arrests or of those killed in the last few weeks, Diaz has provided regular updates to the press and has kept the public informed about the status of investigations.

In an open appeal to international communist, workers’ and left parties, the Communist Party of Ukraine (CPU) warns that their country is the latest to fall victim to the “colour revolutions.”

As the Ukrainian Communists say, “shocking massacres, acts of vandalism, riots and seizures of administrative buildings in Ukraine have been shown to the world media.” The clashes have included serious injuries and even deaths to protesters and law enforcement officers, as well as kidnappings and physical violence against parties to the conflict.

These events, according to the CPU, have dispelled the myth that the struggle is between a “criminal regime” and “peaceful European democrats.”

In reality, they say, there is a fight for power among oligarchic clans in Ukraine, and for the Presidency in particular. Calling the current events a “coup”, the CPU points to the creation of parallel institutions of power by the opposition groups, fuelling the conflict and provoking stronger responses from the authorities.

Little mentioned in the West has been the role of neo‑Nazi and extreme nationalist political forces which provoke violence and confrontation. These organizations, says the CPU, include the Spilna Sprava (“Common Cause”), Trizub (“Trident”), UNAUNSO, “Right sector”, the “Freedom” party, etc.

The “Freedom” party occupies a special role in the escalation of the conflict. As a parliamentary party, in power in some Western regions of the country, “Freedom” continues to pursue “a policy of subversion against the constitutional order in Ukraine.”

All of these organizations, warns the CPU, follow the example of Nazi collaborators like Bandera and Shukhevych, even using identical slogans. For example, a popular slogan today, “Glory to Ukraine, Glory to Heroes!”, was used during the massacre of peaceful Polish and Ukrainian residents in western Ukraine. The neo-Nazi forces have committed numerous acts of vandalism, destroying statues of Lenin and Soviet‑era monuments to the heroes of struggle against fascism.

Fuelling the escalation of the conflict, says the CPU, is the political support of the Western powers in Ukraine. The U.S. State Department constantly demands that the Ukrainian authorities negotiate with the opposition, withdraw all law enforcement officers from Kiev, and allow the “opposition” to seize the government and reverse laws adopted by the Parliament of Ukraine.

Contrary to descriptions in the corporate media, these laws are consistent with similar legislation in the West, such as the requirement that public organizations financed from abroad must register as foreign agents. Many western countries have implemented laws to prohibit protesters from hiding their faces, or from using helmets and shields during demonstrations.

The Communist Party of Ukraine says it believes that “the responsibility for the violence equally rests on Ukraine’s leadership, whose actions forced the people of Ukraine to enter the mass protests, and leaders of the so‑called `opposition’, the ultra‑nationalist militant organizations and foreign politicians who urged people to `radicalize the protests’ and `fight to the bitter end.’”

The CPU is calling for an end to the use of force, non-interference in the internal affairs of Ukraine, and negotiations to end the conflict. The attempts to create parallel structures of authority, they say, threaten to escalate the conflict into civil war and a division of Ukraine.

In these circumstances, the Communist Party of Ukraine presents concrete proposals to resolve the situation:

 - Declare a Ukrainian referendum on the definition of foreign economic policy of Ukraine’s integration.

- Conduct a political reform to eliminate the presidency and install a parliamentary republic, and significantly expand the rights of territorial communities.

- Return to a proportional voting electoral system.

- Establish an independent civilian “National control” body with the broadest powers.

- Conduct judicial reform and introduce the institution of electing judges.

The CPU also urges international condemnation of extremist actions, fascist propaganda, and external interference in the internal affairs of Ukraine.

The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) filed two complaints today against the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). The complaints allege that the two agencies illegally monitored and spied on the peaceful and democratic activities of community groups and First Nations opposed to the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline project. These groups include ForestEthics Advocacy, Dogwood Initiative, LeadNow.ca, the Idle No More movement, and others.

The BCCLA alleges that the RCMP and CSIS interfered with the freedoms of expression, assembly and association protected by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms by gathering intelligence about citizens opposed to the Enbridge project through a range of sources. The complaints also claim that the spying activities potentially included illegal searches of private information. The complaint against CSIS further alleges that the spy agency broke the law by gathering information on the peaceful and democratic activities of Canadians, which it is banned by law from doing. The documents released made clear that none of the groups under surveillance posed any threat to the National Energy Board hearings or public safety.

“It’s against the law and the constitution for police and spy agencies to spy on the lawful activities of people who are just speaking out and getting involved in their communities. That’s why we have filed these complaints,” said Josh Paterson, Executive Director of the BCCLA. “This is bigger than an environmental debate – it’s a question of fundamental human rights. There are plenty of undemocratic countries where governments spy on people that they don’t agree with. That’s not supposed to happen in Canada, and when it does, it can frighten people away from expressing themselves and participating in democratic debate.”

“It’s intimidating for people to learn that they’re being spied on by their own government,” said Ben West, Tar Sands Campaign Director for ForestEthics Advocacy, one of the groups that was spied upon. “Regular people are being made to feel like they are on a list of enemies of the state, just because they are speaking out to protect their community from a threat to their health and safety or trying to do what’s right in the era of climate change.”

One incident recorded in the intelligence-gathering was a Kelowna, B.C. volunteer meeting co-hosted by the advocacy organization LeadNow.ca and the Dogwood Initiative, a community action group based in Victoria. Jamie Biggar, the Executive Director of LeadNow, said, “Government spies should not be compiling reports about volunteers literally gathered in church basements to hand-paint signs – and then sharing that information with oil companies. That puts the interests of a handful of corporations ahead of the privacy rights of Canadians. It’s just wrong – period.”

Will Horter, the Executive Director of the Dogwood Initiative, added: “We are helping Canadians engage in their communities and in public decision-making processes for Enbridge and other projects. There is something deeply wrong when holding a story-telling workshop attracts heat from spies and police forces. It’s democracy, not a national security threat.”

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, who attended one of the meetings that was spied upon, stated: “I was shocked and disgusted to learn that the police and the National Energy Board colluded to keep track of First Nations people who are simply speaking out, including those who participate in Idle No More. This is the kind of thing we’d expect to see in a police state, and it’s a violation of our freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.”

Some of the intelligence gathered appears to have been shared with the National Energy Board, including information about ForestEthics Advocacy which was an intervening party in the Board’s hearings, as well as with Enbridge and other oil and energy companies. The complaint against the RCMP alleges that this could compromise the fairness of the Enbridge hearings. West added: “You can’t have a fair hearing when the police secretly gather information about our activities and then provide secret evidence to the National Energy Board and Enbridge, one of the other parties.”

The activities of CSIS and the RCMP outlined in the complaints originally came to light through an access to information request filed by Matthew Millar of the Vancouver Observer. It is unclear whether covert surveillance, wiretaps or other means were used in gathering the intelligence.

 

Chinese state media lashed out at the US and the European Union for their policies in Ukraine, their “Cold War mentality” and their drive to antagonize Russia at all costs.

 Despite the relative calm of official Chinese diplomacy, Beijing has not remained silent on the issue of American-sponsored coup in Kiev. Given that diplomatic etiquette prevents Chinese officials from harsh statements, but what can’t be said by diplomats can be written by the state media. People’s Daily, the newspaper owned by the Communist Party of China, published an editorial criticizing the US and the EU over their policies in Ukraine. The editorial is signed by”Zhong Sheng”, meaning “Voice of China” , a pseudonym used by Chinese officials to express their views.

“Zhong Sheng” slams the US for its “Cold War mentality”: “The theories related to politics, economics and security during the Cold War period are still influencing many people on their concept of the world, and some Western people are still imbued with resentment towards Russia ”

China is clearly angry and clearly sympathizes with the Russian position on Ukraine. Given that Beijing its often subjected to unfair treatment from the West it is natural that Beijing doesn’t agree with American policies based on double standards.

China strives for a multi-polar world in which developed countries don’t organize armed coups and respect the international law. In this context, it is easy to see why People’s Daily editorialists advise the West to give up their old political habits and drop the double standards for the sake of global peace and stability: ”Ridding the shackles of the Cold War mentality will reduce unnecessary confrontation, thereby allowing for a smoother transition in international relations.”

Sanctions on Russia over Ukraine would hurt the EU, US

March 7th, 2014 by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

The EU is freezing talks on a visa-free regime with Russia, according to the European Council President Herman Van Rompuy. The move has been branded as “politicized, not constructive and ungrounded” by Russia. The Voice of Russia talked to Mahdi Nazemroaya, Globalization studies center research fellow.

 

VoR: In your opinion are European powers likely to come to an agreement on Russia’s role in Ukrainian crisis in the immediate future?

Nazemroaya: First of all I think we should emphasize that there is a difference of opinion not only within governments comprising the EU but there is a difference of opinion amongst the citizens of the EU. A lot of them believe that they shouldn’t be involved in the affairs of Ukraine or in the former Soviet Union, a lot of them see this as a stoking of cold war tensions that are totally unnecessary, and they believe that their governments should back off in regards to the events in Ukraine as well as Russian involvement there. In regards to the actual governments though, and the media which is trying to spread the flames of Russophobia in Europe, a lot of these governments are very cautious: we can’t forget that Russia is a major trading partner for Germany; France has a lot of investments in Russia, in the auto industry for example; Russian energy resources are very important for many European countries. These things have to be taken into consideration and that is why many European countries are less gung-ho than the US is about sanctions against Russia for example or any aggressive movement against Russia. So there are divisions within the EU. And the factor we have to look at is the pressure the US is putting on the EU to sanction Russia or to get an aggressive encounter with the Russian Federation. I don’t know how they would want to impose any sanctions on Russia, I think that it would be a big mistake.

VoR: If some sanctions would be imposed what kind of sanctions could be on the table?

Nazemroaya: We know that the US has made a list of people that it wants to sanction. Right now there are people in the Crimea, Ukrainian citizens, which the US claims are threats to Ukrainian sovereignty and stability. But the Obama Administration and the White House have authorized the adding of Russian officials on to that list, but from what we know no Russians officials have been added to the list. I can’t see anything more than talking sanctions. If Russia is sanctioned by the EU or the US it would hurt them, it would divide the global financial system.

I don’t think that they can sanction Russia, it is such an important part of the global economy. It has trade with the Chinese; the Chinese are one of the engines of the global economy. Are they going to follow these sanctions? No, they are not. The Chinese will not follow these sanctions, nor will a vast segment of the international community and the countries of the world. You won’t see any of the BRICS countries be part of any sanctions regime against the Russian Federation.

But I still want to emphasize too that since 2011 the US has wanted to economically and politically punish Russia as well as the Chinese. We can recall Hillary Clinton when she was Secretary of State during the Friends of the Syrian People conference which had nothing to do with the Syrian people, it had everything to do with colonialism. During that conference she was saying: ‘We have to make the Russians and the Chinese pay, we need to make consequences for them.’ Those thoughts are there and that is something they want.

VoR: Speaking about US-Russian relations, how will they develop taking into account the situation in Ukraine?

Nazemroaya: I think we have to be very clear about what has happened in Ukraine. Historically Ukraine and Russia have essentially been one entity. Russia’s history starts in Kievan Rus. These two countries have been one. The languages historically were one language, they were both Proto-Russian before it divided into Belorussian and Ukrainian and modern Russian. These people have such close connections and one of the things about these connections is the US wants to use them against Russia’s strategic interests – the coup in Ukraine is aimed primarily against Russia. According to one of its own senior diplomats Victoria Nuland, the US has spent billions of dollars on this project – to install a government in Kiev that would basically extend the Euro-Atlantic zone, which is more properly called the Euro-American zone because it is American influence in Europe.

The coup is aimed against Russia. The US has pushed for years for this. This is part two of the Orange Revolution. They failed with their proxies and puppets during the Orange Revolution so now they are back for act two.

Interview conducted by Nadezhda Kulikova.

Peter Koenig talked to the Voice of Russia about the crisis in Ukraine, the biased coverage of the Western media and the “meaningless” threats of sanctions issued by the Obama administration. Peter Koenig is an economist and former World Bank staff. He worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources.

 Before we start discussing the threats issued by the Obama administration, could you share your impressions about the way the Western media covers Ukraine?

Sadly, the “presstitute” media have converted the western populace into mindless puppets, a brainwashed western population to the point of losing all sense of reality, of right and wrong; blinded to the point of screaming into the bullhorn of Washington’s Assassin in Chief.

Just to make sure that everyone understands what “presstitute” means. According to Urban Dictionary it is “ A term coined by Gerald Celente and often used by independent journalists and writers in the alternative media in reference to journalists and talking heads in the mainstream media who give biased and predetermined views in favor of the government and corporations, thus neglecting their fundamental duty of reporting news impartially. It is a portmanteau of press and prostitute.”

Just look at today’s article in the NYTimes on Mr. Putin’s Press conference on Ukraine! It typically portrays its utmost disdain for President Putin – “He sat alone in an armchair, alternately slouching, his legs spread wide in confidence, and squirming uncomfortably.”- and – “He demonstrated his characteristically uncanny grasp of detail in such matters as natural-gas pricing, but contradicted himself at times and wandered off into obscure historical digressions.”

The NYT piece goes on – “He delivered a version of the crisis that was fundamentally at odds with the view held by most officials in the United States, Europe and Ukraine.”

Basically, the coverage is utterly biased and everything that doesn’t fit into the Washington-approved narrative is disregarded.

Of course the true version of the crisis is at odds with the western views. They are those of stooges of Washington, who are constantly manipulated by a war-mongering corporate media, paid for by the murderously interested US military industrial complex.

The gentlemen diplomat, Mr. Putin, did not even mention how the west, driven by the US, has subverted Ukrainian democracy and organized a coup d’état . He didn’t need to. After Madame Nuland’s bragging statement that US spent more than 5 billion dollars to prepare Ukraine for ‘regime change’, made history around the world, it should be clear to every journalist present at the press conference, including the one Steven Lee Myers, who authored the biased and oozing of hatred NYT’s article.

Nevertheless, the emperor without clothes dares to rattle its toothless sabers. Their numbed minds can’t imagine a reverse scenario, say Russia destabilizing Mexico in the emperor’s ‘backyard’ (as Obama is infamously known to call Latin America), to install a puppet government of their liking. – Imagine!

Let’s talk about sanctions. The US threatened to kick Russia out of the G8 and introduce trade sanctions. Will those sanctions hurt Russia?

Mr. Obama, himself a puppet of Corporate America, should know that in reality threats of sanctions, like ‘we are not coming to the G-8 summit in Sochi’, or ‘we will confiscate Russian assets in the US’, or ‘ we will discontinue talks on trade’ – are meaningless. Russia does not need the Western economy. Period.

That’s a very strong statement. Could you elaborate?

Russia in solidarity and alliance with China has all the trumps in its court. – Europe depends up to 40% on gas supplied from Russia, of which 80% passes through Ukraine. China holds about 1.6 trillion dollars of US debt they could drop and annihilate the US economy. Russia, China, India, Brazil and South Africa ( the BRICS ) have almost 50% of the planet’s population and about one third of the world’s GDP and therefore are self-sufficient and do not need the Anglo-Saxon led all-aggressive and war-ready Occident. They are about prepared to launch their own common currency – a solid alternative to the “mickey-mouse dollar”.

You’re saying that the self-sufficiency of the non-western world is reason enough to ignore the threats coming from Washington.

Who cares about American sanctions? Nobody needs the hollow US economy whose only sustenance is constant wars. Not even the European puppets are dependent on it. Of course, the yes-saying, head-bowing corrupt and coward EU leaders are dreaming of collecting some crumbs of the empire’s loot.

Does Russia and its allies have a way of retaliating?

Sanctions could easily come the other way and eventually they will, salvaging the globe’s enslaved populations. The BRICS can issue their own currency, a sound and solid basket of their countries money. It is likely to be adopted by all those who are striving to associate with the BRICS, among them many energy producers. So, a new reserve currency, a solid alternative for the debt ridden worthless US dollar will emerge. The BRICS and associates have a lready shed the dollar as currency of reference for international treaties, using instead their own national money and that has angered Washington.

At the international Energy summit last fall in South Korea, Russia’s representative has announced trading hydrocarbons in the near future in the countries’ own currencies, decoupling petrol and gas from the dollar. Many hydrocarbon producers today are just waiting for that day to come. Imagine what that would mean for the US dollar! The corporate presstitute media is silent about these developments to protect the false prestige of the decaying empire. But truth will prevail.

Back to Ukraine. What is your view on Russia’s intervention?

Isn’t a Russian intervention for its own national security (using America’s all justifying notorious slogan) protection from the Western installed fascist government a logical step? If the people of Ukraine have not yet realized what economic mayhem would await them becoming a close ally of Europe, they may just look to Greece, where IMF and EU imposed privatization of public services and a burden of debt have turned the population into lasting enslavement.

There are people who still believe that Ukraine will be better off under IMF administration.

In Ukraine, a devastating free trade agreement (sic) with the EU, a burden of the IMF/EU imposed debt to ‘restructure’ its economy, privatization and massive unemployment would create an economic and social disaster. If the people of Ukraine would see this coming, they would forever be grateful for Russian intervention. Look at Greece as an example. It is not only that the IMF and Germany have already encouraged Greece to ‘privatize’ its islands. Now, under the dictate of the same IMF, international mining companies are allowed using confiscating peasants’ land without compensation to suck the country empty of its remaining natural resources, under the pretext of Greece amortizing the ECB, EC and IMF imposed debt. As a side effect the mines will pollute surface and groundwater as well as the rich Aegean Sea, so that fishermen too will lose their livelihood.

That’s the world we are living in. Ukraine better take note before it is too late – before they submit to the pillage by the elite of the One World Order.

Valentin Mândrăşescu

 Behind the Flash mob Attack on Obama’s DOJ Attorney General Nominee Debo Adegbile

 by Noelle Hanrahan

(cowritten version with Stephen Vittoria at http://www.mumia-themovie.com/blog.html

 Download “Bullies of Babylon” (2:48) by Mumia (mp3)

47-52 the motion fails.

There is a story that lies behind the Adegbile partisan fight on the senate floor. If you want to understand why the Republicans are using Adegbile’s association with Mumia Abu-Jamal to try and block his nomination, take a long hard look at ‘Mumia: Long Distance Revolutionary”, www.mumia-themovie.com. This will give you the measure of the man.

 It chronicles Mumia Abu-Jamal’s evolution as one of the world’s most notable public intellectuals. 

Today’s stage is the floor of the U.S. Senate where a cloture vote on Adegible’s nomination takes place in the wake of his clearing the Judiciary Committee. And where that nomination failed. According to an OP ED in the Wall Street Journal Adegbile’s representation of Mumia Abu-Jamal when he headed the NAACP LDF is reason enough to derail his nomination. The Fraternal Order of police, Fox News and bipartisan derision from Pennsylvania politicians republican Senator Pat Toomey, and Democrat Bob Casey has fueled the impending drama. 

It is a drama where U.S. Senators and political pundits regurgitate blatant lies that seek to demonize Mumia because they face zero accountability to the facts(1). Just one fact: When Terry Maurer Carter, a court reporter came forward and sworn in an affidavit that Albert Sabo the original judge said of during the first week of Mumia’s trial” “I am going to help them fry the nigger”, Philadelphia Common Pleas court judge Pamela Dembe ruled it “irrelevant”, and that it was not an indication that the case was racially biased. 

The media and congressional pundits deplore that Mumia’s death sentence was overturned and he was removed from death row. They repeatedly attribute this result to advocacy lawyers who put forward fabricated tale of racial bias. Come now, really? Racial bias in the U.S. Criminal Justice system and Philadelphia is a fairy tale?

They also conveniently ignore that Mumia’s death sentence was overturned by a court: the U.S. Third Circuit and that decision was upheld by the U.S. Supreme court- hardly a liberal bastion by any means.

But why is Mumia relevant at all. Why are they concerned that he lives or dies? What does he represent? Why must he have remained silent. The answer is because what he says and has been saying for over thirty years is relevant.

Mumia Abu-Jamal, is an internationally acclaimed intellectual who writes in the tradition of Franz Fanon and Noam Chomsky. That he has done his work from an Pennsylvania prison cell for over 33 yrs. (30 of which were spent in solitary on death row) is remarkable. His weekly worldwide radio broadcasts and bestselling books have been translated into nine languages.

Nelson Mandela, the European Parliament, Maya Angelou, E.L. Doctorow, Amnesty International, Danielle Mitterrand, Danny Glover, among many others have called his trial a miscarriage of justice and lauded his incisive writing.

Abu-Jamal through his radio essays and writing directly challenges the false but convenient “we have realized the dream narrative” that everyone from Time Magazine to Obama is promulgating as we honor Martin Luther King and celebrate Black History month.

Mumia Abu-Jamal is the conscience of America. And the backlash is swift. The level of vitriol and outright demands for his death/silence reminds one of the terrorist label put on Nelson Mandela for a quarter of a century. 

Certain revolutionary ideas were not meant to survive the U.S. state sponsored “programme” that targeted Black freedom leaders such as Martin Luther King and ultimately for the last fifty years, black life in America. 

The “dream” was assassinated whether it is comfortable to admit that or not. Mumia Abu-Jamal survived. And he is one of the many U.S. political prisoners, who are the living witnesses to the true struggle to realize the dreams of freedom and justice. The United States government through CointelPro and other repressive means has consciously and deliberately attempted to suppress the hopes and dreams of many African Americans. Listen to Mumia Abu-Jamal www.prisonradio.org.

Noelle Hanrahan, Producer “Mumia: Long Distance Revolutionary

[email protected]

Note

(1) See “Manufacturing Guilt” a short explosive expose of the Ed Rendell (District Attorney) and Joseph McGill Prosecutor’s fabrication and hubris during the case against Mumia Abu-Jamal for the murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner on Dec. 9th 1981.

By Kells Hetherington

The situation in Ukraine intensified March 6 as President Barack Obama imposed visa restrictions and economic sanctions on Russians suspected of involvement in military action in Ukraine. The White House is also working with allies on a set of international sanctions on Russia. Meanwhile, the Crimean parliament voted to leave the Ukraine for Russia and hold a referendum to affirm the decision.

 University of Illinois College of Law professor Francis Boyle criticized the United States for its handling of diplomatic conversations about the crisis held yesterday in Paris.

“The decision by President [Vladimir] Putin to stand down the 150 thousand troops on war exercises off the border of Ukraine was very positive and it should have been taken up immediately by Secretary of State Kerry … yet unfortunately, rather than building on this, it seems that the Obama administration is escalating the crisis,” he said.

The U.S. has dispatched more forces to Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland, according to Boyle, despite the fact these four countries are not under threat.

“[The U.S.] already have two warships in the Black Sea and they are sending another one … they have the George Bush aircraft carrier taskforce steaming towards the Eastern Mediterranean so it does not really appear that the United States government is trying to de-escalate,” said Boyle.

The U.S. wants to escalate the crisis in Ukraine, according to the professor.

“If Kerry had wanted to he could have had reasonable good faith negotiations with [Russian] Foreign Minister [Sergei ] Lavrov,” explained Boyle. “Instead, he insisted that Lavrov had to meet with his little proxy there from Kiev.”

Kerry should go to Russia and meet with Putin, according to Boyle, who also said the terms of the 1994 Budapest Memorandum don’t promise Ukraine military protections.

According to a report in Kommersant-Ukraine, the finance ministry of Washington’s stooges in Kiev who are pretending to be a government has prepared an economic austerity plan that will cut Ukrainian pensions from $160 to $80 so that Western bankers who lent money to Ukraine can be repaid at the expense of Ukraine’s poor.  http://www.kommersant.ua/doc/2424454  It is Greece all over again.

 Before anything approaching stability and legitimacy has been obtained for the puppet government put in power by the Washington orchestrated coup against the legitimate, elected Ukraine government, the Western looters are already at work. Naive protesters who believed the propaganda that EU membership offered a better life are due to lose half of their pension by April.  But this is only the beginning.

The corrupt Western media describes loans as “aid.”  However, the 11 billion euros that

the EU is offering Kiev is not aid.  It is a loan.  Moreover, it comes with many strings, including Kiev’s acceptance of an IMF austerity plan.

Remember now, gullible Ukrainians participated in the protests that were used to overthrow their elected government, because they believed the lies told to them by Washington-financed NGOs that once they joined the EU they would have streets paved with gold.  Instead they are getting cuts in their pensions and an IMF austerity plan.

 The austerity plan will cut social services, funds for education, layoff government workers, devalue the currency, thus raising the prices of imports which include Russian gas, thus electricity, and open Ukrainian assets to takeover by Western corporations.

Ukraine’s agriculture lands will pass into the hands of American agribusiness.

One part of the Washington/EU plan for Ukraine, or that part of Ukraine that doesn’t defect to Russia, has succeeded.  What remains of the country will be thoroughly looted by the West.

The other part hasn’t worked as well.  Washington’s Ukrainian stooges lost control of the protests to organized and armed ultra-nationalists.  These groups, whose roots go back to those who fought for Hitler during World War 2, engaged in words and deeds that sent southern and eastern Ukraine clamoring to be returned to Russia where they resided prior to the 1950s when the Soviet communist party stuck them into Ukraine.

At this time of writing it looks like Crimea has seceded from Ukraine. Washington and its NATO puppets can do nothing but bluster and threaten sanctions.  The White House Fool has demonstrated the impotence of the “US sole superpower” by issuing sanctions against unknown persons, whoever they are, responsible for returning Crimea to Russia, where it existed for about 200 years before, according to Solzhenitsyn, a drunk Khrushchev of Ukrainian ethnicity moved southern and eastern Russian provinces into Ukraine. Having observed the events in western Ukraine, those Russian provinces want to go back home where they belong, just as South Ossetia wanted nothing to do with Georgia. 

 Washington’s stooges in Kiev can do nothing about Crimea except bluster. Under the Russian-Ukraine agreement, Russia is permitted 25,000 troops in Crimea.  The US/EU media’s deploring of a “Russian invasion of 16,000 troops” is either total ignorance or complicity in Washington’s lies.  Obviously, the US/EU media is corrupt.  Only a fool would rely on their reports. Any media that would believe anything Washington says after George W. Bush and Dick Cheney sent Secretary of State Colin Powell to the UN to peddle the regime’s lies about “Iraqi weapons of mass destruction,” which the weapons inspectors had told the White House did not exist, is clearly a collection of bought-and-paid for whores.

In the former Russian provinces of eastern, Ukraine Putin’s low-key approach to the strategic threat that Washington has brought to Russia has given Washington a chance to hold on to a major industrial complex that serves the Russian economy and military.  The people themselves in eastern Ukraine are in the streets demanding separation from the unelected government that Washington’s coup has imposed in Kiev.  Washington, realizing that its incompetence has lost Crimea, had its Kiev stooges  appoint Ukrainian oligarchs, against whom the Maiden protests were partly directed, to governing positions in eastern Ukraine cities.  These oligarchs have their own private militias in addition to the police and any Ukrainian military units that are still functioning.  The leaders of the protesting Russians are being arrested and disappeared.  Washington and its EU puppets, who proclaim their support for self-determination, are only for self-determination when it can be orchestrated in their favor.  Therefore, Washington is busy at work suppressing self-determination in eastern Ukraine.

 This is a dilemma for Putin.  His low-key approach has allowed Washington to seize the initiative in eastern Ukraine.  The oligarchs Taruta and Kolomoyskiy have been put in power in Donetsk and Dnipropetrovsk, and are carrying out arrests of Russians and committing unspeakable crimes, but you will never hear of it from the US presstitutes.  Washington’s strategy is to arrest and deep-six the leaders of the secessionists so that there no authorities to request Putin’s intervention. 

If Putin has drones, he has the option of taking out Taruta and Kolomoyskiy.  If Putin lets Washington retain the Russian provinces of eastern Ukraine, he will have demonstrated a weakness that Washington will exploit. Washington will exploit the weakness to the point that Washington forces Putin to war. 

The war will be nuclear.

 

 

Global headlines are now dominated with news emanating from the recent Western-backed coup d’état in Ukraine. Western leaders and mainstream media have predictably attempted to lend credibility to this recent seizure of power by Orange Revolution’ retreads and their extremist right-wing allies, framing it as a popular desire to shift away from an overbearing Russia. It has been celebrated as yet another auspicious development towards ‘democracy’ and integration with the EU. But as this new leadership begins to reshape Ukraine from Kiev, the geopolitical landscape does as well with potentially dangerous ramifications. This new regime, coming into being through unconstitutional methods — by fiat of the new rump parliament alone backed by legions of violent right-wing rioters — most notably bears an animus towards Russia, and herein lies the chief danger for the world.

At the heart of the crisis lie an omnipresent Western ambition for the expansion of their strategic ‘bridgehead’ into the Eurasian supercontinent — this time in the very “soft underbelly” of Russia. Their desired outcome in Ukraine is the replacement of the Yanukovych regime — notwithstanding its inherent problems with rampant oligarchism, still one that was democratically elected — with a regime subservient to the EU, NATO, and that will enact the brutal austerity dictates of the International Monetary Fund. Towards this end, they exploited legitimate grievances of the people through the use of their patent ‘Color Revolution’ methods (recently updated during the so-called ‘Arab Spring’) to subvert the existing government. To supplement these efforts, the most violent right-wing elements in Ukraine were employed as shock troops to impose the new regime. This tendency to incorporate extremist elements in their efforts, strongly redolent of recent Western backed efforts in the MENA region, represents the devolution of the ‘Color Revolution’ template into a more violent and radical model.

The Danger of the New Regime 

In the present Obama foreign policy epoch the chief geopolitical gambit is buck-passing or ‘leading from behind.’ This entails outsourcing geopolitical initiatives to allies — with them trumpeting at the forefront — while Washington discreetly provides military or logistical assistance.

To smash the Libyan state the US allowed France and Britain to appear to be leading the initiative, while the bulk of logistical work on the ground as well as NATO bombing was performed by the US; in Syria the US encouraged Turkey to be at the forefront of operations to smash the Syrian state; Poland assisted the subversion of the Ukrainian state in question. In the present context — where a new right wing regime bearing anti-Russian animus has come to power — the temptation to direct their criminal mob energy towards foreign policy adventurism against neighboring Russia or Belarus is great. The danger here twofold: the aforementioned US tendency for buck-passing as well as the temptation for a “Wag the Dog” type military adventure to overshadow the downward economic stresses the new regime will inevitably face.

This is particularly exacerbated by the economic situation of Ukraine, which is dire, and will continue to deteriorate after the new regime begins to implement ineluctable Western demands for austerity. In other words, the combined hatred for Russia, US ‘lead-from-behind’ strategy, and a ‘Wag the Dog’ temptation sets the world on a course towards perilous confrontation.

Ukraine: Crucial ‘Geopolitical Pivot’

In the geopolitical calculus of both Russia and the NATO bloc, Ukraine is of crucial importance. Its interest to the West and to Russia entails a willingness to engage on the ‘Grand Chessboard’ of Eurasian geopolitics for influence or control over it.

For the West led by the US, influence over Ukraine is an opportunity to cut Russia out of European affairs and to bolster its continual push East through the expansion of NATO. This is seen, with good reason, by Moscow as an unabated drive towards encirclement. For Russia, Ukraine represents, inter alia, a potentially sensitive position from which it is vulnerable militarily; it is a cornerstone of viable Russian security in Europe.

According to Zbigniew Brzezinski — US foreign policy guru who founded the elite Trilateral Commission along with David Rockefeller, as well as reputed teacher of Obama at Columbia University — Ukraine can be classified as a ‘geopolitical pivot.’ That is a state “whose importance is derived not from their power and motivation but rather from their sensitive location and from the consequences of their potentially vulnerable condition for the behavior of geopolitical players.” For Brzezinski, a Ukraine severed from Russia consequently severs Russia from Europe, albeit in his terms in its “imperial status” as a Eurasian power. Severed from Ukraine, Russia would be reoriented towards Asia, which sets it on a collision course with an emerging China (an ideal scenario for Washington with its wont for buck-passing):

Ukraine, a new and important space on the Eurasian Chessboard, is a geopolitical pivot because its very existence as an independent country helps transform Russia. Without Ukraine, Russia ceases to to be a Eurasian empire. Russia without Ukraine can still strive for imperial status, but it would then become a predominantly Asian imperial state, more likely to be drawn into debilitating conflicts with aroused Central Asians … China would also be likely to oppose any restoration of Russian domination over Central Asia…

For Russia, militarily, control of its eastern frontier has perennially poised a potential quagmire: it has been the point from which armies have invaded to push into the Russian heartland particularly for topographic reasons. Thus, for Stalin negotiating with the Allies at Yalta, the question of Poland was “one of life and death.” “Throughout history,” he cautioned, “Poland has been the corridor for attack on Russia.” With Poland today already an integral part of NATO, Ukraine, with even greater proximity to the Russian heartland doubtless presents an even greater worry. Indeed, the geopolitical analysis group Stratfor aptly characterizes Ukraine as the “soft underbelly of Russia.” “Ukraine is as important to Russian national security as Scotland is to England or Texas is to the United States. In the hands of an enemy, these places would pose an existential threat to all three countries. Therefore, rumors to the contrary, neither Scotland nor Texas is going anywhere. Nor is Ukraine, if Russia has anything to do with it.”

Topographically, a potential attack on Russia can be greatly reduced if Ukraine is in the Russian orbit; conversely, it can be augmented if controlled by a Western power:

Dominated by Russia, Ukraine anchors Russian power in the Carpathian [mountains]…If Ukraine is under the influence or control of a Western power, Russia’s (and Belarus’s) southern flank is wide open along along an arc running from the Polish border east almost to Volgograd then south to the Sea of Azov, a distance of more than 1,000 miles, more than 700 of which lie along Russia proper. There are few natural barriers.

Thus, a Russia bereft of Ukraine loses the crucial security safeguard of the Carpathians. The road to Moscow is one step closer through subverting the government in Kiev.

The continuing systematic Western military buildup surrounding Russia has doubtless already increased Russian anxiety in the present context. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union — and the emergence of the unipolar world order — the US led West has steadily marched towards post-Soviet Russia, extending NATO menacingly all the way to its borders. In addition to official NATO membership the US has established a military outpost in the former Soviet republic of Georgia, leading to the Russo-Georgian war of 2008. This expansionist march of NATO is viewed by Russia as a betrayal of agreements it was given that such NATO growth would not occur.

Additionally, the ongoing provocative military ‘defensive’ shield installations in Poland and Romania — ostensibly to protect the West from Iran, which neither has has nuclear weapons or missiles with which to deliver them with — has been a point of tremendous concern. (A more rational location to place such installations, if we are to accept NATO’s motives at face value, would have been near NATO member Turkey.) To Moscow, this represents an existential threat to the critical Russian nuclear deterrent, a centerpiece of its military defesive strategy for decades. This fundamental reality informs the Russian stance when Nikolai Makarov, Chief of the General Staff of the Russian armed forces, threatened Russia would preemptively destroy such NATO military installations in the event of a crisis.

The current reshaping of Ukraine represents — yet again — a potential extension (de facto or officially) of NATO, part of its continual march east. Not least among concerns, a Ukraine in the NATO orbit leaves its “soft underbelly” accessible to the bloc. Far from the partisan portrayals of Western media concerning the EU’s association agreement — which it largely terms as a benign “civilizational” proposal to usher prosperity and to shift away from the Kremlin’s overbearing embrace — there is, in fact, a military component. As Russian expert Stephen Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies at NYU and Princeton, points out the ” proposal, for example, includes ‘security policy’ provisions, almost never reported, that would apparently subordinate Ukraine to NATO.” Ukraine would, in effect, have to abide by NATO military policies to the dismay of Moscow. Revealingly, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen declared the prospective agreement with Ukraine would have been “a major boost to Euro-Atlantic security.”

Ukraine in the NATO orbit would also potentially deprive Russia of its critical naval port and military presence in the Crimean peninsula. This would cut Russia off from access to the Black Sea and therefore the Mediterranean Sea. That Russia has a robust naval presence with access to the Mediterranean means the sea cannot become exclusively the province of NATO. This fundamental reality also frustrates NATO’s continuing efforts to unseat Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

Energy exports are also a centerpiece of Russian foreign policy. Being excluded from the Mediterranean would also hamper this policy. Moreover, Moscow has watched as NATO has in recent times been very active on the world scene participating in ruthless military actions in Libya as well as aiding in the attempted smashing of the Syria state in the ongoing civil war. Western elites are seen increasingly as more unstable and willing to participate in wild military adventurism. These plethora of considerations weigh heavily on Moscow’s calculations, as they rationally inveigh against persistent and intensifying Western encroachment. In this fraught and tense scene of European and Eurasian affairs Ukraine is the ‘geopolitical pivot’ par excellence.

NATO ‘Color Revolution’ Methodology 

The recent unrest in Ukraine represents one more episode in an ongoing campaign of “Color Revolutions” by the NATO bloc to unseat recalcitrant leaders (those who do not conform to NATO bloc dictates) under the cloak of “democracy promotion.” The unrest in Ukraine conforms to a very familiar script: pro-democracy protestors are being repressed by an autocratic state, in this case, refusing to accede to their demands for EU integration against Western interests. As observed by the Voltaire Network:

For over a decade now, the American public has been led to believe that successive waves of “people power” have risen up to overthrow oppressive rulers across Eurasia and the Middle East, all of whom just happened to contradict US interests. None of this was accidental; from Belgrade and Tbilisi to Minsk and Kishinev, the CIA and State Department have carried out plausible-deniability regime-change operations with varying degrees of success.

Ukraine is no stranger to the “Color Revolution.” In 2004 it was part of a wave of such “Color Revolutions” supported by Washington and the NATO bloc. This was the discredited “Orange Revolution” which installed Victor Yuschenko and oligarch Yulia Tymochenka. The method, now a template, functions through US created and sponsored political action groups — euphemistically termed NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) — chiefly, the NED (National Endowment for Democracy). These groups encourage and foster neoliberal self-described ‘revolutionaries’ who are ostensibly committed to ‘democracy.’ In reality, these groups typically offer a political program which centers on the deposition of an existing leader or the subversion of an existing regime.

The ‘Color Revolution’ as originally applied to Ukraine in 2004 was usefully described by Ian Traynor of the London Guardian:

With their websites and stickers, their pranks and slogans aimed at banishing widespread fear of a corrupt regime, the democracy guerrillas of the Ukrainian Pora youth movement have already notched up a famous victory – whatever the outcome of the dangerous stand-off in Kiev.

[T]he campaign is an American creation, a sophisticated and brilliantly conceived exercise in western branding and mass marketing that, in four countries in four years, has been used to try to salvage rigged elections and topple unsavory regimes.

Funded and organized by the US government, deploying US consultancies, pollsters, diplomats, the two big American parties and US non-government organizations, the campaign was first used in Europe in Belgrade in 2000 to beat Slobodan Milosevic at the ballot box.

Richard Miles, the US ambassador in Belgrade, played a key role. And by last year, as US ambassador in Tbilisi, he repeated the trick in Georgia, coaching Mikhail Saakashvili in how to bring down Eduard Shevardnadze. Ten months after the success in Belgrade, the US ambassador in Minsk, Michael Kozak, a veteran of similar operations in central America, notably in Nicaragua, organized a near identical campaign to try to defeat the Belarus hardman, Alexander Lukashenko.

The operation – engineering democracy through the ballot box and civil disobedience – is now so slick that the methods have matured into a template for winning other people’s elections.

Washington has brought the model of the ‘Color Revolution’ to the very doorstep of Russia once again. This time, however, the dynamics at play have been dramatically altered in the wake of the massive destabilization of the MENA region known as the ‘Arab Spring.’ The hackneyed ‘Color Revolution’ model of Western intelligence and the State Department has been updated; in some ways more trite, in others more destructive and explosive. Events have demonstrated that a failure of ‘civilian based power’ initiative to seize power can quickly degenerate into a violent struggle for power with NATO willing to support its side with ruthless military force. In the international landscape after UNSC Resolution 1973 against Libya (itself of dubious legality) a Western-backed ‘Color Revolution’ can rapidly turn into a ruthless bombing campaign. Alternatively, a Syrian scenario — whereby NATO and GCC intelligence massively arm and train extremists to foment civil war and overthrow the state — is equally feasible, with NATO having no aversion to employing extremists for regime change. The threat that the new NATO-backed regime in Kiev may engage military adventurism against Russia of Belarus remains as well.

The recent US history of meddling in Ukraine is unequivocal; nevertheless, Washington’s strategy in the near term — conforming to the Obama regime’s ‘leading-from-behind’ strategy — is to remain bashful about its ongoing subversive activities. From the US perspective, unwanted attention on its activities discredits the potential vassals it wants in place. This attitude for Washington’s recent wave of regime change was recently summed up by Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor for the Obama regime, who according to The New York Times plays a role more prominent than his official title:

These democratic movements will be more sustainable if they are seen as not an extension of America or any other country, but coming from within these societies,” said Benjamin J. Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser. “For the longer term, it is better to let the people within the country be the strongest voice while also ensuring that at the appropriate times you are weighing in publicly and privately.

This “weighing in” privately by the world’s foremost power is the crucial aspect of the multitude of movements sponored by Washington to unseat leaders, while its public face lends diplomatic cover and legitimacy. Recently however, Washington received unwanted exposure to its activities, thanks in part to Russia. In a leaked recording, the US’s top diplomat for Europe, the Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs, Victoria Nuland and the ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt were exposed as plotting to effect a coup to oust the democratically elected leader of Ukraine. The Washington Post, house organ of US government foreign policy apparatchiks, had to concede that Nuland and Pyatt were “laying bare a deep degree of US involvement in affairs that Washington officially says are Ukraine’s to resolve.”

The recording also shows the US diplomats indicating which opposition figures should and should not be included in a new Ukrainian regime. The revelatory recording also shows a certain intimacy with these opposition figures. It shows that in contrast to the US rhetorical posture of supporting another sponteneous ‘democracy’ movement, it is active in seeing the Ukrainian crisis end in their favor. Indeed, in a triumphant and lofty speech, preceded by three visits in a five week span, Nuland delineated how in the past two decades the US has spent $5 billion dollars to subvert Ukraine and sever it away from its historic relationship with Russia. This imperialism is on the cheap in comparison to the Bush II regime, which was notable for its costly use of overt military force and posturing.

NATO’s Right-Wing Extremists in Ukraine

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The recent coup in Ukraine arrives with the backdrop of recent NATO sponsored efforts to smash existing states across MENA. What these destabilization demonstrated was a willingness of the Western powers to engage with and use otherwise unpalatable extremists groups to produce desired results. In Libya, Egypt, and Syria this took the form of a willingness to engage with political Islamists and their radical Islamic extremist allies, groups whose erstwhile depiction in the West has been highly unfavorable, due to their proclivity for sectarianism and terrorism. In Ukraine this has taken the form of Western blanket support for extreme right-wing and quasi-fascist groups within the opposition; these groups have steadfastly remained at the forefront of the effort to unseat Yanukovych. This usage of extremists is departure from earlier “Color Revolution” models which mainly employed young well-meaning neoliberal democracy activists — the golden youth. These extremist groups — still hailed as “protestors” in Western parlance — were responsible for the explosion of violence and tumult which overtook the Maidan in Kiev and which gradually increased as they gained in confidence and resolve. Their proclivity for violence has roots in Nazism and can be classified as neo-Nazi.

Their overall militant formation is called “Right Sector.” It is an umbrella organization for a catalogue of right-wing ultra-nationalist groups. It includes “Svoboda” (Freedom) Party, “Patriots of Ukraine,” “Ukrainian National Assembly,” and “Trizub.” The common denominator for these groups is an ideology that is anti-immigrant, anti-Jewish, and virulently Russophobic while promoting the idea of “one” “pure” Ukrainian nation.

The most prominent and politically successful group is the All-Ukrainian Union Svoboda party led by Oleh Tyahnybok. In the 2012 parliamentary elections the party secured secured 10.45% of the vote. Svoboda is currently Ukraine’s fourth biggest party and holds 36 seats in parliament. Its origins, like that of its allies, lie in the National Socialist Party of Ukraine. When the party was registered in 1995 it used the a swastika-style “wolfsangel” rune as its logo and restricted membership exclusively to ethnic Ukrainians. Like its Right Sector comrades, it promotes the anti-Jewish National Socialist ideology, including advocating the denaturalization of Jewish Ukrainians. According to its leader Tyahynbok, Ukraine is being run by a “Muscovite-Jewish mafia.” Unsurprisingly, the World Jewish Congress called for Svoboda to be banned for its hardline anti-Jewish positions. The group frequently appears on academic studies of Neo-Nazism in Europe. A Tel Aviv University report from 1999 termed the group as “an extremist, right-wing, nationalist organization which emphasizes its identification with the ideology of German National Socialism.”

Their tradition is one that composed an entire Waffen-SS division. Tellingly, these groups all have a common reverence for the leader of that division, the infamous Ukrainian Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera. He was the leader of the “Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists,” a group which fought against the Soviet Union and committed some of the worst attrocities of World War II. Hailing primarily from Galicia in Ukraine’s Western extremities (previously under Polish and Austro-Hungarian rule and generally Catholic ) Ukraine’s neo-Nazi groups view themselves as continuing their ancestors legacies to liberate themselves from the yoke of an Orthodox-centered Muscovite civilization.

In the timeline of events, the protests against Yanukovych’s EU Association rejection — christened Euromaidan by and Eurorevolution by Radio Free Europe of the State Department — however misguided, began relatively peaceful. The violence escalated when extremists groups resolved to seize the initiative, and force the president out of office, by any means necessary. The movement at first was redolent of the discredited Orange Revolution. But then on 1 January 2014 the dynamics in the street changed when Svoboda organized a march of 15, 000 in a torch-lit memory to Stepan Bandera, the Ukrainian nationalist Nazi collaborator that fought against the Soviets. Since this watershed event violence became more wide-spread and in mid-January rioters armed with clubs, helmets, and Molotov cocktails began to unleash brutality to kill police and those with suspected pro-government sympathies.

On January 24 Britain’s Channel 4 reported that the far-right extremists were “at the core of ‘democracy’ protests.” It reported that Svoboda was assuming a leading role in the movement with its splinter paramilitary wing leading in street fighting. When the group seized city hall they displayed a white power logo in the center of the stage along with the Svoboda party flags. According to Channel 4, ” Svoboda flags have been a permanent fixture in Independence Square, with pictures from clashes also revealing the presence of militant far-right groups carrying neo-Nazi flags and the red and black Ukrainian ‘insurgent army’ flags.”

Sergey Kirichuk, member of the group Borotba, which publishes and anti-fascist magazine in Ukraine, lamented how Svoboda and Right Sector were dominating ideologically in the Maidan. “When left-wing groups tried to join the protests they were attacked and beaten by fascists. Svoboda are leading ideologically now. Fascism is like a fashion now, with more and more people getting involved,” he related. Apparently, fascism is also in fashion for Western leaders.

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The West, for its part, rather than castigating or blackballing these groups for their ultra-nationalist extremist positions and acts of violence, (as one should expect) they have enthusiastically supported their cause. In fact, neocon US senator John McCain travelled to Ukraine in December to support and egg on the opposition. He appeared on stage with leaders of the three opposition parties. This included appearing on stage with the far-right party Svoboda and its leader Tyanybok (right image), infamous for his extremist positions. Victoria Nuland, the top US diplomat for Europe who was recorded as facilitating the coup, also made an appearance to egg on the opposition. She handed out cookies. Their extremism, by no means, precludes Western backing.

As Neil Clark, writing for RT posits:

The reality is that you can be as ultranationalist, as Neo-Nazi, as racist and as homophobic as you like – so long as you are opposing a government that the western elites want toppled. The extremism of Ukrainian far-right groups is therefore swept under the carpet, because such groups want Ukraine to sever its links with Russia. Yes, they’re fascists, homophobes and racists, but they’re “our kind” of fascists, homophobes and racists i.e. anti-Russian ones. But in other European countries – e.g. Hungary – ultranationalist groups are condemned, because their interests are not in line with western elite interests.

Indeed, support a government the NATO bloc wants eliminated and gain impunity.

Yanukovych the Appeaser 

Almost from start to end the approach to the crisis taken by the Ukrainian president Yanukovych was that of appeasement and compromise. As he continued to attempt to appease the opposition, they esalted their demands and efforts to unseat him. The opposition’s street fighting groups in Right Sector and their allies gradually intensified the level of violence against state institutions and police. It went from rocks, clubs, and throwing Molotov cocktails at policemen to firearms. Far from the violence being one-sided, many policemen lost their lives.

Following the hue and cry from the opposition mob on the streets Yanukovych dismissed the Prime Minister, Azarov, reputed to be pro-Russian, in an impotent attempt at appeasement. Consequently, the opposition escalated their efforts. Following this, in a further attempt to appease the opposition, he offered a national unity government, a coalition government that would share power with the opposition. In negotiations with moderate leaders such as Vitaly Klitschko, leader of the Udar (“Punch”) Party, he offered them both the prime ministership and deputy prime ministership, a colossal concession. The opposition seeking approval from the Kiev street, firmly in control of right-wing forces, rejected this offer; they instead escalated their efforts.

Furthermore, perhaps the most significant development for the balance-of-power, he enacted an amnesty for the rioters for acts they committed during the tumult. This released many of the rioters who had been arrested restrengthening their ranks.

As the situation escalated, the rioters seized government administrative buildings, and in Lviv near Ukraine’s Western extremity, they seized armories and even military installations. Simultaneously, Western leaders and media remained steadfast in their attempts to lend legitimacy to the groups. In short, Yanukovych tolerated the intolerable, what no European or North American country would. For example, attacks by rioters with clubs or Molotov cocktails or the seizure administrative buildings and armories would doubtless be met with lethal force in any American city. Nonetheless, for President Obama, “We have been watching very carefully and we expect the Ukrainian government to show restraint, to not resort to violence in dealing with peaceful protesters.”

This lack of response by the Yanukovych was not missed by some state officials. A group of military officials called for more decisive action to restore order. A statement on the ministry of defense website said that during a meeting of military officials it was deemed that the “violent seizure of state institutions and interference with representatives of of state and local governments to carry out their duties” was “unacceptable.” They urged President Yanukovych “as permitted by law to take immediate measures to stabilize the situation and achieve harmony in society.” No such actions by Yanukovych were forthcoming and guns became a more prominent feature of Right Sector militants. The Financial Times had to concede, “Some demonstrators wearing camouflage clothing, military helmets and bullet proof vests responded with what appeared to be hand guns.” It also wrote “Right Sector, one of the most militarized protest groups, urged citizens with guns to join the encampment.” German news channel N24 reported that the “radicals of Right Sector have hijacked the protest movement.” It noted that the group consists of “supporters of ultra right-wing organizations across the country,” adding, “With their faces hidden behind masks or helmets, they attack the police in Kiev with batons and iron bars.”

In his final act of appeasement he entered negotiations with opposition figures and secured a “truce” and a pact brokered and signed by the foreign ministers of France, Germany, and Poland. The deal gave more sweeping concessions: a return to the 2004 constitution which would strip the president of many powers and call for early elections. The deal was never upheld, the opposition in street continued their push and drove him out. The foreign ministers who brokered the deal did not make a peep about how the opposition had not upheld their end of the deal. Instead, they continued to work on facilitating the opposition’s seizure of power, to the consternation of Russia.

An Illegal Government in Kiev 

When Yanukovych was finally toppled and forced to flee it was by mob rule, the technical term “ochlocracy.” Through unconstitutional methods a new regime seized power. The violent mob — spearheaded by Right Sector — was allowed to take control of the situation by virtue of Yanukovych’s fecklessness. Instead of reestablishing law and order — which was his duty as the president — he allowed violent rioters to overtake central Kiev. Subsequently, a rump parliament took shape — including Yanukovych’s betrayers and those fearful of violent rioters who seized control of the city — to rubber stamp the dictates of the opposition parties. Unconstitutionally, it arrogated powers it did not have.

Yanukovych’s grip on power was swifly ended after the riot police, the Berkut, pulled out. Their departure was likely an outcome of Yanukovych’s own tepid support for them in addition to the influx of firearms into the fray. On February 20th, The New York Times reported, as the protesters made their final drive for control that “both protesters and riot police officers used firearms in the deadliest day so far.” Additionally, a few dozen policemen were captured and ignominiously paraded around the city “dazed and bloody, toward the center of the square through a crowd of men who heckled and shoved them.” In any case, this watershed event of the police withdrawal sealed his fate. As the Times reported, “Several street fighters…said that they saw police officers walking away from their positions, and that this emboldened them. Some protesters fired hunting rifles and shotguns. Police lines crumpled.” With no forces left to defend the presidential palace and the parliament, where the rioters had been making inroads to overtake, the president was forced to flee. The protestors now effectively seized control of the situation in the city.

The violent protestors, many with guns, were now in control of the city. Buttressed by their mob fury, they surrounded the parliament building and assaulted MPs from Yanukovych’s Party of Regions in front of the parliament. Pictures in Reuters showed a deputy of Yanukovych’s party of regions being assaulted by the Kiev mob. They also showed the protestors standing guard menacingly outside of the parliament building. With a horde of violent rioters bearing animus against them outside of the parliament building, many of Yanukovych’s Party of Regions members fled as well fearing for their lives. Many Yanukovych allies including the Chairman of the Rada Volodymyr Rybak faced death threats and were forced to resign. The fact that firearms had increasingly been more prominent in the fray made their situation more precarious.

20140306-171751.jpg

From this point onward the parliament was, in effect, a rump parliament. With any potential dissent coming from Yanukovych’s Party of Regions effectively neutralized, the opposition was able to ram through any measures it deemed necessary. Indeed, a testament to this fact, the Times reported that on a key vote after his departure “at least 106 lawmakers [were] absent, most of them members of Mr. Yanukovych’s Party of Regions, which had controlled Parliament until its leaders fled on Saturday and then were dismissed from their posts in similarly lopsided votes.”

Natalia Vatrenko of the Ukrainian Socialist party offered an incisive assessment of the situation. The unfolding events, including the new rump Rada’s decision to impeach Yanukovych and pardon criminals, were unconstitutional:

 On February 22, militants and terrorists of the Euromaidan Parliament [i.e. the Kiev fascist mob]        executed a neo-Nazi coup using armed force. Violating all norms of the Constitution, international law, and trampling European values, Parliament exceeded its authority and committed criminal acts.
Washington and Brussels — who told the world and all mankind that Euromaidan is a nonviolent action of the Ukrainian people, to make a European choice and protect democracy and European values — should now honestly admit that the Ukrainian people got nothing. They used a Nazi coup, carried out by the insurgents, terrorists and politicians of Euromaidan to serve the geopolitical interests of the West.
1) The change of government happened in an unconstitutional way. This violated the European rule of law. In violation of the XIIIth section of the Constitution (which describes in detail the procedure for changing the Constitution), without the participation of the Constitutional Court, the state system of our country has been changed by the Supreme Rada (Parliament) of Ukraine;
2) Going beyond the powers of the Parliament of Ukraine, violating article 19 of the Constitution, Parliament appointed overseers over the Ministry of the Interior ,the Security Service of Ukraine, and the Prosecutor General’s Office.
These supervisors are installed with the aim of exerting the political violence of Euromaidan over the constitutional institutions of the state to promote the interests of the West in an unconstitutional way
 3) Ukrainian President Yanukovych (whom our party has opposed as we have made clear for the last four years) was deprived of his constitutional powers in gross violation of the Constitution. The Constitution does not provide for a right of the Verkhovna Rada (Parliament) of Ukraine to deprive the president of power in the way this has just been done.
The Constitution provides a detailed impeachment procedure which is specified in writing. But again, not guided by the rule of law, but rather by alleged revolutionary expediency, while flouting the European principle of the presumption of innocence, Yanukovych was removed from office and a new president was appointed in violation of the Constitution;
4) The Parliament, eager to defend the militants and terrorists of Euromaidan, pardoned and made heroes of all its members, beginning the process of giving them the presidency.
This means that there will be no accountability for those who use armed force to kill civilians or innocent law enforcement officers, who seize and smash office buildings and warehouses with armed force, who carry out lynchings, or exercise blackmail and kidnapping. This creates a basis for the formation of a neo-Nazi repressive state machinery.
The U.S. and EU should know that this power grab by political parties and movements including neo-Nazi forces (such as “Svoboda – Freedom” and “Right Sector”) , announced the implementation of a national revolution under the slogans “Ukraine for Ukrainians,” ” Glory to the nation – death to enemies, ” ” Muscovite tools and Communists to the gallows ! ” and others.

Far from the trite Western narrative on Ukraine, what the opposition’s seizure of power amounted to was mob rule. It bore no resemblance to any democratic process. In a country of 46 million, a protest of, at most, 30,000 people took control of the capital city of Kiev and imposed their rule by force. Far from a boon to democracy, the movement’s success was a blow to democracy. Yanukovych was democratically elected in what was, according to outside observers such as the OSCE, generally fair and free election. Moreover, their views of EU integration and ousting Yanukovych did not represent that of the majority of the country.

Polls in December determined the country was divided over the question, unsurprisingly, mostly along an east and west axis where the country has been divided historically, culturally, and linguistically. As Russian expert Stephen Cohen observed in his piece “Distorting Russia,” “…every informed observer knows—from Ukraine’s history, geography, languages, religions, culture, recent politics and opinion surveys—that the country is deeply divided as to whether it should join Europe or remain close politically and economically to Russia. There is not one Ukraine or one “Ukrainian people” but at least two, generally situated in its Western and Eastern regions.” The gaggle’s seizure of power saw a minority impose its will illegally, backed up only by the force of the mob and the diplomatic cover of its international Western supporters. This fundamental reality did not stop the NATO bloc and its media propaganda ministers from hailing it and praising the opposition’s solidification of power.

Ukraine’s Oligarch Problem 

But what accounts for the temperate approach by Yanukovych? Why was he unwilling to effectively crackdown on the increasingly violent rioters and protestors? If he was the inveterate authoritarian depicted in mainstream media surely he would have had recourse to clearing the Maidan with a few minutes of machine gun fire.

Far from the Western mainstream media narrative — which insists that Yanukovuch’s conduct was guided by pro-Russian considerations or ever further that he was a Russian “puppet” — Yanukovych was more beholden to the Ukrainian oligarchy than to any other group. It is from this group that the behavior of Yanukovuch in the crisis was ultimtely determined. This is because power in Ukraine gravitates around this group. The beneficiaries of the wave of massive privitizations of Soviet state resources following the collapse of the Soviet Union, these oligarchs control media, many industries, and influence politics. Unlike in Russian where Putin has effectively truncated their power in politics, these groups maintain an inordinate influence. There has yet to be a leader in Kiev strong enough to rein in Ukraine’s oligarchs. They continue to control a number of MPs, television stations, and stay extremely close to political leaders.

The approach taken by Yanukovych to the situation for Russia was inadequate. As Moscow watched the situation on its borders escalate, it repeatedly called for Yanukovych to reestablish order; the oligarchs who were ostensibly backers of the president and those who claimed neutrality, called for compromise or moderation. Russia lamented Yanukovych’s refusal to seize control of the situation. In an interview with Sergey Glazyev, Putin’s leading advisor on Ukraine, he lamented Yanukovych’s conciliatory approach, stating, “The authorities are not fulfilling their duty to defend the state, negotiating with putschists as if they are law-abiding citizens….As for starting to use force, in a situation where the authorities face an attempted coup d’etat, they simply have no other course of action. Otherwise, the country will be plunged into chaos.” As the situation escalated, this was also reflected by Russia’s prime minister, Dmitri Medvedev, who began losing patience with Yanukovych. The Times reported he “told his cabinet the Ukrainian government should restore order and not bow to pressure from the outside.” He remarked “it’s necessary that the partners are themselves in shape and that the authorities that are working in Ukraine are legitimate and effective, so that people don’t wipe their feet on them like a doormat.”

Contrasting with the Russian calls for order, Yanukovych’s oligarchical allies signaled they wanted a conciliatory approach. In an almost unnoticed but doubtless significant event, Rinat Akhmetov — the country’s richest oligarch and ostensibly a Yanukovych ally — called for moderation and dialogue hours before Yanukovych initially entered negotiations with opposition. The dynamic between the two is that Yanukovych was the ‘political director’ while Akhmetov the ‘business director’. According to political analyst Volodymyr Fesenko “Yanukovych became president because of Akhmetov, and he remains the only oligarch who can call the president directly and affect his position.”

A statement on Akhmatov’s company website read: “It is only by peaceful action that the political crisis can be resolved. Any use of force and weapons is unacceptable. With this scenario there will be no winners in Ukraine, only victims and losers. But most importantly, the use of force will not help to find a way out.” Following this call, Yanukovych softened his approach to the situation. As Shaun Walker commenting in the London Guardian observed, in Ukraine “Akhmetov is the most powerful [oligarch], and the timing of his statement, on the same day as the president’s complete change of tack, seems unlikely to be a coincidence.”

The primary interest of the oligarchs is to preserve their wealth. Many of the Ukrainian oligarchs have intertwined their fortunes with Western capital and markets. Ukraine, as a pariah state — depicted as partaking in a dramatic crackdown on ‘peaceful protestors’ in the Western narrative — would threaten these interests. Moreover, some Ukrainian oligarchs were discontented by the conduct of Yanukovuch, who according to them has facilitated the rise of a group called “the family,” a group of businessmen around the president promoted and given favorable contracts.

This provides another example that oligarchy, wherever it exists, is never concerned with national interests but instead with the perpetuation of its own oligarchical privileges. This reality informs one of the most crucial domestic realities of Ukraine where the oligarchs have run wild.

Ukraine’s Looming Economic Impoverishment 

Adjacent to the neo-Nazi fascists, the other important component of the Ukrainian “opposition” hail from the the “Fatherland” Party of Yulia Tymochenka, the jailed billionaire oligarch. This group is composed of “Orange Revolution” retreads. The group, pro-Western, are, in effect, IMF agents. Their business is neo-liberalism. Now that they have seized power, what looms for Ukraine is economic impoverishment.

Conveniently deleted from the narrative of Western media was the brutal reality of the EU’s Association Agreement. Economically, it would have been subjected it to Washington-Consensus neoliberalism which will leave it a dumping grounds for Western multinationals, gutting its manufacturing base, and impose draconian IMF austerity dictates. This is same austerity that precipitated unrest in the EU in countries such as Italy, Greece, and Spain. Ukraine will be forced to attenuate its social safety net: driving down wages, slashing pensions, and crucially the critical gas subsidy.

The EU and and US have leaned heavily on Kiev to accept the Western aid package led by the International Monetary Fund, asserting that only it could solve Ukraine’s fiscal problems. As the Times reported, ” With this in mind, Europe and the United States have largely subcontracted the job to the I.M.F., which has been negotiating with Kiev for months over an aid package that, unlike the money offered by Moscow, has numerous strings attached, notably requirements that Ukraine scythe a thicket of bureaucratic regulations and cut subsidies that keep domestic energy prices low — and cripple the government’s finances.” Such a cut to pensions and the energy subsidy will be hard felt by the working people of the country. Indeed, “Among the reasons Mr. Yanukovych turned away from signing political and trade accords with Europe in November was his unwillingness to carry out painful austerity measures and other reforms that had been demanded by the International Monetary Fund in exchange for a large assistance package” the Times also reported. The $15 billion aid package from Moscow had no such strings attached, and in contrast kept gas proses below market value. Yanukovych understood that the Association Agreement would lead to economic ruin and as a corollary create a political calamity.

As the new gaggle assumes power the pro-EU and pro-West leadership are looking to quickly solve the economic concerns of the country. They are already moving swiftly to accept the Western aid package. Yatseniuk, or “Yats,” the favorite of Victoria Nuland of the State Department was appointed interim prime minister and already expressed the need for expediency to implement Western economic demands. US Treasury Secretary Lew spoke with Yatseniuk on the phone saying he urged Yatsenyuk to “quickly begin implementing economic reforms” and enter talks with the IMF. Lew also conferred with the IMF head Christine Lagarde on how to provide assistance. To not leave anything in doubt, the IMF made clear it will demand its typical austerity measures and more changes as a prerequisite to any assistance it may provide.

As a portend of the looming economic and political catastrophe, protestors confronted a government official of the new regime in Kiev. The Times reported, “Peppered with angry demands that the Parliament raise pensions, reopen closed hospitals and find work for the jobless, Mr. Lytvyn struggled to respond but basically called for patience, a virtue that is likely to be in short supply if the interim government does not manage to convince people it is working to improve their lives, not line its own pockets.” These demands, reasonable and commonsensical, will not only go unfulfilled, but their opposite will occur. These well-meaning Ukrainaian liberals expecting any of these measures are in for a shock — IMF style. When the austerity regime begins to implement itself patience will be indeed be in short supply.

Chris Macavel is an independent political analyst based in Harlem, NY. He writes for the blog “The Nation-State” at thenationalstate.wordpress.com. He seeks to enlighten about the growing dangers of NATO imperialist ambitions and Wall Street domination in American political life. He is the author of the forthcoming book “Imperialism in the “Arab Spring: How Western Imperialists Guided the MENA Uprisings”.

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It is becoming clearer every day that the United States and Germany instigated the crisis in Ukraine, installing a right-wing nationalist regime completely subservient to Washington and NATO, with the intention of provoking a confrontation with Russia.

On Thursday, the Obama administration brushed aside conciliatory talk from Russian President Vladimir Putin and announced an initial round of sanctions, pushing the European Union to announce its own sanctions later in the day. Meanwhile, American warplanes have been dispatched to the Baltics and US warships have entered the Black Sea.

In response to a unanimous vote by the Crimean parliament in favor of seceding from Ukraine and joining the Russian Federation and the setting of a referendum on secession for March 16, President Obama declared the holding of such a vote a violation of the Ukrainian Constitution and international law.

As always—and as has been the case throughout this crisis—the statements of the US government are infused with hypocrisy. In 1992, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the United States pressed for the breakup of Yugoslavia. In 1999, it went to war against Serbia to secure the secession of the province of Kosovo. Washington’s position on one or another issue is never determined by the principles of international law, but rather by its calculation of US geopolitical and economic interests.

The question is now: how far is the US prepared to go in order to secure a victory over Russia in this confrontation? In a television interview, US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power repeated Washington’s ultimatum that Russia recognize the US-backed regime in Kiev, even as she warned that developments in Ukraine could “go south.”

So reckless is the warmongering of the US that even former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, the most ruthless practitioner of imperialist power politics, is alarmed. He began an op-ed piece in Thursday’s Washington Post by writing: “Political discussion on Ukraine is all about confrontation. But do we know where we are going?”

Washington’s strategic playbook is all too clear: it made use of Ukrainian fascist “demonstrators” to topple the elected government of President Viktor Yanukovych and acquire unfettered control over the country. The Obama administration assumed that Putin would offer at least token resistance, if only to avoid an extreme loss of face.

However, the US is not seeking a compromise with Russia. It wants Russia to make a humiliating climb-down, and is risking the outbreak of nuclear war in the process. The United States is demanding nothing less than Moscow’s acceptance of a hostile Ukraine that will serve as a forward staging post for US and NATO military forces and intensified operations aimed at dismembering Russia.

In part, the stance taken by Washington reflects anger over recent events, specifically Russian support for the Assad regime in Syria and the decision by Putin to provide asylum to National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden. Both cases are viewed as an expression of Russia’s refusal to accept unconditionally the global hegemony of the United States. Washington wants a sharp and permanent change in the relationship of forces between itself and Moscow.

The Obama administration seems to be counting on Putin’s willingness to back down in the face of the combined military and financial might of US and European imperialism. But the fact remains that it has provoked a crisis that could spiral into a military collision with catastrophic consequences. Even if nuclear war is averted in this instance, the events of the past week have demonstrated that a new world war, utilizing nuclear weapons, is not just a danger. It is an inevitability unless the working class intervenes to put an end to capitalism and imperialism.

This situation, and the position in which Russia finds itself, fully confirm the catastrophic consequences of the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The December, 1991 announcement by Russian President Boris Yeltsin and his Ukrainian and Belarusian counterparts Leonid Kravchuk and Stanislav Shushkevich of the dissolution of the USSR was the final act of treachery in decades of betrayal by the Stalinist bureaucracy of the October 1917 Revolution that created the workers’ state and the socialist and internationalist program upon which the revolution was based.

The bellicose propaganda in the Western media about Russian “expansionism” is absurd. Since the breakup of the USSR, vast portions of the former Soviet Union and all of its East Bloc allies have been brought into the orbit of US and European imperialism. The fate of Russia has confirmed the warnings of the Trotskyist movement that the dissolution of the Soviet Union would result in the transformation of post-Soviet Russia into an impoverished and despotic semi-colony of Western imperialism.

Prior to the breakup of the USSR, the linchpin of Stalinist foreign policy was “peaceful coexistence” with imperialism. The Kremlin used all of its influence to suppress the international working class struggle against capitalism in return for an imperialist accommodation with the USSR.

In the final years of its rule, as it completed its repudiation of whatever remained of the legacy of the October Revolution, the Kremlin bureaucracy under Gorbachev acted as if imperialism was a Marxist fiction. As they dismantled the Soviet Union, the bureaucrats peddled the illusion that a capitalist Russia would be allowed by the United States and its European NATO allies to live in peace, as the new Russian biznismen grew ever richer on the plundered wealth of the old USSR.

But imperialism is not a fiction. It is a brutal reality, and its geopolitical and economic interests rule out peaceful coexistence with Russia. The opposition of the United States to the Soviet Union was based not only on the non-capitalist structure of the USSR. The United States could never reconcile itself to the fact that the Soviet Union, the creation of the October Revolution, deprived American imperialism of direct control over the vast natural and human resources of such an immense country. Even though the USSR no longer exists, the appetites of US and European imperialism remain.

Thus, a weak capitalist Russia confronts the threats of American and European imperialism. Leading a regime that rests on an utterly corrupt elite—which has deposited a substantial portion of its ill-gotten riches in US and European banks—Putin relies on the reactionary mechanisms of military maneuvers and Great Russian chauvinism. Bereft of a coherent strategic vision—let alone one that would find support beyond the borders of Russia—he is looking for an avenue of retreat that will not leave his regime utterly humiliated and discredited. But it is not at all certain that the United States will ease the pressure, and the danger exists that the crisis may escalate out of control.

In The Sleepwalkers, a recently published book on the July 1914 crisis that led to the outbreak of World War I, historian Christopher Clark calls attention to the recklessness of the European diplomats whose miscalculations produced a disaster. But compared to Obama and his European allies, the actors in the 1914 crisis seem almost models of restraint!

Even if a way is found out of the present impasse, it will be only of short duration. Another crisis will soon follow. The crisis of February-March 2014 should leave no doubt that the imperialist system must lead to war. The only means by which this can be prevented is through the unification of the international working class in the struggle for socialism.

America’s “Unlimited Imperialism”, Now Ukraine

March 7th, 2014 by Francis A. Boyle

 It is the Unlimited Imperialists along the lines of Alexander, Rome, Napoleon and Hitler who are now in charge of conducting American foreign policy. The factual circumstances surrounding the outbreaks of both the First World War and the Second World War currently hover like twin  Swords of Damocles over the heads of all humanity. 

Historically, this latest eruption of American militarism at the start of the 21st Century is akin to that of America opening the 20th Century by means of the U.S.-instigated Spanish-American War in 1898.  Then the Republican administration of President  William McKinley stole their colonial empire from Spain in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines; inflicted a near genocidal war against the Filipino people; while at the same time illegally annexing the Kingdom of Hawaii and subjecting the Native Hawaiian people (who call themselves the Kanaka Maoli) to near genocidal conditions.  Additionally, McKinley’s military and colonial expansion into the Pacific was also designed to secure America’s economic exploitation of China pursuant to the euphemistic rubric of the “open door” policy.  

But over the next four decades America’s aggressive presence, policies, and practices in the “Pacific” would ineluctably pave the way for Japan’s attack at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 194l, and thus America’s precipitation into the ongoing Second World War. Today a century later the serial imperial aggressions launched and menaced by the Republican Bush Jr. administration and now the Democratic Obama administration  are  threatening to set off World War III.

By shamelessly exploiting the terrible tragedy of 11 September 2001, the Bush Jr. administration set forth to steal a hydrocarbon empire from the Muslim states and peoples living in Central Asia and the Persian Gulf and Africa  under the bogus pretexts of

(1) fighting a war against international terrorism; and/or

(2) eliminating weapons of mass destruction; and/or

(3) the promotion of democracy; and/or

(4) self-styled “humanitarian intervention”/responsibility to protect. 

Only this time the geopolitical stakes are infinitely greater than they were a century ago:  control and domination of two-thirds of the world’s hydrocarbon resources and thus the very fundament and energizer of the global economic system – oil and gas. 

The Bush Jr./ Obama  administrations  have  already targeted the remaining hydrocarbon reserves of Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia for further conquest or domination, together with the strategic choke-points at sea and on land required for their transportation.  In this regard, the Bush Jr. administration  announced the establishment of the U.S. Pentagon’s Africa Command (AFRICOM) in order to better control, dominate, and exploit both the natural resources and the variegated peoples of the continent of Africa, the very cradle of our human species.  Libya and the Libyans became the first victims to succumb to AFRICOM under the Obama administration. They will not be the last.

This current bout of U.S. imperialism is what my teacher, mentor and friend  Hans Morgenthau denominated “unlimited imperialism” in his seminal work Politics Among Nations (4th ed. 1968, at 52-53): 

“The outstanding historic examples of unlimited imperialism are the expansionist policies of Alexander the Great, Rome, the Arabs in the seventh and eighth centuries, Napoleon I, and Hitler. They all have in common an urge toward expansion which knows no rational limits, feeds on its own successes and, if not stopped by a superior force, will go on to the confines of the political world. This urge will not be satisfied so long as there remains anywhere a possible object of domination–a politically organized group of men which by its very independence challenges the conqueror’s lust for power. It is, as we shall see, exactly the lack of moderation, the aspiration to conquer all that lends itself to conquest, characteristic of unlimited imperialism, which in the past has been the undoing of the imperialistic policies of this kind… “

 It is the Unlimited Imperialists along the lines of Alexander, Rome, Napoleon and Hitler who are now in charge of conducting American foreign policy. The factual circumstances surrounding the outbreaks of both the First World War and the Second World War currently hover like twin  Swords of Damocles over the heads of all humanity.

 

1. Two Invasions

The stakes are high in the Ukraine: after the coup, as Crimea and Donbas asserted their right to self determination, American and Russian troops entered Ukrainian territory, both under cover.

The American soldiers are “military advisors”, ostensibly members of Blackwater private army (renamed Academi); a few hundred of them patrol Kiev while others try to suppress the revolt in Donetsk. Officially, they were invited by the new West-installed regime. They are the spearhead of the US invasion attempting to prop up the regime and break down all resistance. They have already bloodied their hands in Donetsk.

Besides, the Pentagon has doubled the number of US fighter jets on a NATO air patrol mission in the Baltics; the US air carrier entered the Black Sea, some US Marines reportedly landed in Lvov “as a part of pre-planned manoeuvres”.

The Russian soldiers ostensibly belong to the Russian Fleet, legally stationed in Crimea. They were in Crimea before the coup, in accordance with the Russian-Ukrainian treaty (like the US 5th fleet in Kuwait), but their presence was probably beefed up. Additional Russian troops were invited in by deposed but legitimately elected President Yanukovych (compare this with the US landing on Haiti in support of the deposed President Aristide ). They help the local pro-Russian militia maintain order, and no one gets killed in the process. In addition, Russia brought its troops on alert and returned a few warships to the Black Sea.

It is only the Russian presence which is described as an “invasion” by the Western media, while the American one is hardly mentioned. ”We have a moral duty to stick our nose in your business in your backyard a world away from our homeland. It’s for your own good”, wrote an ironic American blogger.

Moscow woke up to trouble in Ukraine after its preoccupation, nay obsession, with the Winter Olympic games had somewhat abated, — when people began to say that “Putin won the games and lost the Ukraine”. Indeed, while Putin watched sports in Sochi, the Brown Revolution succeeded in Ukraine. A great European country the size of France, the biggest republic of the former USSR (save Russia), was taken over by a coalition of Ukrainian ultra-nationalists and (mainly Jewish) oligarchs. The legitimate president was forced to flee for his very life. Members of Parliament were manhandled, and in some cases their children were taken hostage to ensure their vote, as their houses were visited by gunmen. The putsch was completed. The West recognised the new government; Russia refused to recognise it, but continued to deal with it on a day -to-day basis. However the real story is now developing in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine, a story of resistance to the pro-Western takeover.

2.       The Putsch

The economic situation of Ukraine is dreadful. They are where Russia was in the 1990s, before Putin – in Ukraine the Nineties never ended. For years the country was ripped off by the oligarchs who siphoned off profits to Western banks, bringing it to the very edge of the abyss. To avoid default and collapse, the Ukraine was to receive a Russian loan of 15 billion euros without preconditions, but then came the coup. Now the junta’s prime minister will be happy to receive a mere one billion dollars from the US via IMF. (Europeans have promised more, but in a few years’ time…) He already accepted the conditions of the IMF, which will mean austerity, unemployment and debt bondage. Probably this was the raison d’être for the coup. IMF and US loans are a major source of profit for the financial community, and they are used to enslave debtor countries, as Perkins explained at length.

The oligarchs who financed the Maidan operation divided the spoils: the most generous supporter, multi-billionaire Igor “Benya” Kolomoysky, received the great Russian-speaking city of Dnepropetrovsk in fief. He was not required to give up his Israeli passport. His brethren oligarchs took other Russian-speaking industrial cities, including Kharkov and Donetsk, the Ukrainian Chicago or Liverpool. Kolomoysky is not just an ‘oligarch of Jewish origin’: he is an active member of the Jewish community, a supporter of Israel and a donor of many synagogues, one of them the biggest in Europe. He had no problem supporting the neo-Nazis, even those whose entry to the US had been banned because of their declared antisemitism. That is why the appeals to Jewish consciousness against the Brown putsch demonstrably failed.

Now came the nationalists’ crusade against Russian-speakers (ethnic Russians and Russian-speaking Ukrainians – the distinction is moot), chiefly industrial workers of East and South of the country. The Kiev regime banned the Communist Party and the Regions’ Party (the biggest party of the country, mainly supported by the Russian-speaking workers). The regime’s first decree banned the Russian language from schools, radio and TV, and forbade all official use of Russian. The Minister of Culture called Russian-speakers “imbeciles” and proposed to jail them for using the banned tongue in public places. Another decree threatened every holder of dual Russian/Ukrainian nationality with a ten-years jail sentence, unless he gives up the Russian one right away.

Not empty words, these threats: The storm-troopers of the Right Sector, the leading fighting force of the New Order, went around the country terrorising officials, taking over government buildings, beating up citizens, destroying Lenin’s statues, smashing memorials of the Second World War and otherwise enforcing their rule A video showed a Right Sector fighter mistreating the city attorney while police looked other way. They began to hunt down riot policemen who supported the ex-president, and they burned down a synagogue or two. They tortured a governor, and lynched some technicians they found in the former ruling party’s headquarters. They started to take over the Orthodox churches of the Russian rite, intending to transfer them to their own Greek-Catholic Church.

The instructions of US State Dept.’s Victoria Nuland were followed through: the Ukraine had had the government she prescribed in the famous telephone conversation with the US Ambassador. Amazingly, while she notoriously gave “fuck” to the EU, she did not give a fuck about the Russian view of Ukraine’s immediate future.

Russia was not involved in Ukrainian developments: Putin did not want to be accused of meddling in Ukrainian internal affairs, even when the US and EU envoys assisted and directed the rebels. The people of Russia would applaud him if he were to send his tanks to Kiev to regain the whole of Ukraine, as they consider it an integral part of Russia. But Putin is not a Russian nationalist, not a man of Imperial designs. Though he would like the Ukraine to be friendly to Russia, annexing it, in whole or in part, has never been his ambition. It would be too expensive even for wealthy Russia: the average income in the Ukraine is just half of the Russian one, and tits infrastructure is in a shambles. (Compare to the very costly West German takeover of the GDR.) It would not be easy, either, for every Ukrainian government in the past twenty years has drenched the people with anti-Russian sentiment. But involvement was forced upon Putin:

Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians voted with their feet and fled to Russia, asking for asylum. Two hundred thousand refugees checked in during the weekend. The only free piece of land in the whole republic was the city of Sevastopol, the object of a French and British siege in 1852 and of a German siege in 1941, and the home base of the Russian Black Sea fleet. This heroic city did not surrender to the Kiev emissaries, though even here some local deputies were ready to submit. And at that last moment, the people began their resistance. The awful success of the putsch was the beginning of its undoing. The pendulum of Ukraine, forever swinging between East and West, began its return movement.

3.       The Rising

The people of Crimea rose, dismissed their compromise-seeking officials and elected a new leader, Mr Sergey Aksyonov. The new leadership assumed power, took over Crimea and asked for Russian troops to save them from the impending attack by the Kiev storm troopers. It does not seem to have been necessary at this stage: there were plenty of Crimeans ready to defend their land from the Brown invaders, there were Cossack volunteers and there is the Russian Navy stationed in Crimea by treaty. Its Marines would probably be able to help the Crimeans in case of trouble. The Crimeans, with some Russian help, manned the road blocks on the narrow isthmus that connects Crimea to the mainland.

The parliament of Crimea voted to join Russia, but this vote should be confirmed by a poll on March 16 to determine Crimea’s future — whether it will revert to Russia or remain an autonomous republic within the Ukraine. From my conversation with locals, it seems that they would prefer to join the Russian Federation they left on Khrushchev’s orders only a half century ago. Given the Russian-language issue and the consanguinity, this makes sense: Ukraine is broke, Russia is solvent and ready to assume its protection. Ukraine can’t pay salaries and pensions, Russia had promised to do so. Kiev was taking away the lion’s share of income generated in Crimea by Russian tourists; now the profits will remain in the peninsula and presumably help repair the rundown infrastructure. Real estate would likely rise drastically in price, optimistic natives surmise, and this view is shared by Russian businessmen. They already say that Crimea will beat out Sochi in a few years’ time, as drab old stuff will be replaced by Russian Imperial chic.

Perhaps Putin would prefer the Crimea gain independence, like Kosovo, or even remain under a token Ukrainian sovereignty, as Taiwan is still nominally part of China. It could become a showcase pro-Russian Ukraine to allow other Ukrainians to see what they’re missing, as West Berlin was for the East Germans during the Cold War. Regaining Crimea would be nice, but not at the price of having a consolidated and hostile Ukraine for a neighbour. Still Putin will probably have no choice but to accept the people’s decision.

There was an attempt to play the Crimean Tatars against the Russians; apparently it failed. Though the majlis, their self-appointed organisation, supports Kiev, the elders spoke up for neutrality. There are persistent rumours that the colourful Chechen leader Mr Kadyrov, a staunch supporter of Mr Putin, had sent his squads to the Tatars to strong-arm them into dropping their objections to Crimea’s switch to Russia. At the beginning, the Tatars supported Kiev, and even tried to prevent the pro-Russian takeover. But these wise people are born survivors, they know when to adjust their attitudes, and there is no doubt they will manage just fine.

Russian Nazis, as anti-Putin as Ukrainian Nazis, are divided: some support a “Russian Crimea” whilst others prefer pro-European Kiev. They are bad as enemies, but even worse as friends: the supportive Nazis try to wedge between Russians and Ukrainians and Tatars, and they hate to see that Kadyrov’s Chechnya actually helps Russian plans, for they are anti-Chechen and try to convince people that Russia is better off without Chechens, a warlike Muslim tribe.

As Crimea defied orders from Kiev, it became a beacon for other regions of the Ukraine. Donbas, the coal and steel region, raised Russian banners and declared its desire for self-determination, “like Crimea”. They do want to join a Russian-led Customs Union; it is not clear whether they would prefer independence, autonomy or something else, but they, too, scheduled a poll – for March 30. There were big demonstrations against the Kiev regime in Odessa, Dnepropetrovsk, Kharkov and other Russian-speaking cities. Practically everywhere, the deputies seek accommodation with Kiev and look for a way to make some profit, but the people do not agree. They are furious and do not accept the junta.

The Kiev regime does not accept their quest for freedom. A popularly-elected Mayor of Donetsk was kidnapped by the Ukrainian security forces and taken to Kiev. There are now violent demonstrations in the city.

The Ukrainian navy in the Black Sea switched its allegiance from Kiev to Crimea, and they were followed by some units of the air force with dozens of fighter jets and ground troops. Troops loyal to Kiev were blocked off by the Crimeans, but there was no violence in this peaceful transfer of power.

The junta appointed an oligarch to rule Donbas, Mr Sergey Taruta, but he had difficulty assuming power as the local people did not want him, and with good reason: Taruta had bought the major Polish port of Gdansk and brought it to bankruptcy. It seems he is better at siphoning capital away than in running serious business. Ominously, Mr Taruta brought with him some unidentified, heavily armed security personnel, reportedly guns-for-hire from Blackwater (a.k.a. Academi) fresh from Iraq and Afghanistan. He will need a lot more of them if he wants to take Donbas by force.

In Kharkov, the biggest Eastern city, erstwhile capital of Soviet Ukraine, local people ejected the raiding force of the Right Sector from government offices, but police joined with the oligarchs. While the fake revolution took place in Kiev under the tutelage of US and EC envoys, the real revolution is taking place now, and its future is far from certain.

The Ukraine hasn’t got much of an army, as the oligarchs stole everything ever assigned to the military. The Kiev regime does not rely on its army anyway. Their attempt to draft able-bodied men failed immediately as hardly anybody answered the call. They still intend to squash the revolution. Another three hundred Blackwater mercenaries landed Wednesday in Kiev airport. The Kiev regime applied for NATO help and expressed its readiness to allow US missiles to be stationed in the Ukraine. Missiles in the Ukraine (as now stationed in Poland, also too close for Russian comfort) would probably cross Russia’s red line, just as Russian missiles in Cuba crossed America’s red line in 1962. Retired Israeli intelligence chief Yaakov Kedmi, an expert on Russia, said that in his view the Russians just can’t allow that, at any price, even if this means all-out war.

Putin asked the upper house of the Russian parliament for permission to deploy Russian troops if needed, and the parliament unanimously approved his request. They will probably be deployed in order to defend the workers in case of attack by a Right Sector beefed up by Blackwater mercenaries. Humanitarian catastrophe, large-scale disturbances, the flow of refugees or the arrival of NATO troops could also force Putin’s hand, even against his will.

4.       The President in exile

President Yanukovych will be historically viewed as a weak, tragic figure, and he deserves a better pen with a more leisured pace than mine. He tried his best to avoid casualties, though he faced a full-scale revolt led by very violent Brown storm-troopers. And still he was blamed for killing some eighty people, protesters and policemen.

Some of the victims were killed by the Right Sector as they stormed the ruling party offices. The politicians left the building well in advance, but the secretarial staff remained behind — many women, janitors and suchlike. An engineer named Vladimir Zakharov went to the besieging rebels and asked them to let the women out. They killed him on the spot with their bats. Another man was burned alive.

But the majority of casualties were victims of sniper fire, also blamed on Yanukovych. The Kiev regime even asked the Hague tribunal to indict the President as they had President Milosevic. But now, a telephone conversation between EC representative Catherine Ashton and Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet reveals that the EC emissaries were aware that dozens of victims of sniper fire at the Maidan were killed by Maidan rebel supporters, and not by police or by President Yanukovych, as they claimed. Urmas Paet acknowledged the veracity of this conversation at a press conference, and called for an independent enquiry. It turned out that the rebel snipers shot and killed policemen and Maidan protesters alike, in order to shed blood and blame it on the President.

This appears to be a staple feature of the US-arranged revolutions. Snipers killing both protesters and police were reported in Moscow’s 1991 and 1993 revolutions, as well as in many other cases. Some sources claim that famed Israeli snipers were employed on such occasions, which is plausible in view of Mr Kolomoysky’s Israeli connection. A personal friend of Mr Kolomoysky, prominent member of the then-opposition, Parliamentarian and present head of administration Sergey Pashinsky was stopped by police as he removed a sniper’s rifle with a silencer from the scene of murder. This discovery was briefly reported in the New York Times, but later removed. This revelation eliminates (or at least seriously undermines) the case against the President. Probably it will be disappear down the memory hole and be totally forgotten, as were the Seymour Hersh revelations about Syria’s sarin attack.

Another revelation was made by President Putin at his press-conference of March 4, 2014. He said that he convinced (read: forced) President Yanukovych to sign his agreement of February 21, 2014 with the opposition, as Western ministers had demanded. By this agreement, or actually capitulation act, the Ukrainian President agreed to all the demands of the Brown rebels, including speedy elections for the Parliament and President. However, the agreement did not help: the rebels tried to kill Yanukovych that same night as he travelled to Kharkov.

Putin expressed amazement that they were not satisfied with the agreement and proceeded with the coup anyway. The reason was provided by Right Sector goons: they said that their gunmen will be stationed by every election booth and that they would count the vote. Naturally, the agreement did not allow for that, and the junta had every reason to doubt their ability to win honest elections.

It appears Yanukovych hoped to establish a new power base in Kharkov, where a large assembly of deputies from East and South of Ukraine was called in advance. The assembly, says Mr Kolomoysky, was asked to assume powers and support the President, but the deputies refused. That is why President Yanukovych, with great difficulty, escaped to Russia. His landing in Rostov made quite an impression on people as his plane was accompanied by fighter jets.

Yanukovych tried to contact President Putin, but the Russian president did not want to leave the impression that he wants to force Yanukovych on the people of Ukraine, and refused to meet or to speak with him directly. Perhaps Putin had no time to waste on such a weak figure, but he publicly recognised him anyway as the legitimate President of the Ukraine. This made sense, as President Yanukovych requested Russian troops to bring peace to his country. He still may make a comeback – as the president of a Free Ukraine, if such should ever be formed in some part of the country, – or as the protagonist of an opera.

[English language editing by Ken Freeland]

Israel Shamir can be reached at [email protected]

Israel Shamir can be reached on [email protected]

Hillary Clinton: Playing a Dog-Eared “Hitler” Card

March 7th, 2014 by Norman Solomon

The frontrunner to become the next president of the United States is playing an old and dangerous political game — comparing a foreign leader to Adolf Hitler.

At a private charity event on Tuesday, in comments preserved on audio, Hillary Clinton talked about actions by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in the Crimea. “Now if this sounds familiar, it’s what Hitler did back in the ’30s,” she said.

The next day, Clinton gave the inflammatory story more oxygen when speaking at UCLA. She “largely stood by the remarks,” the Washington Post reported. Clinton “said she was merely noting parallels between Putin’s claim that he was protecting Russian-speaking minorities in Crimea and Hitler’s moves into Poland, Czechoslovakia and other parts of Europe to protect German minorities.”

 Clinton denied that she was comparing Putin with Hitler even while she persisted in comparing Putin with Hitler. “I just want people to have a little historic perspective,” she said. “I’m not making a comparison certainly, but I am recommending that we perhaps can learn from this tactic that has been used before.”

Yes indeed. Let’s learn from this tactic that has been used before – the tactic of comparing overseas adversaries to Hitler. Such comparisons by U.S. political leaders have a long history of fueling momentum for war.

“Surrender in Vietnam” would not bring peace, President Lyndon Johnson said at a news conference on July 28, 1965 as he tried to justify escalating the war, “because we learned from Hitler at Munich that success only feeds the appetite of aggression.”

After Ho Chi Minh was gone, the Hitler analogy went to other leaders of countries in U.S. crosshairs. The tag was also useful when attached to governments facing U.S.-backed armies.

 Three decades ago, while Washington funded the contra forces in Nicaragua, absurd efforts to smear the elected left-wing Sandinistas knew no rhetorical bounds. Secretary of State George Shultz said on February 15, 1984, at a speech in Boston: “I’ve had good friends who experienced Germany in the 1930s go there and come back and say, ‘I’ve visited many communist countries, but Nicaragua doesn’t feel like that. It feels like Nazi Germany.’”

Washington embraced Panama’s Gen. Manuel Noriega as an ally, and for a while he was a CIA collaborator. But there was a falling out, and tension spiked in the summer of 1989. Deputy Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger said that drug trafficking by Noriega “is aggression as surely as Adolf Hitler’s invasion of Poland 50 years ago was aggression.” A U.S. invasion overthrew Noriega in December 1989.

In early August 1990, the sudden Iraqi invasion of Kuwait abruptly ended cordial relations between Washington and Baghdad. The two governments had a history of close cooperation during the 1980s. But President George H. W. Bush proclaimed that Saddam Hussein was “a little Hitler.” In January 1991, the U.S. government launched the Gulf War.

 Near the end of the decade, Hillary Clinton got a close look at how useful it can be to conflate a foreign leader with Hitler, as President Bill Clinton and top aides repeatedly drew the parallel against Serbia’s president, Slobodan Milosevic. In late March 1999, the day before the bombing of Kosovo and Serbia began, President Clinton said in a speech: “And so I want to talk to you about Kosovo today but just remember this — it’s about our values. What if someone had listened to Winston Churchill and stood up to Adolf Hitler earlier?”

 As the U.S.-led NATO bombing intensified, so did efforts to justify it with references to Hitler. “Clinton and his senior advisers harked repeatedly back to images of World War II and Nazism to give moral weight to the bombing,” the Washington Post reported. Vice President Al Gore chimed in for the war chorus, calling Milosevic “one of these junior-league Hitler types.”

 Just a few years later, the George W. Bush administration cranked up a revival of Saddam-Hitler comparisons. They became commonplace.

Five months before the invasion of Iraq, it was nothing extraordinary when a leading congressional Democrat pulled out all the stops. “Had Hitler’s regime been taken out in a timely fashion,” said Rep. Tom Lantos, “the 51 million innocent people who lost their lives during the Second World War would have been able to finish their normal life cycles. Mr. Chairman, if we appease Saddam Hussein, we will stand humiliated before both humanity and history.”

From the Vietnam War to the Iraq War, facile and wildly inaccurate comparisons between foreign adversaries and Adolf Hitler have served the interests of politicians hell-bent on propelling the United States into war. Often, those politicians succeeded. The carnage and the endless suffering have been vast.

Now, Hillary Clinton is ratcheting up her own Hitler analogies. She knows as well as anyone the power they can generate for demonizing a targeted leader.

 With the largest nuclear arsenals on the planet, the United States and Russia have the entire world on a horrific knife’s edge. Nuclear saber-rattling is implicit in what the prospective President Hillary Clinton has done in recent days, going out of her way to tar Russia’s president with a Hitler brush. Her eagerness to heighten tensions with Russia indicates that she is willing to risk war — and even nuclear holocaust — for the benefit of her political ambitions.

Norman Solomon is co-founder of RootsAction.org and founding director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. His books include “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.” Information about the documentary based on the book is at www.WarMadeEasyTheMovie.org.

Prof Kiyul Chung

The US has installed what is tantamount to a fascist dictatorship in Seoul under the mantle of democracy.

The following statement was made by Dr. Lee Jung Hee who has become over last two three years one of the most respected progressive Korean politicians. She is the leader of the Unified Progressive Party(UPP). which supports the rights of workers and farmers. UPP has taken anti-imperialist, peace and anti-war stance and has pursued the objective of “peaceful, self-determined reunification,” of North and South Korea.

However, ever since the “Lady dictator Park” has come to power in February 2013, the UPP has been deliberate target of the most a hateful campaign characterised by outright political and legal manipulation. 

The UPP has been repeatedly singled-outed for a  vicious  and calculated political process of persecution and isolation. The conservative and traditionally pro-regime corporate medias have also joined bandwagon with a view to demonizing the UPP and its leader Dr. Lee.

Tragically, the other “reform-oriented” (so-called) opposition parties like the Democratic Party, as a result of America’s ongoing “Divide and Conquer” strategy for over 60 years, have supported the government of “Lady Hitler” to isolate and demonize the only real and genuine opposition party, namely the the UPP.

Dr. Lee who is a brilliant and down-to-earth lawyer committed to civil rights made the following statement on January 28 at her First Defense at a Seoul local court against the “illegally-elected President” Park who’s lately earned the nickname of  “Lady Hitler,” the Strongman’s daughter, referring to her father General Park Chung Hee who (with the support of Washington) declared martial law, suspended the country’s constitution and made himself President for Life.

 The Seoul local court, like most other Korean courts which have also earned for over half a century a notoriously dishonorable nickname, i.e  the “faithful servants of the power,” sentenced one of the most prominent leaders of the UPP, Representative Lee Seok-gi to  20 years in jail and 5 other UPP leaders to 15 and 10 years respectively for a politically-motivated thereby -framed/manufactured “anti-state” crime, entitled  “conspiracy of a rebellion.”

Even before she’s moved into the powerhouse, called the Blue House, “Lady Hitler” was determined to destroy the UPP by any means necessary, specifically Dr. Lee who has confronted Park in a number of public settings, particularly at the public Presidential Debates in December 2012. To get rid of the opposition, president Park has asked the Korea’s Constitutional Court to disband the UPP for its allegedly “pro-North, pro-Communist, anti-state political platform and activities.”

An extremist version of the 21st Century McCarthyism in South Korea (implemented with Washington’s support) has been used to to implement a political “witch-hunt” reminiscent of Nazi Germany by expelling anybody who’s openly confronts president Park. What is of significance is that a distinct form of neo-nazism has been resurrected in Seoul, not in the 1930s or 40s but in 21st Century in Korea!

The UPP and its nationally-respected humble leader Dr. Lee has been named Enemy Number One by president Park.

Prof. Kiyul Chung, Editor in Chief, The 4th Media

***

The first statement of the defense on the case – request of the dissolution of the Unified Progressive Party

“Requests of the dissolution of the UPP is violation of the spirit of the Constitution”

By Representative Lee Jung-hee at the first defense statement

- Date: 14:00 January 28, 2014

- Venue: Grand chamber of the Constitutional Court

1.The Constitution of 1987 was the expression of the national people’s will not to retreat to the past of dictatorship

The case – request of the dissolution of the UPP clearly demonstrates the radical retreat of democracy in Korean society. Democracy begins from recognizing there are different ideas from mine. It is the minimal condition for democratic politics that the ruler recognizes the existence of the opposition political parties which have different political opinions from the ruling power. Meanwhile, the first sign of dictatorship which is certainly conflicting with democracy is the ruler’s disrupting and prohibiting activities of the opposition political parties.

Korean society had long period of times under the dictatorship which sought to eradicate the opposition political parties. Examples include the Rhee Seung-man administration’s cancellation of the Progressive Party in 1958, the Park Jung-hee administration’s prohibition of political activities of 4,374 opposition politicians through the Act on Political Activities Purification in 1962 and the Chun Doo-hwan administration’s winding up of opposition political parties and deprivation of opposition politicians’ political rights by restricting 835 politicians from engaging in political activities through the Act on Politics Practices Reform in 1980.

The current Constitution which was the fruit of the June Struggle of 1987 guarantees the political parties’ activities as well as other political rights. It is the expression of the people’s clear will not to repeat the past of dictatorship. Korea people were confident that under the Constitution, regardless of whoever takes power, Korean society would never be back to dictatorship.

However Park Guen-hye administration destroyed this confidence by proceeding requests of the dissolution of the UPP in eight months of its inauguration. Of course, the final decision of the case will rely on the judgment of the Constitutional Court in terms of legal sphere.

However, in terms of political sphere, the government already derailed from democratic politics by declaring it would not accept the existence of opposition political parties as long as they promote independence, democracy, equality and peaceful reunification.

  2. The significance of the case

(1) The dictatorship conducted under the name of democracy even more severely undermines democracy.

Whether the lost democracy in political sphere can be recovered and revived at least in legal sphere, or whether the law is no more than a technique to provide formal legality cover to political acts without limits: the prolonged tensional relations between the law and politics are demonstrated in the case of requests of the dissolution of the UPP in its extreme.

I think, this case may be the most political case in the history of the Constitutional Court since it was first established. The principles of a law-governed country which are the fundamental principle of the Constitution are based upon the premise that the law serves not as a technique to legitimize political acts but as a firm justice to redress unjust political abuses. The rule of law is one of the principles for realization of democracy and the Constitutional Court is one of the tools to realize democracy.

Democracy is our people’s direction and desire. Co-existence of different views is the premise of democracy. The so-called “defensive democracy” which was justified against political powers not hesitating to commit even crimes against humanism such as Nazism is often compared to fighting against a robber with a gun, with a knife. However today, the case is different. Seeking to dissolve a political party which shares the values of the dignity of life, peace and co-existence under the excuse of defensive democracy just because its views seem to be dangerous to the incumbent regime only can be compared to cruelly slashing a person who just wanted to initiate a conversation.

In this situation, defensive democracy is no more than a tactic of dictatorship to cover itself with the skin of “democracy.” The dictatorship done under the name of democracy undermines democracy even much more severely. I ask the judges to accurately identify and distinguish this point and make a right decision. The trial is historically significant in whether it will be recorded as the best practice to realize the rule of law for the effective accomplishment of democracy or as the notorious political trial legitimizing the retreat of democracy.

(2) We should not confine the Constitution to the past of the Cold War

This trial is also very significant in the progress of the Constitution of the ROK. What judgment comes out will decide the fate of our Constitution whether it retreats to the one of the outdated Cold War era or progresses to the one of the future with diverse co-existence.

The incumbent government attempts to apply the decision of the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany in the 1950s to dissolve the German Communist Party to this case. The government first requested to dissolve the UPP for the so-called conspiracy of an insurrection case as it was confirmed and later is strongly arguing that regardless of the outcome, it is necessary to dissolve the UPP in terms of preventing future danger.

It is also attacking the platform of the UPP as a camouflage tactic though the platform was decided through wide discussion of 100,000 members of the Party, reflecting reform demands of the majority of the people. In addition, it is stubbornly questioning hidden intentions and long-term purposes of the UPP though there are no such things. All of these attacks are derived from the government’s intention to dissolve the UPP like the German Communist Party.

However, adopting other country’s past case as a golden rule is no more than an irrational argument to go back to the past. Every judgment in the past has its limitations in the situation of the times. It is an inherent limit of human society. What makes the history progress is the capacity of mankind to correctly recognize the limitations of the past, reanalyze the past judgment, face the limitations of the present time, and seek for ways to usher in a better future.

However, the incumbent government is in the anachronism, applying the judgment of the 1950s when the entire world was dominated by intensive tension of the Cold War immediately after the World War 2 to the case of 2014, 60 years later and when reconciliation and cooperation between the two Koreas have been sought for after the end of the Cold War. If we cannot stop this, our Constitution will retreat to the Cold War era of the 1950s.

Rather, we painfully recognize the limitations of the times where the legacy of the Cold War which has been overcome globally still remains as a painful old division system in Korean society, hindering the progress of democracy. How much longer should we keep a rigid society where citizens, religious leaders and political parties who are against the extreme policies of the government are attacked and condemned as following North Korea just because the South is conflicting with the North? While it is critical to change the present division system into peaceful reunification in order to move toward a better future, even more important thing is our efforts not to postpone the progress of democracy under the excuse of division.

Please don’t confine our Constitution to the past of the Cold War. Please pave the way for our Constitution to move toward the future of peace, reunification and democracy. I believe that preventing the Constitution from being displayed as a remain of the past and developing it as the one living and breathing and ushering into the future is the way the Constitutional Court, the fruit of the June Struggle of 1987 to fulfill its mission to protect the Constitution.

3. The effective realization of the sovereignty of people is what the UPP has promoted

I am Representative of the UPP and a lawyer at the same time. The activities of the UPP to realize the effective sovereignty of people declared by the Constitution of 1987 are not different from what I wanted to achieve as a lawyer.

Article 1 of the Constitution of the Republic of Korea prescribes that “the Republic of Korea shall be a democratic republic. The sovereignty of the Republic of Korea shall reside in the people, and all state authority shall emanate from the people.” However, in reality, the sovereignty resides in the people only during the election campaigns. Campaign pledges are too easy to cancel and the people fall to the ignorant mass too easy to deceive.

Moreover, during the last presidential election, a range of state agencies including the NIS illegally intervened in the election through attacking the opposition as pro-North Korea. The people who casted a vote after watching false investigation reports of the police were in fact targets for another deception. They were not respected as the sovereign. The UPP requested the government to be held accountable for the rigged election.

It was to realize the sovereignty of the people. However, the UPP only ended up with the charge of bidding an insurrection and the request of the dissolution of the Party.

The Constitution prescribes the principle of the sovereignty of the people. However, if irregular workers lose their job just because they organized a trade union though the Constitution guarantees the right to organize, can we say the sovereignty of the state resides in them? Are the farmers who only find themselves in increasing debts as they cannot earn even the cost of production how hard they work really the sovereign of the ROK? Is there actually the right to live as a decent person guaranteed for a father who kills himself to allow his handicapped child eligible for governmental livelihood support.

Unlike what the Constitution says, it is undeniable truth that Korean society is divided into the privileged and the underprivileged. The UPP values the realization of the genuine sovereignty of the people most. To that end, we believe unjust and unfair privilege should be eliminated and workers, farmers and low-income group whose fundamental rights have been violated should be capable of exercise their rights as a sovereign.

It is the world the UPP has consistently promoted and the world where working people are the owner. The UPP has always promoted the elimination of the unfair privilege and guarantee of equal sovereignty. The UPP has never said to invest sovereignty to a certain group of people or deprive fundamental rights of another group of people.

If a country cannot protect its territory with its own military, it is like lacking complete sovereignty. Therefore, in its platform, the UPP said the phased withdrawal of the U.S. troops stationed in Korea as well as stepping up the establishment of peace and reunification is necessary for the complete realization of the sovereignty.

Regardless of the opinion of the Korean people as a sovereign, the U.S. and the Soviet Union drew a line to divide the nation right after it was liberated from the Japanese colonial rule, resulting in the Korean War.

The UPP has presented for the two Koreas to recognize pains and differences of each other and achieve the peaceful reunification in accordance with the principle of peaceful reunification described in the Constitution, thereby overcoming the damage of confrontation caused by the conflicting super powers in the past without any more pains.

However, the incumbent government insists that the UPP is unconstitutional as it doesn’t suggest reunifying the Korean Peninsula by the South absorbing the North. However, I believe the claim to absorb the North will only cause another armed conflict and intervention of super powers and so it is the violation of the Constitution which declares the peaceful reunification. I believe the claim is unconstitutional with risks of triggering restrictions on other sovereignties.

Most of the evidence that the government collected to accuse the activities of the UPP to realize the sovereignty of the people as unconstitutional is prejudices and misunderstandings on the UPP created by the NIS through internet postings and comments as well as groundless rumors and assumptions based on them.

The rest of the evidence provided by the government is mostly documents on private activities of individuals unrelated with the UPP or already excluded evidence in related criminal cases due to its illegality in collection. Some are even interpreted by contraries.

The government has insisted that the Democratic Labor Party, predecessor of the UPP revised its platform according to the orders from North Korea. But today, the government admitted it could not tell how and through whom the order was delivered to the party.

The government suggests Representatives, staff, and executives of the UPP were selected by the orders from North Korea. I strongly wonder by whom such orders were delivered.

Accusing the UPP of being unconstitutional based on groundless assumptions should be over. Nevertheless, again in today’s proceeding, the government side is referring to false allegations with doubtful admissibility of evidence or those that cannot be found in any evidence provided by the applicant as if they are confirmed facts.

It is really regretful that the proceeding of today shortly before the Lunar New Year’s holiday when political issues have greater ripple effect than usual is clear to be deliberately scheduled by the government of ill political intention to infuse distorted false ideas into the people via the media.

The government should present the facts composed of strict evidence to the judges of the court. However today the government side is only referring to the distorted second evidence without any further explanation such as the transcripts that the NIS which created the transcripts already admitted hundreds points were fabricated or distorted as well as reports on the comments of the staff members of the UPP, meanings and intentions of which were also distorted.

For example, the government’s argument that communism was referred to in revising the platform of the UPP is a typical distortion. In fact, the actual comments made at the Party Conference in June 2011 were to persuade delegates and members of the UPP who raised opposition to deleting the statement that the party succeeds ideals and values of socialism from the platform.

As there were a significant number of people who opposed the removal, on the premise that “though there would not be anyone who promotes communism within the UPP,” “communism” was only referred to say, even self-declared communists who ultimately aim to liberate people may agree with the revision of the platform though there are some points that they don’t agree with, so please give your motion rather than protest. Interpreting the comments as the revised platform represents or implies communism is totally absurd.

The government’s behavior repeating and adding distortion to distortion reminds me of Paul Joseph Goebbels, notorious propaganda minister in the Nazi Germany.

Joseph Goebbels said “give me just one sentence, then I can make anyone a criminal.” I wonder what is different between the attitude of the Korean government of today and that of this propaganda minister of the Nazi Germany, the origin of “ the defensive democracy”.

If careful and strict evidence-based investigations are made, the distortion and exaggeration of the government will be clearly revealed at the court to the public.

 4. Requests of the dissolution of the UPP is causing the deprivation of workers, farmers and low-income group’s political rights and the violation of the people’s fundamental rights

Though I stand here today as Representative of the UPP, the defendant, what I try to protect is not just the constitutional protection of the UPP as a political party. Rather, I feel much more responsibility to prevent the violation of each individual citizen’s fundamental rights resulted from the dissolution of the UPP.

The UPP has dedicated itself to creating the politics where workers, farmers and low-income group can have the ownership. The vast majority of the membership is workers and farmers. Most of the staff members, nominated representatives and representatives of the UPP are from workers and farmers.

In the UPP, there are no local notables who inherited the politics as a family business, no big company owners who entered the politics with the enterprises as a foothold, and no opportunists who tried to buy nomination with money. The UPP has identified itself as a political party to help those who have neither asset nor academic backgrounds can enter politics. The UPP has proactively proposed bills for workers and farmers including the bill to eliminate the dispatched workers system and change the status of all the irregular workers to regular and the bill to protect farmers and self-employed people affected by the FTAs.

The request of the dissolution of the UPP violate the rights of workers, farmers, and low-income group to organize political opinions who express their opinions by providing support to the UPP. The dissolution of the UPP will also lead to derivate workers, farmers, and low-income group of the tools to realize their political rights in accordance with their own will when they try to participate in political party’s activities and be elected to public posts.

In addition, the already vulnerable attempts for workers, farmers and the low-income group to execute their rights as a sovereign by proposing and legislating necessary laws through the UPP will be prohibited. Therefore, in balancing conflicting interests, the court should consider not only the UPP’s rights to political activities but also the violation of the citizen’s fundamental political rights realized through the UPP significantly.

5. Filing for an injunction is to prevent the UPP from participating in the June 4 local elections

 

The government is encouraging the politicalization of the trial, by filing for an injunction to prevent the UPP from running candidates in the upcoming June 4 local elections.

 

Your honor, as you know, the local elections are not changing political authority like the presidential election. It is to facilitate local governments and guarantee residents’ participation.

The UPP has contributed more actively and positively than any other political parties to effective realization of a local self-governing system and local residents’ participation by proposing ordinances to change the status of irregular workers to regular, pay dry field subsidy, and establish citizens’ participatory budget system.

In this regard, the government’s attempt to completely prevent the UPP from participating in the local elections through an injunction is no less than a political suppression against political opponents to take the initiative in the political situation while totally neglecting the merits and nature of thelocal elections, the effective realization of the local self-governing.

6. The government should withdraw the request to dissolve the UPP and publicly present the direction of democracy.

Your honor,

Due to the case – request of the dissolution of the UPP, first of its kind in history since the beginning of the constitutional government, today all of us are at a crossroads of having a country which forcefully dissolves a political party to eliminate political opponents or a country which develops democracy through free exchange of various opinions and people’s evaluation via elections.

I ask the government to withdraw the requests and declare publicly to take the direction of democracy before too late. If the government insists the request, I hope the judge will make a wise decision to dismiss the request so that it becomes the last case of an attempt to dissolve a political party.

Thank you for your attention.

Representative, Chair of UPP and Lawyer Ms. Lee Jung-hee

So now we (or at least the 0.03% of us who care to hunt for it) discover that U.S. military spending is not actually being cut at all, but increasing. Also going up: U.S. nuclear weapons spending.  Some of the new nukes will violatetreaties, but the entire program violates the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which requires disarmament, not increased armament.  The U.S. policy of first-strike and the U.S. practice of informing other nations that “all options are on the table” also violate the U.N. Charter’s ban on threatening force.

But do nuclear weapons, by the nature of their technology, violate the U.S. Constitution? Do they violate the basic social contract and all possibility of self-governance?  Thus argues a new book called Thermonuclear Monarchy: Choosing Between Democracy and Doom by Elaine Scarry.  It’s not unheard of for people to see out-of-control nuclear spending as a symptom of out-of-control military spending, itself a symptom of government corruption, legalized bribery, and a militaristic culture.  Scarry’s argument suggests a reversal: the root of all this evil is not the almighty dollar but the almighty bomb.

The argument runs something like this.  The primary purpose of the social contract is to create peace and prevent war and other injury.  The U.S. Constitution (Article I, Section 8, clause 11) bans the making of war without the approval of both houses of Congress.  This approval was to be required not just for an existing military to attack another country, but for a military to be raised at all — standing armies not being anticipated.  And it was understood that an army would not be raised and deployed into war unless the citizen-soldiers went willingly, their ability to dissent by desertion not needing to be spelled out (or, let us say, their ability to dissent by mass-desertion, as desertion in the war that led to the Constitution was punished by death).

And yet, because this point was so crucial to the entire governmental project, Scarry argues, it was in fact spelled out — in the Second Amendment.  Arms — that is 18th century muskets — were to be freely distributed among the people, not concentrated in the hands of a king.  “Civilian” control over the military meant popular control, not presidential. The decision to go to war would have to pass through the people’s representatives in Congress, and through the people as a whole in the form of soldiers who might refuse to fight.  By this thinking, had the Ludlow Amendment, to create a public referendum before any war, passed in the 1930s, it would have been redundant.

Before the 1940s were over, in Scarry’s view, a Ludlow Amendment wouldn’t have been worth the paper it was written on, as the existence of nuclear weapons erases Constitutional checks on war.  With nuclear weapons, a tiny number of people in a government — be it 1 or 3 or 20 or 500 — hold the power to very quickly and easily kill millions or billions of human beings, and other species, and very likely themselves in the process.  “We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both,” said Louis Brandeis.  We may have democracy, or we may have thermonuclear bombs, but we can’t have both, says Elaine Scarry.

Each of the series of presidents beginning with Truman and running up through Nixon is known to have repeatedly come close to choosing to use nuclear bombs, something the public has learned of, each time, only decades after the fact.  No more recent president has said he didn’t come close; we may very well learn their secrets on the usual schedule.  When you add to that insanity, the long string of accidents, mistakes, and misunderstandings, the damage of the testing and the waste, and the repeated ability of ploughshares activists (and therefore anybody else) to walk right up to U.S. nuclear weapons to protest them, it’s amazing that life exists on earth.  But Scarry’s focus is on what the new ability to kill off a continent at the push of a button has done to presidential power.

While wars since World War II have been non-nuclear, apart from depleted uranium weapons, they have also been endless and undeclared.  Because presidents can nuke nations, they and Congress and the public have assumed that a president on his or her own authority can attack nations with non-nuclear weapons too.  Now, I suspect that the military industrial complex, corrupt elections, and nuclear thinking all feed off each other.  I don’t want a single person who’s trying to clean up election spending or halt fighter-jet production to stop what they’re doing.  But the possible influence of nuclear thinking on U.S. foreign policy is intriguing.  Once a president has been given more power than any king has ever had, one might expect some people to do exactly what they’ve done and treat him like a king in all but name.

Scarry believes that we’re suffering from the false idea that we’re in a permanent emergency, and that in an emergency there’s no time to think.  In fact, the Constitutional constraints on war were intended precisely for emergencies, Scarry argues, and are needed precisely then.  But an emergency that can be dealt with by raising an army is perhaps different from an emergency that will leave everyone on earth dead by tomorrow either with or without the U.S. government having the opportunity to contribute its measure of mass-killing to the general apocalypse.  The latter is, of course, not an emergency at all, but an insistence on glorified ignorance to the bitter end.  An emergency that allows time to raise an army is also different from an emergency involving 21st century “conventional” weapons, but not nearly as different as we suppose.  Remember the desperate urgency to hit Syria with missiles last September that vanished the moment Congress refused to do it? The mad rush to start a war before anyone can look too closely at its justifications does, I think, benefit from nuclear thinking — from the idea that there is not time to stop and think.

So, what can we do? Scarry believes that if nukes were eliminated, Congress could take charge of debates over wars again.  Perhaps it could.  But would it approve wars? Would it approve public financing, free air time, and open elections? Would it ban its members from profiting from war?  Would people killed in a Congressionally declared war be any less dead?

What if the Second Amendment as Scarry understands it were fulfilled to some slight degree, that is if weapons were slightly more equitably distributed as a result of the elimination of nukes?  The government would still have all the aircraft carriers and missiles and bombs and predator drones, but it would have the same number of nukes as the rest of us.  Wouldn’t compliance with the Second Amendment require either the madness of giving everybody a missile launcher or the sanity of eliminating non-nuclear weapons of modern war-making along with the nuclear ones?

I think the historical argument that Scarry lays out against the concentration of military power in the hands of a monarch is equally a case either for distributing that power or for eliminating it.  If large standing armies are the greatest danger to liberty, as James Madison supposed on his slave plantation, isn’t that an argument against permanently stationing troops in 175 nations with or without nukes, as well as against militarizing local police forces at home? If unjustified war and imprisonment are the greatest violations of the social contract, must we not end for-profit mass incarceration by plea bargain along with for-profit mass-murder?

I think Scarry’s argument carries us further in a good direction than she spells out in the book.  It’s a thick book full of extremely lengthy background information, not to say tangents.  There’s a wonderful account of the history of military desertion.  There’s a beautiful account of Thomas Hobbes as peace advocate. Much of this is valuable for its own sake.  My favorite tangent is a comparison between Switzerland and the United States.  Switzerland decided that air-raid shelters would help people survive in a nuclear war.  While opposing and not possessing nuclear weapons, Switzerland has created shelters for more than the total number of people in the country.  The United States claimed to have concluded that shelters would not work, and then spent more on building them exclusively for the government than it spent on all variety of needs and services for the rest of us.  The nuclear nation has behaved as a monarchy, while the non-nuclear nation may preserve a remnant of humanity to tell the tale.

Scarry ends her book by stating that Article I and the Second Amendment are the best tools she’s found for dismantling nuclear weapons, but that she’d like to hear of any others.  Of course, mass nonviolent action, education, and organizing are tools that will carry any campaign beyond the confines of legal argumentation, but as long as we’re within those confines, I’ll throw out a proposal: Comply with the Kellogg-Briand Pact.  It is far newer, clearer, and less ambiguous than the Constitution.  It is, under the Constitution, unambiguously the Supreme Law of the Land as a treaty of the U.S. government.  It applies in other nations as well, including a number of other nuclear weapons nations.  It clarifies our thinking on the worst practice our species has developed, one that will destroy us all, directly or indirectly, if not ended, with or without nuclear: the practice of war.

The treaty that I recommend remembering bans war.  When we begin to think in those terms, we won’t see torture as the worst war crime, as Scarry suggests, but war itself as the worst crime of war.  We won’t suggest that killing is wrong because it’s “nonbattlefield,” as Scarry does at one point.  We might question, as Scarry seems not to, that Hawaii was really part of the United States in 1941, or that U.S. torture really ended when Obama was elected.  I’m quibbling with tiny bits in a large book, but only because I want to suggest that the arguments that best reject nuclear weaponry reject all modern war weaponry, its possession, and its use.

Like the West’s support of sectarian terrorists across the Middle East, including Al Qaeda, it has found the most despicable elements in Ukrainian society to lead “revolution” for the sociopolitical reordering of Eastern Europe. As the dust settles and the West’s proxy regime finds itself safely entrenched in Kiev, Ukraine – the Western media can now finally recuperate some of its lost legitimacy after months of denying the obvious – that armed Neo-Nazis led the so-called “Euromaidan” uprising.

A BBC Newsnight short titled, “Neo-Nazi threat in new Ukraine,” reveals xenophobic Jew-hating nationalists, armed and leading the mobs in Kiev, directly contradicting months of Western media narratives portraying the rabble as aspiring for “freedom,” “democracy,” and “closer ties with the West,” with the most absurd example being  the “I am Ukrainian” propaganda reel.

Far from a “pro-democracy” uprising, the “Euromaidan” was yet another case of Western engineered regime change leveraging the good intentions of the ill-informed to mask the covert backing of ugly armed extremists, just as it had done all across the similarly engineered “Arab Spring” in 2011.

In light of the BBC’s report, confirmed intercepted phone conversations between the EU and Estonia regarding the Ukrainian opposition’s hiring of snipers deployed against both police and protesters takes on a new degree of veracity with deepening implications. It also reframes US Senator John McCain’s taking to the stage in Kiev, side-by-side with these overt Nazis as an abhorrent, shameful act bordering on treason and material support of terrorism.

The BBC’s exposure of armed Nazis in Kiev leading the mobs and the overthrow of an elected government, with the overt backing and blessing of the West exposes the Western narrative as outright fabrications. A prime example of this narrative was the Daily Beast’s article, “Putin’s Crimea Propaganda Machine,” which ironically attempts to twist accusations of skewing reality around onto Russia. In it, it states:

Russia invaded Ukraine over the weekend, justifying its incursion by claming it needed to protect Crimea’s ethnic Russian population from supposed neo-Nazi extremists. This was pure propaganda, of course—Vladmir Putin has been keen to annex land that used to be part of Russia, as he did in Georgia in 2008, and seems to think that the Ukrainian army will and should immediately surrender to the Russian one. 

Still, Putin needed a story to spin, no matter how full of holes, and thus the neo-Nazi claims. But as it turns out, Crimea’s streets are not exactly paved with extremists—a fact that has proven troublesome for Russian state TV channels looking to find token far-right bogeymen.

While the Daily Beast claims Russian state TV is having trouble finding Neo-Nazi extremists in Crimea, it appears the BBC is falling all over them in Kiev. Their existence in the capital of Ukraine, the fact that they are confirmed to be armed and poised to seize and consolidate greater power, is an overt threat to both the people of Kiev, and the rest of the Ukrainian population, and is cause of grave concern for Ukraine’s neighbors – considering the Nazis’ blood-soaked, genocidal origins.

In this light, we see precisely what Russia is attempting to counter, but is being wholly condemned by the West for standing up against. For the West, its ability to ally itself with the most abhorrent ideologies ever conceived by mankind indicates that the supposed principles its society is based upon are merely facades behind which it couches its true ambitions – hegemonic expansion, no different than the violent extremist helping-hands it regularly finds itself collaborating with around the world.

The West Drawing the Long Knives Already? 

The BBC’s sudden “honesty” regarding brigades of armed Nazis infesting western Ukraine, however, is not the result of the British state propaganda arm examining its journalistic conscience, but rather an attempt to throw off extremist thugs that will only, from now on, become a liability for the West’s ambitions in the Eastern European nation.

The West would most likely prefer to replace armed Neo-Nazis with NATO forces, professional mercenaries, and a proxy force of Ukrainians trained and led by Western special forces and intelligence operatives.

Just as the West has done in Afghanistan, where it used sectarian extremists and terrorists to wage a proxy war against the Soviet Union in the 1980′s, only to end up turning on their “allies” from 2001 onward – the West will use the Neo-Nazis of Kiev only for as long as absolutely necessary before turning on them and dumping them. The BBC’s short piece exposing the repugnant nature of the forces that in fact led the so-called “Euromaidan” uprising is perhaps the first step toward achieving this goal.

Those watching the Ukrainian crisis closely will want to monitor the posture the West takes regarding their fascist armed, militant proxies, and be aware of preparations the West might be making to replace them with a more professional, as well as presentable, armed front to consolidate and hold gains made during the violence and chaos that has consumed Kiev for the past several months.

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

Under the sweeping language of President Barack Obama’s executive order issued today, critics of the US-backed coup in Ukraine could find themselves being banned from entering the United States.

The executive order suspends “entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of such persons” who fulfil the following criteria;

“[A]ny person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State:

(i) to be responsible for or complicit in, or to have engaged in, directly or indirectly, any of the following:

(A) actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in Ukraine.

As CNS News’ Craig Bannister notes, this would effectively ban entry for anyone deemed to be a ‘Russian sympathizer’, or anyone who has expressed a view similar to Moscow, which was that the Kiev uprising was a violent coup d’état and not a democratic uprising, since that could easily be characterized as an indirect action or policy which undermines Ukraine’s post-coup government.

By extrapolation, this would mean anyone who has drawn attention to the mountain of evidence that the Kiev protest groups were funded by the U.S. State Department in concert with the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the US government-backed National Endowment for Democracy.

It would also ensnare anyone who has highlighted the leaked phone call in which US Assistant Secretary of State for Europe Victoria Nuland was caught red handed plotting with top diplomat Geoffrey Pyatt to pick Ukraine’s future puppet leaders. Nuland specifically approved Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who later became Prime Minister after the coup.

The executive order could also target critics of the fact that both Nuland and John McCain met with the leader of the neo-nazi affiliated Svoboda Party before the election, an organization that was subsequently handed three top positions within the newly formed Ukrainian government despite its clear links to fascism and anti-Semitism.

The irony of Washington targeting anyone who took actions to “undermine democratic processes or institutions in Ukraine” is painful given that the Kiev revolt led directly to the overthrow of a democratically elected government.

The broad language of the executive order is also a chilling move towards discriminating against people for their political opinions. Obama is seemingly intent on mirroring the United Kingdom, where people like radio host Michael Savage are banned from entering the country and labeled “extremists” for daring to dissent from political correctness.

Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Infowars.com and Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a host for Infowars Nightly News.

Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/paul.j.watson.71
FOLLOW Paul Joseph Watson @ https://twitter.com/PrisonPlanet

[(Prefatory Note: This is my last report as Special Rapporteur on Occupied Palestine as my term is coming to an end after six years. The mandate is important as a source of information pertaining to the realities of occupation from the perspective of international humanitarian law and international criminal law. My hope is that this mandate can be brought to an end as early as possible, but not earlier than when Palestinians can live in equality with the Israelis either in a single bi-national state or in separate states. It is a matter that need to be decided by the two peoples in accordance with respective rights. No solution can be imposed or negotiated in a setting that is not premised on the equality of the peoples. RAF)]

Human Rights Council

Twenty-fifth session

Agenda Item 7

Human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories

Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, Richard Falk

Summary
The present report is the final report of the current Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, Richard Falk, submitted in accordance with Human Rights Council resolution 5/1. The report addresses Israeli settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, the wall in the context of the tenth anniversary of the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice, and considers Israel’s policies and practices in occupied Palestine in light of the prohibition on segregation and apartheid. It also addresses concern in relation to the deterioration of the human rights situation of Palestinians living under the Israeli blockade in the Gaza Strip.

Contents

  Paragraphs           Page

  1. Introduction                   1-9      3
  2. The wall and the 2004 Advisory Opinion             10-21      5
  3. Israeli settlements and the fragmentation of occupied Palestine            22-47      8
  4. The Gaza Strip             48-50      14
  5. Question of apartheid and segregation             51-76      14
  6. Concluding observations            77-79      20
  7.  Recommendations            80-88      21
  1. Introduction

1. In his final presentation to the Human Rights Council (HRC), the Special Rapporteur would like to underscore the importance of this mandate as providing an independent witness to the evolving effects of Israel’s continuing occupation of Palestine. This exposure is centred upon the presentation of information received of the persistence of severe violations of international humanitarian law (IHL) and international human rights law. Bearing witness provides both a record of Israel’s violations and defiant attitude, and challenges the United Nations to take steps to ensure compliance. It should be remembered that the suffering of the people of Palestine is inseparably linked to the partition arrangements initially proposed by the United Nations in 1947, and which were never implemented or revised in a manner that takes full account of the rights of the Palestinian people, above all their inalienable right of self-determination.

2. It was unfortunate that Israel refused even minimal cooperation with this mandate to the extent of allowing the Special Rapporteur to have access to occupied Palestine during the past six years or of responding to several ‘urgent appeals’ addressing specific situations of immediate concern that fell within the purview of the mandate. This Special Rapporteur was expelled in December 2008 when attempting to enter Israel to carry out a mission of the mandate to visit occupied Palestine, and detained overnight in unpleasant prison conditions. Such humiliating non-cooperation represents a breach of the legal duty of members of the United Nations to facilitate all official undertakings of the Organization. Although it has been possible to gain information needed to report on the situation confronting Palestinians living under occupation, it deprives the mandate of direct interaction, including the receipt of testimony bearing on international law grievances from representatives of the Palestinian people. It is to be hoped that the Special Rapporteur to be appointed as my successor will receive sufficient backing from the HRC to induce cooperation from Israel and some[RF1]  protection against defamatory attacks by some NGOs than was my experience.

3. International Law. An abiding theme of my reports during the past six years has been the consistent failure of Israel to comply with clear legal standards embodied in the Fourth Geneva Convention and elsewhere in IHL and international human rights law. This pattern, as will be detailed below, is flagrant in relation to the wall, settlements, East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, water and land resources, and the human rights of Palestinians living under occupation. Also relevant is the failure of the United Nations to ensure implementation of the recommendations as to international law contained in two high-profile HRC reports of 2009 and 2013, respectively those of: The fact-finding mission on the Gaza Conflict (A/HRC/12/48) and the fact-finding mission to investigate the human rights implications of the Israeli settlements (A/HRC/22/63). To the extent such a pattern is tolerated, it undermines respect for international law.

4. Palestine. In light of the recognition of Palestine as a non-member observer state in its resolution of 29 November 2012 (A/RES/67/19), it seems appropriate to refer to territory under Israeli occupation as ‘Palestine’ rather than as ‘Occupied Palestinian Territories.’ Such a shift in language also emphasizes the inadequacy of the international law framework available to address a condition of prolonged occupation that has now extended for more than 45 years. Special steps and procedures need to be adopted that will confer rights and establish the rule of law. To sustain indefinitely an oppressive occupation containing many punitive elements also seems designed to encourage residents to leave Palestine, which is consistent with the apparent annexationist, colonialist, and ethnic cleansing goals of Israel, especially in relation to the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

5. Corporate Responsibility. Recent reports have underscored the potential implications for corporations and financial institutions that engage with and profit from Israeli settlements. The establishment and continued development of settlements is in violation of Article 49(6) of the Fourth Geneva Convention, an assessment reinforced by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in its advisory opinion of 2004 on the wall. Such an initiative has tried at all times to proceed cooperatively with the economic actors involved, and has acknowledged instances of compliance with international law and relevant United Nations guidelines and the encouraging recent indication of governmental and European Union reinforcement of these obligations. This trend also converges with and reinforces the social mobilization of civil society in a variety of initiatives, especially the growing campaign of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions.

6. ‘Legitimacy War’. In the pursuit of Palestinian rights under circumstances of prolonged occupation, there is increasing reason to believe that despite the authority of international law and the expressed will of governmental members of the United Nations, the situation is essentially frozen, if not regressing. In addition, Palestinians seem increasingly disillusioned with armed resistance and with traditional inter-governmental diplomacy. Palestinian hopes now for the realization of their fundamental rights have shifted to engagement in a ‘Legitimacy War’. Such a shift involves a worldwide struggle to gain control over the debate about legal entitlements and moral proprieties in the conflict as abetted by a global solidarity movement that is changing the climate of opinion. The United Nations has a crucial role to play in this process by lending support to Palestinian claims of rights and providing assessments of associated grievances resulting from Israel’s violation of IHL and international human rights principles and standards.

7. Language. The Special Rapporteur believes that the language used to consider Palestinian grievances relating to IHL and international human rights law in Palestine needs to reflect everyday realities, and not remain beholden to technical wording and euphemisms that mask human suffering resulting from violations. It seems therefore appropriate to describe such unlawful impositions on the people resident in the West Bank by reference to ‘annexation’ and ‘colonial ambitions’ rather than ‘occupation,’. Whether these impositions constitute ‘apartheid’ is discussed in more detail in my report. Such clarifications at the level of language reinforce the contention that it is a matter of urgency to pursue more concerted efforts within United Nations venues to implement the rights of the Palestinian people.

8. Emergency in Gaza. Developments in the region  combined with an unlawful blockade  maintained since mid-2007, has created a serious emergency situation in the Gaza Strip that threatens the entire population. From the perspective of international law, as argued in prior reports (A/HRC/20/32), Gaza remains ‘occupied’ despite Israel’s implementation of its ‘disengagement’ plan in 2005, due to control of borders, airspace, and coastal waters, as well as periodic military incursions. In that context, the present situation is dire as massive infrastructural failures cause daily hardship for the population, who are also at risk of epidemics. At the time of writing, with insufficient quantities of fuel reaching Gaza, electricity is available for only short periods, making it impossible for hospitals to provide proper treatment for seriously ill patients suffering from cancer and kidney ailments. The situation is aggravated by persisting tensions between the Palestinian Authority and the governing authorities in Gaza, and by the breakdown of cooperation along the border with Egypt. Egyptian security concerns in Sinai have led to greater restrictions at the Rafah Crossing, as well as to the destruction of the tunnel complex in southern Gaza that had eased some of the difficulties caused by the blockade.  Some countries, notably Turkey and Qatar, have responded to this situation by providing emergency relief, but much more assistance is required, including pressure upon Israel to end the unlawful blockade.

9. Urgency. The stark reality is that the beleaguered occupied people of Gaza, over half of whom are children, are not receiving the protection to which they are entitled under IHL, which imposes an overall duty on the occupying Power to act in such a manner as to protect the civilian population from harm. Given the failure of Israel to live up to these obligations as set forth in the Fourth Geneva Convention, the United Nations and international society generally is challenged to take urgent action. The principles embedded in the R2P concept, ‘the responsibility to protect,’ would seem to have a special applicability to the emergency conditions currently existing in Gaza that is being brought to the attention of the world by graphic pictures of sewage in the streets, widespread flooding, seasonal cold including snow, and of children entrapped by these conditions.

10. The wall and the 2004 Advisory Opinion July 2014 will mark 10 years since the ICJ gave its near unanimous advisory opinion on the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory[1]. Israel’s refusal to implement this assessment of international law by the highest judicial body in the United Nations is cause for severe concern.

11. The question put to the Court by the General Assembly bears repeating[2]: “What are the legal consequences arising from the construction of the wall being built by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, …, considering the rules and principles of international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, and relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions?” The ICJ wasunequivocal in its reply. In summary, it concluded that the construction of the wall in occupied Palestine, including East Jerusalem, and its associated regime, was contrary to international law. The crucial point being that it would not have been unlawful for Israel to build a security wall on an established international border, but to encroach unilaterally on territory occupied in the 1967 was a flagrant violation of international law. The Court stated that Israel had a continuing duty to comply with its international obligations in this regard. It found that Israel was obliged to end the illegal situation, cease construction and dismantle the wall in the OPT, and to make reparations for all damage caused as a result of the wall.

12. In addition to the conclusions addressing Israel’s obligations, the Court stated that all States are obliged not to recognise the illegal situation arising from the wall, and that States parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 were obliged to ensure compliance by Israel with that Convention. Finally, the Court suggested that the United Nations, and especially the General Assembly and the Security Council, should consider further action to overcome this illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall and its associated regime[3].

13. In clear defiance of international law, Israel has continued construction of the wall and maintains on its website a map of 30 April 2006 showing its revised route[4]. At the time of the advisory opinion, the Secretary-General estimated that approximately 180 km of the wall had been completed[5]. Since that time, parts of the wall have been re-routed[6]. In 2013, the Secretary-General (A/68/502) reported that approximately 62 per cent of the wall had been completed. A further 10 per cent was under construction, and construction of the remaining 28% of the planned route had not yet commenced. Upon completion, the wall is expected to run approximately 708 km.

14. 85% of the planned route of the wall lies within the West Bank, and will cut off and isolate 9.4% of the West Bank territory, including East Jerusalem and so-called No-Man’s land[7]. Palestinian communities affected by the wall experience varying degrees of isolation and restrictions on their freedom of movement. The seam zone’s[8] associated permit regime requires Palestinians to continually apply for temporary permits to allow them to reside in their home area and carry on aspects of their lives that require entering or exiting the seam zone. In order to access farming land beyond Israeli controlled access gates, leave and return for work, access education, health and other services, visit family and friends or arrange for visits to those communities for non-resident Palestinians, prior permission by Israeli authorities is necessary. This permit procedure imposes daily hardships on many Palestinian lives[9].

15. The Ministry of Defence states that “The Security Fence does not annex territories to the State of Israel, nor will it change the status of the residents of these areas[10].” Israel maintains that the purpose of the wall is to ensure security and protect Israeli citizens from terrorist attacks. In 2011, the Israeli High Court supported this reasoning regarding security in rejecting NGO petitions which claimed that the permit regime was aimed at expropriation and annexation of Palestinian land, and argued that its exclusive application to Palestinians, and not e.g. to settlers in the zone, was discriminatory and comparable to the Pass Laws of apartheid South Africa[11]. However, the High Court’s assertion does not overcome the conclusion by the ICJ that the grave infringements of the rights of Palestinians caused by the wall in the OPT were not necessary to satisfy legitimate Israeli security requirements[12].

16. If protection of Israeli citizens were indeed the only reason for the wall and the associated regime, it begs the question of why Israel continues to support the expansion of illegal settlements in the West Bank, thus moving an increasing number of Israeli citizens into the very area from which it says the risk emanates. That continued settlement in West Bank land, including East Jerusalem, cut off by the wall seems to be creating a fait accompli amounting to de facto annexation, is a grave concern raised by the HRC, which has demanded that Israel comply with the Advisory Opinion (A/HRC/Res/22/26).

17. For Palestinian residents isolated from the rest of the West Bank by the wall,  and living under the permit regime and other restrictions, the issue is not alone about status, but also about how life is made untenable, inducing more and more Palestinians to abandon their land and leave. By way of illustration, for years, the village of Nabi Samwel reportedly attempted to improve the village school. The village’s location in the seam zone complicates access to outside education. The United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos, stated on her 2011 visit to the village: “I am horrified by the way the Barrier affects Palestinians. It divides communities and inhibits the provision of services. I visited a one-room school with no windows and very few facilities, which can’t be improved because the planning rules don’t allow it. This is unacceptable[13].” In September 2013, the village succeeded in installing a container on the school ground to serve as an additional classroom. However, the school is now in danger of losing one of its two rooms for lack of a building permit[14]. These acutely burdensome living conditions lead to the displacement of long term residents. In 2012, the Village Council noted that over the past decade at least 10 families have left the village, which counts some 260 residents[15].

18. Another case in point is the approximately 25 houses making up the village of Al-Numan. It is also encircled by the wall, with its only access through an Israeli checkpoint, and restricted from unlicensed building activity, effectively resulting in the inability of families and the population of the village to grow as housing needs cannot be met[16]. Consequently, the villagers have seen their own number fall while observing the neighbouring illegal Har Homa settlement’s steady growth in occupied territory. In 2006 Al-Haq published a case study on the indirect forcible transfer taking place in Al-Numan[17]. These are but two concrete examples of the obstacles communities face daily. In 2012, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimated that there were approximately 7,500 Palestinians still living in the seam zone[18]. This is a decrease from an estimated 10,000 people in 2003[19]. Upon completion of the wall, an estimated 25,000 Palestinians would be located in the seam zone, a figure which does not include the Palestinian population in East Jerusalem[20].

19. Regular demonstrations against the wall and its associated regime staged affected villages are often violently suppressed[21]. A website for the village of Bil’in, a farming community, describes its struggle thus: “[Bil’in] is fighting to safeguard its land, its olive trees, its resources… its liberty. … .Supported by Israeli and international activists, Bil’in residents peacefully demonstrate every Friday in front of the “work-site of shame”. And every Friday the Israeli army responds with both physical and psychological violence[22].”

20. The impact of the wall on people’s lives is reflected in the progress report of the Board of the United Nations Register of Damage Caused by the Construction of the Wall in the OPT[23]. As of June 2013, 36803 claim forms for registration of damage had been received and, of the almost 9000 claims decided, all but 580 claims were found to meet the eligibility criteria for inclusion in the register. Claimants may submit claims under categories of losses including: agriculture; commercial; residential; employment; access to services; and public resources[24].

21. In his first report (A/63/326) to the General Assembly, the Special Rapporteur recommended seeking the assistance of the Security Council for the implementation of the advisory opinion. In the face of the unequivocal opinion of the ICJ, and of General Assembly resolution ES-10/15 that called on Israel to comply with the advisory opinion, Israel has defiantly acted as if international law and international judicial authority has no bearing on their policies and behavior[25]. With the tenth anniversary of the advisory opinion approaching, it is time again to examine what legitimate action by the international community can be taken to achieve compliance with international law, as set out by the ICJ. It is often supposed that because the legal findings of the ICJ were embedded in an ‘advisory opinion’, it has no bearing on the status of Israel’s legal obligations. This is incorrect. An advisory opinion of the ICJ is as determinative with respect to the authority of international law as a judgment in a dispute between two or more states, but unlike such a judgment between states that can be directly enforced by reliance on Article 94 of the United Nations Charter, an advisory opinion cannot be so implemented. However, this difference does not weaken the obligation of Israel to act in accordance with this authoritative determination of international legal obligations, and its failure to do so puts it in breach of international law and responsible for the cumulative harm inflicted on the Palestinian people. It is past time, for the United Nations to take action that seeks to protect the rights of the Palestinian people bearing on the sanctity of their territory and its relation to the underlying right of self-determination.

III.Israeli settlements and the fragmentation of occupied Palestine

  •      Facts on the ground

22. The hallmark of Israel’s 46-year prolonged annexing occupation of Palestine has been Israel’s determined pursuit of settlement construction and expansion in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in defiance of its international law obligations[26]. This was clearly reflected in the findings of the international fact-finding mission on the implications of Israeli settlements.[27]Throughout the past six years, the Special Rapporteur has periodically reported on the expansion of settlements and outposts[28] in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, (in breach of Israel’s own commitment to freeze settlement expansion, including natural growth under the 2003 Middle East Quartet Road Map), and the impact of associated policies and practices on the human rights of Palestinians living in the occupied territory.[29] While the pro-settlement camp claims that, “Settlements aren’t the problem”[30], this view stands in sharp contrast to the facts on the ground.

23. Increasing fragmentation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, by way of a combination of policies and practices including, but not limited to: the wall; the creation of seam zones; checkpoints; zoning and planning restrictions; demolition of homes and forced evictions (particularly of Bedouin communities in Area C); revocation of residency rights; the designation of vast tracts of land in the West Bank as closed military zones or natural reserves; and the expropriation of land for settler agriculture or industrial zones, may irreversibly disrupt the contiguity of the West Bank undermining a just and sustainable “two-state” solution[31].

24. Peace Now, an Israeli NGO, called attention to “Bibi’s Settlements Boom” in 2013, reporting that tenders had been published for 3,472 new units in settlements, and that plans had been promoted 8,943 new settlement units in the eight months since the Netanyahu government took office in March 2013.[32]Despite a brief and limited ten month moratorium on settlement construction in 2010 during the last round of unsuccessful peace talks (which also demonstrated Israel’s ability to halt settlement activity if desired), Israel issued tenders for the construction of 5,302 housing units in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, during the period from March 2009 to January 2013.[33]

25. The timing of announcements regarding settlement expansion has also been provocative, with the two most recent announcements coinciding with the first and second round of Palestinian prisoner releases by Israel in the context of the renewed peace negotiations that began in August 2013. The passage of time under the status quo has not been a neutral factor for Palestinians as more “facts on the ground” are created on a daily basis, strengthening Israel’s position in its preferred mode of power-based negotiations (as opposed to negotiations based on rights and international law). Despite protestations over settlement activity by the United Nations, and notably also by the United States, and the European Union[34], Israel continues to use state power and resources to promote its defiant settlement policies. The Secretary-General has described Israel as playing a “leading role” in the construction and expansion of settlements through the control of land and natural resources as well as the preferential treatment given to settlers by way of benefits and incentives.[35]

26. This latter factor is important to note if the removal of existing settlements were to occur as part of a peace agreement. Approximately half of all settlements in the West Bank can be classified by type as either ‘quality of life’, or a mixture of ‘quality of life/ideological’, which tend to be inhabited by predominately secular or mixed settler populations.[36] At least for the economic settlers who were persuaded to move to the West Bank settlements through various government benefits and incentives, Israel might be able to re-incentivise those settlers to re-settle to the west of Israel’s pre-1967 borders. Israel would have a more difficult time removing the more religious settlers who live in approximately 70 settlements across the West Bank, all the more so as population growth in the settlements of approximately 2.8 per cent continues to outstrip population growth in Israel.[37] It also remains to be seen whether an emergent settler unity precludes implementing a future peace agreement based on inducing economic settlers to return to Israel. Certainly, it may be anticipated that ideological settlers would do their best to prevent such a division and the implementation of such an agreement.

27. It has been a small minority within the ideologically motivated  settlers who have been responsible for most of the violence committed against Palestinian men, women and children as well as their homes and properties. 361 incidents of settler violence were reported in the first ten months of 2013, including 87 resulting in the injury of Palestinians (compared to a total of 366 incidents in 2012).[38] Most of these incidents occurred in the Nablus, Ramallah and Hebron governorates. Settler violence is reinforced by a lack of accountability and the related failure of Israeli law enforcement forces to protect vulnerable Palestinian communities.[39]

28. Housing demolitions and displacement of Palestinian communities also kept up with the settlement boom in 2013. From January to October 2013, 533 Palestinian homes and livelihood structures were demolished, including 205 residential structures displacing 969 people, including 441 children. International donor-funded structures, paid for by taxpayers around the world were not spared from demolition, and 96 donor funded structures, including residential, livestock-related and water and sanitation facilities in the West Bank were demolished by Israeli authorities.

29. Herding communities living in small villages in Area C have been particularly vulnerable to Israeli practices accelerating the fragmentation of the West Bank. In 2013, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights twice spoke out against the demolition of at least three Bedouin and herder communities in Mak-hul, Tel al Adassa and Az Za’ayyem in the northern Jordan Valley.[40] Israel’s violations of international law extend to actively preventing the provision of urgent humanitarian assistance from the international community to the affected Palestinian communities.[41]

  •      The future of outposts

30. In July 2012, the Committee to Examine the State of Construction in the West Bank appointed by the Ministry of Justice and chaired by Supreme Court Justice (Ret.) Edmund Levy (the Levy Committee), issued its report on the legal status of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and in particular, set forth recommended steps to regularize the construction of ‘illegal settlements’ (outposts) in the West Bank (currently numbering over 100).It concluded that the international laws of occupation, including the Fourth Geneva Convention, did not apply to Israel’s unique situation in Judea and Samaria (the name given the West Bank in internal Israeli discourse and signalling a claimed biblical attachment), and that Israelis had the legal right to settle in the West Bank despite the international consensus.

31. The Levy Committee conclusions not only reflected disregard of international law but also set forth a quasi-legal retroactive endorsement of outposts, formally  unauthorized under Israeli law. In fact, the Committee determined that existing outposts were “carried out with the knowledge, encouragement and tacit agreement of the most senior political level, government ministers and the Prime Minister, and therefore such conduct is to be seen as implied agreement”.[42] A previous report of 2005 by Talia Sasson, a former chief state prosecutor concerning the illegal outposts had not gone so far as to implicate the senior most political echelon of the country, but had found the Settlement Division of the World Zionist Organization (fully funded from the State Treasury), the Ministry of Construction and Housing, the Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria, and the Assistant to Defense Minister complicit in the establishment of new unauthorized outposts and exposed an unelected bureaucracy in charge of creating new outposts without political authorization or oversight.[43]

32. The Special Rapporteur notes that while Sasson’s report clearly labelled the outposts as illegal under Israeli law and recommended their dismantlement, developments on the ground since then have shown that successive Israeli Governments preferred to follow the approach endorsed post-facto by the Levy Committee. Of 1,708 units constructed in West Bank settlements in the first half of 2013, 180 units were located in outposts.[44] In May 2013, Israel announced plans to legalize four outposts in the West Bank (in other words to recognise them as official settlements)[45] While the Netanyahu Government never adopted the Levy report, the Knesset Committee on Constitution, Law and Justice is expected to debate the report in early December 2013, indicating that it is being taken seriously at the highest levels in Israel.[46]

  • ‘Demographic balance’ in East Jerusalem

33. The status of East Jerusalem remains one of the most contentious issues to be resolved in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is worth recalling that United Nations Security Council resolution 478 (1980) affirmed that Israel’s Basic Law proclaiming Jerusalem, including the annexed area, as the capital of Israel constitutes a violation of international law and did not affect the application of the Fourth Geneva Convention in Palestine, including East Jerusalem.

34. For Palestinians living in East Jerusalem, their situation would not be as precarious if, despite the illegality of annexation, they were treated equally to Israeli citizens and afforded access to quality education, health care and housing. Instead, Palestinians living in East Jerusalem are regarded as ‘permanent residents’ and subject to a gradual and bureaucratic process of ethnic cleansing.[47] This has consisted of revocation of residency permits, demolitions of residential structures built without Israeli permits (often virtually impossible to obtain)[48], and forced evictions of Palestinian families, in violation of the  basic right to adequate housing, enshrined in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

35. A 2013 report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development on the Palestinian economy in East Jerusalem detailed Israeli policies that have impeded the natural growth of the Palestinian economy. It also noted that Palestinians are made to pay high municipal taxes in return for poor services and disproportionately low public expenditure in East Jerusalem.[49] This has been particularly evident with respect  to education, characterised by  shortage of classrooms, a high overall dropout rate of 13 per cent among Palestinian schools in East Jerusalem, and a general neglect of the Arab schooling system in comparison to their Jewish counterparts literally metres away in West Jerusalem.[50]

36. The situation in East Jerusalem today is a microcosm of the fragmentation of territory taking place across the West Bank. Israel actively seeks to undermine the Palestinian presence to serve its goal of preserving a Jewish majority in East Jerusalem. This has been a decades old policy of Israel, acknowledged by the Jerusalem Municipality, to maintain a demographic balance of approximately 70 per cent Jewish to 30 per cent Palestinian in Jerusalem.[51]

37. Since 1996, an estimated 11,023 Jerusalem Palestinians have lost their resident status and right to live in occupied East Jerusalem.[52] During the period 2004-2013, a total of 479 housing units were demolished in East Jerusalem displacing 1,892 Palestinians. These figures account only for officially demolished housing units and do not include homes demolished by some owners after receiving a demolition order to avoid perverse heavy municipal penalties and demolition costs associated with the destruction of their own homes.[53]

38. The most problematic plan advanced in East Jerusalem in recent years has been the expansion of settlements and infrastructure around Har Homa, Gilo, and Givat Hamatos, as well as the E1 settlement bloc to the east, which threatens to cut off East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank.[54] Eventual peace depends crucially on ensuring that Palestinian rights in East Jerusalem are not further jeopardized.

  •      Corporate complicity in international crimes

39. Over the past two years, the Special Rapporteur focussed attention on companies involved in business and financial activities related to the Israeli settlement enterprise as well as the possibility of corporate complicity in international crimes related to Israeli settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.[55] .

40. The effort to focus on business activities in the settlements was made, in part, to bring a measure of accountability with respect to the human rights obligations of companies in conformity with international law and the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. In so doing, the Special Rapporteur’s intention was not only to provide a sound legal basis upon which to assess the complicity of businesses in international crimes related to the settlements, but also in order to clearly set out the risks and associated costs in terms of reputation, as well as the potential legal consequences of doing business in the settlements.

41. The responses received from some of the 13 companies analysed in an earlier report (A/67/379) were mixed. Nonetheless, there have been a number of recent developments in relation to the involvement of other businesses involved in the settlements to indicate that public pressure and media attention does bring some ethical dividends, and has encouraged governments to be more vigilant.

42. Some positive developments in this regard include Royal HaskoningDHV, a Dutch company, which announced its decision to terminate a contract with the Jerusalem municipality to build a wastewater treatment plant in East Jerusalem in September 2013.[56] This was followed in December by the decision of Vitens, a Dutch water utility company, to cut its ties with Mekorot, the Israeli national water company, citing concerns in relation to the adherence of international laws.[57]  In August 2013, the Swedish-Norwegian bank Nordea excluded Cemex, one of the companies taken up in the Special Rapporteur’s earlier report from its investment portfolio, due to its extraction of non-renewable natural resources from occupied Palestine.[58] Such examples should lead the way for more countries and companies to follow suit, as well as alerting governments to their responsibility to urge companies subject to their authority to act in accordance with international law.

43. While due diligence on the part of businesses is an inherent aspect of corporate responsibility, Governments also have the obligation, as noted by the fact-finding mission on settlements, to take measures to ensure that they do not recognise an unlawful situation arising from Israel’s illegal activities.[59] In this regard, the European Union guidelines which establish that all agreements between Israel and the European Union for grants, prizes and financial instruments funded by the European Union must now unequivocally and explicitly indicate their inapplicability to the territories occupied by Israel in 1967 represents a step in the right direction.

44. The Special Rapporteur is also encouraged by the UK government’s recent issuance of guidelines to businesses, which for the first time outlines the risks of trading with Israeli settlements, and specifically warns of the legal and economic risks stemming from the fact that the Israeli settlements, according to international law, are built on occupied land and are not recognised as a legitimate part of Israel’s territory.[60]

  •      Trade with the settlements

45. The diligence shown by the European Union and some of its Member States on the responsibility of businesses operating in occupied Palestine naturally leads to the question: are the same human rights standards applied by countries when it comes to trade relations with the settlements? If the statements protesting the expansion of settlements issued by the European Union and the United States reiterate their illegality and illegitimacy, then their actions should also reflect a genuine commitment to human rights and respect for international law by ceasing trade with the settlements starting with a ban on imports of settlement produce.

46. While produce originating in the Israeli settlements are not entitled to benefit from preferential tariff treatment under the EU-Israel Association Agreement, fresh agricultural produce exported from the settlements – but mislabelled as ‘made in Israel’ – can still be found on many supermarket shelves across the European Union due to the voluntary nature of labelling requirements Considering the fact that the EU remains one of the most important trading partners for the settlements with annual exports worth $300 million, a ban on settlement produce would have a significant impact. It should also not be forgotten that trade with settlements has adverse ramifications for the Palestinian economy and is  linked to the violation of human rights with respect to Palestinian communities denied access to fertile agricultural land, water and other natural resources.

47. So long as illegal settlements are supported through trade, statements protesting the expansion of settlements from the main trading partners of Israel will have little resonance on the ground, and third party States will continue to be associated with the violation of human rights in occupied Palestine.

IV. The Gaza Strip

48. In the space of six years since this Special Rapporteur assumed this mandate, the population of the Gaza Strip has lived through two major Israeli military operations (Cast Lead in December 2008 to January 2009 and Pillar of Defense in November 2012), and endured Israel’s illegal blockade (in place since June 2007). Both conflicts inflicted disproportionate casualties and devastation on the Palestinian civilian population.  This has been well-documented by the United Nations.[61]

49. Since June 2013, the humanitarian situation in Gaza has worsened. In recent months, the destruction by the Egyptian authorities of most underground tunnels, which although problematic, had been a lifeline to the residents has had a particularly serious impact on the availability of fuel at affordable prices in Gaza. This has led to severe power shortages resulting in shut downs of sewage treatment facilities, and disruptions to specialized health services, such as kidney dialysis, operating theatres, blood banks, intensive care units and incubators, putting the lives of vulnerable patients in Gaza at risk.[62] The frequent closures of the Rafah crossing in recent months have generally prevented access to affordable health care in Egypt, which remains essential given the limitations of the Gaza health system.

50. The most egregious violations of human rights committed by Israel have been in its enforcement using excessive force, of arbitrary access to restricted areas at sea and on land, profoundly affecting the lives of Palestinian fishermen and agricultural farmers and   households dependent upon them. The more pervasive forms of human rights violations also linked to the blockade have been well documented by the Secretary-General (A/68/502), and include inter alia, severe movement restrictions into and out of Gaza from Israel and adverse impacts on the rights of Palestinians in Gaza to education, health and work. In addition, severe export restrictions (and limitations on imports) undermine the potential of the Gaza economy, and accentuate the impoverished conditions that prevail in Gaza.[63] The recent refusal of Israel to allow exports from Gaza to the West Bank, despite a Dutch donation of a container security scanner, is emblematic of the denial of the right to development in Gaza, and undercuts Israel’s claims that its actions are taken to serve genuine security concerns.[64]

  1. Question of apartheid and segregation

51. In 2011 (A/HRC/16/72), the Special Rapporteur reiterated the call made by his predecessor, John Dugard, in 2007 (A/HRC/4/17), for a referral to the ICJ for an advisory opinion on the question of whether “elements of the [Israeli] occupation constitute forms of colonialism and apartheid”.[65]More precisely, he recommended that the ICJ be asked to assess the allegations that the prolonged occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem possess elements of “colonialism”, “apartheid” and “ethnic cleansing” inconsistent with IHL in circumstances of belligerent occupation and unlawful abridgement of the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people”.[66] Since no advisory opinion has been sought following the aforementioned reports of successive Special Rapporteurs, the present report assumes part of the task of analysing whether allegations of apartheid in occupied Palestine are well-founded. It discusses Israeli policies and practices, through the lens of the international prohibition upon ethnic discrimination, segregation, and apartheid.

  •      Legal Framework

52. Apartheid is prohibited under international law, and Israel, as a State and an occupying power, is bound by this prohibition. Under the First Geneva Protocol, which is declaratory of international law and therefore widely regarded as universally binding, ‘practices of ‘ apartheid ‘ and other inhuman and degrading practices involving outrages upon personal dignity, based on racial discrimination’ are included as grave breaches[67]. Further, the International Law Commission (ILC) has recognised apartheid among the prohibitions that there seems to be “widespread agreement” constitute peremptory norms[68]. In addition, article 3 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD), provides that “States Parties particularly condemn racial segregation and apartheid and undertake to prevent, prohibit and eradicate all practices of this nature in territories under their jurisdiction”[69]. At the second Universal Periodic Review of Israel in October 2013, South Africa recommended that Israel “Prohibit policies and practices of racial segregation that disproportionately affect the Palestinian population in the OPT”[70].

53. Apartheid involves the domination of one racial group over another, and some may argue that neither Israeli Jews nor Palestinians constitute racial groups per se. However, article 1 of CERD, in its definition of racial discrimination, makes it clear that “race” is in fact not the sole factor, but that racial discrimination may be based on “any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin”. The CERD Committee has stressed that under the definition in article 1 “the Convention relates to all persons who belong to different races, national or ethnic groups or to indigenous peoples”[71].

54. The International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid (AC) in article 2, provides a detailed definition of the crime of apartheid, providing that it “shall include similar policies and practices of racial segregation and discrimination as practised in southern Africa,” and applies to  “inhuman acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them”. The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) echoes these core elements (article 7.2(h)) and further specifies that for such acts to constitute “crimes against humanity” they must be “committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack”. Without prejudice to any possible differences in the elements of apartheid as an international crime and an internationally wrongful act, apartheid will be treated as a single concept for the purpose of this report, which will be framed around the inhuman acts laid out in article 2 (a) – (f) AC[72].

  •      Acts potentially amounting to segregation and apartheid

55. Article 2 (a) concerns denial of the right to life and liberty of person, including by (i) murder; (ii) serious bodily and mental harm, infringement of freedom, and torture, and (iii) arbitrary arrest and illegal imprisonment. With respect to article 2(a)(i), continuing excessive use of force by Israeli Security Forces (ISF) and a lack of accountability for violations of IHL and international human rights law is well-documented by successive UN resolutions and reports[73]. Palestinians are killed as a result of regular Israeli military incursions into occupied Palestine; lethal use of force against demonstrators; official endorsement of targeted killings; and large-scale military operations.[74]

56. According to B’tselem, between 1987 and 2000 approximately 1,400 Palestinians were killed by ISF[75]. After the year 2000, deaths of Palestinians caused by the ISF accelerated with more than 6,500 deaths[76], as of October 2013. Of this number, over 3,000 were civilians not involved in hostilities. B’tselem’s statistics show that during Israel’s operation ‘Cast Lead’ in Gaza, of the 344 children reportedly killed, 318 did not take part in hostilities. During the same operation, of the 110 Palestinian women recorded as killed, two were police officers and the remaining 108 did not take part in the hostilities. During operation ‘Pillar of Defence’, approximately 100 Palestinian civilians were reportedly killed as a result of ISF actions, a third of whom were children.[77]

57. Additional deaths were caused by ISF’s policy of targeted killing which resulted in the killing of approximately 250 Palestinians in the aforementioned period. Moreover, on average, for every one person killed as a target of ISF, one or two other persons have been killed in any given operation. Thus, during the same period, more than 400 Palestinians who were not targets were also killed[78].

58.  Individual accounts by former Israeli Defence Force (IDF) soldiers, published by the Israeli NGO ‘Breaking the Silence’, bear witness to Israeli policy in respect to the occupied people: “Prevention of terror” is the stamp of approval granted to any offensive IDF action in the Territories, obscuring the distinction between the use of force against terrorists and the use of force against civilians. In this way, the IDF is able to justify actions that intimidate and oppress the Palestinian population overall.[79]

59. Under a simple interpretation the term murder, as referred to in the AC, signifies the unlawful taking of life. Therefore, the taking of lives – outside the limited circumstances in which IHL and international human rights law do not absolutely prohibit this – potentially constitutes an element of apartheid, in the context of a systematic and institutional regime in which these unlawful killings form part of acts carried out in order to maintain dominance over Palestinians. The relatively high proportion of civilian casualties caused by ISF in occupied Palestine is notable in this respect.

60. In regard to article 2(a) (ii) and (iii), detention by Israel of Palestinians is closely linked to the occurrence of torture and ill-treatment. According to the Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, Addameer, in September 2013, there were some 5,000 Palestinian political prisoners, including 137 administrative detainees.[80]Many detainees are transferred to prisons in Israel, in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention (art.76).[81]

61. In 2012, the CERD Committee urged Israel to end administrative detention, which is discriminatory and constitutes arbitrary detention under international human rights law. [82] Similar recommendations were made by a number of States during the most recent Universal Periodic Review of Israel.[83] The CERD Committee further recommended that Israel ensure equal access to justice for all persons living in territories under its effective control, noting that Jewish settlers in occupied Palestine are subject to a civil law regime, while a military regime applies to Palestinians in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

62. Despite the absolute prohibition of torture[84], Palestinians detained by Israel continue to be subjected to torture and ill-treatment[85]. Methods of torture and ill-treatment reportedly include: sleep deprivation; excessive use of handcuffs; beatings; verbal abuse; stress positions; solitary confinement; humiliation and threats of killing, sexual assault and house demolitions, against the detainee or his or her family[86].

63. In 1999 the Israeli High Court said that using certain methods of physical pressure for the purpose of “breaking” a detainee are unlawful and that interrogation methods must be fair and reasonable, and respectful of human dignity[87]. While representing an important recognition of the illegality of certain methods of torture employed against Palestinian detainees, the decision failed to outlaw torture by allowing the ‘ticking bomb’ or ‘necessity’ defence. According to Addameer, ‘necessity’ is used by interrogators as a blanket defence with little to no accountability[88].  The Public Committee against Torture in Israel reported that of 701 formal complaints of torture submitted from 2001-10, none resulted in a criminal investigation[89].

64. Palestinian children are not exempt. In 2013, UNICEF concluded that “Ill-treatment … appears to be widespread, systematic and institutionalized[90]” in the case of Palestinian children held in the Israeli Military detention system. Israeli authorities seem to have taken some limited steps towards meeting UNICEF’s recommendations[91], including by piloting test summons in two West Bank areas instead of conducting frightening night arrests of children[92]. While this is clearly a needed development, it also shows just how basic the denial and lack of protection of Palestinian children’s rights is under the Israeli military legal regime. By comparison, Israeli settler children in conflict with the law are subject to regular Israeli law. According to Defence for Children International, as of October 2013, 159 Palestinian children were in Israeli military detention[93]. On average, around 700 children are detained and prosecuted per year, most commonly on charges of throwing stones[94].

65. The regular denial by Israel of the right to life and liberty of significant numbers of Palestinians is reflected in its policies, laws and practices in occupied Palestine.

66. Article 2 (b) refers to the imposition of living conditions calculated to cause a group’s physical destruction in whole or in part. It seems unlikely that Israel’s policies, laws and practices can be said to have as their aim the physical destruction of the occupied people[95].

67. Article 2 (c) concerns measures calculated to prevent participation in the political, social, economic and cultural life of the country and the full development of a racial group, including and especially by denying them their rights to work, education, to leave and to return to their country, nationality, and freedoms of movement and residence, opinion and expression, and peaceful assembly and association.

Violations of many of these rights have already been touched on in preceding sections. For instance the violations by Israel of the rights to work, education, freedom of movement and residence, as well as freedom of expression and assembly have been illustrated in the context of discussing the wall and its associated regime, and policies and laws related to the development of settlements, including in East Jerusalem. The rights to work, and to freedom of movement, and to leave and return to one’s country, are particularly relevant to Gaza. In the West Bank, the denial of rights to Palestinians is made possible by the existence of parallel legal systems operating in the same territory: one set of civil and criminal laws for Israeli settlers and another for Palestinian Arabs, subject to Israeli military orders, as well as other laws. While the Israeli High Court of Justice formally exercises judicial oversight of the Israeli administration in occupied Palestine, according to NGOs, case law illustrates a trend whereby major policy decisions of government, e.g. relating to the wall and settlements, tend to be immune from judicial intervention, and that human rights and protection under international humanitarian law have not been adequately upheld by the High Court in its rulings[96].  The creation of Israeli legal zones for settlers and the resulting segregation was noted in the 2013 report by the independent fact-finding mission on settlements (A/HRC/22/63). The CERD Committee in 2012 expressed that it was “extremely concerned” at policies and practices amounting to de facto segregation and that it was “particularly appalled at the hermetic character of the separation of the two groups”[97].

68. It is clear that Israeli measures, in the form of policies, laws and practices, have the effect of preventing Palestinians from full participation in the political, social, economic and cultural life of Palestine and arguably also prevent their full development in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

69. Article 2 (d) refers to measures, designed to divide the population along racial lines including by the creation of separate reserves and ghettos for the members of a racial group or groups, and the expropriation of landed property.

The expropriation of Palestinian land is an obvious part of the expansion of settlements and of the construction of the wall. The fragmentation of Palestinian land and creation of separate reserves and enclaves, including the plans threatening to cut off East Jerusalem from the rest of the West bank, is well-documented[98]. The final conclusions of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine (Russell Tribunal) state “Israel has through its laws and practices divided the Israeli Jewish and Palestinian populations and allocated them different physical spheres, with varying levels and quality of infrastructure, services and access to resources. The end result is wholesale territorial fragmentation and a series of separate reserves and enclaves, with the two groups largely segregated. The Tribunal heard evidence to the effect that such a policy is formally described in Israel as hafrada, Hebrew for “separation”[99]. The Special Rapporteur has previously drawn attention to the dual system of roads in the West Bank, as a clear example of segregation, where Palestinians are largely relegated to alternative roads and forced to take long detours[100].

70. It seems incontestable that Israeli measures do divide the population of OPT along racial lines, create separate reserves for Palestinians, and expropriate their land.

71. Article 2(e) refers to exploitation of the labour.

There exist historical reports[101]as well as current campaigns and reports[102]which address poor working conditions of Palestinian citizens working in Israel or in settlements. However, it is noted that there has been a sharp drop in Israeli use of Palestinian workers since the 1990s, especially as it is now impossible for Gazans to work in Israel and since in the West Bank the construction of the wall has further diminished the number of Palestinians working in Israel or for Israeli employers[103].

72. Article 2 (f) concerns persecution of those who oppose apartheid.

This provision potentially relates to a wide range of human rights violations against Palestinians in the OPT, who as a people desire self-determination and oppose the segregation, restrictions and discriminatory regime imposed by Israel on them. In this sense, the punitive response often meted out to those who demonstrate against the wall and its associated regime, or more oppose Israeli violations of human rights, arguably fall under this provision.

73. An individual case in point concerns the Palestinian human rights defender and a founder of non-governmental organizations Youth Against Settlements and Hebron Defenders, Issa Amro. In 2012, Mr. Amro was arrested and detained 20 times without charge[104]. At the time of writing, he had been detained multiple times in 2013 and had been hospitalised, allegedly following a beating by ISF while in detention. In August 2013, a number of Special Rapporteurs, including this Special Rapporteur, expressed deep concern at the alleged ongoing judicial harassment, intimidation and abusive treatment of him. According to the Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights Defenders, Margaret Sekaggya: “This is an unacceptable campaign of harassment, intimidation and reprisals against Mr. Amro, and other human rights defenders who peacefully advocate for the rights of Palestinians in the West Bank, including by cooperating with UN human rights bodies”.

74. An example of an Israeli citizen, belonging to the Druze minority, who has reportedly been imprisoned for his conscientious objection to serving in the Israeli Army is Omar Saad. In an open letter to the Prime Minister and Minister of Defence he explained: “I couldn’t imagine myself wearing military uniform and participating in the suppression of my Palestinian people” and asking “How can I be a soldier standing at Qalandia checkpoint or any other checkpoint, after I experienced the injustices at these checkpoints? How can I prevent someone from Ramallah to visit his city, Jerusalem? How can I guard the apartheid wall? How can I be a jailer to my own people while I know that the majority of prisoners are freedom prisoners and seekers of rights and freedom?”[105].

75. It is strongly arguable that those who oppose Israeli measures amounting to apartheid risk persecution because of their opposition.

  •      Systematic oppression

76. None of the human rights violations discussed in the context of possibly constituting “inhuman acts” for the purpose of the AC or the Rome Statute can be said to be isolated events. Rather, their commission reflects systematic and discriminatory Israeli policies, laws and practices, which determine where in the occupied land Palestinians may or may not travel, live and work. Laws and policies have also institutionalised just how lightly a civilian Palestinian life may be weighed, when placed on the scales against claims of overarching security concerns, contrasting with the legal protection of the Israeli constitutional system given to unlawful Israeli settlers. The combined effect of the measures designed to ensure security for Israeli citizens; to facilitate and expand settlements; and it would appear, to annex land, is: “hafrada”, discrimination, and systematic oppression of, and domination over, the Palestinian people.

  1. Concluding Observations

77. Through prolonged occupation, with practices and policies of apartheid and segregation, ongoing expansion of settlements, and continual construction of the wall arguably amounting to de facto annexation of parts of the occupied Palestinian territory; the denial by Israel of the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people is evident. The ILC’s Draft Articles on State Responsibility provide guidance as to the consequences of serious breaches of peremptory norms under international law. In this respect there is authority[106] to suggest that the following prohibitions have attained the status of peremptory norms: Aggression through military occupation and imposition of military blockades on ports and coasts[107], racial discrimination and apartheid, and torture. In addition, the right to self-determination itself has been recognised as a peremptory norm[108] which applies erga omnes[109].

78. Under article 40(2) of the Draft Articles, for breaches of peremptory norms to be “serious”, they must “involve a gross or systematic failure of the responsible State to fulfil the obligation”. Without prejudice to an authoritative determination of whether the breaches of the discussed peremptory norms qualify as “serious”, it is noted that the violations discussed in the context of the prolonged occupation appear deliberate, organised, institutionalised and longstanding. ILC’s commentary considers it likely that competent international organizations, including the Security Council and the General Assembly address such serious breaches. The implications for Member States for serious breaches of this nature include an obligation to cooperate to bring an end to breaches; non-recognition of, and abstention from maintaining, the illegal situation[110].

79. Finally, from the point of view of international criminal law, with the General Assembly’s recognition of Palestinian statehood, the opportunity for Palestine to accept the jurisdiction of the ICC is now clear. While a declaration was already lodged by the Palestinian Minister of Justice in 2009 purporting to accept its jurisdiction “for acts committed on the territory of Palestine since 1 July 2002”[111], it seems the Court’s decision of 3 April 2012[112] on the question of jurisdiction, had the effect of closing the preliminary examination[113]. An acceptance of jurisdiction would potentially bring a measure of accountability for key individuals, and address violations related to the crime of apartheid and other issues flowing from the more than 400 communications on crimes allegedly committed in Palestine, received by the ICC Office of the Prosecutor since 2009[114].

  1. Recommendations

80. In this my final report, I take the opportunity to reiterate some past recommendations and add several new ones, namely that:

81. Palestinian legal rights, including the right of self-determination, be fully respected and implemented in attempts to reach a peaceful and just resolution of the conflict between these two peoples.

82. The General Assembly request the ICJ issue an advisory opinion on the legal status of prolonged occupation of Palestine, as aggravated by prohibited transfers of large numbers of persons from the occupying Power and the imposition of a dual and discriminatory administrative and legal system in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and further assess allegations that the prolonged occupation possesses legally unacceptable characteristics of “colonialism”, “apartheid” and “ethnic cleansing”.

83. The HRC appoint an expert group to propose a special protocol to the 4th Geneva Convention with the specific purpose of proposing a legal regime for any occupation that lasts for more than five years.

84. The international community comprehensively investigate the business activities of companies and financial institutions registered in their own respective countries, which profit from Israel’s settlements and other unlawful Israeli activities, and take appropriate action to end such practices and ensure appropriate reparation for affected Palestinians. Member States should consider imposing a ban on imports of settlement produce.

85. Future investigations consider whether other foreign corporate connections with unlawful occupation policies additional to settlements (e.g. separation wall, Gaza blockade, house demolitions, excessive use of force) should not be also deemed ‘problematic’ under international law,  and treated in a manner analogous to the recommendations pertaining to settlements.

86. The Government of Israel cease expanding and creating settlements in occupied Palestine, start dismantling existing settlements and returning its citizens to the Israeli side of the Green Line, provide appropriate reparations for the damage due to settlement and related activity since 1967, and act diligently to protect Palestinians living under Israeli occupation from settler violence.

87. The Government of Israel forthwith lift the unlawful blockade of Gaza, cease military incursions, allow Gazans to benefit fully from their natural resources situated within their borders or off the coast of Gaza, and take account of a deepening emergency in Gaza.

88. The HRC give increased attention to the failure by Israel to cooperate with the normal functioning of the United Nations by way of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967[115], and to the protection of Special Rapporteurs from defamatory attacks diverting attention from substantive issues integral to the mandate.

Notes

[1] I.C.J. Reports 2004 (Advisory Opinion), p.136
[2] ES-10/14 (2003)
[3] Op. cit. footnote 1, para.163 (3)
[5]  Advisory Opinion, p.82
[6] Some decisions of the Israeli High Court have reconnected communities with the West Bank. OCHA, Barrier Update (July 2011), p.4
[8] A designated ‘closed military zone’ between the wall and the Green Line
[11]OCHA, Barrier Update (July 2011), p.7,http://www.hamoked.org/files/2013/1157660_eng.pdf.  Also V. Tilley, Beyond Occupation, 2012, p. 151-155
[12]  Advisory Opinion, p.136
[13] OCHA, Barrier Update( July 2011)  p.13
[14] Documentation collected by OHCHR.
[19] The Special Rapporteur believes both re-routings of sections of the wall, and Palestinians leaving due to the wall and its associated regime, have  affected the decrease in numbers.
[20] OCHA, Barrier Update, July 2011, p.10
[23] A/ES-10/599
[24] Rules and Regulations governing the registration of claims, article 11(1).http://www.unrod.org
[25] A/HRC/RES/22/28
 [26] A/68/513 (paras.4-5)
[27] A/HRC/22/63
[28] Outposts are settlements which although often established with some kind of Government support are not officially recognized under Israeli law.
[29] A/63/326, A/HRC/13/53/rev1, A/65/331, A/HRC/16/72, A/66/358, A/HRC/20/32
[31] A/HRC/25/38, A/HRC/25/40, A/68/502 and A/68/513.
[35] A/68/513
[36] Among 136 West Bank settlements listed by Peace Now, 25 settlements falls under the type ‘quality of life’, 35 settlements fall under the type ‘quality of life/ideological’, 70 settlements fall under the type ‘ideological’ and six settlements fall under the type ‘ultra-orthodox’;http://peacenow.org.il/eng/content/settlements-and-outposts
[37] Palestinian Centre for Human Rights submission to Special Rapporteur, 22 November 2013
[39] A/68/513 (paras. 42-52)
 [44] A/HRC/25/38 (para.6)
 [47] A/65/331(para.14) and A/HRC/20/32 (para.32)
[48] A/68/513 (paras.30-33)
[51] EU Heads of Mission Jerusalem Report 2012
 [52] Submission to Special Rapporteur by the Civic Coalition for Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem (November 2013)
[54] EU Heads of Mission Jerusalem Report 2012
[55] A/67/379, A/HRC/23/21, A/68/376
[58] Palestinian BDS National Committee, submission to Special Rapporteur (November 2013)
 [59] A/HRC/22/63 (paras.116-117)
[61] A/HRC/12/48, A/HRC/22/35/Add.1 and A/HRC/23/21
[65]A/HRC/16/72, para8, A/HRC/4/17,para.10
[66] A/HRC/16/72, para.32(b)
                                     [67] Art. 85(4)(c), A/HRC /16/72
[68] Draft articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts, with commentaries 2001. Arts.40-41 and commentaries.
[69] Regardless of the possibility that CERD’s inclusion of apartheid applies exclusively to South Africa, CERD prohibits all forms of racial segregation. General Recommendation XIX,1995
[70] A/HRC/WG.6/17/L.12
[71] A/54/18 (Annex V)
[72] Israel is not a party to the AC and it is debated whether it was intended to apply exclusively to South Africa. Nonetheless, it continues to inform the prohibition of apartheid in international law.
[73] A/68/502, A/67/372, A/66/356, A/65/366, A/HRC/22/35 and A/RES/67/118, A/HRC/RES/22/28 and A/RES/19/16
[74] Russell Tribunal, (2011).
[76] Ibid.
[77] A/HRC/22/35/Add.1
[78] Ibid.
[79] http://www.breakingthesilence.org.il/testimonies/publications. Occupation of the Territories 2000-2010.
[82] CERD/C/ISR/CO/14-16
[83] A/HRC/WG.6/17/L.12
[84] ILC Draft Articles 2001.
[85] A/68/379
[89] http://www.stoptorture.org.il/files/PCATI_eng_web.pdfThe formal complaints may not be representative of the actual number of victims.
                                     [91]http://www.unicef.org/oPt/UNICEF_oPt_Children_in_Military_Detention_Bulletin_No_1_October_2013.pdf
                        [95] The United Nations has questioned whether Gaza will be a liveable place in 2020 ( “Gaza in 2020: a liveable                                     place?” 2012). Considering the situation in Gaza,  the Russell Tribunal found Israeli policies aimed at causing                                     displacement of Palestinians, rather than their physical destruction (2011).
                                     [96] Information from Diakonia
[97] CERD/C/ISR/CO/14-16
[98] A/HRC/22/63
[99] Russell Tribunal, Final Conclusions 2007-13.
[100] A/HRC/16/72 (section IV)
[103] Russell Tribunal, (2011).
[106] ILC Draft articles 2001, Chap.III
[107] A/RES/3314(XXIX) Definition of Aggression
[108] ILC Draft articles 2001, Chap.III
[109] Ibid.
[110] Ibid, art.41
[115] In 2013, the Special Rapporteur joined 26 other independent experts in an appeal to Member States to cooperate with their mandates.http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=14083&LangID=E

 [RF1]I agree but substituted ‘some’ for ‘better’ (as there was none)

Unknown Snipers and Western backed “Regime Change”

March 7th, 2014 by Gearóid Ó Colmáin

Article originally published in November 2011, of particular relevance to what is happening in Ukraine

Unknown snipers played a pivotal role throughout the  so-called  « Arab Spring Revolutions »  yet, in spite of reports of their presence in the mainstream media, surprisingly little attention has been paid to  to their purpose and role.

The Russian investigative journalist Nikolay Starikov has written a book which discusses the role of unknown snipers in the destabilization of countries targeted for regime change by the United States and its allies. The following article attempts to elucidate some historical examples of this technique with a view to providing a background within which to understand the current cover war on the people of Syria by death squads in the service of Western intelligence.[1]

Romania 1989.

In Susanne Brandstätter’s documentary ‘Checkmate: Strategy of a Revolution’ aired on Arte television station some years ago,  Western intelligence officials revealed how  death squads were used to destabilize Romania and turn its people against the head of state Nicolai Ceaucescu.

Brandstätter’s film is a must see for anyone interested in how Western intelligence agencies, human rights groups and the corporate press collude in the systematic destruction of countries whose leadership conflicts with the interests of big capital and empire.

Former secret agent with the French secret service, the DGSE(La Direction générale de la sécurité extérieure) Dominique Fonvielle, spoke candidly about the role of Western intelligence operatives in destabilizing the Romanian population.

“how do you organize a revolution? I believe the first step is to locate oppositional forces in a given country. It is sufficient to have a highly developed intelligence service in order to determine which people are credible enough to have influence at their hands to destabilize the people to the disadvantage of the ruling regime”[2]

This open and rare admission of Western sponsorship of terrorism was justified on the grounds of the “greater good” brought to Romania by free-market capitalism. It was necessary, according to the strategists of Romania’s “revolution”, for some people to die.

Today, Romania remains one of the poorest countries in Europe. A report on Euractiv reads:

“Most Romanians associate the last two decades with a continuous process of impoverishment and deteriorating living standards, according to Romania’s Life Quality Research Institute, quoted by the Financiarul daily.” [3]

The western intelligence officials interviewed in the documentary also revealed how the Western press played a central role in disinformation. For example, the victims of Western-backed snipers were photographed by presented to the world as evidence of a crazed dictator who was “killing his own people”.

To this day, there is a Museum in the back streets of Timisoara Romania which promotes the myth of the “Romanian Revolution”.  The Arte documentary was one of the rare occasions when the mainstream press revealed some of  the dark secrets of Western liberal democracy. The documentary caused a scandal when it was aired in France, with the prestigious Le Monde Diplomatique discussing the moral dilemma of the West’s support of terror in its desire to spread ‘democracy’.

Since the destruction of Libya and the ongoing cover war on Syria, Le Monde Diplomatique has stood safely on the side of political correction, condemning Bachar Al Assad for the crimes of the DGSE and the CIA. In its current edition, the front page article reads Ou est la gauche? Where is the left ? Certainly not in the pages of Le Monde Diplomatique !

Russia 1993

During Boris Yeltsin’s counter-revolution in Russia in 1993, when the Russian parliament was bombed resulting in the deaths of thousands of people, Yeltsin’s counter-revolutionaries made extensive use of snipers.  According to many eye witness reports, snipers were seen shooting civilians from the building opposite the US embassy in Moscow.  The snipers were attributed to the Soviet government by the international media.[4]

Venezuela 2002
In 2002, the CIA attempted to overthrow Hugo Chavez, president of Venezuela, in a military coup. On the 11th of April 2002, an opposition March towards the presidential palace was organized by the US backed Venezuelan opposition. Snipers hidden in buildings near the palace opened fire on protestors killing 18. The Venezuelan and international media claimed that Chavez was “ killing his own people” thereby justifying the military coup presented as a humanitarian intervention.  It was subsequently proved that the coup had been organized by the CIA but the identity of the snipers was never established.

Thailand April 2010
On April 12th 2010, Christian Science Monitor published a detailed report of the riots in Thailand between “red-shirt” activists and the Thai government. The article headline read: ‘Thailand’s red shirt protests darken with unknown snipers, parade of coffins’.

Like their counterparts in Tunisia, Thailand’s red shirts were calling for the resignation of the Thai prime minister. While a heavy-handed response by the Thai security forces to the protestors was indicated in the report, the government’s version of events was also reported:

“Mr. Abhisit has used solemn televised addresses to tell his story. He has blamed rogue gunmen, or “terrorists,” for the intense violence (at least 21 people died and 800 were injured) and emphasized the need for a full investigation into the killings of both soldiers and protesters. State television has broadcast repeated images of soldiers coming under fire from bullets and explosives.”

The CSM report went on to quote Thai military officials and unnamed Western diplomats:

“military observers say Thai troops stumbled into a trap set by agents provocateurs with military expertise. By pinning down soldiers after dark and sparking chaotic battles with unarmed protesters, the unknown gunmen ensured heavy casualties on both sides.

Some were caught on camera and seen by reporters, including this one. Snipers targeted military ground commanders, indicating a degree of advance planning and knowledge of Army movements, say Western diplomats briefed by Thai officials. While leaders of the demonstrations have disowned the use of firearms and say their struggle is nonviolent, it is unclear whether radicals in the movement knew of the trap.

“You can’t claim to be a peaceful political movement and have an arsenal of weapons out the back if needed. You can’t have it both ways,” says a Western diplomat in regular contact with protest leaders [5]

The CSM article also explores the possibility that the snipers could be rogue elements in the Thai military, agents provocateurs used to justify a crack down on democratic opposition. Thailand’s ruling elite is currently coming under pressure from a group called the Red Shirts.[6]

Kyrgystan June 2010

Ethnic violence broke out in the Central Asian republic of  Kirgystan  in June 2010. It was widely reported that unknown snipers opened fire on members of the Uzbek minority in Kyrgystan. Eurasia.net reports:

“In many Uzbek mahallas, inhabitants offer convincing testimony of gunmen targeting their neighborhoods from vantage points. Men barricaded into the Arygali Niyazov neighborhood, for example, testified to seeing gunmen on the upper floors of a nearby medical institute hostel with a view over the district’s narrow streets. They said that during the height of the violence these gunmen were covering attackers and looters, assaulting their area with sniper fire. Men in other Uzbek neighborhoods tell similar stories

. « Among the rumours and unconfirmed reports circulating in Kyrgyzstan after the 2010 violence were claims that water supplies to Uzbek areas were about to be  poisoned. Such rumours had also been spread against the Ceaucescu regime in Romania during the CIA- backed coup in 1989. Eurasia.net goes on to claim that:

Many people are convinced that they’ve seen foreign mercenaries acting as snipers. These alleged foreign combatants are distinguished by their appearance – inhabitants report seeing black snipers and tall, blonde, female snipers from the Baltic states. The idea that English snipers have been roaming the streets of Osh shooting at Uzbeks is also popular. There’ve been no independent corroborations of such sightings by foreign journalists or representatives of international organizations.” [7]

None of these reports have been independently investigated or corroborated. It is therefore impossible to draw any hard conclusions from these stories.

Ethnic violence against Uzbek citizens in Kyrgyzstan occurred pari pasu with a popular revolt against the US-backed regime, which many analysts have attributed to the machinations of Moscow.

The Bakiyev régime came to power in a CIA-backed people-power coup known to the world as the Tulip Revolution in 2005.

Located to the West of China and bordering Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan hosts one of America’s biggest and most important military bases in Central Asia, the Manas Air Base, which is vital for the NATO occupation of neighbouring Afghanistan.

Despite initial worries, US/Kyrgyz relations have remained good under the regime of President Roza Otunbayeva. This is not surprising as Otunbayeva had previously participated in the US-created Tulip Revolution in 2004, taking power as foreign minister.

To date no proper investigation has been conducted into the origins of the ethnic violence that spread throughout  the south of Kyryzstan in 2010, nor have the marauding gangs of unknown snipers been identified and apprehended.

Given the geostrategic and geopolitical importance of Kyrgyzstan to both the United States and Russia, and the formers track-record of using death squads to divide and weaken countries so as to maintain US domination, US involvement in the dissemination of terrorism in Kyrgyzstan cannot be ruled out. One effective way of maintaining a grip on Central Asian countries would be to exacerbate ethnic tensions.

In August 6th 2008, the Russian newspaper Kommersant reported that a US arms cache had been found in a house in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek, which was being rented by two American citizens. The US embassy claimed the arms were being used for “anti-terrorism” exercises. However, this was not confirmed by Kyrgyz authorities. [8]

Covert US military support to terrorist groups in the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia proved to be an effective strategy in creating the conditions for “humanitarian” bombing in 1999. An effective means of  keeping the government in Bishkek firmly on America’s side would be to insist on a US and European presence in the country to help “protect” the Uzbek minority.

Military intervention similar to that in the former Yugoslavia by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe  has already been advocated by the New York Times, whose misleading article on the riots on June 24th 2010 has the headline “Kyrgyzstan asks European Security Body for Police Teams”. The article is misleading as the headline contradicts the actual report which cites a Kyrgyz official stating:

“A government spokesman said officials had discussed an outside police presence with the O.S.C.E., but said he could not confirm that a request for a deployment had been made.”

There is no evidence in the article of any request by the Kyrgyz government for military intervention. In fact, the article presents much evidence to the contrary. However, before the reader has a chance to read the explanation of the Kyrgyz government, the New York Times’ writer presents the now all too horribly familiar narrative of oppressed peoples begging the West to come and bomb or occupy their country:

“Ethnic Uzbeks in the south have clamored for international intervention. Many Uzbeks said they were attacked in their neighborhoods not only by civilian mobs, but also by the Kyrgyz military and police officers”[9]

Only towards the end of the article do we find out that the Kyrgyz authorities blamed the US-backed dictator for fomenting ethnic violence in the country, through the use of Islamic jihadists in Uzbekistan. This policy of using ethnic tension to create an environment of fear in order to prop up an extremely unpopular dictatorship, the policy of using Islamic Jihadism as a political tool to create what former US National Security Advisor Zbigniew Bzrezinski called “ an arc of crisis”, ties in well with the history of US involvement in Central Asia from the creation of Al Qaida in Afghanistan in 1978 to the present day.

Again, the question persists, who were the “unknown snipers” terrorizing the Uzbek population, where did their weapons come from and who would benefit from ethnic conflict in Central Asia’s geopolitical hotspot?

Tunisia January 2011
On January 16th 2011, CNN reported that ‘’armed gangs’’ were fighting Tunisian security forces. [10] Many of the murders committed throughout the Tunisian uprising were by “unknown snipers”. There were also videos posted on the internet showing Swedish nationals detained by Tunisian security forces. The men were clearly armed with sniper rifles. Russia Today aired the dramatic pictures.[11]

In spite of articles by professor Michel Chossudovsky, William Engdahl and  others showing how the uprisings in North Africa were following the patterns of US backed people-power coups rather than genuinely popular revolutions, left wing parties and organizations continued to believe the version of events presented to them by Al Jazeera and the mainstream press. Had the left taken a left from old Lenin’s book they would have transposed his comments on the February/March revolution in Russia thus:

“The  whole course of events in the January/February Revolution clearly shows that the British, French and American embassies, with their agents and “connections”,… directly organized a plot.. in conjunction with a section of the generals and army and Tunisian garrison officers, with the express object of deposing Ben Ali”

What the left did not understand is that sometimes it is necessary for imperialism to overthrow some of its clients. A suitable successor to Ben Ali could always be found among the feudalists of the Muslim Brotherhood who now look likely to take power.

In their revolutionary sloganeering and arrogant insistence that the events in Tunisia and Egypt were “spontaneous and popular uprisings” they committed what Lenin identified as the most dangerous sins in a revolution, namely, the substitution of the abstract for the concrete. In other words, left wing groups were simply fooled by the sophistication of the Western backed “Arab Spring” events.

That is why the violence of the demonstrators and in particular the widespread use of snipers possibly linked to Western intelligence was the great unthought of the Tunisian uprising. The same techniques would be used in Libya a few weeks later, forcing the left to back track and modifiy its initial enthusiasm for the CIA’s “Arab Spring”.

When we are talking about the” left” here, we are referring to genuine left wing parties, that is to say, parties who supported the Great People’s Socialist Libyan Arab Jamahirya in their long and brave fight against Western imperialism, not the infantile petty bourgeois dupes who supported NATO’s Benghazi terrorists.  The blatant idiocy of such a stance should be crystal clear to anyone who understands global politics and class struggle.

Egypt 2011
On October 20th 2011, the Telegraph newspaper published an article entitled, “Our brother died for a better Egypt”. According to the Telegraph, Mina Daniel, an anti-government activist in Cairo, had been ‘shot from an unknown sniper, wounding him fatally in the chest”

Inexplicably, the article is no longer available on the Telegraph’s website for online perusal. But a google search for ‘Egypt, unknown sniper, Telegraph’ clearly shows the above quoted explanation for Mina Daniel’s death. So, who could these “unknown snipers’’ be?

On February 6th Al Jazeera reported that Egyptian journalist Ahmad Mahmoud was shot by snipers as he attempted to cover classes between Egyptian security forces and protestors. Referring to statements made by Mahmoud’s wife Enas Abdel-Alim, the Al Jazeera article insinuates that Mahmoud may have been killed by Egyptian security forces:

“Abdel-Alim said several eyewitnesses told her a uniformed police captain with Egypt’s notorious Central Security forces yelled at her husband to stop filming.

Before Mahmoud even had a chance to react, she said, a sniper shot him.” [12]

While the Al Jazeera article advances the theory that the snipers were agents of the Mubarak regime, their role in the uprising still remains a mystery. Al Jazeera, the Qatar-based television stations owned by the Emir Hamid Bin Khalifa Al Thani, played a key role in provoking protests in Tunisia and Egypt before launching a campaign of unmitigated pro-NATO war propaganda and lies during the destruction of Libya.

The Qatari channel been a central participant in the current covert war waged by NATO agencies and their clients against the Republic of Syria. Al Jazeera’s incessant disinformation against Libya and Syria resulted in the resignation of several prominent journalists such as Beirut station chief Ghassan Bin Jeddo[13]  and senior Al Jazeera executive Wadah Khanfar who was forced to resign after a wikileaks cable revealed he was a co-operating with the Central Intelligence Agency.[14]

Many people were killed during the US-backed colour revolution in Egypt. Although, the killings have been attributed to former US semi-client Hosni Mubarak, the involvement of Western intelligence cannot be ruled out. However, it should be pointed out that the role of unknown snipers in mass demonstrations remains complex and multi-faceted and therefore one should not jump to conclusions. For example, after the Bloody Sunday massacre(Domhnach na Fola) in Derry, Ireland 1972, where peaceful demonstrators were shot dead by the British army, British officials claimed that they had come under fire from snipers. But the 30 year long Bloody Sunday  inquiry subsequently proved this to be false.  But the question persists once more,  who were the snipers in Egypt and whose purposes did they serve?

Libya  2011
During the destabilization of Libya, a video was aired by Al Jazeera purporting to show peaceful “pro-democracy” demonstrators being fired upon by “Gaddafi’s forces”. The video was edited to convince the viewer that anti-Gaddafi demonstrators were being murdered by the security forces. However, the unedited version of the video is available on utube. It clearly shows pro-Gaddafi demonstrators with Green flags being fired upon by unknown snipers. The attribution of NATO-linked crimes to the security forces of the Libyan Jamahirya was a constant feature of the brutal media war waged against the Libyan people. [15]

Syria 2011

The people of Syria have been beset by death squads and snipers since the outbreak of violence there in March. Hundreds of Syrian soldiers and security personnel have been murdered, tortured and mutilated by Salafist and Muslim Brotherhood militants. Yet the international media corporations continue to spread the pathetic lie that the deaths are the result Bachar Al Assad’s dictatorship.

When I visited Syria in April of this year, I personally encountered merchants and citizens in Hama who told me they had seen armed terrorists roaming the streets of that once peaceful city, terrorizing the neighbourhood. I recall speaking to a fruit seller in the city of Hama who  spoke about the horror he had witnessed that day. As he described the scenes of violence to me, my attention was arrested by a newspaper headline in English from the Washington Post  shown on Syrian television: “CIA backs Syrian opposition”. The Central Intelligence Agency provides training and funding for groups who do the bidding of US imperialist interests. The history of the CIA shows that backing opposition forces means providing them with arms and finance, actions illegal under international law.

A few days later, while at a hostel in the ancient, cultured city of Aleppo, I spoke to a Syrian business man and his family. The business man ran many hotels in the city and was pro-Assad. He told me that he used to watch Al Jazeera television but now had doubts about their honesty. As we conversed, the Al Jazeera television in the background showed scenes of Syrian soldiers beating and torturing protestors. “ Now if that is true, it is simply unacceptable” he said. It is sometimes impossible to verify whether the images shown on television are true or not. Many of the crimes attributed to the Syrian army have been committed by the armed gangs, such as the dumping of mutilated bodies into the river in Hama, presented to the world as more proof of the crimes of the Assad regime.

There is a minority of innocent opponents of the Assad regime who believe everything they see and hear on Al Jazeera and the other pro-Western satellite stations. These people simply do not understand the intricacies of international politics.

But the facts on the ground show that most people in Syria support the government. Syrians have access to all internet websites and international TV channels. They can watch BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera, read the New York Times online or Le Monde before tuning into their own state media. In this respect, many Syrians are more informed about international politics than the average European or American. Most Europeans and American believe their own media. Few are capable of reading the Syrian press in original Arabic or watching Syrian television. The Western powers are the masters of discourse, who own the means of communication. The Arab Spring has been the most horrifying example of the wanton abuse of this power.

Disinformation is effective in sowing the seeds of doubt among those who are seduced by Western propaganda. Syrian state media has disproved hundreds of Al Jazeera lies since the beginning of this conflict.  Yet the western media has refused to even report the Syrian government’s position lest fair coverage of the other side of this story encourage a modicum of critical thought in the public mind.

Conclusion.
The use of mercenaries, death squads and snipers by Western intelligence agencies is well documented.  No rational government attempting to stay in power would resort to unknown snipers to intimidate its opponents. Shooting at innocent protestors would be counterproductive in the face of unmitigated pressure from Western governments determined to install a client regime in Damascus. Shooting of unarmed protestors is only acceptable in dictatorships that enjoy the unconditional support of Western governments such as Bahrain, Honduras or Colombia.

A government which is so massively supported by the population of Syria would not sabotage its own survival by setting snipers against the protests of a small minority.

The opposition to the Syrian regime is, in fact, miniscule. Tear gas, mass arrests and other non lethal methods would be perfectly sufficient for a government wishing to control unarmed demonstrators.

Snipers are used to create terror, fear and anti-regime propaganda. They are an integral feature of Western sponsored regime change.

If one were to make a serious criticism of the Syrian government over the past few months, it is that they have failed to implement effective anti-terrorism measures in the country.

The Syrian people want troops on the streets and the roofs of public buildings. In the weeks and months ahead, the Syrian armed forces will probably rely more and more on their Russian military specialists to strengthen the country’s defenses as the Western crusade begun in Libya in March spreads to the Levant.

There is no conclusive proof that the snipers murdering men, women and children in Syria are the agents of Western imperialism. But there is overwhelming proof that Western imperialism is attempting to destroy the Syrian state. As in Libya, they have never once mentioned the possibility of negotiations between the so-called opposition and the Syrian government. The West wants regime change and is determined to repeat the slaughter in Libya to achieve this geopolitical objective.

It now looks likely that the cradle of civilization and science will be overrun by semi-literate barbarians as the terminal decline of the West plays itself out in the deserts of the East.

Notes

[1] http://nstarikov.ru/en/
[2] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1l8qjX4SzBY&feature=related
[3]http://www.euractiv.com/enlargement/romania-says-poverty-reduction-impossible-target-news-468172
[4]http://www.truthinmedia.org/Bulletins/tim98-3-10.html
[5].http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-Pacific/2010/0412/Thailand-s-red-shirt-protests-darken-with-unknown-snipers-parade-of-coffins
[6] http://www.activistpost.com/2010/12/thailand-stage-set-for-another-color.html
[7]  http://www.eurasianet.org/taxonomy/term/2813?page=6
[8http://kommersant.com/p1008364/r_500/U.S.-Kyrgyzstan_relations/
[9] http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/25/world/asia/25kyrgyz.html
[10]http://articles.cnn.com/2011-01-16/world/tunisia.protests_1_troops-battle-unity-government-tunisia?_s=PM:WORLD
[11]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIFxqXPQEQU&feature=related
[12]http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/spotlight/anger-in-egypt/2011/02/201126201341479784.html
[13] http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4060180,00.html
[14] http://intelligencenews.wordpress.com/2011/09/21/01-828/
[15] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQtM-59jDAo&feature=player_embedded#!

Reading the March 2 editorial in the New York Times on the so-called revolution in Ukraine, I couldn’t help but marvel at how easily elite opinion makers in the U.S. can call for the use of public resources to bail out the people and government of Ukraine without significant opposition or even serious questions.  The Times editorial forcefully argued that in response to the “revolution” in Ukraine, Western powers must “provide prompt and substantial assistance to the Kiev government.” This sentiment was also voiced by a number of conservative Republicans who normally pretend to be fiscal conservatives, at least when it comes to state expenditures for working class and poor people in the U.S.

In response, the Obama administration is calling on Congress to agree to a long-term aid package for Ukraine and announced on Tuesday a short-term billion dollar aid package. 

Yet, when it comes to crisis situations like extending unemployment benefits to the 1.3 million people who lost them in December or the forced bankruptcy of Detroit, a major city that happens to have an African American majority, or maintaining food assistance for the working class and poor in the form of the food stamp program, elite opinion in both parties has embraced the “common sense” position that significant reductions in public expenditures and services at every level of government are a reasonable and unavoidable necessity.

The Times editorial further argued that since President Yanukovych left the Ukrainian treasury bare, the West should provide immediate assistance. But what about the people in Detroit, whose government coffers were left bare as result of the predatory looting by big banks that targeted African American families with sub-prime loans and floating interests rates that resulted in them losing their homes? Where is their relief?

And when those same banks seized the properties of more than 100,000 families through foreclosure and then refused to pay property taxes to the city of Detroit—helping to create a fiscal crisis for the city—where was the Federal assistance to replenish the city’s coffers? 

They call Pres. Yanukovych a dictator, but curiously, there was no outcry against the governor of Michigan when he engineered the passage of an anti-democratic piece of legislation that allowed him to impose a one-person dictatorial regime over the people of Detroit.  Referred to as an “emergency manager,” he was granted the power to nullify decisions of the elected city council and mayor and seize control over all institutions of local government. The main objective of the “emergency manager” is to ensure that the banks that looted the city will get a return on the 22 billion dollar debt that the city accrued.

But the elite do not call that process anti-democratic or dictatorial. Why? The explanation for this myopia an apparent inability to see a double standard is not just capitalist avarice and cynical ruling-class self-interest. It is rooted in the pathology generated by the disease of white supremacy.

Let me elaborate. What many conclude is hypocrisy—a gap between high-sounding rhetoric and actual behavior—is not hypocrisy at all, but rather a cognitive deficiency.

It is the same cognitive deficiency that allows Secretary of State John Kerry to statewithout any sense of irony,in response to reports that Russia might be moving troops into Crimea, that “You just don’t, in the 21st century, behave in a 19th century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped-up pretexts.” If someone had reminded Kerry that it was the “trumped-up pretext” of weapons of mass destruction that was the basis for the illegal invasion and destruction of Iraq by the U.S., he probably would not have been able to cognitively process the contradiction. 

Kerry’s comments are representative of a liberal, Eurocentric consciousness in which the same standards of measurement don’t apply to Westerners because they are the standard. It is not just arrogance but an inculcated sense of omnipotence in which the Western worldview, values and interpretations don’t just reflect universal reality, they are the only reality that counts.

When President Obama and members of the corporate elite condemn the Russians for violating international law, the contradictory nature of that position is clear to those of us who are the ongoing victims of Western oppression and whose lives depend on seeing reality as it is.

From our point of view, it is absolutely bizarre that the same country that violates the sovereignty of other states worldwide with drone strikes, military interventions and political subversion can actually suggest to the Russians that it runs the risk of being a “pariah” state.

The U.S. is playing a very dangerous game by attempting to implement its strategy of encircling the Russian Federation. But the Russians also played a very dangerous game when they decided not to veto U.N. Security Council resolution 1973, which gave NATO colonial gangsters the green light to destroy the Libyan state, and then pretended to be surprised when NATO did just that. The aggressive encirclement of Russia by NATO is now a case of the chickens coming home to roost.

Perhaps the Russians did not fully understand what those of us from the African American community have always understood—that U.S. geostrategic decision-makers will ally themselves with right-wing forces if it will help them maintain the hegemony of their empire, from racist nationalists in Ukraine to rightist Islamic fundamentalists in Syria. 

The rise of right-wing racist political movements is not seen as a real threat for decision-makers in the capitals of Paris, Washington and London. But when the right-wing forces that they support in the Ukraine start to pass laws that strip away the rights of people to practice their culture and use their language, the character of that revolution becomes clear for those of us who experienced the underbelly of the great “American” revolution.

The frantic mobilization of public funds to assist the “revolution,” the unrestrained political support for an illegitimate government, and the easy dismissal of racist and anti-Semitic extremism coming from significant elements in that “revolution” all suggest that this is a bogus process that has nothing to do with justice, human progress and certainly not liberatory revolutionary change for the majority of the people in Ukraine.

A cardinal principle of the African American revolutionary tradition is to be in solidarity with people(s) engaged in struggles against oppression anywhere in the world. However, we are also always aware of the international balance of forces and the efforts by Western imperialism, our principle enemy, to confuse and ideologically disarm normally anti-imperialist forces with the appropriation of the vocabulary of social change and mass struggle. In that regard the enemy has succeeded: Employing the language of humanitarian concern and subtle appeals to a defense of the liberal state and the Western civilizational project, the ideological confusion among the left in the U.S. is total. 

When U.S. radicals and progressives are unable to make a distinction between the right and the left and align themselves with a movement in Ukraine that has as its main objective to become more European and capitalist, and at the same time amplify the critiques of the rightist forces in Venezuela who want to murder the embryonic revolution in that country, the backwardnessof radical thought in the U.S. is on full display.

In the U.S. where an African American is being murdered by police forces and vigilantes at a pace of one every 28 hours, where a million of our folks are entombed in the dungeons of this nation’s prisons, where state laws are being employed to deny us our democratic rights, where ex-panther Eddie Conroy is finally released from prison after 44 years, still leaving dozens of our political prisoners who are going into their fourth and fifth decades in prison, African American radicals must be clear on the principle enemy and the principle contradiction.

And for us, the enemy and the principle contradiction is not on the other side of the world in Russia.

Ajamu Baraka is a human rights activist and organizer. Baraka is an Associate Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) in Washington, D.C. and editor and contributing columnist with the Black Agenda Report. His latest publications include contributions to two recently published books “Imagine: Living in a Socialist USA” and “Claim No Easy Victories: The Legacy of Amilcar Cabral.”He can be reached at [email protected] and AjamuBaraka.com

First published by GR in October 2013

In August this column ran a piece claiming that the Pacific Ocean was being poisoned by radioactive material escaping from Fukushima, two years after the devastating tsunami and meltdown at the Japanese nuclear facility. Three months later, shocking evidence points towards a calamity situation. Silence from the corporate media.

There is growing evidence coming from numerous reports aired on social networks and the so-called social media, among which is the article “Radioactive Water From Fukushima Is Systematically Poisoning The Entire Pacific Ocean” (*), which claimed that every day and for 750 days (now over 800) tonnes of toxic materials have been pouring into the Pacific Ocean.

The toxic substances were identified as Tritium, Cesium and Strontium, being carried far and wide by winds, rain and ocean currents, entering the food chain through seaweed and seafood, building up high levels of toxicity in the fish – and humans – at the top end of the consumption chain.

TEPCO, or Tokyo Electric Power Company, the operator of the plant, admitted in August that between twenty and forty trillion becquerels of radioactive material have entered the Pacific Ocean after a security barrier had been breached. The same operator admitted that in just one week, in August, levels of Caesium-134 rose by 90 times and Caesium-137 rose by 86 times.

Fresh research (**) provides a chilling reminder that this situation is serious, will not go away, is getting worse and cannot be swept under the carpet. This research points to “massive numbers” of sea creatures dying across the Pacific, and that high levels of Cesium-137 are present in “a very high percentage of fish” caught in this ocean “and sold in North America”.

The research then moves on to refer to specific and unexplained incidents. For example, the unexplained death of starfish off Puget Sound off Canada. The animals seem to be melting, a phenomenon observed elsewhere in Canadian waters. Divers spoke of live creatures literally disintegrating in front of them, in “massive numbers”.

On to British Columbia, where abnormal behavior and an unusually high death rate has been observed among killer whales. The vocal communication among the animals has ceased, and in the last two years, seven matriarchs have died.

An Australian traveler sailing from Japan to California, USA, referred that it appeared the entire ocean was dead. All he saw was a whale rolling helplessly in the sea with a tumour on its head, and “for 3,000 nautical miles there was nothing to be seen”. No turtles, no sea birds, no dolphins, no sharks.

On to Alaska, where polar bears, seals and walruses have loss of fur and suffer from open sores on their skin. On to Southern California, where 45 per cent of sea lion pups have died, described by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as “an unusual mortality event”.

Back up to Canada, where the sockeye salmon faces record low numbers, up across the entire west coast of Canada, where fish are dying from bleeding eyes, gills and bellies.

Back across the Ocean, where extremely high levels of Cesium-137 have been found between Hawaii and California. On a test made on 15 dead tuna, all 15 were found to be contaminated with radiation. Of the fish being sold to Canada, in 2012, the Vancouver Sun recorded the number of specimens testing positive for Cesium-137, namely:

100 per cent of monkfish, carp, seaweed and shark; 94% of cod and anchovies; 93% of tuna and eels; 92% of sardines; 91% of halibut; 73% of mackerel.

Fukushima continues to leak, and leak at ever increasing rates and the latest prediction is that this contamination will continue until 2015, at the earliest. Until then, will the Pacific Ocean be poisoned beyond repair (if this has not happened already)? And when will the authorities explain to us what is happening? When our babies are born glowing bright green and blinking at us through seven eyes?

This article by the late Dr. Ilya Perlingueri was first published on GR in May 2010

For decades, we have known that heavy metals and chemicals can cause grave physical harm. Going back to Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring,” we have known and been amply warned of the serious consequences of using or being exposed to these poisons in our daily activities. Thousands of these are well-documented carcinogens.

Building on Carson’s ground-breaking research, we also know that certain kinds of chemicals can and do disrupt human [and other animals’] entire immune system. Going back 30 years, researchers were investigating what became known as endocrine [hormone] disrupting chemicals and how they were affecting frogs [who sometimes had five legs or hermaphroditic characteristics], other aquatic animals, and mammals. These animals were the proverbial canaries in the coal mine. In another pioneering book, “Our Stolen Future,” authors Dr. Theo Colburn, Dianne Dumanoski, and John Peterson Myers clearly demonstrate that 1 + 1 hormone-disrupting chemicals did not equal 2.

Rather, in a nightmare of mathematical proportions, these poisons acted synergistically; and 1+1 could equal up to 1,600 times the original dose. We are also exposed to more than 100,000 chemicals regularly. Most of them have never been tested for human safety. So, almost nothing has been done to reduce human exposure to a myriad of hazardous chemicals. In fact, over the past decade, the Bush administration dismantled many environmental laws in existence for 30 years, to let corporations off the proverbial hook. [Just look at what’s unfolding in the Gulf with the BP oil spill.]

Although this information, on the dangers of hormone disruption, is now more widely available on Internet sites, it still is not well known by the average person who gets news mostly from mainstream media.(1) Most of these highly toxic chemicals are invisible; and, therefore, are easily off our collective radar. With the high stress level created by the deliberately orchestrated financial crisis –where millions have lost their jobs and homes– a degraded/collapsing environment or serious health problems are not priorities –especially, if very little is reported in mainstream news. This disaster scenario is part of the larger picture of what Naomi Klein writes about in her book “The Shock Doctrine.” We have so many major crises, one after another, that it is hard just to keep up with one’s daily routine –let alone have time to read and consider the toxicological health ramifications of massive amounts of thousands of heavy metals and chemicals that have poisoned our entire food chain and, thus, our own supposed “health.” We are at the very top of this wrecked food chain.

Now, however, there is another far more insidious layer of toxicity that is not being addressed at all in any mainstream, corporate-controlled news, and it is affecting our very survival. It is, however, being addressed more and more by independent researchers who have supporting evidence to back up their Internet reports.

For more than a decade, first the United States and then Canada’s citizens have been subjected to a 24/7/365 day aerosol assault over our heads made of a toxic brew of poisonous heavy metals, chemicals, and other dangerous ingredients. None of this was reported by any mainstream media. The US Department of Defense [DOD] and military have been systematically blanketing all our skies with what are known as Chemtrails (also known as Stratospheric Aerosol Geoengineering).(2) These differ vastly from the usual plane contrails that evaporate rather quickly in the sky.  Chemtrails do not dissipate. Rather, planes (fitted with special nozzles) release aerosols “lines” in the sky that do not evaporate. Multiple planes are deployed, flying parallel (or often “checkerboard” patterns) overhead; and soon the sky is blanketed with many grayish-white lines [miles and miles long, although this is changing]. At first, these lines are thin; but soon they expand and, in a short time, merge together. Our once-blue sky has vanished and has been replaced by a grayish-white toxic haze that blots out and greatly diminishes our usual sunshine.

Military and commercial planes are involved in more than 60 secret operations. Last year, when I flew across the country, I saw a United Airlines jet (flying below us at about 37,000 feet) spraying a black aerosol that went for miles and miles across the sky. This clandestine program now includes aerosol-spraying planes in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand [all NATO countries]. Hundreds (if not thousands) of people have called and written their public officials to get answers. Replies from US and Canadian officials are not forthcoming; or, if they do reply, queries are dismissed. This remains an ongoing, deliberate cover-up. No one is held accountable, while we continued to be poisoned daily. This is not the first time, however, that citizens are being used as experimental laboratory test subjects. The US government and its military have a very long and sordid history of using us, without informed consent, in this illegal manner. As Carole Pellatt notes:

The U.S. military has been spraying chemical and biological weapons in open air testing over civilian populations since the 1940’s. They are called “vulnerability tests”. This is not a controversial statement. The military has admitted to this practice on many occasions and there’s plenty of documentation from the government to corroborate it. There is also documentation of intentional, experimental releases of radiation on civilian populations. Unfortunately, this information tends to surface long after it could have saved lives, or eased the suffering of victims.(3)

Over the past decade, independent testing of Chemtrails around the country has shown a dangerous, extremely poisonous brew that includes: barium, nano aluminum-coated fiberglass [known as CHAFF], radioactive thorium, cadmium, chromium, nickel, desiccated blood, mold spores, yellow fungal mycotoxins, ethylene dibromide, and polymer fibers. Barium can be compared to the toxicity of arsenic.(4) Barium is known to adversely affect the heart. Aluminum has a history of damaging brain function. Independent researchers and labs continue to show off-the-scale levels of these poisons. A few “anonymous” officials have acknowledged this on-going aerosol spraying.(5)

Numerous tests have been done to verify that these poisons are off the scale in their toxicity. They are documented in our water, in our soil, and in our air. For more than 10 years, researcher Clifford Carnicom has been valiantly and systematically reporting on the various detrimental aspects of these aerosols –and what they are doing to our entire environment, as well as our blood.(6) Various “sky watch” groups also have been carefully documenting and diligently reporting about these daily assaults.(7)

With all these poisons surrounding our every breath, it is not surprising to see a dramatic increase in illnesses. There are numerous reports of the increase in cardiac deaths and upper respiratory illnesses (asthma, chronic bronchitis, lung cancer, and often multiple chronic illnesses). Chemtrails toxicity has already dramatically affected our deteriorating “collective health.” The significant increase in heart disease and various upper respiratory illnesses has been linked to a vast increase in “particulate matter” in our air. This can be seen by some revealing statistics:

1. Coronary heart disease is now the leading cause of death in the US. According to the CDC, in 2006, 631,636 died of heart disease. This means 1 out of every 5 Americans are affected.(8)

In Canada, every seven minutes someone dies of heart disease.(9)

2. Asthma and upper respiratory illnesses. Between 100-150 million people suffer from asthma worldwide. In the US, 16.4 million adults have asthma and 7 million children have it. Chronic bronchitis and emphysema: 9.8 million Americans were diagnosed with chronic bronchitis this past year; for emphysema the figure is 3.8 million.(10) Total: 37 million Americans afflicted.

In Canada, 2.4 million have been diagnosed with asthma.

3. Particulate matter in air pollution. Particulate matter [PM] consists of tiny particles 10 microns or less. [1 micron is about 1/70 the thickness of a single human hair.] These particles can lodge in the deepest part of your lungs; and over a period of time, they can damage lung function. This kind of pollution, that we breathe daily, can and does cause various upper respiratory illnesses, coronary heart disease, and premature aging and death. Particulate matter can also exacerbate any existing illness.(11) Unanswered questions: Does hazardous particulate matter act in synergistic ways in human bodies (as do endocrine disrupting chemicals)? How does PM affect millions who already have multiple chronic illnesses?

Brain Injury

Even with the increases in preventable illnesses, the issue that has not been linked or addressed –with what Clifford Carnicom rightly calls “aerosol crimes”– is the deterioration of cognitive function. Our immune system is already under siege daily; and this has resulted in millions (possibly billions) of people with not just one illness, but often multiple ones. The skin, the largest organ in our body, is a permeable membrane. This means that invisible toxins in our air, including Chemtrails and other highly dangerous chemicals, go right into our skin. Poisoned rainwater (or snow touching our skin) does the same thing. When the air we breathe is filled with a dangerous assortment of toxins, with each breath we take, these poisons assault our entire immune system. These poisons also affect our brain and, thus, our cognitive function.

Aluminum is a major component in these aerosols. Although it is our planet’s most abundant metal, our body has no biological need for it. Pesticide Action Network North America [PANNA] lists it as “toxic to humans, including carcinogenicity, reproductive and developmental toxicity, neurotoxicity, and acute toxicity.”(12) Yet, aluminum is commonly used [this is a very short list] in vaccines, deodorants and anti-perspirants, over-the-counter medications, soft drink and beer cans [aluminum leeches from the cans], baking powder, cake mixes, processed cheeses, and other food products and additives. Over years, aluminum accumulates in the brain, tissues, and to a lesser amount the bones. It causes brain degeneration, dysfunction and damage –due to the blockage and reduced blood flow and oxygen of brain arteries. The brain shrinks, as brain cells die. This causes dementia. Symptoms include: emotional outbursts, paranoia, forgetfulness and memory loss, speech incoherence, irritability, diminished alertness, changes in personality, and poor/bad judgment. All these are on the rise, as more than 4-million Americans are afflicted. Brain deterioration and dementia take decades to cause serious and visible harm. Eventually, however, dementia is fatal. “Alzheimer’s” is now being used incorrectly as a catch-all term for all kinds of dementia. Just a few days ago, the front page of the New York Times had a headline: “More with Dementia Wander from Home.”(13) People afflicted with, what the Times terms “Alzheimer’s” were interviewed. One person mentioned he “has a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s.” This is patently wrong. Alzheimer’s dementia can only be accurately diagnosed after death when a post-mortem can be done. However, heavy metals poisoning can be diagnosed through lab testing; but this is rarely done for basic check-ups.

What is not addressed in this increase in dementia is the more than 10 years of breathing Chemtrails with nano aluminum-coated fiberglass. Billions of tons have been sprayed on us.

With all these sources of aluminum added to the air we breathe with each breath, the cumulative toxicity is very high. Even in daily events, it is obvious –to anyone who is paying attention– that many people are behaving oddly. While it may be considered “anecdotal” reporting, there are millions of people whose behavior is strange. There have been numerous times in just the past year when I have asked someone a question and received an answer that is totally unrelated. There have been more and more uncontrolled outbursts in public areas: someone “snaps” for no apparent reason. Violence levels are up. Look at all the shootings on school campuses. There are more unexplained auto accidents that never should have happened. In just one day a few weeks ago, I witnessed three traffic accidents that need not have happened. The news is full of these stories.

Add to this already highly toxic body burden is the US military’s use of aluminum in its aerosols. It is used because of its electrical conductivity, durability, and light weight. The US Air Force reported in 1997 that it released “2 million, 6-7 ounce bundles of CHAFF.” These are laid by military aircraft form 15-50 miles in length.(14) Another unanswered question: Why is the USAF not releasing up-to-date figures?

A 2002 report notes that: “over the last 25 years, the US Navy [has released from planes] several hundred thousand pounds of aluminized chaff during flight operations over a training area on the Chesapeake Bay.”(15) If the Navy used hundreds of thousands of pounds in just this small area of the US, what could be extrapolated for the release of possibly billions of tons of nano aluminum by all the military divisions throughout the US and Canada more recently than 2002? CHAFF is being stored that has lead in it. Has that been released, without our knowledge, and added to these aerosols? What enormous, yet invisible, harm has that created for all of us?

Dr. Hildegarde Staninger reported last year that “exposure to aerial emissions of nano composite materials resulted in cholinesterase inhibition.”(16) The human body has three kinds of cholinesterase: for the brain, for plasma (manufactured by the liver), and red blood cells. Some pesticides and nerve gases (such as VX, an organophosphate) inhibit cholinesterase. The chronic inhibition of this enzyme (that normally circulates in red blood cells), caused by the spraying of these Chemtrails aerosols [for weather modification, but also used for mosquito and other insect eradication], causes chronic poisoning. This exposure causes severe neurological disorders, including paralysis in humans.

In a ground-breaking 2003 online essay, Dr. Kaye Kilburn, asks: “Why is Chemical Brain Injury Ignored?”(17) His article lists 13 concealed factors that affect our willingness to believe that dangerous chemicals do affect the brain. They include: 1. “It’s all in your head” [meaning real symptoms are ignored by allopathic medicine].

2. Resistance to vulnerability [individuals, and society collectively, cannot believe the brain is at risk].

3. The acceptance of mind-altering prescription drugs [such as Paxil] that can and do affect the brain [millions are on anti-depressants –what long-term damage does that also do to cognitive thinking?].

4. Chemical brain injury is considered not to be “an imminent threat.”

5. Competition from other serious threats [causing indifference or denial];

6. Delay in acknowledging health risks.

7. Economic interests [delaying tactics by big corporations are well known –delay continues profits and ignores taking responsibility –We are all expendable for corporate profits].

8. The field of neurology has been slow to consider causes [how many independent researchers are left who do not have any ties to the pharmaceutical/chemical companies?].

In  all these valuable reasons for not addressing this human crisis, the one that Dr. Kilburn has not addressed directly is the chronic assault of breathing/absorbing these now billions of tons of hazardous aerosolized chemicals and heavy metals over more than a decade without our informed consent. When one does not look for or address primary causes, then other issues can be blamed. This, on top of a government’s silence or refusal to respond and the corporate media’s complicity, make for an extremely dangerous combination that puts us all at grave and daily risk. As brain function is diminished, and other things are blamed for it, any population is easier “to control.”

Dr. Kiburn’s research clearly shows that chemicals do affect and seriously harm the brain [and, thereby, cognitive function]. Chemicals –especially a daily onslaught of toxic chemicals over many years– can damage our ability to think clearly. Even if we find this hard to believe, the evidence is there. Dr. Kilburn has expanded this essay into the first book to research this: “Chemical Brain Injury” (published in 1998). Dr. Kilburn notes:

The brain’s preservation represents the only possibility of survival for mankind. To find in many parts of the country and in many individual patients that its function is eroded seriously by chemicals, chemicals that have been introduced into the environment basically in the last 50 years, is bad news indeed.(18)

It seems almost unbelievable that millions/billions of people could look up at the sky and not notice the dramatic changes that have occurred from what it was, for instance, in the mid-1990s. Then our sky was a gorgeous, deep blue. Clouds were a beautiful assortment of shapes. The sun was glorious. But people under 30, may not have a real sense of recollection about looking up every day and seeing this panoramic magnificence. Most of them are too busy texting or chatting on their cell phones. There are other issues to consider, as well: People are in their own comfort zones; and denial is a very powerful human emotion. In the hustle and bustle (now quite out of hand, for reflective time), how many people look up at the sky? It also takes huge courage, a very deep, internal willingness to examine politically motivated corporate controlled media spin, and search for the real answers. Humans like their regular routines. To re-examine what we think we know, based on new evidence, takes a willingness to think outside the proverbial box; to want to find out the truth –not the pervasive Orwellian doublespeak that pervades our society. If everything in our daily routine belies what is truly going on, it requires fortitude to explore the unknown –to question the litany.

Another courageous person is Dr. R. Michael Castle who continues to address the Chemtrails toxicity issue. He is a noted polymer chemist who has been interviewed frequently and has written articles about the extreme hazards of Chemtrails. Dr. Castle has also written a ground-breaking document, the Universal Atmospheric Preservation Act [UAPA]. This document has been in Congress since 2008; but is tied up in committee. The only way to have this vital piece of legislation passed is to have real congressional representatives actually representing us (instead of the corporate lobbyists). See:

http://anticcorruptionsociety.files.wordpress.com/22010/04/the-unified-atmospheric-preservation-act.pdf

Given these issues, since our collapsing society has so many different levels of deceit –the financial debacle, the lies and deceit of government and the Federal Reserve blaming people for the housing/mortgage nightmare, the emerging police state, the disasters that envelope our fragile environment– it becomes increasingly difficult just to maintain a daily routine and survive the economic depression and its daily fallout. Mainstream media does its supporting role and deceives us. Millions, like the proverbial lemmings, hasten to join the group demise. There are countless historical instances of this collective insanity. We Homo sapiens [sic, wise men?] have never learned the lessons of 5,000 years of history. This is because each new generation of corrupt political leaders (often tied historically to previous ones) never has the real interest of their constituents as a basic part of their political practice. Further, there is no Precautionary Principle in place.(19) It’s not the way the political game of deception works. Precaution is not part of an equation that is broken from the beginning. Humans are gullible and want to believe the Orwellian deceptions.

To add to this already heavy burden, to ask uninformed, although supposedly “well educated” [What does that actually mean, given that much of our higher education has omitted much of what Prof. Peter Dale Scott calls “deep political events” that never get into our history books?] people to reconsider what they think they know about what is really going on –this takes enormous internal strength. It requires profound courage. The basis of this “courage” actually means creating new synaptical pathways in the brain. Without them, we feel scared, nervous…because those new synapses have not yet been created. It takes repeated effort, and, thus, an emerging sense of ease, to create these new synapses.

If, however, millions of people are already on prescription pharmaceuticals to “calm them down” [long term, what is this doing to their ability to think clearly?] and, in addition, are breathing poisoned air rife with mind-distorting chemicals, then how clearly (if at all) is anyone able to think? How can anyone feel well and safe, if the very air we breathe is deliberately poisoned and is affecting our ability to think cogently? It is already evident that no one in any official capacity is willing to tell the truth. It is like Diogenes, the ancient Greek, searching for a truthful individual. No one seems to have the desire, or courage, or authority to stop this massive poisoning, because it is the secret plan of the elite insiders to deliberate destroy everything we once knew.

Our BASIC human rights, constitutional and international laws are mere paper. These rights and laws have all been torn asunder by those in charge. It has been done by stealth. We must organize peacefully. PEACEFULLY is the operative word. If these many-pronged aerosol attacks by military and commercial planes can spray these horrific toxins on us, year after year with impunity –against all laws– then it is absolutely imperative that we organize peacefully. As Peter Dale Scott notes in Jason Bermas’ new DVD “Invisible Empire”: we must use the Internet and our peaceful intellectual powers to come together and shut this nightmare down. It is possible to do this.

 

Dr. Ilya Sandra Perlingieri is author of the highly acclaimed book, “The Uterine Crisis.”

Notes

1. See: www.ourstolenfuture.org

2. See Michael J. Murphy. “What in the World Are They Spraying?” March 3, 2010: www.countercurrents.org/murphy030310.htm ; and G. Edward Griffin. “Chemtrail vs. Contrail” April 14, 2010: www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsWpSPBwA-w

3. Carole Pellatt. Connections. “What’s going on in the air? Yes, we are being sprayed.” Aug. 8m 2007:

 http://homepage.mac.com/carolepellatt/yeswearebeingsprayed ; and

http://homepage.mac.com/carolepellatt/MATRIX/INDEXCHEMTRAILS.html

4. See Pesticide Action Network North America [PANNA]: http://www.pesticideinfo.org/Detail_Chemical.jsp?Rec_Id=PC41174

5. March 12, 2010:

www.lightwatcher.com/chemtrails/text/faa_confirms_Chemtrails. An interesting conference at the University of California, San Diego [UCSD], “Atmospheric Aerosols: Health, Environment, and Climate Effects” addresses some of the cardio-vascular increases due to “atmospheric aerosols” but these academics never use the word Chemtrails. Yet, satellite photos they show clearly indicate the atmospheric impact of Chemtrails. See: Jan. 31, 2008: UCSD: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztHV5RF-xyw

6. For numerous detailed reports, see: www.carnicom.com; www.carnicominstitute.org; www.bariumblues.com; and Dr. Marijah McCain. “Chemtrails and Barium Toxicity.” April 6, 2002: www.rense.com/general21/tox.htm ; Material Safety Data Sheet, University of Utah: www.chemtrails911.com/docs/bariumhealth.htm. This last cited website is very outdated. It does not address the increased amounts of barium now found in our air. Additional info: “Local News Station Confirms Barium in Chemtrails.” Nov. 10, 2007: www.youtube.com/watch?v=okB-489l6MI

7. See: www.newyorkskywatch.com; www.californiaskywatch.com ; www.arizonaskywatch.com

8. Heart Disease Facts. CDC; www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm

9. www.heartandstroke.com/site/c.ikIQLcMWJtE/b.3483991/k.34A8/Statistics.htm#heartdisease

10. Asthma. CDC: www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/asthma.htm; and chronic bronchitis and emphysema: CDC: www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/copd.htm

11. Rosalind Peterson’s report: “The impacts of air pollution on health.” www.californiaskywatch.com/health_issues.htm  

12. PANNA: www.pesticideinfo.org/Detail_Chemical.jsp?Rec_Id=PC33881

13. May 4, 2010: www.nytimes.com/2010/05/05/us/05search.html?hpw

14. [14. See: Rosalind Peterson. “Public and federal agencies concerned about the potentially harmful or undesirable effects of chaff on the environment.” www.californiaskywatch.com/documents/htmldocs/chaff_goa_dod.htm]  

15. “Effects of Navy chaff release on aluminum levels in an area of the Chesapeake Bay.” PubMed. US National Library of Medicine. June 2002: www.ncbi.nl.nih.gov/pubmed/12061831

16. Sept. 7, 2009: www.hildegarde-staninger.com/exposure-to-aerial-emissions-html  

17. Kaye H. Kilburn. “Why is Chemical Brain Injury Ignored. Pondering Causes and Risks.” Editorial. Archives of Environmental Health. March 1, 2003: www.mindfully.org/Health/2003/Chemical-Brain-Injury1mar03.htm

18. www.neuro-test.com/aboutKilburn/aboutKilburn.html  

19. Dr. Ilya Sandra Perlingieri. “Worldwide Environmental Crisis. Gone Missing: The Precautionary Principle.” Global Research. Feb. 11, 2009: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=12268   

This path-breaking article was first published by GR in June 2010

On June 21, [2010]the US Supreme Court released its long awaited decision on the first case involving genetically modified crops, allowing the USDA to impose a partial deregulation, should it so choose. This would permit the sale of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready alfalfa (RRA). However, in its 7-1 ruling, the court also upheld the lower decision to ban complete deregulation.

The US Supreme Court found that the “District Court abused its discretion when banning a partial deregulation and in prohibiting the planting of RRA pending completion of a detailed environmental review,” known as an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

The decision flies in the face of the facts in this case, and subjects us to further contamination of our food supply.

Monsanto expressed glee: “We have Roundup Ready alfalfa seed ready to deliver and await USDA guidance on its release. Our goal is to have everything in place for growers to plant in fall 2010.”

Adversarial party Center for Food Safety also expressed delight in the decision, calling it a “Victory for Center for Food Safety, Farmers.” In its release, CFS asserts:

“The Justices’ decision today means that the selling and planting of Roundup Ready Alfalfa is illegal.  The ban on the crop will remain in place until a full and adequate EIS is prepared by USDA and they officially deregulate the crop.  This is a year or more away according to the agency, and even then, a deregulation move may be subject to further litigation if the agency’s analysis is not adequate.”

CFS is happy because, as the Court pointed out, “we do know that the vacatur of APHIS’s deregulation decision means that virtually no RRA can be grown or sold until such time as a new deregulation decision is in place, and we also know that any party aggrieved by a hypothetical future deregulation decision will have ample opportunity to challenge it, and to seek appropriate preliminary relief, if and when such a decision is made.”

While CFS may be happy to fight this case again, food freedom suffered a blow by this decision.

An Extremist Court

Dissenting Justice John Paul Stevens clarifies the convoluted decision:

“In this case, the agency [U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, known as APHIS] had attempted to deregulate RRA without an EIS in spite of ample evidence of potential environmental harms. And when the court made clear that the agency had violated NEPA [National Environmental Policy Act], the agency responded by seeking to ‘streamline’ the process … submitting a deregulation proposal with Monsanto that suffered from some of the same legal and empirical holes as its initial plan to deregulate.”

APHIS had offered the lower court a partial deregulation plan, which was rejected. That is the portion of the District Court decision that SCOTUS deemed was beyond its authority to impose.

The High Court condemned the lower court for choosing a middle course of action, instead of taking “more extreme actions on either end.” It found the lower court’s ban on future plantings inconsistent with its allowance of current planting:

“The order enjoining any partial deregulation was also inconsistent with other aspects of the very same judgment. In fashioning its remedy for the NEPA violation, the District Court steered a ‘middle course’ between more extreme options on either end…. On the one hand, the District Court rejected APHIS’s proposal … to allow continued planting and harvesting of RRA subject to the agency’s proposed limitations. On the other hand, the District Court did not bar continued planting of RRA as a regulated article under permit from APHIS … and it expressly allowed farmers to harvest and sell RRA planted before March 30, 2007.”

Justice Stevens, however, applauds the ‘middle road’ taken by the District Court. In defending the lower court’s two-part decision, Justice Stevens pointed out that courts must weigh the diverse equities before it:

“At the outset, it is important to observe that when a district court is faced with an unlawful agency action, a set of parties who have relied on that action, and a prayer for relief to avoid irreparable harm, the court is operating under its powers of equity. In such a case, a court’s function is to ‘do equity and to mould each decree to the necessities of the particular case.’

“Flexibility and practicality are the touchstones of these remedial determinations, as the public interest, private needs, and competing private claims must all be weighed….

“Exercising its equitable discretion to balance the interests of the parties and the public, the District Court would have been well within its rights to find that NEPA requires an EIS … yet also to find that a partial stay of the vacatur was appropriate to protect the interests of those farmers who had already acted in good-faith reliance on APHIS.” [Internal quote marks removed.]

Geertson Seed Decision Abrogates Food Freedom

No one denies that gene transfer did occur; that GM crops contaminate natural ones.  Instead, like Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan did when defending Monsanto in this case (as Solicitor General), SCOTUS simply ignored this most important fact when deciding to allow partial deregulation.

The US Supreme Court also ignored that APHIS is unable to monitor for contamination. GE alfalfa is planted in 48 states, and, while under the purview of APHIS, contamination of natural fields occurred. The lower court was realistic when determining “that APHIS lacks monitoring capacity.”

Allowing for the spread of GM crops removes the public’s right to not choose GMOs, because the natural supply no longer exists, or becomes nearly impossible to find or afford. We saw this when Bayer’s GM rice contaminated a third of the US supply. And already today:

95% of all US beets are genetically modified (Greenwire);

91% of all US soybeans (USDA);

71% of US cotton (USDA);

And over two-thirds (68%) of all US corn (USDA).

Today, GMO derivatives are found in more than 70% of the foods in the supermarket,” reports activist and author Jeffrey M. Smith, which includes virtually 100% of our processed food.

There are a number of other problems with GM crops, which the Supreme Court ignores, even when presented with some of these issues.

First and foremost, GMOs are created to tolerate or produce pesticide. North America is losing its natural pollinators, specifically bees, butterflies and bats, because of the enormous tonnage of chemicals sprayed in this nation. If we lose our bees, said Einstein, humans will last about six years. We need our pollinators. The entire web of life depends on them.

Those pesticide chemicals have poisoned all of our waters, damaging the biota, or making seafood toxic for humans. Chemical companies like Monsanto, Dow, Bayer, etc. created GMOs so they could sell chemicals. Those chemicals are bad for the environment and for humans.

Another side effect of our toxic spraying is we now have super bugs and super weeds. The overuse of pesticides has allowed those plants that are pesticide resistant to thrive. Resistant pigweed, for example, is destroying cotton farming in the Southeast US. These biotech companies ignore the science of evolution when pushing their dangerous product on us. We are now suffering for their scientific ignorance.

Weed resistance was considered in Geertson Seed, but SCOTUS dismissed that relevancy because “Respondents in this case do not represent a class, so they could not seek to enjoin such an order on the ground that it might cause harm to other parties.”

Second, GM crops contaminate natural crops by cross breeding with them. Thus, GMOs are destroying biodiversity. The Irish potato famine happened because every Irish family grew them – monoculture is a disaster waiting to happen. When the blight hit, there was no natural way to stop it. Phytophthora infestans spread like wildfire because its food source was everywhere.

When you destroy biodiversity, you invite total destruction from widespread infestation. This is basic natural science. GM crops increase the threat to food safety, food security.

SCOTUS ignored the facts, and science, when lifting the ban on partial deregulation.

Third, GM food is dangerous to animals, including humans. We evolved with the bugs and the natural food that exists on this planet. We did not evolve with these new GM creations of the past fourteen years. When studying evolution, the significance of this statement becomes profound. Evolution takes hundreds or thousands of years (or longer). Instead, those who eat GM foods might as well be eating food from a different planet. They did not evolve with that food and the consequences can be generational as well as immediately toxic to the eater (organ damage, sterility, diabetes and obesity, etc.)

Biotechnology may have its uses, but not in the food supply. The Supreme Court’s ruling abrogates our right to GM free food by paving the way for further contamination.

Rady Ananda’s work has appeared in several online and print publications. She obtained a B.S. in Natural Resources from The Ohio State University’s School of Agriculture in 2003.

Fluoride: Killing Us Softly

March 6th, 2014 by Dr. Gary Null

There’s nothing like a glass of cool, clear water to quench one’s thirst. But the next time you or your child reaches for one, you might want to question whether that water is in fact, too toxic to drink. If your water is fluoridated, the answer may well be yes.

For decades, we have been told a lie, a lie that has led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans and the weakening of the immune systems of tens of millions more. This lie is called fluoridation. A process we were led to believe was a safe and effective method of protecting teeth from decay is in fact a fraud. For decades it’s been shown that fluoridation is neither essential for good health nor protective of teeth. What it does is poison the body. We should all at this point be asking how and why public health policy and the American media continue to live with and perpetuate this scientific sham.

The Latest in Fluoride News

Today more than ever, evidence of fluoride’s toxicity is entering the public sphere. The summer of 2012 saw the publication of a systematic review and meta-analysis by researchers at Harvard University that explored the link between exposure to fluoride and neurological and cognitive function among children. The report pooled data from over 27 studies- many of them from China- carried out over the course of 22 years. The results, which were published in the journal Environmental Health Sciences showed a strong connection between exposure to fluoride in drinking water and decreased IQ scores in children. The team concluded that

“the results suggest that fluoride may be a developmental neurotoxicant that affects brain development at exposures much below those that can cause toxicity in adults.” [1]

The newest scientific data suggest that the damaging effects of fluoride extend to reproductive health as well. A 2013 study published in the journal Archives of Toxicology showed a link between fluoride exposure and male infertility in mice. The study’s findings suggest that sodium fluoride impairs the ability of sperm cells in mice to normally fertilize the egg through a process known as chemotaxis. [2] This is the latest in more than 60 scientific studies on animals that have identified an association between male infertility and fluoride exposure.[3]

Adding more fuel to the fluoride controversy is a recent investigative report by NaturalNews exposing how the chemicals used to fluoridate United States’ water systems today are commonly purchased from Chinese chemical plants looking to discard surplus stores of this form of industrial waste. Disturbingly, the report details that some Chinese vendors of fluoride advertise on their website that their product can be used as an “adhesive preservative”, an “insecticide” as well as a” flux for soldering and welding”.[4]   One Chinese manufacturer, Shanghai Polymet Commodities Ltd,. which produces fluoride destined for municipal water reserves in the United States,  notes on their website that their fluoride is “highly corrosive to human skin and harmful to people’s respiratory organs”. [5]

The Fluoride Phase Out at Home and Abroad

There are many signs in recent years that indicate growing skepticism over fluoridation. The New York Times reported in October 2011 that in the previous four years, about 200 jurisdictions across the USA moved to cease water fluoridation. A panel composed of scientists and health professionals in Fairbanks, Alaska recently recommended ceasing fluoridation of the county water supply after concluding that the addition of fluoride to already naturally-fluoridated reserves could pose health risks to 700,000 residents. The move to end fluoridation would save the county an estimated $205,000 annually. [6] 

The city of Portland made headlines in 2013 when it voted down a measure to fluoridate its water supply. The citizens of Portland have rejected introducing the chemical to drinking water on three separate occasions since the 1950’s.  Portland remains the largest city in the United States to shun fluoridation.[7]

The movement against fluoridation has gained traction overseas as well. In 2013, Israel’s Ministry of Health committed to a countrywide phase-out of fluoridation. The decision came after Israel’s Supreme Court deemed the existing health regulations requiring fluoridation to be based on science that is “outdated” and “no longer widely accepted.”[8]

 Also this year, the government of the Australian state of Queensland eliminated $14 million in funding for its state-wide fluoridation campaign. The decision, which was executed by the Liberal National Party (LNP) government, forced local councils to vote on whether or not to introduce fluoride to their water supplies. Less than two months after the decision came down, several communities including the town of Cairns halted fluoridation. As a result, nearly 200,000 Australians will no longer be exposed to fluoride in their drinking water.[9]  

An ever-growing number of institutions and individuals are questioning the wisdom of fluoridation. At the fore of the movement are thousands of scientific authorities and health care professionals who are speaking out about the hazards of this damaging additive. As of November 2013, a group of over 4549 professionals including 361 dentists and 562 medical doctors have added their names to a petition aimed at ending fluoridation started by the Fluoride Action Network.  Among the prominent signatories are Nobel Laureate Arvid Carlsson and William Marcus, PhD who served as the chief toxicologist of the EPA Water Division.[10]

The above sampling of recent news items on fluoride brings into sharp focus just how urgent it is to carry out a critical reassessment of the mass fluoridation campaign that currently affects hundreds of millions of Americans. In order to better understand the massive deception surrounding this toxic chemical, we must look back to the sordid history of how fluoride was first introduced. 

 How to Market a Toxic Waste

“We would not purposely add arsenic to the water supply. And we would not purposely add lead. But we do add fluoride. The fact is that fluoride is more toxic than lead and just slightly less toxic than arsenic.” [11]

These words of Dr. John Yiamouyiannis may come as a shock to you because, if you’re like most Americans, you have positive associations with fluoride. You may envision tooth protection, strong bones, and a government that cares about your dental needs. What you’ve probably never been told is that the fluoride added to drinking water and toothpaste is a crude industrial waste product of the aluminum and fertilizer industries, and a substance toxic enough to be used as rat poison. How is it that Americans have learned to love an environmental hazard? This phenomenon can be attributed to a carefully planned marketing program begun even before Grand Rapids, Michigan, became the first community to officially fluoridate its drinking water in 1945. [12]  As a result of this ongoing campaign, nearly two-thirds of the nation has enthusiastically followed Grand Rapids’ example. But this push for fluoridation has less to do with a concern for America’s health than with industry’s penchant to expand at the expense of our nation’s well-being.

The first thing you have to understand about fluoride is that it’s the problem child of industry. Its toxicity was recognized at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, when, in the 1850s iron and copper factories discharged it into the air and poisoned plants, animals, and people.[13]   The problem was exacerbated in the 1920s when rapid industrial growth meant massive pollution. Medical writer Joel Griffiths explains that “it was abundantly clear to both industry and government that spectacular U.S. industrial expansion – and the economic and military power and vast profits it promised – would necessitate releasing millions of tons of waste fluoride into the environment.”[14]  Their biggest fear was that “if serious injury to people were established, lawsuits alone could prove devastating to companies, while public outcry could force industry-wide government regulations, billions in pollution-control costs, and even mandatory changes in high-fluoride raw materials and profitable technologies.” [15]

At first, industry could dispose of fluoride legally only in small amounts by selling it to insecticide and rat poison manufacturers. [16]   Then a commercial outlet was devised in the 1930s when a connection was made between water supplies bearing traces of fluoride and lower rates of tooth decay. Griffiths writes that this was not a scientific breakthrough, but rather part of a “public disinformation campaign” by the aluminum industry “to convince the public that fluoride was safe and good.” Industry’s need prompted Alcoa-funded scientist Gerald J. Cox to announce that “The present trend toward complete removal of fluoride from water may need some reversal.” [17]   Griffiths writes:

“The big news in Cox’s announcement was that this ‘apparently worthless by-product’ had not only been proved safe (in low doses), but actually beneficial; it might reduce cavities in children. A proposal was in the air to add fluoride to the entire nation’s drinking water. While the dose to each individual would be low, ‘fluoridation’ on a national scale would require the annual addition of hundreds of thousands of tons of fluoride to the country’s drinking water.

“Government and industry – especially Alcoa – strongly supported intentional water fluoridation… [it] made possible a master public relations stroke – one that could keep scientists and the public off fluoride’s case for years to come. If the leaders of dentistry, medicine, and public health could be persuaded to endorse fluoride in the public’s drinking water, proclaiming to the nation that there was a ‘wide margin of safety,’ how were they going to turn around later and say industry’s fluoride pollution was dangerous?

“As for the public, if fluoride could be introduced as a health enhancing substance that should be added to the environment for the children’s sake, those opposing it would look like quacks and lunatics….

“Back at the Mellon Institute, Alcoa’s Pittsburgh Industrial research lab, this news was galvanic. Alcoa-sponsored biochemist Gerald J. Cox immediately fluoridated some lab rats in a study and concluded that fluoride reduced cavities and that

‘The case should be regarded as proved.’ In a historic moment in 1939, the first public proposal that the U.S. should fluoridate its water supplies was made – not by a doctor, or dentist, but by Cox, an industry scientist working for a company threatened by fluoride damage claims.” [18]

Once the plan was put into action, industry was buoyant. They had finally found the channel for fluoride that they were looking for, and they were even cheered on by dentists, government agencies, and the public. Chemical Week, a publication for the chemical industry, described the tenor of the times:

“All over the country, slide rules are getting warm as waterworks engineers figure the cost of adding fluoride to their water supplies.” They are riding a trend urged upon them, by the U.S. Public Health Service, the American Dental Association, the State Dental Health Directors, various state and local health bodies, and vocal women’s clubs from coast to coast. It adds up to a nice piece of business on all sides and many firms are cheering the PHS and similar groups as they plump for increasing adoption of fluoridation.” [19]

Such overwhelming acceptance allowed government and industry to proceed hastily, albeit irresponsibly. The Grand Rapids experiment was supposed to take 15 years, during which time health benefits and hazards were to be studied. In 1946, however, just one year into the experiment, six more U.S. cities adopted the process. By 1947, 87 more communities were treated; popular demand was the official reason for this unscientific haste.

The general public and its leaders did support the cause, but only after a massive government public relations campaign spearheaded by Edward L. Bernays, a nephew of Sigmund Freud. Bernays, a public relations pioneer who has been called “the original spin doctor,” [20]  was a masterful PR strategist. As a result of his influence, Griffiths writes,

“Almost overnight…the popular image of fluoride – which at the time was being widely sold as rat and bug poison – became that of a beneficial provider of gleaming smiles, absolutely safe, and good for children, bestowed by a benevolent paternal government. Its opponents were permanently engraved on the public mind as crackpots and right-wing loonies.” [21]

Griffiths explains that while opposition to fluoridation is usually associated with right-wingers, this picture is not totally accurate. He provides an interesting historical perspective on the anti-fluoridation stance:

“Fluoridation attracted opponents from every point on the continuum of politics and sanity. The prospect of the government mass-medicating the water supplies with a well-known rat poison to prevent a nonlethal disease flipped the switches of delusionals across the country – as well as generating concern among responsible scientists, doctors, and citizens.

“Moreover, by a fortuitous twist of circumstances, fluoride’s natural opponents on the left were alienated from the rest of the opposition. Oscar Ewing, a Federal Security Agency administrator, was a Truman “fair dealer” who pushed many progressive programs such as nationalized medicine. Fluoridation was lumped with his proposals. Inevitably, it was attacked by conservatives as a manifestation of “creeping socialism,” while the left rallied to its support. Later during the McCarthy era, the left was further alienated from the opposition when extreme right-wing groups, including the John Birch Society and the Ku Klux Klan, raved that fluoridation was a plot by the Soviet Union and/or communists in the government to poison America’s brain cells.

“It was a simple task for promoters, under the guidance of the ‘original spin doctor,’ to paint all opponents as deranged – and they played this angle to the hilt….

“Actually, many of the strongest opponents originally started out as proponents, but changed their minds after a close look at the evidence. And many opponents came to view fluoridation not as a communist plot, but simply as a capitalist-style con job of epic proportions. Some could be termed early environmentalists, such as the physicians George L. Waldbott and Frederick B. Exner, who first documented government-industry complicity in hiding the hazards of fluoride pollution from the public. Waldbott and Exner risked their careers in a clash with fluoride defenders, only to see their cause buried in toothpaste ads.” [22]

By 1950, fluoridation’s image was a sterling one, and there was not much science could do at this point. The Public Health Service was fluoridation’s main source of funding as well as its promoter, and therefore caught in a fundamental conflict of interest. 12   If fluoridation were found to be unsafe and ineffective, and laws were repealed, the organization feared a loss of face, since scientists, politicians, dental groups, and physicians unanimously supported it. [23]  For this reason, studies concerning its effects were not undertaken. The Oakland Tribune noted this when it stated that “public health officials have often suppressed scientific doubts” about fluoridation.[24] Waldbott sums up the situation when he says that from the beginning, the controversy over fluoridating water supplies was “a political, not a scientific health issue.”[25]

The marketing of fluoride continues. In a 1983 letter from the Environmental Protection Agency, then Deputy Assistant Administrator for Water, Rebecca Hammer, writes that the EPA “regards [fluoridation] as an ideal environmental solution to a long-standing problem. By recovering by-product fluosilicic acid from fertilizer manufacturing, water and air pollution are minimized and water utilities have a low-cost source of fluoride available to them.” [26]    A 1992 policy statement from the Department of Health and Human Services says, “A recent comprehensive PHS review of the benefits and potential health risks of fluoride has concluded that the practice of fluoridating community water supplies is safe and effective.” [27]

According to the CDC website, about 200 million Americans in 16,500 communities are exposed to fluoridated water. Out of the 50 largest cities in the US, 43 have fluoridated water. [28]

To help celebrate fluoride’s widespread use, the media recently reported on the 50th anniversary of fluoridation in Grand Rapids. Newspaper articles titled “Fluoridation: a shining public health success” [29]  and “After 50 years, fluoride still works with a smile”  [30]  painted glowing pictures of the practice. Had investigators looked more closely, though, they might have learned that children in Muskegon, Michigan, an unfluoridated “control” city, had equal drops in dental decay. They might also have learned of the other studies that dispute the supposed wonders of fluoride.

The Fluoride Myth Doesn’t Hold Water

The big hope for fluoride was its ability to immunize children’s developing teeth against cavities. Rates of dental caries were supposed to plummet in areas where water was treated. Yet decades of experience and worldwide research have contradicted this expectation numerous times. Here are just a few examples:

In British Columbia, only 11% of the population drinks fluoridated water, as opposed to 40-70% in other Canadian regions. Yet British Columbia has the lowest rate of tooth decay in Canada. In addition, the lowest rates of dental caries within the province are found in areas that do not have their water supplies fluoridated. [31]

According to a Sierra Club study, people in unfluoridated developing nations have fewer dental caries than those living in industrialized nations. As a result, they conclude that “fluoride is not essential to dental health.” [32]

In 1986-87, the largest study on fluoridation and tooth decay ever was performed. The subjects were 39,000 school children between 5 and 17 living in 84 areas around the country. A third of the places were fluoridated, a third were partially fluoridated, and a third were not. Results indicate no statistically significant differences in dental decay between fluoridated and unfluoridated cities. [33]

A World Health Organization survey reports a decline of dental decay in western Europe, which is 98% unfluoridated. They state that western Europe’s declining dental decay rates are equal to and sometimes better than those in the U.S. [34]

A 1992 University of Arizona study yielded surprising results when they found that“the more fluoride a child drinks, the more cavities appear in the teeth.” [35]

Although all Native American reservations are fluoridated, children living there have much higher incidences of dental decay and other oral health problems than do children living in other U.S. communities. [36]

In light of all the evidence, fluoride proponents now make more modest claims. For example, in 1988, the ADA professed that a 40- to 60% cavity reduction could be achieved with the help of fluoride. Now they claim an 18- to 25% reduction. Other promoters mention a 12% decline in tooth decay.

And some former supporters are even beginning to question the need for fluoridation altogether. In 1990, a National Institute for Dental Research report stated that “it is likely that if caries in children remain at low levels or decline further, the necessity of continuing the current variety and extent of fluoride-based prevention programs will be questioned.” [37]

Most government agencies, however, continue to ignore the scientific evidence and to market fluoridation by making fictional claims about its benefits and pushing for its expansion. For instance, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,

“National surveys of oral health dating back several decades document continuing decreases in tooth decay in children, adults and senior citizens. Nevertheless, there are parts of the country and particular populations that remain without protection. For these reasons, the U.S. PHS … has set a national goal for the year 2000 that 75% of persons served by community water systems will have access to optimally fluoridated drinking water; currently this figure is just about 60%. The year 2000 target goal is both desirable and yet challenging, based on past progress and continuing evidence of effectiveness and safety of this public health measure.” [38]

This statement is flawed on several accounts. First, as we’ve seen, research does not support the effectiveness of fluoridation for preventing tooth disease. Second, purported benefits are supposedly for children, not adults and senior citizens. At about age 13, any advantage fluoridation might offer comes to an end, and less than 1% of the fluoridated water supply reaches this population.  And third, fluoridation has never been proven safe. On the contrary, several studies directly link fluoridation to skeletal fluorosis, dental fluorosis, and several rare forms of cancer. This alone should frighten us away from its use.

Biological Safety Concerns

Only a small margin separates supposedly beneficial fluoride levels from amounts that are known to cause adverse effects. Dr. James Patrick, a former antibiotics research scientist at the National Institutes of Health, describes the predicament:

“[There is] a very low margin of safety involved in fluoridating water. A concentration of about 1 ppm is recommended…in several countries, severe fluorosis has been documented from water supplies containing only 2 or 3 ppm. In the development of drugs…we generally insist on a therapeutic index (margin of safety) of the order of 100; a therapeutic index of 2 or 3 is totally unacceptable, yet that is what has been proposed for public water supplies.”[39] 

Other countries argue that even 1 ppm is not a safe concentration. Canadian studies, for example, imply that children under three should have no fluoride whatsoever. The Journal of the Canadian Dental Association states that “Fluoride supplements should not be recommended for children less than 3 years old.” [40]   Since these supplements contain the same amount of fluoride as water does, they are basically saying that children under the age of three shouldn’t be drinking fluoridated water at all, under any circumstances. Japan has reduced the amount of fluoride in their drinking water to one-eighth of what is recommended in the U.S. Instead of 1 milligram per liter, they use less than 15 hundredths of a milligram per liter as the upper limit allowed. [41]

Even supposing that low concentrations are safe, there is no way to control how much fluoride different people consume, as some take in a lot more than others. For example, laborers, athletes, diabetics, and those living in hot or dry regions can all be expected to drink more water, and therefore more fluoride (in fluoridated areas) than others. [42]   Due to such wide variations in water consumption, it is impossible to scientifically control what dosage of fluoride a person receives via the water supply.[43]

Another concern is that fluoride is not found only in drinking water; it is everywhere. Fluoride is found in foods that are processed with it, which, in the United States, include nearly all bottled drinks and canned foods. [44]  Researchers writing in The Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry have found that fruit juices, in particular, contain significant amounts of fluoride. In one study, a variety of popular juices and juice blends were analyzed and it was discovered that 42% of the samples examined had more than l ppm of fluoride, with some brands of grape juice containing much higher levels – up to 6.8 ppm! The authors cite the common practice of using fluoride-containing insecticide in growing grapes as a factor in these high levels, and they suggest that the fluoride content of beverages be printed on their labels, as is other nutritional information. [45]  Considering how much juice some children ingest, and the fact that youngsters often insist on particular brands that they consume day after day, labeling seems like a prudent idea. But beyond this is the larger issue that this study brings up: Is it wise to subject children and others who are heavy juice drinkers to additional fluoride in their water?

Here’s a little-publicized reality: Cooking can greatly increase a food’s fluoride content. Peas, for example, contain 12 micrograms of fluoride when raw and 1500 micrograms after they are cooked in fluoridated water, which is a tremendous difference. Also, we should keep in mind that fluoride is an ingredient in pharmaceuticals, aerosols, insecticides, and pesticides.

And of course, toothpastes. It’s interesting to note that in the 1950s, fluoridated toothpastes were required to carry warnings on their labels saying that they were not to be used in areas where water was already fluoridated. Crest toothpaste went so far as to write: “Caution: Children under 6 should not use Crest.” These regulations were dropped in 1958, although no new research was available to prove that the overdose hazard no longer existed. [46]

Today, common fluoride levels in toothpaste are 1000 ppm. Research chemist Woodfun Ligon notes that swallowing a small amount adds substantially to fluoride intake. [47] Dentists say that children commonly ingest up to 0.5 mg of fluoride a day from toothpaste. [48]

This inevitably raises another issue: How safe is all this fluoride? According to scientists and informed doctors, such as Dr. John Lee, it is not safe at all. Dr. Lee first took an anti-fluoridation stance back in 1972, when as chairman of an environmental health committee for a local medical society, he was asked to state their position on the subject. He stated that after investigating the references given by both pro- and anti-fluoridationists, the group discovered three important things:

“One, the claims of benefit of fluoride, the 60% reduction of cavities, was not established by any of these studies. Two, we found that the investigations into the toxic side effects of fluoride have not been done in any way that was acceptable. And three, we discovered that the estimate of the amount of fluoride in the food chain, in the total daily fluoride intake, had been measured in 1943, and not since then. By adding the amount of fluoride that we now have in the food chain, which comes from food processing with fluoridated water, plus all the fluoridated toothpaste that was not present in 1943, we found that the daily intake of fluoride was far in excess of what was considered optimal.” [49]

What happens when fluoride intake exceeds the optimal? The inescapable fact is that this substance has been associated with severe health problems, ranging from skeletal and dental fluorosis to bone fractures, to fluoride poisoning, and even to cancer.

Skeletal Fluorosis

When fluoride is ingested, approximately 93% of it is absorbed into the bloodstream. A good part of the material is excreted, but the rest is deposited in the bones and teeth, and is capable of causing a crippling skeletal fluorosis. This is a condition that can damage the musculoskeletal and nervous systems and result in muscle wasting, limited joint motion, spine deformities, and calcification of the ligaments, as well as neurological deficits.

Large numbers of people in Japan, China, India, the Middle East, and Africa have been diagnosed with skeletal fluorosis from drinking naturally fluoridated water. In India alone, nearly a million people suffer from the affliction. 39   While only a dozen cases of skeletal fluorosis have been reported in the United States, Chemical and Engineering News states that “critics of the EPA standard speculate that there probably have been many more cases of fluorosis – even crippling fluorosis – than the few reported in the literature because most doctors in the U.S. have not studied the disease and do not know how to diagnose it.” [50]

Radiologic changes in bone occur when fluoride exposure is 5 mg/day, according to the late Dr. George Waldbott, author of Fluoridation: The Great Dilemma. While this 5 mg/day level is the amount of fluoride ingested by most people living in fluoridated areas, [51]   the number increases for diabetics and laborers, who can ingest up to 20 mg of fluoride daily. In addition, a survey conducted by the Department of Agriculture shows that 3% of the U.S. population drinks 4 liters or more of water every day. If these individuals live in areas where the water contains a fluoride level of 4 ppm, allowed by the EPA, they are ingesting 16 mg/day from the consumption of water alone, and are thus at greater risk for getting skeletal fluorosis. [52]

 Dental Fluorosis

According to a 1989 National Institute for Dental Research study, 1-2% of children living in areas fluoridated at 1 ppm develop dental fluorosis, that is, permanently stained, brown mottled teeth. Up to 23% of children living in areas naturally fluoridated at 4 ppm develop severe dental fluorosis. [53]  Other research gives higher figures. The publication Health Effects of Ingested Fluoride, put out by the National Academy of Sciences, reports that in areas with optimally fluoridated water (1 ppm, either natural or added), dental fluorosis levels in recent years ranged from 8 to 51%. Recently, a prevalence of slightly over 80% was reported in children 12-14 years old in Augusta, Georgia. 

Fluoride is a noteworthy chemical additive in that its officially acknowledged benefit and damage levels are about the same. Writing in The Progressive, science journalist Daniel Grossman elucidates this point:

“Though many beneficial chemicals are dangerous when consumed at excessive levels, fluoride is unique because the amount that dentists recommend to prevent cavities is about the same as the amount that causes dental fluorosis.” [54]

Although the American Dental Association and the government consider dental fluorosis only a cosmetic problem, the American Journal of Public Health says that “…brittleness of moderately and severely mottled teeth may be associated with elevated caries levels.” 45   In other words, in these cases the fluoride is causing the exact problem that it’s supposed to prevent. Yiamouyiannis adds, “In highly naturally-fluoridated areas, the teeth actually crumble as a result. These are the first visible symptoms of fluoride poisoning.” [55]

Also, when considering dental fluorosis, there are factors beyond the physical that you can’t ignore – the negative psychological effects of having moderately to severely mottled teeth. These were recognized in a 1984 National Institute of Mental Health panel that looked into this problem. 

A telling trend is that TV commercials for toothpaste, and toothpaste tubes themselves, are now downplaying fluoride content as a virtue. This was noted in an article in the Sarasota/Florida ECO Report, [56] whose author, George Glasser, feels that manufacturers are distancing themselves from the additive because of fears of lawsuits. The climate is ripe for these, and Glasser points out that such a class action suit has already been filed in England against the manufacturers of fluoride-containing products on behalf of children suffering from dental fluorosis.

Bone Fractures

At one time, fluoride therapy was recommended for building denser bones and preventing fractures associated with osteoporosis. Now several articles in peer-reviewed journals suggest that fluoride actually causes more harm than good, as it is associated with bone breakage. Three studies reported in The Journal of the American Medical Association showed links between hip fractures and fluoride. [57][58][59] Findings here were, for instance, that there is “a small but significant increase in the risk of hip fractures in both men and women exposed to artificial fluoridation at 1 ppm.”   In addition, the New England Journal of Medicine reports that people given fluoride to cure their osteoporosis actually wound up with an increased nonvertebral fracture rate. [60]  Austrian researchers have also found that fluoride tablets make bones more susceptible to fractures.[61] The U.S. National Research Council states that the U.S. hip fracture rate is now the highest in the world. [62]

Louis V. Avioli, professor at the Washington University School of Medicine, says in a 1987 review of the subject: “Sodium fluoride therapy is accompanied by so many medical complications and side effects that it is hardly worth exploring in depth as a therapeutic mode for postmenopausal osteoporosis, since it fails to decrease the propensity for hip fractures and increases the incidence of stress fractures in the extremities.” [63]

 Fluoride Poisoning

In May 1992, 260 people were poisoned, and one man died, in Hooper Bay, Alaska, after drinking water contaminated with 150 ppm of fluoride. The accident was attributed to poor equipment and an unqualified operator. 55   Was this a fluke? Not at all. Over the years, the CDC has recorded several incidents of excessive fluoride permeating the water supply and sickening or killing people. We don’t usually hear about these occurrences in news reports, but interested citizens have learned the truth from data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. Here is a partial list of toxic spills we have not been told about:

July 1993 – Chicago, Illinois: Three dialysis patients died and five experienced toxic reactions to the fluoridated water used in the treatment process. The CDC was asked to investigate, but to date there have been no press releases.

May 1993 – Kodiak, Alaska (Old Harbor): The population was warned not to consume water due to high fluoride levels. They were also cautioned against boiling the water, since this concentrates the substance and worsens the danger. Although equipment appeared to be functioning normally, 22-24 ppm of fluoride was found in a sample.

July 1992 – Marin County, California: A pump malfunction allowed too much fluoride into the Bon Tempe treatment plant. Two million gallons of fluoridated water were diverted to Phoenix Lake, elevating the lake surface by more than two inches and forcing some water over the spillway.

December 1991 – Benton Harbor, Michigan: A faulty pump allowed approximately 900 gallons of hydrofluosilicic acid to leak into a chemical storage building at the water plant. City engineer Roland Klockow stated, “The concentrated hydrofluosilicic acid was so corrosive that it ate through more than two inches of concrete in the storage building.” This water did not reach water consumers, but fluoridation was stopped until June 1993. The original equipment was only two years old.

July 1991 – Porgate, Michigan: After a fluoride injector pump failed, fluoride levels reached 92 ppm and resulted in approximately 40 children developing abdominal pains, sickness, vomiting, and diarrhea at a school arts and crafts show.

November 1979 – Annapolis, Maryland: One patient died and eight became ill after renal dialysis treatment. Symptoms included cardiac arrest (resuscitated), hypotension, chest pain, difficulty breathing, and a whole gamut of intestinal problems. Patients not on dialysis also reported nausea, headaches, cramps, diarrhea, and dizziness. The fluoride level was later found to be 35 ppm; the problem was traced to a valve at a water plant that had been left open all night. [64]

Instead of addressing fluoridation’s problematic safety record, officials have chosen to cover it up. For example, the ADA says in one booklet distributed to health agencies that “Fluoride feeders are designed to stop operating when a malfunction occurs… so prolonged over-fluoridation becomes a mechanical impossibility.”    In addition, the information that does reach the population after an accident is woefully inaccurate. A spill in Annapolis, Maryland, placed thousands at risk, but official reports reduced the number to eight. [65]  Perhaps officials are afraid they will invite more lawsuits like the one for $480 million by the wife of a dialysis patient who became brain-injured as the result of fluoride poisoning.

Not all fluoride poisoning is accidental. For decades, industry has knowingly released massive quantities of fluoride into the air and water. Disenfranchised communities, with people least able to fight back, are often the victims. Medical writer Joel Griffiths relays this description of what industrial pollution can do, in this case to a devastatingly poisoned Indian reservation:

“Cows crawled around the pasture on their bellies, inching along like giant snails. So crippled by bone disease they could not stand up, this was the only way they could graze. Some died kneeling, after giving birth to stunted calves. Others kept on crawling until, no longer able to chew because their teeth had crumbled down to the nerves, they began to starve….”

They were the cattle of the Mohawk Indians on the New York-Canadian St. Regis Reservation during the period 1960-1975, when industrial pollution devastated the herd – and along with it, the Mohawks’ way of life….Mohawk children, too, have shown signs of damage to bones and teeth.” [66]

Mohawks filed suit against the Reynolds Metals Company and the Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa) in 1960, but ended up settling out of court, where they received $650,000 for their cows. [67]

Fluoride is one of industry’s major pollutants, and no one remains immune to its effects. In 1989, 155,000 tons were being released annually into the air,    and 500,000 tons a year were disposed of in our lakes, rivers, and oceans. [68]

Cancer

Numerous studies demonstrate links between fluoridation and cancer; however, agencies promoting fluoride consistently refute or cover up these findings.

In 1977, Dr. John Yiamouyiannis and Dr. Dean Burk, former chief chemist at the National Cancer Institute, released a study that linked fluoridation to 10,000 cancer deaths per year in the U.S. Their inquiry, which compared cancer deaths in the ten largest fluoridated American cities to those in the ten largest unfluoridated cities between 1940 and 1950, discovered a 5% greater rate in the fluoridated areas. [69]  The NCI disputed these findings, since an earlier analysis of theirs apparently failed to pick up these extra deaths. Federal authorities claimed that Yiamouyiannis and Burk were in error, and that any increase was caused by statistical changes over the years in age, gender, and racial composition. [70]

In order to settle the question of whether or not fluoride is a carcinogen, a Congressional subcommittee instructed the National Toxicology Program (NTP) to perform another investigation. [71]  That study, due in 1980, was not released until 1990. However, in 1986, while the study was delayed, the EPA raised the standard fluoride level in drinking water from 2.4 to 4 ppm. [72]   After this step, some of the government’s own employees in NFFE Local 2050 took what the Oakland Tribune termed the “remarkable step of denouncing that action as political.” [73]

When the NTP study results became known in early 1990, union president Dr. Robert Carton, who works in the EPA’s Toxic Substances Division, published a statement. It read, in part: “Four years ago, NFFE Local 2050, which represents all 1100 professionals at EPA headquarters, alerted then Administrator Lee Thomas to the fact that the scientific support documents for the fluoride in drinking water standard were fatally flawed. The fluoride juggernaut proceeded as it apparently had for the last 40 years – without any regard for the facts or concern for public health.

“EPA raised the allowed level of fluoride before the results of the rat/mouse study ordered by Congress in 1977 was complete. Today, we find out how irresponsible that decision was. The results reported by NTP, and explained today by Dr. Yiamouyiannis, are, as he notes, not surprising considering the vast amount of data that caused the animal study to be conducted in the first place. The results are not surprising to NFFE Local 2050 either. Four years ago we realized that the claim that there was no evidence that fluoride could cause genetic effects or cancer could not be supported by the shoddy document thrown together by the EPA contractor.

“It was apparent to us that EPA bowed to political pressure without having done an in-depth, independent analysis, using in-house experts, of the currently existing data that show fluoride causes genetic effects, promotes the growth of cancerous tissue, and is likely to cause cancer in humans. If EPA had done so, it would have been readily apparent – as it was to Congress in 1977 – that there were serious reasons to believe in a cancer threat.

“The behavior by EPA in this affair raises questions about the integrity of science at EPA and the role of professional scientists, lawyers and engineers who provide the interpretation of the available data and the judgements necessary to protect the public health and the environment. Are scientists at EPA there to arrange facts to fit preconceived conclusions? Does the Agency have a responsibility to develop world-class experts in the risks posed by chemicals we are exposed to every day, or is it permissible for EPA to cynically shop around for contractors who will provide them the ‘correct’ answers?” [74]

What were the NTP study results? Out of 130 male rats that ingested 45 to 79 ppm of fluoride, 5 developed osteosarcoma, a rare bone cancer. There were cases, in both males and females at those doses, of squamous cell carcinoma in the mouth. [75]  Both rats and mice had dose-related fluorosis of the teeth, and female rats suffered osteosclerosis of the long bones.[76]

When Yiamouyiannis analyzed the same data, he found mice with a particularly rare form of liver cancer, known as hepatocholangiocarcinoma. This cancer is so rare, according to Yiamouyiannis, that the odds of its appearance in this study by chance are 1 in 2 million in male mice and l in 100,000 in female mice.    He also found precancerous changes in oral squamous cells, an increase in squamous cell tumors and cancers, and thyroid follicular cell tumors as a result of increasing levels of fluoride in drinking water. [77]

A March 13, 1990, New York Times article commented on the NTP findings: “Previous animal tests suggesting that water fluoridation might pose risks to humans have been widely discounted as technically flawed, but the latest investigation carefully weeded out sources of experimental or statistical error, many scientists say, and cannot be discounted.” [78]  In the same article, biologist Dr. Edward Groth notes: “The importance of this study…is that it is the first fluoride bioassay giving positive results in which the latest state-of-the-art procedures have been rigorously applied. It has to be taken seriously.” 71

On February 22, 1990, the Medical Tribune, an international medical news weekly received by 125,000 doctors, offered the opinion of a federal scientist who preferred to remain anonymous:

“It is difficult to see how EPA can fail to regulate fluoride as a carcinogen in light of what NTP has found. Osteosarcomas are an extremely unusual result in rat carcinogenicity tests. Toxicologists tell me that the only other substance that has produced this is radium….The fact that this is a highly atypical form of cancer implicates fluoride as the cause. Also, the osteosarcomas appeared to be dose-related, and did not occur in controls, making it a clean study.” [79]

Public health officials were quick to assure a concerned public that there was nothing to worry about! The ADA said the occurrence of cancers in the lab may not be relevant to humans since the level of fluoridation in the experimental animals’ water was so high. [80]   But the Federal Register, which is the handbook of government practices, disagrees:

“The high exposure of experimental animals to toxic agents is a necessary and valid method of discovering possible carcinogenic hazards in man. To disavow the findings of this test would be to disavow those of all such tests, since they are all conducted according to this standard.” 73   

As a February 5, 1990, Newsweek article pointed out, “such megadosing is standard toxicological practice. It’s the only way to detect an effect without using an impossibly large number of test animals to stand in for the humans exposed to the substance.” [81] And as the Safer Water Foundation explains, higher doses are generally administered to test animals to compensate for the animals’ shorter life span and because humans are generally more vulnerable than test animals on a body-weight basis. [82]

Several other studies link fluoride to genetic damage and cancer. An article in Mutation Research says that a study by Proctor and Gamble, the very company that makes Crest toothpaste, did research showing that 1 ppm fluoride causes genetic damage.[83] Results were never published but Proctor and Gamble called them “clean,” meaning animals were supposedly free of malignant tumors. Not so, according to scientists who believe some of the changes observed in test animals could be interpreted as precancerous. [84]   Yiamouyiannis says the Public Health Service sat on the data, which were finally released via a Freedom of Information Act request in 1989. “Since they are biased, they have tried to cover up harmful effects,” he says. “But the data speaks for itself. Half the amount of fluoride that is found in the New York City drinking water causes genetic damage.” 46

A National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences publication, Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis, also linked fluoride to genetic toxicity when it stated that “in cultured human and rodent cells, the weight of evidence leads to the conclusion that fluoride exposure results in increased chromosome aberrations.” [85] The result of this is not only birth defects but the mutation of normal cells into cancer cells. The Journal of Carcinogenesis further states that “fluoride not only has the ability to transform normal cells into cancer cells but also to enhance the cancer-causing properties of other chemicals.” [86]

Surprisingly, the PHS put out a report called Review of fluoride: benefits and risks, in which they showed a substantially higher incidence of bone cancer in young men exposed to fluoridated water compared to those who were not. The New Jersey Department of Health also found that the risk of bone cancer was about three times as high in fluoridated areas as in nonfluoridated areas. [87]

Despite cover-up attempts, the light of knowledge is filtering through to some enlightened scientists. Regarding animal test results, the director of the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, James Huff, does say that “the reason these animals got a few osteosarcomas was because they were given fluoride…Bone is the target organ for fluoride.”  Toxicologist William Marcus adds that “fluoride is a carcinogen by any standard we use. I believe EPA should act immediately to protect the public, not just on the cancer data, but on the evidence of bone fractures, arthritis, mutagenicity, and other effects.” [88]

 The Challenge of Eliminating Fluoride

Given all the scientific challenges to the idea of the safety of fluoride, why does it remain a protected contaminant? As Susan Pare of the Center for Health Action asks, “…even if fluoride in the water did reduce tooth decay, which it does not, how can the EPA allow a substance more toxic than Alar, red dye #3, and vinyl chloride to be injected purposely into drinking water?” [89]

This is certainly a logical question and, with all the good science that seems to exist on the subject, you would think that there would be a great deal of interest in getting fluoride out of our water supply. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case. As Dr. William Marcus, a senior science advisor in the EPA’s Office of Drinking Water, has found, the top governmental priority has been to sweep the facts under the rug and, if need be, to suppress truth-tellers. Marcus explains [90]  that fluoride is one of the chemicals the EPA specifically regulates, and that he was following the data coming in on fluoride very carefully when a determination was going to be made on whether the levels should be changed. He discovered that the data were not being heeded. But that was only the beginning of the story for him. Marcus recounts what happened:

“The studies that were done by Botel Northwest showed that there was an increased level of bone cancer and other types of cancer in animals….in that same study, there were very rare liver cancers, according to the board-certified veterinary pathologists at the contractor, Botel. Those really were very upsetting because they were hepatocholangeal carcinomas, very rare liver cancers….Then there were several other kinds of cancers that were found in the jaw and other places.

“I felt at that time that the reports were alarming. They showed that the levels of fluoride that can cause cancers in animals are actually lower than those levels ingested in people (who take lower amounts but for longer periods of time).

“I went to a meeting that was held in Research Triangle Park, in April 1990, in which the National Toxicology Program was presenting their review of the study. I went with several colleagues of mine, one of whom was a board-certified veterinary pathologist who originally reported hepatocholangeal carcinoma as a separate entity in rats and mice. I asked him if he would look at the slides to see if that really was a tumor or if the pathologists at Botel had made an error. He told me after looking at the slides that, in fact, it was correct.

“At the meeting, every one of the cancers reported by the contractor had been downgraded by the National Toxicology Program. I have been in the toxicology business looking at studies of this nature for nearly 25 years and I have never before seen every single cancer endpoint downgraded…. I found that very suspicious and went to see an investigator in the Congress at the suggestion of my friend, Bob Carton. This gentleman and his staff investigated very thoroughly and found out that the scientists at the National Toxicology Program down at Research Triangle Park had been coerced by their superiors to change their findings.”[91]

Once Dr. Marcus acted on his findings, something ominous started to happen in his life: “…I wrote an internal memorandum and gave it to my supervisors. I waited for a month without hearing anything. Usually, you get a feedback in a week or so. I wrote another memorandum to a person who was my second-line supervisor explaining that if there was even a slight chance of increased cancer in the general population, since 140 million people were potentially ingesting this material, that the deaths could be in the many thousands. Then I gave a copy of the memorandum to the Fluoride Work Group, who waited some time and then released it to the press.

“Once it got into the press all sorts of things started happening at EPA. I was getting disciplinary threats, being isolated, and all kinds of things which ultimately resulted in them firing me on March 15, 1992.” 

In order to be reinstated at work, Dr. Marcus took his case to court. In the process, he learned that the government had engaged in various illegal activities, including 70 felony counts, in order to get him fired. At the same time, those who committed perjury were not held accountable for it. In fact, they were rewarded for their efforts:

“When we finally got the EPA to the courtroom…they admitted to doing several things to get me fired. We had notes of a meeting…that showed that fluoride was one of the main topics discussed and that it was agreed that they would fire me with the help of the Inspector General. When we got them on the stand and showed them the memoranda, they finally remembered and said, oh yes, we lied about that in our previous statements.

“Then…they admitted to shredding more than 70 documents that they had in hand – Freedom of Information requests. That’s a felony…. In addition, they charged me with stealing time from the government. They…tried to show…that I had been doing private work on government time and getting paid for it. When we came to court, I was able to show that the time cards they produced were forged, and forged by the Inspector General’s staff….” 

 For all his efforts, Dr. Marcus was rehired, but nothing else has changed: “The EPA was ordered to rehire me, which they did. They were given a whole series of requirements to be met, such as paying me my back pay, restoring my leave, privileges, and sick leave and annual leave. The only thing they’ve done is put me back to work. They haven’t given me any of those things that they were required to do.”[92]

 What is at the core of such ruthless tactics? John Yiamouyiannis feels that the central concern of government is to protect industry, and that the motivating force behind fluoride use is the need of certain businesses to dump their toxic waste products somewhere. They try to be inconspicuous in the disposal process and not make waves. “As is normal, the solution to pollution is dilution. You poison everyone a little bit rather than poison a few people a lot. This way, people don’t know what’s going on.”

Since the Public Health Service has promoted the fluoride myth for over 50 years, they’re concerned about protecting their reputation. So scientists like Dr. Marcus, who know about the dangers, are intimidated into keeping silent. Otherwise, they jeopardize their careers. Dr. John Lee elaborates:

“Back in 1943, the PHS staked their professional careers on the benefits and safety of fluoride. It has since become bureaucratized. Any public health official who criticizes fluoride, or even hints that perhaps it was an unwise decision, is at risk of losing his career entirely. This has happened time and time again. Public health officials such as Dr. Gray in British Columbia and Dr. Colquhoun in New Zealand found no benefit from fluoridation. When they reported these results, they immediately lost their careers…. This is what happens – the public health officials who speak out against fluoride are at great risk of losing their careers on the spot.” 

Yiamouyiannis adds that for the authorities to admit that they’re wrong would be devastating.

“It would show that their reputations really don’t mean that much…. They don’t have the scientific background. As Ralph Nader once said, if they admit they’re wrong on fluoridation, people would ask, and legitimately so, what else have they not told us right?” 

Accompanying a loss in status would be a tremendous loss in revenue. Yiamouyiannis points out that “the indiscriminate careless handling of fluoride has a lot of companies, such as Exxon, U.S. Steel, and Alcoa, making tens of billions of dollars in extra profits at our expense…. For them to go ahead now and admit that this is bad, this presents a problem, a threat, would mean tens of billions of dollars in lost profit because they would have to handle fluoride properly. Fluoride is present in everything from phosphate fertilizers to cracking agents for the petroleum industry.” 

Fluoride could only be legally disposed of at a great cost to industry. As Dr. Bill Marcus explains,

“There are prescribed methods for disposal and they’re very expensive. Fluoride is a very potent poison. It’s a registered pesticide, used for killing rats or mice…. If it were to be disposed of, it would require a class-one landfill. That would cost the people who are producing aluminum or fertilizer about $7000+ per 5000- to 6000-gallon truckload to dispose of it. It’s highly corrosive.” 

Another problem is that the U.S. judicial system, even when convinced of the dangers, is powerless to change policy. Yiamouyiannis tells of his involvement in court cases in Pennsylvania and Texas in which, while the judges were convinced that fluoride was a health hazard, they did not have the jurisdiction to grant relief from fluoridation. That would have to be done, it was ultimately found, through the legislative process.    Interestingly, the judiciary seems to have more power to effect change in other countries. Yiamouyiannis states that when he presented the same technical evidence in Scotland, the Scottish court outlawed fluoridation based on the evidence.

Indeed, most of Western Europe has rejected fluoridation on the grounds that it is unsafe. In 1971, after 11 years of testing, Sweden’s Nobel Medical Institute recommended against fluoridation, and the process was banned.[93] The Netherlands outlawed the practice in 1976, after 23 years of tests. France decided against it after consulting with its Pasteur Institute64   and West Germany, now Germany, rejected the practice because the recommended dosage of 1 ppm was “too close to the dose at which long-term damage to the human body is to be expected.” 84Dr. Lee sums it up:

“All of western Europe, except one or two test towns in Spain, has abandoned fluoride as a public health plan. It is not put in the water anywhere. They all established test cities and found that the benefits did not occur and the toxicity was evident.”[94] 

Isn’t it time the United States followed Western Europe’s example? While the answer is obvious, it is also apparent that government policy is unlikely to change without public support. We therefore must communicate with legislators, and insist on one of our most precious resources – pure, unadulterated drinking water. Yiamouyiannis urges all American people to do so, pointing out that public pressure has gotten fluoride out of the water in places like Los Angeles; Newark and Jersey City in New Jersey; and [95]Bedford, Massachusetts. 46 He emphasizes the immediacy of the problem:

“There is no question with regard to fluoridation of public water supplies. It is absolutely unsafe…and should be stopped immediately. This is causing more destruction to human health than any other single substance added purposely or inadvertently to the water supply. We’re talking about 35,000 excess deaths a year…10,000 cancer deaths a year…130 million people who are being chronically poisoned. We’re not talking about dropping dead after drinking a glass of fluoridated water…. It takes its toll on human health and life, glass after glass.” [96]

There is also a moral issue in the debate that has largely escaped notice. According to columnist James Kilpatrick, it is “the right of each person to control the drugs he or she takes.” Kilpatrick calls fluoridation compulsory mass medication, a procedure that violates the principles of medical ethics. [97]   A New York Times editorial agrees:

“In light of the uncertainty, critics [of fluoridation] argue that administrative bodies are unjustified in imposing fluoridation on communities without obtaining public consent…. The real issue here is not just the scientific debate. The question is whether any establishment has the right to decide that benefits outweigh risks and impose involuntary medication on an entire population. In the case of fluoridation, the dental establishment has made opposition to fluoridation seem intellectually disreputable. Some people regard that as tyranny.” [98]

Notes

[1] Brooks, Megan. “Fluoride May Be Neurotoxic in Kids.” Medscape.com. N.p., 23 Aug. 2012. Web. 11 Sept. 2012. <http://www.scoop.it/t/family-centred-care-practice/p/2524572531/medscape-fluoride-may-be-neurotoxic-in-kids>.

[2] Lu, Z, et al. “In vivo influence of sodium fluoride on sperm chemotaxis in male mice..” Archives of Toxicology Jul 24 (2013). In vivo influence of sodium fluoride on sperm chemotaxis in male mice. (accessed November 20, 2013).

[3] “MALE FERTILITY.” Fluoride Action Network. http://fluoridealert.org/issues/health/fertility/ (accessed November 22, 2013).

 [4] Adams, Mike. “PROOF: Chinese Industrial Fluoride Suppliers Openly List Sodium Fluoride as ‘insecticide’ and ‘adhesive Preservative’ in Addition to Water Treatment Chemical.”PROOF: Chinese Industrial Fluoride Suppliers Openly List Sodium Fluoride as ‘insecticide’ and ‘adhesive Preservative’ in Addition to Water Treatment Chemical. NaturalNews.com, 31 Aug. 2012. Web. 11 Sept. 2012. <http://www.naturalnews.com/037024_sodium_fluoride_insecticide_proof.html>9

[5] Ibid

[6]Alvarez, Lizette. “Looking to Save Money, More Places Decide to Stop Fluoridating the Water – NYTimes.com.” The New York Times . N.p., 13 Oct. 2011. Web. 16 Nov. 2011. <http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/14/us/more-places-change-course-on-fluoride-in-water.html?pagewanted=all>.

[7] Diep, Francie. “Portland, Oregon, Says No To Fluoridation.” Popular Science. http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2013-05/fluoridation-defeated-portland-oregon (accessed November 21, 2013).

[8] Huff, Ethan. “Israel commits to ending water fluoridation by 2014, citing major health concerns.” NaturalNews. http://www.naturalnews.com/042079_water_fluoridation_Israel_health_concerns.html (accessed November 21, 2013).

[9] Huff, Ethan. “Huge victory against fluoride in Australia.” NaturalNews. http://www.naturalnews.com/038984_Australia_fluoride_involuntary_medication.html (accessed November 22, 2013).

[10]“Statement on Water Fluoridation.” NIDCR Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Nov. 2011. http://www.fluoridealert.org/professionals-statement.aspx

[11]Dr. John Yiamouyiannis, in interview with Gary Null, 3/10/95. His statement is referenced in the Clinical Toxicology of Commercial Products, Fifth Ed., Williams and Wilkins.

[12]Joel Griffiths, “Fluoride: Commie Plot or Capitalist Ploy,” Covert Action, Fall 1992, Vol. 42, p. 30. 

[13]Ibid., p. 27.

[14]Ibid., p. 28.

[15]Ibid.

[16]McNeil, The Fight for Fluoridation, 1957, p. 37.

[17]Griffiths, op. cit., p. 28.

[18]Griffiths, op. cit.

[19]G.L. Waldbott et al., Fluoridation: The Great Dilemma, Lawrence, XS, Coronado Press, 1978, p. 295.

[20]Paul Farhi, Washington Post, 11/23/91.

[21]Griffiths, op. cit., p. 63.

[22]Longevity Magazine, pp. 7-89.

[23]The Morning Call, 2/7/90

[24]Science, 1/90.

[25]Waldbott, op. cit., p. 255.

[26]Letter, Rebecca Hammer, 3/83

[27]U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, “Policy statement on community water fluoridation,” July 22, 1992, Washington, D.C.

[28]“Statement on Water Fluoridation.” NIDCR Home. http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/OralHealth/Topics/Fluoride/StatementWaterFluoridation.htm

[29]Los Angeles Times. 1/ 26/95..

[30]The Chicago Tribune, 1/26/95.

[31]A.S. Gray, Canadian Dental Association Journal, October 1987, pp. 763.

[32]Letter, Sierra Club to Wm. K. Reilly, EPA, 7/21/89.

[33]John Yiamouyiannis, Fluoride, 1990, Vol. 23, pp. 55-67.

[34]Center for Health Action, 3/30/90.

[35]Clinical Pediatrics, Nov. 1991.

[36]ADA News, 10/17/94.

[37]Chemical and Engineering News, 8/1/88, p.31.

[38]Waldbott, op. cit., p. xvii.

[39]Statement by Dr. James Patrick before Congressional Subcommittee, 8/4/82.

[40]Journal of the Canadian Dental Association, Vol. 59, Apr. 1993, p. 334.

[41]Gary Null interview with Dr. John Lee, 3/10/95.

[42]F. Exner and G. Waldbott, The American fluoridation experiment, 1957, p. 43.

[43]Federal Register, 12/24/75.

[44]Chemical and Engineering News, 8/1/88, p. 33.

[45]Jan G. Stannard et al., “Fluoride levels and fluoride contamination of fruit juices,” The Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry, Vol. 16, No. 1, 1991, pp. 38-40.

[46]Waldbott, op. cit., pp. 307-308.

[47]Chemical and Engineering News, 8/1/88, p. 49.

[48]New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation, release, 11/89.

 [49]Gary Null interview with Dr. John Yiamouyiannis 4/28/90.

[50]Chemical and Engineering News, 8/1/88, p. 36.

[51]Waldbott, op. cit., p. 38.

[52]F. Exner and G. Waldbott, op. cit., pp. 42-43.

[53]Schenectady Gazette Star, 8/5/89.

[54]Daniel Grossman, “Fluoride’s Revenge,” The Progressive,

Dec. 1990, pp. 29-31.

[55]Gary Null interview with Dr. John Yiamouyiannis, 3/10/95.

[56]George Glasser, “Dental Fluorosis – A Legal Time Bomb!” Sarasota/Florida ECO Report, Vol. 5, No. 2, Feb. 1995, pp. 1-5.

[57]JAMA, Vol. 264, July 25, 1990, pp. 500

[58]Cooper et al., JAMA, Vol. 266, July 24, 1991, pp. 513-14.

[59]Christa Danielson et al., “Hip fractures and fluoridation in Utah’s elderly population,” JAMA, Vol. 268, Aug. 12, 1992, pp. 746-48.

[60]New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 322, pp. 802-809

[61] Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, 11/94.

[62]U.S. National Research Council, Diet and Health, Washington, D.C., National Academy Press, 1989, p. 121.

[63]“Middletown, Maryland latest city to receive toxic spill of fluoride in their drinking water,” report by Truth About Fluoride, Inc., in Townsend Letter for Doctors, 10/15/94, p. 1124.

 [64]Reprinted by M. Bevis, “Morbidity associated with ingestion/dialysis of community water fluoride,” CDC, Dental Div., 6/11/92, distributed by Safe Water Foundation of Texas.

[65]Townsend Letter for Doctors, 10/94, p. 1125.

[66]Janet Raloff, “The St. Regis Syndrome,” Science News, July 19, 1980, pp. 42-43; reprinted in Griffiths, op. cit., p. 26.

[67]Robert Tomalin, “Dumping grounds,” Wall Street Journal, Nov. 29, 1990; reprinted in Griffiths, op. cit.

[68] “Summary review of health effects associated with hydrogen fluoride acid related compounds,” EPA Report Number 600/8-29/002F, Dec. 1988,

[69]John Yiamouyiannis, Lifesaver’s Guide to Fluoridation, Delaware, Ohio, Safe Water Foundation, 1983, p. 1

[70]John Yiamouyiannis and Dean Burk, “Fluoridation of public water systems and cancer death rates in humans,” presented at the 57th annual meeting of the American Society of Biological Chemists, and published in Fluoride, Vol. 10, No. 3, 1977, pp. 102-103.

[71]New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation.

[72]Newsday, 2/27/90.

[73]Oakland Tribune, 2/16/90.

[74]NFFE Local 2050, 3/90.

[75]Washington Post, 2/20/90.

[76]The Lancet, 2/3/90.

[77]Center for Health Action.

[78]M.W. Browne, The New York Times, 3/13/90.

[79]Medical Tribune, 2/22/90.

[80]New York State Medical News, 3/90.

[81]S. Begley, Newsweek, 2/5/90.

[82]Safe Water Foundation, 3/4/90.

[83]Mutation Research, Vol. 223, pp. 191-203.

[84]Joel Griffiths, Medical Tribune, 2/22/90.

[85]Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis, Vol. 21, pp. 309-318.

[86]Journal of Carcinogenesis, Vol. 9, pp. 2279-2284.

[87]Mark Lowey, “Scientists question health risks of fluoride,” Calgary Herald, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Feb. 28, 1992; in Griffiths, op. cit., p. 66.

[88]Gary Null interview with Dr. William Marcus, 3/10/95.

[89]Center for Health Action, 3/90.

[90]Longevity Magazine, 7/89.

[91]Gary Null interview with Dr. William Marcus, 3/10/95.

[92] Ibid

[93] Yiamouyiannis J. Interview. Mar 10, 1995.

[94]  Longevity. July 1989.

[95]Ibid

[96] Fluoride Action Network. http://www.fluoridealert.org

[97] Yiamouyiannis J. Interview. Mar 10, 1995.

[98] Browne, Malcolm. “Rat Study Reignites Dispute On Fluoride.” The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/1990/03/13/science/rat-study-reignites-dispute-on-fluoride.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm (accessed November 25, 2013).

A Common Tactic to Discredit Opponents Or to Create Momentum for “Regime Change”

The powers-that-be often use agent provocateurs to disrupt protests and paint protesters as violent and unlikeable.

For example, violent provocateurs were deployed:

There is a related type of false flag operation commonly used to create chaos and discredit regimes or protesters:  snipers.

For example:

  • Unknown snipers reportedly killed both Venezuelan government and opposition protesters in the attempted 2002 coup
  • Unknown snipers allegedly have created bedlam in Syria
  • And the Estonian foreign minister claims that the new Ukranian coalition deployed snipers to discredit the former government of Ukraine

Brutal … but effective and cheap.

Because it doesn’t cost much to hire one or a handful of snipers to access rooftops or bridge overpasses, create chaos, and then quietly disappear.

Professor Rodrique Tremblay

“Every state is condemned to follow a policy dictated by its geography.” Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821)

[NATO's goal is] “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.” Lord Ismay, first NATO Secretary-General

“Of all the enemies to public liberty, war is perhaps the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other.” James Madison (1751-1836), fourth American President

The hazards associated with American foreign policy since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 should appear obvious to all, because it is precisely this policy that has caused the crisis in Ukraine with all its negative consequences for the coming months and years.

President Barack Obama was candid in admitting it on Monday March 3, 2014, when he said that

“we are indicating to the Russians [that] if in fact they continue on the current trajectory they’re on, then we are examining a whole series of steps — economic, diplomatic— that will isolate Russia.”

Well, it is precisely this desire to expand NATO and to isolate Russia by incorporating all the countries bordering Russia into NATO, i.e. a strategy of geopolitical and military encirclement of Russia, which has provoked that country when it felt threatened in its national security.

This is easy to understand.

For example, what would the United States do if a hypothetical Russian Empire were to incorporate Mexico or Canada into a military alliance? To ask the question is to answer it. Why is it so difficult to understand that the best way to start a war is to threaten a country’s vital interests?

The truth is that NATO should have been disbanded after the collapse of the Soviet empire in 1991, and especially after the Warsaw Pact was itself dismantled. Europe should have then moved to build an expanded Europe of nations, large, democratic and peaceful, within a framework of economic and political cooperation and peace. But no! The United States wanted to take advantage of the situation and demanded that everything fell into the military-financial U.S. empire.
That is the source of many problems.

In my book “The New American Empire”, originally published in 2003, just before the onset of the Iraq war, I pointed out the dangers of the American global imperial ambition and explained the reasons. The Middle East was the first to suffer under this global policy of interventionism. And now, Europe as a whole, most unfortunately, may have to pay the price for this unbridled American hubris, under both George W. Bush and Barack Obama, although that policy goes back to George H. Bush and Bill Clinton.

This is why I believe President Obama and his neocon advisers do not think beyond their nose, as was the case for the not-too-bright George W. Bush, when they adopt such a global imperialist ideology.

In 2008, it just happened that I published an article which has been translated into several languages, and in which I advanced the idea that Europe had a vital interest in disbanding that relic of another age that is NATO. Indeed, we must blame European leaders not to have understood that the fundamental interest of Europe was not to blend into the American Empire but rather to build an independent and united Europe. Because that reality has not been well understood, Europe is now running the risk of falling prey to a new Cold War with divisive and ruinous conflicts, while the United States will try to pull their chestnuts out of the fire, with the U.K as its convenient ally from within.

It may be not too late for European leaders to rectify the situation. This would, however, require wisdom and the courage to tell the American neocons who have designed American foreign policy for a quarter of a century that they are not masters of the world and that the European Union has no intention to pursue an aggressive policy of military encirclement Russia. That’s it.
And rather, on the contrary, Russia should be invited to join an expanded Europe of nations, large, democratic and peaceful within a framework of economic cooperation and peace.

What would be required of them, however, is a minimum of vision, of insight and a spirit of independence, which currently seems to be lacking badly in many current European governments.

Carelessness and the current European abdication in letting Washington decide European foreign policy may serve the interests of the American empire, but this could lead Europe to disaster.

Now things are getting muddier. Details of a leaked phone call between EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton and Estonian foreign affairs minister Urmas Paet suggest that the US-backed opposition was responsible for hiring snipers who gunned down protesters in Kiev and not the deposed government of Viktor Yanukovich, as the media widely claimed.
http://www.prisonplanet.com/leaked-phone-call-kiev-snipers-hired-by-us-backed-opposition

Prof. Rodrigue Tremblay is an economist and author, whose last two books are: The Code for Global Ethics,  Prometheus Books, 2010; and  The New American Empire, Infinity Publishing, 2003.

To read Dr. Tremblay’s blog, please visit:
http://www.thenewamericanempire.com/blog.htm
The author can be reach at:
[email protected]

A guerra para o controle da Ucrânia começou com um poderoso psyop, ou seja, operação de guerra psicológica, onde se utilizam armas de distração de massas já experimentadas. As imagens com as quais a televisão bombardeia nosso espírito nos mostram os militares russos que ocupam a Criméia. Nenhuma  dúvida, portanto,  sobre quem é o agressor. Contrariamente, conosco permaneceram outras imagens, como aquela do secretário do partido comunista ucraniano de Leopoli, Rotislav Vasilko, torturado pelos neo-nazis que brandiam mesmo frente aos seus olhos  uma cruz de madeira [1] (veja comunicado de Contropiano). Esses eram os mesmos que assaltam as sinagogas e gritam “Heil Hitler”, em de quando ressucitando o pogrom de 1941. Os mesmos financiadores e os mesmos treinadores durante os anos, através de serviços secretos e seus NGOs, através dos Estados Unidos e da OTAN. Eles fizeram a mesma coisa na Líbia e estão a caminho de o fazer o mesmo na Síria, utilizando grupos de islamistas recentemente definidos como terroristas. Há dez anos que nós estivemos documentando no il manifesto (cf. Ucrânia, le dollar va aux élections- o dólar vai as eleições, 2004) como Washington financiou e organizou a “revolução orange”, ou seja o golpe de estado de 2004, e a ascensão à presidência de Victor Yushchenko, o qual tinha a intenção de levar  Ucrânia a OTAN. Já a seis anos vínhamos descrevendo as manobras militares denominadas como “Brisa do Mar” a qual operava na Ukraina sob as diretivas da “Parceiros para a Paz” dizendo que “a brisa do mar” que sopra sobre o Mar Negro está a prenunciar os ventos de guerra” [cf. Jogos de guerra no Mar Negro, 2008 [2].

 

 Rotislav Vasilko, torturado por néo-nazis que brandiam uma cruz de madeira frente a seus olhos

Para se compreender o que está para se passar na Ucrânia não é suficiente de se olhar só para as imagens de hoje. É necessário que se veja todo o filme. Tem-se que observar a sequência da expansão da OTAN ao Leste, que em 10 anos, 1999-2009, abrangeu todos os países do ex-pacto de Varsóvia, antigamente aliados da União Soviética, URSS. Três países da ex-URSS e dois da ex-Yugoslávia deslocaram suas bases e forças militares e com elas a capacidade nuclear, sempre mais para junto da Rússia, armando-se em um “círculo” ou colar anti-mísseis os quais não são  instrumentos de defesa, mas de ofensiva. Isso sendo feito apesar dos repetidos avisos e advertências de Moscou, os quais são ignorados ou tornados em charadas do tipo “esses são passados estereótipos da guerra fria…”. O verdadeiro fim nessa escalada não é a adesão da Ukraina na União Européia, mas a anexação da Ukraina na OTAN.

A estratégia da EUA/OTAN é uma real estratégia de tensão que, além do problema da Europa, tem o fim de redimensionar o poder que conservou a maior parte do território e dos recursos da URSS, ou seja, a Rússia, a qual se restabelece da crise econômica do pós-guerra fria, relançou sua política exterior, veja-se aqui o papel feito na Síria, e que se virou a China para criar uma aliança que potencialmente pudesse contrabalançar o super-poder dos Estados Unidos.

Mas, através da estratégia de tensão se coagiu a Rússia, como dantes foi feito com a URSS, a um curso de maiores e maiores despesas com armamentos, e isso tendo como objetivo o de aumentar-lhe as dificuldades econômicas internas, o que ainda pressionaria a maioria da população. Estão aqui fazendo o que podem para que a Rússia reaja militarmente e possa então abaixo desse pretexto ser afastada do grupo das “grandes democracias”. Aqui se ameaça então com a exclusão da G8.

A representante dos Estados Unidos na ONU, Samantha Power, galopando na “responsabilidade de proteger” outorga aos Estados Unidos o poder divino, e exige o envio de observadores (Osce) na Ucrânia. Os mesmos que dirigidos por William Walker, antigamnete dirigiram os serviços secretos americanos dos Estados Unidos em El Salvador e serviram 1998-99 de cobertura a CIA no Kosovo, em fornecendo a UCK instruções e telefonia por satélite. Isso sendo para a guerra que a OTAN estava a ponto de deslanchar. Durante 78 dias, levantaram voo, principalmente de bases italianas. 1100 aviões de guerra efetuaram 38.000 saídas e lançaram 23.000 bombas e mísseis. A guerra terminou com o acordo de Kumanovo, o qual previa um Kosovo em grande medida autônomo, com uma garnisão da OTAN, mas sempre ainda dentro da soberanidade de Belgrado. Esse acordo foi anulado com a independência autoproclamada do Kosovo, a qual foi reconhecida pela OTAN e quase por toda a União Européia, A Espanha, a Grécia, a Eslováquia, a Romênia e Chipre não reconheceram essa autoproclamação. Essa é a mesma OTAN que hoje, através das boca de Rasmussen, acusa a Rússia de violar na Ucrânia os direitos internacionais.

Manlio Dinucci

Edição de terça-feira 4 de março  il manifesto

Url de l’article: http://www.mondialisation.ca/la-guerre-pour-le-controle-de-lukraine-pourquoi-cest-une-strategie-de-la-tension/5371815

Tradução Anna Malm 

EUA Instalou um Governo Neo-Nazi na Ukraina

March 6th, 2014 by Prof Michel Chossudovsky

De acordo com o New York Times, “Os Estados Unidos e a União Européia abraçaram a revolução ucraniana como um novo florescer da democracia, como um golpe contra o autoritarianismo e a cleptocracia no ex- espaço soviético.” (Depois de um inicial triumfo os líderes da Ukraina estão face a uma batalha de credibilidade –  After Initial Triumph, Ukraine’s Leaders Face Battle for Credibility,  NYTimes.com, 1 de março de 2014, ênfases acrescentadas)

“Democracia Florescendo e Revolução”?  A cruel realidade é uma outra. O que está em jogo é um golpe de estado financiado pelos EUA-UE- OTAN, e isso em bramante violação da lei internacional.

A verdade, proibida de ser dita, é que o ocidente engendrou —  através de uma cuidadosamente encenada operação as encobertas  — a formação de um regime por procuração, regime esse integrado por Neo-Nazis.

Confirmado pela Adjunta Secretária do Estado Victoria Nyland, organizações chaves na Ukraina, incluindo-se aqui o partido Neo-Nazi Svoboda (Liberdade), foram generosamente apoiadas por Washington: “Nós investimos mais do que 5 bilhões de dólares para ajudar a Ukraina a atingir esses e ainda outros objetivos.  … Nós iremos continuar a promover a Ukraina ao futuro que ela merece.”

A mídia ocidental evita, de maneira casual, uma análise da composição e dos fundamentos ideológicos da coalisão governamental. A palavra “Neo-Nazi” é um tabú. Ela foi excluida do dicionário e dos comentários da mídia, que não alternativa ou independente. Essa palavra não irá aparecer nas páginas do New York Times, do Washington Post ou The Independent. Os jornalistas foram instruidos a não usar o termo “Neo-Nazi” para designar os partidos Svoboda [Svoboda lendo-se então Svaboda] e o Sector de Direita.

Composição da Coalisão Governamental

Não estamos tratando aqui com um governo de transição no qual os Neo-Nazis integram os flancos mais afastados da coalisão, formalmente dirigida pelo partido Fatherland (Pátria).

O Cabinete  Ministerial não só é integrado pelos partidos Svoboda e Sector de Direita  (para aqui já nem se mencionar ex-membros da defunta fascística UNA-UNSO).  Para essas duas principais entidades Neo-Nazis, Svoboda e Sector de Direita,  foram confiadas posições chaves que garantem a elas o, de-facto, control das Forças Armadas, da Polícia, da Justiça e da Segurança Nacional.

Enquanto o partido Fatherland – Pátria, de Yatsenuyk controla a maioria das pastas, o partido Svoboda, do líder Neo-Nazi Oleh Tyahnybok, não ganhou nenhum posto importante no cabinete ministerial (a julgar pelas aparências isso teria sido a pedido da Assistente Secretária do Estado Victoria Nyland). Entretanto, membros do Svoboda e do Sector de Direita ocupam agora posições chaves nas áreas da Defesa, da Aplicação da Lei, da Educação e da Economia.

 

O líder Neo Nazi Oleh Tyahnybol

nuland in ukraine

US Assistente Secretára do Estado Victória Nyland juntamente com o líder do Neo Nazi Svoboda Oleh Tuahnybok (a esquerda)
FOTO:    Andriy Parubiy [a direita] co-fundador do Partido Neo-Nazi Social-Nacional da Ukraina – (posterioemente denominado Svoboda) – foi apontado como Secretário do Comité da Segurança e da Defesa Nacional da Ukraina (RNBOU) – (Рада національної безпеки і оборони України), uma posição chave. O RNBOU  supervisiona e inspeciona o Ministério da Defesa, as Forças Armadas, a Aplicação da Lei, a Segurança Nacional e os Serviços de Inteligência. O RNBOU é um corpo deliberativo de central importância. Conquanto formalmente dirigido pelo presidente, ele é administrado pelo Secretariado, o qual tem uma força de trabalho de 180 pessoas, o que inclui especialistas da defesa, inteligência e segurança.

 

Parubiy foi um dos principais líderes da Revolução Orange de 2004.  A sua organização foi financiada pelo ocidente. A mídia ocidental refere-se a ele como o “comandante” do movimento EuroMaidan. Andriy Parubiy assim como o líder do partido Svoboda, Oleh Tyahnybok, é um adepto do nazista ucraniano Stepan Bandera, o qual colaborou nos assassinatos em massa de judeus e polacos durante a Segunda Guerra Mundial.

 

Reuters / Gleb Garanich

Passeata Neo-Nazi em honra de Stepan Bandera.

Por seu lado, Dmytro Yarosh, líder da delegação do Sector de Direita no parlamento, foi apontado como vice Secretário do RNBOU.

Yarosh era o líder dos paramilitares Neo-Nazis, “Brown Shirts”, durante o movimento de “protesto” na EuroMaidan. [Brown Shirt significando Camisa Marrom]. Ele convocou a ação para o desmantelar do Partido das regiões [o partido do presidente] e do Partido Comunista.

Dmytro Yarosh fala na Euromaidan (no Centro)

O partido Neo Nazi também passa a controlar o judicial com o apontar de Oleh Makhnitsky, do partido Svoboda, para a posição de promotor-geral da Ukraina. Que tipo de justiça irá prevalecer com um reconhecido Neo-Nazi como encarregado da Procuradoria-Geral da República / Ministério Público da Ukraina?

Postos no Cabinete também foram alocados a ex-membros de uma organização Neo-Nazi periférica, a Nacional Assembléia Ucraniana – Defesa Pessoal Nacional Ucraniana (UNA-UNSO):

“Tetyana Chernovol é  apresentada na mídia ocidental como uma  jornalista de investigação em cruzada, sem que referências sejam feitas ao seu passado na anti-semítica UNA-UNSO. Ela foi nomeada presidente do comité governamental anti-corrupção.

Dmytro Bulatov, conhecido pelo seu alegado sequestramento pela polícia, também tem conexões com a UNA-UNSO. Ele foi apontado como o ministro responsável pelo sector  juvenil e de esportes.

Yegor Sobolev, líder de um grupo cívico na Independence Maidan e politicamente na mesma linha que Yatsenyuk. Ele foi apontado presidente do Comité de “Lustration” [limpeza-purificação–oferenda-sacrifício/étnico-religioso], encarregado com o purgar da vida pública e do governo os seguidores do Presidente Yanukovych. (Veja Ukraine Transition Government: Neo-Nazis in Control of Armed Forces, National Security, Economy, Justice and Education, Global  Research, 2 de março de 2014.

O Comité de Lustration – irá organizar a perseguição Neo-Nazi e a investigação (caça as bruxas) contra todos os oponentes do novo regime Neo-Nazi. Os alvos dessa campanha serão as pessoas em posição de autoridade no serviço público, nos governos regionais, municipais, na educação, assim como nas áreas de pesquisa, etc. O termo lustration, limpeza-purificação, refere-se aqui a uma “desqualificação massiva” de pessoas associadas com o ex-governo. Esse termo também tem um sentido racial. Com todas as probabilidades isso irá ser virado contra comunistas, russos e membros da comunidade judia.

É importante que se reflita no fato de que o ocidente, formalmente tendo comitimentos a valores democráticos, não só dirigiu o lançamento do golpe contra um presidente eleito, como também depois instalou em seu lugar um governo constituido de Neo-Nazis.

Esse é um governo por procuração, que permite aos Estados Unidos, a OTAN e a União Européia a interferir nos negócios internos da Ukraina, assim como desmantelar as suas relações bilaterais com a Federação Russa. Entretanto, deveria ser entendido que os Neo-Nazis, em última instância, não são os que realmente estão em comando: Abaixo de um “regime de governo indireto” eles recebem suas ordens quanto a questões cruciais nas esferas dos assuntos militares e dos negócios estrangeiros — incluindo-se aqui então o colocamneto de tropas dirigidas contra a Rússia — do Departamento do Estado dos EUA, do Pentágono, e da OTAN.

O mundo está numa encruzilhada perigosa: A estrutura e a composiçäo do governo por procuração, instalado pelo ocidente, não favorece um diálogo nem com o governo, nem com os militares russos.

FOTO –  John McCain e o líder do partido Svoboda, Oleh Tyahnybok

Um cenário de escalação militar a qual poderia levar a uma confrontação entre a Rússia e a OTAN é uma clara possibilidade. O Comité da Segurança e da Defesa Nacional da Ukraina (RNBOU) o qual como foi dito acima é controlado pelos Neo-Nazis, tem um papél central em questões militares. Numa eventual confrontação com Moscou, decisões tomadas pela RNBOU dirigida pelo Neo-Nazi Parubiy e seu vice, brown shirt Dmytro Yarosh — em consultação com Washington e Bruxelas — poderia vir a ter consequências potencialmente devastadoras.

Entretanto, nem precisaria de ser dito que o “apoio” a formação do governo Neo-Nazi, de maneira nenhuma implicaria nesse caso , o  desenvolvimentos de “tendências fascistas” dentro do contexto da Casa Branca, do Departamento do Estado e do Congresso dos Estados Unidos.

“O florescer da democracia” na Ukraina — para usar as palavras do New York Times — é endossada pelos Republicanos e Democratas. Esse é um projeto bipartisan. Caso tenhamos esquecido, o senador John McCain é um firme apoiante e amigo do líder Oleh Tyahnybok, do Neo Nazi Svoboda. (Veja foto acima).

Michel Chossudovsky

 

Artigo original em inglês :

Ukraine extreme-droiteThe U.S. has Installed a Neo-Nazi Government in Ukraine, 2 de Março de 2014

 Tradução Anna Malm 

Update: Sniper killings of Opposition Protesters was Ordered by Opposition Leaders. The leaders of EuroMaidan ordered the shooting of their own supporters

In an earlier article, GR reported (scroll down) that more than twenty opposition Maidan  protesters were killed by professional snipers on February 20.  “This was not a spontaneous event resulting from clashes between protesters and riot police, nor was it marked by an exchange of gunfire between the police and the Neo-Nazi militia.” (See full article below)

The sniper killings had the hallmarks of a carefully planned operation. They happened within ‘the space of a few hours”. Moreover, the killings coincided with the meetings of President Viktor Yanukovych with a high level EU delegation. In a bitter irony, these targeted killings were used as a pretext to topple the government and issue an arrest warrant directed against president Yanukovych.

Based on the release of a controversial leaked telephone conversation, we are now in a position to confirm that the sniper fire on innocent civilians was ordered by the Neo-Nazi Maidan militia which is supported by Washington and NATO.

Acknowledged in a leaked telephone conversation between EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton and the Estonian foreign minister Urmas Paet that the Maidan opposition leaders were behind the sniper killings directed against opposition protesters and police:

Urmas Paet: “There is now stronger and stronger understanding that behind the snipers, it was not Yanukovich, but it was somebody from the new coalition,”

Catherine Ashton: “I think we do want to investigate. I mean, I didn’t pick that up, that’s interesting. Gosh,”

According to RT:  The telephone call “took place after Estonia’s Foreign Minister Urmas Paet visited Kiev on February 25 at the peak of clashes between the pro-EU protesters and security forces in the Ukrainian capital. Paet also recalled his conversation with a doctor who treated those shot by snipers in Kiev. She said that both protesters and police were shot at by the same people.”

Urmas Paet “And second, what was quite disturbing, this same Olga [Bogomolets] told as well that all the evidence shows that the people who were killed by snipers from both sides, among policemen and then people from the streets, that they were the same snipers killing people from both sides,” the Estonian FM stressed.

Catherine Ashton; “Well, yeah…that’s, that’s terrible.”

Urmas Paet: So that she then also showed me some photos she said that as a medical doctor she can say that it is the same handwriting, the same type of bullets, and it’s really disturbing that now the new coalition, that they don’t want to investigate what exactly happened,”

According to RT,  the telephone file was uploaded by officers of Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) loyal to president Viktor Yanukovich.

Below is the text of the original article published by GR on February 26, which recounts the chronology of these sniper attacks against civilians and police.

It should also be noted that several of the paramilitary leaders who ordered these attacks namely (Neo-Nazi Svoboda, Right Sector and UNA-UNSO) now occupy positions of authority in the new government, overseeing the armed forces, police, and the prosecutor’s office. 

Read complete article below

Michel Chossudovsky,  March 5, 2014


Ukraine’s “Democratic Coup d’Etat”: Killing Civilians as a Pretext for Regime Change

Global Research, February 26, 2014

With the support of Washington, Ukraine’s opposition “transitional government” headed by the parliament’s speaker Oleksandr Turchinov has issued an arrest warrant directed against the democratically elected President Viktor Yanukovych, accusing him of having ordered the “mass murder” of civilians during the bloody riots and clashes with police forces on Maidan Independence Square.

This “mass murder” for which he is accused bears the fingerprints of the Right Sector and Neo-Nazi party Svoboda, which is supported and financed through various channels by the US and the EU.

The Maidan riots as well as the riots organized in other parts of the country were carefully staged with a timeline and specific political objectives in mind. Civilian casualties were part of this staged agenda, with a view to accusing president Yanukovych of “mass murder”, thereby providing a justification for regime change on humanitarian grounds.

Armed with riot shields and clubs, the [Neo-Nazi] group’s cadres have manned the front lines of the Euromaidan battles this month, filling the air with their signature chant: “Ukraine above all!”  (See Max Blumental, Is the US backing Neo-Nazis in Ukraine? Alternet, February 25, 2014)

The preparations for this “democratic Coup d’Etat” had been carefully coordinated between the US State Department (and Western intelligence) and various political actors in Ukraine including the Svoboda party.

Violence escalated on the 18th of February after Right Sector Neo-Nazi rioters and thugs attempted to take over the Ukrainian parliament building (Verkhovna Rada). They were repelled by the anti-riot police. According to RT “the move came despite the agreement on amnesty finally reached between the government and the opposition.”

The rioters then stormed and looted the nearby unprotected office of the ruling Party of Regions, also setting it on fire. One office worker was later found dead in the devastated building, with reports saying he died from smoke inhalation.  The clashes soon grew bloody, with footage showing masked rioters firing rifles and pistols at the police in central Kiev and reports describing dead protesters with gunshot wounds. (RT, February 20, 2014)

Click to view video: http://youtu.be/yCzIIFAsGk4

The Sniper Killings

On the 20th of February, according to reports, more than twenty protesters were killed by professional snipers. This was not a spontaneous event resulting from clashes between protesters and riot police, nor was it marked by an exchange of gunfire between the police and Neo-Nazi militia.

The sniper killings had the hallmarks of a carefully planned operation. They happened within ‘the space of a few hours”. Moreover, the killings coincided with the meetings of President Viktor Yanukovych with a high level EU delegation. In a bitter irony, these targeted killings were used as a pretext to topple the government and issue an arrest warrant directed against president Yanukovych .

Who was behind these targeted sniper killings of innocent civilians? What was the underlying purpose? The Daily Telegraph reported that on the 20th of February:

at least 21 protesters were killed in the space of a few hours”…”… ten corpses were laid out on the pavement beneath the awning of a cafe on the northern edge of Independence Square, where thousands of demonstrators are still camped. At least three of the bodies displayed single bullet wounds to the heads.

The report suggests that the deaths were the result of a precise targeted killing operation pointing to the work of professional snipers:

One demonstrator, who gave his name as Andreiy, carried in one body on a green military stretcher. “He died between 90 minutes and two hours ago,” he told a Telegraph reporter. “These are all live rounds. You can see what they do. He and all the others were shot in the head, the neck or the heart. None were shot anywhere else like in the legs.” (Telegraph)

There were reports of snipers on rooftops using automatic weapons, but the identity of the snipers remains unknown. Invariably the Western media would refer, without evidence, to “government snipers”. Russia Today, however, confirmed the presence of both police and Neo-Nazi Svoboda gunmen in possession of automatic weapons.

The Western media, in chorus, without firm evidence and often contradicting their own reports, casually placed the blame on the Yanukovych government:

Protesters advanced on police lines in the heart of the Ukrainian capital Thursday, prompting government snipers to shoot back and kill scores of people in the country’s deadliest day since the breakup of the Soviet Union a quarter-century ago. (National Post, Feb 20, 2014)

Moreover, most of the Western media reports failed to acknowledge the role of armed Neo-Nazi gunmen and thugs who had integrated the protest movement and who were involved in systematically inciting violence.

We are dealing with a diabolical agenda: the deaths of protesters in Maidan square triggered by Neo-Nazi elements have been used to break the legitimacy of a duly elected government.

It was not in the interest of Yanukovych to order the targeted killings of civilians by roof-top snipers.

Underlying US foreign policy and CIA intelligence ops, civilian deaths are often triggered deliberately with a view to accusing the enemy and demonizing a foreign head of State or head of government

The Maidan sniper killings are, in this regard reminiscent of what occurred in Syria in mid-March 2011 at the very outset of the insurgency: civilians were killed by rooftop snipers in the border city of Daraa. The resulting casualties –without further investigation– were blamed on the government of Bashar al Assad. It was subsequently confirmed by Israeli and Lebanese press reports, that the  snipers were hired mercenaries.

The concept of killing civilians and placing the blame on the enemy goes back to Operation Northwoods (1962), a secret plan of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff titled “Justification for U.S. Military Intervention in Cuba”. ”The Top Secret memorandum (declassified) described U.S. plans to covertly engineer various pretexts that would justify a U.S. invasion of Cuba, including the assassination of Cubans living in the United States.

Neo-Nazi thugs at the forefront of Ukrainian protests

Neo-Nazi Militia in Ukraine

The Anti-Terrorist Operation

In mid-January the parliament adopted legislation with a view to curbing the protest movement.  The law also procedures pertaining to the registration of foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the categorization of  NGOs “financed from abroad” and involved in political activity in Ukraine as “foreign agents” (Reuters, January 16, 2014)

But the law, which ran to more than 100 pages, appeared directed mainly at preparing the ground for action to end the street protests that have been taking place in the capital Kiev and some other cities since November.

On the 19th of February, following the several days of violence, the government instigated an Anti-terrorist Operation.

Alexander Yakimenko, head of Ukraine’s security agency intimated that the riots were being led by radical Neo-Nazi groups involved in “seizing buildings of local authorities, Interior Ministry, Security Service, prosecutor’s offices, military units, ammunition depots. Courthouses are being burnt, vandals are destroying private homes, killing civilians. Only during the last day 1,500 firearms and 100,000 cartridges have been taken by criminals. website of the SBU

“What is happening today is a conscious use of violence by way of arson, murder, hostage-taking and intimidation … for the sake of pursuing criminal goals… All of that with the use of firearms. These are not just signs of terrorism but concrete terrorist acts.  By their actions, radical and extremist groups bear a real threat to lives of millions of Ukrainians,”,” Alexander Yakimenko, , Ukraine’s security agency chief (SBU), website of the SBU, also quoted in the Los Angeles Times, February 19, 2014),

Armed rioter on the streets of Kiev on February 18.(Screenshot from YouTube video uploaded by Ukraine's Interior Ministry)

Armed rioter on the streets of Kiev on February 18.(Screenshot from YouTube video uploaded by Ukraine’s Interior Ministry, courtesy RT)

Coincidentally, President Yanukovych had announced a “truce” and the holding of consultations with leaders of the opposition.

Upon the launching of the anti-terrorist operation on February 19,  police forces became actively involved in clearing out the Maidan and dismantling the barricades, leading to a confrontation between police forces and protesters.

While live ammunition was used by police against Neo-Nazi gunmen, the Western media acknowledges that the riot police used rubber bullets in its confrontation with rioters in Maidan square.

The Daily Telegraph accuses the government of being behind the sniper attacks, while also confirming in the same report that the riot police on the Maidan was using rubber bullets and water cannons with a view to dismantling the barricades:

Police responded by attacking the protest camp. Armed with water cannons, stun grenades and rubber bullets, police dismantled some barricades. But the protesters held their ground through the night, encircling the protest camp with new burning barricades of tires, furniture and debris.

On February 21, the Verkhovna Rada adopted a resolution banning the Security Council’s anti terrorist operation.

Reuters / Gleb Garanich

The Capture and Killing of Police Forces

Recorded casualties among policemen were high indicating that the rioters were in possession of fire arms. On February 19, Itar Tass quoting official sources confirmed that “Nine Ukrainian law enforcers died of gunshot wounds. 371 policemen turned for medical aid in departmental medical institutions, 349 of them were taken to hospital.”

The National Post  (February 20, 2014) confirms that “Ukraine protesters capture[d] 67 police as brief truce comes to a bloody end with at least 70 killed in latest clashes“.

What the report fails to mention is that the capture of riot police was not carried out by bona fide protesters, it was the coordinated by armed Neo-Nazi brown shirts.

The report quoting the Ministry of Health acknowledged that  “clashes between anti-government protesters and riot police in the capital Kiev left [Feb 20] at least 45 people dead, including three policemen” [in one day].

“three policemen were killed Thursday [Feb 20] and 28 suffered gunshot wounds, Interior Ministry spokesman Serhiy Burlakov told the AP”

The Ministry of Health subsequently confirmed that police deaths were in excess of ten with large numbers of wounded. EuroNews quoting official government sources said that police were also being targeted by unidentified snipers.

The police casualties signify that the “protesters” were in possession of fire arms and were targeting police. Moreover, the Telegraph also acknowledges that the protesters were involved in acts of arson and terrorism:

The latest bout of street violence began on Tuesday when protesters attacked police lines and set fires outside parliament, accusing Mr Yanukovych of ignoring their demands to enact constitutional reforms that would limit the president’s power – a key opposition demand. Parliament, dominated by his supporters, was stalling on taking up a constitutional reform to limit presidential powers.

Demonstrators, meanwhile, forced their way into the main post office on Kiev’s Independence Square, also known as the Maidan, after a nearby building they had previously occupied was burned down in fierce, fiery clashes late Tuesday with riot police. Thousands of activists armed with fire bombs and rocks had defended the square, a key symbol of the protests.

While the role of the Neo-Nazi party is not explicitly mentioned, the report tacitly acknowledges that “the more radical elements” were involved in acts of violence:

The ongoing violence on the square on Thursday indicates that more radical elements among the protesters may be unwilling to observe the truce and may not be mollified by the prospects of negotiations. Although the initial weeks of protests were determinedly peaceful, radicals helped drive an outburst of clashes with police in January in which at least three people died, and the day of violence on Tuesday may have radicalised many more

According to the Guardian,  armed gunmen belonging to the Svoboda party “prowled the upper floors of the hotel [Ukraina] with pistols, saying they were looking for police snipers.”

“Rioting youths set cars and lorries on fire and as the fires died down, they hacked the vehicles and hauled away the parts to erect new street barricades.”

Dmitry Yarosh (center), leader of the Maidan Brown Shirts, on an international wanted list and charged with inciting terrorism.

Under the new government, Yarosh is leader of the Neo-Nazi Right Sector delegation to the Ukraine Parliament. His close friend and political partner Andriy Parubiy co-founder of the Neo-Nazi  Social-National Party of Ukraine (subsequently renamed Svoboda) was appointed by the new government to the position of Secretary of the National Security and National Defense Committee (RNBOU), a key position which overseas the Ministry of Defense, the Armed Forces, Law Enforcement, National Security and Intelligence. Right Sektor leaders Yarosh was appointed to the number 2 position at RNBOU.  Have the Neo-Nazis cornered Ukraine’s National Security agenda?.

Welcome to “The New Normal”

In the following video filmed in the Ukrainian Parliament and posted in late December 2013, we can clearly see on the pillars two flags which are listed in the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) “Visual Database of Extremist Symbols, Logos and Tattoos”: the White power flag and the Confederate flag.

The Celtic Cross is categorized by the ADL as a “General Racist Symbol” representing “International white pride” and used by Neo-Nazis and White supremacists.  (Click on image to enlarge.)

The Confederate flag is also described as a “General Racist Symbol” representing “White pride” and used by White supremacist. (Click on image to enlarge.)

The flags from France, the United Kingdom, Canada, as well as the one from the Ukrainian ultra-nationalist Svoboda party hang beside those two White supremacist flags. This “hate on display”, as the ADL puts it, adds on to other evidence of the neo-Nazi elements in the Ukrainian political factions which ousted elected President Yanukovych. The western mainstream media can no longer casually dismiss this as Russian propaganda.

From left to right: Confederate flag, White power flag and Svoboda party flag.

Max Blumenthal, as well as many other authors,  described the fascist essence of the political groups involved in the overthrow of the elected government in Ukraine:

One of the “Big Three” political parties behind the protests is the ultra-nationalist Svoboda, whose leader, Oleh Tyahnybok, has called for the liberation of his country from the “Muscovite-Jewish mafia.” After the 2010 conviction of the Nazi death camp guard John Demjanjuk for his supporting role in the death of nearly 30,000 people at the Sobibor camp, Tyahnybok rushed to Germany to declare him a hero who was “fighting for truth.” In the Ukrainian parliament, where Svoboda holds an unprecedented 37 seats, Tyahnybok’s deputy Yuriy Mykhalchyshyn is fond of quoting Joseph Goebbels – he has even founded a think tank originally called “the Joseph Goebbels Political Research Center.” According to Per Anders Rudling, a leading academic expert on European neo-fascism, the self-described “socialist nationalist” Mykhalchyshyn is the main link between Svoboda’s official wing and neo-Nazi militias like Right Sector. (Max Blumenthal, Is the US backing Neo-Nazis in Ukraine?, Alternet, February 25, 2014)

Numerous reports have exposed the links between the U.S. government and Svoboda, and several pictures show U.S. and European authorities with the controversial Svoboda leader Oleh Tyahnybok.

U.S. Assistant secretary of State Victoria Nuland with Oleh Tyahnybok (left)

U.S. Senator John McCain with Oleh Tyahnybok (right).

 

High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy for the European Union Catherine Ashton and  Oleh Tyahnybok (left).

European Union Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele (center) and  Oleh Tyahnybok (right).

The ADL, which has expressed its concern about the Svoboda party,  has yet to condemn U.S. and European support for it. In a statement published February 28, ADL’s National Director Abraham H. Foxman writes:

The Ukrainian Jewish community is nervous. The ultra-nationalist Svoboda party, with its history of anti-Semitism and platform of ethnic nationalism, won more than 10 percent of the vote in October 2012, shared the political leadership of the Maidan revolution over the past months, and just this week received three ministries in the new Ukrainian government.

While Svoboda’s leaders have refrained recently from making anti-Semitic statements, it is troubling that Oleksandr Sych, Svoboda’s chief ideologue, was named vice prime minister. Sych’s speeches over the years have focused on promoting Ukrainian nationalism, which he says is exemplified by Stepan Bandera, a leader of the Ukrainian nationalist movement of the 1930s and 1940s. Bandera was at times aligned with the Nazis during World War II and was complicit in mass killings of Jews and Poles by Ukrainian partisans…

Dmitro Yarosh, leader of Right Sector, met with Israel’s ambassador to Ukraine, Reuven Din El, and told him that their movement rejects anti-Semitism and xenophobia and will not tolerate it.

Ukrainian Jewish journalist Eleonora Groisman interviewed Sergei Mischenko, the leader of “Spilna Sprava,” and told him that Ukraine’s Jews were worried about the nationalists. Mischenko responded that Jews will not have any problems and shouldn’t worry. He went on to say, “On the Maidan there were Jews with us who served in the Israeli Defense Forces. We got along excellently and fought shoulder to shoulder...”

Will Svoboda accept Jews as full-fledged Ukrainians and follow the welcome assurances of the armed nationalists? Or will the promises of Right Sector and Spilna Sprava be overtaken by the ethnic nationalism of Svoboda? (Abraham H. Foxman, In Ukraine, New Government Must Reassure Jewish Community, The Huffington Post, February 28, 2014)

The ADL doesn’t address the fact that former Israeli soldiers fought alongside with known neo-Nazi militants who now claim to reject antisemitism. This sends the paradoxical message that neo-Nazism is somehow acceptable. It is worth noting that the US media as well as the ADL refrain from using the terms “neo-Nazi” , neo-fascist and “extremist”. Instead of condemning this abnormal alliance, the ADL sees a glimmer of hope in the “promises of Right Sector and Spilna Sprava”, groups which the Israeli media itself qualified as “fascist and neo-Nazi”.

Along with similar fascist and neo-Nazi groups such as Spilna Sprava (Common Cause) and Afgantsy (a coalition of veterans from the Soviet war in Afghanistan), Pravy Sektor has played a key role both in seizing government buildings and providing security for the sprawling protest camps against riot police.  (Ari Soffer, Ukraine: Neo-Nazi Militia Leader Threatens ‘Civil War’, Arutz Sheva, February 5, 2014)

Israel’s Haaretz also reported that members of Svoboda and Pravy Sektor, were “flying flags with neo-Nazi symbols” and were “distributing freshly translated editions of Mein Kampf and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion in Independence Square.” (Anshel Pfeffer, The new dilemma for Jews in Ukraine, February 25, 2014)

The Anti-Defamation League should not only firmly condemn the presence of all the fascist and neo-Nazi groups in the post-coup Ukrainian government, but also denounce the countries which support them morally and/or financially, like the U.S., Canada, and member countries of the European Union.

nuland in ukraine

In sharp contrast with today, Hillary Clinton was heavily criticized by Jewish groups in 2012 for “indirectly legitimizing (the) Ukrainian opposition party that entered into a parliamentary alliance with (a) neo-Nazi party”:

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has criticized the Ukrainian Opposition Party of Yulia Tymoshenko for having signed a parliamentary alliance that gave legitimacy to a far-right extremist party well known for its anti-Semitic views.

ADL National Director, Abraham Foxman issued a statement in which he expressed “alarm” at the strong electoral support for the neo-Nazi Svoboda (Freedom) party of Ukraine at last Sunday’s parliamentary elections.

“Anti-Semitic rhetoric has been a mainstay of Svoboda’s leaders and campaign slogans,” Foxman said…

U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has also come under fire from Jewish groups for having penned an op-ed published in The New York Times last week for praising Tymoahenko, leader of the opposition Batkivshchina (Fatherland) party…

Israeli foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, also denounced the agreement, alluding to the deaths of millions of Jews on Ukrainian soil during the Holocaust. (Rachel Hirshfeld, Clinton Indirectly Legitimizing Ukrainian Neo-Nazi Party?, Arutz Sheva, June 11, 2012.)

Today, former Israeli soldiers are fighting with Svoboda allies, the ADL is not “alarmed” and Avigdor Lieberman has not condemned this unholy alliance. ADL’s Abraham Foxman now hopes Prime Minister Yatsenyuk will “set an admirable example” by ensuring anti-semitism is not tolerated:

Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, together with UDAR leader Vitaliy Klichko, brought Svoboda into the opposition coalition in 2012. Now, having brought Svoboda into the government, it is up to Prime Minister Yatsenyuk to ensure that anti-Semitism is not tolerated and that democratic norms are adhered to. By sending that message to the people of Ukraine now, the prime minister will reassure the Jewish community and set an admirable example. (Foxman, op., cit).

What kind of example are we talking about exactly? Alliance with neo-Nazi groups is ok as long as they’re not anti-Semitic?

The presence of former Israeli soldiers in the Maidan protests along with neo-Nazi militias and the attitude of the ADL and Israeli officials in this matter raise questions about what the Zionist lobby and Israel might possibly gain from the coup which put in power, among others, Igor Kolomoysky, a Ukrainian-Israeli who was appointed governor of Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine’s vital business and political center.

The newly-appointed Dnepropetrovsk governor is Igor Kolomoysky, Ukraine’s third-wealthiest man, with an estimated fortune of $2.4 billion. He co-owns the informal commercial group Privat, which includes Ukraine’s largest bank Privatbank, which Kolomoysky heads, as well as assets in the oil, ferroalloys and food industries, agriculture and transport.

A former ally of Yulia Tymoshenko, Kolomoysky reportedly had a falling out with her and refused to finance her election campaign in 2010, which the ex-prime minister subsequently lost to Yanukovich. Kolomoysky was reported to be a principal sponsor of the UDAR party, which is one of the three fueling the street campaign to oust Yanukovich. Kolomoysky has a dual Ukrainian-Israeli citizenship and controls his business empire from Switzerland. (Rule by oligarchs: Kiev appoints billionaires to govern east, RT, March 3, 2014)

Kolomoysky also owns the Jewish-interest news channel Jewish News One and heads the European Council of Jewish Communities which describes itself as the “the pan-European umbrella body for Jewish communities and organizations across the continent, representing Jewish community life across West, Central and Eastern Europe covering around 40 countries.”

There is hardly any mention of the presence of neo-Nazi personalities in the new government on Jewish News One.

It is also interesting to note that in a country struggling with an important national debt, Mr. Kolomoysky’s PrivatBank was the Ukrainian champion of offshoring in 2012. Economic Pravda reported in July 2012:

“Ukraine which is struggling from poverty of the majority of its population is able to make banking transfers to Cyprus and British Virgin Islands of billions of US dollars in two month period. The question is who does those transfers and what are the destinations?…

The first place is taken by the biggest Ukrainian bank- PrivatBank. The result of the entity which is owned by Ihor Kolomoiskiy and Hennadiy Boholoubov is almost fantastic.

For the first two month of 2012 the PrivatBank has transferred to the offshores 3 billion 863 million US dollars.” (Treasure Islands, Economic Pravda, July 13,2012)

After calling for attacks on Russia, the Right Sektor leader Dmitry Yarosh, seen by the ADL as reassuring, is now on an  international wanted list for inciting terrorism. RT reported March 5, 2013:

Earlier, on Sunday Yarosh called on Russia’s most wanted terrorist, Doku Umarov, to act against Russia in an address posted on the Right Sector’s page in the Russian VKontakte social network.

The statement said that “many Ukrainians with arms in their hands” supported Chechen militants in their fight against Russians and “it is time to support Ukraine now.” The message, signed “leader of Right Sector Dmitry Yarosh” called on Umarov “to activate his fight” and “take a unique opportunity to win” over Russia. (Russia puts Ukraine far-right leader on international wanted list over calls for terrorism, March 5, 2013)

Will the ADL review its position and condemn all neo-Nazi, fascist and extremist groups, as well as their supporters?

The United States is more than just an ally to fascists in Ukraine and everywhere else; the American South provided an historical model for fascism. “The fascist order of the pre-Sixties Solid South was simply a domestic expression of U.S. Manifest Destiny – the national religion.” The fascists – both local and imperial – have laid siege to Russia.

Americans sound like southern white fascists, with their reflexive assumptions of supremacy, global privilege, and ordained national mission.”

Hillary Clinton is a walking profanity – and, thereby, a prime candidate to be the next president of the United States. The fiend who played Julius Caesar when U.S.-employed jihadists butchered Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi (“We came, we saw, he died”) now likens Russia’s response to the U.S.-backed fascist putsch in the Ukraine to Hitler’s quest for a Greater Germany. It is like spitting on the graves of the 25 million Russians and other Soviet nationalities slaughtered in Hitler’s racist jihad – the people who actually defeated the Nazis while the U.S. and Britain loitered off Europe’s shores. At war’s end, the United States imported thousands of Nazis to construct the nuclear/chemical/biological military juggernaut that would usher in an “American Century” – while confiscating Paul Robeson and W.E.B. Dubois’ passports.

Thanks to the Americans, West German denazification never happened but, by the mid-Seventies, Washington had implanted fascist military regimes throughout Latin America – one of which exterminated 200,000 Guatemalan Mayas.

When John Kerry praises the “brave Ukrainians” that “took to the streets to stand against tyranny and demand democracy,” he makes common cause with the direct political heirs of the Ukrainian Waffen SS units and concentration camp guards that eagerly joined Hitler’s genocidal rampage in the mid-20thcentury. The Ukrainian fascists, who command 40 percent of the electorate in some western regions of the country, return the compliment, hoisting the Confederate flag in Kiev’s city hall. They see, correctly, that the epicenter of their ideology is not Berlin, but Washington.

“Ethnic purity was the organizing principle of one-party Democratic rule in Dixie from the mid-1870s to the mid-1960s.”

The trans-Atlantic affinity is more fundamental and deep-rooted than the $5 billion that Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland brags the U.S. has invested in developing “democratic institutions” in Ukraine – resulting in the overthrow of the elected government and its replacement by ethnic-based mob rule. This is the model that held sway in the southern United States for nearly a century, following the death of Reconstruction. Ethnic purity was the organizing principle of one-party Democratic rule in Dixie from the mid-1870s to the mid-1960s. Race and Nation were One, ordained by God, Science and History, obligating every white man to break and burn the bodies of all Negroes, mongrels and race-mixing whites that might challenge the political order. Mob rule – lynch law – buttressed the political and economic supremacy of the most exploitative sectors of industry and agribusiness. The American “Solid South” not only fits the “classic” definition of fascism, it provided a template for future fascists. The apartheid order in Dixie predates the establishment of fascist regimes in Europe and, in terms of its racial component, has more in common with the Nazi strain than Mussolini’s Italy.

The ideological unity of the White South empowered Democrat/Fascists to exercise outsized influence over the national government. The Dixie-born Ku Klux Klan became a national phenomenon, and the emerging U.S. empire swaggered about the globe with a decidedly southern accent. Pre-Civil War white southern dreams of building a slave empire throughout the Americas meshed nicely with Teddy Roosevelt’s imperial ambitions. Shortly after the turn of the 20th century, Roosevelt violated all the rules of naval warfare in favor of racial pageantry, painting U.S. naval vessels white for a world tour of “The Great White Fleet.” Both Europe and the non-white world understood his meaning.

“The American ‘Solid South’ not only fits the ‘classic’ definition of fascism, it provided a template for future fascists.”

When the Black Freedom Movement forced a split in the national Democratic Party, in the early Sixities, southern whites bolted to the Republicans, transforming the Party of Lincoln into the national White Man’s Party. With Dixie the bedrock of Republican electoral college strength, the coded language of race came to dominate general U.S. political discourse. In a very real sense, Americanssound like southern white fascists, with their reflexive assumptions of supremacy, global privilege, and ordained national mission – including lots of Black Americans. After all, the fascist order of the pre-Sixties Solid South was simply a domestic expression of U.S. Manifest Destiny – the national religion.

Fascists all over the world – not just Ukraine – know they have tens of millions of soul mates in the United States, including the leadership of both major parties. That’s why they flashed the white supremacist gang-sign from Kiev. In turn, the American political class and corporate media prove they are also fascists, by pretending that their Ukrainian allies are democrats.

With the U.S. and NATO now poised at Russia’s door, as was Germany in 1941, Hillary Clinton attempts to flip the clear historical parallel by ranting that it is President Putin who seeks a “Greater Russia.” The Kremlin has every reason to believe the barbarians are at the gate.

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

Government Has Been Covering up Meltdowns of Nuclear Power Plants for 55 Years

The entire idea of safe nuclear energy has arguably been a cover for nuclear weapons production … at the expense of our health and the environment.

Moreover, governments have been covering up meltdowns for more than 50 years.

Santa Susana

As a History Chanel special notes, a nuclear meltdown occurred at the world’s first commercial reactor only 30 miles from downtown Los Angeles, and only 7 miles from the community of Canoga Park and the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles.

Specifically, in 1959, there was a meltdown of one-third of the nuclear reactors at the Santa Susana field laboratory operated by Rocketdyne, releasing – according to some scientists’ estimates – 240 times as much radiation as Three Mile Island.

But the Atomic Energy Commission lied and said only there was only 1 partially damaged rod, and no real problems. In fact, the AEC kept the meltdown a state secret for 20 years.

There were other major accidents at that reactor facility, which the AEC and Nuclear Regulatory Commission covered up as well. See this.

Kyshtm

Two years earlier, a Russian government reactor at Kyshtm melted down in an accident which some claim was even worse than Chernobyl.

The Soviet government hid the accident, pretending that it was creating a new “nature reserve” to keep people out of the huge swath of contaminated land.

Journalist Anna Gyorgy alleges that the results of a freedom of information act request show that the CIA knew about the accident at the time, but kept it secret to prevent adverse consequences for the fledgling American nuclear industry.

1980s Studies and Hearings

In 1982, the House Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs received a secret report received from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission called “Calculation of Reactor Accident Consequences 2″.

In that report and other reports by the NRC in the 1980s, it was estimated that there was a 50% chance of a nuclear meltdown within the next 20 years which would be so large that it would contaminate an area the size of the State of Pennsylvania, which would result in huge numbers of a fatalities, and which would cause damage in the hundreds of billions of dollars (in 1980s dollars).

Those reports were kept secret for decades.

Other Evidence

Well-known writer Alvin Toffler pointed out in Powershift (page 156):

At least thirty times between 1957 and 1985—more than once a year—the Savannah River nuclear weapons plant near Aiken, South Carolina, experienced what a scientist subsequently termed “reactor incidents of greatest significance.” These included widespread leakage of radioactivity and a meltdown of nuclear fuel. But not one of these was reported to local residents or to the public generally. Nor was action taken when the scientist submitted an internal memorandum about these “incidents.” The story did not come to light until exposed in a Congressional hearing in 1988. The plant was operated by E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Company for the U.S. government, and Du Pont was accused of covering up the facts. The company immediately issued a denial, pointing out that it had routinely reported the accidents to the Department of Energy.

At this point, the DoE, as it is known, accepted the blame for keeping the news secret.

And former soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev said on camera for a Discovery Network special (the must-watch “The Battle of Chernobyl“) that the Soviets and Americans have each hidden a number of nuclear accidents from the public:

 Government Has Been Covering up Radiation Danger for 69 Years

The U.S. tried to cover up the destructive nature of radiation produced by nuclear weapons 71 years ago. As Democracy Now reports:

The army was well aware in 1943 of the enormous potential for radiation dangers to civilians and military personnel as a result of the use of radioactive weapons ….

[The New York Times] was essentially putting out the official government narrative [regarding the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki], which is that atomic radiation is not harmful, is not a major byproduct of the nuclear weapons program. You know, it’s only the blast that has essentially a very short impact. The reason that this has importance is that for really a half century, this narrative became the government’s response to all protests against nuclear power, the nuclear weapons programs of the 1950s and 1960s and the Cold War. So, [The New York Times] essentially set the table that the government was to occupy for the next half century as they disputed any attempt to rein in, you know, the rapid acceleration of nuclear weapons and power programs.

Above-ground nuclear tests – which caused numerous cancers to the “downwinders” – were covered up by the American, French and other governments for decades. See this, this, this, this, this and this.

Beverly Deepe Keever notes:

Sixty years ago on March 1, 1954, in the heart of the Pacific Ocean, the United States detonated the most powerful nuclear weapon in its history…. The 15-megaton hydrogen bomb was 1,000 times more powerful than the atomic bomb that devastated Hiroshima …. Unlike Hiroshima’s A-bomb, Bravo was laced with plutonium …. And, unlike the atomic airburst above Hiroshima, Bravo was a shallow-water ground burst. It vaporized three of the 23 islands of tiny Bikini Atoll, 2,600 miles southwest of Hawaii, and created a crater that is visible from space.

***

Wafting eastward, the cloud powdered 236 islanders on Rongelap and Utrik atolls and 28 U.S. servicemen. The islanders played with, drank and ate the snowflake-like particles for days and began suffering nausea, hair loss, diarrhea and skin lesions when they were finally evacuated to a U.S. military clinic.

***

Within days after the Bravo explosion, the U.S. cover-up had secretly taken a more menacing turn. In an injustice exposing disregard for human health, the Bravo-exposed islanders were swept into a top-secret project in which they were used as human subjects to research the effects of radioactive fallout.

A week after Bravo, on March 8, at the Navy clinic on Kwajalein, E.P. Cronkite, one of the U.S. medical personnel dispatched there shortly after the islanders’ arrival, was handed a “letter of instruction” establishing “Project 4.1.” It was titled the “Study of Response of Human Beings Exposed to Significant Beta and Gamma Radiation Due to Fallout from High Yield Weapons.”

To avoid negative publicity, the document had been classified as “Secret Restricted Data” until 1994, four years after the end of U.S. responsibilities for its trusteeship at the U.N. and when the Clinton Administration began an open-government initiative.

It would be 40 years before islanders learned the true nature of Project 4.1. Documents declassified since 1994 show that four months before the Bravo shot, on Nov. 10, 1953, U.S. officials had listed Project 4.1 to research the effects of fallout radiation on human beings as among 48 experiments to be conducted during the test, thus seeming to indicate that using islanders as guinea pigs was premeditated.

However, an advisory commission appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1994 indicated “there was insufficient evidence to demonstrate intentional human testing on Marshallese.”

For this human-subject research, the islanders had neither been asked nor gave their informed consent — which was established as an essential international standard when the Nuremberg code was written following the war crimes convictions of German medical officers.

Under Project 4.1, the exposed Rongelapese were studied yearly and so were the Utrik Islanders after thyroid nodules began appearing on them in 1963. The islanders began complaining they were being treated like guinea pigs in a laboratory experiment rather than sick humans deserving treatment.

A doctor who evaluated them annually came close to agreeing when he wrote 38 years after Bravo, “In retrospect, it was unfortunate that the AEC [Atomic Energy Commission], because it was a research organization, did not include support of basic health care of populations under study.”

During this time, Bravo-dusted islanders developed one of the world’s highest rates of thyroid abnormalities; one third of the Rongelapese developed abnormalities in the thyroid, which controls physical and mental growth, and thus resulted in some cases of mental retardation, lack of vigor and stunted development. Islanders complained of stillborn births, cancers and genetic damage.

Seven weeks after Bravo, on April 21, Cronkite recommended to military officials that exposed Marshallese generally “should be exposed to no further radiation” for at least 12 years and probably for the rest of their natural lives.

Yet, three years later, U.S. officials returned the Rongelapese to their radioactive homeland after they had spent three months at the Kwajalein military facility and at Ejit Island. Besides being Bravo-dusted, their homeland by 1957 had accumulated radioactivity from some of the 34 prior nuclear explosions in the Marshall Islands. Utrik Islanders were returned home by the U.S. shortly after their medical stay on Kwajalein.

For 28 years the Rongelapese lived in their radioactive homeland until 1985. Unable to get answers to their questions, they discounted U.S. assurances that their island was safe.

Failing to provide the Rongelapese “information on their total radiation condition, information that is available, amounts to a coverup,” according to a memo dated July 22, 1985, written by Tommy McCraw of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Safety.

 Cover Up Continues to This Day

Nothing has changed. Governments worldwide continue to this day to cover up the risk of a nuclear accident, and the amount – and health effects – of radiation released by military and energy facilities. And see this, this, and this.

The U.S. Department of Defense released the 2014 version of its Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) yesterday, declaring the threat of climate change impacts a very serious national security vulnerability that, among other things, could enable further terrorist activity. 

Released every four years, the QDR is a broad outline of U.S. military strategy discussing how to maintain global U.S. military hegemony. Like the 2010 document, the 64-page 2014 QDR again highlights the threats posed to national security by ever-worsening global climate disruption.

“The impacts of climate change may increase the frequency, scale, and complexity of future missions, including defense support to civil authorities, while at the same time undermining the capacity of our domestic installations to support training activities,” the report details.

“Climate change poses another significant challenge for the United States and the world at large. As greenhouse gas emissions increase, sea levels are rising, average global temperatures are increasing, and severe weather patterns are accelerating.”For sake of context, some members of the U.S. Congress still deny the existence of climate change, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. But the Pentagon’s assessment is that global warming is not only real, but also a civilizational threat, as stated in sobering language in the past three QDRs.

As outlined in Christian Parenti‘s 2011 book, “Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence,” the military establishment understands climate change is an unparalleled global threat, saying so clearly in reports like the QDR. The problem: its activities around the world are in large part responsible for the threat to begin with.

“Theat Multipliers…Can Enable Terrorist Activity”

Although climate change doesn’t have its own robust section as it did in the 2010 QDR, in each of the eight times it’s mentioned this time around, the QDR draws similar conclusions.

Climate change has the ability to “devastate homes, land, and infrastructure” and “may exacerbate water scarcity and lead to sharp increases in food costs.”

Further, the QDR says the desperation that many people, particularly in poorer regions, will face due to climate change impacts could lead to “resource competition” and even “terrorist activity.”

“The pressures caused by climate change will influence resource competition while placing additional burdens on economies, societies, and governance institutions around the world,” explains the report.

“These effects are threat multipliers that will aggravate stressors abroad such as poverty, environmental degradation, political instability, and social tensions – conditions that can enable terrorist activity and other forms of violence.”

Spending the bulk of QDR ink perscribing the damages climate change will wreak on a global scale, the report also points to a few suggestions of how to tackle the crisis. Sort of.

“Creative Ways to Address…Climate Change”

According to the Pentagon, it’s not all doom and gloom going forward.

“[T]he department will employ creative ways to address the impact of climate change, which will continue to affect the operating environment and the roles and missions that U.S. Armed Forces undertake,” says the QDR. “The Department will remain ready to operate in a changing environment amid the challenges of climate change and environmental damage.”

What the Department of Defense plans to do to tackle the crisis, though, is explained only in the vaguest of terms.

“We have increased our preparedness for the consequences of environmental damage and continue to seek to mitigate these risks while taking advantage of opportunities,” says the report.

The QDR then explains a couple more specific examples of its plans for the future.

The QDR explains, “The Department’s operational readiness hinges on unimpeded access to land, air, and sea training and test space…[and] [w]e are developing new policies, strategies, and plans, including the Department’s Arctic Strategy.”

Making Bad Problem Worse

Unfortunately, the Pentagon’s Arctic Strategy — published in November 2013 as a follow up to President Obama’s National Strategy for the Arctic Region published last May — would only make a bad problem worse.

ClimateProgress Co-Editor Ryan Koronowski unpacked this in a November 2013 article:

The Arctic Strategy’s approach follows on the National Strategy for the Arctic Region, released in May, which focused — perhaps a little too much — on how a warming Arctic would allow the U.S. to access currently-inaccessible fossil fuels…Indeed, the main reason why the Arctic is warming enough to create such “historic opportunities” is the burning of fossil fuels that drives climate change.

As we’ve pointed out here on DeSmogBlog before, the Pentagon is an enormous consumer of fossil fuels.

As TomDispatch Associate Editor Nick Turse has explained (emphases mine), “In 2009, according to the Pentagon’s Defense Energy Support Center (DESC), the military spent $3.8 billion for 31.3 million barrels — around 1.3 billion gallons — of oil consumed at posts, camps, and bases overseas.”

With special operations forces stationed in over 100 countries around the world, one thing’s for certain: the environmental costs of militarism are huge.

But until the Pentagon’s call for “unimpeded access to land, air, and sea training and test space” ends, we can continue to expect QDRs every four years drawing increasingly horrific conclusions.

Photo Credit: U.S. Department of Defense

A politically sinister propaganda offensive is underway in the media to either deny the involvement of fascists in the US-backed coup in Ukraine or present their role as a marginal and insignificant detail.

The New York Times, for example, asserted, “Putin’s claim of an immediate threat to Ukrainian Russians is empty,” while Britain’s Guardian dismissed as a “fancy” claims that events in Crimea were an attempt to “prevent attacks by bands of revolutionary fascists,” adding that “the world’s media has [not] yet seen or heard from” such forces.

This is an obscene cover-up.

The reality is that, for the first time since 1945, an avowedly anti-Semitic, pro-Nazi party controls key levers of state power in a European capital, courtesy of US and European imperialism. The unelected Ukrainian government, headed by US appointee Arseniy Yatsenyuk, includes no fewer than six ministers from the fascist Svoboda party.

Less than a year ago, the World Jewish Congress called for Svoboda to be banned. But the party’s founder and leader, Oleh Tyahnybok, who has spoken repeatedly of his determination to crush the “Russkie-Yid mafia that controls Ukraine,” was feted by US and European Union officials as they prepared last month’s coup.

Following the 2010 conviction of John Demjanjuk as an accomplice in the murder of nearly 30,000 people in the Nazi concentration camp at Sobibor, Tyahnybok called him a hero. Tyahnybok’s deputy, Yuriy Mykhalchyshyn, founded a think tank called the Joseph Goebbels Political Research Center.

Svoboda was the major political force in the Maidan protests that overthrew Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych. In return for providing the shock troops for the coup, it has been given control of vital ministries.

Svoboda co-founder Andriy Parubiy acted as “security commandant” in the protests, directing attacks by the Right Sector—an alliance of fascists and extreme right-wing nationalists, including the paramilitary Ukrainian National Assembly-Ukrainian National Self Defense (UNA-UNSO). Dressed in uniforms modelled on Hitler’s Waffen SS, its members boast of fighting Russia in Chechnya, Georgia and Afghanistan.

Parubiy is now secretary of the National Security and Defence Council, overseeing the Defence Ministry and the armed forces. Dmytro Yarosh, leader of the Right Sector, is his deputy.

Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Sych is another leading Svoboda figure, as is Oleh Makhnitsky (prosecutor-general), Serhiy Kvit (Education Minstry), Andriy Makhnyk (Ecology Ministry) and Ihor Shvaiko (Agriculture Ministry).

Others reportedly connected to UNA-UNSO are Dmytro Bulatov (youth and sports minister) and the “activist” journalist Tetyana Chernovol, who was named chair of the government’s anti-corruption committee.

The hero of Svoboda and UNA-UNSO is the Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera, leader of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (OUN), which aided the Nazis in horrific massacres of the Jewish population.

In 2010, Svoboda’s official forum posted a statement reading: “To create a truly Ukrainian Ukraine in the cities of the East and South…we will need to cancel parliamentarism, ban all political parties, nationalise the entire industry, all media, prohibit the importation of any literature to Ukraine from Russia…completely replace the leaders of the civil service, education management, military (especially in the East), physically liquidate all Russian-speaking intellectuals and all Ukrainophobes (fast, without a trial shot. Registering Ukrainophobes can be done here by any member of Svoboda), execute all members of the anti-Ukrainian political parties….”

One of the first acts of the new government was to abolish minority rights for Russian-speakers. Moves are also afoot to overturn the law that bans “excusing the crimes of fascism.”

In recent days, representatives of the Right Sector have been busy attacking Jews, Russian Orthodox Christians and legal figures. Two YouTube videos show a Right Sector leader Aleksandr Muzychko—who described his credo as fighting “communists, Jews and Russians for as long as blood flows in my veins”—physically attacking a regional prosecutor in Rovno and forcing Rovno regional parliament members to hold a session at gunpoint after he brandished a Kalashnikov, demanding, “Who wants to take away my machine-gun? Who wants to take away my gun? Who wants to take away my knives? I dare you!”

The US and European bourgeoisie, along with their media lackeys, are well aware of these facts.

Their attempts to portray the extreme right as a marginalised minority that has emerged almost overnight are equally bogus. There are numerous academic documents that detail the role and significance of the extreme right in Ukraine stretching back decades. They also illustrate how, having first reared its head again in the wake of the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the restoration of capitalism, the far right has risen to prominence, its ascendancy prepared ideologically over many years. The rise of the far right accelerated markedly following the Western-orchestrated “Orange Revolution” in 2004.

Per Anders Rudling (Organised Anti-Semitism in Contemporary Ukraine: Structure, Influence and Ideology, 2006), cites the critical role played by the Interregional Academy of Human Resources (MAUP), a private university founded in 1989 that “operates a well-connected political network that reaches the very top of the Ukrainian society.”

In 2008, the US State Department listed MAUP as “one of the most persistent anti-Semitic institutions in Eastern Europe.” Rudling states that MAUP has “educated more government officials, diplomats and administrators than any other university” in Ukraine.

MAUP’s speciality is churning out extreme-right propaganda disguised as academic research portraying Bolshevism and the October revolution as the creations of “international Jewry.” On this basis, it asserts that the crimes of the Stalinist dictatorship against the peoples of the Ukraine were part of the same “Jewish conspiracy.”

In June 2005, participants at the Fourth World Wide Conference organised by MAUP included David Duke, former leader of the Ku Klux Klan, and the extreme nationalist and former Ukrainian ambassador to Canada, Levko Lukianenko.

Lukianenko presented a paper that argued that the 1932-1933 famine, in which millions of Ukrainians died, was the work of a Jewish-run satanic government. Delegates at the conference called for the deportation of all Jews from the Ukraine.

At the time, Lukianenko was allied with the two leading figures in the Orange Revolution, Viktor Yushchenko and Yulia Tymoshenko. The two were backed by Washington and the European powers as part of a campaign to secure the presidency of Ukraine against the pro-Russian incumbent Viktor Yanukovych.

In January 2005, Yushchenko replaced Yanukovich as president. He was at the time on MAUP’s board of directors. Lukianenko was part of Tymoshenko’s electoral bloc. Only weeks before the June 2005 MAUP conference, Yushchenko made Lukianenko a “Hero of the Ukraine.”

At the end of 2005, MAUP held a conference under the title “The Jewish-Bolshevik Revolution of 1917—the Source of the Red Terrorism and the Starvation of Ukraine.” Not for nothing does Rudling note, “In the wake of the Orange Revolution, Ukraine has witnessed a substantial growth in organised anti-Semitism.”

So great was the stench of fascist reaction that, in July of that year, leading Ukrainian academics issued an appeal for the Orange leaders to disassociate themselves from the “xenophobic stance” of MAUP. “We would like to ask high government officials: at whose cost are these large-scale anti-Semitic campaigns being waged?” the appeal asked. “Do we not have a ‘fifth column’ that wishes to bring foreign ethno-political conflicts into our territory?”

The objective of this fifth column was to poison the ideological climate with reaction, as aspiring oligarchs jostled for control of Ukraine’s resources and the imperialist powers pressed forward with their plans to dominate Ukraine in order to isolate and ultimately colonise Russia.

This is the real record of the reactionary forces that the imperialist powers are aiding and abetting in Ukraine, and on whose behalf they are prepared to plunge Europe, and indeed, the entire world, into a Third World War.

US officials signaled a broad military escalation in Eastern Europe yesterday amid the confrontation with Russia over the February 22 fascist-led putsch in Ukraine. US officials announced the deployment of additional military forces in the region as talks between US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Paris ended in a stalemate.

The military moves were a continuation of the provocative stance the US has adopted following Russian moves to secure Crimea in the wake of the anti-Russian coup in Ukraine. The movement of US military forces into the region can only increase the danger of the confrontation precipitated by the US and NATO triggering a military conflict between nuclear powers.

Testifying before Congress yesterday, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the Pentagon will boost joint training of NATO forces in Poland and step up NATO air patrols in the Baltics. He added that he would speak with his Ukrainian counterpart later that day.

US military officials said they were deploying six F-15 fighter jets and KC-135 transport planes. “This action comes at the request of our Baltic allies and further demonstrates our commitment to NATO security,” a defense official said.

Turkish officials confirmed that they had given a US Navy warship permission to pass through the Bosphorus straits into the Black Sea, which borders Ukraine. While Washington reportedly has two aircraft carriers in port in Greece. Turkish officials denied reports that the ship in question was the carrier USS George H.W. Bush, claiming the carrier was too large to pass through the Bosphorus under the terms of the Montreux Convention.

One guided-missile frigate, the USS Taylor, is still in a Black Sea port in Turkey after patrolling the region during the Sochi Olympics. The military escalation came amid the failure of talks on Ukraine in Paris, where the US, Russian, German, British and French foreign ministers met with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov. At the meeting, Kerry pressed Lavrov to establish ties with the new regime in Kiev, calling for “direct talks between Russia and Ukraine,” and for Lavrov to meet with newly-installed Ukrainian Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsia.

Reflecting the complete subordination of the right-wing Ukrainian regime to Washington, Deshchytsia flew to Paris from Kiev in Kerry’s plane.

However, Lavrov left the Quai d’Orsay diplomatic headquarters in Paris without speaking to Deshchytsia, in keeping with Moscow’s refusal to recognize the new government.

Lavrov reportedly proposed to return to the February 21 deal between then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and the Western-backed opposition, which would have left Yanukovych as president while ceding many of his powers to the opposition. This deal was overturned by the fascist-led putsch the next morning.

After the meeting, US officials strongly denied claims by Lavrov that Moscow and the Western powers favored a European Union-brokered peace deal in Ukraine. A top State Department official told Reuters that there were “no agreements” in the Kerry-Lavrov talks and that “there never will be without direct Ukrainian government involvement and absolute buy-in.”

The US escalation underscores that the support for the Independence Square (Maidan) protests by Western politicians and the February 22 coup were not a struggle for democracy, but part of a broad struggle for power and geo-strategic influence in Eurasia. Though Putin was widely seen as having backed down this week, calling off military exercises and declaring that Russia would not attack Ukraine, US imperialism is recklessly stoking up tensions.

Putin’s climb-down after Monday’s 10 percent drop on the Russian stock market and Lavrov’s proposal for power-sharing with the far right highlight the basic weakness of the Kremlin’s position. Representing narrow, corrupt elites tied to right-wing parties within Russia itself and fearful of mass discontent with its reactionary social policies, the Kremlin cannot make any progressive appeal to the working class either of Russia or Ukraine. Its military actions are bound up with the promotion of Russian nationalism, which can only increase the threat of bloody sectarian conflict and war. The Western powers are pressing ahead with further social attacks on the working class in Ukraine. With major banks refusing to lend to Ukraine, the country needs an estimated $35 billion to refinance its debts in the coming years.

The EU promised €1.6 billion ($2.2 billion) in emergency loans to Kiev yesterday, as well as €11 billion in loans over the next seven years. This offer followed an offer of $1 billion in loan guarantees by Kerry when he visited Kiev on Tuesday.

The European Commission stressed that the proposed emergency funding would be available only if Ukraine made a loan agreement with the International Monetary Fund, which will demand deep social cuts in the already impoverished country. Austerity measures being considered include pension cuts and the elimination of subsidies for natural gas, which will drastically increase home heating costs for working class families.

State Duma intends to investigate the case of snipers in Kiev

Russian MPs plan to verify the facts of the telephone conversation between the supreme presidency of the EU for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton and Foreign Minister Urmas Paet , the recording of which appeared on the Internet . MPs preparing an appeal to the EU to establish a commission to investigate the killings on Independence and involvement in the Ukrainian opposition.

 According to the Russian parliament , is essential in the near future with the EU to investigate the history of snipers with Kiev , reports the newspaper “Izvestia” .First deputy chairman of the Duma Committee on International Affairs Leonid Kalashnikov (CPRF) considers that the execution of citizens and police in Kiev could well be a provocation by the insurgency .”

I believe that Russia may soon offer in conjunction with the EU to conduct an objective investigation into the shootings of Kiev , – says Leonid Kalashnikov . – Time is running out , and the more we lose , the more likely that criminals and murderers go from liability. We see that the illegitimate power in Kiev does not express the desire to investigate the case of snipers . They , on the contrary , deliberately stalling that leads to some thoughts . “Member of the State Duma Committee on CIS Affairs , Eurasian integration and relations with compatriots Ilya Drozdov also drew an analogy between the events in Ukraine and Fire in Vilnius in 1991.

“We can , of course, to establish an international commission of inquiry , that she confirmed what already know everything . The European side had prepared these people for an armed rebellion against the legitimate authority , and they all know perfectly well who kept these rifles where these people were prepared. Ukrainian society is also beginning to understand who actually shot their countrymen , “- said the deputy.Recall that before the Internet there was a record breaker , EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton and Foreign Minister Urmas Paet, Estonia , which, as follows from the description, was at the disposal of the Ukrainian Security Service employees .

Both European policy during the conversation to discuss their impressions of the situation in Ukraine . During the conversation, Urmas Paet also mentions that the snipers to shoot people in Kiev , have been associated with the leaders of the Maidan .Speaking Paet said that all the evidence that he had been shown , indicate that the protesters and law enforcement officers were killed the same snipers. Estonian Foreign Ministry later confirmed the authenticity of the record . The European side has refused to comment .

 

Much more discreet and more easily denied than also-denied petrodollar recycling operated by the US and Saudi Arabia, the EU’s “gaseuro” and “petroeuro” currency recycling operated with Russia – especially by Germany, Italy and France and other EU states, is starkly different to the “petrodollar system” because it is an economic win-win. Because of this, the EU after ritual blethering and cries of alarm will avoid operating economic, trade, monetary or other sanctions against Russia.

Using the monetary and economic leverage of gaseuro recycling, the EU’s national treasuries and financial institutions of the ECB and BIS, as well as private banks, can only hope to finance the massive black hole of Ukrainian national finances. Conversely, any sanctions operated against Putin’s Russia will backfire immediately as Russia cuts all gas supplies to, and passing through, the Ukraine triggering an instant continental economic crisis, backed up by Putin’s additional ability to suspend or limit oil shipments to Europe.

The simplest way to understand why the gaseuro and petroeuro recycling system is a win-win is that the EU, led by Germany runs a major trade surplus with Russia. Buying Russian gas and oil, paid for with euros, enables Russia to buy European goods and services, and create credit for further buying. When or if the EU was foolish enough to run sanctions against Russia, this major economic support to the continent’s basically weak and stagnant economy would collapse. It would be lose-lose.

Gas Trumps Oil

World reserves of natural gas are massively larger than oil reserves, although the magic adjectives “conventional and unconventional” heavily change any figure you care to use. One handy figure is that world conventional associated (with oil) gas reserves plus stranded (not associated with oil) gas reserves are roughly equivalent to 100 years of present world total gas consumption. Conventional oil reserves are enough to cover about 40 years of world total oil consumption. Making things a lot more complicated, with little-appreciated but major coming impacts, which include impacts on world money systems and the shadowy but real “petrodollar system”, gas can substitute a lot of oil. It can be converted to synthetic light oil albeit at large energy loss, it can substitute oil for petrochemicals, it can replace oil for road, rail and marine transport. For heating, both industrial and residential, gas is the best and easiest energy fuel. Oil is substitutable.

Outside of Europe, all major regions and economies are raising their gas demand faster than their oil demand. For diehard Global Warming believers, gas is also “low carbon” meaning lower CO2 emissions per unit energy used, and non-carbon pollutants in gas are almost zero. This can be compared with typical heavy crudes such as Saudi Heavy of 27.5 degrees API weight, containing 2.92% sulphur and a string of metals starting with iron, vanadium and nickel, and able to include zinc, manganese, mercury, chromium and others. Heavy oils sometimes even include thorium and uranium.

Heavy oils can only be heavily polluting, meaning heavy oil spills are always an environmental disaster and extracting them is always dirty. As we know, the extraction and refining of heavy oils and oil sands generates as much as three times the total CO2 emissions compared to conventional oil, simply due to the energy needed to extract and then refine oils which in extreme cases can have a weight of 10 degrees API, that is bitumin or asphalt. Key examples of heavy oil production as in Venezuela, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iran are rarely able to extract more than 5%-25% of the crude oil in place. The so-called “upgrading” of these ultra-heavy crudes can only pollute and can only cost money.

This locks-in the high price of oil because the extraction and refining process is so resource-intensive. Put another way, when oil prices decline the economic rationale for heavy oils disappears.

For as long as oil demand was believed to be hard or impossible to substitute and no energy policy action was taken to reduce or substitute its consumption, high oil prices locked-in the upstream production and refining side. This enabled continually-increasing production, and the so-called “producers’ rent”, that is overpriced oil, could operate. When it did not operate – notably the period of roughly 1983-1999 with low or very low oil prices (and of course the entire postwar period to 1973 and the famous Arab Oil Shock) – the petrodollar system had a role to play. Its fundamentals included the notion that world oil demand could only increase, oil was scarce and controlled by OPEC and only in exceptional conditions – as in 1983-1999 for geopolitical reasons (including the Iran-Iraq war) – could oil prices be pushed down and kept low.

Taking world gas prices of today, which are massively distorted by region and nearly always underpriced relative to oil, current European gas prices around $11 per million BTU are equivalent to oil at about $63 per barrel. As we know, due to the USA’s stampede into shale gas, prices in the US (although rising) are less than one-half European gas prices, while Asian gas prices are the highest at close to the oil price (about $16 per million BTU).

No Gas Opec and No-pec Oil

In both cases this especially concerns Russia, which has many times tried to create a “Gas Opec” group and organization of major gas producers and exporters, without success. Russia is also the biggest “Nopec” oil producer and exporter. It is a key player in the undeclared and “off the radar screen” petro-euro recycling system, especially concerning Russia-Germany financial and monetary relations, utilising euro surpluses and deficits, linked with financial entities including the ECB and BIS.

The financing of government deficits across Europe draws, in part, on this petroeuro and gaseuro recycling system operated near-exclusively with Russia.

The US-Saudi petrodollar system is a lot older and better known, although treated as “confidential and/or secret” and often denied. For a valedictory rationale using uncertain logic, the US Federal Reserve Bank of NY has a full statement:

http://www.newyorkfed.org/research/current_issues/ci12-9/ci12-9.html


Gas was always the “poor cousin of oil”, for many years priced at below $2 per million BTU (equivalent to oil at $11.60 per barrel), and pre-1973 at prices around 40 US cents/MBTU. It was rarely transported and sold across frontiers, and accounted for less than 12.5% of world total energy consumption (23% today). Gas never featured in the US-initiated petrodollar system but it was a key player in the Europe-Russia gaseuro recycling and financing operation, from the start.

Always thought of by its US and Saudi inventors as a win-win, the “petrodollar system” has many downsides and for the global economy it is only lose-lose, because since at latest 2005, it operates to maintain oil at artificially high prices and enables (or forces) the US to run huge trade deficits. Just as important, the system started as a secret political initiative and will end political, but possibly public. Its economic, financial and monetary roles were always placed in the back seat, and only one aspect was treated as paramount. Favouring US-Saudi economic relations and bolstering the US dollar.

One key factor turning a theoretical geopolitical win-win into an economic, financial and monetary lose-lose, certainly for the USA, stems from US debt and “dollar hegemony”, both of them pushed only one way – further – by the petrodollar system. Put another way, the US of today can only operate its debt financing-money printing binge for as long as oil prices stay high, or very high.

The petrodollar system is above all political and concerns the US and Saudi Arabia. Due to current-ruling Saudi potentates, notably the very recent “Intelligence supremo” Prince Bandar bin Sultan claiming there should be Saudi rule over US decisions – notably on Syrian bombing -  the threat of Saudi Arabia “abandoning the petrodollar” has been given a whorl in the media.

What You Don’t Expect – You Will Get

When or if Saudi oil exports were increasingly billed and settled in currencies other than the USD, the present semi-monopoly of the dollar for global oil trade would disintegrate. The pat-analysis is that when or if Saudi Arabia “abandons the dollar” for oil sales, the dollar will sink out of sight. The exact opposite is more likely – a strengthening of the USD’s world value after a ritual and probably impressive period of “trial by market”. To be sure, market logic – we mean engineered panic – would take some time to adjust to the real world, as ever, but the main reason the dollar would strengthen would be the USA’s need to print and issue far less and far fewer “chaff dollars”.

The exact inversion of trade relation between the US and KSA on one hand, and the EU and Russia on the other explains why petrodollar recycling is on its way out, but the gaseuro recycling operation will be a key player deciding what happens in the geopolitical shakeout of eastern Europe presently under way, starting with the carve-up of the Ukraine. The US, for as long as it remained an importer of oil and considered to have “constantly increasing oil import dependence”, could only run a trade deficit with KSA and other Opec suppliers.

The European Union, and especially Germany run a major trade surplus with Russia. Supplying petroeuros and gaseuros to Russia enables it to buy EU products.

For decades, Washington has bowed and cowed, and gone to extraordinary lengths to mollycoddle the Saudis, despite the huge Saudi exposure – due to nearly all its money reserves of about $700 billion being in dollars – to any theoretical crash of the USD’s value. Putin’s Russia is less exposed to this form of blackmail. Russia can import more from Europe if the euro depreciates, and use gas prices and oil prices to tilt the playing field towards a weaker but not crippled euro. Europe in fact has a present win-win with Russia, due to the artificially high value of the euro plus gaseuro recycling. The EU is unlikely to throw this win-win away to “save Euromaidan hopes and expectations”.

In another vast difference with US-Saudi petrodollar recycling,  US debt would have in no way grown so fast, to such extremes, nor would the US trade deficit have ballooned, if the “petrodollar system” had not existed. Petrodollar recycling was designed and operated to print money – long before Ben Bernanke, Janet Yellen and QE.  US gains throughout all the phases or formats of “the system” which started in 1972 under Nixon and Kissinger were always more apparent than real – but the US political elite feeds off appearances. One of its key basic defects.

Without the prop of petrodollar recycling and its leverage, operated by the US Federal Reserve banking system and the leading US money market banks, for decades, it would be unlikely that the US could run its present fantastic annual trade deficits. The US economy would have to “re-localize”, or “de-offshore”. Europe, although deindustrializing, has avoided this – as shown by Germany remaining an industrial power, proud of it, and rich because of it.


PUTIN’S COUP: In reality, the EU has no leverage over Russia at this time.

How the Ukraine Crisis Sealed Gaseuro Recycling

Europe has no leverage over Putin’s Russia. Europe also gains from the gaseuro recycling system. After the ritual cries of alarm, Europe can build on the gaseuro recycling system to lever part of the heavy financial aid that must go to Ukraine – simply to prevent its total economic collapse.

For the US and inevitably, the end of petrodollars and their recycling will mean an end to the era of cheap imports and super low interest rates, but will also reset the global economy – not at all to the disadvantage of the USA. China, now the world’s No 1 oil importer, will be obliged to move fast to replace dollars for its oil trade. This will mean the RMB appreciates, which is what China doesn’t want, but has to accept. One thing is certain, any attempts by KSA to sabotage the US dollar will not be germane to China – which holds about $1.25 trillion of US Treasury bonds.

Only a quick glance at Europe’s gas and oil supply, transport, refining and distribution system is needed to show that the EU has massive dependence on Russian hydrocarbons – and profits from it, but denies this. As Putin’s Kremlin, and Russian ministries including the Finance ministry are well aware, EU dependence on Russian hydrocarbons has a direct counterparty in Russian dependence on European industry, services and trade – and the euro. Conversely the real economic interdependence and counterparties between the US and Saudi Arabia are tiny and transient. The US can terminate petrodollar recycling tomorrow. After the ritual gyrations of financial markets for a ritual period, it will suffer no enduring economic loss.

When or if the EU tried to terminate the gaseuro and petroeuro recycling system with Russia, there would be massive economic loss in Europe. The Ukrainian crisis, probably sooner rather than later, will bring this energy-economic and monetary dependence, and interdependence with Russia into full view at the top of the agenda. Both the EU and Russia have every reason to cooperate in preventing the Ukrainian crisis from ruining a system that works.

“If you can keep your head, when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you …” (“If”, Rudyard Kipling, 1865-1936.)

The delusional and mind stretching hypocrisy of Western leaders and spokespeople regarding the outcome of external meddling in the Ukraine increasingly mirrors King George 111 whose: “life and reign were marked by a series of military conflicts involving his kingdoms, much of the rest of Europe, and places farther afield in Africa, the Americas and Asia …”

 He also, of course, lost America, accused of having: “plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people”, a mantle America’s settlers seamlessly took over, first against the indigenous population, before moving further afield in 1798 – ceaselessly ongoing. History taught Britain nothing either, except to slavishly become a snarling, yapping lap dog in the very expensive, detrimental trans-Atlantic “special relationship.”

George was finally diagnosed with recurrent – and eventually permanent – mental illness. Perhaps delusion can too easily become the price of power.

“You just don’t go invading another country on completely phony pretexts. It’s really 19th century behaviour in the 21st century”, said Secretary of State John Kerry, slamming Russia for: “invading another country on completely trumped up pretext.” He, UK Prime Minister David Cameron and Foreign Secretary William Hague, were, of course cheerleaders for illegally invading Iraq on “completely trumped up pretext.”

Kerry rounded off 4th March with: “Freedom would never be achieved by bullets and provocation.”

Think Panama, Grenada, Yugoslavia – lawless Kosovo carved out of Serbia – Afghanistan, funding the foreign organ eaters, beheaders and hand choppers of Syria in order to “violate the sovereignty”, years of threatening Iran – and, and, and.

David Cameron, having taken his orders from Washington, spoke to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande stating they had agreed to: “ speak with one voice and send a clear message to Russia that its actions in Ukraine were completely unacceptable”, there would be “costs and consequences” for Russia which had violated: “the sovereignty and territorial integrity of another country.”

 William Hague, in Kiev to embrace an entirely illegitimate administration some of whom are photographed using Nazi arm gestures, said of Russia: “The world cannot just say it is OK, in effect, to violate the sovereignty of another nation in this way” and Russia’s actions and support of the Crimean region could not be allowed to become the: “normal way to behave in international affairs.”

 President Obama, in charge of Gulag Guantanamo, in contravention of his electoral vow to close it, personally ordering drone strikes on individuals, funeral gatherings, wedding parties, farmers, child wood gatherers and villages from Pakistan to Yemen, Afghanistan to Somalia. Obama, also involved in the destruction of Libya, thus party to the appalling assassination of the country’s Leader and the assassination of someone purported to be Osama bin Laden in an illegal incursion in to Pakistan, has charged that President Putin is “on the wrong side of history.”

Nicholas Burns, former Undersecretary of State under George W Bush and former US Ambassador to NATO accused: “Obviously Putin has won the Crimea through brute force.” Well no, apart from a few shots in the air on the 4th March, not a shot has been fired, unlike the slaughterhouses generated by various “international coalitions” – and Russia has a legal agreement for anchorage of its Black Sea fleet there until 2042. In Sevastopol, where the fleet is based, much of the population in fact have Russian passports.

America of course has nine hundred bases in one hundred and fifty three countries.

In Ukraine ethnic Russians make up 58.5% of the population, with ethnic Ukrainians just 24.4% and Crimean Tatars 12.1% (2001 census.) One of the first acts of the illegitimate government was to repeal a 2012 act recognizing Russian as an official language. Whilst this disgraceful move has been vetoed by the puppet President, it has not been repealed.

 Moreover: “Under the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, the US, Russia, Ukraine and the UK agreed not to threaten or use force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine. They also pledged never to use economic coercion to subordinate Ukraine to their own interest.” (BBC 4th March.) There surely should be “costs and consequences” for the US, Ukraine and UK for violating a binding agreement – if the $ fifteen billion to Ukraine just announced by the EU is not “economic coercion”, it has to be wondered what is.

On 4th March at the United Nations, Russia’s UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin showed a letter to President Putin from the still legitimate Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovych, asking Russia for troops to protect civilians. The request was approved by the Russian Parliament (Duma) “on the territory of the Ukraine pending the normalization of the socio-political situation in that country.” The “Right to Protect” comes to mind.

With factions of the “government” in Kiev calling for the deaths of Jews, blacks and Russians, increasing attacks on Synagogues, destruction of historic symbols, the request seems more than justified, as does President Putin’s claim of an “unconstitutional coup”, after an agreement of concilliation was signed on 21st February attended by his envoy and three EU Foreign Ministers.

However, Senator John McCain, EU Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Catherine Ashton and US Assistant Secretary of State, Victoria “Fuck the EU” Nuland, and John Kerry all pitched up in Kiev to support an insurrection comprising a considerable element of far right and neo-Nazi supporters. Nuland bizarrely handed out buns and cookies from a plastic bag.

On 20th February expert snipers who shot more than twenty protestors, are now alleged to have been hired by the same opposition leaders the US and EU embraced so warmly, according to a leaked report of a telephone conversation between Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet and Catherine Ashton.(1) The near bancrupt country’s treasury was looted – with the EU seemingly knowing who to blame for the looting since they have frozen their assets.(2) Work that one out.

As for the cookie toting Ms Nuland, as Professor Michel Chossudovsky has stated:

 “It was confirmed by Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland that key organizations in Ukraine including the neo-Nazi party Svoboda were generously supported by Washington. And I quote Victoria Nuland: ‘We have invested more than $5 billion to help Ukraine to achieve this and other goals.’ That refers to a period extending from the 2004 Color Revolution to the present. And there is ample evidence of Western support – both covert support through intelligence ops as well as diplomatic support through the US State Department and the EU of course.”(3)

Nuland is married to Robert Kagan, one of the authors of the Project for the New American Century, which advised on Iraq, in what has become a blueprint for planned overthrows of sovereign governments:

“We should help establish and support (with economic, political and military means) a provisional, representative and free government of Iraq in areas of Iraq not under Saddam’s control.” Just replace Iraq with Libya, Syria, Ukraine or where ever else Capitol Hill eyes roam. Kagan’s modestly entitled book: “The World America Made” was endorsed publicly by Barack Obama and referenced in his 2012 State of the Union address.

Ironically Victoria Nuland’s original family name was Nudelman, a grandfather being Meyer Nudelman, from a family of Jewish immigrants to the United States from the former Soviet Union.

But for all the scheming, plotting, overthrowing, subterfuge, sabotage of sovereign states, taking on Vladimir Putin may be a bridge too far. He is not a man  who loses his head, “when all around are losing theirs” and blaming him. As Kremlin analyst Sergei Glazyev has stated regarding the outrageous idea of imposing various trade and financial embargoes by the US and EU on Russia, the victim:

 “If sanctions are applied against state structures, we will be forced to recognize the impossibility of repayment of the loans that the US banks gave to the Russian structures. Indeed, sanctions are a double-edged weapon, and if the US chooses to freeze our assets, then our equities and liabilities in dollars will also be frozen. This means that our banks and businesses will not return the loans to American partners.”

Glazyev also pondered dumping the dollar to reduce its dependence on the U.S. financial system and switch to other currencies. “We have wonderful economic and trade relations with our Southern and Eastern partners. We will find a way not just to eliminate our dependence on the U.S. but also profit from these sanctions.”

 Russia is also a major supplier of oil to Germany (about 40% of the country’s supplies) the Netherlands “and Western Europe generally.”(5) Germany has six thousand companies based in Russia and German business organizations are shouting warnings loudly.

The French have entered a number of major contracts to supply Russia with Naval vessels. Russia also imports from Peugeot, Citroen, Renault and numerous French companies from L’Oreal to Auchan groceries, farming equipment from the Kuhn Group, home goods from Leroy Merlin and numerous more.

The UK would lose hugely from the Russian investment both in the City of London, in multi-million pound land, mansion, football club purchases and countless business ventures. All in all messing with President Putin represents volleys of shots in countless international feet.

A further player in this mess has been the European Endowment for Democracy (EED) based on the US National Endowment for Democracy (6.) Neo-Con territory on steroids. Early last year the EED declared:

“The Endowment comes at a very timely moment, as 2013 will be a crucial year for democratic transitions, in particular in the EU’s neighbourhood. The European Endowment for Democracy can play a very important role. By working directly with those in the field, who are striving for democracy …”

 The Board had: “discussed the strategic vision and mandate for the EED and appointed Jerzy Pomianowski, Poland’s undersecretary of state for foreign affairs, as its Executive Director.” It was noted under “Ukraine” that: “given the close links between Poland and Ukraine, it is expected that Ukraine will be one of the EED target countries.”

 At the Crimean Yalta Conference (Feb 4-11 1945) Stalin said of Poland:

“For the Russian people, the question of Poland is not only a question of honor but also a question of security. Throughout history, Poland has been the corridor through which the enemy has passed into Russia. Poland is a question of life and death for Russia.”

NATO is currently stepping up military exercises with Poland.

 Imagine if NATO was next door, further encircling Russia, in Ukraine. It will not be countenanced.

Notes

1. http://www.globalresearch.ca/leaked-eus-ashton-phone-tape-kiev-snipers-were-hired-by-us-supported-opposition-leaders/5371956

2. http://www.mail.com/int/news/europe/2693908-diplomatic-exit-ukraine-talks-15b-eu-aid.html#.1272-stage-hero1-4

3. http://www.globalresearch.ca/protests-in-ukraine-supported-by-us-and-eu-both-covert-and-overt/5371869

4. http://www.infowars.com/russia-we-wont-repay-the-bankers-if-u-s-imposes-sanctions/

5. http://www.infowars.com/russia-we-wont-repay-the-bankers-if-u-s-imposes-sanctions/

 6. http://landdestroyer.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/ned-freedom-house-are-run-by.html

 

The corporate media are a key component of the U.S. imperial machine. Although styling themselves as watchdogs, they are in fact the dogs of war, whose mission is to hide Washington’s aggressions behind a fog of lies. War “crimes are committed with impunity in part because presidents get a helping hand from their corporate media partners.”

“Their behaviors are an effort to diminish any debates or arguments against the United States government.”

Prominent journalists in the United States may as well be on the White House payroll. They are consistent cheerleaders for whoever occupies the oval office and the corporate corner office. They make no attempt to hide their allegiance to power and their lack of interest in informing the public.

The rotten state of affairs becomes all too obvious whenever a president threatens action against another country. Reporters act more like press agents and spring into action shielding and protecting the aggressors. They make it clear to those few who gain access that questions, criticisms or anything else that smacks of independent thought will not to be tolerated. The American decision to use Ukraine as a means of attacking Russian influence is the latest effort to prop up the empire, and the corporate media obligingly show their approval.

CNN’s Christiane Amanpour was so eager to fly the American foreign policy flag that she pointedly took a colleague to task on air when he was guilty of nothing more than doing his job. Wolf Blitzer is a corporate media stalwart himself so he and everyone watching was surprised when Amanpour jumped down his throat when he quoted a Russian official.

” ‘You heard Vitaly Churkin, the Russian ambassador to the U.N. Security Council, saying earlier today that at fault for all of this are what he called fascists and anti-Semites in Ukraine right now …’

‘You know, you’ve got to be really careful by putting that across as a fact,’ Amanpour said.

‘That’s what Vitaly Churkin said,’ Blitzer replied.

‘He may have done,” Amanpour said. ‘Are you telling me, are you saying that the entire pro-European …’

‘Of course not,’ Blitzer defended, explaining that he was presenting what Churkin had said.

‘Right, and we have to be very careful,’ Amanpour cautioned.

Blitzer tried to interject, offering to play Churkin’s comments again.

‘I heard it,’ Amanpour said. ‘We just as a network have to be really careful not to lump the entire pro-European Ukrainians into, which some may well be, nationalistic and extremist groups.’

‘We’re not, I’m not,’ Blitzer insisted.”

They make no attempt to hide their allegiance to power.”

Amanpour had lots of company at other networks. Gwen Ifill of PBS Newshour also stuck to the White House script with her guest, professor Stephen F. Cohen. Cohen informed viewers that American presidents going back to Bill Clinton have been playing a very dangerous game in their attempt to pry Ukraine from the Russian orbit.

Ifill was contemptuous of Cohen throughout and stuck to the Putin is evil meme. Her questions lacked even a pretense of a thoughtful search for facts. Nonsense such as “What is Putin’s endgame here?” was all she could muster. When Cohen gave a simple and understandable explanation of why western meddling posed a danger to world peace Ifill decided to ignore him. “Why is any of this important to anyone who is not in Russia or Ukraine?” Cohen, who also suffered through the Amanpour/Blitzer contretemps, gave Ifill as much contempt in return. “I told you at the top. I mean, you and I are old enough to have lived through divided Europe in Berlin.”

The so-called journalists who are held up to us as exemplars of success and profession acumen are by and large hacks who toe the party line. Ifill has a long standing reputation of defending presidential policy in her reporting. She is at least consistent. Just as she followed the Bush doctrine she is now in synch with the Obama team.

Amanpour vilifies her colleague on air for cynical reasons and Ifill plays dumb if a guest dares to speak up with real analysis. All their behaviors are an effort to diminish any debates or arguments against the United States government. The only critics on the air are questioning whether Obama is tough enough and if American “prestige” is on the line if we don’t have as much violence in the world as they would like.

Ifill, Amanpour and company flourish precisely because they do not tell us the truth.”

Now that the United States government has officially declared war on the rest of the world, Americans are in desperate need of truth telling. But that is not how empires work. Ifill, Amanpour and company flourish precisely because they do not tell us the truth.

It is not too harsh to point out that the propaganda and lies spread by networks and newspapers are part of an enormous crime. America is the evil doer in Iraq and Haiti and Libya and Venezuela and Ukraine. Nations are invaded and economies are ruined because our government is determined to have its way in the world. The crimes are committed with impunity in part because presidents get a helping hand from their corporate media partners.

The only thing making Americans squeamish about military involvement against Russia is war weariness. They don’t oppose it on principle because they don’t know what the principles involved are. Just as we aren’t the richest country in the world, and we don’t have the best health care in the world, we don’t have the best press either. We have a government that is more aggressive by the day and they have a mouth piece which we call the media.

Margaret Kimberley‘s Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog as well as at http://freedomrider.blogspot.com.

Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgendaReport.com.

 Catherine Ashton must resign now!

Why is EU foreign minister Catherine Ashton protecting and covering up for the Maidan Square snipers who killed both demonstrators and police?

The EU Foreign Minister Catherine Aston was informed at least since Feb 25 by Estonia’s foreign minister that the authors  of the massacres in Maidan Square in Kiev were not agents of the Yanukovych government but were deployed by the instigators of the coup against the government.

This fact was and is well known in Kiev by the coalition that took over the government with the support of the US and the EU. It is also well known that the “new government” has given the order to sabotage any investigation in order to maintain alive the only alibi that would somehow justify the coup.

Those cold-blooded, professionally trained mass murderers supplied the cynical pretext for Ashton, Kerry, Obama and the whole US and EU leadership to justify their illegal actions and their sponsorship of the armed Neo-Nazi gangs that are harassing and intimidating the people of Ukraine.

But now the cover is off.

Ashton must confess what she knows of this sickening plot that almost led to WWIII, resign in shame, and pay the legal consequences of her actions!

Ashton knew, at least, since Feb 25 (but most likely much, much longer) when she was told directly by the Estonia Foreign Minister, Urmas Paet:

“There is now stronger and stronger understanding that behind the snipers, it was not Yanukovych, but it was somebody from the new coalition.”

Paet’s source is one of the most prominent medical authorities in Ukraine, Olga Bogomolets, who just refused to be appointed deputy Prime Minister of the “new government” despite pressures from Ashton herself.  

What was quite disturbing, this same Olga told as well that all the evidence shows that the people who were killed by snipers from both sides, among policemen and then people from the streets, that they were the same snipers killing people from both sides, so that she then also showed me some photos she said that as a medical doctor she can say that it is the same handwriting, the same type of bullets, and it’s really disturbing that now the new coalition, that they don’t want to investigate what exactly happened.

It is not clear if Dr. Olga Bogomolets, who comes from a distinguished family of medical professionals that dates back to the 15th century, refused to accept a position in the “new government” because of what she had seen, however it is Ashton herself who recognized that it’s not possible to push aside her professional competence and actually stressed that she told Dr. Bogomolets that she should be part of the government possibly as Minister of Health.  

Ashton was clearly uneasy when the Estonian Foreign Minister gave her the evidence of the real affiliation of the snipers (something she most likely knew very well). With a low voice showing obvious embarrassment she replied she never heard about it and she wanted an investigation. However, Ashton and her US and EU colleagues continue to use the Snipers story, she knows is false, as the main rationale for supporting the coup in Kiev and the new illegal government.

It is atrocious to see the US State Secretary, John Kerry, depositing flowers in Maidan Square for the victims of the snipers he knows were unleashed by the forces he supports.

Fortunately the truth on the snipers is coming out. How long before the public in Europe, the US, the world begins to rebel against the big lie of the Maidan “Revolution”?

This article was first published October 11,2011.

In 1983, the strategy of overthrowing inconvenient governments and calling it “democracy promotion” was born.

Through the creation of a series of quasi-private “foundations”, such as Albert Einstein Institute (AEI), National Endowment for Democracy (NED), International Republican Institute (IRI), National Democratic Institute (NDI), Freedom House and later the International Center for Non-Violent Conflict (ICNC), Washington began to filter funding and strategic aid to political parties and groups abroad that promoted US agenda in nations with insubordinate governments.

Behind all these “foundations” and “institutes” is the US Agency for Inter- national Development (USAID), the financial branch of the Department of State. Today, USAID has become a critical part of the security, intelligence and defense axis in Washington. In 2009, the Interagency Counterinsurgency Initiative became official doctrine in the US. Now, USAID is the principal entity that promotes the economic and strategic interests of the US across the globe as part of counterinsurgency operations. Its departments dedicated to transition initiatives, reconstruction, conflict management, economic development, governance and democracy are the main venues through which millions of dollars are filtered from Washington to political parties, NGOs, student organizations and movements that promote US agenda worldwide. Wherever a coup d’etat, a colored revolution or a regime change favorable to US interests occurs, USAID and its flow of dollars is there.

How Does a Colored Revolution Work?

The recipe is always the same. Student and youth movements lead the way with a fresh face, attracting others to join in as though it were the fashion, the cool thing to do. There’s always a logo, a color, a marketing strategy. In Serbia, the group OTPOR, which led the overthrow of Slobodan Milosevic, hit the streets with t-shirts, posters and flags boasting a fist in black and white, their symbol of resistance. In Ukraine, the logo remained the same, but the color changed to orange. In Georgia, it was a rose-colored fist, and in Venezuela, instead of the closed fist, the hands are open, in black and white, to add a little variety.

Colored revolutions always occur in a nation with strategic, natural resources: gas, oil, military bases and geopolitical interests. And they also always take place in countries with socialist-leaning, anti-imperialist governments. The movements promoted by US agencies in those countries are generally anti-communist, anti-socialist, pro-capitalist and pro-imperialist.

Protests and destabilization actions are always planned around an electoral campaign and process, to raise tensions and questions of potential fraud, and to discredit the elections in the case of a loss for the opposition, which is generally the case. The same agencies are always present, funding, training and advising: USAID, NED, IRI, NDI, Freedom House, AEI and ICNC. The latter two pride themselves on the expert training and capacitation of youth movements to encourage “non violent” change.

The strategy seeks to debilitate and disorganize the pillars of State power, neutralizing security forces and creating a sensation of chaos and instability. Colonel Robert Helvey, one of the founders of this strategy and a director at AEI, explained that the objective is not to destroy the armed forces and police, but rather “convert them” — convince them to leave the present government and “make them understand that there is a place for them in the government of tomorrow”. Youth are used to try and debilitate security forces and make it more difficult for them to engage in repression during public protests. Srdja Popovic, founder of OTPOR, revealed that Helvey taught them “. . . how to select people in the system, such as police officers, and send them the message that we are all victims, them and us, because it’s not the job of a police officer to arrest a 13-year old protestor, for example. . . .”

It’s a well-planned strategy directed towards the security forces, public officials and the public in general, with a psychological warfare component and a street presence that give the impression of a nation on the verge of popular insurrection.

Venezuela

In 2003, AEI touched ground in Venezuela. Colonel Helvey himself gave a 9-day intensive course to the Venezuelan opposition on how to “restore democracy” in the country. According to AEI’s annual report, opposition political parties, NGOs, activists and labor unions participated in the workshop, learning the techniques of how to “overthrow a dictator”. This was a year after the failed coup d’etat — led by those same groups — against President Chavez. What came right after the AEI intervention was a year of street violence, constant destabilization attempts and a recall referendum against Chavez. The opposition lost 60-40, but cried fraud. Their claims were pointless. Hundreds of international observers, including the Carter Center and the OAS, certified the process as transparent, legitimate and fraud-free.

In March 2005, the Venezuelan opposition and AEI joined forces again, but this time the old political parties and leaders were replaced by a select group of students and young Venezuelans. Two former leaders of OTPOR came from Belgrade, Slobodan Dinovic and Ivan Marovic, to train the Venezuelan students on how to build a movement to overthrow their president. Simultaneously, USAID and NED funding to groups in Venezuela skyrocketed to around $9 million USD. Freedom House set up shop in Venezuela for the first time ever, working hand in hand with USAID and NED to help consolidate the opposition and prepare it for the 2006 presidential elections. ICNC, led by former Freedom House president Peter Ackerman, also began to train the youth opposition movement, providing intensive courses and seminars in regime change techniques.

That year, the newly-trained students launched their movement. The goal was to impede the electoral process and create a scenario of fraud, but they failed. Chavez won the elections with 64% of the vote, a landslide victory. In 2007, the movement was relaunched in reaction to the government’s decision to not renew the broadcasting license of a private television station, RCTV, a voice of the opposition. The students took to the streets with their logo in hand and along with the aid of mainstream media, garnered international attention.

Several were selected by US agencies and sent to train again in Belgrade in October 2007. Student leader Yon Goicochea was awarded $500,000 USD from the right-wing Washington think tank, Cato Institute, to set up a training center for opposition youth inside Venezuela.

Today, those same students are the faces of the opposition political parties, evidencing not only their clear connection with the politics of the past, but also the deceit of their own movement. The colored revolutions in Georgia and the Ukraine are fading. Citizens of those nations have become disenchanted with those that took power through an apparent “autonomous” movement and have begun to see they were fooled.

The colored revolutions are nothing more than the red, white and blue of US agencies, finding new and innovative ways to try and impose Empire’s agenda.

Why are Nazi and Confederate flags on display in Kiev?

March 5th, 2014 by Sara Flounders

 When Kiev’s City Hall was seized with guns and Molotov cocktails, one of the first acts of the Euromaidan street fighters was to unfurl a number of flags and insignia.

Prominent among the flags were swastikas, Iron Crosses, Nazi SS lightning bolts, the Celtic cross used by the Ku Klux Klan, and the Confederate “stars and bars” flag of slaveholders in the United States. (tinyurl.com/ltfu4vq)

This is no accident. The flag of the U.S. Southern slaveholders and the Klan cross are symbols understood around the world. They stand for racism, reaction, lynchings and mass terror, for keeping oppressive institutions intact and for beating down people of color and all those who struggle for a better world.

Racists from across Europe have traveled to Kiev. Wearing these symbols on their helmets and jackets, these thugs roamed Kiev and defaced the homes of Jews. They destroyed memorials to those who fought the Nazi invasion and occupation of the Ukraine in World War II. Offices of the Communist Party of the Ukraine were ransacked and destroyed, revolutionary books publicly burned in bonfires. Twenty-five statues of Lenin have been destroyed, requiring heavy equipment. (tinyurl.com/lfs734u) Amidst this offense of fascist vandalism, progressive people have mobilized to protect progressive centers, monuments and government buildings.

Symbols send a message. They are shorthand to millions of people for the aspirations and goals of social and political movements.

 Naming a street, boulevard, school or holiday for the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. or Rosa Parks is recognition of the historic Civil Rights movement and Black liberation movement in the U.S. It resonates with all who stand against racism and oppression.

Certain symbols of revolution, resistance and liberation, such as the red flag, the red and black flag, the red star and the rainbow flag, are recognized around the world. The struggle to remove racist names of sports teams is well understood, as is the struggle to remove memorials to racists, slave owners and Confederates throughout the U.S. South.

 Victoria Nuland, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs, publicly bragged that Washington has committed more than $5 billion to these “democratic forces” in the Ukraine. (tinyurl.com/q577smd)

Nuland, Sen. John McCain and other U.S. and German politicians have publicly embraced known fascist thugs. Open U.S. support for the Ukrainian Fatherland Party, the Svoboda party and Right Sector is hardly a mistake. It is sign of how the U.S. and European Union plan to impose austerity, cutbacks and rule by Western banks.

The display of hated racist and fascist symbols should serve as a dire warning of what is at stake in the Ukraine today for all progressive people fighting for change, liberation and human solidarity. All capitalism can offer in its state of decay is more poverty, repression, fascism and war

US threatens Russia as Ukraine Crisis Escalates

March 5th, 2014 by Chris Marsden

US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry issued bellicose statements directed against Russia on Tuesday, one week after a right-wing putsch backed by the US and the European powers brought down the Ukrainian government.

Responding to Russian actions in Crimea, Kerry—on a visit to Kiev, Ukraine’s capital—said Moscow was lying. “Russia has been working hard to create a pretext for Russia to invade further,” he said. If Russia does not de-escalate, “then our partners will have absolutely no choice but to join us” in measures to isolate Russia politically and economically.

Kerry added that Russia’s moves were a “brazen act of aggression.”

From Washington, Obama declared that Russia was “seeking to exert force on a neighbouring country.” He added, “There is a strong belief that Russia’s action is violating international law.”

Earlier, the Pentagon announced that it was suspending “all military-to-military engagements between the United States and Russia.”

In Russian President Vladimir Putin’s first public statement on the Ukraine crisis, he said there is no need yet to send troops into Ukraine. He ordered Russian troops holding military exercises near the Ukrainian border back to their bases, commenting: “We aren’t going to fight the Ukrainian people. The use of the military is an extreme case.”

However, Putin said that if Russian-speaking people in eastern Ukraine asked for Russia’s help, or if there were signs of anarchy, “we reserve the right to use all means.” He denied that Russian armed forces were directly engaged in Crimea, saying the uniformed troops without national insignia were “local self-defence forces.”

Kerry’s official remit in Kiev was to meet with interim President Olexander Turchynov, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and others figures put in power by an alliance of oligarchs and fascists backed by the US. He brought an offer of $1 billion to avert a financial implosion of Ukraine and to stabilise European markets, which fell heavily on Monday before recovering yesterday.

This is itself a poisoned chalice, with US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew stating that US money would “supplement IMF support in order to… cushion the impact of needed reforms on vulnerable Ukrainians.” In short the US and European powers want to begin imposing savage austerity measures (including cuts in subsidies to basic necessities) and privatisations, without provoking an immediate social explosion that would cut across efforts to portray Ukraine as “united” against Russia.

Behind the scenes, talks will have been about precisely how to isolate and destabilise Russia.

Kerry and Obama have spent the past days consolidating a strategic alliance of imperialist and regional powers against Moscow—insisting above all that the European powers, led by Germany, take a hard line on Ukraine and on economic sanctions. In addition, Washington has repeatedly met with the leaders of Georgia and Moldova, encouraging both to make a high profile stand against Russia to encourage others to do the same.

On February 26, Kerry spoke to the US-Georgia Strategic Partnership Commission, announcing additional US assistance “to help support Georgia’s European and Euro-Atlantic vision,” while denouncing Russia’s continued military presence in the breakaway Georgian territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Kerry said the US continues “to object to Russia’s occupation, militarisation and borderisation of Georgian territory.”

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, after meeting with Obama at the White House, called on NATO to speed up its approval of Georgia’s membership. Georgia has sought NATO membership for years, but this has in the past been opposed by Germany and France for fear of angering Russia. Garibashvili stressed that Georgia attached “critical importance to our strategic partnership with the United States.”

The day before Kerry travelled to Ukraine, he met with Moldovan Prime Minister Iurie Leanca, promising to give $7.5 million to the country of 3.5 million people to help facilitate closer links with the European Union. Moldova borders Ukraine and is seeking membership in the EU. “I regret to say Russia, in some of the challenges that we are seeing right now in Ukraine, has put pressure on Moldova,” Kerry declared.

Obama “re-affirmed the United States’ strong support for Moldovan sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders,” the White House said in a statement, prompting Leanca to cite how Moldova had to suffer Russian backing for the separatist Moldovan region of Transnistria.

“The United States also supports the professionalization of Moldova’s military,” the statement continued. “US assistance enhances Moldova’s capabilities to become a force provider for peacekeeping and stability operations and to promote regional security.”

Stung by criticism of Obama’s supposed indecisiveness from Republican sources, Peter Beinart, a senior fellow at the New America Foundation, gave a concise summary of a US policy of encircling and encroaching on Russia in The Atlantic .

Noting how the push against Russia began with German reunification, he continued, “In 1995, NATO went to war against Serbia, and then sent peacekeepers to Bosnia to enforce the peace agreement that followed. This new, Eastern-European mission paved the way for further expansion. By 1997, it was clear Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic would enter the alliance.

“In 2004, NATO admitted another seven former Soviet bloc countries, three of which—Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia—had been part of the USSR. In 2009, Croatia and Albania joined the club. Six former Soviet republics—Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Armenia, and Azerbaijan—now link their militaries to NATO’s via the ‘Partnership for Peace’ program. All five former Soviet republics in Central Asia—Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan—provide NATO countries with some basing, transit, refueling, or overflight rights for use in the Afghan war.”

“From Putin’s perspective,” he concludes, “the United States hardly looks in retreat. To the contrary, the post-Cold War period has brought one long march by America and its allies closer and closer to the border of Russia itself.”

On Tuesday, Poland secured a meeting of NATO’s North Atlantic Council on the basis that it felt threatened by Moscow’s moves in the region. NATO pledged that it would review “the measures to be taken to safeguard the security interests of the Allies.”

Though it is difficult to predict precisely how events will unfold in the Ukraine over the coming days, the trajectory of developments is clear. The US is making a political, economic and military push against Russia that has brought Ukraine to the brink of civil war and which threatens a far broader conflict.

The snipers who shot at protesters and police in Kiev were allegedly hired by Maidan leaders, according to a leaked phone conversation between the EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton and Estonian foreign affairs minister, which has emerged online.

 ”There is now stronger and stronger understanding that behind the snipers, it was not Yanukovych, but it was somebody from the new coalition,” Paet said during the conversation.

“I think we do want to investigate. I mean, I didn’t pick that up, that’s interesting. Gosh,” Ashton answered.

The call took place after Estonia’s FM Urmas Paet visited Kiev on February 25 at the peak of clashes between the pro-EU protesters and security forces in the Ukrainian capital.

Paet also recalled his conversation with a doctor who treated those shot by snipers in Kiev. She said that both protesters and police were shot at by the same people.

“And second, what was quite disturbing, this same Olga [Bogomolets] told as well that all the evidence shows that the people who were killed by snipers from both sides, among policemen and then people from the streets, that they were the same snipers killing people from both sides,” the Estonian FM stressed.

Ashton reacted to the information by saying: “Well, yeah…that’s, that’s terrible.”

“So that she then also showed me some photos she said that as a medical doctor she can say that it is the same handwriting, the same type of bullets, and it’s really disturbing that now the new coalition, that they don’t want to investigate what exactly happened,” Paet said.

Kiev snipers hired by new coalition, not Yanukovych - Estonian FM to Ashton

 

Estonia confirms authenticity of Paet-Ashton conversation on Kiev snipers

The Estonian Foreign Ministry has confirmed the authenticity of a telephone conversation posted on the Internet between Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Paet and EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton regarding the events in Ukraine, the press service of the Estonian Foreign Ministry reports.

“It is extremely unfortunate that this wiretapping was conducted. It’s not an accident that this conversation was posted (on the Internet) today,” Paet said. Earlier, he said that the conversation with Ashton took place last week, immediately after the head of the MFA’s return from Ukraine to Estonia.

“My conversation with Ashton took place last week directly after my visit to Ukraine. At that time, I was in Estonia already,” he said.

The diplomat refrained from more detailed comments until he “sees the recording”.

Paet says he used the ministry’s mobile phone for talks and has no idea how information leak occurred

“I don’t know whether my phone or the one belonging to Ashton was tapped. A journalist of the “Postimees” newspaper told me about the information leak. We have relevant agencies, which are currently conducting an investigation to find out how such a thing happened. There is no sense to make suppositions now . We can only voice our own suppositions in an attempt to explain why this audio record was posted on the Internet a week after the new government started performing its duties,” Paet said.

Estonian Minister also said that it was necessary to conduct an independent investigation into the dramatic events involving the death of people during the rallies on the Maidan Square in Kiev.

“The investigators must find out what really occurred in Kiev. Many people want an independent investigation to be carried out in Ukraine. The people responsible for the crimes committed on the Maidan Square in Kiev must be punishable by law,” the diplomat said.

“And still, people are seriously concerned about the fact that the new coalition is unwilling to investigate what really occurred there . The understanding of the fact that somebody from the new coalition, not Yanukovych, was behind those snipers is becoming more and more strengthened with every passing day,” Paet said in a telephone talk with Ashton.

The conversation between Paet and Ashton took place on February 26, after Paet’s visit to Ukraine. During the conversation, Paet told what he had learned at the meetings in Kiev, and expressed concern about the situation, the press service said. Particular interest was inspired by Paet’s words with reference to doctor Olga Bogomolets who had been rendering medical assistance to the victims in the Maidan, about snipers shooting at people in Kiev.

Russia surprised at refusal of EU representatives to comment on Ashton talk on Ukraine snipers

Russia’s Foreign Ministry has paid attention to the audio record of the talk between the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton and Estonia’s Foreign Minister Urmas Paet about the situation in Ukraine, a source in the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

“We have paid attention to this audio record, and we are surprised to hear that the EU refuses to give its commentary on that score. As you know, some time ago the high-ranking representatives of the EU member countries actively commented on the audio record of Victoria Nuland,” a Foreign Ministry official said .

Earlier a remark appeared on the Facebook page of the Russian Foreign Ministry, which said: “As it appears, the European Union is well aware of the fact that the Ukrainian opposition backed the snipers on the Maidan Square!”

Propaganda Rules The News

March 5th, 2014 by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

Gerald Celente calls the Western media “presstitutes,” an ingenuous term that I often use.  Presstitutes sell themselves to Washington for access and government sources and to keep their jobs. Ever since the corrupt Clinton regime permitted the concentration of the US media, there has been no journalistic independence in the United States except for some Internet sites. 

Glenn Greenwald points out the independence that RT, a Russian media organization, permits Abby Martin who denounced Russia’s alleged invasion of Ukraine, compared to the fates of Phil Donahue (MSNBC) and Peter Arnett (NBC),  both of whom were fired for expressing opposition to the Bush regime’s illegal attack on Iraq.  The fact that Donahue had NBC’s highest rated program did not give him journalistic independence. Anyone who speaks the truth in the American print or TV media or on NPR is immediately fired.

Russia’s RT seems actually to believe and observe the values that Americans profess but do not honor.

I agree with Greenwald.  You can read his article here:  Greenwald is entirely admirable. He has intelligence, integrity, and courage.  He is one of the brave to whom my just published book, How America Was Lost, is dedicated.  As for RT’s Abby Martin, I admire her and have been a guest on her program a number of times.

My criticism of Greenwald and Martin has nothing to do with their integrity or their character.  I doubt the claims that Abby Martin grandstanded on “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine” in order to boost her chances of moving into the more lucrative “mainstream media.”  My point is quite different.  Even Abby Martin and Greenwald, both of whom bring us much light, cannot fully escape Western propaganda.

For example, Martin’s denunciation of Russia for “invading” Ukraine is based on Western propaganda that Russia sent 16,000 troops to occupy Crimea.  The fact of the matter is that those 16,000 Russian troops have been in Crimea since the 1990s. Under the Russian-Ukrainian agreement, Russia has the right to base 25,000 troops in Crimea.

Apparently, neither Abby Martin nor Glenn Greenwald, two intelligent and aware people, knew this fact.  Washington’s propaganda is so pervasive that two of our best reporters were victimized by it.

As I have written several times in my columns, Washington organized the coup in Ukraine in order to promote its world hegemony by capturing Ukraine for NATO and putting US missile bases on Russia’s border in order to degrade Russia’s nuclear deterrent and force Russia to accept Washington’s hegemony.

Russia has done nothing but respond in a very low-key way to a major strategic threat orchestrated by Washington.

It is not only Martin and Greenwald who have fallen under Washington’s propaganda.

They are joined by Patrick J. Buchanan.  Pat’s column calling on readers to “resist the war party on Crimea” opens with Washington’s propagandistic claim: “With Vladimir Putin’s dispatch of Russian Troops into Crimea.”

No such dispatch has occurred. Putin has been granted authority by the Russian Duma to send troops to Ukraine, but Putin has stated publicly that sending troops would be a

last resort to protect Crimean Russians from invasions by the ultra-nationalist neo-nazis who stole Washington’s coup and established themselves as the power in Kiev and western Ukraine.

So, here we have three of the smartest and most independent journalists of our time, and all three are under the impression created by Western propaganda that Russia has invaded Ukraine.

It appears that the power of Washington’s propaganda is so great that not even the best and most independent journalists can escape its influence.

What chance does truth have when Abby Martin gets kudos from Glenn Greenwald for denouncing Russia for an alleged “invasion” that has not taken place, and when independent Pat Buchanan opens his column dissenting from the blame-Russia-crowd by accepting that an invasion has taken place?

The entire story that the presstitutes have told about the Ukraine is a propaganda production.

The presstitutes told us that the deposed president, Viktor Yanukovych, ordered snipers to shoot protesters.  On the basis of these false reports, Washington’s stooges, who comprise the existing non-government in Kiev, have issued arrest orders for Yanukovych and intend for him to be tried in an international court.

In an intercepted telephone call between EU foreign affairs minister Catherine Ashton and Etonian foreign affairs minister Urmas Paet who had just returned from Kiev, Paet reports: “There is now stronger and stronger understanding that behind the snipers, it was not Yanukovych, but it was somebody from the new coalition.”

Paet goes on to report that “all the evidence shows that the people who were killed by snipers from both sides, among policemen and then people from the streets, that they were the same snipers killing people from both sides  . . . and it’s really disturbing that now the new coalition, that they don’t want to investigate what exactly happened.” 

Ashton, absorbed with EU plans to guide reforms in Ukraine and to prepare the way for the IMF to gain control over economic policy, was not particularly pleased to hear Paet’s report that the killings were an orchestrated provocation. You can listen to the conversation between Paet and Ashton here: http://rt.com/news/ashton-maidan-snipers-estonia-946/  

What has happened in Ukraine is that Washington plotted against and overthrew an elected legitimate government and then lost control to neo-nazis who are threatening the large Russian population in southern and eastern Ukraine, provinces that formerly were part of Russia. These threatened Russians have appealed for Russia’s help, and just like the Russians in South Ossetia, they will receive Russia’s help.

The Obama regime and its presstitutes will continue to lie about everything.

Neo-Nazi Svoboda Party militants

Based on the release of a controversial leaked telephone conversation, we are now in a position to confirm that the Kiev Maidan Independence Square February 20 sniper shootings directed against innocent civilians were ordered by opposition leaders integrated by Neo-Nazi elements.

Acknowledged in a leaked telephone conversation between EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton and the Estonian foreign minister Urmas Paet, the Maidan opposition rather than president Yanukovych was behind the sniper killings on February 20.

These shooting were directed against both opposition protesters and police.

The telephone file was apparently uploaded by officers of the  Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) loyal to president Viktor Yanukovych indicating that the power structures of the coalition government are fragile, to say the least.

Below is the excerpt of the transcript of the leaked telephone conversation (emphasis added):

Urmas Paet: “There is now stronger and stronger understanding that behind the snipers, it was not Yanukovich, but it was somebody from the new coalition,”

Catherine Ashton: “I think we do want to investigate. I mean, I didn’t pick that up, that’s interesting. Gosh,”

 According to RT:  The telephone call “took place after Estonia’s Foreign Minister Urmas Paet visited Kiev on February 25 at the peak of clashes between the pro-EU protesters and security forces in the Ukrainian capital. Paet also recalled his conversation with a doctor who treated those shot by snipers in Kiev. She said that both protesters and police were shot at by the same people.”

Urmas Paet “And second, what was quite disturbing, this same Olga [Bogomolets] told as well that all the evidence shows that the people who were killed by snipers from both sides, among policemen and then people from the streets, that they were the same snipers killing people from both sides,” the Estonian FM stressed.

Catherine Ashton; “Well, yeah…that’s, that’s terrible.”

 Urmas Paet: So that she then also showed me some photos she said that as a medical doctor she can say that it is the same handwriting, the same type of bullets, and it’s really disturbing that now the new coalition, that they don’t want to investigate what exactly happened,”

 While the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton does not have “blood on her hands”, she has had frequent meetings with Oleh Tyahnybok, leader of the Neo-Nazi Svoboda Party, who in all likelihood was involved in the sniper killings.

“Well, yeah…that’s, that’s terrible.” says Catherine Ashton. But what is the followup? Will the matter be debated by the EU Commission or will it be hushed up?

(Catherine Ashton center with Svoboda Leader  Oleh Tyahnybok, left)

The February 20th Sniper Killings: What Happened? 

Acknowledged by media reports, more than twenty opposition Maidan  protesters were killed by professional snipers on February 20.  This was not a spontaneous event resulting from clashes between protesters and riot police, nor was it marked by an exchange of gunfire between the police and the Neo-Nazi militia.

The sniper killings had the hallmarks of a carefully planned operation. They happened within ‘the space of a few hours”. They were carefully timed. The killings coincided with the meetings of President Viktor Yanukovych with a high level EU delegation.

In a bitter irony, these targeted killings were used as a pretext to topple the government and issue an arrest warrant directed against president Yanukovych on charges of “mass murder” of Maidan protesters.

Now confirmed by the leaked telephone conversation, the purpose of the sniper killings was to provide a pretext for “regime change”.

The Daily Telegraph reported that on Thursday the 20th of February:

at least 21 protesters were killed in the space of a few hours”…”… ten corpses were laid out on the pavement beneath the awning of a cafe on the northern edge of Independence Square, where thousands of demonstrators are still camped. At least three of the bodies displayed single bullet wounds to the heads.

The report suggests that the deaths were the result of a precise targeted killing operation pointing to the work of professional snipers:

One demonstrator, who gave his name as Andreiy, carried in one body on a green military stretcher. “He died between 90 minutes and two hours ago,” he told a Telegraph reporter. “These are all live rounds. You can see what they do. He and all the others were shot in the head, the neck or the heart. None were shot anywhere else like in the legs.” (Telegraph)

There were reports of snipers on rooftops using automatic weapons, but the identity of the snipers was not known. Invariably the Western media would refer, without evidence, to “government snipers”.

Protesters advanced on police lines in the heart of the Ukrainian capital Thursday, prompting government snipers to shoot back and kill scores of people in the country’s deadliest day since the breakup of the Soviet Union a quarter-century ago. (National Post, Feb 20, 2014)

Most of the Western media reports failed to acknowledge the role of armed Neo-Nazi gunmen and thugs who had integrated the protest movement and who were involved in systematically inciting violence.

The Western media, in chorus, without firm evidence and often contradicting their own reports, casually placed the blame on the Yanukovych government. The objective of this sniper killing operation was to justify regime change

We are dealing with a diabolical agenda: the deaths of protesters in Maidan square triggered by Neo-Nazi elements (supported by the West) were used to break the legitimacy of a duly elected government.

Underlying US foreign policy and CIA intelligence ops, civilian deaths are often triggered deliberately with a view to accusing the enemy and demonizing a foreign head of State or head of government

The Maidan sniper killings are, in this regard reminiscent of what occurred in Syria in mid-March 2011 at the very outset of the insurgency: civilians were killed by rooftop snipers in the border city of Daraa. The resulting casualties –without further investigation– were blamed on the government of Bashar al Assad. It was subsequently confirmed by Israeli and Lebanese press reports, that the  snipers were hired mercenaries.

The concept of killing civilians and placing the blame on the enemy goes back to Operation Northwoods (1962), a secret plan of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff titled “Justification for U.S. Military Intervention in Cuba”. ”The Top Secret memorandum (declassified) described U.S. plans to covertly engineer various pretexts that would justify a U.S. invasion of Cuba, including the assassination of Cubans living in the United States.

Members of the Coalition Government Were Behind the Sniper Killings?

It should be noted that at least two of the main Neo-Nazi Maidan paramilitary leaders who in all probability were directly or indirectly involved in the sniper killings now occupy positions of authority in the new government, overseeing the armed forces, police, and the prosecutor’s office.

Andriy Parubiy co-founder of the Neo-Nazi  Social-National Party of Ukraine (subsequently renamed Svoboda) who now heads the powerful National Security and National Defense Committee (RNBOU) was one of the man leaders of the Maidan riots. He was referred to by the Western media as the “kommandant” of the EuroMaidan movement.

Andriy Parubiy together with party leader Oleh Tyahnybok is a follower of Ukrainian Nazi Stepan Bandera, who collaborated in the mass murderer of Jews and Poles during World War II.

Another key leader of EuroMaidan was Dmytro Yarosh, who currently leads the Right Sector delegation in the parliament. He was appointed deputy Secretary of the RNBOU, which overseas the armed Forces, police,National Security and intelligence.

Yarosh was the leader of the Brown Shirt Neo-Nazi paramilitary during the EuroMaidan riots.

  Dmytro Yarosh speech at Euromaidan (Centre)

 

 


Forbes magazine published its 28th annual list of the world’s wealthiest individuals and families on Monday. In all, the research team behind the Forbes Billionaires list found a total of 1,645 billionaires worldwide as of February 12, with a combined net worth of $6.4 trillion, an increase of $1 trillion from 2013. The number of new billionaires, at 268, was the highest figure in the report’s history.

A surge in equity markets resulting from the ultra-loose money policies of the US Federal Reserve pushed the total number of American billionaires to 492, the highest of any nation. China, the foremost cheap labor platform in the global economy, boasts the second highest number of billionaires at 152. The Russian Federation, politically dominated by a narrow layer of compradors who liquidated the USSR and plundered its state assets in 1990-91, rounded out the top three nations, with 111 billionaires.

Around 100 people lost billionaire status, including 19 in Turkey, where a reversal of foreign investment flows has dashed the stock indexes and the currency, as have eight individuals in Indonesia due to the same global financial imbalances caused by the US Federal Reserve’s policies. Algeria, Lithuania, Tanzania and Uganda all saw their first appearances on the Forbes list, and Nigeria’s Aliko Dangote became the first African to make the top 25, with a fortune of $25 billion.

Microsoft founder and charter school champion Bill Gates has become the wealthiest individual in the world once again, with a yearly growth in his personal fortune of $9 billion and a total net worth of $76 billion, a sum more than four times larger than the entire municipal debt of the city of Detroit, or, stated another way, enough money to pay for four years of state college tuition in the US for 2.1 million students.

Other Internet-related persons featured prominently on the Forbes list, including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg, whose fortune nearly doubled this year from $15.2 billion to $28.5 billion. Zuckerberg was the year’s biggest dollar gainer thanks to the soaring value of Facebook shares, which increased over 130 percent in the last 12 months. Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg made the list as well, as did the company’s vice president Jeff Rothschild.

The year 2013 saw windfall compensation for executives of top private equity firms, cashing in on record share values and awarding generous dividends to their investors and to themselves. A Wall Street Journal article this week, headlined “Blowout Haul for Buyout Tycoons , ” examined public filings for Apollo Global Management LLC, Blackstone Group LP, KKR and Co., and the Carlyle Group LP. The article reports that the nine founders of these firms took in a total of $2.6 billion in 2013, a year-on-year increase of more than 100 percent. This amount averages over $160 million for each of the executives in question, enough to pay the starting salary of nearly 3,500 public school teachers in New York City for one year.

Of this elite, parasitic group, Leon Black, the co-founder and chief executive of Apollo Global Management, raked in the most at $546.3 million, followed by Blackstone Group’s Stephen Swarzman with $465.4 million. The three co-founders of Washington, DC-based Carlyle Group pocketed a total of nearly $750 million, more money than was spent on all of the district’s capital outlays for public schools between 2005 and 2008. Unlike the corporate giants of a previous era, which at least built railroads, factories and infrastructure, the highly profitable private equity funds that nourish today’s robber barons excel in the wholesale dismantling of entire sections of industry, buying companies or public entities, laying off the bulk of their workers, and then selling them at a profit as “competitive” enterprises.

The exploding fortunes of the world’s richest people in the last decade and a half are a consequence of a deliberate assault on the living standards of working people, including the slashing of social spending, declining real wages and almost unprecedented layoffs. A number of striking figures illustrate this fact:

* The world’s 85 richest people have more wealth than the poorer half of the world’s population combined. Some 2.4 billion people live on less than $2 per day.

* In the United States, 95 percent of all income gains between 2009 and 2012 went to the wealthiest 1 percent of the population. The proportion of income held by this layer has grown by nearly 150 percent since 1980. New records for unemployment, inequality and social misery are set on a regular basis.

To juxtapose the enormous and growing opulence at the top of society on the one hand, with the increasingly wretched, untenable position of most of the world’s population on the other, is to pose the necessity of socialism. Plainly said, society cannot afford the financial aristocrats, who make the feudal monarchs of the past look modest by comparison.

McCarthyism and Fascism in Israel

March 5th, 2014 by Michael Warschawski

When a state awards itself the right to demand from its citizens an expression of loyalty to the state and when it conditions their citizenship on this same loyalty, it no longer possesses any connection to democracy. In a democracy, the state is loyal to its citizens and obligated to protect them unconditionally. Loyalty to the state and a demand from its citizens to serve it are characteristics of fascist regimes.

In the past two years Israel has taken several steps toward becoming a fascist regime. True, Israeli democracy, defined as a “Jewish and democratic state,” is problematic in several aspects: it removes from the democratic norm approximately 3 million residents of the Occupied Palestinian Territory who are living under its rule for more than four decades, together with the 1.2 million Palestinian citizens of Israel – who do enjoy various civil rights but are not part of the governing landscape as the state of Israel defines itself as “the state of the Jewish people” and not as a state of its citizens and absentee residents.

On the table of the Knesset are various legislative proposals, proposals which are strange from the perspective of accepted democratic norms, and which question even the ethnic democracy existing in Israel to date. Only in fascist regimes, and under Stalinist authoritarianism, the citizenship of one born a citizen (and not those naturalized as a mutual decision between the person and the state) is dependent on the good will of the state: Nazi Germany, for example, annulled the citizenship of Jews, as did Vichy France. The USSR annulled the citizenship of Leon Trotsky.

The state of Israel is marching on the path to becoming a fascist regime, and on the way there are benchmarks. One of them is McCarthyism. The essence of McCarthyism is to compile lists of disloyal citizens, to delegitimize them and primarily to sow fear in the hearts of others such that they will not consider questioning the boundaries of national consensus, much less to cross them. The Institute for Zionist Strategies is the seemingly respectable side of “Im Tirzu,” while the latter is composed primarily of right wing young people who crudely attack real and imagined leftists, while the Institute for Zionist Strategies researches the level of “objectivity” of institutions of higher learning, counts what it dubs post-Zionism and demands “balance”. “The group of critical sociologists,” write researchers of the Institute, “gradually took over the departments of sociology in some of the campuses, control that continues to this day despite the weak identification with the Israeli public in all of the universities. Apart from Bar Ilan University, there exists a clear post-Zionist bias in the department of sociology, and it is particularly pronounced in the campuses of Tel Aviv and Beer Sheva…what is common to all of the “post-Zionist” researchers is an undermining of the foundations of the Zionist ethos.

“It is not serious to catalogue researchers according to whether they are Zionists or post-Zionists, as if these are the only two possibilities…a step reminiscent of the work of Senator Joseph Mcarthy,” said one lecturer, and another added ”

“this is a threatening message toward everyone who does not think and teach in “the correct manner”. This is part of a mechanism of intimidation.”

In a normal country the university presidents would throw these arguments out the window: academia is not a pirate institution between right and left, between Jews and Arabs, between Ashkenazis and Mizrahis, but an institution composed of the best experts in the subjects taught there, with no regard for origin or opinion (in another blog I will write of the need for affirmative action in Israel). Alas, this is not so with the president of Tel Aviv University, Professor Joseph Klafter, who demanded to receive the reading lists for several courses in the Department of Sociology. “Figures on the right are attempting to categorise and label academics in a step intended primarily to cause intimidation. The university president should not have cooperated with such a thing,” said one lecturer.

If we intend to halt the continued deterioration of Israel into a fascist regime in which a lecturer or public servant will be forced to express loyalty to the regime and its leaders, the witch hunt in universities must be stopped immediately, and the sooner the better.

Translated to English by the Alternative Information Center (AIC).