The U.K. prides itself on its past commitment to free expression and press freedom, but as we found out last year the targeted surveillance of journalists and calls by Britain’s prime minister, then David Cameron, heavily supported by Home Secretary, now PM Theresa May, to ban secure messaging indicated a clear shift toward a more much restrictive environment for the press.

Then of course we have the famed raid by GCHQ on the offices of The Guardian over the Edward Snowden leaks in 2013. Just last year The Guardian published a piece about how the government are directly spying on British journalists. “GCHQ’s bulk surveillance of electronic communications has scooped up emails to and from journalists working for some of the US and UK’s largest media organisations.”

In the worst scenario possible for press freedom, the British government has classified investigative journalists as terrorists when it comes to surveillance. “New evidence from other UK intelligence documents revealed by Snowden also shows that a GCHQ information security assessment listed “investigative journalists” as a threat alongside terrorists or hackers” – the Guardian article stated.

Today we find out that NatWest bank is to close the accounts of Russia’s state-run broadcaster, RT or Russia Today.

Editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan tweeted: “They’ve closed our accounts in Britain. All our accounts. ‘The decision is not subject to review.’ Praise be to freedom of speech!”

The bank, RT said, had insisted its decision was final and it was “not prepared to enter into any discussion.”

The UK Treasury said it does not comment on individual cases, but added that no new sanctions or obligations relating to Russia had been imposed on British banks by the government since February 2015.

A spokeswoman for Prime Minister Theresa May said: “It’s a matter for the bank, and it’s for them to decide who they offer services to based on their own risk appetite.”

truepublica.org.uk

It very much looks with Britain’s anti-Russian rhetoric reaching fever pitch, as fully demonstrated just a few days ago by its highest diplomat Boris Johnson, openly encouraging demonstrations outside the Russian embassy in London, that Theresa May’s government is implicated. This looks like another provocative move that has the smell of a government walking all over its democracy to serve its own agenda. Nat West, part of the disgraced RBS Group is 87% owned by the state.

Anthony Bellanger, General Secretary of the International Federation of Journalists has stated “I do not understand the decision of the bank, which does not detail any reason in its letter. But again, the bank must publicly explain [its decision].”

RBS already in the mire having been bailed out to the tune of almost £50billion eight years ago has lost money every month since to the tune of another £45billion. It can little afford to have bank accounts closed, especially by wealthy customers. No sooner had the announcement been made than wealthy Russians were preparing to remove their money from NatWest as a direct result.

Just a few days ago, RBS Group, regularly branded by the mainstream media in Britain as ‘crooks, thieves and conmen’ was exposed by a Buzzfeed News investigation entitled “The Dash For Cash: Leaked Files Reveal RBS Systematically Crushed British Businesses For Profit” where RBS stand accused of boosting revenues during the financial crisis by draining businesses of cash and stripping their assets. Many lost healthy businesses, many more lost lifetime savings, their homes, marriages and it is even reported that some committed suicide over the practices of this bank. Thousands of jobs were lost along the way. This organisation has no moral compass at all, so closing the bank accounts of news outlets should be of no surprise in the grand scheme of things.

There should be no doubt that press freedom in Britain is under attack. This was echoed by David Anderson, the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, in which he warned in his 2014 review that bringing “journalism and blogging within the range of ‘terrorism’ encourages a ‘chilling effect.”

In a scandal that broke at the same time in October 2014, police admitted they had used the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) to obtain journalists’ phone records, thereby bypassing legislation that protects journalistic sources. Then GCHQ admitted that it disregarded legally privileged information. This means that the UK’s three intelligence agencies have been spying on the communications of those who are taking legal action against them. All of this adds up to a picture that would make the Stazi blush with envy – suppressing a hostile media outlet and blanket surveillance of journalists.

The World Press Freedom Index recently found that most of the movement in the worlds press was indicative of a climate of fear and tension combined with increasing control over newsrooms by governments and private-sector interests, western ones included. And Britain was no exception as it has seen a recorded decline in press freedom for almost decade, but most notably since the Conservatives arrived in power from 2010.

The result is that the UK has year-on-year fallen down the press freedom rankings and as at last year was sitting at 38th place behind countries such as Tonga, Belize, Lithuania, Chile, Samoa, Ghana, Latvia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Slovakia and Jamaica. In the same rankings report, the USA has now fallen to 41st place straddled between Slovenia (40th) and Burkino Fasa (42nd), which says it all!

Just to add a little more fog to the freedom of the press story, Julian Assange’s internet was cut off by the Ecuador embassy in London yesterday, WikiLeaks has said. Reports coming out of Ecuador are now pointing to increased pressure on the Ecuador government to remove Assange’s asylum status, and finally expel him from their embassy, and into UK police custody. That information comes via RT in which it states that Ecuador is being urged to end its asylum of Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange by one of its most prominent diplomats, following the recent leak of Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails and other emerging scandals involving Hillary Clinton.

The United Nations even took a position on this  by stating that: “Mr. Assange had been subjected to different forms of deprivation of liberty – initial detention in Wandsworth Prison in London, followed by house arrest and then confinement at the Ecuadorean Embassy.” The British government have completely ignored UN requests for Assange’s immediate unconditional release and placed armed police outside the embassy building.

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(image) Professor Anthony Hall

The University of Lethbridge, Alberta has suspended Professor Anthony James Hall for allegedly promoting anti-Semitism and denying the Holocaust.

Professor Hall has taught liberal education and globalization studies as a distinguished scholar for some 26 years.

We are now joined by Dr. Hall himself to get his take on this.

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Al-Nusra terrorists carry out public executions of local residents, trying to leave the eastern districts of Aleppo. The Russian General Staff is going to introduce a humanitarian pause in Aleppo on August 20.

The situation in Aleppo remains tense, as terrorists of the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (previously known as the Al-Nusra Front) group have intensified shelling of residential areas, the Russian General Staff said on October 17.

“The situation in Aleppo remains extremely difficult. The militants of the Nusra Front terrorist group, understanding that they are doomed, have intensified shelling of residential areas in western Aleppo,” chief of the Russian General Staff’s Main Operational Directorate, Lieutenant General Sergei Rudskoy, told journalists in Moscow on Monday.

Rudskoy also added that terrorists carry out public executions of residents, who try to leave the eastern districts of Aleppo. He noted that the West ignores reports of civilian casualties in Syria and refuses to react to crimes of terrorists.

alnusra1810

“These facts are ignored by the Western countries. They do not want to either record militants’ crimes, neither react to them,” Rudskoy said.

The Lieutenant General pointed out that shelling of civilian infrastructure by terrorists in Aleppo has killed more than 130 children since the beginning of September.

“Shelling of social objects such as schools, mosques, markets in western Aleppo by militants has become systematic. Thus, seven schoolchildren were killed in mortar shelling in the Sulaymaniyah district, while more than 130 children were killed by militants since the beginning of September,” he stressed.

Rudskoy said that Russia calls on “the terrorists’ leadership to demine routes of approach to the humanitarian corridors and give residents opportunity to leave eastern Aleppo.” He added that although airstrikes against supply routes and weapon convoys of terrorists are carried out by the Russian Aerospace Forces in Aleppo outskirts, the Russian side is ready to stop its airstrikes during a humanitarian pause, which would be introduced around the city from 08:00 am to 16:00 pm local time on August 20.

“Russian combat planes and Syrian government forces will not carry strikes during this period,” Rudskoy stressed.

He noted that two secure corridors could be used by terrorists in order to move from eastern Aleppo to Idlib.

The chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the Russian General Staff also stressed the Russian side is ready to stop airstrikes in Aleppo at any time on request of humanitarian organizations and groups.

“Russia is willing to discuss any initiatives or proposals on resolving the crisis in Aleppo,” Rudskoy stressed.

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Selected Articles: The Danger of Nuclear War between USA and Russia

octobre 18th, 2016 by Global Research News

Screen Shot 2016-10-18 at 11.12.44

War between US and Russia Could Be Sooner than Later. “The Danger of a Nuclear War”

By Joachim Hagopian, October 18 2016

Barely noticed in a virtual media blackout in the West are at least a half dozen high alert, significant international developments that all strongly indicate the extreme danger of a nuclear war breaking out at any time against Russia and its Eastern alliance.

Clinton Trump

Whether to Go to War Against Russia Is Top Issue in U.S. Presidential Race

By Eric Zuesse, October 18 2016

The United States government has already declared that in regards to what it alleges to be a Russian cyberattack against the U.S. Democratic Party, the U.S. reserves the right to go to war against Russia. NATO has accordingly changed its policy so as to assert that a cyberattack (in this case actually cyber-espionage, such as the U.S. government itself perpetrates against even its own allies such as Angela Merkel by tapping her phone) constitutes an act of war by the alleged cyberattacker, and so requires all NATO member nations to join any cyberattacked NATO nation in war against its alleged (cyber)attacker, if the cyberattacked member declares war against its alleged cyberattacker.

US-and-Canada-flag-puzzleCanada Goes To War. Trudeau Postures For The UN

By Jim Miles, October 17 2016

Stephen Lewis, former socialist NDP leader from Canada’s province of Ontario was asked about PM Justin Trudeau’s letter to the UN asking for a special General Assembly meeting, as reported by the CBC yesterday: The Canadian Mission to the United Nations has submitted a rare request asking the president of the General Assembly for a meeting of all 193 member states to “explore concerted action to apply pressure on the parties of the violence [in Syria],” now in its sixth year. He commented that “war crimes are being committed by Russia” but hopefully that “Russia may at some point be forced to reconsider,” its position.

yemen_map_droneWashington and London Call for Yemen “Ceasefire” amid Escalation Of U.S. Bombings… Dangerous Crossroads in Syria and Iraq

By Abayomi Azikiwe, October 18 2016

A new proposal for the cessation of hostilities in Yemen was announced on October 16 amid an escalation in United States bombing operations against the most impoverished nation in the Middle East. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and United Nations envoy to Yemen, Ould Cheikh Ahmed of Mauritania, issued the call during a break from discussions in London centered on the current situation in Syria.

aleppo

The Real Humanitarian Crisis Is Not Aleppo. The Crisis is Washington Loosing its ISIS Mercenaries

By Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, October 18 2016

Why do we hear only of the “humanitarian crisis in Aleppo” and not of the humanitarian crisis everywhere else in Syria where the evil that rules in Washington has unleashed its ISIL mercenaries to slaughter the Syrian people?  Why do we not hear about the humanitarian crisis in Yemen where the US and its Saudi Arabian vassal are slaughtering Yemeni women and children?  Why don’t we hear about the humanitarian crisis in Libya where Washington destroyed a country leaving chaos in its place?  Why don’t we hear about the humanitarian crisis in Iraq, ongoing now for 13 years, or the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan now 15 years old? The answer is that the crisis in Aleppo is the crisis of Washington losing its ISIL mercenaries to the Syrian army and Russian air force.

911-attacksToxic Mind Control Contaminates The Public Sphere

By Mark Taliano, October 17 2016

We are living in a society where dangerous political ignorance prevails, and truth is subordinated. “Forbidden truths” are concealed beneath the protective cover of a growing array of taboos. The taboos protect the criminal warmongers and the oligarch class, as they corrode peace, equality, freedom, and prosperity.

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SATIRE – Humour

Trump et Clinton interprètent la chanson célèbre du film étasunien Dirty Dancing (1987)  » The Time of my Life  »

Traduction de la chanson (i’ve Had) The Time Of My Life :

C’est le plus beau moment de ma vie

Maintenant, c’est le plus beau moment de ma vie
Non je ne me suis jamais senti comme cela
Oui je le jure c’est la vérité
Et je te dois tout cela
Parce que c’est le plus beau moment de ma vie
Et je te dois tous cela

J’attendais depuis longtemps
Maintenant j’ai finalement trouvé quelqu’un
Pour être à mes côtés
Nous avons vus les écrits sur les murs
Alors que nous ressentions ces magiques
Fantasmes

Maintenant avec la passion dans nos yeux
Il n’y a aucune façon de le cacher
Secrètement
Alors on se prend chacun la main
Parce que nous semblons comprendre
L’urgence, rappelle-toi juste

Tu es la seule chose
Dont je ne suis jamais rassasié
Alors je vais te dire quelque chose
Cela pourrait être l’amour parce que

[Refrain]
C’est le plus beau moment de ma vie
Non je ne me suis jamais senti comme cela auparavant
Oui je le jure c’est la vérité
Et je te dois tout cela
C’est le plus beau moment de ma vie
Non je ne me suis jamais senti comme cela auparavant
Oui je le jure c’est la vérité
Et je te dois tout cela

C’est le plus beau moment de ma vie

Et je recherche à travers toute les portes ouvertes

Jusqu’à ce que je trouve la vérité

Et je te dois tout cela

Avec mon corps et mon âme
Je te veux plus que tu ne le sauras jamais
Alors laissons-le allez
Ne sois pas effrayé de perdre le contrôle
Oui je sais ce qu’il y a dans ton esprit
Quand tu me dis : Reste avec moi ce soir
Rappelle-toi juste

Tu es la seule chose
Dont je ne suis jamais rassasié
Alors je vais te dire quelque chose
Cela pourrait être l’amour parce que

[Refrain]

Source de la traduction :

http://www.greatsong.net/TRADUCTION-DIRTY-DANCING,IVE-HAD-THE-TIME-OF-MY-LIFE,100621613.html

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Right now the US mainstream media is obsessing over Donald’s alleged womanizing and female groping soap opera as the Clinton’s/MSM’s pruriently entertaining smokescreen, neatly designed to cover up Hillary/Bill’s serial raping and her criminal lead role as enabler/strong armed intimidator of past victims.

Meanwhile, barely noticed in a virtual media blackout in the West are at least a half dozen high alert, significant international developments this last weekend that all strongly indicate the extreme danger of a nuclear war breaking out at any time against Russia and its Eastern alliance. Again, do not pay attention to the US deceivers behind their Oz-like curtain and their frenzied pushing of Western propaganda machine levers as sleight of hand distraction to willfully withhold the fact that many unreported major world events are simultaneously occurring now that foretell the start of World War III potentially just days away.

The current threat level to every human life on this planet even surpasses the October Cuban Missile Crisis of 54 years ago as the earth today is in more peril by manmade destruction than any previous time in human history. Yet the neocon madness of Obama, Hillary and their MSM minions do not want Americans to know this dire truth that the US is rapidly moving to very likely execute a series of false flags that could ignite a global war between US-NATO and the Eastern powers: Russia, China and Iran.

And based on alarming rapid fire events, it could even begin prior to the scheduled November 8th presidential election just three weeks away. Make no mistake – that perfect storm of destabilizing developments triggering WWIII, the global economy crash and possible martial law timed with the US presidential election that many independent journalists like myself have been writing about for months is unfolding right this very moment.

Here are just a few of these disturbing breaking news events and anomalies that are currently unfolding over this last weekend that are conspicuously missing in action from all MSM headlines:

FAA issues no fly zone over parts of Montana

Per the FAA on Saturday a no fly zone went into effect for most of the day from 3PM to midnight over selected parts of the state of Montana.

The FAA claimed that US military rockets were being launched in connection with “space operations” yet the only missiles in Montana are nuclear armed warhead missiles. According to NewsPrepper.com, the missile silos in Montana are armed with Multiple Independent Re-entry Vehicles (MIRV’s) and each MIRV contains a 100 kiloton nuclear warhead. Within a half hour after launch, each single rocket is capable of destroying eight cities anywhere on earth.

The real question is what was the government actually up to on Saturday with nuclear missiles in Montana?

Source: Nuclear Archive

Buildup of US military planes and ships on Diego Garcia Island

Last Friday isn this remote US military outpost on Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean (see image below), a US military private contractor who cycles through every nine days working on the island for ongoing maintenance of military hardware reported an enormous, unprecedented buildup of US Air Force bombers – both B-1’s and B-2’s. Some were painted flat black. On a related note, this past week the US Air Force was caught dressing up its warplanes disguised as Russian aircraft that would likely be used in false flag operations to blame Russia for aggression it didn’t commit. The civilian contractor on Diego Garcia stated that far more activity was witnessed than any time prior in the 9 years he’s been on the job there. He reports that under the tightest security the government has blocked off access roads and that so many warplanes have been assembled on the island that aircraft are now being parked on blocked off roads.

A count of over a dozen refueling tankers were sighted and flights were taking off on the average of every 15 minutes. He also observes the tent city that sprang up includes temporary barracks and hangars for both US Air Force and Navy personnel. His ex-Air Force coworker speculated that the ultra-tight security and sudden influx of so much activity is characteristic of top secret nuclear weapons movement. Speaking of which, the eyewitness also noticed that 6-8 US Navy vessels were offshore and the island docks were busily unloading countless pallets of bombs. Obviously sneaky Obama is up to something very big against his targeted cold war enemies potentially including nuclear powered Russia and China.

DEFCON Level 3 warning

Even the Sunday edition of the British rag the Daily Star ran the headline “US nuclear attack warning ‘upgraded to level 3’ as Russian threat goes ‘beyond Cold War.’” Though midway through the article the Star quietly backtracks from its sensational headline claiming the US government has not officially released any public notice that the US is currently on DEFCON level 3, it references its “breaking news” headline based on the “conspiracy theory” website defconwarningsystem.com.

In any event, only three previous times in US history has Washington issued a DEFCON level 3 warning as its official nuclear war alert index, the last time being on 9/11. This particular level on the Chiefs of Staff developed “defense readiness condition” entails a nuclear attack readiness that the US Air Force is prepared to mobilize a nuclear strike within a 15 minute period. Level 3 also calls for the federal plan to take immediate effect that will maintain continuity of government services in response to imminent threat of any national emergency or crisis. Though true to form, the most secretive US president in history – Barack Obama and his neocons – are choosing to not publicly disclose this level 3 grave danger facing the American people, admitting the US is on the brink of nuclear war against Russia. For many years now the powers-that-shouldn’t-be have been secretly preparing for this nuclear showdown moment.

The five-level alert system ranges from level 5 at no threat at all to level 1 which is all-out nuclear war within the hour. Despite Washington’s official non-disclosure, a reasonable chance exists that we could be headed toward level 2, signifying an urgent readiness to deploy an armed attack within six hours in what would most likely amount to a nuclear exchange with one or more adversaries (Russia and China), resulting in mutually assured destruction (MAD) that’s long been an integral part of US national security policy and strategic military doctrine. During the first cold war MAD prevented either side from pushing the nuke button due to the principle of deterrence motivating both parties to not dare engage in such insanely suicidal behavior. However, the puppet masters and their neocon lunatics presently calling the shots are operating from a deluded sense of false security believing that when safely cloistered in their luxurious underground bunkers, they’re capable of surviving a nuclear holocaust at the earth’s surface.

Last Friday Obama met with foreign policy advisors on the Syrian crisis

Obama met last Friday with his top security advisors to assess and weigh all his military and non-military options in Syria and beyond. Clearly with all the unprecedented activity noted just since this meeting, the chronically weak leader who’s been our commander-in-chief the last eight years is racing against election time heavily influenced by his hawkish, “preemptive strike” neocons to rewrite his legacy. Putin. Keep in mind Barack Hussein Obama’s been the Manchurian puppet president who’s dutifully followed his globalist masters’ marching orders to destroy America to the T. So the big question remains is he planning to defy Russian warnings and attack Assad forces like he sneakily did on September 17th and thereby initiate war directly against Russia? By what has been happening over the weekend, it appears he just might.

CIA coordinating cyberattacks on Russia

No doubt also high on Obama’s meeting agenda last Friday is the covert cyber operation against Russia. As part of US retaliation for Putin allegedly hacking into DNC and Clinton emails while trying to change the election outcome in favor of Trump, all unsubstantiated deep state lies, MSM presstitute NBC News just reported that the CIA is coordinating the launching of cyberattacks against Russia. All the major powers engage in hacking and cyber warfare, so really there’s nothing much new here other than efforts to derail Russian intelligence apparatus and economic infrastructure is at its height right now.

This tit for tat game Empire’s playing now is serious risky business. Repercussions may have a boomerang effect manifesting as either a false flag or real cyber security breaches that could wreak havoc with US military and economic infrastructure. One morning we may wake up and not be able to withdraw cash from our local ATM or even pump gas. Or if asymmetrical warfare escalates to EMP attack, we may find ourselves without electricity for months, which within the first year is estimated to result in the death of 90% of the American population. The stakes are only growing higher yet our despots in charge appear to be throwing all caution to the wind. But then if their eugenics plan calls for 90% of us to be dead, it readily explains their reckless, homicidal behavior given both the means and motive.

US at war now in Yemen and signs of escalating violence and conflict at other global hotspots

This week’s aggression in Yemen by US Navy destroyers firing cruise missiles on Yemen soil can easily be construed as yet another clear, premeditated act of war against both Yemen as well as its fellow Shiite ally Iran.

Again without confirming any evidence of truth behind its claim, a highly deceitful US insists that Houthi rebels fired a missile twice during this past week at a Navy destroyer. Hence five missiles were launched by the destroyers at alleged Houthi radar stations.

It’s no accident or random event that the Ukraine conflict is also heating up now. This week a helicopter with NATO military instructors onboard was shot down by Donetsk freedom fighters. With freshly supplied new heavy weapons and even American snipers, the US puppet government in Kiev launched another offensive into the Donetsk People’s Republic with heavy mortar shelling. The US is stepping up its hostilities globally on all hotspot fronts in its apparent launch of this century’s world war.

As yet another further sign of the West’s plan to wage global war against Eastern powers, a Sunday FARS News Agency article is reporting that based on recent WikiLeaks released emails sent to Hillary, Israel has entertained designs in its warming of relations with the House of Saud to use a Saudi airbase from which Israeli air force jets can be deployed for purposes of attacking Iran. The article also mentioned in a related matter that The New York Times in 2010 disclosed that Saudi Arabia was prepared to give its air force stand down orders so that Israeli warplanes could safely pass through Saudi airspace to enable Israel to attack Iran’s nuclear and military facilities.

Multi-modal Information war propaganda

At the same time that NBC discloses the CIA hack-attack plan, messenger boy Biden makes his NBC appearance to further deliver the message to both America and Putin on Meet the Press. These so called countermeasures against fabricated Putin aggression are being carried out in a multitude of ways, just one being through recklessly blunt, sabre rattling threats recently uttered by members of both the State and Defense Departments.

Of course another old oft-used Empire standby is to engage in economic terrorism through such Empire vassal appendages as the UN and EU. The UK represented by warmongering Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and his sniveling US counterpart Kerry just met in London to discuss the latest round of ante upping economic sanctions against both Syria and Russia for their alleged “misconduct in Aleppo.” Again they’re hypocritically hiding behind their worn out phony humanitarian excuses when in fact it’s Putin and Assad who are doing the world the favor of wiping out their US supported terrorists. In perhaps the most provocative development leading to the West’s war against Russia, as the #1 US lackey last week the UK has given its fighter jet pilots in the Royal Air Force the greenlight to fire upon Russian aircraft in Syria.

Meanwhile the criminal cabal in Washington says nothing when those same terrorists they’re backing are shelling and killing civilians daily in western Aleppo. Last Thursday five children were killed in a bombed out school. Nor do they squawk when their terrorists are repeatedly using chemical weapons on Syrian people. Just two months ago in Aleppo five civilians were asphyxiated to death. Remember Obama’s self-righteous faked redline in August 2013 after his terrorists killed all those children in Ghouta? Or when every day Saudi jets are committing horrific war crimes of the century on the innocent civilians of Yemen 10,000 victims later. Instead of acknowledging humanitarian responsibility to protect the innocent in the poorest nation in the Middle East, the US Empire has now directly entered that war with recent missile attacks killing more Yemenis. Empire’s egregious criminality cannot be ignored.

Vice President Biden on NBC’s Meet the Press: Obama is threatening Putin with nuclear war

But the latest smugly delivered message to Putin of the ominous nuclear Armageddon comes out of the mouth of his VP Joe Biden on Sunday’s Meet the Press interview. The last question asked was what is Obama doing about Putin tampering with the US election outcome? A clear US lie without any supporting evidence thus far. Though Biden danced around the issue with a nebulous innuendo reply that career politicians are notorious for, he alluded that Obama is sending Putin an implicit threat. According to highly astute historian and geopolitical writer Eric Zuesse’s deciphered interpretation, that threat is the nuclear war that Putin and the Russians are now taking very seriously.

Hillary has repeatedly made war against both Russia and Iran her top priority imperative.  On the other hand, Trump has made it clear that he would work with Putin as a partner to eradicate the scourge of the terrorists worldwide. And without the terrorists, no more war on terror, no more terrorism, no more reason for making draconian laws in the name of national security that kill what’s left of our mortally wounded Constitution, and as an ally of Putin who dislikes globalism as much as terrorism, no more reason for one world government tyranny. Bearing this in mind, it’s very easy to see why Obama and Hillary are so gung ho and determined to risk all our lives for their NWO cause.

Saturday’s 20 nation meeting over Syria ends without agreement

Syrian talks in Lausanne, Switzerland involving 20 nations ended with zero agreement reached (other than be open to meeting at an undisclosed hypothetical future time). US et al versus Russia et al are deadlocked completely at odds with each other as US Empire is unwilling to pursue diplomatic channels with Russia to prevent the larger war. The US led coalition airstrike on Syrian soldiers last month proved that much in reality. At this point Russia does not trust the West and for good reason.

Russia’s preparedness for nuclear war

In response to the cold war approaching the boiling point in recent weeks, and in total contrast to America, Russia has been busy preparing its citizens for potential nuclear war. Moscow ordered all Russian citizens, diplomats and students traveling, working or studying abroad to immediately return home. Members of Russia’s diplomatic corps were threatened with reprimands and career demotions should they refuse to comply with the Kremlin directive. Additionally 40 million Russian citizens, that’s near one-third of the nation’s total population, just completed an unprecedented massive nuclear war defense drill. Also unlike the US, Moscow has built underground facilities for housing its 12 million residents under the capital city for safe refuge. Again unlike America, Russia is taking the extreme threat of nuclear war with the West very seriously. Even MSM fixture ABC News ran a story how Russians have been preparing for a nuclear winter outcome. In stark contrast, outside of Putin bashing and the election sideshow, neither Washington nor its propaganda whores in the press have alerted Americans that they are currently in grave danger. In fact it’s been an MSM news blackout while Russian media has told its citizens that nuclear war is “imminent.” Meanwhile as another sign that Putin means business, in response to NATO’s nuclear missiles activated in Romania and Poland, Putin has ordered at the ready his nuclear capable missiles in Kaliningrad, the Russian enclave between NATO members Poland and Lithuania.

« The Russians are Coming » Propaganda Ploy: Alleged « Russian Invasion » of US by way of Alaska

Britain’s tabloid the Daily Star (quoted by The Inquisitr) has run an October 16th headline “The Russians Are Coming », Says Ex-Navy Leader: World War 3 Will Start with Alaska Invasion.”

Inquisitr Headlines (October 15, 2016)

No doubt, the anonymous source to the “Russians Are Coming” story published by the Daily Star is but part of the Clinton-Obama propaganda blitzkrieg falsely blaming Putin for everything gone wrong in this world as yet more propaganda used to justify a US war against Russia. That said, according to the Inquisitr article, the unnamed “high-ranking former US Navy official” warned that an unprotected part of America’s largest state Alaska with its closest point separating America from Russia just 50 miles, has been Putin’s planned designated target where Russian submarines will secure an invasion of our 50th state and proceed southward to the continental US. The former naval officer stated:

Our feeling in the Navy was that Obama had turned Alaska into a defenseless area that will serve as a forward base of operations when World War III begins.

The tabloid propaganda article quoting an unidentified former naval officer as the leaked source also claimed that Russian soldiers disguised in Alaska as “highway road crews” have been literally laying the groundwork for the invasion and will be used to secure bridges and disrupt communications during the invasion. The article goes on to report that other unnamed sources have independently also laid claim that Russians have been moving into the local area and living in abandoned motels and military bases.

Conclusion

The bottom line is the West and their terrorist allies are losing the war in Syria. The battle for Aleppo is being won as the Syrian Arab Army is making headway in the eastern part of Syria’s second largest city. Not only is the legitimate president of Syria – Bashar al-Assad – going to remain in power, but the US wet dream of a no fly zone under US control is not in the cards either. Putin has checkmated the neocon traitors by deploying his advanced S-400 and S-300 anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense systems vowing to shoot down any unidentified airplanes in the skies over Syria. The trained Syrians will be the ones pulling the trigger.

The US is realizing its longtime investment in terrorists and terrorism is being lost as Raqqa will be the final ISIS stronghold to be vanquished once Aleppo is liberated. Another second largest city in a neighboring country, Mosul will also be next, won back by Iraqi forces. The terrorists and their Western and Gulf State backers are going down in defeat. Knowing that US Empire’s run as the unipolar hegemonic kingpin of the world is rapidly fading, DC crazies are now acting out aggressively with wild abandon. Hopefully they’re not so deranged to push the button.

The most fitting metaphor for the current geopolitics chessboard drama being played out in Syria is the neighborhood bully who for years always has had his way browbeating and terrorizing his smaller neighbors into submission.

But one day the bully finally meets his match – a worthy challenger willing to stand up and fight the bully once and for all. Always having bragged about his strength and power over everyone else through his frequent show of force, which he has brutally and repeatedly demonstrated, ultimately the bully is now having second thoughts, having to face reality that his stealth and strength cannot match his false bravado.

The bully realizes that he can’t actually beat his worthy challenger who has been able to outsmart and outfox him. Since the bully knows that the jig is up, he is fast running out of options. Unable to face the public humiliation of being exposed as the weaker, finally dethroned opponent, the bully is becoming increasingly agitated, mentally unstable and desperate.

Before whimpering away in defeat, the bully decides to throw one final but huge tantrum as his last defining moment as the king of the hill, exercising all his power and intimidation, he threatens to kill everyone in the neighborhood. This is what’s going on right now, the world bully – the United States Empire – is finally receiving his comeuppance. But the only problem is the mentally deranged bully possesses WMD’s that can in fact destroy the entire global village.  Since he knows his days as top dog are over and he feels he has nothing left to lose since he’s going down anyway, will the bully follow through on his threat to bring down the entire planet with him? That’s the big question.

Joachim Hagopian is a West Point graduate and former US Army officer. He has written a manuscript based on his unique military experience entitled “Don’t Let The Bastards Getcha Down.” It examines and focuses on US international relations, leadership and national security issues. After the military, Joachim earned a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and worked as a licensed therapist in the mental health field with abused youth and adolescents for more than a quarter century. In recent years he has focused on his writing, becoming an alternative media journalist. His blog site is at: http://empireexposed.blogspot.co

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Dans une séance de questions-réponses le 24 octobre 2013 chez Goldman Sachs, en présence du PDG Lloyd Blankfein, un membre du public a posé a l’actuelle candidate démocrate Hillary Clinton la question suivante : « Et Mike Bloomberg avait 30 milliards d’autres raisons pour ne pas prendre ses fonctions [briguer la présidence des États-Unis]. Avons-nous besoin d’un changement en profondeur à Washington qui a plus à voir avec les gens qui n’ont pas besoin du poste qu’avec ceux qui l’ont déjà ? »

La réponse de Clinton fut révélatrice. « Voilà une question très intéressante », a-t-elle dit. « Vous savez, je voudrais voir davantage des gens d’affaires qui réussissent se présenter aux élections. Je voudrais vraiment voir cela parce que je pense, vous savez, que ce n’est pas nécessaire d’avoir 30 milliards, mais vous avez un certain niveau de liberté. Et il y a cette phrase mémorable d’un ancien membre du Sénat : On peut peut-être vous louer, mais jamais vous acheter. Et je pense qu’il est important d’avoir des gens avec ces expériences-là ».

La réponse de Clinton est une défense du principe aristocratique : les riches devraient gouverner. En vertu de leur grande richesse, les riches ont le loisir de poursuivre une carrière politique. De plus, ils sont supposés ne pas avoir la tentation d’être soudoyés, car ils sont déjà si riches. Enfin, ils ont l’« expérience des affaires » nécessaire pour présider un système social qui profite à la couche sociale qui s’approprie tous les bénéfices des entreprises et de la finance. Ce sont des sentiments que n’importe quel aristocrate du 18e ou du 19e siècle reconnaîtrait et approuverait.

Clinton fait écho tout simplement, sous une forme plus brute, à l’arrogance patricienne de Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3e marquis de Salisbury (1830-1903), dont les vues ont été résumées par l’historienne Barbara Tuchman :

Il ne croyait pas à l’égalité politique. Il y avait la foule, disait-il, et il y avait les chefs « naturels ». « Toujours la richesse, dans certains pays la naissance, et dans tous les pays la puissance intellectuelle et la culture sont les marques de l’homme qui, dans un état de sentiments sain, est recherché par une communauté pour exercer son gouvernement ». Ces hommes avaient le temps libre pour cela et la fortune, « de sorte que les luttes d’ambition ne soient pas souillées par la cupidité sordide […] Ils sont l’aristocratie d’un pays dans le sens original et meilleur du mot […] Le point important c’est que les dirigeants d’un pays doivent être choisis parmi eux « et en tant que classe, ils devraient conserver cette « prépondérance politique à laquelle ils ont tous les droits que les capacités supérieures peuvent conférer » ».

L’argument de Clinton selon lequel sa propre richesse lui confère le droit de gouverner l’Amérique est un argument également utilisé à répétition par Donald Trump, qui vante ses propres milliards comme une raison pour laquelle il restera à l’abri des « intérêts particuliers ».

L’« ancien membre du Sénat » à qui Clinton faisait apparemment référence était John Breaux, un démocrate de la Louisiane qui a exercé ses fonctions de 1987 à 2005. Considéré comme l’un des démocrates les plus conservateurs jamais élu, ce modèle pour Clinton a continué à poursuivre une carrière lucrative de lobbying à la firme Patton Boggs Squire. Son nom est synonyme de la corruption liée à la revolving door [pantouflage] de Washington.

Samedi, Wikileaks a publié les transcriptions de trois discours richement rémunérés prononcés par Clinton lors de réunions tenues par Goldman Sachs, le 4 juin, le 24 octobre et le 29 octobre 2013. Tous les trois affichent un mélange de servilité devant les malfaiteurs financiers qui l’avaient engagée pour parler et de jubilation pour sa propre richesse.

Dans un de ses discours secrets à Wall Street, Clinton a franchement avoué qu’elle a une « position publique » et une « position privée ». La position privée est exprimée dans des « discussions en coulisses », tandis que la « position publique » comprend les mensonges qu’elle raconte au reste de la population.

En premier lieu, le fait que Clinton se soit adressée à cette banque d’investissement tristement célèbre met en évidence la mesure dans laquelle l’establishment patronal, financier et politique américain trempe dans la corruption et la criminalité. En avril 2011, la Sous-commission sénatoriale permanente aux enquêtes a publié un rapport intitulé « Wall Street et la crise financière : Anatomie d’un effondrement financier ». Ce rapport a documenté exhaustivement le fait que le krach financier de 2008 et la récession qui l’a suivi ont été le produit de la fraude et de l’illégalité pratiquées par des prêteurs hypothécaires et des banques telles que Goldman Sachs, et dans lesquelles les organismes de réglementation gouvernementaux ainsi que les agences de notation ont été complices.

Quarante pour cent de ce rapport de 639 pages, c’est-à-dire quelque 240 pages, ont été consacrés aux pratiques frauduleuses et trompeuses de Goldman Sachs. Le rapport a présenté les documents, les courriels, les communications internes et autres éléments de preuve montrant que la plus grande banque d’investissement américaine avait vendu des milliards de dollars de titres appuyés sur des hypothèques subprime à des investisseurs, en garantissant leur valeur, tout en pariant sur l’échec de ces investissements. Goldman en a retiré des milliards et le PDG Blankfein et d’autres cadres supérieurs ont empoché des millions en primes en accélérant l’effondrement du système financier.

Le sénateur Carl Levin du Michigan, le président de la sous-commission sénatoriale, a décrit à merveille la façon dont l’enquête avait découvert « une fosse aux serpents financière débordant de cupidité, de conflits d’intérêts et d’actes répréhensibles ».

« En utilisant leurs propres mots dans les documents obtenus sous la contrainte judiciaire par la sous-commission », a déclaré Levin, « ce rapport décrit comment les entreprises financières ont délibérément profité de leurs clients et investisseurs, comment les agences de notation de crédit ont attribués des notations AAA aux titres à haut risque, et comment les régulateurs ont refusé d’agir au lieu de freiner des pratiques douteuses partout autour d’eux. Les conflits d’intérêt effrénés sont les fils conducteurs qui traversent chaque chapitre de cette histoire sordide ».

Alors, quand Clinton frayait avec Blankfein le PDG de Goldman Sachs en 2013, alors que les enquêtes sur les méfaits de Goldman et les autres banques de Wall Street étaient toujours en cours, elle côtoyait un homme qui aurait dû être en prison. En 2011, Levin avait recommandé que le ministère de la Justice traîne Blankfein au pénal pour sa conduite frauduleuse et trompeuse, et la sous-commission du Sénat l’a accusé de parjure lors de sa déposition en 2010 en ce qui concernait le rôle de sa banque dans le krach financier. Néanmoins, aucune inculpation ne fut portée contre lui, et en 2013 Clinton touchait au minimum 225 000 dollars par discours provenants de l’entreprise de Blankfein.

Hillary et Bill Clinton ont accumulé un total de 153 millions de dollars en honoraires pour leurs discours depuis que Bill Clinton a quitté la Maison Blanche. Seuls les très naïfs pourraient croire que ces sommes énormes ont été déboursées pour les seuls discours. Elles étaient le paiement des services rendus à l’aristocratie financière américaine sur une période prolongée.

Les discours de Clinton prononcés devant Wall Street méritent d’être largement lus. Ils fournissent une éducation inestimable de première main du cynisme éhonté de la classe dirigeante américaine. Alors que le gouvernement Obama insistait publiquement sur le fait que les réformes Dodd-Frank de 2010 étaient des « réglementations strictes » qui feraient en sorte que le krach de 2008 « ne se reproduira plus », Clinton a informé en privé son public de Goldman qu’ils n’avaient pas à s’inquiéter, que ces réformes cosmétiques devaient être adoptées pour des « raisons politiques », pour fournir l’apparence que le gouvernement « n’est pas resté les bras croisés à rien faire » pendant que les gens perdaient leurs emplois, leurs maisons et leurs épargnes de toute une vie.

Lorsque Blankfein demanda à Clinton de façon sarcastique comment, au cas où il devait briguer la présidence, devrait-il mener sa campagne, Clinton a répondu avec sa propre plaisanterie cynique. « Je pense que vous quitteriez Goldman Sachs et commenceriez à gérer des restaurants du cœur », a répondu Clinton, au grand amusement des invités réunis.

La réponse à la publication de ces discours par le soi-disant « socialiste » Bernie Sanders révèle le caractère tout à fait frauduleux de toute sa candidature présidentielle. Alors qu’il se présentait pendant les primaires du Parti démocrate comme le promoteur d’une « révolution politique » contre la « classe des milliardaires », Sanders fonctionne désormais sans vergogne comme un acteur mineur dans la campagne de Clinton, intimidant son (maintenant beaucoup plus petit) public avec des admonestations à voter pour la candidate préférée de la « classe des milliardaires » à laquelle il prétendait s’opposer.

Au cours de sa course à l’investiture démocrate, Sanders a appelé Clinton à plusieurs reprises à publier les transcriptions de ses discours de Wall Street, ce qu’elle a refusé de faire. Il a soutenu que les discours montreraient sa soumission aux banquiers. Maintenant, les transcriptions ont été divulguées au public, justifiant complètement ses accusations. Son silence ne fait que souligner la bassesse de sa trahison politique et sa malhonnêteté.

Entre-temps, les e-mails publiés par WikiLeaks entre Clinton et le président de sa campagne, John Podesta, révèlent le cynisme consommé avec lequel Hillary Clinton a cherché à se présenter comme championne des « Américains ordinaires », des petites entreprises, des travailleurs syndiqués, des minorités et des femmes. N’ayant aucun lien avec un mouvement populaire ou des politiques qui aient bénéficié aux 90 pour cent d’en bas de la société américaine, Clinton compte sur un réseau de « substitution » de « dirigeants communautaires », de bureaucrates syndicaux, d’universitaires, de célébrités et des médias, qui emploient une démagogie creuse et la politique identitaire pour promouvoir sa marque auprès des électeurs.

Dans un e-mail particulièrement machiavélique, un des collaborateurs de Clinton a envisagé d’ajouter un « riff » de déclarations démagogiques contre Wall Street dans un discours à la Deutsche Bank en 2015, « précisément dans le but d’avoir quelque chose que nous pourrions montrer aux gens si jamais on demandait ce qu’elle disait derrière les portes fermées pendant deux ans à tous ces gros richards ».

« Je lui ai écrit un long riff sur l’équité économique et la façon dont le secteur financier s’est fourvoyé », a écrit l’aide. « Peut-être à un moment donné, il serait profitable pour nous de partager cela avec un journaliste et d’avoir un article publié là-dessus. L’avantage serait que lorsque les gens disent qu’elle est trop proche de Wall Street et a pris trop d’argent des banquiers, nous pourrions citer la preuve qu’elle n’a pas peur de dire la vérité aux puissants ».

Dans un autre courriel, Podesta a franchement noté que Clinton détestait l’expression « les Américains ordinaires », mais Podesta la poussait à l’utiliser quand même. « Je sais qu’elle a commencé à détester les Américains ordinaires, mais je pense que nous devrions l’utiliser une fois, la première fois qu’elle déclarera qu’elle brigue la présidence, parce que vous, et les Américains ordinaires, avez besoin d’un champion », a écrit Podesta.

Le cynisme de la campagne de Clinton ne connaît aucune limite. Son personnel a effectivement travaillé pour aider Donald Trump à décrocher l’investiture républicaine, croyant que Clinton aurait une meilleure chance de vaincre Trump qu’un candidat républicain plus conventionnel à l’élection. Les médias ont été encouragés à « le prendre au sérieux », et Clinton a été invitée à choisir Trump en particulier pour le critiquer afin de « l’ aider à cimenter son statut de candidate favorite » parmi les candidats aux primaires républicaines.

Environ 11 000 sur 50 000 courriels obtenus par WikiLeaks ont été publiés. La réponse de la campagne de Clinton à ces révélations a été de blâmer la Russie, dans la droite ligne de la campagne de rodomontades du gouvernement Obama contre Poutine. Dans un entretien le week-end dernier sur Fox News, Podesta a suggéré que les e-mails n’étaient pas authentiques, tout en même temps (et d’une manière incompatible) faisant valoir qu’ils auraient été obtenu par « les Russes », qui tenteraient de faire remporter l’élection à Donald Trump.

Vendredi, Podesta a raillé le rédacteur de WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, avec une image d’un certain nombre de chefs culinaires en uniforme préparant un dîner privé de luxe pour le Fonds de la victoire de Hillary. « Je parie que le risotto au homard est mieux que la nourriture à l’ambassade équatorienne », a écrit Podesta comme légende de la photo sur Twitter, se référant au fait qu’Assange est de facto prisonnier à l’ambassade équatorienne de Londres depuis qu’il a demandé l’asile en juin 2012. Assange a immédiatement répondu : « Oui, nous l’avons compris. Les élites mangent mieux que les paysans qu’elles maltraitent ».

Tom Carter

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Appel adressé à Obama par d’anciens officiers pour désamorcer les tensions avec la Russie

octobre 18th, 2016 by Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

Un groupe d’anciens officiers des services de renseignements américains recommande au président Obama de désamorcer les tensions croissantes avec la Russie au sujet de la Syrie, en freinant la diabolisation du président Poutine, et en renforçant le pouvoir civil de la Maison Blanche sur le Pentagone.

Actuellement, c’est la Syrie qui nous préoccupe. Nous espérons que votre briefing présidentiel de demain accordera une attention particulière à l’avertissement du porte-parole de la diplomatie russe Mme Maria Zakharova du 1/10/16: «Une attaque américaine visant directement Damas et l’armée syrienne, apporterait un terrible changement tectonique, pas seulement dans ce pays, mais aussi dans l’ensemble de la région.»

A la télévision russe, elle a dénoncé ceux dont «la logique se restreint au ‹pourquoi aurions-nous besoin de la diplomatie› … alors qu’il y a la puissance armée … et des méthodes pour résoudre les problèmes par la force. Nous connaissons cette logique; il n’y a rien de nouveau à ce sujet. Elle aboutit toujours au même résultat: la guerre à grande échelle.» […]

Il ne faut pas attribuer à la paranoïa de la partie russe, le fait qu’ils soupçonnent que les attaques aériennes du 17 septembre perpétrées par les forces américaines et australiennes sur les troupes syriennes – faisant 62 morts et 100 blessés – n’étaient pas une «erreur», mais plutôt une tentative délibérée de saborder le cessez-le-feu partiel signé par Kerry et Lavrov, avec votre approbation et celle du Président Poutine, et entré en vigueur juste cinq jours auparavant.

lavrov kerry

S’exprimant en public de manière frisant l’insubordination, les officiers seniors du Pentagone ont montré ouvertement et de manière inhabituelle leur scepticisme face au traité Kerry-Lavrov. Nous pouvons en déduire que ce que Lavrov a dit en aparté à son supérieur, correspondait plus ou moins aux paroles inhabituellement directes exprimées à la télévision russe NTV le 26 septembre:
«Notre bon ami John Kerry … est soumis à de sévères critiques de la part de la machine de guerre américaine. Ceci malgré le fait que, comme d’habitude, le chef suprême de l’armée Barack Obama le soutient dans ses contacts avec la Russie (il l’a même confirmé pendant sa rencontre avec le Président Vladimir Poutine), alors qu’apparemment les militaires n’écoutent pas vraiment leur commandant-en-chef.

Les paroles de Lavrov ne sont pas que de la rhétorique. Il a également critiqué le Joint Chief of Staff Joseph Dunford qui disait au Congrès américain qu’il était opposé à la pratique de partager les informations (en matière d’espionnage) avec la Russie «… et cela après les accords conclus sur les ordres directs du Président Vladimir Poutine et du Président Barack Obama confirmant leur souhait de partager les informations (en matière d’espionnage) avec nous … C’est difficile de travailler avec de tels partenaires.» […]

Pour de nouvelles négociations, la porte reste entrouverte. Ces derniers jours, les fonctionnaires du ministère de la Défense et du Département d’Etat russes, ainsi que le porte-parole du Président Poutine, ont soigneusement évité de fermer entièrement cette porte. Nous y voyons un bon signe que le Secrétaire d’Etat Kerry ait parlé au téléphone avec le ministre des Affaires étrangères Lavrov. Les Russes, de leur part, ont réaffirmé la volonté de Moscou d’honorer les accords signés auparavant sur la Syrie.

Du point de vue du Kremlin, la Russie encourt de beaucoup plus grands dangers que les Etats-Unis. Des milliers de dissidents terroristes russes sont partis en Syrie, où ils récoltent des armes, des fonds, et un savoir-faire pour organiser des révoltes accompagnées de violence. Il est facile de comprendre que Moscou est alarmé par le danger que ceux-ci représenteront quand ils rentreront au pays. De plus, il est très probable que le Président Poutine est comme vous, sous pression de la part des militaires pour liquider «une fois pour toutes» ce chaos «syrien», indépendamment des conséquences sinistres qu’une solution militaire aurait sur les parties en Syrie.

Nous sommes conscients que le Congrès américain et les médias alignés vous invitent à faire chauffer la situation et à réagir en Syrie avec davantage de violence – ouverte ou cachée ou les deux à la fois. […]

A ce sujet, il serait utile […] si l’un de vos collaborateurs pouvait suggérer aux médias alignés de baisser le ton de leur campagne puérile et haineuse de diabolisation du Président Poutine qu’ils attaquent personnellement et trop souvent de manière injuste et contre-productive.
En effet, il serait plus constructif de renouer le dialogue direct avec le Président Poutine. Ce serait la meilleure possibilité pour terminer tout «blocage» involontaire. Nous sommes d’avis que John Kerry a raison d’insister sur la situation syrienne absolument chaotique suite à la complexité des intérêts et des nombreux groupes qui s’y concurrencent. Toutefois, il a déjà fait un important travail préliminaire et a trouvé en Lavrov un partenaire utile dans la plupart des cas.

Cependant, au vu du scepticisme russe (et pas seulement russe) persistant quant à l’intensité de votre soutien à votre Secrétaire d’Etat, nous sommes convaincus que des négociations au plus haut niveau seraient la meilleure manière de prévenir tout débordement incontrôlable des têtes brulées des deux côtés, risquant de mener à une confrontation armée que personne ne peut vouloir.

Par conséquent, nous vous recommandons instamment d’inviter le Président Poutine à vous rencontrer dans un lieu à convenir entre les deux parties, afin de tenter de faire table rase et d’empêcher tout aggravation supplémentaire de la situation du peuple syrien.

A la fin du carnage de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, Winston Churchill a fait une remarque qui ne manque pas d’actualité au XXIe siècle: «To jaw, jaw, jaw is better than to war, war, war.» [Traduction libre: «Il est préférable de se parler plutôt que de se faire la guerre.»]

Au nom du comité de direction des «Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity» [Anciens professionnels du renseignement pour un comportement raisonnable]:

William Binney, former Technical Director, World Geopolitical & Military Analysis, NSA; co-founder, SIGINT Automation Research Center (ret.)
Fred Costello, Former Russian Linguist, USAF
Mike Gravel, former Adjutant, top secret control officer, Communications Intelligence Service; special agent of the Counter Intelligence Corps and former United States Senator
Matthew Hoh, former Capt., USMC, Iraq & Foreign Service Officer, Afghanistan (associate VIPS)
Larry C. Johnson, CIA & State Department (ret.)
John Kiriakou, former CIA counter­terrorism officer and former senior investigator, Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Linda Lewis, WMD preparedness policy analyst, USDA (ret.) (associate VIPS)
Edward Loomis, NSA, Cryptologic Computer Scientist (ret.)
Ray McGovern, former US Army infantry/intelligence officer & CIA analyst (ret.)
Elizabeth Murray, Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Middle East, CIA (ret.)
Todd Pierce, MAJ, US Army Judge Advocate (ret.)
Coleen Rowley, Division Counsel & Special Agent, FBI (ret.)
Kirk Wiebe, former Senior Analyst, SIGINT Automation Research Center, NSA, (ret.)
Robert Wing, former Foreign Service Officer
Ann Wright, U.S. Army Reserve Colonel (ret) and former U.S. Diplomat

*    Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) [Anciens professionnels du renseignement pour un comportement raisonnable] est un groupe de fonctionnaires actifs ou retraités des Services secrets américains, dont certains de la CIA, du bureau des services de renseignements du Secrétariat d’Etat (INR) et des services de renseignements militaires (DIA). Ils se sont organisés au niveau national en janvier 2003 pour protester contre l’utilisation d’informations falsifiées des services secrets pour justifier l’invasion de l’Irak par les troupes américaines et britanniques. Avant le début de l’invasion, le groupe a publié une lettre, décrivant que les analystes des divers services de renseignements n’avaient pas été entendus par les responsables politiques. En août 2010, ils ont rédigé un mémorandum adressé à la Maison Blanche, mettant en garde contre une attaque imminente de l’armée israélienne contre l’Iran.

Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity VIPS – 2/10/16

Article original en anglais :

President_Obama_delivers_the_State_of_the_Union_address_Jan._20,_2015

Former Intelligence Officials Warn Obama: Defuse Tensions with Russia, Rein in Demonization of President Putin, Kerry is Playing a Double Game…

Traduit par Horizons et débats

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Les États-Unis ont appelé à traduire la Russie en justice pour avoir commis des crimes de guerre en Syrie. Le secrétaire d’État John Kerry a déclaré vendredi à Washington :

«La Russie et le régime (syrien) doivent au monde plus qu’une explication […] Ce sont des actes qui demandent une enquête appropriée pour crimes de guerre. Et ceux qui les commettent devraient être tenus pour responsables […] Nous avons également besoin de maintenir la pression sur la Russie, par rapport à la mise en œuvre de l’accord de Minsk (sur l’Ukraine). Et nous […] rendons clair, publiquement, que si nous ne pouvons pas mettre en œuvre Minsk dans les prochains mois ou arriver à un plan clair pour savoir exactement comment cela va être mis en œuvre […] alors il sera absolument nécessaire d’imposer des sanctions (contre la Russie).»

Assurément, la température négative des relations russo-américaines a encore plongé d’une dizaine de degrés centigrades. Même au plus fort de la guerre froide, lorsque l’ex-Union soviétique était un «empire du mal», Washington n’avait jamais demandé que les responsables du Kremlin soient jugés pour crimes de guerre.

Et l’Union soviétique non plus. Même après avoir tué des centaines de milliers de civils irakiens, libyens et afghans, et avoir détruit gratuitement ces pays pendant la dernière décennie, et bien que les États-Unis participent activement à la guerre au Yémen, Moscou n’a jamais exigé que George W. Bush ou Barack Obama – ou même Hillary Clinton – soient jugés comme criminels de guerre.

Qu’est-ce qui est arrivé à Kerry ? Il ressemble à un homme frustré qui a perdu son sang-froid. Il se rend compte que son homologue russe Sergueï Lavrov l’a berné, alors qu’il pensait être plus malin que lui.

Les États-Unis espéraient, en quelque sorte, préserver al-Nusra, affilié à al-Qaida, afin de mener le combat final pour un changement de régime en Syrie – sinon sous la présidence Obama, au moins sous l’égide du prochain président. En effet, Lavrov a vu le stratagème de Kerry – en fin de compte, Kerry, un homme politique intelligent avec une certaine expérience dans la diplomatie, ne faisait pas le poids face à Lavrov, un diplomate de carrière extrêmement expérimenté et intellectuel. Ainsi, Lavrov a joué avec le visage d’un jouer de poker et piégé ‘John’ dans un accord de paix que le Pentagone n’approuverait jamais, car il avait réellement pour but de faire de la pâtée avec al-Nusra.

D’un autre côté, Kerry se sent frustré que le président Barack Obama n’ait pas été disposé à une intervention militaire parallèle en Syrie, qui, pensait-il, aurait donné une autre allure, bien nécessaire, à son action diplomatique. Kerry appartient à la vieille école de courtiers du pouvoir à Washington, qui souscrivent à l’idée que les Marines ouvrent la voie aux diplomates – il était lui-même un Marine autrefois.

Mais Kerry n’a pas réalisé que le sol, sous les pieds américains, avait changé au Moyen-Orient. Les relations des États-Unis avec la Turquie, ainsi qu’avec l’Arabie saoudite, les deux puissances régionales principales qui ont alimenté le conflit syrien, sont aujourd’hui aigries au point que Washington joue solo dans le concert, bien que l’orchestre ne suive plus la mesure.

Ce qui m’intrigue, c’est pourquoi Kerry veut que les dirigeants russes et syriens soient jugés pour crimes de guerre. Pourquoi pas aussi le guide suprême Ali Khamenei, qui commande le Corps des Gardiens de la révolution islamique (IRGC) ? Mais là, Kerry ne peut pas prononcer ce mot de quatre lettres – Iran – parce que l’accord avec ce pays est censé être le meilleur héritage de la présidence Obama. Pourtant, s’il n’y avait pas eu l’IRGC, qui a sacrifié si lourdement son sang et son trésor, le gouvernement syrien n’aurait jamais pu prendre le dessus dans les combats.

Le troisième aspect fascinant de la remarque apocalyptique de Kerry est qu’il semble suggérer que les États-Unis ont toujours l’intention de gagner la guerre en Syrie. Après tout, c’est un trait constant de l’histoire, que le vainqueur envoie les vaincus au tribunal des crimes de guerre – que ce soit Slobodan Milosevic ou Saddam Hussein.

Pour le dire autrement, est-ce que Kerry pense que les États-Unis ont l’intention de vaincre la Russie dans une guerre ? Est-ce son pronostic que la Troisième Guerre mondiale est au coin de la rue ? Ne comprend-t-il pas que l’anéantissement total de son pays, dans une épreuve de force nucléaire avec la Russie, rendrait tout ce discours sur les crimes de guerre hors de propos ?

Kerry doit se sentir frustré que le Nobel soit allé au président colombien ! Quelle façon de terminer une carrière distinguée, dans la politique et la diplomatie, s’il n’y a pas de grande reconnaissance pour le bon travail accompli ! Kerry quitte la scène de la diplomatie internationale en homme aigri.

Il est peu probable que Lavrov réponde. Que peut-il dire, après tout ? Kerry est allé trop loin pour inverser le cours de l’histoire et le résultat était assez prévisible. Peu importe ses vaillants efforts, il ne pouvait pas effacer la réalité géopolitique que les États-Unis sont une puissance en déclin. Non seulement dans le Moyen-Orient, mais aussi en Asie-Pacifique.

Le spectacle d’une superpuissance qui s’éloigne dans un coucher de soleil n’est jamais une vue agréable. Ce fut le cas avec Rome, Byzance, l’Espagne, le Portugal, la France, la Grande-Bretagne. Regardez la dernière nouvelle en provenance de la mer de Chine méridionale.

M.K. Bhadrakumar

Article Original paru sur Indian Punchline

Traduit et édité par jj, relu par Cat pour le Saker Francophone

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Original Bashir interview that contradicts Washington’s account of killing bin Laden

A website in the UK, themindrenewed.com, that downloaded the video from the link in my original report of the Pakistani TV interview with Mohammad Bashir has posted the interview with the original English subtitles. You can view it here:

..

This interview of an eyewitness to the entire event is powerful evidence that the Obama regime’s story of the killing of Osama bin Laden and his burial at sea is a hoax and a lie. Pakistani Samaa TV confirms that Bashir is who he says he is and that he lives next to the alleged bin Laden compound. Samaa TV also confirms that neighbors knew the residents of the “compound.” There has never been any mention of the Bashir interview in the presstitute media.

http://themindrenewed.com/interviews/2013/334-int-32 [2]

Published on Oct 16, 2013

Mohammad Bashir, Abbottabad resident and neighbour to the alleged “compound” of Osama bin Laden, gives his eyewitness account of what he saw happen on 2 May 2011 (local time), when – according to the official story – US Navy SEALs assassinated Osama bin Laden. In this interview, soon after the event, with a Pakistan national TV station (Samaa.tv), Bashir gives an account which fundamentally contradicts the official story.



For a transcript of the interview, please see: http://paulcraigroberts.org/2013/09/16/pakistani-national-tv-reveals-that-obamas-claim-to-have-killed-osama-bin-laden-is-an-american-hoax-paul-craig-roberts/



For a detailed interview with Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary to the US Treasury for Economic Policy, who obtained the translation, please see: www.themindrenewed.com [3]

This video is being made public for the purposes of education. It provides documentary evidence with respect to the transcript and interview mentioned above; it is thus posted here in the spirit of Fair Use.

Massimo Mazzucco’s 9/11 Documentary

The extraordinary 5-hour film by Massimo Mazzucco exposing the 9/11 official explanation is now available (see below). Information and documentation continue to pile up that 21st century history is largely an orchestrated disinformation event.


Review of “September 11 – The New Pearl Harbor.”  A documentary by Massimo Mazzucco.

by David Ray Griffin

There have been several good films and videos about 9/11. But the new film by award-winning film-maker Massimo Mazzucco is in a class by itself.

For those of us who have been working on 9/11 for a long time, this is the film we have been waiting for.

Whereas there are excellent films treating the falsity of particular parts of the official account, such as the Twin Towers or WTC 7, Mazzucco has given us a comprehensive documentary treatment of 9/11, dealing with virtually all of the issues.

There have, of course, been films that treated the fictional official story as true. And there are films that use fictional stories to portray people’s struggles after starting to suspect the official story to be false.

But there is no fiction in Mazzucco’s film – except in the sense that it clearly and relentlessly exposes every part of the official account as fictional.

Because of his intent at completeness, Mazzucco has given us a 5-hour film. It is so fascinating and fast-paced that many will want to watch it in one sitting. But this is not necessary, as the film, which fills 3 DVDs, consists of 7 parts, each of which is divided into many short chapters.

These 7 parts treat Air Defence, The Hijackers, The Airplanes, The Pentagon, Flight 93, The Twin Towers, and Building 7. In each part, after presenting facts that contradict the official story, Mazzucco deals with the claims of the debunkers (meaning those who try to debunk the evidence provided by the 9/11 research community).

The Introduction, reflecting the film’s title, deals with 12 uncanny parallels between Pearl Harbor and September 11.

The film can educate people who know nothing about 9/11 (beyond the official story), those with a moderate amount of knowledge about the various problems with the official story, and even by experts. (I myself learned many things.)

Mazzucco points out that his film covers 12 years of public debate about 9/11. People who have been promoting 9/11 truth for many of these years will see that their labors have been well-rewarded: There is now a high-quality, carefully-documented film that dramatically shows the official story about 9/11 to be a fabrication through and through.

This is truly the film we have been waiting for.

Availability: The film is freely available to the world at:

1. The film-maker’s own website, complete with detailed index:
http://www.luogocomune.net/site/modules/sections/index.php?op=viewarticle&artid=167 [4]

2. On YouTube:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1GCeuSr3Mk (Preview)  [5]

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Margarita Simonyan, rédactrice en chef de RT, a annoncé que tous les comptes bancaires de la chaîne RT seront bloqués au Royaume-Uni. Devant le tollé, la NatWest, filiale de RBS a rouvert la discussion et a annoncé qu’elle «réévalue la situation».

Quelques heures après avoir annoncé le blocage des comptes de RT, la banque NatWest, qui fait partie du groupe bancaire Royal Bank Scotland (RBS) est revenue sur sa décision et précisé, dans un communiqué adressé à la chaîne, que «cette décision n’a pas été prise de façon légère», mais qu’elle était actuellement «en train de réévaluer la situation».

«[Nous] avons pris contact avec le client [RT UK] afin de poursuivre la discussion. Les comptes auprès de la banque sont toujours ouverts et continuent de fonctionner», a écrit un représentant de NatWest.

Plus tôt ce lundi 17 octobre, la banque a annoncé le blocage des services attachés aux comptes de Russia Today UK, mettant en avant un «réexamen des arrangements bancaires», sans en donner de raisons plus précises, mais précisant que la décision était définitive.

 

5804c098c46188f6018b463e

 

Pour justifier sa décision, Natwest avait invoqué un «réexamen des arrangements bancaires», qui l’a conduit à une décision de ne plus fournir ses services à RT.

Il est également précisé que toutes les entités de Royal Bank of Scotland, dont NatWest fait partie, refuseraient à l’avenir de coopérer avec RT. Selon le document, cette décision est «définitive» et «n’est pas sujette à discussion».

«Tous nos comptes bancaires ont été bloqués au Royaume-Uni. Tous. « La décision est unilatérale ». Vive la liberté d’expression !», avait alors tweeté la rédactrice en chef de RT, Margarita Simonyan.

 

blocage compte 20161018

 

Anticipation de nouvelles sanctions contre la Russie ?

«Nous n’avons aucune idée de la raison pour laquelle cela s’est passé parce que ni hier, ni avant-hier, ni le mois dernier, rien d’extraordinaire ne nous est arrivé, personne ne nous a menacés. Théoriquement, cela pourrait être lié à de nouvelles sanctions antirusses britanniques et américaines qui pourraient être publiées très prochainement. Peut-être que ces deux évènements ne sont pas liés. Notre département juridique étudie maintenant cette situation», a précisé Margarita Simonyan.

Concernant le blocage de la chaîne russe à vocation internationale, la porte-parole du ministère russe des Affaires étrangères, Maria Zakharova, a précisé qu’en quittant l’UE le Royaume-Uni avait «laissé tomber toutes ses obligations liés à la défense de la liberté d’expression».

«Comme on dit : on entame une nouvelle vie sans mauvaises habitudes», a-t-elle ironisé.

blocage compte 2 20161018

Selon le quotidien The Guardian, le Trésor britannique n’est pas à l’origine de la décision de la banque. Le journal, qui cite une source anonyme, affirme que la décision a été prise par NatWest sans aucune «consultation» avec des institutions officielles.

Réaction officielle de la Russie

Sergueï Jelezniak, membre de la commission des Affaires étrangères du Parlement russe, a d’ailleurs annoncé son intention de demander des explications aux autorités britanniques et d’aider l’équipe de RT UK à défendre ses droits.

«Nous demanderons aux organisations internationales comme le Conseil de l’Europe et l’ONU, ainsi qu’aux associations de défense des droits de l’Homme de donner leur avis sur cette question», a précisé le député du parti au pouvoir, Russie Unie.

«On dirait que c’est plus qu’une coïncidence que cela soit arrivé au moment où la propagande antirusse a atteint un niveau sans précédent», a déclaré l’écrivain John Wight à RT.

«Cela reflète l’ampleur avec laquelle l’Occident perd la guerre de l’information. RT joue un rôle clé en mettant en doute les récits de l’Occident et des médias occidentaux quand il s’agit des évènements en Ukraine, en Syrie et au Moyen-Orient», a-t-il poursuivi.

 

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SATIRE – Humour

Voici comment les Syriens voient la campagne électorale étasunienne :

Trump et Clinton dansent sur l’air :  » Nous t’aimons Bachar, nous ne voterons que pour toi et le peuple syrien reconstruira le pays avec toi. »

شبكة نوكيا كوم للأخبار السورية و العربية‎ –

www.facebook.com

‎شبكة نوكيا كوم للأخبار السورية و العربية‎.

Également disponible en arabe sur Facebook en cliquant ici 

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A new proposal for the cessation of hostilities in Yemen was announced on October 16 amid an escalation in United States bombing operations against the most impoverished nation in the Middle East.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and United Nations envoy to Yemen, Ould Cheikh Ahmed of Mauritania, issued the call during a break from discussions in London centered on the current situation in Syria.

Kerry told the international press that

“We are not calling for this in a vacuum. There have been communications to both the Houthi through various intermediaries as well as to [Yemeni] President [Mansour] Hadi, respectful of his position, but this is the time to implement a cease-fire unconditionally and to move to the negotiating table. We cannot emphasize enough today the urgency of ending the violence in Yemen, of providing for an opportunity for a political settlement, which is the only way it will be ultimately resolved.” (Al Manar, Oct. 17)

In response to the failure of Washington’s policy in Yemen where in the aftermath of the withdrawal of diplomatic personnel and Special Forces in March 2015, the Saudi Arabian and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) coalition launched an aerial campaign and ground conflict which lead to the deaths of approximately 10,000 people, the injuring of tens of thousands more and the displacement of several million. President Barack Obama’s administration has sold $110 billion in weapons to Saudi Arabia in addition to authorizing the use of U.S. manufactured warplanes, bombs, intelligence coordination and refueling technology which created one of the worst humanitarian disasters in the world today.

The Saudi-GCC Coalition claims that it is assisting the “legitimate” government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi which was ousted by an alliance of Yemeni forces including the Ansurallah (Houthis) working in conjunction with military units still loyal to the former President Ali Abdullah Saleh. The Ansurallah is said to be assisted politically by the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Opening a broader phase of the war, a U.S. Navy Destroyer admitted to firing tomahawk missiles aimed at disabling radar sites controlled by the Ansurallah on October 12. These actions and subsequent hostile military operations are heightening tensions throughout the entire region. Ansurallah leaders have denied firing missiles at US Navy Destroyers contradicting the Pentagon claims.

The Guardian newspaper in London reported on the Pentagon attacks warning of a potentially deeper quagmire on the part of the U.S. Although this is by no means the first attacks by the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) against people deemed as terrorists in Yemen, the character of the recent strikes will inevitably prompt widespread resentment against the Obama administration turning U.S. war machinery and its allies into compelling military targets.

Spencer Ackerman of New York wrote in the Guardian saying “While the U.S. has conducted lethal attacks in Yemen against al-Qaida forces throughout Obama’s presidency, killing civilians as well as U.S. nationals, Wednesday’s (Oct. 12) reprisal strikes were Washington’s first against the Houthis. They raised the prospect of deeper U.S. involvement in what many in the region and Washington see as a proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Houthi missiles have also struck deeper into Saudi Arabia and on Monday were reported to have struck the Taif airbase near Mecca.” (Oct. 12)

Washington and London Seeking to Delay a Total Collapse of Syrian Policy 

This announcement by the governments of Obama and Theresa Mays in Britain as it relates to Yemen comes amid the intensification of the conflict in Syria. The Obama administration and its allies are still committed to the overthrow of the government of President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus.

Pentagon forces bombed a Syrian military base in the east of the country on September 17 killing over 60 soldiers and wounding many others. Although the Obama administration expressed regret at the attacks saying it was actually targeting Islamic State fighters operating in the area, this explanation was rejected by the Syrian and Russian governments.

Moscow is supporting the government in Damascus having been engaged in carrying out airstrikes against Islamic State fighters since the latter months of 2015. Despite Russian involvement and the diplomatic discussions between Kerry and his Russian counterpart Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov over the last several months, relations are continuing to deteriorate.

Samantha Powers, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, walked out of a Security Council meeting convened at the request of Russian envoy Vitaly Churkin to discuss the bombing of Syrian troops in Deir al-Zour. Since September the diplomatic efforts to end the war in Syria through the development of a comprehensive political agreement remains at a standstill.

With respect to the U.S. strikes, the New York Times reported

“The attack went on for about 20 minutes, with the planes destroying the vehicles and gunning down dozens of people in the open desert, the official said. Shortly after this, an urgent call came into the American military command center in Qatar, the outpost in the Persian Gulf that coordinates the aerial campaign in Syria and Iraq. The call was from a Russian official who said that the American planes were bombing Syrian troops and that the strike should immediately be called off. The Centcom official said the attack was halted within minutes, but not until dozens had been killed.” (Sept. 17)

An escalating conflict in Yemen which would require intensified offshore and aerial bombardments by Washington can only complicate matters further in the Middle East. With the national elections for president and numerous congressional seats at stake, the administration is obviously concerned about its image as the source of instability and displacement throughout the region.

Consequently, almost no information on the events in Syria and Yemen are placed in any significant manner before the people in the U.S. The outcome of the November 8 poll seems irrelevant as it relates to foreign policy in the Middle East and the Horn of Africa. The Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden are strategic waterways connecting the Arabian Peninsula with the Horn of Africa. Both geo-political areas are being subjected to growing militarization at the aegis of Washington.

Compounding tensions in the region is the beginning of military efforts to retake the Iraqi city of Mosul which began on October 17. Mosul is the second largest city in Iraq and a protracted battle to reclaim the city by the Iraqi army could result in monumental casualties and displacement.

The Associated Press reported on the situation saying

“though some troops were less than 30 kilometers (20 miles) from Mosul’s edges, it was unclear how long it would take to reach the city itself, where more than 1 million people still live. Aid groups have warned of a mass exodus of civilians that could overwhelm refugee camps.”

This same report goes on to note that

“Iraq’s second-largest city, Mosul fell to IS in the summer of 2014 as the militants swept over much of the country’s north and central areas. Weeks later the head of the extremist group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, announced the formation of a self-styled caliphate in Iraq and Syria from the pulpit of a Mosul mosque.”

The situation in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Somalia are a direct result of imperialist interventions by Washington, NATO and its surrogates in the region. These military campaigns have created the most dreadful refugee, migrant and humanitarian crises since the conclusion of the Second World War.

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As has been widely reported, in 2013 Hillary Clinton was paid $675,000 for three speeches to Goldman Sachs. 

One was delivered on June 4, 2013 at the 2013 IBD CEO Annual Conference at The Inn at Palmetto Bluff in South Carolina, a second one took place on October 24, 2013 at the Goldman Sachs Asset Management AIMS Alternative Investment Symposium, and the last one was delivered on October 29, 2013 at the Goldman Sachs builders and innovators summit.

The speech transcripts, in their entirety, were revealed for the first time in an email from Tony Carrk, research director at Hillary for America, in an email dated January 23, 2016, and disclosed to the public for the first time ever during today’s latest Wikileak of Podesta emails.

In the email Carrk says:

The 3 (I misspoke about 5 earlier) speeches to Goldman are attached with
some parts highlighted. Below are some of the more noteworthy quotes.

The highlights Carrk refers to are the following:

In the first excerpt Hillary Clinton (rightfully) mocks Dodd Frank as nothing but a political contrivance which was created solely for political reasons as « there was also a need to do something because for political reasons. » To wit: « *Clinton Said, With Dodd-Frank, There Was “A Need To Do Something Because For Political Reasons” Because Members Of Congress “Can’t Sit Idly By And Do Nothing.”

“And with political people, again, I would say the same thing, you know, there was a lot of complaining about Dodd-Frank, but there was also a need to do something because for political reasons, if you were an elected member of Congress and people in your constituency were losing jobs and shutting businesses and everybody in the press is saying it’s all the fault of Wall Street, you can’t sit idly by and do nothing, but what you do is really important.” [GS2, 10/24/13]

* * *

In the second highlighted excerpt, Tim O’Neill, Global Co-Head of the Investment Management Division, thanks Hillary for her « continued involvement in the issues (inaudible) to be courageous in some respects to associated with Wall Street and this environment » and then thanks her « very much. »

*Tim O’Neill Told Clinton “We Really Did Appreciate It” When She Had Been “Courageous In Some Respects To Associated With Wall Street And This Environment.” 

“MR. O’NEILL: By the way, we really did appreciate when you were the senator from New York and your continued involvement in the issues (inaudible) to be courageous in some respects to associated with Wall Street and this environment. Thank you very much. SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I don’t feel particularly courageous. I mean, if we’re going to be an effective, efficient economy, we need to have all part of that engine running well, and that includes Wall Street and Main Street. And there’s a big disconnect and a lot of confusion right now. So I’m not interested in, you know, turning the clock back or pointing fingers, but I am interested in trying to figure out how we come together to chart a better way forward and one that will restore confidence in, you know, small and medium-size businesses and consumers and begin to chip away at the unemployment rate. So it’s something that I, you know, if you’re a realist, you know that people have different roles to play in politics, economics, and this is an important role, but I do think that there has to be an understanding of how what happens here on Wall Street has such broad consequences not just for the domestic but the global economy, so more thought has to be given to the process and transactions and regulations so that we don’t kill or maim what works, but we concentrate on the most effective way of moving forward with the brainpower and the financial power that exists here.” [GS2, 10/24/13]

* * *

In a third noted excerpt, Clinton pitches the idea that the best regulation of Wall Street is self-regulation because « the people that know the industry better than anybody are the people who work in the industry.”

*Speaking About Financial Regulations, Clinton Said “The People That Know The Industry Better Than Anybody Are The People Who Work In The Industry.” 

“There’s nothing magic about regulations, too much is bad, too little is bad. How do you get to the golden key, how do we figure out what works? And the people that know the industry better than anybody are the people who work in the industry.” [GS2, 10/24/13]

* * *

In a fourth excerpt, Hillary admits she had « great relations and worked so close together » with Wall Street and has « a lot of respect for the work you do and the people who do it. »

*Clinton Said “I Represented All Of You For Eight Years. I Had Great Relations And Worked So Close Together After 9/11 To Rebuild Downtown.” 

*“I represented all of you for eight years. I had great relations and worked so close together after 9/11 to rebuild downtownand a lot of respect for the work you do and the people who do it, but I do — I think that when we talk about the regulators and the politicians, the economic consequences of bad decisions back in ’08, you know, were devastating, and they had repercussions throughout the world.” [GS2, 10/24/13]

The fifth and final highlighted excerpt blames banks’ unwillingness to « do what they need to do » due to fear of regulations, the same regulations which in the same speech she said should be left to Wall Street.

*Clinton Said “Banks Are Not Doing What They Need To Do Because They’re Scared Of Regulations, They’re Scared Of The Other Shoe Dropping.

*“I mean, right now, there are so many places in our country where the banks are not doing what they need to do because they’re scared of regulations, they’re scared of the other shoe dropping, they’re just plain scared, so credit is not flowing the way it needs to to restart economic growth. So people are, you know, a little — they’re still uncertain, and they’re uncertain both because they don’t know what might come next in terms of regulations, but they’re also uncertain because of changes in a global economy that we’re only beginning to take hold of.” [GS2, 10/24/13]

* * *

Addtionally, as flagged by Reuters earlier, in the June 4 Goldman Sachs speech, Hillary warned Beijing it would « ring China with missile defense » unless it did more to rein in North Korea’s missile program.

Because they could not only do damage to our treaty allies, namely Japan and South Korea, but they could actually reach Hawaii and the west coast theoretically, and we’re going to ring China with missile defense. We’re going to put more of our fleet in the area.

Clinton told Goldman that the message to China had been, « You either control them, or we’re going to have to defend against them. »  According to Reuters, the State Department on Friday declined to comment on « alleged leaked documents. » When asked whether such a message had been delivered to China, an official said it was not department policy to comment publicly on diplomatic discussions. Although Clinton’s reported comments raised a stir in Asia, Reuters adds.

Clinton said she also told her Chinese counterparts that the United States had as much a claim to the Pacific as China, given that U.S. forces had liberated it in World War Two.

China had « a right to assert themselves, » but the United States needed to « push back to create a balance » to prevent China taking a chokehold on sea lanes and countries bordering the South China Sea, she said.

* * *

Clinton gives yet another confirmation that Saudi Arabia and the Emirates are funding the « Jihadis » in Syria, aka the Islamic State:

If you look at what’s happening in Syria, it’s clearly a multiply leveled proxy battle. We’ve got Iran with their agents in Hezbollah, and they’re being taken on by indigenous rebels but increasingly a collection of Jihadists who are funded by the Saudis, funded by the Emiratis, funded by Qatar, and you have the Turks that were very active in the beginning, but then began to be concerned by some of the development inside Syria, particularly among the northern and northeastern Kurdish population in Syria.

Here are some interesting thoughts on Syria from June 2013, in which she herself admitted that a no fly zone in Syria would « kill a lot of Syrians. »

So let’s just take a step back and look at the situation that we currently have in Syria. When — before the uprising started in Syria it was clear that you had a minority government running with the Alawites in lead with mostly the other minority groups — Christians, the Druze, some significant Sunni business leaders. But it was clearly a minority that sat on top of a majority. And the uprisings when they began were fairly mild in terms of what they were asking for, and Assad very well could have in my view bought them off with some cosmetic changes that would not have resulted in what we have seen over the now two years and the hundred thousand deaths and the destabilization that is going on in Lebanon, in Jordan, even in Turkey, and the threat throwing to Israel and the kind of pitched battle in Iran well supported by Russia, Saudi, Jordanians and others trying to equip the majority Sunni fighters.

I think that we have tried very hard over the last two years to use the diplomatic tools that were available to us and to try to convince, first of all, the Russians that they were helping to create a situation that could not help but become more chaotic, because the longer Assad was able to hold out and then to move offensively against the rebels, the more likely it was that the rebels would turn into what Assad has called them, terrorists, and well equipped and bringing in Al-Qaeda and its affiliates.

The Russian’s view of this is very different. I mean, who conceives Syria as the same way he sees Chechnya? You know, you have to support toughness and absolute merciless reactions in order to drive the opposition down to be strangled, and you can’t give an inch to them and you have to be willing to do what Assad basically has been willing to do.

That has been their position. It pretty much remains their position, and it is a position that has led to the restocking of sophisticated weapon systems all through this. The Russians’ view is that if we provide enough weapons to Assad and if Assad is able to maintain control over most of the country, including the coastal areas where our naval base is, that’s fine with us. Because you will have internal fighting still with the Kurds and with the Sunnis on the spectrum of extremism. But if we can keep our base and we can keep Assad in the titular position of running the country, that reflects well on us because we will demonstrate that we are back in the Middle East. Maybe in a ruthless way, but a way that from their perspective, the Russian perspective, Arabs will understand.

So the problem for the US and the Europeans has been from the very beginning: What is it you — who is it you are going to try to arm? And you probably read in the papers my view was we should try to find some of the groups that were there that we thought we could build relationships with and develop some covert connections that might then at least give us some insight into what is going on inside Syria.

But the other side of the argument was a very — it was a very good one, which is we don’t know what will happen. We can’t see down the road. We just need to stay out of it. The problem now is that you’ve got Iran in heavily. You’ve got probably at least 50,000 fighters inside working to support, protect and sustain Assad. And like any war, at least the wars that I have followed, the hard guys who are the best fighters move to the forefront.

* * *

So we now have what everybody warned we would have, and I am very concerned about the spillover effects. And there is still an argument that goes on inside the administration and inside our friends  at NATO and the Europeans. How do intervene — my view was you intervene as covertly as is possible for Americans to intervene. We used to be much better at this than we are now. Now, you know,  everybody can’t help themselves. They have to go out and tell their friendly reporters and somebody else: Look what we’re doing and I want credit for it, and all the rest of it.

So we’re not as good as we used to be, but we still — we can still deliver, and we should have in my view been trying to do that so we would have better insight. But the idea that we would have like a no fly zone — Syria, of course, did have when it started the fourth biggest Army in the world. It had very sophisticated air defense systems. They’re getting more sophisticated thanks to Russian imports.

To have a no fly zone you have to take out all of the air defense, many of which are located in populated areas. So our missiles, even if they are standoff missiles so we’re not putting our pilots at risk — you’re going to kill a lot of Syrians. So all of a sudden this intervention that people talk about so glibly becomes an American and NATO involvement where you take a lot of civilians.

Some thoughts on Putin:

Look, I would love it if we could continue to build a more positive relationship with Russia. I worked very hard on that when I was Secretary, and we made some progress with Medvedev, who was president inname but was obviously beholden to Putin, but Putin kind of let him go and we helped them get into the WTO for several years, and they were helpful to us in shipping equipment, even lethal equipment, in and out of out of Afghanistan.

So we were making progress, and I think Putin has a different view. Certainly he’s asserted himself in a way now that is going to take some management on our side, but obviously we would very much like to have a positive relationship with Russia and we would like to see Putin be less defensive toward a relationship with the United States so that we could work together on some issues.

We’ve tried very hard to work with Putin on shared issues like missile defense. They have rejected that out of hand. So I think it’s what diplomacy is about. You just keep going back and keep trying. And the President will see Putin during the G20 in Saint Petersburg, and we’ll see what progress we can make.

Here is Hillary opining on Wikileaks and Edward Snowden:

MR. BLANKFEIN: I’ll discuss that after I leave here. Let me ask you another question because this is also a topical question. Let’s say, hypothetically, that one country was eavesdropping on another country.

(Laughter.)

MR. BLANKFEIN: And I didn’t hear the crisp denials, but I didn’t hear any confirmation of it. How would you — would you be looking forward to giving that explanation? How do you go — what do you do now?

SECRETARY CLINTON: So, all right. This is all off the record, right? You’re not telling your spouses if they’re not here.

MR. BLANKFEIN: Right.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Okay. I was Secretary of State when WikiLeaks happened. You remember that whole debacle. So out come hundreds of thousands of documents. And I have to go on an apology tour. And I had a jacket made like a rock star tour. The Clinton Apology Tour. I had to go and apologize to anybody who was in any way characterized in any of the cables in any way that might be considered less than flattering. And it was painful. Leaders who shall remain nameless, who were characterized as vain, egotistical, power hungry —

MR. BLANKFEIN: Proved it.

SECRETARY CLINTON: — corrupt. And we knew they were. This was not fiction. And I had to go and say, you know, our ambassadors, they get carried away, they want to all be literary people. They go off on tangents. What can I say. I had grown men cry. I mean, literally. I am a friend of America, and you say these things about me.

MR. BLANKFEIN: That’s an Italian accent.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Have a sense of humor.

MR. BLANKFEIN: And so you said, Silvio.
(Laughter.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: So, fast forward. Here we are. You know, look, I have said, and I will continue to say, we do need to have a conversation with and take a hard look at the right balance that we could strike between, you know, privacy and security because there’s no doubt, and I’ve seen this and understand it, there’s no doubt that much of what we’ve done since 9/11 has kept us safer. That’s just a fact. It’s also kept our friends and our partners and our allies safer, as well. The sharing of intelligence requires the gathering of intelligence and the analysis of intelligence.

* * *

MR. BLANKFEIN: Maybe embedded you’ve already given part the answer, but how serious, how bad was it what Snowden and Assange did? What are the — I mean, Assange — if this were a destroyer and innovator conference, we might have had Assange here.

SECRETARY CLINTON: I wouldn’t be here.

MR. BLANKFEIN: But how much did that hurt us? Aside from the embarrassment, clearly some avenues now, some things we relied on that, have been closed off for us. I know it was very important to try to get some legislation that would have made it legal to get some more of this metadata that’s been very helpful without having the carriers face liability. That’s probably been put on the back burner. What are the consequences long term for this in terms of our own safety and the safety of the Republic.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, separate the two. The WikiLeaks problem put at risk certain individuals. We had to — we had to form a kind of investigative team that looked at all the names and all the documents, which was quite a challenge, to make sure that identities that were either revealed or described in enough detail that they could be determined would not put people who were at risk. I mean, without going into detail, you know, maybe they’re — let’s just hypothetically say there was somebody serving in a military in a certain country who was worried about some of the activities of the military that he served because he thought they were doing business with rogue states or terrorist networks, and so he would seek out an American diplomat to begin a conversation. And the American diplomat would report back about the concerns that were being expressed about what was happening in this country. And then it’s — you know, it’s exposed to the world. So we had to identify, and we moved a number of people to safe — to safety out of where they were in order for them to be not vulnerable.

So on the WikiLeaks, there was the embarrassment factor, there were the potential vulnerability factors that individuals faced. The WikiLeaks issue was, you know, unfortunate. Private Manning should have never had access to a lot of what he did have access to. So, in effect, it was a problem. But it didn’t expose the guts of how we collect and analyze data.

* * *

So, you know, if Snowden has given them a blueprint to how we operate, why is that in any way a positive. We should have the debate. We should have the conversation. We should make the changes
where they’re necessary. But we shouldn’t put our systems and our people at risk. So I think that WikiLeaks was a big bump in the road, but I think the Snowden material could be potentially much more threatening to us.

* * *

We are currently readying the transcripts for further informative details about what Hillary tells the world’s most improtant commercial bank in private.

Here are the full speeches with links:

Speech #1 (link)

 

* * *

Speech #2 (link)

 

* * *

Speech #3 (link)

  • Posted in Non classé
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Lors d’une conférence de presse à Goa, en Inde, où il participe au 8eSommet des BRICS, il a révélé le rôle que les États-Unis lui faisaient jouer dans la conjoncture des élections présidentielles. En somme, pour ses partenaires étasuniens, il est le personnage idéal pour en faire un gros méchant et permettre ainsi de renforcer la candidature de celui ou de celle qui se révélera le plus apte à le vaincre. Dans le cas de la présente campagne électorale, c’est évidemment la candidate du Parti démocrate, Hillary Clinton, qui se montre la plus déterminée pour mener ce combat. Une stratégie qui permet de polariser l’opinion publique étasunienne sur une lutte à mener contre la Russie et Poutine, les gros méchants, détournant ainsi l’attention de cette même opinion publique des problèmes internes que connaît leur pays.

Hollywood et les spectacles de lutte nous ont habitué à reconnaître les bons en mettant en évidence les gros méchants. Cette stratégie a connu beaucoup de succès et a bien alimenté ce besoin de diviser nos milieux de vie en bons et méchants. Les campagnes électorales se font souvent sur cette base, quitte à inventer de toute pièce, si nécessaire, ce qui peut faire de quelqu’un le gros méchant par excellence. C’est ce qui se passe actuellement avec cette mise en scène d’un Poutine et d’une Russie, coupables de tous les maux dont souffre l’humanité.

Le président Poutine déclare au sujet des relations de la Russie avec les États-Unis, qu’elles ont été sacrifiées pour des considérations de politiques intérieures.

«  Je crois qu’il est contre-productif de sacrifier les relations russo-américaines au nom de la situation politique intérieure aux États-Unis. On nous glisse à l’oreille — attendez, la campagne électorale prendra fin et tout reviendra à la normale. Mais vous savez, ce n’est plus amusant  ».

Cet aveu du président Poutine nous laisse avec l’idée que les États-Unis utilisent, selon leurs besoins internes, Poutine et la Russie, de manière à leur faire jouer un rôle d’ennemis dangereux ce qui les favorisera, soit pour gagner une campagne électorale, soit pour envahir un pays étranger. Les accusations sont nombreuses et de nature très graves. On les rend responsables, entre autres, de l’écrasement, en Ukraine, de l’avion MH-17 de Malaysia air Line, sans présenter de preuves irréfutables. Ils proclament sur toutes les tribunes que la Russie a envahi l’Ukraine ou s’apprêtent à l’envahir et que son armée se soit jointe aux combattants du Donbass, partie sud-est de l’Ukraine. En Syrie, à les entendre, la Russie est devenue un criminel de guerre et un tueur d’enfants, de femmes et un démolisseur d’hôpitaux. Encore là, les preuves, les vraies preuves n’y sont pas. Ces accusations sont soutenues par des montages et reportages réalisés par l’OSDH qui est devenue l’ADN des médias occidentaux sur ce qui se passe en Syrie.

On comprendra que, dans pareils contextes, les responsables de la diplomatie internationale des deux États, John Kerry et Sergueï Lavrov, abordent ces questions de la désinformation à grande échelle concernant Poutine et la Russie. Il faut savoir que l’un et l’autre savent ce qui se passe réellement dans les faits et se doivent de reconnaître ce qui est vrai et ce qui ne l’est pas. Il faut croire que les réponses apportées ne satisfont pas le président Poutine et encore moins qu’on demande de jouer ce rôle du gros méchant le temps que dureront les élections. « On nous glisse à l’oreille — attendez, la campagne électorale prendra fin et tout reviendra à la normale. »

Vladimir Poutine leur répond de façon claire que la Russie n’accepte pas de jouer ce rôle du gros méchant. Il veut ramener les relations internationales sur une base de respect mutuel, de vérité des faits et de bonne foi. Il demande que les ententes soient respectés de part et d’autre.

« Si quelqu’un souhaite entrer en confrontation, ce n’est pas notre choix, mais cela signifie qu’il y aura des problèmes. Nous ne le souhaitons pas. Nous préférons rechercher des points communs, régler ensemble les problèmes globaux qui se présentent devant la Russie, les États-Unis et le monde entier (…). Nous ne croyons pas qu’on doive toujours être en conflit avec quelqu’un et créer des menaces pour soi-même et le monde entier. »

Si, de fait, les partenaires internationaux font de la diplomatie internationale l’outil de mise en scène de divers scénarios élaborés en fonction d’intérêts intérieurs d’un ou d’un groupe de pays et non de la communauté internationale dans son ensemble, la paix ne sera pas pour demain. La bonne foi et la vérité des faits doivent assurer la confiance mutuelle de tous.

  • Posted in Francais @fr
  • Commentaires fermés sur Poutine à ses partenaires étasuniens « pas question que la Russie joue le rôle de gros méchant »

Un Monde sans scrupules: Le règne des « médiocres »

octobre 18th, 2016 by Chems Eddine Chitour

«La plus grande partie de notre sagesse ordinaire est conçue pour l’usage par des gens médiocres, pour les décourager de tentatives ambitieuses, et généralement les conforter dans leur médiocrité.»

Robert Louis Stevenson

Une publication récente a attiré mon attention; elle attribue la fin du monde aux «médiocres» au sens de ceux qui ne se mouillent pas et qui vibrent à la fréquence des puissants. Dans un environnement aussi chargé électriquement, on peut concevoir qu’il y a de multiples façons d’arriver à la fin du monde, notamment celle de continuer à gaspiller d’une façon débridée une ressource sur le déclin et responsable à des degrés divers du chaos climatique actuel et dont nous avons un brillant exemple à travers l’ouragan Mathiew qui a dévasté Haïti et être responsable de la mort de 1000 Haïtiens? Le même Mathiew arrivant sur la côte de la Floride certes, avec une intensité moindre n’a pratiquement occasionné aucun dégât important.

Etat du Monde

Justement, pour comprendre ce qui se passe il est utile de faire l’archéologie du mouvement du monde et remonter dans le temps :

«Le XXe siècle, disait Jean-François Liotard, a vu la disparation des grands récits de légitimité à l’instar du communisme, du socialisme, voire du «socialisme de la mamelle spécifique» à l’ algerian way of life. Le XXe siècle est, par excellence, celui de la jouissance, l’homme prométhéen entend tirer profit de tout. Dany Robert Dufour a justement touché du doigt cette perversion du capitalisme à la fois perverse et puritaine. Nous l’ écoutons: «L’objectif du philosophe est assez simple. Il entend démontrer comment la libération des passions-autrement dit le triomphe absolu de l’égoïsme, l’impératif de jouissance, le besoin de domination-a transformé toutes les économies où interagissent les hommes: l’économie marchande, l’économie politique, l’économie esthétique, voire symbolique. Le libéralisme selon Dufour, possèderait donc au moins deux faces: une face puritaine, représentée par Adam Smith, et une face perverse, représentée par le divin Sade. Il serait l’accoucheur d’un monde où les individus obéissent avant tout à ce commandement suprême jouis!» (1)

«Ce monde de ‘la guerre de tous contre tous », poursuit le philosophe, a pour fondement, l’égoïsme: «(…) Le principe d’égoïsme absolu qui est révélé par Sade écrit le philosophe Dany Robert Dufour, c’est celui qui est en jeu dans la crise. Et c’est le principe, cette fois, de la défense à tous crins de l’intérêt personnel à tel point que cela s’est nommé la cupidité. Donc, c’est une forme de l’égoïsme absolu que cette cupidité et ce n’est pas moi qui le dit au fond, quand on réfléchit un instant, c’est l’économiste en chef de tout le tournant libéral, celui qui a été interrogé par la Commission fédérale, que l’on appelle le Maestro, qui a été le président de la Réserve fédérale, quand on lui demandait ce qu’il pensait de la crise, il disait: «Je pensais que la cupidité – c’est Alain Greenspan, bien, vous l’avez deviné – des banquiers était la meilleure garantie qui soit pour chacun et je m’aperçois que je me suis trompé.» C’est ce principe de la cupidité, d’égoïsme absolu, de la défense à tous crins de l’intérêt personnel, de la jouissance absolue dans tous les domaines où cela peut se manifester, dans les trois libidos que j’ai repris dans la philosophie classique…» (1)

Au XXIe siècle, pour pouvoir mener à bien cette « jouissance multiforme » il faut faire disparaître les autres. Après la disparation du communisme, l’Islam est (re)devenu le nouveau Satan de rechange. De ce fait, sa diabolisation a précipité dans la tourmente les pays musulmans principalement arabes. Pourquoi? Est-ce que les peuples arabes ne sont pas dignes? Est-ce que ce sont des sous-hommes. Nous allons montrer a contrario que ce n’est pas l’Islam qui est en cause, mais ce qu’en ont fait les dirigeants dont la légitimé est tout sauf être légitime du fait qu’ils ont jailli du néant. (2)

L’Empire de la médiocrité et la fin du Monde

Dans une tribune percutante Phil Butler dénonçant la médiocrité explique que la Russie, le deuxième satan de rechange après l’islam, n’est pour rien dans l’errance de l’Occident américain et de ses vassaux:

«Vladimir Poutine n’a causé de préjudice à aucun Américain. La Russie ne s’est jamais mise en travers du Rêve américain. Pour les milliardaires, les Russes constituent un obstacle insurmontable à leurs investissements(…) Malheureusement, pour l’espèce humaine, la médiocrité ne peut pas non plus être gérée.Dénonçant l’ignorance crasse des Américains formés, nourris et enchaînés à une manière de penser préjudiciable au monde entier. «Même lorsque les Américains sont pris en flagrant délit de stupidité sur des questions importantes, l’insanité est martelée chez eux par des mêmes et des tendances Twitter transformant notre société pitoyable en comédie. (…) Le sénateur incendiaire de la guerre civile en Ukraine, John McCain est allé à la TV nationale pour proclamer que l’Irak borde le Pakistan. (…) La médiocrité fabriquée est la paresse naturelle d’une société qui réussit, croisée avec un procès à l’intelligence. (…) Ne vous méprenez pas, il y a des montagnes de preuves que l’Amérique est devenue le pays d’incurables stupides malheureux, mais les écrits étonnants de Umair Haque nous giflent en plein visage.» «L’Amérique excelle dans la médiocrité», c’est la vérité indéniable avec laquelle nous devons nous colleter.» (3)

Justement Phil Butler impute cet entretien de la médiocrité à une presse aux ordres incapables de penser par elle-même.:

«Pour citer, dit-il, l’auteur John Hawkins: Le New York Times, le Washington Post, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, etc., etc., etc. agissent comme des attachés de presse pour le Parti démocrate. Quelle que soit l’histoire que les Démocrates veulent faire croire, ils la propagent. Les histoires qui sont mauvaises pour la gauche sont soit totalement ignorées, soit traitées comme insignifiantes (…) Vladimir Lénine a dit une fois: «Les capitalistes nous vendront la corde avec laquelle nous les pendrons», et aujourd’hui, les conservateurs financent les gens mêmes qui pendent notre pays par le cou jusqu’à ce que mort s’ensuive.(…) Les années à venir se révéleront de plus en plus cyniques et cruelles. Les gens ne devront certainement pas se pardonner en s’embrassant les uns les autres. Le stade final de la vie de l’humanité sera marqué par la guerre monstrueuse de tous contre tous. Poutine n’a attaqué personne. Les musulmans ne sont pas le problème. (3)

En politique comme dans les entreprises, «les médiocres ont pris le pouvoir»

Sommes-nous dirigés de fait, par des médiocres dans le sens de ceux qui ne se remettent constamment pas en cause, mais fondent dans le consensus ambiant à l’instar du peuple américain gavé de «certitudes» martelées en boucle par des médias conciliants. Le philosophe Michel Abescat a bien raison d’écrire que les médiocres ont pris le pouvoir quel que soit leur domaine (celui de la politique comme celui de l’entreprise). Il définit cette emprise par la médiocratie quelque part un continuum entre la supériorité et l’infériorité: la médiocratie:

«Il y a pourtant une distinction sémantique entre la moyenne et la médiocrité, car la moyenne relève le plus souvent d’une abstraction: revenu moyen, compétence moyenne, c’est-à-dire une place au milieu d’une échelle de valeurs. La médiocrité, en revanche, est la moyenne en acte. La médiocratie désigne ainsi un régime où la moyenne devient une norme impérieuse qu’il s’agit d’incarner. C’est l’ordre médiocre érigé en modèle. Il ne s’agit donc pas pour moi de stigmatiser qui que ce soit, mais plutôt de comprendre la nature de cette injonction à être médiocre qui pèse aujourd’hui sur des gens qui ne sont pas forcément enclins à l’être.»(4)

«Sous le règne de la médiocratie, la moyenne devient une norme, le compromis domine: idées et hommes deviennent interchangeables. Il faut résister à la révolution anesthésiante, alerte le philosophe Alain Deneault. C’est d’une «révolution anesthésiante» qu’il s’agit. Celle qui nous invite à nous situer toujours au centre, à penser mou, à mettre nos convictions dans notre poche de manière à devenir des êtres interchangeables, faciles à ranger dans des cases. Surtout ne rien déranger, surtout ne rien inventer qui pourrait remettre en cause l’ordre économique et social. «Il n’y a eu aucune prise de la Bastille, rien de comparable à l’incendie du Reichstag, et l’Aurore n’a encore tiré aucun coup de feu, écrit le philosophe Alain Deneault qui enseigne la pensée critique en science politique à l’université de Montréal. Pourtant, l’assaut a bel et bien été lancé et couronné de succès: les médiocres ont pris le pouvoir.»(4)

«La médiocratie vient d’abord de la division et de l’industrialisation du travail qui ont transformé les métiers en emplois. En réduisant le travail à une force puis à un coût, le capitalisme l’a dévitalisé. Les métiers se sont ainsi progressivement perdus, le travail est devenu une prestation moyenne désincarnée. L’objectif est de rendre les gens interchangeables au sein de grands ensembles de production qui échappent à la conscience d’à peu près tout le monde, à l’exception de ceux qui en sont les architectes et les bénéficiaires. Le philosophe va plus loin pour dire que de nouveaux concepts ont été introduits, mais la finalité est toujours la même: «D’apparence inoffensive, le terme de gouvernance a été introduit par Margaret Thatcher dans les années 1980. Sous couvert de saine gestion des institutions publiques (…) La gouvernance, est une forme de gestion néolibérale de l’Etat caractérisée par la privatisation des services publics et leur adaptation aux besoins des entreprises.»(4)

Les fondements de la corruption

Ce ronronnement de gens qui disent aux puissants ce qu’ils veulent entendre a un prix, écrit le philosophe. «Le système encourage l’ascension des acteurs moyennement compétents au détriment des supercompétents ou des parfaits incompétents. Ces derniers parce qu’ils ne font pas l’affaire et les premiers parce qu’ils risquent de remettre en cause le système et ses conventions. Le médiocre doit avoir une connaissance utile qui n’enseigne toutefois pas à remettre en cause ses fondements idéologiques. Le médiocre doit «jouer le jeu».

«Jouer le jeu» est une expression souriante, d’apparence banale et même ludique. Jouer le jeu veut pourtant dire accepter des pratiques officieuses qui servent des intérêts à courte vue, se soumettre à des règles en détournant les yeux du non-dit, de l’impensé qui les sous-tendent. Jouer le jeu, c’est accepter de ne pas citer tel nom dans tel rapport, faire abstraction de ceci, ne pas mentionner cela, permettre à l’arbitraire de prendre le dessus. Au bout du compte, jouer le jeu consiste, à force de tricher, à générer des institutions corrompues. La corruption arrive ainsi à son terme lorsque les acteurs ne savent même plus qu’ils sont corrompus. (…) l’université forme des étudiants pour en faire non pas des esprits autonomes, mais des experts prêts à être instrumentalisés. Le recteur de l’université de Montréal l’a affirmé sur le ton de l’évidence en 2011: «Les cerveaux doivent correspondre aux besoins des entreprises.» (4)

«L’expert est souvent médiocre, (…) Il n’est pas incompétent, mais il formate sa pensée en fonction des intérêts de ceux qui l’emploient. Il fournit les données pratiques ou théoriques dont ont besoin ceux qui le rétribuent pour se légitimer. Pour le pouvoir, il est l’être moyen par lequel imposer son ordre. L’expert s’enferme ainsi dans les paramètres souhaités par tel intérêt privé.(…) Il affirmera que les variations climatiques ne sont pas liées à l’activité industrielle parce que Exxon Mobil subventionne ses recherches. (..) Sans surprise, c’est le milieu, le centre, le moyen qui dominent la pensée politique. Les différences entre les discours des uns et des autres sont minimes. Les «mesures équilibrées», «juste milieu», ou «compromis» sont érigées en notions fétiches. (…) Dans ce contexte médiocre, règne la combine. Les gouvernants se font élire sur une ligne politique et en appliquent une autre une fois élus. Aucune vision d’avenir, tout le jeu politique est dans le bricolage permanent.»(4)

La trahison des clercs

On dit que l’intellectuel n’a pas les pieds sur terre, il «plane», il n’est pas en phase avec la réalité du monde. Ce que lui reprochera Antonio Gramsci qui parle de praxis c’est-à-dire son refus de se jeter dans la mêlée de la réalité du terrain. A l’autre bout du curseur, dans son ouvrage culte, La Trahison des clercs, Julien Benda reproche aux intellectuels de perdre leurs âmes en s’acoquinant avec le pouvoir.

« À une époque où de nombreux intellectuels et artistes se tournaient vers la politique au nom du réalisme, Julien Benda dénonça dès 1927, dans son ouvrage, «La Trahison des clercs», la capitulation des intellectuels, traîtres à leur mission de défenseurs du rationalisme démocratique. Les hommes dont la fonction est de défendre les valeurs éternelles et désintéressées, comme la justice et la raison, que j’appelle les clercs, ont trahi cette fonction au profit d’intérêts pratiques.» (…)ils ont introduit à l’intérieur de la vision des événements, comme un ver qui le ronge, leurs propres passions et préjugés: ils adoptent une posture politique leur permettant d’asseoir leur image d’opposant ou de faire fructifier leurs notoriété et intérêts personnels.» (5)

Comment résister à la médiocratie?

Le philosophe Michel Abescat complète son analyse en nous invitant à être lucides:

«Résister d’abord au buffet auquel on vous invite, aux petites tentations par lesquelles vous allez entrer dans le jeu. Dire non. Non, je n’occuperai pas cette fonction, non, je n’accepterai pas cette promotion, je renonce à cet avantage ou à cette reconnaissance, parce qu’elle est empoisonnée. Résister, en ce sens, est une ascèse, ce n’est pas facile. Revenir à la culture et aux références intellectuelles est également une nécessité. Si on se remet à lire, à penser, à affirmer la valeur de concepts aujourd’hui balayés comme s’ils étaient insignifiants, si on réinjecte du sens là où il n’y en a plus, quitte à être marginal, on avance politiquement. Ce n’est pas un hasard si le langage lui-même est aujourd’hui attaqué. Rétablissons-le.» (4)

On le voit, les intellectuels ou réputés tels qui se compromettent mettent le doigt dans l’engrenage de la compromission. Il est curieux de constater que sur les grands problèmes qui interpellent le pays, les intellectuels ou réputés tels font preuve d’un silence assourdissant. Au-delà de ceux qui, de l’étranger, font des fetwas contre le pouvoir embusqués derrière leur confort et qui font dans le «Ya qu’à», il y a ceux qui, en Algérie mesurent d’où vient le vent. L’intellectuel doit-il passer son temps à s’indigner en rentrant dans la mêlée du débat quitte à recevoir des coups ou devenir un intellectuel à la façon d’Antonio Gramsci. Le médiocre tel que défini dans cette contribution est plus proche de l’arriviste dénoncé par Jules Benda.

Professeur Chems eddine Chitour

Ecole Polytechnique enp-edu.dz

 

1.http://www.fabriquedesens.net/La-fabrique-de-l-humain-Naissance

2.http://www.mondialisation.ca/les-pays-musulmans-asiatiques-differents-chemins-vers-le-progres/5334717

3.MichelAbescat. http://www.telerama.fr/idees/en-politique-comme-dans-les-entreprises-les-mediocres-ont-pris-le-pouvoir,135205.php 13 12 2015

4.http://journal-neo.org/2016/09/12/the-empire-of-mediocrity-and-the-end-of-the-world/

5.https://www.monde-diplomatique.fr/1996/01/A/5153

6.http://www.lexpressiondz.com/chroniques/analyses_du_professeur_chitour…

Article de référence :

http://www.lexpressiondz.com/chroniques/analyses_du_professeur_ chitour/251630-le-regne-des-mediocres.html

 

 

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In this explosive new video from Project Veritas Action, a Democratic dirty tricks operative unwittingly provides a dark money trail to the DNC and Clinton campaign. The video documents violence at Trump rallies that is traced to the Clinton campaign and the DNC through a process called birddogging.

A shady coordinated communications chain between the DNC, Clinton Campaign, Hillary Clinton’s Super PAC (Priorities) and other organizations are revealed.

A key Clinton operative is on camera saying,

“It doesn’t matter what the friggin’ legal and ethics people say, we need to win this motherfxxxcker. »

 

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Canada does not need new pipelines, in spite of repeated misleading claims by the oil industry.

That’s the conclusion of a new Oil Change International (OCI) analysis showing that Canada has ample pipeline Capacity to export all existing and under construction oil production to market from western Canada. The analysis suggests that industry has manipulated its forecasts in order to perpetuate an ongoing myth of pipeline constraints in order to advocate for unnecessary new pipeline construction.

The analysis is accompanied by an explainer video and website.

The briefing shows that neither the proposed Kinder Morgan nor Energy East pipelines would be required unless Canada intends to abandon its commitments to cut climate pollution by allowing new and additional expansion of the tar sands well into the next decade.

In its annual Crude Oil Forecast, Markets and Transportation report, oil industry lobby group the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) has wrongly forecast that Canada would run out of capacity to export oil in the following year in each of their yearly forecasts since 2012. Their latest press release in June stated once again that “new major oil pipelines are urgently needed.”

However, OCI’s analysis based on the latest oil industry data suggests that there is actually almost 500kb/d of untapped export capacity currently available – even before additional planned expansions in the system are considered.

“Canada’s oil industry has cried wolf far too many times,” said Adam Scott of Oil Change International. “New pipelines won’t help an industry struggling with low global oil prices and won’t boost our economy.”

New pipelines won’t raise prices significantly, because the price differential that once forced Canadian producers to sell their oil at a discount is gone. The lifting of the longstanding U.S. crude export ban, the completion of new routes from the Cushing terminal to the Gulf of Mexico and the drop in global oil prices means that new pipelines will not significantly improve prices producers receive.

Tar sands expansion can’t continue in a world facing an urgent climate crisis. New pipeline capacity from projects like Kinder Morgan and Energy East would only be required if a significant number of new tar sands projects were given a green light in the future. Such a scenario would mean disaster for the climate.

Canada has now signed and ratified the Paris Agreement, which commits it to work to keep the increase in global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels while aiming to limit the increase to 1.5°C. Building new, long-lived, high-carbon tar sands pipelines and extraction projects is not compatible with that goal. In the meantime, there is already enough pipeline capacity to export Canada’s oil.

View Oil Change International’s new briefing here:

http://priceofoil.org/2016/10/18/brief-canada-not-running-out-of-pipeline-capacity

Learn more about CAPP’s bad math and see the video at CAPPmath.ca

Oil Change International is a research, communication, and advocacy organization focused on exposing the true costs of fossil fuels and facilitating the coming transition towards clean energy. The production and consumption of oil, gas, and coal are major sources of global warming, human rights abuses, war, national security concerns, corporate globalization, and increased inequality. For more information on Oil Change International, see www.priceofoil.org

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Over 1,000 people have reportedly died as a result of Hurricane Matthew in Haiti just six-and-a-half years after a devastating earthquake which killed hundreds of thousands.

In addition to the deaths, injuries and physical destruction there is concern that an outbreak of cholera could erupt as did in the post-earthquake situation of 2010.

Today’s relief efforts surrounding the destruction in the country should be viewed within the same context as the military history of European and United States interventions.  Haiti was born during the late 18th and early 19th centuries through a war of national liberation mainly in opposition to France but also included battles fought against Spain and Britain.

On October 15 the director of the U.S. Southern Command Admiral Kurt Tidd indicated that the Pentagon’s role in the relief operations in Haiti would conclude in a few days. He said the main task involved delivering hundreds of thousands of pounds of rice and medical supplies.

« What you’re beginning to see is a transition as the civil authorities, [non-governmental organizations] and other entities get in, get on the ground … and deliver life-saving goods,” Tidd said.  “We’re kind of at that natural point where the demand signal on us is going down as their picking up the load. » (Navy Times, Oct. 15)

This same military official said the Pentagon jets which had been in Haiti for ten days would begin pulling out while the airlift duties would shift to the 11 helicopters on the amphibious assault ship Iwo Jima — a mix of CH-53 Sea Stallions, MH-60S Knighthawks and MV-22 Ospreys. (Navy Times)

Yet for over a century the U.S. has made several military invasions and occupations of Haiti. From 1915-1934, Washington’s military forces suppressed a revolt against successive administrations which treated the country as a colony.

In more recent times, in 1994, the administration of President Bill Clinton sent thousands of Marines into the country ostensibly to reinstall the elected leader of Haiti who was overthrown with the assistance of this same government under the previous regime of George Bush, Sr. Conditions set down during the 1994 intervention plagued Haiti for another decade when George Bush, Jr. in 2004, on the bicentennial anniversary of Haiti, deployed thousands of additional troops to topple the Aristide government forcing him into exile for several years.

The Pentagon along with military forces from Canada and France paved the way for the United Nations Mission to Haiti which maintains a presence inside the country. These military forces which have occupied Haiti for more than two decades have not been able to ensure that adequate relief reaches the majority of the impoverished population.

What Happens to the Money?

In the aftermath of the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti the U.S. government and other entities pledged to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for humanitarian assistance and reconstruction. According to most accounts these funds which were raised did not benefit the people in need of assistance and only a small number of homes were built to address the crisis of displacement and homelessness.

A recent article published by the Huffington Post entitled “Should You Trust The American Red Cross With Your Donation For Haiti?”, questioned the role of such agencies which are making appeals for assistance to Haiti. This organization due to its reputation associated with providing relief, operates fundraising networks where billions are channeled every year.

Adam Hamze wrote on October 14 that “The Red Cross, the world’s 16th-largest charity with a yearly budget of more than $3.1 billion, has a complicated history in Haiti. The group raised $500 million in donations after the 2010 earthquake, promising to provide shelter, rebuild infrastructure and meet basic needs. But a 2015 investigation by ProPublica and NPR found that the Red Cross fell short of its promises. The charity had only built six permanent homes in the entire country, the media organizations found, and its efforts were plagued by internal disorganization, lack of experience in Haiti, use of donations for its own expenses, and tensions with residents and government officials.”

Although the Red Cross said that 91 percent of the funds collected went directly for charitable purposes, the ProPublica and NPR investigation claimed that it was only 60 percent with the remaining 40 percent going for administrative costs for the agency. Haitians who are involved in providing assistance on the ground inside the country emphasized that aid promised by the Red Cross was never delivered.

Institute for Justice and Democracy staff Attorney Nicole Phillips, who is based in the capital of Port-au-Prince, disputed the Red Cross responses to the allegations made by the investigators saying “The reputation of the Red Cross in Haiti is very negative. Some good work was done by the Red Cross, but I think the overwhelming experience from Haitians with the Red Cross has been disappointment and frustration.” (Huffington Post, Oct. 14)

Phillips encouraged individuals and organizations seeking to provide assistance to donate directly to organizations that are based in the country. Stressing this point Phillips noted “Haitians know how to help other Haitians better than we do, and their efforts are extremely impressive. By giving money directly to the Haitian network, you’re cutting out a huge sum of cost that otherwise would have to pay for the middleman, for plane tickets, accommodations, et cetera  — it’s going directly to Haitians.”

The famous Haitian writer Edwidge Danticat urged people to send donations to organizations that have been working in the country for years, mentioning Paradis des Indiens, The Three Little Flowers Center, and the St. Boniface Haiti Foundation. Public relations manager for Camp-Pericare, Isha Rosemond, a Haitian-run group that collaborates with other aid agencies, said that philanthropic organizations must cooperate with people on the ground to make sure the relief is delivered and is provided to those who are in need.

Haitian Migration Crisis Escalates

Haitians are fleeing once again out of the country to seek refuge and work in other nations including the U.S. In the wake of the hurricane, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson has said that the administration of President Barack Obama would suspend deportation flights to Haiti. This statement came in the aftermath of an announcement in late September that an acceleration of deportations of Haitians would resume.

There was a halting of deportations after the 2010 earthquake. Nonetheless in 2011, these expulsions began again ostensibly at a slower rate.

However, this policy of temporary suspension is shrouded in ambiguity because Johnson also said that the flight would resume very soon. At the same time the issue has gained almost no attention in the U.S. corporate and governmental media which is consumed with the mudslinging that is characterizing the 2016 presidential elections.

On the Mexican border with U.S. at Tijuana and other border towns, there are a number of Haitians who are stranded awaiting hearings with immigration officials. Many of the Haitians have traveled from Brazil where they found employment surrounding the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games.

With the political coup against Worker’s Party President Dilma Rousseff and the overall economic downturn in Brazil, Haitians are rapidly moving across South and Central America in search of refuge and employment. These problems will only be addressed through a mass outcry from immigration advocates along with civil and human rights organizations.

The U.S. has always maintained a racist immigration policy which benefits those nationals who can best benefit the political priorities of the ruling class. These and other issues will require the attention of activists leading into the next administration in the U.S.

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Why do we hear only of the “humanitarian crisis in Aleppo” and not of the humanitarian crisis everywhere else in Syria where the evil that rules in Washington has unleashed its ISIL mercenaries to slaughter the Syrian people?  Why do we not hear about the humanitarian crisis in Yemen where the US and its Saudi Arabian vassal are slaughtering Yemeni women and children?  Why don’t we hear about the humanitarian crisis in Libya where Washington destroyed a country leaving chaos in its place?  Why don’t we hear about the humanitarian crisis in Iraq, ongoing now for 13 years, or the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan now 15 years old?

The answer is that the crisis in Aleppo is the crisis of Washington losing its ISIL mercenaries to the Syrian army and Russian air force.  The jihadists sent by Obama and the killer Hillary (“We came, we saw, he died”) to destroy Syria are being themselves destroyed.  The Obama regime and the Western presstitutes are trying to save the jihadists by covering them in the blanket of “humanitarian crisis.”

Such hypocrisy is standard fare for Washington.  If the Obama regime gave a hoot about “humanitarian crisis,” the Obama regime would not have orchestrated humanitarian crisis in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Yemen.

We are in the middle of a presidential campaign in the US and no one has asked why the US is determined to overthrow a democratically elected Syrian government that is supported by the Syrian people.

No one has asked why the White House Fool is empowered to remove the president of Syria by siccing US-supplied jihadists, which the presstitutes misrepresent as “moderate rebels,” on the Syrian people.

Washington, of course, has no acceptable answer to the question, and that is why the question is not asked.

The answer to the question is that Washington’s strategy for destabilizing Iran and then the Muslim provinces of the Russian Federation, former Soviet central Asia, and the Muslim province of China is to replace stable governments with the chaos of jihadism.  Iraq, Libya, and Syria had stable secular societies in which the government’s strong hand was used to prevent sectarian strife between Muslim sects. By overthrowing these secular governments and the current effort to overthrow Assad, Washington released the chaos of terrorism.

There was no terrorism in the Middle East until Washington brought it there with invasions, bombings, and torture.

Jihadists such as those that Washington used to overthrow Gaddafi appeared in Syria when the British Parliament and the Russian government blocked Obama’s planned invasion of Syria. As Washington was prevented from directly attacking Syria, Washington used mercenaries.  The prostitutes that pretend to be an American media obliged Washington with the propaganda that the jihadist terrorists are Syrian democrats rebelling against “the Assad dictatorship.”  This transparant and blatant lie has been repeated so many times that it now is confused with truth.

Syria has no connection whatsoever to Washington’s original justification for introducing violence into the Middle East.  The original justification was 9/11 which was used to invade Afghanistan on the fabrication that the Taliban was shielding Osama bin Laden, the “mastermind,” who at the time was dying of renal failure in a Pakistani hospital.  Osama bin Laden was a CIA asset who was used against the Soviets in Afghanistan.  He was not the perpetrator of 9/11.  And most certainly, neither were the Taliban.

But the Western presstitutes covered up for the Bush regime’s lie, and the public was deceived with the phrase that we must “defeat them abroad before they attack us at home.”

Of course, Muslims were not going to attack us at home. If Muslims are a threat, why does the US government keep bringing so many of them here as refugees from Washington’s wars against Muslims?

9/11 was the neoconservatives “new Pearl Harbor” that they wrote they needed in order to launch their wars in the Middle East. George W. Bush’s first Secretary of the Treasury said that the topic of Bush’s first cabinet meeting was the invasion of Iraq.  This was prior to 9/11.  In other words, Washington’s wars in the Middle East were planned prior to 9/11.

The neoconservatives are zionists. By reducing the Middle East to chaos they achieve both of their goals.  They remove organized opposition to Israeli expansion, and they create jihadism that can be used to destabilize countries such as Russia, Iran, and China that are in the way of their exercise of unilateral power, which, they believe, the Soviet collapse bequeathed to the “indispensable nation,” the USA.

Osama bin Laden, the alleged 9/11 mastermind, was dying, not directing a terror war against the US from a cave in Afghanistan. The Taliban were focused on establishing their rule in Afghanistan, not on attacking the West. After blowing up weddings, funerals, and childrens’ soccer games, Washington moved on to Iraq.  There was no sign of Iraqi beligerance toward the US. UN weapons inspectors said that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, but Washington did not hear.  The whores who comprise the American media helped the Bush regime create the image of a nuclear mushroom cloud going up over America if the US did not invade Iraq.

Iraq had no nuclear weapons and everyone knew it, but facts were irrelevant.  There was an agenda at work, an undeclared agenda.  To advance its agenda that the government did not dare reveal, the government used fear.  “We have to kill them over there before they kill us over here.”

So Iraq, a stable, progressive country was reduced to ruins.

Libya was next. Gaddafi would not join Washington’s Africa Command.  Moreover, China was developing the oil fields in eastern Libya.  Washington was already troubled by Russia’s presence in the Mediterranean and did not want China there also.  So Gaddafi had to go.

Next Assad was set up with faked evidence that he had used chemical weapons against the rebellion that Washington had started.  No one believed the transparant Washington lie, not even the British Parliament.  Unable to find support to cover an invasion, Killary the Psychopath sent the jihadists Washington used to destroy Libya to overthrow Assad.

The Russians, who until this point had been so naive and gullible as to trust Washington, finally figured out that the instability that Washington was brewing was directed at them.  The Russian government decided that Syria was their red line and, at the request of the Syrian government, intervened against the Washington-supported jihadists.

Washington is outraged and is now threatening to commit yet another criminal violation of the Nuremberg Standard with blatant aggression against Syria. Such an ill-advised step would bring Washington into military conflict with Russia and by implication with China.  Before Europeans enable Washington to initiate such a dangerous conflict, they had best consider the warning from Sergey Karaganov, a member of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Foreign Policy and Defense council:  “Russia will never again fight on its own territory. If NATO initiates an encroachment against a nuclear power like ourselves, NATO will be punished.”

That the government of the United States is criminally insane should frighten every person on earth.  Killary-Hillary is commited to conflict with Russia.  Regardless,  Obama, the presstitutes, and the Democratic and Republican establishments are doing everything in their power to put into the Oval Office the person who will maximize conflict with Russia.

The life of the planet is in the hands of the criminally insane. This is the real humanitarian crisis.

www.paulcraigroberts.org

Notes: 

Lt. General Michael Flynn, director of the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency stated in an interview that the creation of ISIS was “a willful Washington decision.”  See, for example:

https://www.rt.com/usa/312050-dia-flynn-islamic-state/   Also:  http://russia-insider.com/en/secret-pentagon-report-reveals-us-created-isis-tool-overthrow-syrias-president-assad/ri7364

The DIA warned that ISIS would result in a Salafist principality over parts of Iraq and Syria.  http://www.judicialwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Pg.-291-Pgs.-287-293-JW-v-DOD-and-State-14-812-DOD-Release-2015-04-10-final-version11.pdf   The warning went unheeded as the neoconservative Obama regime saw ISIS as a strategic asset to be used against Syria.

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Neither War Nor Peace: Shimon Peres, Israel and History

octobre 18th, 2016 by Dr. Binoy Kampmark

“[Shimon Peres] thought about history where Netanyahu thinks about the next election.” — Itamar Rabinovic, New York Times, Sep 30, 2016

“We learned from the British,” explained the late Shimon Peres in The Guardian in 2011, “what democracy means, and how it behaves in times of danger, war and terror.  We thank Britain for introducing freedom and respect of human rights both in normal and demanding circumstances.”[1]

This student of history was the pitch perfect representation of the Israeli narrative, one born in brutality, maturing in it, and then, in time, considering the option of peace through necessity. The realisation that the Jewish state would have to make concessions from its imperial loft was not a point he wished to make. Circumstances dictated it.

All of this was part of the role of making history, to count in its annals, to matter in the books.  Each Israeli leader has been obsessed by that theme: to achieve something supposedly unprecedented, the next stage, a form of outdoing the impossible, namely, Ben-Gurion’s own effort in establishing the state of Israel.

Prior to Israel’s birth as a nation state, Peres was confronted by the dilemma of what entity would become. A vision of it came, fittingly enough, from Ben-Gurion, who in 1946 was chairman of the Jewish Agency.  Leon Trotsky, explained Ben-Gurion to Peres, was no statesman, “Because of his concept of no-peace-no-war.”

Ben-Gurion went on to elaborate.  Such a concept was a “Jewish invention,” and not something Lenin succumbed to when he agreed with the brutally stripping 1917 Brest-Litovsk treaty with Imperial Germany.  Lenin, despite being “Trotsky’s inferior in terms of intellect” was the supreme statesman, deciding on peace and paying “the heavy price that peace required.”[2]

For decades, Peres was the man of war.  He joined the predecessor of the Israeli Defence Forces in 1947, the Haganah, and in 1948, became head of naval services.  With Israel still in swaddling clothes, Peres was dispatched to Washington to procure arms, a line of supply which has never dwindled.  He kept company with Ben-Gurion on his 1956 trip to Sevres, France, where Israel plotted with French and British ministers to make war on Gamal Abdel Nasser’s Egypt after the Suez Canal had been seized.

Political figures in the Middle East tend to be highly evolved chameleons, adeptly changing colours in far more skilled fashion than clumsy tigers hiding spots they can never remove.  This adjustment saw Peres morph from dedicated war maker and military builder to agent of reconciliation, though few were fooled by this change of heart. Those with sufficiently long memories recall the firm backer of Israeli settlements in the West Bank in the 1970s.

Politics offers a flexible medium to play in, and in the theatre of the Middle East, grand manoeuvrability is possible.  On this stage, Peres ducked and weaved, living up to the assessment made by another man of transformed credo, Yitzhak Rabin, who claimed Peres was “a tireless schemer” and “indefatigable underminer”.

With the victory of Labour in June 1992, the first in fifteen years, Israel was still functioning with the perspective of war as the essential, if not only weapon, for its survival.  Rabin preferred a different tack: To use peace as a weapon, a task which he sought assistance from his long term foe.

It was projected in two phases, one featuring an interim arrangement granting the Palestinians control over most of Gaza and local governance in the West Bank.   These would be affirmed in the second phase to secure a permanent arrangement after the 1996 elections.  Jordan and Syria would also feature as regional partners.

On the surface, it seemed that progress was being made. But the agreement with Yasser Arafat and the subsequent creation of the Palestinian Authority enabled a different form of control to be asserted. While the PA, lacking accountability and transparency, bullied and ruled, Israel was still able to exert control over the subjects it was meant to be gradually releasing from historical captivity.

With the assassination of Rabin in November 1995, Peres became prime minister, gifted a legacy he squandered at the election of May 29, 1996.  Where Rabin had been certain, Peres dithered, leaving the ground fresh for a seizure by Benjamin Netanyahu. The Oslo process withered, as did the image of Peres the peacemaker, with a dubious campaign in Lebanon, and the killing of a Hamas operative in January 1996 that sparked retaliatory Palestinian suicide attacks.

To the last, Peres would speak of the need for yielding.  “Israel,” he claimed at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv two years ago, “will be giving up its future if it sees the status quo as its desire.”[3]  That status quo has been all the rage under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Peres, at 93, was one of the last significant figures to the tortured history of a country deemed both remarkable and tyrannous in equal measure, a stunning yet brutal social experiment in the Middle East.  As with his colleagues, and Ben-Gurion, Peres helped build a country that has seen a state neither of peace nor war, but a kingdom precariously perched on the precipice.

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

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The United States government has already declared that in regards to what it alleges to be a Russian cyberattack against the U.S. Democratic Party, the U.S. reserves the right to go to war against Russia. NATO has accordingly changed its policy so as to assert that a cyberattack (in this case actually cyber-espionage, such as the U.S. government itself perpetrates against even its own allies such as Angela Merkel by tapping her phone) constitutes an act of war by the alleged cyberattacker, and so requires all NATO member nations to join any cyberattacked NATO nation in war against its alleged (cyber)attacker, if the cyberattacked member declares war against its alleged cyberattacker.

Excuses are being sought for a war against Russia; and expanding the definition of “invasion,” to include mere espionage, is one such excuse. But it’s not the only one that the Obama Administration has cooked up.

U.S. Senator Mike Lee has asserted that President Barack Obama must obtain a declaration of war against Syria — which is allied with and defended by Russia — before invading Syria. Syria has, for the past few years, already been invaded by tens of thousands of foreign jihadists (financed mainly by the royal Sauds and Qataris, and armed mainly with U.S. weaponry) who are trying to overthrow and replace the Syrian government so that pipelines can be built through Syria into Europe to transport Saudi oil and Qatari gas into the EU, the world’s biggest energy-market, which now is dominated by Russia’s oil and gas. Since Syria is already being defended by Russia (those royals’ major competitor in the oil and gas markets), America’s invasion of Syria would necessarily place U.S. and Russia into an air-war against each other (for the benefit of those royal Arabs — who finance jihadist groups, as even Hillary Clinton acknowledges): Syria would thus become a battleground in a broader war against Russia.

So: declaring war against Syria would be a second excuse for World War III, and one which would especially serve the desires not only of U.S. ‘defense’ firms but of the U.S. aristocracy’s royal Arabic allies, who buy much of those ‘defense’ firms’ exports (weaponry), and also U.S. oilfield services firms such as pipelines by Halliburton. (It’s good business for them, no one else. Taxpayers and war-victims pay, but those corporations — and royal families — would profit.)

The U.S. government also declares that Russia ‘conquered’ Crimea in 2014 and that Russia must restore it to Ukraine. The U.S. government wants Ukraine to be accepted into NATO, so that all NATO nations will be at war against Russia if Russia doesn’t return Crimea to Ukraine, of which Crimea had only briefly (1954-2014) been a part, until Crimeans voted on 16 March 2014 to rejoin Russia. This Crimean issue is already the basis for America’s economic sanctions against Russia, and thus Russia’s continuing refusal to coerce Crimeans to accept again being part of Ukraine would be yet a third excuse for WW III.

The U.S. Presidential Contest

Hillary Clinton says “As President, I will make it clear, that the United States will treat cyber attacks just like any other attack.” She alleges that when information was unauthorizedly made public from Democratic National Committee computers, the cyberattacker was Russia. She can be counted as a strong proponent of that excuse for WW3. She’s with Barack Obama and the other neocons on that.

She has furthermore said that the U.S. should shoot down any Russian and Syrian bombers in Syria — the phrase for that proposed U.S. policy is to “establish a no-fly zone” there. She makes clear: “I am advocating the no-fly zone.” It would be war against not only Syria, but Russia. (After all: a no-fly zone in which the U.S. is shooting down the government’s planes and Russia’s planes, would be war by the U.S. against both Syria and Russia, but that’s what she wants to do.) She can thus be counted as a strong proponent of those two excuses for WW3.

On the matter of Crimea, she has said that “Putin invaded and annexed Crimea,” and “In the wake of Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea in early 2014, some have argued that NATO expansion either caused or exacerbated Russia’s aggression. I disagree with that argument.” She believes that the expansion of NATO right up to Russia’s borders is good, not horrific and terrifying (as it is to Russians — just like USSR’s conquering of Mexico would have been terrifying to Americans if USSR did that during the Cold War). Furthermore, because Ukraine is the main transit-route for Russian gas-pipelines into Europe, the coup that in 2014 overthrew the neutralist democratically elected President of Ukraine and replaced him by leaders who seek NATO membership for Ukraine and who have the power to cut off those pipelines, was strongly supported by both Obama and Clinton. She can thus be counted as a strong proponent of all three excuses for WW3.

U.S. President Obama has made unequivocally clear that he regards Russia as being by far the world’s most “aggressive” nation; and Clinton, too, commonly uses the term “aggression” as describing Russia (such as she did by her denial that “NATO expansion either caused or exacerbated Russia’s aggression”). To her, Russia’s opposing real aggression by the U.S. (in this case, America’s 2014 coup that overthrew the democratically elected Ukrainian President for whom 75% of Crimeans had voted), constitutes ‘Russia’s aggression’, somehow. Furthermore, as regards whether Crimea’s rejoining Russia was ‘illegal’ as she says: does she also deny the right of self-determination of peoples regarding the residents of Catalonia though the Spanish government accepts it there, and also by the residents of Scotland though the British government accepts it there? Or is she simply determined to have as many excuses to invade Russia as she can have? She has never condemned the independence movements in Scotland or Catalonia.

The United States is clearly on a path toward war with Russia. Donald Trump opposes all aspects of that policy.

That’s the main difference between the two U.S. Presidential candidates. Trump makes ridiculous statements about the ‘need’ to increase ‘defense’ spending during this period of soaring federal debt, but he has consistently condemned the moves toward war against Russia and said that America’s real enemy is jihadists, and that Russia is on our side in this war — the real war — not an enemy of America such as Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama claim. Both candidates (Trump and Clinton) are war-hawks, but Hillary wants to go to war against both jihadists and Russia, whereas Trump wants to go to war only against jihadists. Trump’s charge that Hillary would be a catastrophic President is borne out not only by her past record in public office, but by her present positions on these issues.

America’s Presidential campaign is dominated by Trump’s crassly vulgar obsession with sex, and by debates about whether his hiding his tax-returns is worse than Hillary’s hiding her paid speeches to corporate lobbyists, and her hiding her emails while she was Secretary of State. Regardless of whom America’s next President will be (either Clinton or Trump), it’s not going to be a good President, and anyone who thinks that these are the two best-qualified people to be contesting for the U.S. Presidency is either ignorant or else grossly misinformed — or else in sheer reality-denial. But all of those other issues are dwarfed by the top issue of this election: shall we have World War III? And that one issue is by far more important than all of the other ‘issues’ in this campaign, because it’s nothing less than an existential issue, regarding all of the world, and all of the future, which threatens the entire world within just the next few years, or even months, or maybe just weeks.

Americans are being offered, by this nation’s aristocracy, a choice between a marginally competent and deeply evil psychopath Hillary Clinton, versus an incompetent but far less evil psychopath Donald Trump, and the nation’s press are reporting instead a choice between two candidates of whom one (the actually evil Clinton) is presented as being far preferable to the other (the actually incompetent Trump), and possibly as being someone who might improve this nation if not the world. Virtually none of America’s Establishment is willing to report the truth: that the nation’s rotting will get worse under either person as President, but that only under Trump might this nation (and the world) stand a reasonable likelihood of surviving at all (i.e., nuclear war with Russia being averted).

Things won’t get better, but they definitely could get a hell of a lot worse — and this is the issue, the real one, in the present election: WW3, yes or no on that.

Hillary Clinton argues that she, with her neoconservative backing (consisting of the same people who cheer-led the invasion of Russia-friendly Iraq, and who shared her joy in doing the same to Russia-friendly Libya — “We came, we saw, he died, ha ha!”), is the better person to have her finger on the nuclear button with Russia. This U.S. Presidential election will be decided upon the WW3-issue, unless the American electorate are incredibly stupid (or else terribly deceived): Is she correct to allege that she and not Trump should have control over the nuclear button against Russia? She’s even more of a neoconservative than Obama is, and this is why she has the endorsement of neoconservatives in this election. And that is the issue.

The real question isn’t whether America and the world will be improved by the next U.S. President; it’s whether America and the world will be destroyed by the next U.S. President. All else is mere distraction, by comparison. And the U.S. public now are extremely distracted — unfortunately, even by the candidates themselves. The pathetic Presidential candidates that the U.S. aristocracy has provided to Americans, for the public’s votes in the final round, don’t focus on this reality.

Anyone who thinks that the majority of billionaires can’t possibly believe in a ‘winnable’ nuclear war and can’t possibly be wanting WW3 should read this. That was published by the Council on Foreign Relations, Wall Street’s international-affairs think tank. They mean business. And that’s the source of neoconservatism — the top U.S.-based international corporations, mainly in ‘defense’ and oil and Wall Street. (Clinton’s career is based upon precisely those three segments, whereas Trump’s is based instead upon real estate and entertainment, neither of which segments is neoconservative.)

It doesn’t come from nowhere; it comes from the people who buy and sell politicians.

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

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A Guardian piece last month described: ‘How September 11 revealed the real Hillary Clinton.’

While even supporters recognise that Clinton’s campaign has been notably cold, passionless and bereft of conviction, ‘The Clinton who emerges from the WNYC [New York Public Radio] tapes is passionate, raw and unrestrained.’

The Guardian quotes sources who reveal how Clinton ‘showed herself to be a fighter’, demonstrating a ‘personal care’ that ‘made a profound impression’. She was ‘kind and gentle’, the ‘most vivid memory’ being of ‘the senator’s eyes’. Her behaviour was ‘the mark of somebody who is sincere, who you want on your side’. All in all, ‘she came across as an effective and empathetic leader’. Tragically, the public has seen little of this:

‘I regret that sometimes she doesn’t come across well in front of a crowd as people don’t know her as so many of us do.’

This presidentialising of Clinton is a key, structural function of ‘left-liberal’ media like the Guardian, the Observer, the Independent and the BBC. Establishment candidates like Bill Clinton, Obama, and now Hillary Clinton are presented as awesomely benevolent, brave and wise. Even George W. Bush – derided as a buffoon both before and after he held office – was depicted as a calmly authoritative humanitarian. An ITN news report talked of Bush ‘losing patience’ with the president of crisis-hit Haiti. (ITN, 10:15 News, February 28, 2004) This was Bush as benign father figure, fierce in his determination to help the poor.

Propaganda of this kind exploits the human tendency to revere authority and celebrity. If leaders have an aura of benevolence, when their turn comes to ‘intervene’ with great violence in far-flung countries, few will be willing to question their good intentions.

In our time, this benevolence is often said to be indicated by a leader’s alleged passion for gender and sexual rights. Why ‘alleged’? Machiavelli explained:

‘It is not essential… that a Prince should have all the good qualities which I have enumerated above, but it is most essential that he should seem to have them…’ (Nicolò Machiavelli, ‘The Prince,’ 1513, Dover publications, 1992, p.46, our emphasis)

Gender and sexual rights are favoured because they can be presented as almost apolitical: a state-corporate executive can believe in gay marriage and bomb Iraq to smithereens; she can smash whole countries with bombing, invasion and ethnic cleansing, and support equality for women.

Writing on Clinton in June, senior Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee commented:

‘This is a time to celebrate. At last, a woman leads a major US party to fight for the presidency.’

Moreover:

‘Clinton is not some token woman who has inched into place by offending no one. All her life she has fought the feminist cause…’

Clinton, indeed, is ‘a feminist with a long track record of standing up for the right causes’.

In September, Laurie Penny, contributing editor to the New Statesman, backed Clinton ‘because she is a woman and a feminist, even if her feminism is unlike my own’. For Penny, Clinton is not just ‘a proud feminist woman’, she is a representative of something called ‘centrist soft-liberal feminism’; a claim to which we will return.

Toynbee argued that: ‘Rarely has any candidate so deserved their place.’ Penny agreed:

‘The presidency of the United States does not belong by right to anyone… If it did, though, it would belong to Hillary Clinton.’

Toynbee asked readers to carefully inspect their minds for traces of hidden gender bias:

‘If you are naturally left of centre, especially if you are a woman, yet you find you instinctively dislike her, ask yourself why.’

Penny did the same:

‘If you would truly prefer a Trump presidency to this… then you may want to take a look in the mirror and ask yourself, truly, if you might not be a little bit sexist.’

Toynbee emphasised Clinton’s credentials:

‘if she wins, what an added bonus that, as the first woman to enter the White House, she will also step through the door as by far the most qualified and experienced arrival there for generations… this first woman would also be the safest pair of hands in decades’.

So did Penny, noting that Clinton has ‘a career whose length and breadth would make her the most qualified presidential candidate in history’.

The Causes For Celebration

These, then, are the four causes for celebration: Clinton is 1) a woman, 2) a ‘feminist’ with 3) ‘a long track record of standing up for the right causes’, and 4) she would be ‘the safest pair of hands in decades’.

And yet Toynbee is dismayed by a curious lack of enthusiasm:

‘But among too many who should know better, her success has been greeted with a jaundiced yawn – or outright contempt… Why so fierce, so unreasonable, so vitriolic?’

Why indeed? Some explanations were proposed:

‘she’s not as radical as Sanders; she is not a natural rabble-rouser at rallies; she is the wife of a past president; she’s called « robotic » in her careful choice of words; and as a flesh-presser she warms the cockles of few hearts. After Barack Obama’s effortless charm and sublime speech-making, she is bound to seem leaden-footed in comparison.’

Really, one could hardly find a better example of a senior journalist viewing the world through a Guardian lens that filters out almost everything that matters.

Of course it is true that Clinton’s success would encourage women facing prejudice and inequality around the world; notably, white, mega-rich, American women belonging to great political dynasties. But what of the claims that she is a ‘feminist’ who has ‘a long track record of standing up for the right causes’ and would be ‘the safest pair of hands in decades’.

The ultimate test of the last claim is the developing ‘climate emergency’, by far the most serious and immediate threat of our time, which could literally end human life on this planet in the next few decades. Naomi Klein commented:

‘Hillary Clinton’s campaign… has received a lot of money from the employees and registered lobbyists of fossil-fuel companies. There’s the much-cited $4.5 million that Greenpeace calculated, which includes bundling by lobbyists.’

And:

‘Then there’s all the cash that fossil-fuel companies have directly pumped into the Clinton Foundation. In recent years, Exxon, Shell, ConocoPhillips, and Chevron have all contributed to the foundation.’

Last year, IB Times reported:

‘At the same time that Clinton’s State Department was lauding Colombia’s human rights record, her family was forging a financial relationship with Pacific Rubiales, the sprawling Canadian petroleum company at the center of Colombia’s labor strife. The Clintons were also developing commercial ties with the oil giant’s founder, Canadian financier Frank Giustra, who now occupies a seat on the board of the Clinton Foundation, the family’s global philanthropic empire.

‘The details of these financial dealings remain murky, but this much is clear: After millions of dollars were pledged by the oil company to the Clinton Foundation – supplemented by millions more from Giustra himself – Secretary Clinton abruptly changed her position on the controversial U.S.-Colombia trade pact. Having opposed the deal as a bad one for labor rights back when she was a presidential candidate in 2008, she now promoted it, calling it « strongly in the interests of both Colombia and the United States. »‘

Bill Moyers added some detail:

‘Between 2009 and 2014, Clinton’s list of top 20 donors starts out with Citigroup and includes JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, whose chief Lloyd Blankfein has invested in Clinton’s son-in-law’s boutique hedge fund… They’re also among the deep-pocket outfits that paid for speeches and appearances by Hillary or Bill Clinton to the tune of more than $125 million since they left the White House in 2001.’

Klein strongly emphasised the point that matters on Clinton:

‘[T]aking on powerful corporations goes against her entire worldview, against everything she’s built, and everything she stands for‘. (Our emphasis)

This is very, very bad news; in fact, it is a disaster that will affect every single person on this planet – you, us, your children, our children. Why? Klein concluded:

‘If the next president wastes any more time with these schemes, the climate clock will run out, plain and simple. If we’re to have any hope of avoiding catastrophe, action needs to be unprecedented in its speed and scope.’

The next US president will be Clinton or Trump (a self-declared climate change denier), which suggests that we indeed, now, do not have any hope of avoiding catastrophe.

The Candidate Of The Military-Industrial Complex

What about the problem of Perpetual War, the endless US-UK ‘interventions’ that have created millions of corpses and refugees around the planet? David Sirota wrote:

‘Under Clinton’s leadership, the State Department approved $165 billion worth of commercial arms sales to 20 nations whose governments have given money to the Clinton Foundation.’

Jeffrey Sachs added:

‘There’s no doubt that Hillary is the candidate of Wall Street. Even more dangerous, though, is that she is the candidate of the military-industrial complex.’

Moreover:

‘Hillary was… a staunch supporter of the Iraq War, which has cost the US trillions of dollars, thousands of lives, and done more to create ISIS and Middle East instability than any other single decision of modern foreign policy.’

Immediately prior to the 1999 war on Serbia, while travelling in Africa, Hillary called husband Bill: ‘I urged him to bomb,’ she told a journalist.

Investigative reporter Gareth Porter has written of the ‘active effort’ made ‘by the US military to mitigate Obama administration regime change policies’. In 2011, the Joint Chiefs of Staff ‘had been strongly opposed to the effort to depose the Muammar Gaddafi regime in Libya led by then secretary of state Hillary Clinton’.

Clinton, then, was more hawkish even than the US military. Writing in the Sunday Times, James Rubin, former Chief Spokesman for the US State Department, commented of Libya:

‘Former defence secretary Bob Gates has written that it was secretary Clinton’s « considerable clout » that tipped the balance in favour of action.’ (Rubin, ‘Why Hillary Clinton would make a better president than Obama,’ Sunday Times, April 12, 2015)

Sachs added:

‘Perhaps the crowning disaster of this long list of disasters has been Hillary’s relentless promotion of CIA-led regime change in Syria. Once again Hillary bought into the CIA propaganda that regime change to remove Bashir al-Assad would be quick, costless, and surely successful. In August 2011, Hillary led the US into disaster with her declaration Assad must « get out of the way, » backed by secret CIA operations.

‘Perhaps more than any other person, Hillary can lay claim to having stoked the violence that stretches from West Africa to Central Asia and that threatens US security.’

In her memoir, ‘Hard Choices’, Clinton revealed how she had also played a key role in supporting the coup in Honduras. A former sergeant in the Honduran military recently told the Guardian that, months before her death, he saw environmental activist Berta Cáceres on a hitlist distributed to U.S-trained special forces. The soldier said: ‘I’m 100 percent certain that Berta Cáceres was killed by the army.’

In 2014, Cáceres said:

‘We warned that this would be very dangerous. The elections took place under intense militarism, and enormous fraud. The same Hillary Clinton, in her book « Hard Choices, » practically said what was going to happen in Honduras.’

Clinton commented on Israel’s 2014, ‘Operation Protective Edge’ war on Gaza, in which 2,220 Palestinians were killed, of whom 1,492 were civilians (551 children and 299 women):

‘I think Israel did what it had to do to respond to the rockets. Israel has a right to defend itself.’

Did Israel do enough to try and avoid killing civilians? Clinton replied that mistakes were made, ‘but ultimately the responsibility rests with Hamas’. Shamelessly apologising for the massacre, Clinton added: ‘it’s impossible to know what happens in the fog of war. Some reports say, maybe it wasn’t the exact UN school that was bombed, but it was the annex to the school next door where they were firing the rockets’.

Clinton blamed criticism of Israel’s vicious policies on anti-semitism:

‘we do see this enormous international reaction against Israel, and Israel’s right to defend itself, and the way Israel has to defend itself. This reaction is uncalled for and unfair… You can’t ever discount anti-Semitism, especially with what’s going on in Europe today.’

Raised In Power Above Another

Remarkably, Toynbee omitted all of the above in locating the source of the ‘jaundiced’ and ‘vitriolic’ reaction to Clinton in the fact that ‘she is not a natural rabble-rouser’ and can’t compete with ‘Obama’s effortless charm and sublime speech-making’. This is the great lie of the world as seen through the Guardian lens.

Consider the third of the claims: that ‘All her life’ Clinton ‘has fought the feminist cause’, according to Toynbee, and is ‘a proud feminist woman’, according to Penny.

So what is feminism? The dictionary definition is straight forward enough: ‘the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes’. Wikipedia summarises the goal:

‘to define, establish, and achieve equal political, economic, personal, and social rights for women. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment. Feminists typically advocate or support the rights and equality of women.’

Hannah McAtamney added an important observation on Huffington Post:

‘Feminism is not the belief that one gender should be raised in power above another. The very definition of feminism shows a complete opposition to this belief.’

This is key: feminism is indeed in ‘complete opposition’ to the idea that one gender should be raised in power above another. And yet it could hardly be clearer from Clinton’s ruthless service to elite power, notably the military industrial complex, and from her leading role in the destruction of whole countries like Libya, Honduras and Syria, that she does just that. Clinton has certainly acted to ensure that the interests of elite Western men and women are ‘raised in power above’ men and women in these target countries.

A high-level state executive who manages a system that destroys and damages millions of lives in systematically subordinating both men and women to state-corporate power cannot be described as a representative of ‘centrist soft-liberal feminism’, if the words have any meaning.

We strongly support authentic feminism as an obviously just response to the inequality, exploitation, prejudice and violence facing women the world over. The deepest support for equality of the sexes is found in the practice of ‘equalising self and others’ propounded by many ancient spiritual traditions, notably Mahayana Buddhism. This ‘equalising’ begins when we accept that no person’s happiness or suffering can be considered more or less important than anyone else’s. It is obviously irrational and unfair to suggest that ‘my’ happiness matters more than ‘your’ happiness. When we reflect repeatedly on this equality of importance, we can actually come to feel a sense of outrage at the idea that ‘I’ should benefit at ‘your’ expense. ‘I’ can actually come to take ‘your’ side against ‘my’ own egotism.

From this perspective, it is absurd to suggest that a woman’s suffering matters less than a man’s. Similarly, it is absurd to suggest that the suffering of a Libyan or Honduran man or woman matters less than that of a male or female member of the American 1%.

The idea that Clinton is a ‘feminist’, that her presidency would represent a victory for feminism, is a fraud. In reality, it would involve the exploitation of that vital cause by violent, greed-based power.

At one point in her New Statesman article, Laurie Penny appeared to be overcome with emotion:

‘…Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton! The very personification of steely-eyed, iron-jawed, soft-neoliberal feminism, a woman with short hair and pants…’

But in the strange way of so much corporate ‘leftism’, Penny also passionately insisted that she was opposed to the establishment grandee she was presidentialising:

‘Hillary Clinton is the sort of enemy I’ve been dreaming of over ten years of political work… I look forward to fighting her on her commitment to climate protection, on workers’ rights, on welfare, on foreign policy. Bring that shit on.’

Really? Why wait? Just three weeks after a committee of British MPs exposed one of the great war crimes of modern times – the cataclysmic orgy of death and destruction known in Washington as ‘Hillary’s war’ – Penny made no mention at all of one single, telling word: ‘Libya‘.

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L’axe du mal de Hillary Clinton

octobre 17th, 2016 by Pepe Escobar

Allons droit au but : Hillary Clinton est prête à entrer en guerre contre la Russie en Syrie – avec des conséquences thermonucléaires intrinsèques potentiellement terrifiantes.

Anticipant le résultat de l’élection présidentielle américaine comme une répétition du tremblement de terre de Nixon en 1972, Hillary a également fabriqué une version remixée de l’axe du mal : la Russie, l’Iran et «le régime d’Assad», dans le plus pur style de George Debeliou Bush.

Cela sans même compter la Chine, qui, par l’intermédiaire d’une «agression» dans la mer de Chine méridionale, se mettra également en vedette comme un ennemi certifié pour la Mère fondatrice du pivot vers l’Asie.

Et comme si tout cela n’était pas suffisamment préoccupant, la Turquie semble maintenant en route pour rejoindre l’axe. Les présidents Poutine et Erdogan se sont réunis à Istanbul. Moscou s’est montré disposé à développer à grande échelle la coopération militaro-technique avec Ankara.

Cela inclut, bien sûr, la construction, par Rosatom, de quatre centrales nucléaires à Akkuyu pour $20 milliards, et l’impulsion pour «accélérer les travaux» du pipeline Turkish-Stream, qui renforcera encore plus, de facto, la position de la Russie sur le marché européen du gaz, en contournant l’Ukraine pour de bon, tout en scellant la position d’Ankara comme carrefour énergétique clé entre l’Est et l’Ouest.

En outre, Moscou et Ankara soutiennent la position de l’envoyé spécial des Nations Unies en Syrie, Staffan de Mistura, disant que les «rebelles modérés» – selon le jargon washingtonien –, qui retiennent des otages à l’est d’Alep, doivent être éradiqués.

La nouvelle donne géopolitique va de soi. Autant Erdogan peut être un derviche tourneur politique, insondable et peu fiable, autant Poutine est un maître du jeu stratégique à long terme, les intérêts d’Ankara et de Moscou ont tendance à converger dans le Nouveau Grand Jeu, présageant une intégration plus étroite à l’aube du  siècle eurasien.

Presque une coupe de ciguë pour Hillary Clinton, qui a déjà assimilé Poutine à Hitler.

Changement de régime ou guerre chaude ?

Pendant le spectacle épouvantable qui s’est déroulé lors du deuxième round du match interminable Trump / Clinton, Donald Trump a avancé une fois de plus un point rationnel – exprimant son souhait d’une relation de travail normalisée avec la Russie. Pourtant, c’est un anathème absolu pour le parti de la guerre, dans la nébuleuse néocons / néolibérauxcons de l’axe Washington–Wall Street.

La Clinton-cash-machine contrôlée par les démocrates a une nouvelle fois condamné Trump comme outil de Poutine, alors que les républicains désorientés condamnent Trump parce qu’il va à l’encontre de la «pensée républicaine dominante».

Voici ce qu’a dit Trump : «Je n’aime pas du tout Assad, mais Assad tue ISIS. La Russie est en train de tuer ISIS et l’Iran est en train de tuer ISIS.»

Les perspectives de Trump en Asie du Sud-Ouest vont dans une seule direction : détruire ISIS / ISIL / Daesh. Voilà ce que le conseiller et ancien directeur de la Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), le lieutenant-général Michael Flynn, aujourd’hui retraité, a réussi à caser dans le crâne de Trump, dans un de ses moments d’attention notoirement courts.

Flynn a beau avoir admis officiellement que l’expansion de ISIS / ISIL / Daesh était une décision «volontaire» prise par l’administration Obama, pourtant, dans son livre décousu Field of Fight [Champ de bataille], Flynn insiste sur le fait que «les Russes n’ont pas été très efficaces pour lutter contre les djihadistes sur leur propre territoire», qu’ils sont «de connivence avec les Iraniens», et que «la plus grande partie de leurs efforts vise les opposants au régime d’Assad».

Ces propos sont une formule consacrée néocon. Sans surprise, le co-auteur du livre de Flynn est le néocon Michael Ledeen.

Depuis le rusé American Enterprise Institute (AEI) et le Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), des «experts» en chambre et d’anciens conseillers du Département d’État souscrivent tous à l’idée risible que l’axe remixé du mal – désormais pleinement adopté par Hillary – est inutile contre les djihadistes. Les bons gars qui font le travail difficile sont ceux  de «la coalition menée par les USA». Et que ceux qui osent critiquer les «modérés relatifs» soutenus par la CIA aillent au diable.

Ce que Trump dit n’est pas seulement un anathème pour l’establishment républicain qui méprise Obama, car il ne lutte pas contre l’axe du mal remixé par Hillary, c’est aussi un péché mortel car il «ne tient pas compte» de la base du consensus bipartisan des États-Unis en politique étrangère, jugé sacré comme la Bible.

D’où le succès du Pentagone, dirigé par le néocon Ash Carter, dans le sabotage de l’accord  de cessez-le-feu Kerry–Lavrov qui impliquait des frappes aériennes coordonnées contre  ISIS / ISIL / Daesh d’une part et le Front de la conquête d’autre part, anciennement Jabhat al-Nusra, alias al-Qaïda en Syrie.

Les néocons et les républicains traditionnels blâment l’équipe du canard boiteux Obama pour sa «dépendance malsaine» à la Russie et à l’Iran, tandis que les néolibérauxcons blâment la Russie par principe. Et très haut sur l’autel de la vertu, l’hystérie règne, avec le président des néocons de la NED [ONG pour les Droits de l’homme blanc, NdT] demandant au gouvernement américain de «rassembler sa volonté» pour un changement du régime Poutine.

Prêt à passer au nucléaire ?

Hillary Clinton continue d’insister sur le fait que les États-Unis ne sont pas en guerre contre l’islam. Les États-Unis sont de facto en guerre en Afghanistan, en Irak, en Syrie, au Yémen, en Somalie, et dans les zones tribales du Pakistan ; également impliqués dans la guerre secrète en Iran ; et ont totalement détruit la Libye. Il est facile de faire le calcul.

En parallèle, le discours assourdissant à propos de Washington avançant maintenant un plan C en Syrie est un non-sens. Il n’y a jamais eu de plan C mais seulement un plan A, qui était d’attirer la Russie dans un autre Afghanistan. Le piège n’ayant pas fonctionné avec la démolition contrôlée de l’Ukraine, il ne fonctionnera pas non plus en Syrie. Moscou est prêt à fournir beaucoup d’aide aérienne et la puissance de ses missiles, mais pas de bottes sur le terrain, quoi qu’il arrive. C’est l’affaire de l’armée arabe syrienne, de l’Iran, des milices chiites, et du Hezbollah.

Ash Carter a menacé la Russie de «conséquences». Après avoir sabordé le cessez-le-feu, le Pentagone – soutenu par le Joint Chiefs of Staff [état-major interarmes] – colporte maintenant l’idée de «frappes potentielles» sur la force aérienne syrienne pour «punir le régime» de ce que le Pentagone a effectivement fait : détruire le cessez-le-feu. On ne peut pas faire ce genre de choses.

Le major-général Igor Konachenkov, porte-parole du ministère russe de la Défense, a envoyé un message rapide à «nos collègues de Washington» : réfléchissez à deux fois, si vous croyez que vous pouvez vous en sortir avec le lancement d’une guerre chaude furtive contre la Russie. Celle-ci va cibler tous les aéronef furtifs ou inconnus attaquant des cibles du gouvernement syrien – et ils seront abattus.

La seule question sérieuse est alors de savoir si un Pentagone hors de contrôle va obliger la force aérienne russe – fausse bannière et autrement – à abattre des avions de combat de l’US Air Force, et si Moscou a la puissance de feu suffisante pour les détruire tous.

Donc, dans cette fenêtre de trois mois des «affres de la mort» de l’ère Obama, avant l’intronisation probable de la Reine de la guerre, la question est de savoir si le Pentagone va risquer de lancer la Troisième guerre mondiale parce qu’«Alep tombe».

Ensuite, les choses sont destinées à être encore plus meurtrières. Le gouvernement américain maintient ouverte l’option d’une première frappe nucléaire contre la Russie. Hillary soutient cette option fermement, alors que Trump a précisé qu’il «ne frapperait pas le premier».

La perspective de voir l’obsédée de l’axe du mal, Hillary Clinton, avec un doigt sur le bouton nucléaire doit être considérée comme l’issue la plus vitale de tout ce cirque.

Pepe Escobar

 

 

Article original, Hillary Clinton’s Axis of Evil, Keeping Hillary Clinton’s fingers away from the nuclear button is a matter of life and death, Sputnik – Russian news agency, le 12 octobre 2016.

Traduit et édité par jj, relu par nadine pour le Saker Francophone

Pepe Escobar est l’auteur de Globalistan : How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007), Red Zone Blues : a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge (Nimble Books, 2007), Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009), Empire of Chaos (Nimble Books) et le petit dernier, 2030, traduit en français.

 

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Canadian autoworkers have long been pace setters in the Canadian labour movement and as soon as its most recent agreement with General Motors was ratified, Unifor (the successor in 2013 after the merger of CAW and CEP) laid claim to that agreement’s ‘historic’ status. It has now also been ratified by the Chrysler workers, but at the Ford assembly plant in Oakville – now the largest auto facility in the country – it’s pretty hard to find any enthusiasm for the outcome of this latest bargaining round. If this agreement is indeed historic, it may be so in a sense quite different than the leadership’s bravado declaration intended.

Background: The Cancer of Two-Tier Wages

When the financial crisis of 2007-9 brought GM and Chrysler to their knees, it was hardly surprising that the pressure would intensify on workers. This came not only from the economics of the crisis and threats from the companies, but also from the U.S. and Canadian governments. As they intervened to save the companies with public monies, they notably added further pressures on the union and its members by explicitly demanding autoworkers ‘do their share’ to lower corporate costs. (Ford, the third of the auto triumvirate, had enough of a cash hoard to avoid seeking state help, but was no less anxious to exploit the crisis in bargaining with its unions).

Unifor workers

Such working class concessions did not of course start with this latest crisis. In the auto sector, the American union (United Automobile Workers – UAW) had, since the end of the 1970s, repeatedly rationalized wage restraint or concessions as ‘trade-offs’ for jobs. That the job security never really materialized rarely led to that logic being challenged; rather, it only resulted in hunkering down to ever more desperate cycles of concessions to save the remaining jobs which, by virtue of decent-paying jobs disappearing throughout the economy, now seemed even more valuable. In contrast, the Canadian section of the union had over most of that same period strongly opposed that illusory trade off – to the point of breaking their institutional links with its American parent in the mid-80s to establish the CAW.

But stubbornness itself was always an incomplete response to the attacks on working people. By the early years of the new millennium the CAW too was slipping toward greater accommodation to corporate power. The marked rise in the Canadian dollar – an outcome of both the Tar Sands exports and an economy not doing as badly as the U.S. during the crisis – compounded the pressures on autoworkers. For years the Canadian dollar had bounced around $0.80 (US); as the Canadian dollar approached and even occasionally exceeded parity with the U.S. dollar, the competitive advantages of being paid in lower Canadian funds faded.

Going into the latest bargaining round, Canadian autoworkers had seen both their base rates frozen and their cost-of living suspended since 2008. The result was that in inflation-adjusted terms, their hourly pay in the fall of 2016 was about 16% below what it was in the summer of 2008. Nor was that the only concession. The auto companies, smelling blood, also demanded a radical change in the compensation of new hires, calling for them to be paid substantially less and their defined pension benefits to be converted to benefits dependent on contribution and returns on investments.

The push for a two-tier wage structure – workers doing the exact same work getting different rates of pay over and above a short initial adjustment period – first significantly erupted in the U.S. in the early 80s. It cropped up in the airline industry, which was struggling with the impact of deregulation, and quickly flowed into aerospace. With corporations demanding concessions and the workforce stubbornly resisting, an ‘innovative’ solution emerged: apply the concessions to workers not yet in the industry and therefore not voting on the contracts.

The head of the Canadian section of the UAW, Bob White, called two-tier wages a ‘cancer’ that had to be stopped ‘before it spread into Canada’ [Bob White, Hard Bargains, p.367]. When, in 1984, McDonnell-Douglas achieved a two-tier structure in the U.S. and tried to bring it across the border, the Canadians, backed by a strike threat, did successfully block this import. The union did however accept a lower hiring rate of 85%, though this was limited to an 18 month grow-in. The hiring rate structure remained unchanged over the following decades, but during the crisis of 2008-9, it was revived as the easy way to shift the burden of concessions (or at least a significant part of them) to another generation.

In 2008 the starting rate was lowered to 70% and the grow-in increased to three years. In the Ford ratification brochure highlighting the new agreement, the President of the CAW at the time insisted that this remained consistent with the principles of “solidarity between generations, linking today’s union members with both retirees and the generation that comes after us. Equal pay for equal work. And a refusal to subsidize, out of our own pockets, a crisis that is not remotely our fault.” But a door had been opened and the corporations, taking advantage of the fear occasioned by the crisis, pushed on relentlessly to gain acceptance for re-opening the contract in 2009 and increasing the grow-in to 6 years.

In 2012, the roof caved in on the new-hire structure. The 2012 agreement brought an unambiguously qualitative change in the practice of equal pay for doing the same work. The grow-in was extended to ten years and new hires started at 60% of the base year with the movement through the grid frozen for three years. After the 10th year, new hires got to where the base was when they hired in. As for catching up to any increases the ‘traditional’ workers got over that interim period, this would occur in incremental annual steps after that 10th year. Furthermore, new hires would also be discriminated against in their retirement years; rather than defined benefit pensions they would have a ’hybrid’ plan that combined elements of both defined and contributory pensions plans.

Changing Course?

Soon after the signing of that definitive four-year agreement of 2012, the crisis in auto sales abruptly ended. Profits, especially at GM and Ford, rose and stayed exceptionally high. As the 2016 bargaining round approached, the lower Canadian health care costs and the fall of the Canadian dollar to the $0.75 (US) range left the Canadians with a significant cost advantage relative to the USA. As the Windsor Star noted, in U.S. dollars, the all-in labour costs at the Detroit Three Canadian plants were “about $50 an hour compared to $54 in the U.S.” For new hires this was “about $30 an hour compared to $42 for new hires at U.S. plants.” [Windsor Star, June 28, 2015].

This changed context seemed to suggest that a reversal of the past concessions would surely come, and interviewed on the eve of his election as the first president of Unifor, Jerry Dias indicated as much. Dias “predicted that a major ‘pushback’ and more labour unrest is coming” and added – ironically in terms of his later defense of the union’s new-hire structure – that “young people will lead that charge because I see them being very militant. … They won’t accept the norm anymore.” [Toronto Star, August 30, 2013].

As the UAW went into negotiations in the summer of 2015, that readiness to correct the concessions of the recent past was reconfirmed: “This isn’t 2008 anymore,” Dias declared. “The auto companies are doing incredibly well and it’s time workers shared in the success. Heaven knows we shared during the troubled times.” [Windsor Star, above]. Dias went on to express his expectations of the U.S. bargaining round:

I am pulling for [UAW president] Dennis [Williams] because his members deserve a share in the success of their companies. … There’s no question in my mind Dennis is determined to make incredible inroads in the two-tier wage system. He understands clearly the incredible inequity that exists. He also understands that his tier-one members haven’t had a pay increase in eight years, which is unacceptable.

And yet for some reason that advice and the hopes behind it didn’t apply to Canada. Far from challenging and reversing the concessions made, the union consolidated them. Though wages did rise by 4% over the four-year agreement (the UAW got a marginally better 6% raise and significant profit-sharing sums), the continued suspension of the cost-of-living allowance meant that after adjustment for inflation, real wages would continue to fall. By the agreement’s end in 2020, the loss will approach 20%. Since pensioners also lost their cost-of-living, they too will continue to see their incomes erode.

It might have been thought that such restraint was the most the companies would expect given the strong revival of the companies, the earlier sacrifices of the workers, and the favorable costs in Canada. Surely, this was the moment to ease the new-hire penalty? But having finally gotten the new hire rate, the companies weren’t about to willingly modify it. And as a bulletin to the Ford and Chrysler workers following GM’s ratification made clear, the union leadership wasn’t up to challenging the corporations on this score. Unifor meekly let the companies define what was possible, offering only this rather lame ‘explanation’:

“Unifor negotiators also pursued with all three companies the idea of shortening the current 10-year grow-in period. In the eyes of U.S.-based CEOs, the ten-year grow-in timetable was crucial for attracting new investment and new product north of the border. On this point the companies were unanimous and aggressive in rejecting changes to the progression length.” [Special Information Bulletin for Unifor Leadership at Fiat-Chrysler and Ford, September, 2016].

The agreement included some tinkering in the new-hire system – improvements in the grid were no longer frozen for three years – but the core structure remained unchanged. This did not even match the very modest change in the U.S. from a 10-year grow-in to an 8-year grow in – which itself only occurred after the Chrysler workers in the U.S. rejected their tentative agreement.

Union information sheets claimed the changes made in the new hire rate would give new hires ‘thousands of dollars’ but that only brought to mind a robber taking your money and car, returning a fiver for a coffee and bus fare, then waiting for you to express your gratitude for his generosity. The point is that even after the adjustment in the new-hire rate, a new hire under the new agreement would lose some $200,000 relative to the pre-2008 hiring-in structure (i.e. 85% with an 18 month grow-in) and about $90,000 relative to the 2009 concession of moving to 70% over 6 years.

Here again, it might have seemed that with wage increases below the rate of inflation, no improvements in pensions, and the basic acceptance of the two-tier structure for new hires, the Company had little basis for adding more takeaways to the new hires. Wrong again. When companies see weakness it only invites them to demand more. In this case, the defined benefit portion of the ‘hybrid’ pension was ended; new hires would henceforth only have a contributory pension benefit plan. This permanent two-tier system in retirement would mean that the pensions of new hires would be lower than ‘traditional’ workers; the pension amounts would be more uncertain with the risks shifted from the companies to the workers; and in contrast to other union members, the new hires would have to pay 4%-5% of their wages out of pocket for this inferior plan.

Selling the Agreement

Unifor’s leadership has dismissed criticism of the agreement worked out at GM and now ratified at Fiat-Chrysler (FCA) as the easy pontifications of outsiders with ‘no skin in the game’. This is an old expedient for avoiding debate, but in this case it also dismisses the extent of dissatisfaction within the union.

The 65% ratification at GM was the lowest in history (since the 1984 negotiations which led to the formation of the CAW, ratifications have averaged 84%). At GM’s St. Catharine’s engine plant, there have been discussions about recalling the local bargaining committee. At CAMI – the ‘little sister’ at GM that stands outside the Master agreement but is very much affected by it – the local leadership took the unprecedented step of distributing an angry leaflet opposing the agreement. Most significant, as noted earlier the leadership in the Ford Oakville plant, very much backed by its members is intending to reject the pattern.

By defending and so aggressively overselling the achievements of this contract, the union leadership came to depend on the same contradictory arguments that it once decried when used by the UAW. Those arguments, the CAW emphasized at the time, had ensnared the union into making the case for the companies rather than defending its members. So Unifor bulletins now deny that the new-hire structure is effectively a two-tier structure even though almost everyone clearly understands it to be so. Or the union argues that two-tiers are not really that bad since its ‘better than not having a job’.

National and local leaders praise pattern bargaining as equalizing conditions across the Detroit Three – “If I’m working on the line, I’m going to make the same money regardless of which one of the Detroit Three (it is)” [Detroit News, October 6, 2015] – but they remarkably set aside inequalities among two people doing the same work in one plant. In attacking the Oakville workers for not accepting the pattern as an unchallengeable given, they too readily forget that the solidarity behind pattern bargaining was introduced to make progress, not prevent workers from fighting their employers. They forget as well that the very formation of the CAW was rooted in the Canadian section of the UAW refusing to follow the American pattern it had for so long automatically accepted.

In justifying the phasing out of defined benefit plans, Unifor does raise the legitimate question of whether private companies can in fact guarantee defined benefit plans in the future. This does need deeper discussion along with the alternative of a radically transformed universal pension plan that parallels universal health care. But to simply give up on such plans in bargaining betrays those still trying to hang on to their plans. Moreover, it tends to lower popular expectations of what is possible for senior citizens in a rich society, and correspondingly reduces pressure on governments to actually move toward such pensions. Giving up defined benefit plans without a struggle is hardly the way to place on the agenda the larger, difficult question of the future of decent pensions for all.

The Trap of Bargaining Investment

Underlying all this is the strategic trap Unifor fell into by effectively making investment the primary and, as the Oakville local rightly noted, the only issue in bargaining. It is one thing to join with other workers in a political struggle to address investment and jobs. But making it into the principle demand moves bargaining to a terrain in which the corporations call the shots and the union is left to more or less ask “What can workers do for you to ‘buy’ new investment?.”

This point cannot be underestimated. Once on this track, why should any company ever make an announcement about planned investments before first holding it back and asserting its conditionality on more restraint/concessions from workers and subsidies from governments? Investments that would have been made anyways now become corporate bargaining chips – and worst of all, this is not temporary. It will never end. In 2020, corporate profits will again be brushed aside. If Canadian labour costs are in fact lower, this will again be said to be irrelevant; if workers have issues to correct – tough. The blackmail, once given into, works its magic indefinitely.

Ford on strike

And that too is not the end of the problem. Even when corporations ‘give in’ and make promises, they sometimes honestly can’t meet them for reasons beyond their control, given that the economy as a whole is unplanned and future markets and competition are so uncertain (though the concessions made by workers are of course firmly tied down). Other times, corporations, in the pursuit of their own goals, simply ignore those promises because they can – there is no mechanism to enforce them. And sometimes the fine print in the promises is itself rather iffy. The most recent investment announcements at GM and Chrysler are certainly welcome, but aside from the possibility that some of this may have been coming anyways, unconfirmed reports suggest that GM’s promises in Oshawa and St. Catharines involve Canada getting ‘overflow’ investment, not ‘primary’ investments. If the market is there, the investments will come; and if it isn’t, cutbacks will first occur in Canada.

The experience in dealing with such promises is littered with false promises that the press and the union itself steadfastly ignores. When the UAW began to trade restraint for jobs in the late 70s, its U.S. Detroit Three membership stood at approximately 750,000. Today, after all those ‘trade-offs’ for jobs, U.S. membership stands at under 120,000 – a loss of well over 600,000 jobs or close to 85% of that earlier number. In Canada, the collapse was not quite as bad but still stunning: from about 70,000 to a current 23,000 – a loss of about 2/3 of the jobs.

Desperate to defend its virtual total emphasis on bargaining investment commitments (and perhaps also to isolate the Oakville local), Unifor has pointed to the Oakville plant as an example, arguing that the very major investments it got in 2013 were the result of the new-hire structure negotiated in 2012. But this is dishonest at worst, misleading at best. As the president of the Oakville local has pointed out, the commitment for these investments was actually made in 2009, before the 60%, 10-year phase-in came into place. The 2009 highlights brochure, produced by the national union, confirms this: it proudly proclaims that Ford has made a commitment to the “allocation of new-generation products to Oakville based on a new global vehicle platform during the business plan period.”

The point is that bargaining over jobs ends up giving workers neither decent standards for their work nor job security. It diverts attention from the broader, complex question of what needs to be done now that private corporations clearly aren’t up to improving working people’s lives and making them more secure. And it tends to demoralize workers and weaken unions so that they’re no longer a force capable of addressing those larger issues and leading progressive change.

Conclusion: Making History?

It would be unfair to blame the weaknesses in this current agreement solely on the present leadership of Unifor. The die was cast earlier under former leaderships. Moreover, the crisis in labour is clearly much deeper than recent trends in auto. When the turn to a new aggressiveness against working classes became the norm across capitalist countries, the responses of the trade union movement were remarkably limited.

One response assumed that nothing had fundamentally changed, that what was going on was temporary, that it would correct itself as the business cycle turned or as new politicians came into office with new policies. And so the best thing to do was to muddle through. Another was to find a technical solution in growth through union mergers, thinking that as with corporate mergers, ‘size’ would be their salvation. A third acknowledged the significance of the changes going on but was overwhelmed by them. These changes were seen as inevitable, leaving little to do but to accommodate to them – make concessions to hang on to what you had and make deals with the corporations you formerly distrusted and the politicians you formerly despised. Either way, unions faded as a vehicle for expressing and leading popular discontent What these so-called alternatives all had in common was their refusal to learn the lessons of the past and grasp that only mobilization and organizing, not muddling through, size, nor deals dressed in militant rhetoric could save the labour movement.

The criticism of Unifor’s current direction lies in its response to the deep economic crisis in auto being over; the auto companies now rolling in money; Canada currently sitting in an advantageous competitive position; and a new generation of workers looking to see what unions were really about. The time seemed ripe to lead a reversal in the labour movement’s trajectory – but this was not even tried. That failure defines what was in fact ‘historic’ about the 2016 agreement: it was not the highly overblown claims of the union’s achievements, but the confirmation of the end of the union’s leadership legacy within the labour and social movements.

The story may, however, not be over. The Ford workers in Oakville continue to press to reject the agreement reached at GM and Chrysler and to do so primarily around the basic principle of solidarity with a new generation of autoworkers. Whether or not they can sustain such a fight remains to be seen; challenging not just one of the largest global companies but one’s own union is an intimidating prospect. But if these workers and their local leaders do have the confidence to take on this battle to the end of establishing a new pattern for the next round of negotiations, supporting them will be a test for the entire rank and file of Unifor and for the labour movement as a whole. And it may very well give a different meaning to the ‘historic’ nature of the 2016 bargaining round. •

Sam Gindin, now retired, was an Assistant to two Presidents of the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) (now Unifor).

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Canada Goes To War. Trudeau Postures For The UN

octobre 17th, 2016 by Jim Miles

Wow, the world gets crazier every moment!  Stephen Lewis, former socialist NDP leader from Canada’s province of Ontario was asked about PM Justin Trudeau’s letter to the UN asking for a special General Assembly meeting, as reported by the CBC yesterday:

The Canadian Mission to the United Nations has submitted a rare request asking the president of the General Assembly for a meeting of all 193 member states to « explore concerted action to apply pressure on the parties of the violence [in Syria], » now in its sixth year.

ON CBC this morning (Friday, October 14, 2016) Lewis was briefly interviewed by the CBC and clearly and distinctly chose the U.S. /NATO / western imperialist /mainstream media (MSM)  position on Syria.  He called Canada’s moves “artful and important.”  His reasons were shallow and demonstrated clearly that his socialist ideals – at least as an international socialist – are not very near and dear to his heart.

He commented that “war crimes are being committed by Russia” but hopefully that “Russia may at some point be forced to reconsider,” its position.   When questioned further on this he said he did not think that Russia – more specifically Putin, our now necessary evil ‘other’ personified as one man – would change its actions.  Why?  Because “Putin doesn’t care”, he wants to show that “Russia is back” and that is a “terrifying proposal.”

Double standards abound

Apparently the letter was co-sponsored by 68 other countries.  All of them for sure sycophantic allies of the U.S. empire….but perhaps underneath something unintended may occur.

Lewis said the meeting of the UN would “allow the world to express its outrage” at Russia’s war crimes, at the “destruction of children…the murder of children.”  Most interesting here is that while Russia is being singled out with this narrative, the history of the U.S. empire over the past several decades appears to be getting a clear pass.

Does anyone remember the war in Iraq, an illegal war (all initiators of wars are war criminals) that caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis (many children obviously, as most populations consist of about fifty per cent children)?  And before that, an estimated 500 thousand children died as a result of U.S. sanctions against the Hussein regime.  When questioned about this, then U.S. Secretary of State said the deaths were worth it for  U.S. interests.  War crimes?  Absolutely.

And what about Libya and the war crimes committed there, with the destruction of civilian infrastructure and attacks against the government that went well beyond the UN sanctioned no-fly zone.  More war crimes, more severe unintended consequences – although it did play into U.S. plans to  eliminate Syria.

Back to Afghanistan where the U.S. “war on terror” simmers on.   War crimes and crimes against humanity were committed there by U.S. forces and its “coalition” forces, including Canada.   Afghanistan as you should well know, is now a mess of factional fighting with the Taliban controlling about a third of the country.

Before all those, Serbia was bombed illegally by NATO (which the U.S. leads and in which Canada played a major role), attacking civilian structures such as bridges, industrial plants, public buildings, businesses, and as an aside, the Chinese embassy.  This was supposedly a « right to protect » operation, proved to be a preconceived excuse in order to weaken the Serb Republic and further contain a soon to be resurgent Russia.  An estimated 500 civilians were killed – sorry, no child count there.  But definitely a war crime.

And I probably shouldn’t mention Israel as I will instantly be labelled anti-Semitic, but the war crimes against civilians there – both in the West Bank and Gaza – have been ongoing for decades.  The notable case here at least as seen from the MSM perspective, have been the Israeli attacks against the open air prison of Gaza (population now at 2 million).   Hundreds of children have been slaughtered there using many “made in the U.S.A.” weapons, including chemical warfare (modified tear gas, phosphorous bombs), serving as well as a testing/proving ground for Israeli manufactured materials in support of their militarized economy.  More U.S. supported war crimes.

The U.S. has committed war crimes of an overt or covert nature in 50 countries since WW II, disposing of non-compliant governments with violence against citizens of those sovereign states.

Careful what you wish for

Perhaps, just perhaps, the unintended consequences of the UN meeting might be the bringing to light the war crimes of the U.S., against children, against civilians, against sovereign governments.  I don’t expect that as the U.S. controls the MSM for the western world.  But to focus a call on Russian war crimes is the height of arrogance and hubris from a nation (Canada) that has supported U.S. war crimes and committed some of its own.

Yes, indeed, let’s have a special General Assembly meeting on war crimes, but let’s do it for the whole world and not just the sycophantic interests of an increasingly belligerent member of the U.S. imperial coalition.

The world does need to express its outrage – at war crimes committed by the U.S., about U.S. support for Saudi war crimes in Yemen, about U.S. support for Saudi support of the various salafist jihadi groups around the world.

Russia is back

Well, yes and no.  Russia endured three major invasions from Western Europe (Napoleon, Wilhelm, Hitler), more invasions after WW I from western nations, and suffered under the “shock doctrine” of U.S. neoliberalism.  The latter came about as the result of U.S. influence on the drunkard Yeltsin and created a country in decline ruled by oligarchs who stole much of the wealth of the country (Khodorkovsky, Magnitsky among them).   Currently, the U.S. has a first strike nuclear policy with missile bases in Poland and Romania within minutes of the Russian heartland.

Not exactly a great history of western accommodation.  And now NATO has expanded towards Russia’s borders, yet accuse Russia of aggression (??)  – logic not being a strength of the MSM or the politicians of the west.  The U.S. initiated the coup in Ukraine, just ask Victoria “F**k the EU” Nuland, partner of Robert Kagan, known neocon warmonger.

The MSM across the west, in collusion with the political elites, are doing their best to create an evil Putin leading an evil Russia trying to regain its empire.  That they have succeeded in this image is a testament to the power of the MSM, the ignorance of the people of the west (most particularly in Canada and the U.S.), and the arrogance, hubris, and wilful ignorance of the elite class.

Russia is back (and Canada postures)

– and is scaring the bejesus out of the U.S. and its allies.  It has obviously revived its military power, and in many cases is considered to be well ahead of the U.S.   It’s economy, in spite of the best intentions of U.S. sanctions, is doing reasonably well as its home grown industries are being forced to develop more, and its agricultural sector has benefited from counter sanctions against EU products.   Western action against China have created a Sino-Russian alliance stronger than it ever was during the Sino-Soviet era.

The latter has serious implications for the U.S. desire to be the global hegemon with full spectrum dominance over – everyone and everything.  And for that, it is good that Russia is back.

For Canada and Trudeau to attempt to corral the western MSM message into the UN is simply political posturing.  Whether it comes from wilful ignorance and arrogance,  simple ignorance, simple stupidity, or a pretty boy posturing as the good guy Canadian mediator is difficult to discern.  But it is definitely posturing – it is the U.S. that has created the mess in the MIddle east, it is the U.S./NATO that has created the belligerence towards Russia, it is the U.S. military /industrial /political /financial complex that has created a world of fear and terror in order to attempt its global hegemony.  Finally someone is capable of standing up to that – which unfortunately, given the U.S. propensity for nuclear sword threats, may result in the U.S. having created the perfect storm to induce world war last.

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America knows the leverage corporations have on Washington, but the latest WikiLeaks files on Podesta show how big the influence truly is.

WikiLeaks just released the 9th set of intercepted emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign boss John Podesta. The current batch contains clues that suggest corporate control mechanisms that lead straight to President Obama.

At least one email shows how those mechanisms ultimately affect United States policy abroad. As election day approaches, more and more evidence suggests Donald Trump is right in his accusations that a corporate oligarchy runs America.

By now all the world knows about Obama administration’s funding and arming of so-called “moderates” inside Syria. It’s also widely accepted Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, and Turkey have ended up assisting terrorists. What few people understand, however, is exactly how America’s foreign policy on Syria was and is formulated.

Most people assume Barack Obama and his cabinet hashed out the now failed scheme to overthrow Assad and to install “somebody” or “something” in his place. The “somebody” is still ambiguous if anyone ever had a plan for after Assad.

Just “who” formulated this “genius” plan to kill terror is made clearer by the communiqués of Podesta, who’s the former Chief of Staff to President Bill Clinton, Counselor to President Barack Obama, and aspiring Hillary Clinton Chief of Staff.

The email entitled; “Re: Here’s where we are coming down on recommendations,” from August of 2014 to Vikram Singh, who’s Vice President for National Security and International Policy at American Progress (CAP), may finally tell us who runs American policy.

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” – Abraham Lincoln

Simplification has never been my journalistic strong-suit, but characterizing the disease Washington politics has become easier than I ever imagined. Giving people like John Podesta too much power is a time proven method for screwing up. Ask anyone who ever knew disgraced President Richard Nixon.

This new batch WikiLeaks cable pulls the curtain back on a land of political “Wizards of Oz” in America’s capital.

When Podesta was characterized as a kind of “savior” for the Obama White House by Politico back in early 2014, somebody should have been watchful of the trouble to come. The magazine offered this about his “unofficial” position with Obama:

“…his (Podesta’s) impact is being felt throughout the West Wing, where he’s helping the Obama White House, five years in, grow up.”

Now we begin to see why hackers picked on John Podesta, if the gravity of his role spirals any further downward, he’ll be on the same book circuit as H. R. Haldeman. It is my believe Assange has found the “go between” in the middle of a controlled White House, a government Trump and others say is a sellout. Keep mental track of Podesta’s email recipient at the Center for American Progress, Vikram Singh, while I frame this a bit better.

Some months before Politico framed Podesta as a “second coming” of a political advising god, The Nation ran a story about the secret donors behind CAP. Ken Silverstein, the author of the piece, received a lot of flack from CAP’s chief mouthpiece, Andrea Purse.

The article focuses on the unusual activities surrounding CAP’s donors/sponsors and foreign policy toward Turkey, for instance. Not many people realize it was John Podesta who founded the Center for American Progress, but the fact The Nation reportage implicated CAP for being a corporate control mechanism back in 2013 is a bombshell all its own.

The Podesta efforts toward the Turkey-America business end of things now looms large. Silberstein pretty much had the goods on Podesta and the bigger corporate levers in Washington, but few noticed. No wonder Podesta is now taking pot shots at Julian Assange, he’s all done in Washington if worse comes to worse. Here’s another revelation from Silverstein:

“A confidential CAP donor pitch I obtained describes the Business Alliance as “a channel for engagement with the corporate community” that provides “the opportunity to…collaborate on common interests. It offers three membership levels, with the perks to top donors ($100,000 and up) including private meetings with CAP experts and executives, round-table discussions with Hill and national leaders, and briefings on CAP reports relevant to your unique interests.”

The Nation unknowingly discovered a way for Donald Trump to fend off allegations he and Russia’s Vladimir Putin are in cahoots, for Silverstein uncovered the fact sister think tanks The Atlantic Council took donations from Kazakhstan and Nursultan Nazarbayev! I doubt you find that tidbit in the New York Times tomorrow, though.

According to Silverstein’s investigations, the CAP is propped up by donations from the likes of Comcast, Walmart, General Motors, Pacific Gas and Electric, General Electric, Boeing, and Lockheed. As a potent note here, it’s probably no coincidence Zack’s just announced in June a Lockheed helicopter deal for $3.5 billion for the TUHP-Turkish Utility Helicopter Program, or that Boeing and Turkish Airlines just inked a new deal. If my suspicions are right, lots of deals will be finalized before Obama leaves office.

What about the Syria-Podesta-CAP-Obama connection, you ask? Well, besides the fact the chief Obama think tank man is sending Singh at CAP containing vital intel foreign nationals may be interested in, via gmail  (Ouch!), this is about Barack Obama forging policies for America almost perfectly aligned with an NGO’s recommendations. The Podesta-Singh mail exchange seems to be a draft copy of Syria/ISIL policy Obama ended up using.

CAP recommended five steps to advance the objectives of the United States. The steps were fairly detailed but mirror US actions after the date of the email. After that, the communiqué also reveals the level of failure in these CAP recommendations, as well as Obama, Podesta, and Hillary Clinton foreknowledge they knew about Saudi Arabia and other Gulf entities:

“One area in which these countries should take more action is cracking down on private financing that flows from some Gulf countries to terrorist groups such as ISIS—and the United States should increase its Treasury and Justice Department efforts to cut the financial links between the Gulf and extremist groups such as ISIS.”

As we can see now, no valid effort was made to curtail the monies and arms flowing to Daesh (also known as ISIS/ISIL/IS/ Islamic State). Secondly, no sustained or real effort was ever made by CENTCOM to destroy Daesh oil revenues; it was Russia’s Ministry of Defense that first blasted terrorist black market oil tankers on YouTube.

The cable in question also damns CAP for being the first to suggest to the US president the need to arm Assad’s opposition. Furthermore, it reveals the “think tank’s” erroneous strategic pondering by creating an armed force pinched in between two powerful combatants, the Syrian Army on one front, and Daesh on the other. This strategy alludes to military morons at CAP, and I am sure the “moderates” really appreciate being put in that cauldron today. Further “advisement” by CAP shows my point AND the reason Daesh still exists:

“In the event that ISIS comes to pose a credible and direct threat to the United States, we should be prepared to undertake limited air strikes against ISIS targets inside Syria.”

Clearly, these “geniuses” never played military strategy board games as kids, but the larger indications are far more damning. They speak of the refugees, the war, and these plans as if it is a game. As a writer, reading these calculating assessments reveals a disturbing fact about our leadership – their utter detachment from any conscience or accountability. Podesta, the CAP people, and ultimately Obama himself come off like bean-counters at a big bank, callous as hell over the human loss or misery. They even discuss altering Americas laws to suit their agenda:

“While the threat to the United States does not yet appear to be imminent, the evolution of ISIS in Iraq and Syria may well require the United States to update the legal framework developed after the September 11th attacks to ensure any president has the authority to combat terrorist groups that threaten America with proper oversight from Congress and accountability to the American public.”

So here is where we are, the American people have been asleep at the controls of a runaway policy train. The people behind the liberals in America (the Boeings let’s say) have begun steering the engine of America off the tracks.

Podesta and his cohorts, whoever they are, have been given far too much power, and far too much leeway. Amazingly, and with the utmost irony, if it were not for Julian Assange and the people of WikiLeaks, we would know nothing of this catastrophic situation. And if Podesta could decide, America and the world would never have known. Think about this for a moment.

Obama and other presidents are clearly not running our country; the money interests seem absolutely in control. This explains entirely the steamrolling money machine bent on Hillary for president. As demoralizing and horrid as this is, though, the situation is made worse by the fact we are almost at war with Russia, China, and the “East.”

Finally, in all the Podesta and Clinton emails, I have read there are plenty of references to the negative about opponents, Trump especially. One I found made light of how the Republicans put politics above even patriotism, but here’s the thing.

I have yet to find one instance of humanity or patriotism in these people’s rhetoric or tone. Not one. There’s speak on “patriotism” in Palestine and elsewhere, but never in America.

What I do consistently find is the proof individuals outside the White House running things, and I don’t find the people anywhere in the equation.

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According to the below statement from the WikiLeaks Twitter account, a state party has intentionally cut off access to the Internet for Julian Assange, the founder and Editor-in-Chief of WikiLeaks. This happened after the ninth consecutive day of releases of emails from the hacked account of John Podesta, the chair of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign committee. It also comes on the heels of a potentially serious campaign finance problem for the Hillary for America committee, the primary fundraising vehicle for Clinton, according to an email released by WikiLeaks just yesterday. This would be the second time in less than six months that the Clinton campaign’s finances have come under scrutiny.

In April and May of this year, Senator Bernie Sanders’ campaign charged the Clinton campaign with serious violations of campaign finance law, including “looting funds meant for the state parties to skirt fundraising limits on her presidential campaign,” and exploiting “the rules in ways that let her high-dollar donors like Alice Walton of Wal-Mart fame and the actor George Clooney and his super-rich Hollywood friends skirt legal limits on campaign contributions.”

wikileaks-tweet

The prior allegations play into the hands of the Trump camp which has consistently portrayed Hillary Clinton as someone who doesn’t care about fellow Americans but only herself and getting rich. The release of an email yesterday by WikiLeaks, together with others over the prior eight days, are making those charges harder to refute.

Robby Mook is Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Manager. According to numerous leaked emails, over many months in 2014 Mook was consulting and coordinating elaborate professional services for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Unfortunately, there were three major problems with this. Hillary Clinton had not told the Federal Election Commission that she was running a campaign; she wasn’t reporting contributions and expenditures; and Robby Mook, during this time, was being paid by Common Good PAC at the rate of approximately $10,000 per month. Common Good PAC is a Virginia Political Action Committee set up by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, a long time Clinton loyalist. (The PAC had already been the target of negative publicity for offering private dinners with Governor McAuliffe and his wife in exchange for $100,000 donations, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.)

The deterrent for Hillary Clinton to set up the normal exploratory campaign vehicle was that throughout 2014 and into the spring of 2015, both Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton were making millions of dollars giving paid speeches to global banks, corporations and corporate trade associations according to her financial disclosure report. Each of the Clintons received personal fees of typically more than $200,000 per speech. In an email dated November 18, 2014, long-time adviser to Clinton, Huma Abedin, wrote to other members of the Clinton camp: “We ended up locking in ALL her remaining paid speaking offers a few weeks ago. She reviewed them all with you at meeting so you know everything.” Those paid speeches for Clinton stretched into March of 2015, preventing her from declaring her candidacy without the need to dodge embarrassing questions on pay-to-play.

An October 7, 2014 speech that Hillary Clinton delivered on behalf of Deutsche Bank in exchange for a fee of $260,000 was particularly dicey. Just three months prior to this speech, the U.S. Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations had conducted a hearing into how Deutsche Bank had engaged in a scheme with hedge funds to cheat the Internal Revenue Service out of billions of dollars in taxes. Just six months later, a unit of Deutsche Bank entered a guilty plea with the U.S. Justice Department for wire fraud and engaging in a price-fixing conspiracy.

Read complete article on Wall Street on Parade

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Since previous military report, the Syrian army, Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba, Liwa al-Quds Lebanese Hezbollah have achieved more gains in Aleppo city. They took control of the agriculture school, located south of Tall Asfar, and reached the ”Youth Housing” north of the Hanano Housing. Now, the army and Liwa al-Quds focused on military operations in the areas of the Ba’edin and Jandoul roundabouts.  By Oct. 17, the government forces seized the Intharat Heights near the Ba’edin roundabout and secured the areas near the neighborhoods of Ayn at-Tal and Haydariyah.

A separate attempt to push to Jabal Badro has not resulted in any notable success.

The army and the National Defense Forces (NDF) also launched an operation, advancing in the areas west of the Aleppo International Airport. Sheikh Lutfi is the goal. On Oct. 17, clashes intensified in Salah Addeen and the army took control of large parts of the 1070 Apartent Project.

On Oct. 16, the Syrian Army’s Tiger Forces and the NDF liberated from Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra), Ahrar al-Sham and its allies the strategic city of Ma’ardas in the northern part of Hama province. This was the biggest success of the pro-government forces since the start of massive counter-offensive in the province. The militant-controlled city of Souran will become the next target of the army and the NDF. Both Souran and Ma’ardas are strategically located along the highway between the cities of Homs and Aleppo.

The army also set a full-control of the villages of Qudsiyah and al-Hamah, located near Damascus after militants had withdrew from the areas under the deal with the government.

On Oct. 17, the army and the NDF continued operation in Western Ghouta, aiming the strategic town of Khan Shih. The government forces were developing the advance from the recently liberated town of Deir Khabiyah. The militants’ defenses are on the verge of collapse in the region.

Late on Oct. 15, the ISIS terrorist group withdrew from the area of Azaz in the northern part of Aleppo province. The ISIS forces were set to deploy in Al-Bab in order to prepare to defend this strategic city in Aleppo province. Next day Turkish-backed militant groups, supported by the Turkish Armed Forces, took control of the cities of Dabiq and Sawran and the nearby areas, including Sawran, Tilalayn, Salihiyah, Hawr al-Nahr and Sunbul.

On Oct. 15, the Russian Northern Fleet officially announced that a group of warships, led by heavy aircraft-carrying missile cruiser, had started a cruise to the areas of the northeastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean. The group includes “the Pyotr Velikiy heavy nuclear missile cruiser, anti-submarine warships the Vice Admiral Kulakov and the Severomorsk, as well as supply vessels.”

The Kuznetsov is expected to join up with a nuclear submarine, as well as Tu-160 long-range strategic bombers, for anti-piracy and anti-terror exercises before arriving in Eastern Mediterranean where it will join the Russian forces fighting terrorists in Syria.

The joint forces of the US-led coalition, the Iraqi government, the pro-government Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) and the Kurdish Peshmerga launched the long-awaited military operation to liberate the last ISIS major stronghold in Iraq – Mosul. Since Saturday, Mosul and the nearby areas have been the target of massive shelling and bombing campaigns by the US artillery and the US-led coalition’s air power.

The joint anti-ISIS forces are aiming to secure the Mosul countryside before storming the ISIS stronghold itself. On Oct. 16, the Iraqi Army’s 9th Division and the PMU liberated the city of Bashiqa from ISIS. The Peshmerga joined the operation northeast of Mosul. The Kurdish fighters will block ISIS escape routers and receive and screen refugees but not enter the city.

The Obama administration focused on attempts to retake Mosul after the widely promoted idea of liberation of Raqqa in Syria failed due to the ongoing Turkish-Kurdish tensions in northern Syria. There are also reports that the US military staff has opposed that operation because it will weaken anti-Assad forces.

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73% of Republicans – and according to one poll, 41% of all voters – believe the election could be stolen by Clinton and her lackeys in the media.

Democrats urgently warn that there’s a real threat that Russia could hack our election to steal it for Trump.

While these sound like opposites that are so different that they cannot be reconciled, there’s a bigger picture: our voting systems are so insecure that elections can be stolen.

The alternative media has been warning for years that America’s voting systems are so poorly-designed that it would be child’s play to steal an election.

(Indeed, Democratic president Carter and Republican Supreme Court Justice O’Connor said that the 2000 presidential election was stolen.  And some experts – including the 100th President of the American Statistical Association, professor Fritz Scheuren – say that the Democratic race was stolen from Sanders.)

As security expert Bruce Schneier writes in the Washington Post:

While computer security experts like me have sounded the alarm for many years, states have largely ignored the threat, and the machine manufacturers have thrown up enough obfuscating babble that election officials are largely mollified.

We no longer have time for that. We must ignore the machine manufacturers’ spurious claims of security, create tiger teams to test the machines’ and systems’ resistance to attack, drastically increase their cyber-defenses and take them offline if we can’t guarantee their security online.

Longer term, we need to return to election systems that are secure from manipulation. This means voting machines with voter-verified paper audit trails, and no Internet voting. I know it’s slower and less convenient to stick to the old-fashioned way, but the security risks are simply too great.

Unless we shore up our voting systems and ditch the electronic voting systems with no paper trail, American democracy won’t be worth the paper it’s written on  …

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Toxic Mind Control Contaminates The Public Sphere

octobre 17th, 2016 by Mark Taliano

We are living in a society where dangerous political ignorance prevails, and truth is subordinated.

“Forbidden truths” are concealed beneath the protective cover of a growing array of taboos.  The taboos protect the criminal warmongers and the oligarch class, as they corrode peace, equality, freedom, and prosperity.

Despite the preponderance of strong evidence that the 9/11 catastrophe was a false flag, those who question the ever-changing official narratives are dismissed as “conspiracy theorists”. Open discussions are replaced by ad hominem attacks, or straw man arguments that are thought to neutralize dissent and make the truth go away. The repetition of these logical fallacies, especially the “conspiracy theory” label, then serves to conceal the truth within the walls of the taboo.  The CIA is well-versed in these psychological operations, and the masses willingly and gullibly take the bait every time. Writer Paul Craig Roberts cleverly reverses the psy op and wonders if those who refuse to hear the truth are “CIA stooges”.

The 9/11 taboo continues to provide cover for criminal invasions masquerading as “counter-terrorism”, and the “Global War On Terror”.  It continues to shield the public from the known and well-documented truth that the West is expanding the reach of terrorism globally by using mercenary terrorists as proxies to destroy and occupy non-belligerent countries such as Syria.

Everything that mainstream media (MSM) vomits about Syria is false, yet the public rarely thinks critically about the messaging, despite the on-going deceptions and genocides of all the post-9/11 invasions.

False flags are the spark that begin previously-planned invasions, and they always have been.  Invasions take time to plan and prepare.  The illegal invasion of Afghanistan, for example, launched almost immediately after the 9/11 carnage, was not a spur of the moment decision.  Prof Michel Chossudovsky explains in “September 11, 2001: The War Crimes Committed ‘In the Name of 9/11’| Initiating a Legal Procedure against the Perpetrators of 9/11”:

“Military analysts will confirm that a major theater war takes months and months, up to a year or more of advanced preparations. Confirmed by press reports, the war on Afghanistan was already in an advanced state of readiness prior to September 11, 2001, which begs the question of foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks.”

Instead of relegating open discussions about false flags to the sidelines, shows such as “False Flag Weekly News”, featuring Profs Kevin Barrett and Anthony Hall, should be front and center.  But the taboo prevents this from happening, as elements within our deluded society emerge to suppress the show and its commentators. Hall’s recent suspension without pay from his tenured position as Professor at the University of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, seems emblematic of this suppression.

Those in the Academy who seek to further the cause for peace and international justice, as evidenced by Hall’s books, The American Empire and the Fourth World: The Bowl With One Spoon, Part One (McGill-Queen’s Native and Northern Series) and Earth into Property: Colonization, Decolonization, and Capitalism (McGill-Queen’s Native and Northern Series) are seemingly targeted, even as schools such as the Munk School of Global Affairs  — the namesake of which  elicits connotations of predatory economic practices, and predatory forms of globalization – capture positive mainstream attention.

Consequently, political ignorance prevails, terrorism grows, predatory economic models grow, free speech and thought are squelched, and repressive police state legislation flourishes globally.

All of this protects and enriches the criminal warmongers and the oligarch classes, to the detriment of peace, justice, and stability.  Those who seek the truth and open discussion about transformative events are seeking peace, not war, and yet (ironically), they are the ones who are condemned, not the criminal warmongers. Taboo topics also serve to maintain the political status quo at the highest levels.  Geopolitically, most areas are off-limits, so political campaigning is increasingly nonsensical, even absurd.  Third party candidates such as Jill Stein are almost “disappeared”, and the focus is seemingly on the allegations of personal deeds or misdeeds of the lead players: currently Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Evidence-based political analysis is shelved — commentators who might be critical of Apartheid Israel must first survive labels such as “Anti-Semite” or “Holocaust Denier”, each as effective in its own way as the “Conspiracy Theory” label, so important topics are excluded even before the debates and the campaigns begin.

And there is nothing new about this.  Howard Zinn, in A People’s History Of The United States quotes Henry Adams, a nineteenth century commentator who wrote to his friend about the presidential election:

“We are plunged in politics funnier than words can express.  Very great issues are involved  … But the amusing thing is that no one talks about real interests.  By common consent they agree to let these alone.  We are afraid to discuss them.  Instead of this the press is engaged in a most amusing dispute whether Mr. Cleveland had an illegitimate child and did or did not live with more than one mistress.”

The choice is ours.  We can continue on this path that leads us from one catastrophe to another, including permanent and increasingly dangerous warfare, or we can break some taboos and reject the status quo.  The latter choice is more life-enriching.

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El comercio de la guerra y la democracia neoliberal

Debunking the Western Media’s Coverage of the War on Syria

By Daniel Espinosa Winder, October 16 2016

There were indeed anti-Assad protests, sometimes clashing with pro-Assad protests, but they were in many cases infiltrated or even promoted by elements with very different goals, mainly not Syrian in origin, and used for violence against civilians and peaceful protestors, policemen and soldiers.

the-grand-chess-board1

Hybrid Warfare and US Geostrategy

By Michael Welch and Andrew Korybko, October 16 2016

Once the US has identified its target, it begins searching for the structural vulnerabilities that it will exploit in the coming Hybrid War. Contextually, these aren’t physical objects to be sabotaged such as power plants and roads … but socio-political characteristics that are meant to be manipulated in order to attractively emphasize a certain demographic’s “separateness” from the existing national fabric and thus ‘legitimize’ their forthcoming foreign-managed revolt against the authorities.

US-Nuclear-WarPresident Obama Threatens President Putin With Nuclear War

By Eric Zuesse, October 16 2016

“It’ll be at a time of our choosing,” says U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, on NBC’’s “Meet the Press,” aired on Sunday, October 16th. Interviewer Chuck Todd had asked him, “Why would he [Obama] send a message out to Putin?” Biden (image right) pursed his lips, paused, and said, with a grim look on his face, “We sent him the message.” Of course that didn’t answer Todd’s question, which was “Why?” Biden and Todd both remained silent for another tense moment. Then, Biden picked up again: “We have the capacity to do it, and, uh,” and Todd interrupted him there with “He’ll know it?”

WWF-Monsanto-Pic

Stop Greenwashing Capitalism, Start Holding Corporations to Account

By Rosemary Mason, October 17 2016

In the 1970s, the agrochemicals industry was able to evade effective regulation in the UK. Robert van den Bosch, wrote in 1978 in The Pesticide Conspiracy: “If one considers how dangerous these chemicals are, one would suppose that it would be government policy to minimize their use by every possible means. However, the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution notes, ‘there is… no such policy in the UK, nor does the possible need for it appear to have been considered, notwithstanding the great increases in the use of these chemicals.’”

wind energyDemonising Wind Energy in Australia: The South Australian Blackout

By Dr. Binoy Kampmark, October 17 2016

From the time when energy became a state ambition and the central, almost paranoid platform of security, its messiness became apparent.  Energy reserves needed to be controlled; corrupt regimes with access to such resources needed to be placated, or, if not, overthrown and replaced by compliant puppet governments.  The world of energy is one governed by invasion, acquisitive brutality and resistance.

672225d Bob Dylan

By Adeyinka Makinde, October 17 2016

Did Bob Dylan deserve the Nobel Prize for Literature? Not to those who feel that an award for literature cannot be based on writing popular music songs and publishing a book on prose poetry. While Dylan’s influence on rock music cannot be denied, he nonetheless serves as a lightning rod for contentious debate and polarized views.

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In an ominous sign for press freedom, documentary filmmaker and journalist Deia Schlosberg was arrested and charged with felonies carrying a whopping maximum sentence of up to 45 years in prison—simply for reporting on the ongoing Indigenous protests against fossil fuel infrastructure.

Schlosberg was arrested in Walhalla, North Dakota on Tuesday for filming activists shutting down a tar sands pipeline, part of a nationwide solidarity action organized on behalf of those battling the Dakota Access Pipeline.

« The actions of the North Dakota Police force are not just a violation of the climate, but a violation of the constitution. »
—Josh Fox, Gasland filmmaker

The filmmaker was held without access to a lawyer for 48 hours, her colleague Josh Fox wrote in the Nation, and her footage was confiscated by the police.

Schlosberg was then charged Friday with three felonies, the Huffington Post reported: « conspiracy to theft of property, conspiracy to theft of services and conspiracy to tampering with or damaging a public service. Together, the charges carry 45 years in maximum prison sentences. »

« They have in my view violated the First Amendment, » Fox told the Huffington Post, referring to the state’s Pembina County Sheriff’s Department. “It’s fucking scary, it knocks the wind of your sails, it throws you for a loop. They threw the book at Deia for being a journalist. »

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden observed that Schlosberg faces more years in prison than he does for leaking secret documents about the NSA’s mass surveillance program in 2013:

« Deia isn’t alone, » observed Fox in an op-ed in the Nation. « The arrest of journalists, filmmakers, and others witnessing and reporting on citizen protests against fossil-fuel infrastructure amid climate change is part of a worrisome and growing pattern. »

Indeed, the news of Schlosberg’s arrest followed Democracy Now‘s Amy Goodman announcement earlier this week that she will return to North Dakota to combat charges she faces as a result of reporting on the Dakota Access Pipeline protest last month.

« Goodman, whose camera crew filmed a private security team attacking peaceful Native American protesters with dogs and pepper spray, faces charges of criminal trespassing—which many have said amounts to an assault on press freedom, » as Common Dreams reported.

It also emerged late Saturday that a North Dakota state prosecutor has dropped the trespassing charge and is seeking instead to charge Goodman with participating in a « riot, » Democracy Now reported.

« I came back to North Dakota to fight a trespass charge. They saw that they could never make that charge stick, so now they want to charge me with rioting, » said Goodman. « I wasn’t trespassing, I wasn’t engaging in a riot, I was doing my job as a journalist by covering a violent attack on Native American protesters. »

A warrant for Goodman’s arrest was issued September 8.

Meanwhile, actor Shailene Woodley was arrested Monday while live-streaming a prayer action at a Dakota Access construction site. « She was singled out, the police told her, because she was well-known and had 40,000 people watching live on her Facebook page, » Fox wrote. « Other filmmakers shooting protest actions along the pipeline have also been arrested. »

« Journalism is not a crime; it is a responsibility, » Fox said in a press statement about this pattern of arrests. « The actions of the North Dakota Police force are not just a violation of the climate, but a violation of the constitution. »

Supporters have created a petition calling on the authorities in North Dakota to drop charges against Schlosberg, Goodman, and other journalists arrested for doing their work and reporting on the protests against Dakota Access.

Neil Young, Mark Ruffalo, Daryl Hannah, and other celebrities have also signed an open letter to President Barack Obama and North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple, calling on the leaders to intervene and for Schlosberg’s charges to be dropped. The charges were « unfair, unjust, and illegal, » the letter said, according to Reuters.

« This is not only about reporting on the climate-change movement, » Fox argued in the Nation.

 « Journalists have also been arrested reporting on Black Lives Matter, the movement for Native rights, and many other important movements the corporate media fails to cover. The First Amendment and the Constitution are at stake in this case. If we lose it, we lose America too. »

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The largest earthquake ever recorded in Kansas—a 4.9 magnitude temblor that struck northeast of Milan on Nov. 12, 2014—has been officially linked to wastewater injection into deep underground wells, according to new research from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
The epicenter of that extremely rare earthquake struck near a known fracking operation.

The Wichita Eagle noted from the study that this man-made quake, which hit 40 miles southwest of Wichita and felt as far away as Memphis, likely came from just one or two nearby wells. The publication ominously noted that,

« one of those two wells, operated by SandRidge Energy, is still injecting water at the same level as when the earthquake occurred two years ago. »

 

The USGS scientists believe that the 4.9-magnitude earthquake was triggered by wastewater injection for the following reasons:

  • There had not previously been similar earthquakes in the area.
  • There were waste-water injection wells nearby.
  • The earthquake activity started after the amount of water injected in the wells increased.
  • There’s a piece of earth that could be activated by changes in pressure.

Kansas has had a long history with fracking. In fact, the first well ever fracked in the United States happened in 1947 in the Sunflower state. The process is now used for nearly all of the 5,000 conventional wells drilled in Kansas every year.

But just like Oklahoma, Kansas is seeing an alarming uptick of « induced » earthquakes connected to the underground disposal of wastewater from the fracking process. Kansas is a region previously devoid of significant seismic activity, however, the number of earthquakes in the state jumped from only four in 2013 to 817 in 2014, The Washington Post reported.

According to an August report from The Wichita Eagle, Kansas has seen fewer and weaker earthquakes following the Kansas Corporation Commission’s recommendations to reduce underground injection of oilfield wastewater.

Incidentally, the Milan quake and the record-breaking 5.8 earthquake that struck Pawnee, Oklahoma last month occurred on faults that scientists did not previously know existed.

« If the well is in the right place next to a fault and the fault is oriented the right way, a little change in stress could cause (an earthquake) to occur, » USGS geologist George Choy, the study’s lead author, told The Wichita Eagle.

The study will be published in Seismological Research Letters next month.

« The source parameters and behavior of the Milan earthquake and foreshock–aftershock sequence are similar to characteristics of other earthquakes induced by wastewater injection into permeable formations overlying crystalline basement, » the study abstract states.

SandRidge Energy is the largest oil producer in Kansas and the largest disposer of wastewater in Oklahoma. In January, the Oklahoma-based company refused to abide by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission’s recommendations to shut down or decrease wastewater injection in order to prevent more earthquakes. The company agreed to shut down wells and reduce wastewater volumes months later.

Lorraine is a reporter for EcoWatch. She tweets @lorrainelchow

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Did Bob Dylan deserve the Nobel Prize for Literature? Not to those who feel that an award for literature cannot be based on writing popular music songs and publishing a book on prose poetry. While Dylan’s influence on rock music cannot be denied, he nonetheless serves as a lightning rod for contentious debate and polarized views.

For many, Bob Dylan, nee Robert Zimmerman, is a living legend and quite simply a genius. He is an American icon; one in a long line of unique characters hailing from a culture where the capacity for self-invention is seemingly limitless.  In this case, Dylan, the descendant of eastern European Jews raised in a small town in the American Midwest became an important figure in an age of tumultuous social change during which there was a marked evolution in the forms of popular musical expression.

One revolutionary aspect of Bob Dylan’s early career was his part in nullifying ‘Tin Pan Alley’-style lyrics as the only viable vehicle for expressing popular music. This ‘Shakespeare in the alley’ changed the way rock musicians could write songs. Think of the imagery he conjures in songs like « All Along the Watchtower », « Jokerman » and “Blind Willie McTell”. His influence on fellow musicians was profound. Think of the Byrds and the Beatles for starters.

And don’t forget that sounding like a screeching, electrocuted poor kitty cat didn’t stop that controversial aspect of his package from being influential. Fans of Jimi Hendrix should give Dylan a lot of credit for inspiring him to sing. Hendrix, the story goes, was self-conscious about his voice and only really took to singing because he felt that he stood a chance if the whinny-voiced Dylan could become successful in the business.

But Dylan has always been a polarizing figure right from the time he plugged his guitar into an electric socket. The folk purists never forgave him. Also unforgivable to many of the ideological Left was his support for political Zionism clearly enunciated in the song ‘Neighborhood Bully’. Dylan, they claim had praised Meir Kehane and never retracted this even though the two major bodies that Kehane founded, the Jewish Defense League and the Israeli Kach Party, were both extremist organisations which were later proscribed.

And of course, unforgivable to many is the perception of Dylan as a sell-out to the values to which he had professed as he was propelled to fame and fortune. They argue that he imitated the folk hero activist mantle of Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger but only used the protest movement as a pathway to personal enrichment and a means of opening the door to membership of the social elite. In this way, Dylan, it is argued, is no better than those purveyors of the 1960s ‘counter culture’ who had by the 1980s reinvented themselves as agents and functionaries within the capitalist system.

The popular view of Dylan as a rebel has worn thin with the passage of time. Songs of social protest gave way to ruminations of a personal and religious form. It is fair to say that Dylan did not have to bear the turmoil of threats to his life and livelihood as did the musician purveyors of Tropicalismo who had to flee from the clutches of the Brazilian military junta of the 1960s and 1970s, or the Nigerian Fela Kuti who suffered beatings and imprisonment at the hands of successive military governments or Bob Marley who survived an assassination attempt by gunmen with a political motive.

If the question were asked as to what tangible change a political musician such as Jackson Browne achieved from his protests on behalf of the environment and against the United States backed authoritarian governments of Latin America, the response might be that Dylan did not even bother trying.

Dylan’s award of the Nobel Prize is not its first controversial award. The committee’s award to Barack Obama that of its Peace Prize was criticised since the incoming president had not presided over any successful peace initiative. The award of that prize to the former Irgun terror chief Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat, who as a young Egyptian officer had been willing to cooperate with the advancing Wehrmacht if they could secure his country’s independence, while based on an unexpected peace treaty in a troubled region, was in time criticized by those who believe that only a comprehensive peace settlement and not separate treaties will bring true and lasting peace to that area of the world.

There has always been the suspicion of a political basis in regards to Nobel awards.

Does the committee favour those who work within the English language above others? Are developing countries given a fair appraisal? There are suspicions of a rotation system among the continents. For instance, when Japan was about to receive its first award for literature, it was felt that Yukio Mishima, the most prominent Japanese writer of his time was the favourite. But Mishima later ruled himself out of contention when he discovered that his early mentor Yasunari Kawabata was in the reckoning and wanted consideration. Kawabata won. Mishima had written a note of recommendation to the Nobel committee in Kawabata’s favour and died having correctly prophesized that when Japan’s ‘turn’ came again, it would be his rival Kenzaburo Oe who would be the more likely to succeed.

The award to Bob Dylan is baffling. While it is true that Dylan has, as the committee cited, created “new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition,” song lyrics are not poems and many poets may tend to eschew the use of instruments as part of their range of expression. He has only written one book of prose poetry and an autobiography. Meanwhile, those writers who have been genuinely innovative and experimental in form and content have been ignored.

Perhaps the members of the Nobel Prize giving board are just sentimental old hippies.

Adeyinka Makinde is a writer based in London, England

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From the time when energy became a state ambition and the central, almost paranoid platform of security, its messiness became apparent.  Energy reserves needed to be controlled; corrupt regimes with access to such resources needed to be placated, or, if not, overthrown and replaced by compliant puppet governments.  The world of energy is one governed by invasion, acquisitive brutality and resistance.

Even within countries less susceptible to regime change via energy exploitation, the tendency to politicise the issues surrounding access and acquisition remain.  Cleaner, more sustainable options are deemed unpatriotic, draining traditional industries and jobs.  The sense that the climate change phenomenon is an exaggerated bogey of politics persists.

At stages the argument has been panicked.  The violent storms in South Australia last month, so-called “act of God” events which inflicted an energy blackout through the state, did not draw sympathy from the federal government, which persists in its autistic policies on the environment.  The opposite was the case.

According to Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, the blackout was exacerbated by poor energy policies, notably of the environmentally inclined sort.  The finger, he argued, could be pointed to renewal energy targets at the state level deemed “extremely aggressive, extremely unrealistic.”  It did not take long for the suggestion to be made that the Greens, and those sympathetic to green policies, be hauled out and given a public dressing down.

Various political figures were also lending their voices to the vitriolic mix, adding good lashings of distortion. After all, South Australia is something of a golden boy in the renewable revolution in a country often hostile to it.  The figure of 41 percent of the state’s energy generated from renewables, much of it drawn from wind, was condemned as a feature of irresponsibility rather than praised as a matter of foresight.

Permanent school boy Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce might well be a fanatic when it comes to repelling the introduction of biosecurity threats into Australia (remember the Depp affair), but tends to be softheaded on the greening of the economy.

Earlier this month, Joyce suggested that the mid-latitude cyclone, which generated several tornados, should not be saddled with the dramatic devastation.  He had found the indisputable culprit.  “It wasn’t a hurricane.  It was a severe thunderstorm.  They’ve had severe thunderstorms before.”  Wind energy, in short was “obviously not working” given the dramatic consequence.

Having made the erroneous deduction that South Australia, having had similar events before, should have been more resilient in the face of the usual, he condemned recent spikes in energy prices in the state, and the “appalling management” on the ground.[1]

Similar views could also be heard from the muddled Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg, who remains a customary conquistador indifferent to the renewable industry, and South Australian senator Nick Xenophon, wind energy’s permanent critic.

The searing spotlight had moved to demonising wind and the uneven nature of renewable targets across the states.  “Federal and State renewable energy targets being different,” he explained to Radio National, “does create a problem, because it skews investment in an inefficient way”.  The theme here: money, investment, rather than environmental conscientiousness.

Frydenberg went on to tell the 7.30 Report that, “questions are raised by the virtue of the increasing amount of renewables”, a point he twinned with an admission that “South Australia lost its power due to the most extreme weather event there in half a century”.[2]

Wind energy, as Australia’s Chief Scientist Alan Finkel explained, had become something of a handy scapegoat. Not that his views mattered.  “If you had a natural gas generator there, and the voltage was collapsing, and the frequency was collapsing, that natural gas generator would have taken itself off the grid just as rapidly as the wind farms had taken themselves off” (ABC News, Oct 6).

In the populist bilge, the exceptional nature of the weather event, advanced by the energy experts, was ignored.  The views of engineers, gathered from such sources as ElectraNet, which installed temporary transmission towers in the state’s mid-north, were discounted.

A regulatory report released this month by the National Energy Market Operator examining the outage came to the sensible conclusion that weather’s destruction of infrastructure, not environmental mismanagement, was the catalyst.  The authors of the report acknowledged a sudden loss of wind energy, but preferred to focus on the effects of the storm.  The result of the damage to transmission lines increased pressure on the main interconnector with Victoria, resulting in a tripping of the system after an inevitable overload.

Admitting that at the political level would be sensible, but in the ruthless and often misinformed world of energy politics, it would be unexpected.  The point is made more acute in a country where climate change denialism, along with a continued insistence on fossil fuels, prevails with stubborn determination.  In all this, the de-greening of Turnbull’s faux credentials in this entire process is perhaps the most striking feature of the debate.

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

Notes

[1] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-10-06/appalling-management-to-blame-for-prolonged-black-out-in-sa/7908032
[2] https://newmatilda.com/2016/10/09/black-friday-brain-fades-black-outs-and-josh-frydenbergs-awkward-day-in-canberra/

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All participants of the international ministerial meeting on the Syrian settlement in the Swiss city of Lausanne have apparently confirmed their commitment to preserve Syria’s integrity.

However, Gregory Copley, editor of Defense & Foreign Affairs and President of the parent organization, the International Strategic Studies Association, warned that the stance currently adopted by the US on Syria may in fact yield some rather risky and unpleasant outcomes.

During an interview with Sputnik Radio, he said that the US insistence that ‘Assad must go’ and stubbornly continuing to support proxy rebel forces looks like a « recipe for disaster. »

« I believe that the Obama administration will be reckless about this and will basically push for a risky outcome. We could see how regardless of the good intentions stated the US is about to do something risky, I believe, in Syria, » Copley said.

He also predicted that if Hillary Clinton gets elected as the next US president, she’s likely to pursue the « risky confrontation with Russia », in no small part due to her commitment to the anti-Russian policies espoused by the US financial elites.

Also, he ventured a guess that any new agreement reached on the Syrian conflict between the parties involved is unlikely to be a long-lasting arrangement due to the US agenda.

« I think that the US will be forced to get along with things that should sound moderate and supportive of consensus… But the reality is that the United States is now looking for active ways to increase its military engagement in Syria and has just done a number of things which have been extremely provocative, » Copley remarked.

At the same time, he added, if the Syrian army continues to make steady progress in Aleppo and stabilize the situation in the city then it might in fact help « remove some of the apparent legitimacy of Washington’s claims that it must intervene. »

« The US labeled any of its strikes against Syrian government or Russian positions as accidents and labeled anything that Syrian or Russian forces do which might have a civilian impact as being war crimes – this isn’t really a path to achieve any meaningful settlement. However, if the situation stabilizes because the government takes control over east Aleppo, then I think it might remove some of the opportunity for Washington to push ahead with a military solution, » Copley surmised.

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To hear US corporate media tell it, the US was dragged into a brand new war on Wednesday.

US destroyers in the Gulf of Aden launched airstrikes against Houthi rebels, a Shia insurgent group currently withstanding a massive bombing campaign from a Saudi-led coalition in a year-and-half conflict between largely Shia rebels and the Saudi-backed Sunni government in Yemen. The Pentagon insisted that cruise missiles had been fired onto the USS Mason on Sunday and Wednesday from Houthi-controlled territory, and called the airstrikes a “limited self-defense” response.

Needless to say, US media followed the Pentagon’s lead. The fact that the United States has been literally fueling Saudi warplanes for 18 months while selling weapons and providing intelligence support to the Gulf monarchy—acts which even the US State Department believes could expose the US to war crimes prosecution—was either downplayed or ignored. Nor did media recall the US’s long history of drone warfare in Yemen, where the military and CIA have been carrying out long-range assassinations since 2002, killing more than 500 people, including at least 65 civilians.

So far, most print media reporting has at least bothered to briefly put the attack and counterattack in broader context, noting the US role in the brutal bombing campaign that has left over 4,000 dead, including over 140 bombed at a funeral in Sana’a last week—even as the stories’ framing downplayed the US’s history in the conflict. The New York Times (10/12/16), for example, said in the second paragraph of its report on the airstrikes (emphasis added):

The strikes against the Houthi rebels marked the first time the United States has become involved militarily in the civil war between the Houthis, an indigenous Shiite group with loose connections to Iran, and the Yemeni government, which is backed by Saudi Arabia and other Sunni nations.

But the Times story went on to acknowledge, somewhat contradictorily, that the US had been “quietly providing military support to a Saudi Arabia-led bombing campaign against the rebels since last year.” The story noted that the US had been

providing intelligence and Air Force tankers to refuel the coalition’s jets and bombers. The American military has refueled more than 5,700 aircraft involved in the bombing campaign…. More than 4,000 civilians have been killed since the bombing began, according to the United Nations’ top human rights official.

TV news reports, on the other hand, kept the spin and left out the context. They mostly failed to mention that the US has been assisting the Saudi assault on the Houthi rebels for a year and a half, and framed the incident as a US warship being attacked while simply minding its own business in international waters.

CBS’s David Martin, fresh off his 14-minute Pentagon commercial last month, didn’t mention the Saudi bombing campaign or explain the US’s role in the war for his segment for CBS This Morning (10/13/16). In fact, Martin never uttered the word “Saudi” or named any of the other countries involved in Yemen, only noting that the rebels are “trying to overthrow the government.” The average viewer would come away thinking the US Navy ship just happened to be in the neighborhood when it was randomly fired upon.

ABC’s Martha Raddatz (Good Morning America,10/13/16) likewise didn’t inform the viewer that the US has been a party to the civil war for 18 months. She also never used the word “Saudi” or referred to the brutal bombing campaign; she barely even alluded to there being a conflict at all.

CNN’s Barbara Starr (CNN10/13/16) joined the club, omitting the US and Saudi roles in the conflict entirely. She went one step further and repeatedly speculated about “direct” Iranian involvement in the Mason attack and what that would entail, despite there being zero evidence and no suggestion from the Pentagon of Iranian participation. Starr even conflated Al Qaeda and Iran, despite their being on opposite sides of the conflict:

The Yemeni missiles were fairly old but had been outfitted with highly lethal warheads, the kind Al Qaeda and Iran know how to make.

The implication was that Al Qaeda might have somehow provided Houthi rebels with missiles, but this, of course, is absurd: The Houthis and Al Qaeda are sectarian enemies and have been fighting each other throughout the civil war. Never mind; Starr needed to raise the stakes and throw out as many boogeymen as she could.

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow (10/13/16) delivered the worst of the batch. Not only did she too omit the Saudi bombing campaign and the US’s role in it (again, leaving the viewer to believe the attack was a total non sequitur), she spun the issue in tedious partisan terms, recalling Trump’s statement he would attack Iranian warships that threatened the US:

You might remember Republican candidate Donald Trump said in an off-handed remark during the campaign that if Iranian ships got too close to American ships and if Iranian sailors made rude gestures towards our American sailors under President Trump, we’d blow those Iranian ships out of the water. Well, Iranian ships and American ships are now in the same waters, off the coast of Yemen in the middle of war, with Tomahawk missiles and cruise missiles already flying. Steady on.

Why are American ships in those waters? Why are Tomahawk missiles “flying”? The conflict is never explained; it’s only brought up so that Maddow can warn that the GOP nominee could make things worse. Of course, it isn’t Trump who backed the Saudis in an air campaign that’s left thousands dead, but Obama—and it’s Hillary Clinton who as secretary of State enthusiastically pushed to sell warplanes to Riyadh (The Intercept2/22/16). But such facts would messy up the election-season narrative.

Maddow, like the other reports, used the loaded modifier “Iran-backed” to describe the Houthis (even though experts and Pentagon officials think Iran’s support is overblown). This is a stark asymmetry, considering that none of the reports referred to the Yemeni government as “US-backed” or “Saudi-backed.” She also said that the Navy blamed the attacks on the Houthis, when the Pentagon only claims the missiles came from rebel territory, and could very well be from other allied groups (New York Times10/13/16).

Not only is the US’s backing of Saudi Arabia omitted from all these reports, the word “Saudi” isn’t uttered in any of them. The viewer is given the impression that the war, aside from Iranian meddling, is an entirely internal affair—when it actually involves over 15 different countries, mostly Sunni monarchies propping up the Yemeni government—and that the rebels just randomly decided to pick a fight with the largest military in the history of the world.

The Houthis, for their part, vehemently deny having carried out the attack on the Mason, and there is no publicly available evidence it was them or allied forces. It should be noted, however, that Houthi forces took credit for sinking a United Arab Emirates supply ship two weeks earlier.

As is often the case with war, the issue of “first blood”—or who started the fighting—gets muddied. Governments naturally want global audiences and their own citizens to view their actions as defensive—a necessary response to aggression, not aggression itself. US corporate media are aiding this official spin in their reporting on the US bombing of Yemen.

Adam Johnson is an associate editor at AlterNet and writes frequently for FAIR.org. Follow him on Twitter at @adamjohnsonnyc.

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The Passing of Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej

octobre 17th, 2016 by Tony Cartalucci

The passing of Thailand’s head of state, the 88 year old King Bhumibol Adulyadej, marks a historically significant event in Thailand’s history. For most Thais, they have known only one king their entire life – King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

The significance of Thailand’s monarchy to Thai people is difficult for Westerners to understand. Unlike Western monarchies who rule from above, Thailand’s monarchy has historically ruled through service to the people. It is in recognition of this service that drives hundreds of thousands of Thais into the streets of Bangkok to participate in the beginning of funeral rites this week.

The depth and scope of this service includes not only the political boundaries and stability the monarchy provided when politicians and political parties clashed within the nation, but also service in driving long-term infrastructure projects regarding irrigation, energy, and agriculture shortsighted politicians refused to pursue.

Many aspects of Thai agriculture, from the introduction of new crops to the concept of cooperatives and localizing rice mills, were introduced through initiatives promoted and funded by the Royal Family itself. King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s royal palace in Bangkok was many years ago converted into a demonstration and training center where today, foreigners and Thais alike can augment their skills and diversify their economic activity.

Politically, the monarchy’s ability to reside above contests of political power and the deep respect Thais hold for the institution, creates a set of boundaries that have prevented dangerous – even violent political struggles – from expanding into the sort of destructive conflicts seen previously in neighboring Cambodia or currently expanding across the Middle East.

For Thailand’s enemies who seek to undermine political stability or overthrow Thailand’s political order, their primary obstacle and thus target has always been the nation’s revered, powerful monarchy. The passing of Thailand’s Bhumibol Adulyadej presents a perceived vulnerability Thailand’s enemies will undoubtedly seek to exploit to weaken Thailand and thus by doing so, disrupt regional stability.

Thailand’s Importance to Southeast Asia 

Thailand is a prominent Southeast Asian nation, home to 70 million people, a dynamic and diverse economy ranging from agriculture to manufacturing, and remains the only nation in the region to have eluded Western colonization.

It has played a pivotal role throughout history, leveraging colonial powers against one another before the World Wars, a battlefield during World War 2, a contributing  factor to France’s loss of Indochina and host to US military forces during the Vietnam War.

Since the conflict in Vietnam, Thailand has slowly and incrementally pivoted away from its role in US regional hegemony toward a more balanced place in the region.

Today, as the US performs its own “pivot toward Asia,” Thailand’s geopolitical shift has become even more pronounced as it seeks to evade US pressure, influence, and domination.

Thailand’s arsenal – once dominated by aging American hardware – now hosts Chinese, Russian, European, and even Middle Eastern defense systems. The nation strives to cultivate multiple relationships so as to not be dominated or overly dependent on any single one of them – which has been the key to Thailand’s longstanding sovereignty throughout history.

Currently, Thailand along with the rest of Southeast Asia, serves as a source of trade and cooperation with Beijing. Contrary to popular belief, both China and Southeast Asia conduct the majority of their trade within Asia itself. The stability of the region is therefore essential to each and every nation within the region.

For the US who seeks to encircle and contain China, the destabilization of the region is key to hindering China’s rise and preventing the all but inevitable waning of US “primacy” in Asia Pacific.

Attacking along China’s peripheries, either by coercing, destabilizing, or overthrowing and replacing the governments of China’s neighbors in Southeast Asia is essential to eventually coercing, destabilizing, or overthrowing and replacing the government of China itself.

Target Thailand 

Thailand is just one of several nations currently being destabilized by the US. For each nation in the region, the US pursues similar strategies with only minor differences depending on socioeconomic and culturally factors. The presence of US-funded opposition groups and a virtual army of faux-non governmental organizations (NGOs) exist in each and every nation in Southeast Asia.

In Thailand in particular, the primary target is Thailand’s monarchy and its military – two institutions the US sees as obstacles to ever placing an obedient client regime into power. The US believes this precisely because over the past 15 years, through their proxy Thaksin Shinawatra, they have tried and failed to seize power by proxy because of two military coups and massive street protests organized by Thais rallying around their historical institutions.

The average Thai is acutely aware of – if not the current geopolitical and domestic political dynamics of Thailand’s present – the fact that the military and monarchy now and throughout Thailand’s ancient history have been the primary reason the nation remains unconquered.

Attacks, or perceived attacks on either of Thailand’s revered and respected institutions is perceived by the vast majority of Thais as an attack on Thailand itself.

Thus, throughout the media, those networks including CNN and the BBC who regularly and intentionally target the military and monarchy are reviled by Thais. In 2010, when CNN corespondent Dan Rivers mischaracterized street violence carried out by Thaksin Shinawatra’s political party, Thais campaigned against CNN until Rivers was eventually sent home.

Today, the Western media seeks to exploit the sensitive transition period as Thais mourn the passing of King Bhumibol Adulyadej – and have already launched a campaign to undermine the heir, Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn.

Making or Breaking Relations with Thailand

Those networks perceived as exploiting or disrupting Thailand’s sensitive transition will immediately be identified by Thais as “enemies” of not only the monarchy, but the nation it has historically served.

For Westerners who live in nations where institutions from as large as government to as small as family are mired in dysfunction, the concept of an entire nation existing as a large “extended family” is alien to them. However alien such a concept may be, the consequences of misunderstanding this concept can cost some nations their influence and standing, not only in Thailand but in Southeast Asia in which Thailand resides a central and influential nation.

Those nations whose media avoids sensationalism and gossip, as well as verified US-engineered propaganda, will come out the other side of Thailand’s transition a stronger ally than ever. It appears out of all nations and regions, it will be China and Thailand’s other Asian neighbors who enjoy this status, while the West and even Russia appear disinterested or incapable of fostering closer ties.A recent article published by Russia’s RT, for example, will undoubtedly be perceived by Thais as a collective attack on them. While the article was likely written, edited, and published by a handful of unprofessional journalists – citing the US State Department and paid lobbyists – it will inadvertently reflect poorly on Russia collectively. Just like CNN and the BBC are reviled and the national influence of the US and UK negatively affected by their actions in Thailand and Asia, careless networks in Russia like RT will become a vector of similar backlash directed at Russia itself if such unprofessionalism is not rectified.

Should the West as well as Russia seek better ties with Thailand, they must take the time to carefully understand the nation and shape policy to meet it, rather than insist on imposing cultural, political, and economic prejudices entire empires throughout history have tried and failed to impose upon the Thai people.

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

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Trump Tape and Clinton Emails Are Both Legitimate–but Not Equivalent Stories

octobre 17th, 2016 by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)

Sinclair Broadcast Group’s Stephen Loiaconi (WJLA10/13/16) quoted FAIR’s Jim Naureckas on the legitimacy of examining Donald Trump’s treatment of women as a campaign issue:

To a degree, Trump brought the scrutiny he now faces on himself by making Bill Clinton’s infidelity and unproven claims of assault against him part of the campaign, according to Jim Naureckas of Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting, a liberal media watchdog group.

“Trump himself made it clear that he thought that Hillary Clinton’s handling of charges of sexual wrongdoing against her husband in the 1990s should be a key, even decisive issue,” Naureckas said.

Later in the article, Naureckas compared the handling of the abuse charges to the coverage of the Clinton campaign emails released by WikiLeaks:

Naureckas said the emails are a legitimate story, and one that provides unique insight into a presidential campaign, but he warned against trying to equate it with the allegations against Trump.

“One should not give readers the impression that a candidate revealed to have crafted public statements for political effect is the same sort of thing as a candidate being accused of sexual assault,” he said.

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This is a story about the last few weeks in the life of a man who ended up in Guantanamo where the physical torture was bad enough, and the emotional torture was worse. He was put through the psychological equivalent of a wood chipper.

As they chipped away at his spirit, he chipped away at his own body, with clumsy suicide attempts that only succeeded in creating scars.  One day, he really did kill himself – or so it would seem.

But what really happened to the 31-year-old Yemeni, Mohammed Al Hanashi? And why would anyone question the official version of what happened to him?

In his book — Cover-up at Guantánamo: The NCIS Investigation into the “Suicides” of Mohammed Al Hanashi and Abdul Rahman Al Amri — Dr. Jeffrey Kaye reveals what he found after relentless research. Clear evidence of a cover-up: missing, suppressed material, contradictory testimony, and more. As he wrote in his Preface,

“The possible criminality and compromised nature of the NCIS investigations is especially highlighted in the case of Al Hanashi, where NCIS was forced in the middle of its death query to open a subordinate investigation – reported for the first time here – into why the Guantanamo computerized detainee database system was ordered turned off as soon as Al Hanashi’s body was discovered. Even more suspicious, the order to shut off computer entries apparently was given by an unidentified NCIS agent him or herself!”

What Dr. Kaye had to work with was circumstantial evidence — which is defined as “evidence that proves a fact or event by inference.” This is the most difficult kind of material to work with, for it demands logic, perception, and imagination.

WhoWhatWhy Introduction written by Milicent Cranor

Excerpt from 

Cover-up at Guantánamo: The NCIS Investigation into the “Suicides” of Mohammed Al Hanashi and Abdul Rahman Al Amri,

by Jeffrey Kaye

(Publisher: Jeffrey S. Kaye, PhD, September, 2016).

Chapter 4, “The only solution is death”: Al Hanashi’s Final Days.  

On April 1, 2009, 31-year-old Mohammed Al Hanashi sat in his hospital cell at Guantánamo writing what reads like his last will and testament. The tiny room is nearly all white. There is a sink, a toilet, and a steel door with a slot for food and medications. A light shone at all times, day and night.

Probably unknown to Al Hanashi, in a grotesque coincidence, a USO tour of Guantánamo with both the 2008 winners of the Miss USA and Miss Universe contests had just visited the camp. Dayana Mendoza, the Miss Universe winner from Venezuela, caused some controversy with a blog piece about her visit.

“We visited the Detainees camps and we saw the jails, where they shower, how the [sic] recreate themselves with movies, classes of art, books. It was very interesting,” Ms. Mendoza wrote.

“The water in Guantánamo Bay is soooo beautiful! It was unbelievable, we were able to enjoy it for at least an hour. We went to the glass beach, and realized the name of it comes from the little pieces of broken glass from hundred of years ago. It is pretty to see all the colors shining with the sun….

“I didn’t want to leave, it was such a relaxing place, so calm and beautiful.”

How impossibly distant was the experience of detainee number 078.

“In the name of Allah the merciful the compassionate!” Al Hanashi wrote in Arabic. He had been imprisoned at that point for over seven years. Some may think, well, there are literally thousands of prisoners in US prisons who have been imprisoned as long and longer, who have spent years in isolation. Such prisoners often have been seriously damaged by their experience, but the Guantánamo experience took matters even farther.

The detainee had not been charged with any crime. He had not met with any attorney. The length of his imprisonment remained unknown and indeterminate. He was thousands of miles from home, held by a foreign power, manipulated in a regime that fancied itself a “battle lab in the war on terror.”

The detainee, Yemeni prisoner Mohammad Ahmed Abdullah Saleh Al Hanashi, was one of hundreds still imprisoned at the US Department of Defense “strategic interrogation” prison site at Guantánamo.

He’d been on hunger strike and fed via tube for some time (we don’t know if he was forcibly fed or not, but another detainee has written that he was). Now he pondered his death, probably by suicide. Or perhaps he thought he would die from the hunger strike, or as a victim of torture.

Al Hanashi pondered the “hardness” of life at Guantánamo. “Do not be sad for my death O family!” he wrote. “Allah almighty said ‘every soul will taste death.’”

“Life is no good without honor and a poet put it: ‘I have sworn either to live with honor and dignity or you may taste my bones.’”

From the document, it appears Al Hanashi had considered suicide deeply, and the deprivation of prison life at Guantanámo proved too much for him. “Anyway O family, I am well aware of my situation and of my circumstances,” he wrote. “I have not come to this without having been convinced by legal scholars.

“One has no blessing in life if one is deprived from certain joys.”

The cell of a non-compliant prisoner at Camp Delta, Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Photo credit: US Department of Defense

According to his 2008 JTF-GTMO detainee assessment (one of hundreds released by Wikileaks), Al Hanashi was born in February 1978. He grew up in Yemen and graduated secondary school in 1995 or 1996. “After graduation… [he] worked for his father on the family farm where they raised livestock and grew watermelons, tomatoes, corn and other crops,” though the detainee assessment said he told a Yemeni delegation to Guantánamo that he used to be in the military.

In general, intelligence officials at Guantánamo thought Al Hanashi minimized his role fighting in forces associated with Al Qaeda. As a result, they judged him as “High risk,” a threat to the US and its interests and allies, as well as “A High threat from a detention perspective.” (They would state the same thing about Al Amri.)

According to Guantánamo expert Andy Worthington,

“[Al Hanashi] was one of around 50 prisoners at Guantánamo who had survived a massacre at Qala-i-Janghi, a fort in northern Afghanistan, at the end of November 2001, when, after the surrender of the city of Kunduz, several hundred foreign fighters surrendered to General Rashid Dostum, one of the leaders of the Northern Alliance, in the mistaken belief that they would be allowed to return home. Instead, they were imprisoned in Qala-i-Janghi, a nineteenth century mud fort in Mazar-e-Sharif, and when some of the men started an uprising against their captors, which led to the death of a CIA operative, US Special Forces, working with the Northern Alliance and British Special Forces, called in bombing raids to suppress the uprising, leading to hundreds of deaths. The survivors — who, for the most part, had not taken part in the fighting — took shelter in the basement of the fort, where they endured further bombing, and they emerged only after many more had died when the basement was set on fire and then flooded. “

This was the same prison revolt and subsequent massacre by US, British and Northern Alliance forces where the so-called “American Taliban,” John Walker Lindh, was also captured and later tortured by US operatives.

According to his Combatant Status Review Tribunal (CSRT) record, Al Hanashi went to Afghanistan to fight for the Taliban in early 2001. He was 23 years old.

Al Hanashi told Guantánamo officials he never heard about Al Qaeda until he read media reports while on the front lines in Afghanistan. He explained that he fought against the Northern Alliance, but said he never killed anybody.

After surviving Qala-i-Janghi, he was shipped off to Shabraghan Prison, where he spent the next four weeks or so recuperating in the prison hospital. Also in the hospital with Al Hanashi were victims of a transfer of Northern Alliance prisoners from Kunduz, the survivors of a purported war crime by Dostum’s forces (possibly with the knowledge or connivance of US Special Forces), as thousands of prisoners were “stuffed into closed metal shipping containers and given no food or water; many suffocated while being trucked to the prison. Other prisoners were killed when guards shot into the containers,” according to a New York Times story.

Did al Hanashi talk with survivors of the Dostum mass killings? Did he hear tales of US Special Operations soldiers or officers involved? According to his JTF-GTMO detainee assessment, an area of “possible exploitation” in his ongoing incarceration was the “Uprising at Mazar-e-Sharif and detainee’s reported leadership” there. The claims about “leadership” came from the interrogation of John Walker Lindh, who supposedly told interrogators that Al Hanashi had helped negotiate the surrender of prisoners at Qala-i-Janghi.

Appended to a section of the assessment is an “Analyst Note,” which stated, “If detainee was truly in a situation to negotiate for others, he may have been in a more significant leadership position than reported.”

The question of the level of leadership Al Hanashi exerted was brought up both by outside observers (like the former detainee Binyam Mohamed) and, as noted in the released NCIS interviews, by Guantánamo guard and medical personnel. In addition, as we have seen, when Guantánamo officials decided to change the policies for psychiatrically hospitalized detainees, bringing them into alignment with rules for the rest of the camp, top Guantánamo officials came to the Behavioral Health Unit to discuss the situation with Al Hanashi.

Guantanamo Bay prisoners.
Photo credit: Joint Task Force Guantanamo / Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Some of the statements made about Al Hanashi can be taken with a grain of salt. Former Guantánamo inmate, Binyam Mohamed, who knew Al Hanashi, has said he didn’t believe the 31-year-old Yemeni force-fed hunger striker committed suicide. He told the journalist Naomi Wolf that reports that Al Hanashi was “an upbeat person with no mental problems and would never have considered suicide.” The documentary record from Guantánamo doesn’t support that conclusion.

According to a July 30, 2009 news report, “Mohamed refuses to believe that Saleh committed suicide and the US military refuses to say how he allegedly took his life. ‘He was patient and encouraged others to be the same,’ Binyam said.

Mohamed also had a different tale about how Al Hanashi came to be in the Behavioral Health Unit. He told reporters, “I was asked if I wanted to represent the prisoners on camp issues such as hunger strikes and other contentious issues. I declined, as did most. But poor Wadhah [Al Hanashi] agreed, wanting to help his brothers the best he could. Little did he realize that if they didn’t get their way he would be the one sacrificed.”

Regardless of how accurate Binyam Mohamed’s narrative of events was, he certainly understood the prison’s environmental pressures, and he has held the US military accountable for Al Hanashi’s death, as suicide was so improbable under the conditions of detainee confinement. Mohamed pointed out that “Everything that someone could use to hurt himself has been removed from the cell, and a guard watches each prisoner 24 hours a day, in person and on videotape. In light of this, I am amazed that the US government has the audacity to describe Wadhah’s death categorically as an ‘apparent suicide.’”

Another odd coincidence surrounding Al Hanashi’s death concerns the transfer of Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, a “high-value” detainee, who has been at Guantánamo since September 2006, to a New York federal court, only a week after Al Hanashi was found not breathing in Guantánamo’s psych ward. Ghailani was facing charges concerning his alleged role in the 1998 bombings of US embassies in Tanzania and Kenya.

The link between Ghailani and Al Hanashi is significant for at least one reason: According to Andy Worthington, Ghailani, who was tortured in the CIA’s black site prisons, fingered Al Hanashi in 2005 as having been at “the al-Farouq camp [the main training camp for Arabs, associated in the years before 9/11 with Osama bin Laden] in 1998-99 prior to moving on to the front lines in Kabul.”

But according to Al Hanashi and all other sources, Al Hanashi came to Afghanistan only in early 2001. Hence, his possible testimony at a trial in New York City, establishing that Ghailani’s admissions were false, and likely coerced by torture, may have been a hindrance to a government bent on convicting the supposed bomber. Interestingly, as Worthington points out, the other four embassy bombers were not kept in CIA black prisons or tortured, but convicted in a US court for the bombings in May 2001.

(Ghailani himself was acquitted of all but one of 280 counts in the embassy bombings, as the courts refused to admit a witness whose identification came via torture of Ghailani while he was held prisoner in a secret CIA prison. Even so, he was sentenced to life in prison for one count of conspiracy to destroy government buildings and property. Today, he is imprisoned at the ADX Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado.)

Al Hanashi’s death, coming only weeks before he was, after seven long years imprisonment, to meet finally with an attorney, brings to mind the untimely death of Ibn al-Sheikh al-Libi, also at first reported as a suicide, in a prison cell in Libya in May 2009, only weeks before Al Hanashi died. Al-Libi, too, was supposed to meet soon with people from the outside, according to a report from Newsweek.

Al-Libi was infamously the source of tortured information that Iraq’s Saddam Hussein was gathering weapons of mass destruction, information that Al-Libi later recanted. According to Human Rights Watch, some of their workers met Al-Libi in his prison cell on April 27, 2009, “during a research mission to Libya.” Al-Libi “refused to be interviewed, and would say nothing more than: ‘Where were you when I was being tortured in American jails”?

Jeffrey Kaye, author of Cover-up at Guantanamo: The NCIS Investigation into the “Suicides” of Mohammed Al Hanashi and Abdul Rahman Al Amri.
Photo credit: Jeffrey Kaye (Twitter) and Jeffrey S. Kaye, Ph.D publisher

As is the case with Al-Libi, the Al Hanashi death has a strange feel to it.

On June 1, 2009, three months after writing out his last testament, Al Hanashi was found seemingly lifeless in his cell. He was taken to the prison hospital, where he was pronounced dead less than an hour later by Dr. Enterprise, a prison physician. (Could that be his actual name? Medical officers routinely used pseudonyms at Guantánamo.) Military authorities said Al Hanashi had committed suicide by self-strangulation.

According to NCIS documents, Al Hanashi repeatedly told the Chief of Guantánamo’s Behavioral Health Unit (BHU) that he felt he was being tortured. They argued about it even on the last day of the detainee’s life.

Later that day, only a little over 2 months after writing what NCIS investigators labeled Al Hanashi’s “last will and testament,” Al Hanashi wrote what appeared to be a suicide note, but he was too depressed and disheartened to even finish it. Reportedly in silence and quickly, he strangled himself to death with a piece of elastic supposedly taken from his underwear.

Al Hanashi was haunted by the deaths of three prisoners, supposedly by suicide, on June 10, 2006. While there is evidence that the government’s story about those suicides has real holes — as already noted, former Guantánamo guard, Joe Hickman, wrote a book exposing the suppression of and tampering with evidence by the investigating agency — Al Hanashi told medical personnel in the Behavioral Health Unit at Guantánamo that he was supposed to die with the other three detainees on that day, too.

According to a statement given by the Senior Medical Officer, JTF GTMO, she had heard “at various JTF meetings” that Al Hanashi “was on a directed suicide list authored by [redacted].” But Al Hanashi was described as seeking refuge in the detainee mental hospital as a way to escape other detainees “who might have been pressuring him to commit suicide.”

No evidence of such a suicide list, or of pressures by other detainees on Al Hanashi to kill himself was included in the FOIA release I received in May 2015 on NCIS investigation into his death.

I had made the original FOIA request in January 2012. But little did I know at the time — which was two-and-a-half years after Al Hanashi died — that, as I filed my FOIA request, the NCIS investigation was still underway. Nor did I have any idea the investigation ultimately would take three years to complete.

Reading the documents that were finally released, it did not seem NCIS personnel felt much urgency about closing the case. At times, months went by and no investigative activity took place.

When the investigation was finally closed on June 13, 2012, NCIS had to admit in documented form that key portions of the evidence bearing on the chronology of events surrounding Al Hanashi’s death had gone missing.

As already described, someone — allegedly an investigator from NCIS itself — told Guantánamo personnel to stop entering information on Al Hanashi into a computer database, once his body was discovered. Subsequently, and we don’t know exactly when, the logs for the database the day Al Hanashi died and the following day disappeared entirely.

What happened during Al Hanashi’s final weeks? How did the detainee who had made numerous suicide attempts in the previous months leading up to his death, finally come to take his life? Did he, in fact, kill himself?

It is worth taking an in-depth, closer look at his death, including actions taken in the days leading up to his death by doctors, nurses and guards. But this remains a provisional narrative, as the full story is still pointedly unknown, blocked on one hand by government censorship and the failure to release all documentation. On the other hand, we do not have access to the scene of his death. We do not have access to the witnesses. They cannot be cross-examined. The key witness, Al Hanashi himself, is dead.

Honorbound sign at Joint Task Force Guantanamo’s Camp Delta.
Photo credit: US Army / Flickr

With all the attention of the world upon Guantánamo, the actual events inside the Cuba-based US prison are shrouded in deep mystery, sealed by classification and censorship. Hence the death of one man is barely known, much less remembered, and what happened to him even less known.

For the first time in this book, the circumstances around his death are open to public scrutiny. The record, even as it remains censored in part, shows that perceived violations of trust by doctors, nurses and mental health personnel contributed, at the very least, to Al Hanashi’s decision to take his life. It is possible some person or persons – medical personnel or guards – facilitated his death, or even murdered Al Hanashi. We can only speculate.

“Everything seemed normal”

Al Hanashi had been suffering from depression and suicidal thoughts for some time. A long-time hunger striker, Al Hanashi’s weight had fluctuated dramatically over the years, as detailed above. As a reminder, according to government records, on July 22, 2006 his weight dropped under 80 pounds. Only months before he had weighed just over 140. His weight had dropped by over 60 pounds in just four months.

According to his autopsy report, Al Hanashi had gone on hunger strike again in January 2009. During his last hunger strike, Al Hanashi was fed via tube. At his death, he weighed 120 lbs.

A Medical Record Review by NCIS investigators stated he entered the BHU on Jan. 10 for “making suicidal ideations.” His autopsy report also noted that Al Hanashi had made five suicide attempts in the month before he died.

The NCIS Medical Record Review contradicted that account, stating it was three attempts, all in the presence of prison personnel. By any account, Al Hanashi was deeply depressed and suicidal. Yet despite his history of recent suicide attempts, on the night he supposedly killed himself, Al Hanashi did not appear to be on suicide watch.

The guards reported little of consequence that evening. There were nine guards and a Watch Commander on duty that night, and seven detainees present on the BHU. One guard told NCIS investigators, “The BHU houses detainees that have expressed the desire to harm themselves.”

The procedure on the unit was to have two guards at a time monitor the seven detainees. One African-American guard with the Naval Expeditionary Guard Battalion (NEGB) described the scene:

“Our duties were to look inside each cell and check on the welfare of the detainees. We look inside the cell windows to ensure the detainees are not in possession of contraband or attempting to do harm to themselves. We usually spend approximately thirty seconds to one minute looking inside of each cell window.”

For whatever reason, this guard changed his statement later to reflect the fact that guards only spent “approximately thirty few seconds to one minute” watching the prisoner. The words “thirty” and “to one minute” were crossed out, though not enough that one couldn’t see what was originally written.

“Everything seemed normal,” the Navy guard stated. “I did not notice anything out of the ordinary.”

Al Hanashi was in cell two and “seemed in good spirits.” He had seen Al Hanashi upset in his cell before, pacing, or “praying loudly.” He was not writing anything, the guard said, “or doing anything out of his normal pattern.”

Another guard, who ended his roving tier patrol an hour before Al Hanashi died, told NCIS he too experienced the night as “normal.” On the other hand, he did see Al Hanashi writing something for most of the time he was on his shift.

In addition, Al Hanashi did not seem “in good spirits” to this guard, but rather seemed “down.” Al Hanashi was “a little more quiet than normal.” Al Hanashi reportedly was “usually talkative.” Nearly a full page of this guard’s statement is still redacted and “under classification review” by a Command other than NCIS.

An African-American Navy Airman assigned to the BHU Response Team told NCIS about earlier contact with Al Hanashi.

It was mid-May, only a few weeks before Al Hanashi’s death. He was told before his shift in mid-May 2009 that Al Hanashi had made a suicide attempt earlier that day. He’d rammed his head into a fence, and then tried to hang himself with his t-shirt.

The NCIS review of medical records dates the attempt to May 13, and expanded on the story. Al Hanashi reportedly “slammed his head on an exposed bolt located on a fence in the BHU recreational area.” The same day, he “attempted to strangle himself with a shirt.”

Five days before the May 13 attempt, Al Hanashi had also “tore off pieces of his shirt and attempted to strangle himself in the recreation yard.”

The guard told NCIS what he saw on his shift later that day after the suicidal behaviors, “Due to his suicide attempts, [redacted, but certainly 078, i.e., Al Hanashi] was under constant monitoring by a guard and he was placed in a green self harm suit. During the shift, [redacted, again, certainly 078] had some type of a Code Yellow (urgent medical issue) that required the response team to enter his cell and move him to the padded restraint chair adjacent to the tier.”

The medical issue isn’t known, but the guard thought, “[It] didn’t seem to be serious.” But another guard, in a different context, explained that Code Yellow means a detainee is “unresponsive.”

Another guard, who was on tier duty on the Duty Section One (Nights) shift the day Al Hanashi died, also described his duties. “Our job on the tier is to check every detainee every three minutes,” he told NCIS investigators. A check was only deemed satisfactory if they saw “breathing or some type of movement on each detainee.”

That night, this guard heard Al Hanashi talking from his cell with other prisoners on the BHU. This was not unusual, but as the conversations were in Arabic, he didn’t know what was said. There was nothing else unusual, either. Al Hanashi “seemed to be acting normal.”

“Is he breathing?”

Later that night, around 9:45 pm, Al Hanashi asked the guard to get him the nurse on duty. He called a corpsman, who then called the nurse. The guard observed the nurse talk with Al Hanashi for 5 or 10 minutes. She left and came back shortly with a sleeping pill (though the guard didn’t know what kind of pill it was at the time, he said). The guard watched him take it, swallowing it with water.

This guard heard Hanashi continue to talk to someone. The identity of the person he was speaking with is redacted in the documents, but from internal evidence, it seems to have been the nurse. The last reported contact with Al Hanashi, according to the autopsy narrative, was 10-15 minutes after Al Hanashi spoke to the nurse who gave him the pill. “… [H]e asked the guard to close the ‘bean hole cover,’ a sign that he was ready to go to sleep.”

Three minutes after his last check, “at approximately 2200,” he looked inside the cell and “did not see any movement or breathing.” Al Hanashi was described as lying “in the fetal position on the floor with the top of his head against the door and his feet facing the rear of his cell.” A green blanket covered his body up to his eyes. His hair, hands and feet were sticking out.

“I am not involved in [redacted, likely “078’s”] death,” the guard told NCIS, somewhat defensively it seems.

Yet another guard, a Caucasian male with NEGB, was coming on duty right at the time Al Hanashi was discovered on the floor of his cell. He overheard the two guards who were checking on Al Hanashi’s cell say “something to the effect, ‘is he breathing’ or ‘check to see if he is breathing.’”

This guard looked in the room and Al Hanashi wasn’t moving. He saw a woman, possibly a nurse, “dealing” with another detainee. She told the guard Al Hanashi might not be responding “because he had been given sleep medication by medical personnel.” At the same time, two other detainees “began shouting that [redacted] was sleeping and that we should leave him alone.”

The guard decided to ignore the warnings. He called in through a slot in the door to get Al Hanashi’s attention. Another guard reached in through the lower slot in the door and tried to shake Al Hanashi, who was lying close to the door. But then something caught the guard’s attention…

Jeffrey S. Kaye is a practicing psychologist in San Francisco, California. He is the author of numerous works, including “Isolation, Sensory Deprivation, and Sensory Overload: History, Research, and Interrogation Policy, from the 1950s to the Present Day,” Guild Practitioner, Vol. 66, No. 1, Spring 2009  and “CIA declassifies new portions of Cold War-era interrogation manual,” Muckrock, April 8, 2014.

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Yesterday, the Today programme referred to this horror as a ‘forgotten war’ – but it has never been forgotten by investigative journalists like Felicity Arbuthnot, who has written in detail about the savage air strikes carried out carried out by the Saudi led “coalition”, armed by the US and UK and advised by their military specialists. She indicts the collusion and co-operation of both countries which renders them, “equally culpable for the carnage”, writing:

“This heartbreak, fear and destruction has been rained down in commensurate devastation near every twenty-four hours since March 2015, Saudi Arabia is the lead culprit, but in the “coalition” are also Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait”; we note elsewhere news of Britain’s covert assistance in air surveillance of targets and – it is feared – other ‘special operations’, unsanctioned by and undisclosed to parliament”.

yemen-funeral

Air strikes that targeted a funeral gathering in the capital of Sana’a on 8 October, killing over 140 mourners and injuring 500 others attending the ceremony, have renewed international condemnation of the UK’s controversial weapons trade with Saudi Arabia.

Theresa May defended the arms sales last month, claiming the UK’s relationship with Saudi Arabia,“helped to keep people on the streets of Britain safe”

Conservative ministers have repeatedly rejected calls for a pause in weapons sales amid frequent reports of war crimes and the Government refused to give MPs a vote on the issue.

The British Government now says it will consider the terms of its lucrative arms exports to Saudi Arabia after its ally admitted responsibility for killing more than 140 mourners and injuring 500 others at a funeral in Yemen.

A few facts:

  • A United Nations report on children and armed conflict said the Saudi-led coalition was responsible for 60 per cent of all child causalities – 510 deaths and 667 injuries – in the conflict last year. The UN warned that while international attention has focused on Syria, more than 10,000 people have been killed in Yemen, including at least 4,000 civilians in the past 18 months alone.
  • Britain sold £3.3bn worth of arms between April 2015 and March 2016 alone – the first year of the Saudi-led coalition’s deadly bombing campaign in Yemen, where it intervened against Houthi rebels at President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi’s request. Tim Farron, Jeremy Corbyn and Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas are among those calling for trade to be suspended.
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Military instructors from NATO countries were onboard a combat helicopter, shot down by servicemen of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) on October 13, deputy commander of the Operational Command of the republic, Eduard Basurin, said on Friday.

“According to preliminary information, foreign mercenaries – instructors from the NATO, were in the downed helicopter. The area of the incidence [with the helicopter] is cordoned off for several days, cellular communication is disabled,” the RIA Novosti news agency quoted the words of the representative of the DPR Defense Ministry.

According to head of the DPR Alexander Zakharchenko, UAVs attempted to attack the territory of the republic under the cover of the military helicopter, which was put out of action, but managed to land on the territory of Donbass, occupied by the Kiev Forces. DPR soldiers shot the enemy’s helicopter down, while it was attacking their positions. According to the DPR intelligence, the incapacitated helicopter landed near Krasngotovka.

The use of combat aircraft and drones, with the exception of UAVs of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM), is prohibited along the entire contact line by the Minsk Agreements.

The last time, Kiev used aircraft in Donbass on January 18, 2015. On that day, several the Su-25 fighter jets were noticed in the sky near Gorlovka.

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In the 1970s, the agrochemicals industry was able to evade effective regulation in the UK. Robert van den Bosch, wrote in 1978 in The Pesticide Conspiracy:

“If one considers how dangerous these chemicals are, one would suppose that it would be government policy to minimize their use by every possible means. However, the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution notes, ‘there is… no such policy in the UK, nor does the possible need for it appear to have been considered, notwithstanding the great increases in the use of these chemicals.’”

He went on to condemn the UK for aerial spraying:

“What is particularly shameful in this country is the prevalence of aerial spraying. One million acres of agricultural land are sprayed each year, which involves 34,000 flights. Controls on this practice are practically non-existent.”

Four decades on and we are now able to see the consequences in terms of the rising prevalence of various diseases and illnesses linked to the use of thesechemicals as well as a continuing loss of biodiversity, so vital for ensuring sustainable agriculture.

The State of Nature Report 2016 includes a Biodiversity Intactness Index, which analyses the loss of species over time. One of the report’s authors, Mark Eaton of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, says that the UK has lost significantly more biodiversity over the long term than the global average, with the UK ranking the 29th lowest out of 218 countries.

Eaton says:

“It is quite shocking where we stand compared to the rest of the world, even compared to other western European countries.”Rosemary Mason writes to WWF-UK

In a recent open letter (containing all references to the following reports/sources) to Acting Chief Executive of the World Wild Fund for Nature-UK (WWF-UK) Glyn Davies, campaigner Dr Rosemary Mason states that instead of curbing the use of such chemicals, the agrochemicals industry seems to be under the impression it is the government’s role to maximise their use.

She adds that the UK still uses aerial spraying as an exemption from EU recommendations.

Mason argues that around 75% of the UK is managed for food production, and how that land is managed is key to the state of nature. As it stands, however, 165 species in the UK are considered critically endangered and likely to go extinct.

Despite this, most UK farmers are drowning their crops in pesticides and the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), the Crop Protection Association and the Agricultural Industries Confederation combine to lobby the EU not to restrict the 320-plus pesticides available to them.

Mason is astounded by the complete denial of the NFU and the Department for Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) of the impact of agrochemical use.  

The EU directive on the ‘Sustainable Use of Pesticides 21 October 2009 (Directive 2009/128/EC of the European Parliament) notes that aerial spraying of pesticides has the potential to cause significant adverse impacts on human health and the environment. Therefore, aerial spraying should generally be prohibited with derogations possible where it represents clear advantages in terms of reduced impacts on human health and the environment in comparison with other spraying methods, or where there are no viable alternatives, provided that the best available technology to reduce drift is used.

Mason notes that, however, the UK government response argues that it does not consider that responsible application of pesticides by aerial spraying poses an unacceptable risk to human health and the environment.

Citing a range of sources to show the harmful impact of pesticides, including the fact that the amount and range of pesticide residues on British food are increasing annually, Mason notes that a massive increase in glyphosate between 2012 and 2014 alone.

Although WWK-UK did at one stage appear to be committed to addressing the impact of agrochemicals on health and the environment, Mason asserts that such a commitment has gone by the wayside.

Whatever happened to WWF-UK’s stance on synthetic chemicals?

Mason commends WWF-UK for its previous forthright condemnation of what is essentially an uncontrolled global experiment where humans and wildlife are being exposed to man-made synthetic chemicals. Based on its research, in 2003 WWF-UK concluded that every person it tested across the nation was contaminated by a cocktail of known highly toxic chemicals, which were banned from use in the UK during the 1970s.

But since around 2004, Mason notes a change in attitude within WWF-UK occurred. In 2016, according to Mason, the European Commission no longer cares where chemicals end up, and the EC, EFSA and the UK government are colluding with the pesticides industry. She implies WWF-UK is complicit in this and asks Davies when did WWF-UK finally bow to the pressure of the industry.

She regards the appointment of Robert Napier who took over the running the UK arm of WWF as being pivotal. Since then, the WWF has gradually changed its approach towards big business, having established links with private corporations. WWF says it works directly with companies, especially via industry-specific roundtables and platforms, to reduce the ecological footprint of doing business and to help the private sector be better stewards of shared natural assets.

Despite fine-sounding rhetoric that includes talk about sustainability, biodiversity, protecting the planet and working in partnership with business, Mason argues that the WWF cannot refute the facts gathered by the esteemed journalist and filmmaker Wilfried Huismann, which unearthed the grim secrets behind the façade of WWF.

Huismann argues that WWF greenwashes the ecological crimes of corporations currently destroying the last remaining rain forests and natural habitats on Earth and it accepts their money. Huismann also found several skeletons in the WWF closet, not least it associations with a military unit deployed in Africa against big game poachers – and against black African liberation movements. In the name of environmental protection. Huismann states the WWF has participated in the displacement and cultural extinction of indigenous peoples the world over.

Lurking beneath the talk of corporate social responsibility, roundtable partnerships and positive engagement with big business, Mason cites sources that indicate WWF does deals with the rich and powerful, oil companies and the GMO cartel and has lost its core identity in the process.

Mason also highlights complaints by Survival International which accuses WWF of facilitating human rights abuse in Cameroon. It is the first time a conservation organisation has been the subject of a complaint to the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), using a procedure more normally invoked against multinational corporations.

WWF: a willing servant of a corporate agenda?

In her ongoing series of ‘open letter’ to various institutions and officials, Rosemary Mason contends that the financial and political clout of a group of powerful agrochemical corporations ensure that its interests are privileged ahead of public health and the environment to the detriment of both. There appears to be a deeply embedded collusion between powerful corporations and public institutions that civil society should be challenging.

The implication of Mason’s letter to Glyn Davies is that the WWF now displays a mindset that is steeped in corporate culture. There seems to be an acceptance that profit-driven transnational corporations have a legitimate claim to be responsible and dedicated custodians of natural assets. And there seems to be an acceptance that they are genuinely committed to reducing their ‘ecological footprint’. WWF appears to have acquiesced to a corporate agenda, which dictates the terms of engagement with civil society and sets out an ‘acceptable’ framework of discourse.

A radical approach to reining in the power of the agrochemicals industry and calling it to account is required. Natural ‘assets’ or biodiversity, whether habitat, living creatures, seeds or soil, belong to everyone. And any stewardship should be carried out in the public interest by local people assisted by public institutions and governments acting on their behalf – and not by private transnational interests that are committed to one thing: the maximization of profit.

In capitalism, a private corporation is compelled to secure control of assets (natural or other) and exploit them for a cash profit, while removing obstacles that might hinder this goal. Concerns about what is in the public interest or what is best for the environment lies beyond the scope of hard-headed business interests and is the remit of governments and civil organisations. However, the best case scenario for private corporations is to have toothless, supine agencies or governments. In other words, managed ‘opposition’ to their policies and practices is exactly what these corporations require.

Behind the public relations spin is the roll-out of an unsustainable model of agriculture based on highly profitable (GM) corporate seeds and health- and environment-damaging proprietary chemical inputs. Transnational agrichemicals/agribusiness companies have sought to displace genuine ecologically sustainable models of agriculture that have seen farmers acting as responsible custodians of seeds and natural resources for hundreds if not thousands of years.

Traditional methods of food production have given way to policies and actions which have resulted in the destruction of habitat and livelihoods and the imposition of corporate-controlled, chemical-intensive (monocrop) agriculture that weds farmers and regions to a wholly exploitative system of neoliberal globalization. Whether it involves the undermining or destruction of what were once largely self-sufficient agrarian economies in Africa or the devastating impacts of soy cultivation in Argentina or palm oil production in Indonesia, capitalism cannot be greenwashed.

It is one thing to challenge such policies and it is another thing to gain acceptance from corporations and by implication become a de facto compliant partner. Corporations that are fueling disease and environmental destruction across the world need to be properly held account for their crimes and charges laid against them in an international court of law. By referring to the Monsanto Tribunal in her letter to Glyn Davies, Rosemary Mason implies that governments, individuals and civil groups that collude with corporations to facilitate ecocide, genocide and human rights abuses should be hauled into court too.

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Les « sanctions économiques » ou la guerre en col blanc

octobre 17th, 2016 by Thierry Meyssan

Les États-Unis et l’Union européenne ont lancé une guerre qui ne dit pas son nom contre la Syrie, l’Iran et la Russie, celle des « sanctions économiques ». Cette tactique redoutable a tué plus d’un million d’Irakiens dans les années 90, sans éveiller les soupçons des opinions publiques occidentales. Elle est aujourd’hui patiemment mise en place contre les États qui refusent d’être dominés par l’Ordre mondial unipolaire.


Par le passé, la stratégie des guerres conventionnelles comprenait le siège d’une ville ou d’un État. Il s’agissait d’isoler l’ennemi, de l’empêcher d’utiliser ses ressources, de le soumettre à la famine, et en définitive de le vaincre. En Europe, l’Église catholique a fermement condamné cette tactique comme criminelle en ce qu’elle tue d’abord les civils, et seulement ensuite les belligérants.

Aujourd’hui, les guerres conventionnelles comprennent les « sanctions économiques », qui visent aux mêmes buts. De 1990 à 2003, les sanctions décrétées contre l’Irak par le Conseil de sécurité des Nations unies tuèrent plus d’un million de civils. De fait, il s’agissait bien d’une guerre menée par des banquiers au nom de l’institution chargée de promouvoir la paix.

Il est probable que plusieurs États qui votèrent pour ces sanctions n’en avaient perçu ni l’ampleur, ni les conséquences. Il est certains que lorsque certains membres du Conseil de sécurité en demandèrent la levée, les États-Unis et le Royaume-Uni s’y opposèrent, portant en cela la responsabilité du million de morts civils.

Après que de nombreux hauts-fonctionnaires internationaux ont été renvoyés pour leur participation au massacre du million de civils irakiens, les Nations unies réfléchirent à la manière de rendre des sanctions plus performante par rapport aux objectifs annoncés. C’est-à-dire de s’assurer qu’elles ne toucheraient que les responsables politiques et militaires et pas les civils. On parla donc de « sanctions ciblées ». Cependant, malgré les nombreuses recherches en la matière, on n’a jamais pratiqué de sanctions contre un État qui ne touchent que ses dirigeants et pas sa population.

L’effet de ces sanctions est lié à l’interprétation que les gouvernements font des textes qui les définissent. Par exemple, la plupart des textes évoquent des sanctions sur les produits à double usage civile et militaire, ce qui laisse une grande marge d’interprétation. Une carabine peut-être interdite à l’exportation vers un État déterminé car elle peut servir aussi bien à la chasse qu’à la guerre. Mais une bouteille d’eau peut être bue aussi bien par une mère de famille que par un soldat. En conséquence, les mêmes textes peuvent aboutir —selon les circonstances politiques et l’évolution de la volonté des gouvernements— à des résultats extrêmement différents.

La situation est d’autant plus compliquée qu’aux sanctions légales du Conseil de sécurité s’ajoutent les sanctions illégales des États-Unis et de l’Union européenne. En effet, si des États ou des institutions intergouvernementales peuvent légalement refuser de commercer avec d’autres, ils ne peuvent établir de sanctions unilatéralement sans entrer en guerre.

Le terme de « sanction » laisse à penser que l’État qui en est l’objet a commis un crime et qu’il a été jugé avant d’être condamné. C’est exact pour les sanctions décrétées par le Conseil de sécurité, mais pas pour celles unilatéralement décidées par les États-Unis et l’Union européenne. Il s’agit purement et simplement d’actes de guerre.

Depuis la guerre contre les Britanniques, en 1812, Washington s’est doté d’un Bureau, l’Office of Foreign Assets Control, qui est chargé de mener cette guerre en cols blancs.

Actuellement les principaux États victimes de sanctions, ne le sont pas du fait des Nations unies, mais exclusivement des États-Unis et de l’Union européenne. Ce sont la Syrie, l’Iran et la Russie. C’est-à-dire les trois États qui se battent contre les jihadistes soutenus par les Occidentaux.

La plupart de ces sanctions ont été prises sans lien direct avec la guerre contemporaine contre la Syrie. Les sanctions contre Damas sont principalement liées à son soutien au Hezbollah libanais et à l’asile qu’il avait accordé au Hamas palestinien (qui a depuis rejoint les Frères musulmans et se bat contre lui). Les sanctions contre l’Iran ont été prétendument prises contre son programme nucléaire militaire, même si celui-ci a été clôturé par l’ayatollah Khomeiny, il y a trente ans. Elles se poursuivent malgré la signature de l’accord 5+1 censé résoudre ce problème qui n’existe pas. Celles contre la Russie sanctionnent le rattachement de la Crimée après que celle-ci a refusé le coup d’État nazi de Kiev, qualifié de « révolution démocratique » par l’Otan.

Les sanctions actuelles les plus dures sont celles prises contre la Syrie. Un rapport réalisé pour le Bureau du Coordinateur des Nations unies en Syrie, financé par la Confédération helvétique et rendu public il y a quatre mois, observe que l’interprétation états-unienne et européenne des textes aboutit à priver une majorité de Syriens aussi bien de certains soins médicaux que de ressources alimentaires. De très nombreux matériels médicaux sont interdits car considérés à double usage et il est impossible de payer des importations de nourriture via le système bancaire international.

Bien que la situation des Syriens ne soit pas aussi catastrophique que celle des Irakiens des années 90, il s’agit d’une guerre menée par les États-Unis et l’Union européenne, par des moyens financiers et économiques, exclusivement contre la population vivant sous la protection de la République arabe syrienne dans le but de la tuer.

Thierry Meyssan
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SATIRE: This is how Syrians view the US election campaign:  

Translation of Singing in Arabic:

Trump and Clinton are Dancing: « We love you Bashar, and we will only vote for you, and the Syrian people will rebuild the country with you… »

Trump et Clinton dansent sur l’air : « Nous t’aimons Bachar, nous ne voterons que pour toi et le peuple syrien reconstruira le pays avec toi!…

 

شبكة نوكيا كوم للأخبار السورية و العربية‎ –

www.facebook.com

‎شبكة نوكيا كوم للأخبار السورية و العربية‎.

. ‎عاشت سوريا الأسد مرحبا بكم في صفحة شبكة نوكيا كوم للأخبار…

also available at  (original Syria post on Facebook)

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« Il y a des choses qu’on peut refuser de faire avec quelqu’un. Vous pouvez refuser de travailler pour lui, manger avec lui ou lui parler. Par contre, s’il veut se battre contre vous, vous êtes obligés de vous battre .»

« Rome n’a pas été conquérie par l’invasion des barbares…mais par les barbares de l’intérieur

Will Durant

 

Le troisième mandat de l’ex-président dominicain de Leonel Fernandez se voulait être humaniste et sortait de la logique  d’état quémandeur pour s’aventurer sur le chemin capitalisant des pays qualifiés d’émergeants. Les résultats fabuleux que reflètent le taux de croissance économique de la République Dominicaine pendant les 20 dernières années, oscillant entre 7.7% parfois jusqu’à 10%, avait influencé le discours politique du dit président qui pouvait se frotter les mains d’avoir contribué à ce boom économique. Dix(10) chefs d’état étaient présents dans la capitale dominicaine en ce 15 août 2008 pour marquer le troisième mandat de Mr Fernandez, parmi eux René Préval, l’ex-président de la République occupée d’Haïti. Sous les applaudissements du public, incluant le leader haïtien, le président Fernandez a martelé haut et fort que « Le monde doit changer; il doit éliminer toutes les formes d’injustice, de discrimination et d’inégalité.» Quel paradoxe, car plus d’un demi million d’Haïtiens vivent en état d’esclavage dans le pays même de Fernandez. Ce cri assourdissant poussé à la face du monde fut un camouflet à toute l’humanité, spécialement à l’haïtien, indépendamment du lieu où il se trouve. Donc, les dirigeants haïtiens, docilement, acceptent le sacrifice de leur pays au profit du développement socio-économique du voisin dominicain.

Une Entente pour Submerger Haïti.

Tout a commencé avec le refus de Stenio Vincent de déclarer la guerre à la République Dominicaine en 1937, suite à l’odieux massacre de plus de 25.000  compatriotes innocents. Il faut rappeler que ce massacre a eu lieu après que les haïtiens, 7 ans avant, soit en 1930, eurent aidé les dominicains après le terrible cyclone du 3 septembre 1930 qui ravagea entièrement la capitale « Santo Domingo », en envoyant des médecins, beaucoup de médicaments et de la nourriture en solidarité aux peuples dominicains. Depuis lors, tous les dirigeants haïtiens ont emprunté le même chemin, à l’exception de l’élu du 16 décembre 1990.On peut citer en exemple la négociation de contrats obscurs sous Jean-Claude Duvalier en 1982, ou encore le mépris total de l’administration de Michel Martelly vis-à-vis des Haïtiens vivant comme esclaves en République Dominicaine.

La première gaffe diplomatique de René Préval a été sa participation en République Dominicaine à la cérémonie qui a marqué les cent ans du leader révolutionnaire communiste haïtien, Jacques Roumain. Ce dernier fut un dénonciateur intraitable du massacre des Haïtiens de 1937, ce qui lui a valu d’être interpellé en France, là où il séjournait, sous l’injonction directe de l’ambassadeur dominicain de l’époque. Il n’y a aucune relation entre Fernandez et Roumain, car sous l’administration de celui-ci, le massacre continuait de plus belle. Qu’était allé faire Préval dans une cérémonie pareille?

Dans la nuit du 22 au 23 août 2005, trois jeunes haïtiens nommés Gilbert Dominique âgé de 22 ans, Willy Pierre âgé de 20 ans et Paul Marc âgé de 19 ans, ont été brulés vifs dans le pays de Mr Fernandez, « le dénonciateur de l’injustice du monde.»

Le gouvernement haïtien a réagi faiblement après cet acte odieux, ce qui a encouragé la République Dominicaine à se transformer en tombeau d’Haïtiens. Maintenant, la presse parle très peu des déportations massives des compatriotes haïtiens dans les conditions les plus inhumaines ; c’est devenu un fait divers. La société haïtienne est complice des bourreaux dominicains.

Haïti est le troisième partenaire commercial de la République Dominicaine après les Etats-Unis d’Amérique et la Corée du Sud. L’économie dominicaine s’est développée de façon exponentielle, contrairement à celle d’Haïti qui se désagrège à un point tel qu’un vieillard eut à dire que « Ayiti pap fè bak sèlman non, men li kase tèt tounen.» La terre de Dessalines est devenue une province dominicaine qui consomme sans aucun gène toutes sortes de produits de ce pays, en commençant par de l’eau en sachet jusqu’au citron vert. Consommation qui a couté au pays près d’un milliard de dollars US l’an. Par contre,  l’importation dominicaine se chiffre à quelques millions.

En 2007, le voisin dominicain a dépassé Haïti dans la production de mangues. Ce qui est un affront aux élites haïtiennes, parce que c’était seulement à ce niveau que notre production était supérieure à celle de ce pays. Les commerçants et brasseurs d’affaires haïtiens ont tous des investissements en République Dominicaine qui s’élèvent à plusieurs millions de dollars. Comparativement, l’investissement dominicain est presqu’inexistant en Haïti _ le sentiment d’appartenance et national est sacrifié au profit d’un poignet de dollars. Eux aussi, ces levantins, venus au pays avec « 2 bich en main » complotent contre la nation, pourtant leur bienfaitrice.

L’agence de presse Alter-Presse a précisé que, pendant la période de la Toussaint de l’année dernière, plusieurs centaines de touristes haïtiens avaient traversé la frontière et dépensé plus de 3 millions de dollars américains pendant un weekend au pays de Juan Pablo Duarte. Toujours selon Alter-Presse, une source officieuse anonyme a déclaré que : « Si l’on calcule le coût du visa, les taxes d’entrée en République Dominicaine, une moyenne de dépenses par personne pour le logement, la nourriture, le transport et divers achats, les chiffres atteignent les 3 millions de dollars ». Pour illustrer tout cela, le gouvernement dominicain a pris une mesure exceptionnelle pour éliminer les visas d’entrée aux Haïtiens qui sont détenteurs d’un visa américain, canadien ou un quelconque pays européen. Une façon de les encourager à séjourner chez eux, afin d’apprécier d’avantage la culture dominicaine, conformément à leur calcul d’occupation silencieuse d’Haïti.

Ajouter à tout cela, il faut mentionner les 15.000 jeunes Haïtiens qui étudient dans les universités de ce pays, qui dépensent de fortes sommes pour y résider mais dans des conditions très précaires : parfois les filles sont violées et volées en même temps par des xénophobes dominicains.

Beaucoup d’Haïtiens s’attendaient à une occupation militaire du pays par l’armée dominicaine au prix de bombardements terrestres, aériens et maritimes. Mauvais calcul ! L’occupation se fait sous nos yeux avec l’aide de nos élites, mais trop occupées à régler leurs petites affaires. Nous ne nous en sommes pas rendu compte. L’occupation se fait sans un coup de feu, sans troupes et surtout sans trompettes ni tambours. Les troupes viendront après pour des opérations de police .L’occupation économique est presque totale et admise par les élites haïtiennes ; donc, l’occupation politique qui était déjà en cours se renforce et s’impose.

Le dernier coup d’éclat fut la rébellion armée de Guy Philippe contre le régime constitutionnel d’Aristide en 2004 : ses hommes furent recrutés, entrainés, armés, financés et transportés en Haïti avec l’aide de l’armée dominicaine pour semer le trouble dans le pays. Ainsi, le gouvernement Boniface-Latortue issu du coup d’état du 29 février 2004, fut un produit direct de la République Dominicaine_ Gérard Latortue l’avait bien compris et a considéré les mercenaires de Guy Philippe comme des « combattants de la liberté.» La politique haïtienne est désormais déterminée à partir des intérêts vitaux de la République dominicaine en Haïti.

L’octroi de plusieurs millions de dollars à la classe politique haïtienne, notamment : Myrlande Manigat, Michel Martelly, René Garcia Préval…en dernier lieu Jude Célestin, sont autant d’éléments qui renforcent l’idée de l’occupation politique d’Haïti par les dominicains.

Les 15.000 étudiants haïtiens séjournant en république Dominicaine, ajoutés aux autres déjà diplômés, pourraient constituer une bombe à retardement pour le pays. Ce sont eux qui seraient de fers de lance de l’occupation culturelle. Ils maitrisent la langue de Cervantès ; ils savourent les femmes chaudes et hommes bruns de la partie Est de l’île ; ils apprécient la «Cerveza bien fría (la bière bien gelée) »…Ces habitudes n’influencent pas seulement le goût mais aussi l’esprit. Ces dominicains-haïtiens, à cause de leurs formations académiques et techniques, sont appelés à jouer un rôle important dans la gestion des affaires en Haïti, particulièrement l’administration publique. Donc, ne soyez pas étonnés si un jour un décret est pris pour ajouter l’Espagnol à côté du Français et du Créole comme langue officielle. Will Durant a écrit et je cite : « Rome n’a pas été conquérie par l’invasion des barbares…mais par les barbares de l’intérieur.» A l’instar des « Chicago boys » qui ont envahi l’espace de la transition économique de la Russie vers le libre-échangisme après l’éclatement du bloc de l’est en 1989, ces étudiants, s’ils ne sont pas maitrisés et orientés, constitueront la cheville ouvrière contre la culture nationale, l’aspect le plus vital pour une conquête.

République Dominicaine, le Nouvel El Dorado

J’ai toujours lancé une mise en garde contre ce que l’américain appelle « conspiracy theory ». S’efforcer de tout voir via la loupe d’un complot qu’on serait en train d’ourdir quelque part handicape la capacité de créer. Vrai! Par contre, quand on constate ce qu’est devenue la République Dominicaine pendant les 40 dernières années, on est en droit de s’interroger sur les motivations de cette transformation trop rapide.

Donald Trump (actuel candidat a la présidentielle américaine du parti républicain), le milliardaire, a investir 2 milliards de dollars dans l’industrie immobilière dans l’économie dominicaine en 2007. L’Espagne y a investi 3.7 milliards de dollars. Ces nouvelles nous reviennent constamment dans la presse internationale. Pourquoi cela se fait seulement en  République Dominicaine et non pas Haïti ?

Les raisons évoquées sont multiples. D’entre elles: l’insécurité est trop répandue. Á ce propos, essayons de faire un tour d’horizon de la situation sécuritaire au niveau de l’hémisphère américain. En février 2004, les forces américaines, françaises et canadiennes ont débarqué dans le pays avant même d’une résolution de l’ONU dans le but de le « stabiliser ». Approximativement 3 mois après, le département d’état étasunien a fait sortir un communiqué dans lequel il a encore, pour une énième fois, déconseillé à ses ressortissants à ne pas visiter Haïti, car ce pays serait «dangereux et imprévisible.» Qu’étaient-ils venus faire ? Cela signifie-t-il l’échec de leur mission en Haïti ? Si c’est oui, pourquoi ils s’y trouvent encore ?

Des data des Nations Unies ont indiqué en 2007 qu’Haïti pourrait être parmi les pays les plus sécurisés de la région. Sur chaque 100.000 citoyens haïtiens, seulement 5.6 sont victimes d’actes d’homicide. Tandis que la Jamaïque, un pays qui fait fortune dans le tourisme,- soit 2 milliards de dollars l’an _ affiche 49 homicides sur chaque 100.000 citoyens jamaïcains. La République Dominicaine reflète la même réalité en 2006, soit 23.6 de cas d’homicide sur chaque 100.000 citoyens dominicains, en même temps elle a accumulé plus de 3.5 milliards de dollars US dans l’industrie touristique pendant la même période. Entretemps, la situation s’est beaucoup améliorée au cours de ces 10 dernières années en matière de sécurité.

On se souvient de la maladie du SIDA que des chercheurs racistes américains avaient largué au dos des Haïtiens au début des années 80. Ce rapport a donné le plus gros coup à l’industrie touristique haïtienne. Le pays avait été perçu comme une malédiction : les visiteurs ont déserté nos belles plages pour celles de la partie orientale de l’île, de la Jamaïque et autres villes caribéennes. Au cours de l’année dernière, ces mêmes chercheurs ont réintroduit un rapport assassin du même genre, comme quoi que c’étaient des Haïtiens qui introduisaient le SIDA en Amérique du nord via des contacts africains au cours des années 60. Ces racistes veulent punir Haïti, parce que nous étions les SEULS à envoyer massivement des cadres techniques pour la reconstruction des états africains à peine sortis du colonialisme français. Cette contribution humanitaire et digne de la première république noire du monde_  la plus fulgurante pendant tout le 20e siècle _ est calomniée par des soi-disant chercheurs, toujours de l’Amérique impériale. S’agit-il d’une simple coïncidence ou d’un complot ? L’histoire nous enseignera.

Considérations Générales

Nous connaissons la rancœur historique que cultivent les citoyens dominicains à l’ endroit des Haïtiens. Une rancœur injustifiée et raciste, car les Espagnols et les Français furent aussi colonisateurs des Dominicains. Les Américains ont débarqué et occupé le sol voisin pendant 3 fois. Aucune rancœur n’est enregistrée a l’égard de ces états caucasiens blancs. Pourtant, ils n’arrivent pas à oublier l’annexion haïtienne de 21 ans. Il est important de noter que ce furent les Créoles hispaniques dits « Dominicains » aujourd’hui qui avaient fait demande expresse au gouvernement de Jean Pierre Boyer de se ranger sous le drapeau haïtien à l’effet de se soustraire de la colonisation espagnole et française. Boyer fut l’objet d’une réception royale de la part des Créoles hispaniques lors de la cérémonie ayant marqué l’union des deux peuples. Celui-là refusa de recevoir la clef de la ville de Santo Domingo (la capitale) pour ne pas assimiler son arrivée en territoire voisin à une conquête. Lisons un extrait de procès verbal de cette cérémonie dressé par le citoyen Joseph Nuñez de Caserez : « laquelle [cérémonie] consistait à lui [Boyer] remettre les clefs de la ville, comme pour signifier qu’elle se rangeait sous sa domination, ainsi que le territoire dont elle est la capitale; mais S. E., rendant hommage aux principes héroïques d’une vertueuse modestie, ne voulut point s’assujettir à une semblable cérémonie, disant qu’elle était incompatible avec les sentiments qui l’animaient, lesquels n’étaient pas ceux d’un conquérant, mais plutôt ceux d’un père, d’un frère, d’un ami qui venait embrasser avec tout l’épanchement du cœur, les nouveaux haïtiens qui s’étaient réunis à la famille. » Et, je ne mentionnerai pas l’héroïsme des nationaux Lionel Vieux, Capito Lafontant et Jacques Viau pour défendre la souveraineté dominicaine lors de l’invasion yankee en 1965.

Tous ces gestes de bonhommie n’ont pas de prix aux yeux des habitants de l’autre moitié de la péninsule. Certains citoyens de la société civile dominicaine arrivent même a lancé des appels à l’armée dominicaine pour qu’elle occupe Haïti. Le comportement de la République Dominicaine n’a d’autres justifications que le racisme. Un pays composé de 16% de blancs, comment peut-il être raciste si ce n’est pas une illusion confuse à la fois anthropologique et biologique qui envoûte des générations d’hommes et de femmes. C’est un  véritable fantasme au su que les Maures de l’Afrique du nord et les Espagnols avaient mis au monde quantité d’enfants de deux races pendant sept siècles avant le règne du roi Ferdinand II D’Aragon ! Où sont passés, alors,  « los blancos de la tierra (les blancs de la terre)?»

Le tourisme est définitivement un secteur économique clé pour les états des Caraïbes. D’énormes revenus sont perçus par les gouvernements de la région pour balancer leurs budgets nationaux et créer des emplois. Le tourisme a lui seul généré plus de 550.000 jobs en République Dominicaine. Par contre, dans les années 50, Haïti fut désignée « la Mecque pour les touristes américains et du monde », opinion émise par Greg Chamberlain dans « the Guardian » de l’époque. Mais au début du 21e siècle, nous n’arrivons pas à créer aucun emploi sérieux à partir de l’industrie touristique.

C’est vrai que les tumultes politiques ont été trop fréquents dans le pays. Mais Haïti n’a jamais été en guerre, contrairement à l’Israël et l’Irlande. Ces deux pays, quoique en conflits meurtriers, ont réalisé d’énormes ressources financières dans le tourisme. Donc, il faut prendre connaissance d’une colossale hypocrisie, celle des media et des investisseurs blancs dans l’industrie en question. Ces Blancs, sont-ils frappés par le complexe de l’épopée de 1804 ? Ont-ils peur d’une Haïti développée, riche et prospère, capable de tourner les pages de l’histoire universelle encore une autre fois ? Ce qui est évident, c’est que la République Dominicaine s’est élevée à un degré de développement économique et social sans que les conditions indispensables soient réunies.

D’après le département d’état, les investisseurs étrangers se plaignent de l’absence de lois claires sur la compétition et son renfoncement. Les complaintes se multiplient en ce qui a trait à la corruption, aux demandes fréquentes de pots de vin, au retard dans le paiement des employés publics, les échecs répétés des secteurs publics et privés d’honorer les contrats signés, sont autant d’éléments incompatibles avec l’avènement vertigineux de la Dominicanie dans le cercle des pays émergeants. En 2006, la République Dominicaine est passée du rang de 85 à 99 parmi les pays les plus corrompus, selon « Transparency International ». Donc, la réalité d’Haïti n’est pas tellement différente de celle de sa voisine. Pourquoi exercer tant de bonté de cœur envers elle et beaucoup d’animosités à l’endroit des Haïtiens?

Définitivement, la Dominicanie déclare la guerre à Haïti.

Ce qui empêche l’éclatement de la guerre entre les deux états, c’est la démission des dirigeants haïtiens. L’accueil privilégié accordé à tout mercenaire haïtien susceptible de déstabiliser le pays est un acte de guerre. Ce que fit la République Dominicaine lors des atrocités commises par Guy Philipe et sa bande!

Les persécutions étatiques et citoyennes, le supplice du bucher du 22 au 23 août 2005 contre les 3 jeunes haïtiens est un autre acte de guerre. Le rapatriement dans des conditions infrahumaines d’Haïtiens et de Dominicains d’ascendance haïtienne violant toutes les conventions internationales des droits de l’homme est aussi un acte de guerre…Le jour où des citoyens responsables et patriotes saisissent les rênes du pouvoir en Haïti, le conflit prendra place ipso facto.

J’ai lu un écrivain conservateur américain la semaine dernière ; il a écrit ce qui suit :

« Il y a des choses qu’on peut refuser de faire avec quelqu’un. Vous pouvez refuser de travailler pour lui, manger avec lui ou  lui parler. Par contre, s’il veut se battre contre vous, vous êtes obligés de vous battre.»

Joël Léon

 

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Hybrid Warfare and US Geostrategy

octobre 16th, 2016 by Michael Welch

Once the US has identified its target, it begins searching for the structural vulnerabilities that it will exploit in the coming Hybrid War. Contextually, these aren’t physical objects to be sabotaged such as power plants and roads … but socio-political characteristics that are meant to be manipulated in order to attractively emphasize a certain demographic’s “separateness” from the existing national fabric and thus ‘legitimize’ their forthcoming foreign-managed revolt against the authorities.” -Andrew Korybko [1]

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This isn’t your daddy’s vision for military strategy.

Military operations, for good or for ill, are typically imagined as involving uniformed State actors engaged in violence with the aim of overthrowing a target government.

The aggression by NATO countries against Yugoslavia in 1999, or Afghanistan 15 years ago this month, or the invasion of Iraq in 2003, or the ousting of Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 all seem to conform to this portrait of modern warfare.

More astute students of history might also recall engagements under-written by covert mechanisms, such as the CIA instigated coups in Iran (1953), Guatemala (1954) and Chile (1973).

There is however a new form of military engagement on the world stage, and is principally practiced by the United States. It is called Hybrid Warfare.

 Andrew Korybko is an American commentator based in Moscow who has written a book and several authoritative articles on this new brand of warfare. Hybrid warfare, as he explains it, involves two pillars. The first is a “coloured revolution” or soft coup triggered by external sources instigating anti-government sentiment within the framework identity politics. The second is unconventional warfare, involving non-state actors executing violence designed to generate chaos and disorder and keep authorities off-balance and vulnerable to overthrow. [2]

Korybko explains that the hybrid war strategy aims “to disrupt multipolar transnational connective projects,” specifically Russia’s Eurasian integration objectives, and China’s Silk Road projects. As he has argued in his writing, the recent insurgencies in Syria and Ukraine represent test cases of a stratagem finding application in the Balkans, East Asia, the Horn of Africa, and even Latin America. [3]

In a special feature length interview for the Global Research News Hour, Korybko elaborates on his thesis, putting it in the post Soviet context, points to flashpoints on the horizon, and outlines how those targeted countries and regions may be able to frustrate the objectives of American war-planners.

Andrew Korybko currently works with the Sputnik news agency. He has also written for Oriental Review and Katehon among other online journals. Much of his work focuses on the tactics of regime change, color revolutions and unconventional warfare used across the world. He is the author of the 2015 book Hybrid Wars: The Indirect Adaptive Approach To Regime Change.

Andrew Korybko currently studies at the Moscow State University of International Relations and is a member of the expert council for the Institute of Strategic Studies and Predictions at the People’s Friendship University of Russia.

 

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The Global Research News Hour airs every Friday at 1pm CT on CKUW 95.9FM in Winnipeg. The programme is also podcast at globalresearch.ca . The show can be heard on the Progressive Radio Network at prn.fm. Listen in every Monday at 3pm ET.

Community Radio Stations carrying the Global Research News Hour:

CHLY 101.7fm in Nanaimo, B.C – Thursdays at 1pm PT

Boston College Radio WZBC 90.3FM NEWTONS  during the Truth and Justice Radio Programming slot -Sundays at 7am ET.

Port Perry Radio in Port Perry, Ontario –1  Thursdays at 1pm ET

Burnaby Radio Station CJSF out of Simon Fraser University. 90.1FM to most of Greater Vancouver, from Langley to Point Grey and from the North Shore to the US Border.

It is also available on 93.9 FM cable in the communities of SFU, Burnaby, New Westminister, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Surrey and Delta, in British Columbia Canada. – Tune in every Saturday at 6am.

Radio station CFUV 101.9FM based at the University of Victoria airs the Global Research News Hour every Sunday from 7 to 8am PT.

CORTES COMMUNITY RADIO CKTZ  89.5 out of Manson’s Landing, B.C airs the show Tuesday mornings at 10am Pacific time.

Cowichan Valley Community Radio CICV 98.7 FM serving the Cowichan Lake area of Vancouver Island, BC airs the program Thursdays at 6am pacific time.

Campus and community radio CFMH 107.3fm in  Saint John airs the Global Research News Hour Fridays at 10am.

Caper Radio CJBU 107.3FM in Sydney, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia airs the Global Research News Hour starting Wednesday Morning from 8:00 to 9:00am. Find more details at www.caperradio.ca 

 

Notes:

  1. http://orientalreview.org/2016/03/04/hybrid-wars-1-the-law-of-hybrid-warfare/
  2. Andrew Korybko (2015), “Hybrid Wars: The Indirect Adaptive Approach To Regime Change”; (p.10, 59); http://orientalreview.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/AK-Hybrid-Wars-updated.pdf
  3. http://orientalreview.org/2016/03/04/hybrid-wars-1-the-law-of-hybrid-warfare/

The tribunals of Nuremberg and Tokyo enabled the Allies to expose the crimes committed by the Axis during the Second World War, and also served to justify both the price of their victory and their domination over the world. Based on this model, Washington believed it could judge and condemn 120 Syrian leaders, including President Bachar el-Assad, in order to justify the war and the overthrow of the Syrian Arab Republic. All that was left to do was invent their crimes…

In April 2012 – in other words after the French withdrawal from the war (which it rejoined in July), and before the Russian-US sharing agreement (30 June in Geneva) – the «Friends of Syria» had decided to judge President Bachar el-Assad before an international court of law. The point of this was to stage, a posteriori, the Pax Americana, after the murder of Slobodan Milošević in his prison at The Hague, the hanging of Saddam Hussein and the lynching of Muamar Gaddafi.

In order to do this, the United States had created an association at The Hague, the Syria Justice and Accountability Centre (SJAC). For two years, lawyers and jurists gathered witness accounts of the alleged «tortures » practised by the regime.

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The Office of Global Criminal Justice for the Secretary of State, at that time directed by Ambassador Stephen Rapp, had solicited Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar and Turkey to finance a «UN Special Tribunal for Syria» on the model of the «UN Special Tribunal for Lebanon».

Let us remember that the Lebanon Tribunal, contrary to its denomination, is not a tribunal in the real sense of the term, since it was created by only two executives, the General Secretary of the United Nations and the Prime Minister of Lebanon, without ever being endorsed either by the Security Council or the Lebanese Parliament. This pseudo-tribunal would have been able to ignore the rules of law and condemn the Syrian President without proof.

The principle of the tribunals for Lebanon and for Syria was imagined by Jeffrey Feltman, ex-US Ambassador in Beirut, then Under-Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, and currently Director of Political Affairs for the UN. Mr. Feltman created the Tribunal for Lebanon, after having personally organised the assassination of Rafic Hariri, to judge and condemn Presidents Emile Lahoud and Bachar al-Assad, whom he intended to accuse. We were able to consult an internal document from his office, and learned that after the overthrow of the Syrian Arab Republic, NATO had planned to judge and condemn 120 leaders of the country, 80 of whom were already listed as persons under sanctions established by the United States and/or the European Union.

On 20 January 2014, two days before the opening of the Geneva 2 negotiations, the London-based law firm Carter-Ruck accused Syria of having tortured and killed more than 11,000 of its own citizens during the war. It then published a report by three international lawyers authenticating 55,000 images allegedly taken by a defected military photographer. Although two of the lawyers were seriously called into question for their partiality in previous affairs, and the third had been tasked by the CIA to create the Syria Justice and Accountability Centre (SJAC), and despite denials by Syria, John Kerry did not miss the opportunity of quoting this document at the opening of the Geneva 2 Conference.

On 31 July 2014, the Commission for Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives interviewed the Syrian photographer. He showed 10 images among the 55,000 in his collection, but only after having blurred them out, rendering them unidentifiable.

And oh my! On 22 September 2014, Russia and China opposed their veto to a French project for a Resolution which referred to the International Criminal Court concerning the crimes committed in Syria. The State Department ruled that the material gathered, although extremely voluminous, had no more value than the false witness statements from the Tribunal for Lebanon. As a result, it ceased to sponsor the preparations for the Syrian Nuremberg.

However, the Secretary of State recently sponsored the Center for Victims of Torture in Minnesota, not only for its actions, but also in order to come to the assistance of «victims of the régime» – if they can find any – but not to help the 80,000 people kidnapped by the United States and tortured by the Navy in Guantánamo and in prison boats in international waters during the two mandates of George W. Bush.

Besides this, the State Department sponsored an exhibition by Qatar at the United Nations in New York, then at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, and finally, last week in Rome – based on the photos from the Carter-Ruck law firm. Of course, there was no question of showing all 55,000 photos, but the same 10 blurred-out photos accompanied by a few others relative to the war.

At the same time, the pro-Israeli representative, Eliot Engel, (already the author of the Syrian Accountability Act) presented the proposition for law H.R.5732, which was aimed at strengthening the sanctions against Syria.

On 6 October 2016, Hollande (whose military is illegally deployed in Syria) organised a meeting at their embassy in Washington in order to relaunch the Syria Justice and Accountability Centre (SJAC) and finance the project of a Tribunal for Syria.

Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Norway, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Switzerland, and of course the United States, announced that they would participate with a contribution. The project should cost only a few million dollars per year.

For Washington, it is now clear that the Syrian Arab Republic will not fall, and that it will be impossible to judge and condemn President Bachar el-Assad without proof. This set-up is part of the conditioning of the Western public as the «defenders of Good against the cruel Syrians». France, which has been successively spokesperson for the interests of Turkey, then Qatar, then Saudi Arabia, and today, Israël, does not see things this way. It therefore hopes to judge the 120 Syrian leaders (who are already condemned on paper) before the International Criminal Court… in absentia.

On 10 October, the French Minister for Foreign Affairs, Jean-Marc Ayrault, announced that he had asked a group of lawyers to find a way of referring to the International Criminal Court, despite the predictable opposition of the Security Council.

It seems that Washington is preparing to accept the end of the unipolar world. In this case, the most ridiculous and terrifying accusations against Syria will serve to darken the image of the Russian camp.

Documents :

- « A Report into the credibility of certain evidence with regard to Torture and Execution of Persons Incarcerated by the current Syrian regime« , Carter-Ruck, January 20, 2014.
- «Report sulla attendibilità delle “Foto di Caesar” che si paventa saranno esposte in mostra al Senato della Repubblica italiana», Sibialiria, Marzo 2016.
- “The Caesar Photo Fraud that Undermined Syrian Negotiations”, Rick Sterling, March 2016.

Thierry Meyssan: French intellectual, founder and chairman of Voltaire Network and the Axis for Peace Conference. His columns specializing in international relations feature in daily newspapers and weekly magazines in Arabic, Spanish and Russian. His last two books published in English : 9/11 the Big Lie and Pentagate.

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Four days ago, after reports that Saudi Arabia had bombed a funeral in Yemen killing 140 mourners, America announced it would “review its support” for the Saudi-led coalition.

Three days ago the USS Mason, an American destroyer patrolling the Red Sea, was apparently fired upon from Yemen. It has gone unquestioned in the Western MSM that the Houthis were behind this attack, despite strong denials from the Houthis themselves.

Yesterday, all thoughts of “reviewing support” put aside, the Americans bombed three “radar sites” that they claim were a threat to their assets in the Red Sea.

Just like that, America is now an active player in the war on Yemen, when before they were simply selling weapons to the Saudis et al.

yemen

You might consider it strange that the Houthis, who have not fired on American ships ever before in the nearly 2 years of warfare in Yemen, suddenly decided – just as American support for Saudi Arabia was in question – to launch missiles at an American destroyer.

You might be asking yourself, “Why would the Houthis, who struggle to get any coverage in the Western press at all, let alone sympathetic coverage, launch an attack on America?”

You might consider it strange that the Houthis, already fighting a losing battle against a richer and better equipped enemy, might try and drag America into the war.

It’s not strange. Not in the least. It fits so well with the history of American military entanglements that one might even call it predictable, at this point.

There was the USS Maine, for example. In 1898 the Cuban War for Independence was three years old, the revolutionaries (supplied and trained in America) were fighting to free Cuba from Spanish rule. The American press was full of exaggerated or made up stories of Spanish “atrocities”, and many in Washington were calling for war. However, President McKinley favored diplomacy. Then the USS Maine was (allegedly) maliciously and deliberately blown up by the Spanish, killing 258 American sailors. “Remember the Maine, to Hell with Spain!” became a battle cry, and America declared war.

There has never been any evidence the Maine was attacked deliberately by the Spanish, and all historical investigations have pointed to an accidental sinking as a result of fire.

Or there was the Gulf of Tonkin incident – the casus belli behind the Vietnam war. When North Vietnamese torpedo boats engaged and attacked American destroyers. This act of aggression from North Vietnam pulled America into a war they would not leave for 10 long years.

Except of course, it literally never happened.

The pattern is set. There are enough articles about “false flags” on the internet to fill a whole library of books, there’s nothing more to add. This is quite clearly another to file in the historical annals between the Reichstag Fire and Operation Northwoods.

That this should happen just as the Western press is waking up to what they now uniformly calling “the forgotten war”, is no coincidence.

In the Telegraph, Con Coughlin – a rather red-faced bombast, unfettered by petty reality, and in favor of starting a war with Russia – writes that the “forgotten war” is all Iran’s fault, and while Saudia Arabia might be killing practically every civilian that has died in the conflict, really it’s all down to Iran’s meddling.

The Guardian takes the tone that we (the West) should “do more”, and again references the mythic American reluctance to get involved. (yes, they are so totally without irony that they can actually claim America doesn’t want to be involved THE SAME DAY they launched missiles into Yemen). Despite some vague chastising of the UK/US, the Guardian agrees that Yemen is almost entirely Iran’s fault, that the Iranians are “exploiting and manipulating” Yemen to their own ends.

The Washington Post echoed that the US “must act” to pull Yemen back from collapse.

The focus, currently, is on the “humanitarian catastrophe”, and all decry the lack of negotiations…but that’s always the way it starts. Emotive language and made up statistics, the declaration that “something must be done”. Then, when the negotiations start the Houthis will either be presented with terms to which they simply cannot agree, or the Saudis will break the truce and the MSM will blame the Houthis and Iran anyway. At that point the “something” which “must be done” becomes a military intervention…in order to stop the war and protect civilians.

The question becomes: Why? Why is the US suddenly committing more resources to a war in Yemen? Why are the press suddenly waking up to their “forgotten war”?

The Houthi rebels in Yemen are reportedly backed by Iran and Hezbollah (there’s no direct evidence this is true, but given the political make up of Yemen, it does seem likely). It’s possible that America sees increased assistance to the Arab coalition, and actual low-key interventions of their own, to be – in effect – the opening of a second front of their proxy war with Iran in Syria. It’s possible they want to encourage Iran and Hezbollah to expend more of their resources in Yemen, and thus weaken their presence in Syria.

Does the Clinton administration want to undo the Obama-backed Iran deal? Will the new President undermine and verbally attack Iran in the hopes of scuppering the treaty? The vague possibility of a Nuclear-armed Iran has been America’s excuse for building missile defense shields in Eastern Europe, being able to refresh this brazenly false alibi would make life a little easier at the Pentagon.

It’s possible that America is seeking to build itself a little hill of highground, having taken a lot of flak recently for their preposterously hypocritical stance of at once denouncing Russia and Syria as “war criminal”, and supporting Saudi Arabia’s war on Yemen (including selling them bombs to drop on funerals).

It’s possible that they feel the need to insert themselves into Yemen to head off any Russian involvement there. Former President Ali Abdullah Saleh made general overtures to Russia in a television interview six weeks ago. The last thing America would want is Russia to have access to naval bases on the Red Sea, and a Russian presence in Yemen would hinder any possibility of America putting boots on the ground there (hopefully, anyway).

Of course, it’s also possible that they need to fire off a few bombs so that they have an excuse to buy more. Fifth homes for ex-senators-turned-arms industry lobbyists don’t buy themselves.

When you’re a power-mad, institutionalised sociopath there doesn’t have to be a grand plan, or a big reason. That’s what makes them so dangerous.

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In this most bizarre of presidential elections, no one is talking about one of the biggest—if not the biggest—issues of our time. Namely, the global power imbalance between corporations and governments.

Not Donald Trump, as he obsesses over the weight of a long-past Miss Universe. Not Hillary Clinton, despite her many substantive proposals that the media largely ignores. Not even Jill Stein, although she offers many proposals for moving power to the people at the national level.

Earth is dying. A few hundred billionaires are consolidating their control of the Earth’s remaining real wealth. Racism is rampant. And violence devastates millions of lives.

These issues do get mention, though less than they deserve. What is not mentioned, the elephant in the room, is that which blocks serious action on these and other critical threats to the human future: the glaring and growing global power imbalance between corporations that represent purely financial interests and the institutions of government we depend on to represent the interests of people and living communities.

Photo by aluxum / iStock.

The healthy function of society requires that governments be accountable to the electorate and that corporations in turn be accountable to democratic governments. Our ability to deal with every other issue of our time—from climate disruption to inequality to violence—depends on that accountability.

In a complex modern society, government is the essential and primary institution by which communities set the rules within which they organize. Even markets need rules to function in the community interest, and those rules must be made and enforced by government. Claims that a “free” market—a market free from rules—best serves the common good are an ideological fiction born of the dreams of banksters.

No candidate is addressing the global power imbalance issue—and no corporate media outlet will ever call them on it.

The significance of this issue rests on an analysis of the role and power of money in contemporary society.

Not that long ago, most people lived directly from what they harvested from their land—and might barter for other needs. For example, a country doctor might treat a patient in exchange for a chicken. By these and other means, most people minimized their need for money.

As society urbanized and industrialized, people were, by choice or exclusion, separated from the lands and community relationships that provided their means of living with little need for money.

We now live in a society in which our access to food, water, shelter, energy, transportation, health care, education, communication, and most all the other basic essentials of daily life depends on our ability to pay. No money, no life.

Each time we monetize a relationship—for example, replacing a parental caregiver with a paid child care worker or a backyard garden with a trip to the supermarket—we grow GDP and create new opportunities for corporate profits. At the same time, we weaken the loving bond between child and parent and between humans and Earth. And we become more dependent on money.

So what does this have to do with power? The more dependent we become on money, the more dependent we become on the money masters—bankers and corporations—that control our access to money through their control of paid employment, loans, and investments.

We now live in servitude to money masters, who organize globally beyond the reach of democratic institutions and deny responsibility for or accountability to the people and communities they hold hostage. From their position of separation, power, and privilege, they buy politicians, avoid taxes, and take over the institutions of media, education, health care, agriculture, criminal justice, communications, energy, and more.

Though it is a defining issue of our time, politicians who depend on corporate money and media dare not mention the growing power imbalance between corporations and governments and its sweeping implications. They will face it and address it only when forced to do so by “we the people.” Leadership in the cause of democracy and community will come—can only come—from an organized electorate with a power analysis. (Watch for Part Two in my October 19 column.

David Korten wrote this article for YES! Magazine as part of his column on “A Living Earth Economy.” David is co-founder and board chair of YES! Magazine, president of the Living Economies Forum, co-chair of the New Economy Working Group, a member of the Club of Rome, and the author of influential books, including When Corporations Rule the World and Change the Story, Change the Future: A Living Economy for a Living Earth. His work builds on lessons from the 21 years he and his wife, Fran, lived and worked in Africa, Asia, and Latin America on a quest to end global poverty. Follow him on Twitter @dkorten and Facebook.

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Debunking the Western Media’s Coverage of the War on Syria

octobre 16th, 2016 by Daniel Espinosa Winder

The most prestigious newspaper in Peru is no more than another mouthpiece for power. But this shouldn´t surprise anyone familiar with mainstream media and its propagandistic role in our society.

Sadly, most people remain unaware of this reality and still approach this kind of media for understanding on the appalling problems of contemporary life. For them there are real news: you will find no such understanding in El Comercio.

We will consider the Syrian conflict because it’s an ongoing issue with massive coverage to analyze. The fact that mainstream media (MSM) in Peru, as elsewhere, import its articles from Big Media and their agencies around the world does not, of course, release them of the responsibility to verify everything they publish and therefore endorse.

Let´s imagine ourselves taking half an hour of our busy lives to seek information in MSM regarding Syria, in order to learn what’s been happening there for the last five years. What could be better than an article titled: “Seven questions to understand what is happening in Syria”? (elcomercio.pe, 09/24/16).

The answer could easily be anything, because the supposed facts being paraded in this article imported from the BBC are misleading, fallacious or wrong. And any reader searching for truth or an honest interpretation based on facts regarding this conflict may find itself more confused or even worse, completely deceived about its nature. This analysis targets a narrative common to most Western MSM. Its Peruvian counterpart is particularly shallow and disaffected, and rarely redact their own articles on foreign conflicts, importing them, for an even more homogenized massive world coverage.

This sort of articles aimed at understanding something in a set of simple and clear steps are getting more popular as more and more people seem to drift away from questioning and thinking, researching, or going into contemporary subjects with any kind of depth.

The first subtitle in the article reads: (all quotes from El Comercio in light blue)

“What started as a peaceful uprising against the Syrian president, turned into a bloody civil war”.

This is a statement of two of the most important points in the Western narrative regarding not only Syria, but many other past conflicts, as this article will argue.

So let’s proceed and debunk this set of lies repeated by the MSM ad-nauseam to advance the interests of empire.

  1. “What was the situation in Syria before the war begun?”

  2. “How did the war start?”

This two first questions need a wide and historic point of view that the MSM can´t entertain in its pages and television airwaves because of the simplified nature of its narrative and the limited space they devote to foreign conflicts. The only paragraph dedicated to the situation in Syria before the war (question 1) states:

“Years before the conflict started, many Syrians complained about the high unemployment rates in the country, extensive corruption, lack of political freedom and government repression by Assad…”

The article then jumps right into the events of 2011 that started the uprising. But where should we start if we want to assert the real reasons behind the conflict and its evolution through the last five years?

One of the best places to find political and economic information regarding most countries in the world are their respective US embassies, as the WikiLeaks files or authors as Phillip Agee have shown us in the past. This is especially true when the US have important interests at stake, as in the case of Syria, where in 2006 a private diplomatic email by chargé de affaires William Roebuck shows a clear intention by its officials regarding the regime and its ´vulnerabilities´:

“We believe Bashar´s weaknesses are in how he chooses to react to looming issues, both perceived and real, such as the conflict between economic reform steps (however limited) and entrenched, corrupt forces, the Kurdish question, and the potential threat to the regime from the increasing presence of transiting Islamist extremists. This cable summarizes our assessment of this vulnerabilities and suggests that there may be actions, statements, and signals that the USG can send that will improve the likelihood of such opportunities arising”. (Emphasis added)

As Robert Naiman exposed (WikiLeaks Files):

“In public, the US was opposed to Islamist “extremists” everywhere; but in private it saw the “potential threat to the regime from the increasing presence of transiting Islamist extremist” as an “opportunity” that the US should take action to try to increase”.

Along with other pieces of advice, Roebuck suggests “playing on Sunni fears of Iranian influence… thought often exaggerated”, adding that both the “Egyptian and Saudi missions in Syria are giving increased attention to the matter and we should coordinate more closely with their governments on ways to better publicize and focus regional attention on the issue”. Fanning sectarian tensions is an old one, especially within strategies unconcerned by its effects on civil societies.

But creating division among the Syrian population wasn´t quite enough, as Roebuck also suggests to “Encourage rumors and signals of external plotting” aiming for the regime’s “paranoia and increasing the possibility of a self-defeating over-reaction”.  As we can observe, there was no paranoia at all, but grounded concerns.

Other formerly classified documents also look back into the moments before the 2011 uprising, as this US Defense Intelligence Agency heavily redacted document obtained through a federal lawsuit, states:

“AQI (Al-Qaeda in Iraq) supported the Syrian opposition since the beginning, both ideologically and through the media. AQI declared its opposition to the Assad’s government because it considered it sectarian regime targeting Sunnis”.

This information haven’t seen the light of MSM coverage, as it’s radically opposed to the pro-Western rhetoric, as El Comercio/ BBC repeats:

“The incident (a group of boys allegedly arrested and tortured for graffiti paintings in Daraa) provoked pro-democratic protests, inspired on the Arab Spring… security forces opened fire on the protestors, killing several, which provoked more people into taking the streets. The uprising extended through the country asking for the resignation of Assad…”

Other less publicized testimonies, as that from Jesuit priest Frans Van der Lugt (left), killed by extremists in 2014 in Homs, suggest that the beginning of the conflict was not as simple as MSM states, but rather follow the logic expressed in the formerly classified cables:

”I have seen from the beginning armed protesters in those demonstrations … they were the first to fire on the police. Very often the violence of the security forces comes in response to the brutal violence of the armed insurgents.”

There were indeed anti-Assad protests, sometimes clashing with pro-Assad protests, but they were in many cases infiltrated or even promoted by elements with very different goals, mainly not Syrian in origin, and used for violence against civilians and peaceful protestors, policemen and soldiers.

“Many opposition sympathizers started to arm themselves, first as protection and later to expel government’s forces”. “(The conflict) soon acquired sectarian features… this dragged into the conflict other regional forces…”

Presumably the article refers to Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey (among others). But as our research tells us, they were already involved in a more covert fashion before the uprising begun.

As Andrew Cockburn reported for Harper´s magazine in January, 2016:

“Earlier in the Syrian war, US officials had at least maintained the pretense that weapons were being funneled only to so-called moderate opposition groups. But in 2014, in a speech at Harvard, Vice President Joe Biden confirmed that we were arming extremists once again, although he was careful to pin the blame on America´s allies in the region, whom he denounced as ‘our largest problem in Syria.’ In response to a student´s question, he volunteered that our allies

‘…were so determined to take down Assad and essentially have a proxy Sunni-Shia war, what did they do? They poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens, thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad. Except that the people who were being supplied were al-Nusra and Al Qaeda and the extremist elements of jihadis (sic) coming from other parts of the world´.

“Biden’s explanation was entirely reminiscent of official excuses for the arming of fundamentalists in Afghanistan during the 1980s, which maintained that the Pakistanis had total control of the distribution of US-supplied weapons and that the CIA was incapable of intervening when most of those weapons ended up with the likes of G. Hekmatyar. Asked why the United States was supposedly powerless to stop nations like Qatar, population 2.19 million, from pouring arms into de arsenals of Nusra and similar groups, a former adviser to one of the Gulf States replied softly: ‘They didn´t want to’”.

Let’s go forward into the third question without having exhausted our rather lengthy arguments regarding the nature of the 2011 uprising.

  1. Who is fighting against who now?

The answer starts by stating that “the armed opposition has evolved since its beginnings”. (From what?) The MSM narrative tries to make a clear, but false, separation between terrorists and armed opposition. In the analyzed article the former only arrived to Syria when the conflict was ongoing, to take advantage of the disputed territories and wage a war against the Shia/Alawite ‘infidels’ in power, and are also at war with the supposed “moderates”.

Let’s kill two birds with one stone on this one, by taking as an example the “moderate” rebels from Nour al-Din al-Zenki, one of the groups supported by the CIA, who beheaded a Palestinian boy last July for the cameras and took ‘selfies’ of themselves while doing it. A few months later another incident, this time covered (or produced) by the “Aleppo Media Center”, shown the world a wounded child by the name of Omran (Aylan in other reports), who then became the poster boy for the Syrian conflict by means of media exposition.

The connection between this two apparently dissociated incidents goes by the name of Mahmoud Raslan, one of Omran’s rescuers and photographer, seen in the video footage of the rescue outside the ambulance holding a camera with members of the White Helmets (civilian rescuers). This individual is also in pictures with the “moderate” beheaders of the Nour al-Din al-Zenki mentioned above, posing like friends on a weekend trip, blurring the already thin line between moderates, extremists and even the so-called non-partisan civilian rescuers (USAID-funded) White Helmets.

By the end of the 3rd answer we find another gem:

“And regardless of moderate rebels repeatedly asking Washington for anti-aircraft weaponry to respond to Russian and Syrian devastating attacks, the United States have declined the request, fearing the advanced weaponry could end up in jihadist’s hands”.

This is a particularly deceiving statement. While the US haven´t, to my knowledge, provided anti-air weapons to the rebels, it has delivered all sorts of other weaponry to them, directly by the CIA, or indirectly through its allies in the region. A report by the Washington Post says the CIA was spending 1 billion USD a year in funding this groups, which also includes training and other services. Of course, this weapons are given to the so called “moderates”, but as we argue, and many testimonies by US officials prove, this arms end up in the wrong hands rather often, as another article by the New York Times notes two weeks later: “CIA Arms for Syrian Rebels Supplied Black Market, Officials Say”. Are we supposed to believe this is some kind of mistake, as self-indulgent MSM analysts do?

Throughout the article there’s no mention of who is arming the rebels. In the paragraphs answering the 2nd question it misleadingly states that:

“…opposition sympathizers started to arm themselves…”

  1. How did foreign powers got involved?

  2. Why is the conflict lasting so long?

As we already mentioned, foreign powers, meaning the US and its allies, were already involved in many ways in a “regime change” scheme since as early as 2006. The answer for question number 4 mentions in one line that:

“The United States, on their part, insist on Assad being responsible for huge atrocities and must resign”.

And that’s the extent of the influence of the US in this conflict according to this wholesale MSM article written for the disoriented masses. But the whitewashing continue in favor of US regional allies:

“Saudi Arabia is another participant in this proxy war. To counter Iran´s influence, its main rival in the region, SA has sent considerable military and financial aid to the rebels, including those with Islamist Ideologies”. (Emphasis added)

Another misleading piece of information on the nature of the conflict reads:

“The divisions between the Sunni majority and the Alawite Shia, have provoked both sides to commit atrocities that have caused not only an enormous loss in lives but the destruction of communities, strengthen positions and reduce hope on a political solution”.

But the majority of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) is Sunni, and has included in the past a few Christian generals. As Kamal Alam writes for The National Interest´s blog:

“The fact remains: The moderate Syrian opposition only exists in fancy suits in Western hotel lobbies. It has little military backing on the ground. If you want to ask why Assad is still the president of Syria, the answer is not simply Russia or Iran, but the fact that his army remains resilient and pluralistic, representing a Syria in which religion alone does not determine who rises to the top”.

Deir-Ezzor, “an entirely Sunni city which has held out against ISIS encirclement for two years—and is commanded by the Druze General Issam Zahreddine”, as Alam continues, was attacked by the US Army, who targeted an SAA base killing 62 soldiers and wounding several more, in the first direct attack from the Pentagon on a Syrian Government facility or its forces. This incident happened on September 17th and ended the ceasefire, and not the alleged Russian attack on a UN aid convoy happened two days later.

In short, the “atrocities” cannot be blamed on sectarian allegiance, since it’s not what drives the main actors involved, although terrorists will often address to religious rhetoric.

A fact not mentioned by the mainstream media: Syria’s President’s wife Asma al-Assad (right) is Sunni.

Taking in consideration the secular character of the Syrian society and its government, all bets on sectarian originated violence should be on the rebel side, also known for establishing Sharia law courts in controlled territories.

  1. What has been the impact of this war?

“The Syrian Observatory of Human Rights, a monitoring group based in London, indicates that up to September 2016, the number of deaths is 301,000”.

Estimates put the numbers between 250,000 and almost 500,000 victims and several millions displaced and surviving as refugees mainly in neighbor countries and Europe.

But the sources of this information are not without an allegiance either. We already talked about the White Helmets, working hand in glove with the not so “moderate” groups and factions mentioned above, only in rebel-held areas and many times as a sort of PR firm for the jihadists as well, which doesn’t mean they couldn’t at the same time rescue some people from the rubble.

Another, probably massive media´s favorite source of information regarding Syria, would be the above mentioned, ‘Syrian Observatory of Human Rights’, a one man operation located in a suburb in Coventry, England. Also known as Rami Abdulrahman, he is a declared member of the opposition: « I came to Britain the day Hafez al-Assad died, and I’ll return when Bashar al-Assad goes, » as he told Reuters on 2011. It was also revealed by the New York Times that the SOHR is funded by subsidies from the European Union and a certain European country he won’t disclose.

As Tony Cartalucci notes: “it is beyond doubt that it is the United Kingdom itself – as Abdul Rahman has direct access to the Foreign Secretary William Hague, who he has been documented meeting in person on multiple occasions at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London. The NYT in fact reveals that it was the British government that first relocated Abdul Rahman to Coventry, England after he fled Syria over a decade ago because of his anti-government activities…”

By any means the SOHR, the most widely cited source by MSM on Syria, is far from being an impartial one.

Beyond the visible death and destruction of Syrian society lies another untold consequence of this conflict: the fact that thousands of newly armed and trained jihadists will remain to roam around the Middle East and the rest of the world, regardless of the outcome of this war.

A conspiracy theorist would argue that another monster is being created deliberately by Western forces to further military expense, diminish civilian liberties and to excuse uncontested military presence virtually anywhere while fighting its own creation and its many tentacles.

  1. What is the international community doing to put an end to the conflict?

Being this question answered above in some extension, we should refer to the diplomatic performance of the different powers struggling for whatever their particular goals are.

John Kerry and Samantha Power (left) have reduced themselves to advocates for terrorism by campaigning against Syria and Russia in their efforts to regain Eastern Aleppo from forces made up of 50% al-Nusra, the Syrian branch to al-Qaeda. Who are also said to dominate any other faction fighting on that side. “Rebel-held Aleppo” is a mainstream media fiction fostering support for terrorism among world public opinion.

We should remember at this point that when Aleppo was not under the spotlight of MSM as it has been in the last months, many news reports covered it as a city swarming with al-Nusra extremists and other al-Qaeda affiliates, as this April 2013 NYT article shows:

In Syria’s largest city, Aleppo, rebels aligned with Al Qaeda control the power plant, run the bakeries and head a court that applies Islamic law. Elsewhere, they have seized government oil fields, put employees back to work and now profit from the crude they produce.

Across Syria, rebel-held areas are dotted with Islamic courts staffed by lawyers and clerics, and by fighting brigades led by extremists. Even the Supreme Military Council, the umbrella rebel organization whose formation the West had hoped would sideline radical groups, is stocked with commanders who want to infuse Islamic law into a future Syrian government.

Nowhere in rebel-controlled Syria is there a secular fighting force to speak of.

Another talking point recently integrated into the discourse is found in the last paragraphs:

“The last partial ceasefire, in mid-September, failed a few days after entering into force when a humanitarian convoy was lethally attacked.”

Although Russia has denied the charges, it’s being treated by the MSM as the obvious culprit. As we already mentioned, the attack on Deir-Ezzor happened two days earlier and the US immediately took responsibility for the “mistake”.

While honest journalism would denounce the audacity of a government whose officials advocate for human rights and point fingers at Russia for alleged war crimes while at the same time supporting terrorism as a manner of proxy army against Syria, MSM instead acts as a sort of PR asset for power. It’s not surprising to find out very recent cases when high ranking diplomats and politicians are caught lying to the public, even about supposed war crimes, to be then whitewashed by media giants as the New York Times or the BBC. This is the kind of journalism available for most people in the world.

Samantha Power also leaves out the bombing on Yemen by its Middle East ‘partner in crime’ Saudi Arabia, with more than a billion in arms sold to them in 2015 by the US, as well as Intelligence and aerial refueling for its jets, which to some accounts (The Yemen Data Project) hit as many civilian targets as military. The UN puts the death toll of the 18-month war at more than 10,000.

Between 2009 and 2015 the US and the Saudis have signed deals for (potentially) 100 billion dollars.

While opinion pieces in MSM tend to offer a deeper, and sometimes even more truthful look into international conflicts, the facts covered only make it into the official narrative if they contribute to the ideas listed below, otherwise they are buried under whatever narrative is repeated non-stop as the truth.

A closer look into MSM coverage on Syria expose some of the specific messages that compose the “civil war/ peaceful protestor” narrative (as mentioned in the first subtitle of the analyzed article) aligned with US interests, many of them are easy to find in this wholesale dumbed-down piece of journalism by the BBC / El Comercio, and have been exposed by independent journalism on a daily basis for the last years:

  • The uprising was purely civilian, terrorists groups entered the ongoing conflict later, taking advantage of the situation.

  • The regime started the conflict by using violence against peaceful protestors, who then started “arming themselves” to fight back.

  • The US got involved in Syria in response to alleged chemical attacks by Assad’s forces (2013).

  • The US and allies fund, arm and train rebel “moderates” only.

  • Religious sectarianism drives both pro-Assad and anti-Assad forces in what seems to be a Sunni vs Shia/ Opposition vs Government “civil war”, and not a fight to get rid of and international coalition of terrorist factions decimating a secular society.

  • With complete disregard for international law and its institutions, the “criminal regime” must be toppled by an international coalition in its “Responsibility to Protect” civilians.

  • Rebels and terrorists are visibly separated and sometimes fighting against each other.

Daniel Espinosa Winder (34) lives in Caraz, a very small city in the Andes of Peru. He graduated in Communication Sciences in Lima and started researching mainstream media and more specifically, propaganda. His writings are a critique of the role of massive media in our society.

Notes:

[1] El Comercio. Siete preguntas para entender lo que está pasando en Siria. (09/26/16) [http://elcomercio.pe/mundo/ oriente-medio/siete-preguntas- entender-lo-que-esta-pasando- siria-noticia-1934127
[2] Agee, Philip. Inside the Company: CIA Diary. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1975)
[3] Naiman, Roberts et al. The Wikileaks Files: The World According to US Empire. (New York: Maple Press, 2015)
[4] Judicial Watch. JW v DOD and State 14-812 DOD Release 2015 04 10, página 289. (Judicial Watch, 18/05/15) [http://www.judicialwatch.org/ document-archive/jw-v-dod-and- state-14-812-dod-release-2015- 04-10/] 
[5] Beely, Vanessa. Defender of Syrian Sovereignty: Father Frans van der Lugt was Murdered on 7th April 2014. (04/07/16, 21stcenturywire.com) [http://21stcenturywire.com/ 2016/04/07/defender-of-syrian- sovereignty-father-frans-van- der-lugt-was-murdered-on-7th- april-2014/] 
[6] CockBurn, Andrew. A Special Relationship: The United States is Teaming Up with Al-Qaeda, Again. (Harper´s Magazine, January 2016) [http://harpers.org/archive/ 2016/01/a-special- relationship/] 
[8] Mazzetti, Mark. C.I.A. Arms for Syrian Rebels Supplied Black Market, Officials Say. (New York Times, 06/26/16) [http://www.nytimes.com/2016/ 06/27/world/middleeast/cia- arms-for-syrian-rebels- supplied-black-market- officials-say.html?_r=0] 
[9] Alam, Kamal. Why Assad’s Army Has Not Defected. (The National Interest, 02/12/16) [http://nationalinterest.org/ feature/why-assads-army-has- not-defected-15190] 
[10] Moon of Alabama. Deir Ezzor Attack Enables The « Salafist Principality » As Foreseen In The 2012 DIA Analysis. (Moon of Alabama, 09/20/16) [http://www.moonofalabama.org/ 2016/09/deir-ezzor-attack- enables-the-salafist- principality-forseen-in-the- 2012-dia-analysis.html# comments]
[12] Cartalucci, Tony. “Pro-Democracy Terrorism”: The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is a Propaganda Front funded by the E. (Global Research, 04/12/13) [http://www.globalresearch.ca/ the-syrian-observatory-for- human-rights-is-a-propaganda- front-funded-by-the-eu-its- objective-is-to-justify-pro- democracy-terrorism/5331072]
[13] Ruptly Tv. LIVE: UN Security Council meets to discuss situation in Syria. (Online Video clip) Youtube, published on 09/25/16. [Recoverd: 10/13/16 (CHECK min. 28) at: https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=dx3XbFYqOoo]
 [14] Hubbard, Ben. Islamist Rebels Create Dilemma on Syria Policy. (New York Times, 04/27/13) [http://www.nytimes.com/2013/ 04/28/world/middleeast/ islamist-rebels-gains-in- syria-create-dilemma-for-us. html]
 [15] Ibid. Moon of Alabama blog.
 [16] Wright, James. The BBC gets caught trying to bury the ultimate screw up from Theresa May(The Canary, 10/12/16) [http://www.thecanary.co/2016/ 10/12/bbc-gets-caught-trying- bury-ultimate-screw-theresa- may-video-tweets/]; Moon of Alabama. A Desperate Obama Administration Resorts to Lying and Maybe More. (Moon of Alabama, 10/08/16) [http://www.moonofalabama.org/ 2016/10/a-desperate-obama- administration-resorts-to- lying-and-maybe-more-.html# more]
 [17] Schatz, Bryan. US Arm Sales to Saudi Arabia Will Continue, Despite Allegations of War Crimes. (Mother Jones, 21/09/16) [http://www.motherjones.com/ politics/2016/09/us-arms- sales-saudi-arabia-senate]
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One month before the presidential election of 2008, the giant Wall Street bank Citigroup submitted to the Obama campaign a list of its preferred candidates for cabinet positions in an Obama administration. This list corresponds almost exactly to the eventual composition of Barack Obama’s cabinet.

The memorandum, revealed by WikiLeaks in a recent document release from the email account of John Podesta, who currently serves as Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair, was written by Michael Froman, who was then an executive with Citigroup and currently serves as US trade representative. The email is dated Oct. 6, 2008 and bears the subject line “Lists.” It went to Podesta a month before he was named chairman of President-Elect Obama’s transition team.

The email was sent at the height of the financial meltdown that erupted after the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers on September 15. Even as Citigroup and its Wall Street counterparts were dragging the US and world economy into its deepest crisis since the 1930s, they remained, as the email shows, the real power behind the façade of American democracy and its electoral process.

Froman’s list proved remarkably prescient. As it proposed, Robert Gates, a Bush holdover, became secretary of Defense; Eric Holder became attorney general; Janet Napolitano, secretary of Homeland Security; Rahm Emanuel, White House chief of staff; Susan Rice, United Nations ambassador; Arne Duncan, secretary of Education; Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of Health and Human Services; Peter Orszag, head of the Office of Management and Budget; Eric Shinseki, secretary of Veterans Affairs; and Melody Barnes, chief of the Domestic Policy Council.

For the highly sensitive position of secretary of the Treasury, three possibilities were presented: Robert Rubin and Rubin’s close disciples Lawrence Summers and Timothy Geithner. Obama chose Geithner, then president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Geithner, along with Bush Treasury Secretary (and former Goldman Sachs CEO) Henry Paulson and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, had played the leading role in organizing the Wall Street bailout.

Rubin had served as Treasury secretary in the Bill Clinton administration from 1995 until 1999, when he was succeeded by Summers. In that capacity, Rubin and Summers oversaw the dismantling of the Glass-Steagall Act (1933), which had imposed a legal wall separating commercial banking from investment banking. Immediately after leaving Treasury, Rubin became a top executive at Citigroup, remaining there until 2009.

A notable aspect of the Froman memo is its use of identity politics. Among the Citigroup executive’s lists of proposed hires to Podesta were a “Diversity List” including “African American, Latino and Asian American candidates, broken down by Cabinet/Deputy and Under/Assistant/Deputy Assistant level,” in Froman’s words, and “a similar document on women.” Froman also took diversity into account for his White House cabinet list, “probability-weighting the likelihood of appointing a diverse candidate for each position.” This list concluded with a table breaking down the 31 assignments by race and gender.

Citigroup’s recommendations came just three days after then-President George W. Bush signed into law the Troubled Asset Relief Program, which allocated $700 billion in taxpayer money to rescue the largest Wall Street banks. The single biggest beneficiary was Citigroup, which was given $45 billion in cash in the form of a government stock purchase, plus a $306 billion government guarantee to back up its worthless mortgage-related assets.

Then-presidential candidate Obama played a critical political role in shepherding the massively unpopular bank bailout through Congress. The September financial crash convinced decisive sections of the US corporate-financial elite that the Democratic candidate of “hope” and “change” would be better positioned to contain popular opposition to the bailout than his Republican rival, Senator John McCain of Arizona.

As president, Obama not only funneled trillions of dollars to the banks, he saw to it that not a single leading Wall Street executive faced prosecution for the orgy of speculation and swindling that led to the financial collapse and Great Recession, and he personally intervened to block legislation capping executive pay at bailed-out firms.

The same furtive and corrupt process is underway in relation to a Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump administration. Froman’s email is one of many thousands released by WikiLeaks from the account of Podesta. Those communications, such as the Froman email, which expose who really rules America, have been virtually ignored by the media. The pro-Democratic Party New Republic called attention to it in an article published Friday, but the story has received little if any further coverage.

The media has instead focused on salacious details of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s sexual activities, designed, in part, to divert attention from the substance of the Clinton campaign-related emails being released by WikiLeaks and other sources.

The New Republic drew attention to the Froman memo not because it opposes such machinations, but as a warning to the interests it represents that they must move now to influence the eventual composition of a Hillary Clinton administration.

“If the 2008 Podesta emails are any indication, the next four years of public policy are being hashed out right now, behind closed doors,” wrote New Republic author David Dayen. “And if liberals want to have an impact on that process, waiting until after the election will be too late.”

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In this historic victory–arguably the biggest thing to happen in Venezuela since the death of Hugo Chavez–a movement of small farmers took on one of the largest corporations in the world, and won.

“Nature will always prevail,” says Angel Moreno, a campesino and leader in the National Network of Popular Agroecological Schools, as he points to the grass sprouting through the sidewalk in the mountain village of Monte Carmelo in Venezuela. “But if we’re going to fight imperialism, we need seeds.”

It is Oct. 29, 2015, the 10th anniversary of the Day of the Campesino seed, and over a thousand people from around the country and around the world have gathered in this humble village, described by the Agujero Negro media collective as “the ecosocialist capital of Venezuela.”

Even before the passage of the revolutionary seed law, the Guardians of the Seeds were dreaming up plans for how to organize the country along ecosocialist lines.

The people of Monte Carmelo began these gatherings in 2005, and in 2012 they hosted an international gathering from eight countries throughout Latin America. There, over multiple days of discussions and debates, they wrote the Monte Carmelo Declaration and launched the international network of the Guardians of Seeds.

Monte Carmelo has become a center of gravity in Venezuela for the politics and practice of a movement that calls itself ecosocialist, leading a return to the land and the transcendence of the oil economy. Most big decisions in Venezuela are decided in the capital city of Caracas, but the people of Monte Carmelo and the neighboring towns are leading the way in a movement which is all at once local, national and global–to return to the source of ancestral practices of seed saving.

This year the small farmers of Monte Carmelo once again took the lead in a struggle to fight back against the ongoing economic crisis through a program of grassroots action. “We’re in a profound food crisis globally,” said Ximena Gonzalez, an activist academic from the Venezuelan Institute of Scientific Investigations who like many others come to Monte Carmelo to participate and accompany this movement of seed savers. “We should take advantage of this conjuncture to put forward an integral plan of mobilization, legislation, and production.” And over the next several days, that is what happened.

The Guardians of Seeds

We live in a world where one third of all food is wasted, where industrial agriculture accounts for the lion’s share of carbon emissions, and where the genetic diversity of the whole food chain is in free-fall, all presided over by an international regime of biopiracy headed by multinational corporations like Monsanto. But not everyone is taking it sitting down.

The Guardians of the Seeds are the alternative, and in their struggles and celebrations they prefigure a different way of life. As over a thousand people streamed into the small town of Monte Carmelo on the morning of October 29, this vision comes to life. People from around the country bring their seeds to trade, to discuss, to learn and compare. Small children run through the crowds, as eager to trade for a new kind of seed as children in the cities to buy a new plastic toy.

The Guardians of the Seeds don’t see their job as just agriculture or production. There is a profound spiritual consciousness, diverse and deep, which pervades the atmosphere. “Seeds are the beginning, the force of rebirth, and the inspiration to reclaim our cultural and ancestral heritage,” said Cesar David Escalona, a young anthropologist and historian living in and studying the history of Monte Carmelo.

The Guardians are promoting not only another kind of agriculture, but another kind of life. “I used to live by earning money,” Daniel, a campesino from Trujillo told me. “Money puts your mind to sleep. True liberty is in the land, in protecting nature.”

The political framework for this vision is ecosocialism, since 2013 the official policy of the Venezuelan government. The “eco-socialist economic production model” as defined in the current six year plan, written by constituent assemblies and voted into law in 2013, is “based on a harmonious relationship between humanity and nature that guarantees the rational and optimal use of natural resources while preserving the processes and cycles of nature.” While there are ecosocialist organizations on every populated continent, each bringing the theory into unique practices, it is in places like Monte Carmelo that the political philosophy comes to life. Asking attendees what ecosocialism means to them elicits responses as diverse as the seeds themselves.

The people of Monte Carmelo are overwhelmingly in support of the current government of Venezuela, which since the election of Hugo Chavez in 1999 has transformed the country legally, socially and politically. But the vision of ecosocialism which emerges from Monte Carmelo is decidedly and unapologetically grassroots. Like in the Zapatista communities of Chiapas, in Monte Carmelo the people command and the government obeys. “Those who work in institutions don’t follow the lunar calendar,” said Angel Moreno, criticizing politicians, bureaucrats and academics who don’t work the land themselves. “We’re talking about the afro-descendent, Indigenous and campesino seeds, and we have to take care of them ourselves, so that the institutions don’t come and put our seeds in a refrigerator.” This is the Venezuelan revolution at its most radical. And it comes not a moment too soon.

Economic Crisis

Venezuela is currently in a severe economic crisis – so severe that the word that is used in Venezuela today is not crisis, but war. And it’s no exaggeration – the scale of the crisis requires the permanent mobilization of the whole society in order to make ends meet.

But in Monte Carmelo, another picture emerges of this crisis, one which again prompts us to return to the source for answers. “The economic crisis hasn’t effected us very much,” said Abigail Garcia, one of the founders of the Socialist Seedbed of Monte Carmelo: “We grow our own food; we don’t need to wait in line for mayonnaise. Most of all this crisis has provoked a change of consciousness, and that is the most important of all changes.”

All around Venezuela, this sentiment is on the front lines. As prices surge beyond control or comprehension, the economic war has also brought communities together into networks of solidarity and production, where people are rediscovering their roots.

“When a crisis comes, we fall back on our cultural, historical reserves as a people, including the actual geographic sites of exchange and trade routes,” said Livio Rangel from the National Trueke Network: “We’re not talking about anything new. Look in your roots and your ancestors.” Rangel is one of the promoters of the “Trueke” movement. Literally translated as barter, Trueke combines community organizing around basic economic needs with a political and historical education wherein communities design their own currencies and organize themselves in assembly. At a Trueke, people of all ages gather to exchange everything from seeds to books, clothing to cosmetics, and also give workshops in specific skills.

“Trueke is what can save us from this economic war,” Rangel continues: “It can help us to find ourselves within our socio-productive essence…When you go to the supermarket, the Other is the enemy. When you go to Trueke, the Other is a friend, a love…” In Monte Carmelo, at the height of an economic war whose casualties are measured not only by inflation but by real human lives, where people die because medicine is being hoarded, the Trueke movement suddenly seems to have become common sense.

Trueke

The economic crisis has moved Trueke to center stage of the political process, and in Monte Carmelo this common sense is common practice: People were exchanging seeds, plants, food, books, arts and crafts, ideas and practices, all without money. I spoke with Walterio Lanz, a nationally respected figure whose innovative fish-farming practices and political activism over decades have earned him strong ecosocialist credentials. “We have gone a step beyond Jesus; we don’t just teach people how to fish, we teach them how to grow and care for them.”

While the market system is failing, this ancient system of economics is being jump-started again. The economy of Trueke reaches back to ancestral and indigenous traditions where different ethnicities engaged in trade across and throughout bioregions. An initiative from the Ministry of Higher Education has organized workshops around the country, organized by bioegion, to implement community-university Trueke systems in every state of Venezuela. And in the context of economic crisis, Trueke is taking on the character of a street action.

In the town of Lagunillas, a few days before the gathering in Monte Carmelo, I attended a Trueke where seeds were given away in exchange for the commitment to plant them (with names and phone numbers collected to check in), and dozens gathered at a workshop to learn how to make soap out of used cooking oil. “This is the ancient and new call of Trueke,” said Pablo Mayayo, another leader in the national Trueke network: “Against the monotheism of money, which we worship every day, let’s learn to resolve our problems without money. Let’s take a rest from cash, and exchange with solidarity. We are re-learning how to grow food, we are apprentices to small farmers. The return to the small farm is the return to our roots. They want this revolutionary process to fall, but what’s falling is capitalism, because it doesn’t know how to sow seeds, it doesn’t know how to love.”

Trueke is not only grassroots economics, but also grassroots democracy; an assembly at the end of every Trueke determines how to move forward; where the next one will be, who will participate, who will take which responsibilities. While hundreds of people line up in the cities to buy soap, in the countryside a new economics and a new politics are taking place. “I think that’s the most subversive thing you can do,” Livio Rangel told me: “Make your own soap, grow your own food. Make by yourself the things thatthey are hoarding. That’s the counter-model.”

Monsanto Vs. Monte Carmelo

But how does this economy and politics take on a larger scale? How can the experience of Monte Carmelo be spread and shared throughout Venezuela in the context of a rentier petroleum economy that imports the majority of its food? And how can it be mobilized to fight against the spread of corporate industrial agriculture, which has already begun to bring the chemical pesticides, fertilizers and hybrid and genetically modified seeds into the country?

In 2013, a seed law that would have opened a legal loophole for the importation of genetically modified seeds almost passed the Venezuelan legislature. Since the constituent assembly in 1999 when Venezuelans rewrote their constitution, the Venezuelan people have taken an active and leading role in writing and refining new laws to support their movements. So in 2013, the movement was ready – it blocked the passage of this law, and began a three-year process of writing a new seed law. This one would be written from the bottom up, through assemblies and workshops held across the country.

The struggle for a new seed law was the subtext of this year’s gathering in Monte Carmelo. With parliamentary elections coming up that December, it was widely perceived that the movement needed to act quickly to pass the People’s Seed Law, which by October had achieved consensus in assemblies throughout the country.

Tensions were high. One woman in an assembly reminded the crowd: “If the bad seed law is approved, we will all be converted into criminals – everyone who grows and guards ancestral seeds.” As far-fetched as it sounds, laws have criminalized seed saving around the world. The United States is an instructive example, where the federal government has persecuted and shut down seed banks across the country.

So in the midst of debates on October 30, the assembly decided that they would convoke a march to Caracas where they would rally outside the national assembly and demand that the people’s seed law be passed. And so it was. At the end of November, the outgoing national assembly voted into law a revolutionary seed law written by small farmers. It outlaws not only any GMO seeds, but also prohibits all forms of patent and intellectual property rights on seeds. And because small farmers know that laws on paper by themselves don’t necessarily change things, the law also stipulates that the government is responsible for helping to promote an alternative sustainable agro-ecological model throughout the country.

In this historic victory – arguably the biggest thing to happen in Venezuela since the death of Hugo Chavez – a movement of small farmers took on one of the largest corporations in the world, and won. And yet they remain humble. “We’re not at the head or the first of anything, we’re not on the top of a pyramid,” said Alan Soto Lopez, an artisan and activist who accompanies this movement. Walterio Lanz echoed: “We’re just doing what history is pushing us towards.”

“Plan de Siembra”

Even before the passage of the revolutionary seed law, the Guardians of the Seeds were dreaming up plans for how to organize the country along ecosocialist lines. On October 30, after the Day of the Campesino Seed, a coalition of academics and farmers, young activists and veteran organizers gathered in Monte Carmelo to debate a plan to win the economic war by building an ecosocialist mode of production from the bottom up; the “Plan de Siembra,” or the Plan of Sowing.

“Where are we going?” a poster at the front of the room asked at the beginning of a long day of discussion and debate, and pointed towards the answers: “Toward productive and political coherence: the rescue of native varieties, the use of organic fertilizers, and the empowerment of a communal chain of production and distribution.” The plan, which was subsequently illustrated and refined throughout the day, was to sow over 60,000 acres under “the logic of the communes.” Forty thousand would be devoted to corn, to beat the monopoly on pre-cooked corn flour owned by the Polar company, directed by the counter-revolutionary agribusiness tycoon Lorenzo Mendoza.

While Monsanto and other proponents of the Green Revolution propose that societies like Venezuela overcome their food problems by turning to new innovations in agricultural science and technology, the Guardians of the Seeds and their allies in Monte Carmelo are pointing in precisely the opposite direction.

“The ancient things are the most powerful,” Mayayo explained: “They are more trustworthy than the new things, because the ancient things have already proved themselves; they have resisted capitalism for hundreds of years. They’re still here!”

For the whole day, the hundreds of people from around the country divided themselves into rooms organized by type of crop – beans, corn, potatoes, and so on – in order to measure the efforts of all the different communities and integrate them into a coherent whole.

Here in a small mountain village, small farmers were on the cutting edge of history, protagonists in debates concerning the future of the nation and the revolutionary process.

Gabriel Garcia, a small farmer and a leader in Monte Carmelo, emphasized that there should not be a centralized state bureaucracy which manages seeds, and that legislation should not substitute for mobilization: “Seeds can’t be in a museum. They have to be cultivated. Every day is the Day of Seeds, not just October 29. We have to believe in ourselves, or we’ll always depend on technicians from universities, and we’ll end up using heavy machinery and other inappropriate technologies.”

Rangel and Mayayo from the Trueke network voiced concerns that the Plan of Sowing should not devolve into centralized bureaucracies where small farmers would be once again sacrificed on the altar of industrial production. “First they kick the small farmer off the land, then they force them into a city, and now they want to accuse them of not producing enough to feed the city?” Rangel questioned: “The point is not just the seed but the farmer; to defend not just the seed but the person who defends the seed. In counting seeds we get screwed. Take the harvest to the Trueke, not to the state.” Angel Moreno also argued against the quantitative framework: “Here in this seed is our essence. It can’t be measured.” Mayayo continued, “central planning in agriculture never worked in Russia or in China. It worked in health, education, prevention of accidents, but not in economy.” Walter Lanz took it a step further, telling me later: “any solution has to break with the logic of cities. As long as we can’t break from the model of exploiting the country to feed the city, we’ll never resolve our social or ecological problems.”

Such radical and often spiritual perspectives are strong in Monte Carmelo, and the tensions between small farmers who insist that their production could not be measured clashed with those who were concerned that without a quantifiable plan, the movement would not be able to either pass legislation that favored their efforts, or truly coordinate them into a coherent whole capable of providing an alternative to both the current economic crisis or the industrial agriculture of the Green Revolution. The debates were not only between friends and comrades and organizations, but also included deputies and representatives of the government.

And yet what emerged was not a mess of contradictions, but a beautifully complex picture of solidarity and struggle. Relieving some of the high tensions after a day of debates, Moreno reminded everyone that they were together as revolutionaries. “We live conspiring. We have to be insurgents. Next year let’s come with sacks of seeds, not just little bags.”

Conclusion

The Guardians of Seeds in Monte Carmelo are returning to the source, and they are inviting the world to join them. Their program is an integrated plan of action, including mobilization, legislation, and production. It’s an uphill battle in difficult conditions, but their convictions, like their practices, are deeply rooted and not easily discouraged.

An international media and diplomacy war against Venezuela continues to confuse the world about what is really happening in Venezuela – to the extent where one of the more reliable news sources on the country is the corrections section of the New York Times. But the revolutionary process in Venezuela continues to make major strides. While detractors point to long lines for food, people in Venezuela are also pointing to the first anti-GMO seed law in the world, and an ecosocialist Plan of Sowing. While some claim human rights abuses, the National Human Rights Plan launched by the government for 2015-2019 is one of the most comprehensive in the world, also having been written with participation of thousands of people across the country.

For small farmers in Venezuela at the cutting edge of history, the future is now. What is called for both by the grassroots and also by the government, is nothing less than a new geography – where the cities don’t exploit the countryside – and a new calendar – where the seasonal and lunar cycles matter more than the electoral and business cycles.

Monte Carmelo doesn’t rest on its laurels. On October 31st, over fifty people from eight different countries gathered to discuss and debate “the convocation of the First Ecosocialist International.” They invite the world to join them in a return to the source, which takes us beyond the source, like the seed, which unites the soil to the sky.

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Britain’s House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee today issued a Report on Antisemitism in the UK that, while correctly identifying the far Right as the source of most hate crime, shows such bias in its sources and assessment of evidence that it calls into question the committee’s reputation and competence.

The Report, from a Tory dominated committee, takes up the weapons that have been used to try to unseat Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader by smearing those he has attracted to the Party with charges of antisemitism. The apparent collusion of Labour committee members reflects the dirty war being waged against Corbyn’s radical leadership by elements within the party.

Britain’s House of Commons Home Affairs Committee Report:                    

  • Depends on evidence from almost exclusively pro-Israel, anti-Corbyn sources
  • Advocates re-defining antisemitism so as to intimidate and silence pro-Palestinian voices, including making it a punishable offence to use the word Zionist “in an accusatory context”
  • Dismisses the Chakrabarti Report’s principled recommendations for fair and transparent disciplinary Labour Party procedures  in cases of alleged antisemitism and other forms of racism, proposing draconian, politically motivated measures instead

Prof Jonathan Rosenhead, from the Jewish-led campaign group Free Speech on Israel (FSOI), said the select committee had aligned itself with extreme pro-Israel advocates, by setting restrictive limits on what may and may not be said, threatening to close down free speech on Israel and Palestine.

“The dire record of antisemitism over the centuries and especially in the last one means that vigilance is essential,” said Prof Rosenhead. “But antisemitism is not, currently, the major racist threat in this country; nor is it a significant problem in the Labour Party. This report loses all sense of proportion. It risks actually weakening the defences against true antisemitism (‘hatred of Jews as Jews’) by trying to extend its meaning to include many legitimate criticisms of Israel.

“For those of us who argue, along with many other Jews and Israelis, that the Zionist project has inflicted intolerable injustice on the Palestinians, the adjective ‘Zionist’ inevitably has an ‘accusatory’ aspect.  But it is directed against the State of Israel and its founding ideology, not against Jews.”

Notes:

  1. House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee report on antisemitism http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/home-affairs-committee/inquiries/parliament-2015/inquiry2/publications/
  2. Free Speech on Israel is a network of labour, green and trade union activists in the UK, mainly Jewish, who came together in April 2016 to counter attempts by pro-Israel right wingers to brand the campaign for justice for Palestinians as antisemitic. 
  3. Prof Jonathan Rosenhead explores the workings of the campaign to discover antisemitism in every corner of Corbyn’s Labour Party https://opendemocracy.net/jonathan-rosenhead/jackie-walker-suspense-mystery
  4. Free Speech on Israel submission to the Chakrabarti Inquiry. https://www.scribd.com/doc/315237906/Free-Speech-on-Israel-Submission-to-Chakrabarti-Submission
  5. Asa Winstanley exposes the fabrication of many antisemitism allegations https://electronicintifada.net/content/how-israel-lobby-manufactured-uk-labour-partys-anti-semitism-crisis/16481
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The pro-jihadist « west » is doing its best to define the number of civilians in east-Aleppo up and the number of al-Qaeda fighters in the city down. If the current numbering trend continues there will be a no al-Qaeda fighters left in east-Aleppo even as none have left. They will be redefined into « moderate rebels » who are entitled to the failed ceasefire they had never accepted in the first place.

The terrorists in east-Aleppo are encircled and besieged. The Syrian army nibbles away piece after piece of their territorial hold while the Syrian and Russian air force attack any recognized concentrations of forces or material. It is only a question of time until they are completely defeated.

Most of the fighters in the besieged area are associated with al-Qaeda. They are several thousand strong. Only few civilians remain. The eastern parts once housed some 300,000 people. About 10% of those, likely less, are still there. That are the realistic numbers. The spin differs.

When in 2013 the sectarian rebels had enclosed and completely besieged (map) the government held parts of Aleppo every win of theirs was called a liberation.

They since killed many of the people they « liberated ». Others fled. But the tide has turned. This animated map shows the development from September 2015 to 2016. The now besieged « rebel » held areas in east-Aleppo are shrinking every day. This is today’s situation. Much of the northern parts of the besieged area, including the Palestinian camp Handarat, are back in government hands.


Sooner or later the Syrian army will try to split the « rebel » held part along the east-west road from the airport to the inner (old) city.

The number game is played in front of the United Nations and in the « western media ». The first marks from an October 5 post here:

« It is primarily al-Qaeda that holds Aleppo, » said (vid) the spokesperson of the U.S. led ‘Operation Inherent Resolve’, Colonel Warren. That was back in April and al-Qaeda (aka Jabat al-Nusra) has since strengthen its capacities in the city. The French Syria (military intelligence) expert Fabrice Balanche tells Le Figaro (translated from French):

[Al-Qaeda’s] grip on Aleppo’s east has only increased since the spring of 2016, when it sent 700 reinforcement fighters while moderate brigades fighters began to leave the area before the final exit was closed. The provisional opening of a breach of the siege of Aleppo in August 2016 (Battle of Ramousseh) has further increased its prestige and influence on the rebels.

The UN Special Envoy for Syria De Mistura told (vid, 27:43) the UN Security Council:

We have seen information from other sources that tell us more than half of the fighters present in eastern Aleppo are al-Nusra. We have also seen reports alleging the intentional placement of firing positions close to social infrastructure, inside and aside civilian quarters.

A few days after that speech De Mistura held a press conference in which he offered to escort al-Qaeda fighters out of the besieged area. He alos sharply revised the number of al-Qaeda fighters down to less than 10% of all fighters. From his October 6 press conference:

We have done a much more updated analysis of the al-Nusra reality in eastern Aleppo. I know I was quoted, and is correct, I did refer to a figure which was close to 50%, you must have heard it, I think it was in the context of the Security Council. Well based on a more accurate estimates, which are also more up to date, and which are never completely perfect but are in my opinion, quite reliable, we are talking now about a presence in eastern Aleppo of at maximum 900 people, 900 people. The previous figure probably was also based on the out of date figure, that about 1500 al-Nusra fighters had left Idlib and other locations in order to join the al- Ramousseh battle which you remember took place some time ago when they attempted to re-take al-Ramousseh road. But they, according to our information, did withdraw, once this counter-offensive did not succeed and failed. So this amends, and please take it now as the line, which can always be amended by facts and figures, and more effective analysis, but that amends the so-called 50% thing. 900 al-Nusra fighters in eastern Aleppo.The total number is, the question is of the fighters in general, including the so-called main stream fighters or the AOGs in eastern Aleppo, the maximum figure that is being considered as such is 8000 people, 8000.

So we went from « it is primarily al-Qaeda that holds Aleppo » to some 10% of all fighters there within a few month without any al-Qaeda fighter leaving. This while the siege was partially breached by the « rebels » in August and additional al-Qaeda fighters reportedly used the opening to entered the city.

One gets the feeling that Samantha Power herself, the « wailing banshee » and U.S. Ambassador to the UN, dictated those « more accurate estimates » to De Mistura.

But even those numbers are still too high some « diplomatic sources » now tell Reuters:

The number of Islamist rebels in eastern Aleppo who are not protected by any ceasefire deal, and can therefore be legitimately targeted, is far smaller than an estimate given by the United Nations, diplomatic sources have told Reuters.

Several sources independently told Reuters that de Mistura’s figure for JFS fighters was far too high, and the real number was no more than 200, perhaps below 100. One Western diplomat said it possibly had no more than a « symbolic » presence.

Next week we will be down to one or three « symbolic » al-Qaeda fighters in east-Aleppo. When De Mistura finally escorts them out he will need a few helpers to push the wheelchairs of those few, old and disabled people. That then will have « liberated » east-Aleppo from all Jihadi-fighters and only upright, secular and democratic rebels will remain. They will fall under the ceasefire (the one the U.S. and these « rebels » never accepted or immediately broke). They do not deserve to be targeted by Russia and the Syrian government – no matter what they do. That, at least, is what John Kerry and the « western » media will tell the people. It will of course be complete bullshit and no serious analysts will fall for it. But those do not get quoted in the media.

While the number of Jihadis and rebels gets defined down the number of civilians in the now besieged area goes up. The eastern besieged parts of the built-up city originally had some 300-400,000 inhabitants while the government held western parts held nearly 2,000,000. That is, at first sight of the above maps, irritating. But if one studies the satellite pictures underlying the maps in detail one will notice that at least half of the now besieged parts are open country and factory areas. The built-up share is much smaller than in the western parts. Current UN estimates for the western parts vary between 1.3 and 1.5 million. That is consistent with Syrian government claims. The UN has several relief missions and offices in the western parts and those estimates seem therefore reliable.

But for the eastern part the UN has given the abstruse estimates of 250,000-275,000. It has not given any sources for that number. It also has no offices and no missions in the eastern part. It is implausible that only very few people left an area that is ruled by various competing Jihadi groups, has had little electricity and water and has been fought over for years. Until very recently passages to west-Aleppo were open to civilians. The rebels only now blockade them.

An independent estimates of the real population in east-Aleppo comes from Martin Chulov, a journalist for The Guardian who has visited the area ten times since it was occupied by rebels from out of town. After his last visit he estimated the actual number of inhabitants to be down to 40,000:

Those who remain in eastern Aleppo, roughly 40,000 from a prewar population …

Just last week Chulov reconfirmed his observation:

I returned to the city for the last time. Finding residents in the east was difficult. Those who had stayed this long had no plans to leave. Umm Abdu, a wedding dress seamstress turned nurse was one of them.

Umm Abdu has left Aleppo, and few of the others I met along the way have stayed behind.

The Syrian government estimates are consistent with Chulov’s observations:

EHSANI2 @EHSANI22
According to well informed senior sources in #Damascus , number of civilians in #Aleppo does not exceed 60k according to their best estimate
11:02 AM – 14 Oct 2016EHSANI2 ‏@EHSANI22
@MoonofA @TPAtticus @CamilleOtrakji « range » of Syrian government estimate of civilians in E.Aleppo is 40k-60k…60k is high of the range
11:48 AM – 14 Oct 2016

In other siege areas where the rebels gave up to the Syrian government the numbers of people coming out of them were much smaller than the original inhabitants. The numbers were also smaller than all prior estimates. Daraya, near Damascus, originally had some 80,000 inhabitants. The numbers of besieged people in Daraya the UN had given were variously between several ten-thousands and down to 8,000. When the evacuation of Daraya started the Syrian army estimated that 800-1,200 fighters and 4,000 civilians would come out. In the end the numbers of leaving fighters was some 600-700 and less than 2,000 civilians turned up to leave. The area was searched and all had left.

Based on the Daraya numbers and those of other sieges in Syria there are probably no more than 4-5,000 fighters and some 3-5 civilians per fighter, i.e. their immediate families, in east-Aleppo. The real total could easily be as low as 20,000.

But even then the al-Qaeda fighters will be still be the majority of the « rebels » in the city. It is implausible that their total number is now less than the number which were earlier announced to enter as reinforcement. The official spinmasters talking to Reuters obviously want the numbers to be very, very low to keep the al-Qaeda fighters unharmed and in place for future operations.

I am confident that neither the Syrian nor the Russian military will be a sucker for such BS.  That role is reserved for « western » journalist and the the usual lobbyist-« analysts » who are employed by Qatar, the U.S. and other Jihadi sponsors.

Theo Patnos, who was held hostage by al-Qaeda in Syria for nearly two years, was interviewed by Vanity Fair (watch the video at that link). Asked what the presidential candidates know about Syria he responds:

They don’t know a thing about Syria. Neither do the journalists, by the way. They’re doing their best, but they don’t know. They’re guessing. They speak with great authority but they really know very little. I don’t criticize them for being incompetent, but I criticize them for not having the up-close knowledge. They’re speaking of a planet they’ve never visited but they speak as though they do know and it’s a little confusing for me.

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“It’ll be at a time of our choosing,” says U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, on NBC’’s “Meet the Press,” aired on Sunday, October 16th.

Interviewer Chuck Todd had asked him, “Why would he [Obama] send a message out to Putin?”

Biden (image right) pursed his lips, paused, and said, with a grim look on his face, “We sent him the message.”

Of course that didn’t answer Todd’s question, which was “Why?” Biden and Todd both remained silent for another tense moment.

Then, Biden picked up again: “We have the capacity to do it, and, uh,” and Todd interrupted him there with “He’ll know it?”

Biden replied: “He’ll know it, and it’ll be at a time of our choosing, and under circumstances that have the greatest impact. Uh, the capacity to do, to fundamentally alter the election, is not what people think; and, uh, I tell you what: to the extent that they do [‘do’ presumably meaning: fundamentally alter the election], we will be proportionate in what we do. And, uh,”

Todd again interrupted his interviewee, and said, “So, a message is going to be sent. Will the public know?” Biden replied, “Hope not.”

Full Biden Interview on NBC Meet The Press, October 16, 2016. Relevant section starts at 11′.47″

Of course, that “Hope not” could mean many things. It might mean: A blitz nuclear attack in line with our government’s belief that we now enjoy Nuclear Primacy (an idea that was first published by the Council on Foreign Relations in 2006, and which has never yet been renounced by the U.S. government, during the decade since). That would be very much a public response, which Biden would “hope not” to be ’necessary’. In other words: Biden might have meant, there: “I hope it won’t have to be that.” But, clearly, Biden isn’t wanting the public to understand anything, other than that President Obama has threatened President Putin, with something, and that it will be “proportionate,” and the excuse for it will be — if it will happen — that Putin had done something which Obama thinks caused Hillary Clinton to lose the election to Donald Trump.

Standing behind what Biden is saying there, is the belief that Putin does have in his possession some option that might “fundamentally alter the election.” This is clearly a threat that’s meant to deter Putin from doing something that Putin hasn’t yet done. Obama is telling Putin that either the winner will be the person he wants to be his successor, or else — or else what?

In other words: what Biden is saying, is that, if Trump wins this election, then there is going to be some sudden, unannounced, U.S. government response against Putin, and that only after it is over, will the U.S. government explain to the public why it did.

But, of course, that assumes Americans will still be alive, even if Russians are not; and, so, if the “proportionate” response turns out to be a blitz nuclear attack against Russia, then anyone who is still alive will be wondering: what was it ‘proportionate’ to?

The United States is no longer — at least not in Syria — actually fighting the thing that Trump calls “extremist Islamic terrorism”: we are instead arming Al Qaeda in Syria to overthrow and replace Putin’s ally, Bashar al-Assad, there.

All of the U.S. government’s talk against “ISIL” (the Sauds’ preferred acronym for “ISIS”) is mere distraction from the tens of thousands of other jihadist fighters from other jihadist groups that have also been imported by the U.S. and Saudi governments into Syria as Obama’s and the Sauds’ “boots on the ground” to overthrow Assad there.

The leadership now for all of those jihadist groups (except for ISIS itself) is, in fact, Al Qaeda in Syria, which has gone under the name “al-Nusra.” Nusra is supplying the leadership now to all the jihadist factions that have been sent into Syria; Nusra is the only jihadist group that possesses the long experience and training in jihad and military matters, which is needed in order to be able to overthrow Assad. Al Qaeda is now America’s essential ally, at doing what the U.S. government most wants to do: overthrow and replace Assad.

The U.S. is deadly serious about that intention, as can be seen here from the NBC News preview video of their interview with Biden, from which the above quotations are sourced. Looking at Biden’s face there, one can see that this is deadly serious. This isn’t about sexual aggression — either Donald Trump’s or Bill Clinton’s — it’s about the survival of civilization, or else nuclear war.

There have been many reports in the U.S. press saying that Obama has, ever since at least October 6th, been contemplating an all-out U.S. bombing campaign to bring down Assad. But that would mean war with Russia, which has been actively bombing Nusra and all the other jihadists in Syria.

Hillary Clinton is urging a “no-fly zone” in Syria, so that we can do to Assad what we did to another ally of Moscow, Muammar Gaddafi. However, when that was done to Gaddafi, Putin stood aside and wasn’t supplying military assistance to Gaddafi, which would have enabled Gaddafi to wipe out the fundamentalist Muslims who were trying to overthrow him. Russia is involved actively, this time, to prevent happening in Syria what happened in Libya. A no-fly zone in Syria would thus mean U.S. war against Russia.

These are tense times. Any escalation that the U.S. can do against Russia, can be met by an escalation that Russia can do against the United States.

Consequently, whatever escalation Obama is now threatening against Putin, might be met by an escalation on the other side. Where will it stop, or would it even be able to stop?

Whatever escalation Obama might consider to be ‘proportionate’, could consequently end up ending the world as we know it — and not for the better. Hillary Clinton has threatened Putin with war; now Barack Obama has done likewise.

Whatever Biden’s assignment here actually was from Obama, one thing about it is clear: this President is determined that Hillary Clinton be his successor, and Obama will target anyone who gets in his way if he doesn’t win his way on this. And Obama wants the American public to know that this is how he feels about the matter.

This Biden-interview is really intended, in that sense, to be a threat aimed at America’s voters, telling them, telling each one of us: Vote for Hillary Clinton, or else! He’s not telling us what that “or else!” is going to be — and maybe he himself has no accurate idea of how far it will ultimately cycle and go. Ultimately, whatever he thinks it would be, might not turn out to be the last step in this cycle of escalation — unless it’s going to go directly to a blitz attack against Russia.

Obama is thus coercing us, before he coerces Putin. He’s telling us: If we vote against Hillary Clinton — if she loses this election — then President Obama has something in mind that we won’t like — and he won’t wait until the next President is inaugurated on 20 January 2017 to do it, whatever ‘it’ might be. Obama here is threatenting not only Vladimir Putin, but the American people. Even if Obama truly believes that he alone possesses all the power, he does not, unless he possesses the power to terrorize America’s voters to elect Hillary Clinton, even if we otherwise would not.

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

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Kinder Morgan has been negotiating with landowners in 14 Ohio counties

BOWLING GREEN, OHIO — A Wood County Common Pleas judge ruled today that the company behind the Utopia East pipeline project does not have eminent domain rights, throwing a potentially expensive roadblock into the project’s path.

Judge Robert Pollex ruled that Kinder Morgan’s plan to pipe ethane from the Utica shale region in eastern Ohio to a chemical company in Windsor, Ont., is not necessary and not for a public use, and thus the company cannot use eminent domain to force Wood County landowners to give easements on their property.

CTY-millinger18p-10-12

Kinder Morgan, North America’s largest energy-infrastructure company, has been negotiating with landowners in 14 Ohio counties to build the 12-inch pipeline, which would transport the ethane — used in the production of plastics — to a pipeline in Michigan that then heads to Canada. The product would solely be used by NOVA Chemicals Corp., a Canadian company.

Wood County Common Pleas Judge Robert Pollex ruled today that the company behind the Utopia East pipeline project does not have eminent domain rights, throwing a potentially expensive roadblock into the project’s path.

For property owners who have not been willing to sell, or sell at the price Kinder Morgan proposed, the company has petitioned Ohio courts for the right to appropriate the property at fair value. Some of those cases are in Wood County, including one involving PDB Farms of Wood County, which is south of Pemberville.

Several dozen landowners have been represented by Andrew Mayle of the Fremont law firm Mayle, Ray & Mayle and by Maurice Thompson a lawyer and the founder and director of the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law in Columbus.

Judge Pollex’s ruling involved PDB Farms and several other landowners represented by Mr. Mayle and Mr. Thompson, as the judge consolidated several of the cases.

The product Kinder Morgan wants to transport is a byproduct of hydraulic fracturing of shale to extract oil and natural gas. Mr. Mayle said that pipeline companies are becoming increasingly aggressive, asserting eminent domain rights as they build pipelines across the Midwest.

“It’s probably the most important eminent domain case in the United States right now,” he said.

A Kinder Morgan official said this afternoon the company was reviewing the decision and would have a statement by the end of the day.

Ohio allows some private companies the right to use eminent domain if the project is for the public good. Among those companies are ”common carriers,” which can include pipeline companies transporting petroleum products.

Kinder Morgan has argued that the project is necessary and for the public use because the Utopia East pipeline would help in the development of America’s energy infrastructure, create hundreds of temporary union jobs and several permanent positions, and would amount to a $500 million investment.

However, Judge Pollex ruled that Kinder Morgan’s proposed project is not necessary or for public use, and does not qualify as a common carrier, because only the Canadian company would directly benefit. He also expressed incredulity that state law allows private companies to essentially grant themselves eminent domain rights.

“It is astonishing to this court that Kinder Morgan is able to make its own determination to proceed and not be required to obtain any permit or permission from a governmental entity,” Judge Pollex wrote.

The judge also wrote that, if Ohio’s laws were read to make Kinder Morgan a common carrier, that law would be an ”unconstitutional infringement on the property rights of the defendants.”

Mr. Mayle said he believes other judges in Wood, Lucas, Seneca, Sandusky, and other counties will use the ruling in their decisions in similar cases.

“We think this decision was spot on, and it was the right decision, and we think other courts will be persuaded by it and follow it,” he said.

The inability of Kinder Morgan — potentially other companies seeking to build pipelines — to use eminent domain would give landowners significantly more leverage in negotiations with the companies or force the companies to alter their pipeline routes.

Contact Nolan Rosenkrans at: [email protected] or on Twitter @NolanRosenkrans.

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The events in the Middle East, Syria and Aleppo are the focus of global attention. Rarely has a battle been so decisive to the outcome of a war and the fate of hundreds of millions of people around the world

Hillary Clinton in the last presidential debate repeatedly called for the establishment of a no-fly zone (NFZ) in Syria. The concept, reiterated several times, clashes with the revelation contained in her private emails admitting that the implementation of a NFZ would entail the increased deaths of Syrian civilians.

In a recent hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, General Philip Breedlove (image right) was asked what kind of effort would be required for the US armed forces to impose a NFZ over Syrian skies. With obvious embarrassment, the General was forced to admit that such a request would involve hitting Russian and Syrian aircraft and vehicles, opening the door to a direct confrontation between Moscow and Washington, a decision the General was simply not willing to take. The military leadership has always shown a readiness to implement the military option; so this time they must have sniffed the danger of a direct conflict with Moscow.

The Kremlin has publicly admitted to deploying in Syria the S-400 (image below) and S-300V4 advanced anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems respectively. The presence of the defense complex was intentionally announced as a factor of deterrence and is a logical strategy. The message to Washington is clear: any unidentified object in Syrian skies will be shot down.

The United States bases much of its military strength on the constant need to project power, making its opponents believe that it possesses capabilities that others do not hold. Therefore it is very unlikely» that the Pentagon would want to reveal to the world the worth of their stealth systems and their «legendary« American cruise missiles when faced with the S-300V4 or S-400. The Kosovo War serves to remind of the F-117 that was shot down by Soviet systems (S-125) dating from the 1960s.

Hillary Clinton’s threats against Moscow were not the only ones. The present policy makers in Washington continue to make aggressive statements demonstrating their total loss of touch with reality. In recent weeks, hysterical reactions were recorded by the Pentagon, the State Department, top military generals, and even representatives of American diplomacy. To emphasize the unhappiness prevalent in some Washington circles, several articles appeared in The Washington Post and The New York Times calling for the imposition of a US no-fly zone in Syria, ignoring the consequences highlighted by Dunford. There are two hypotheses under consideration: hitting the Syrian army air bases with cruise missiles, or the use of stealth planes to bomb Damascus’s A2/AD installations.

Behind Washington’s frantic reactions and vehement protests is the probability of military defeat. The US does not have any ability to prevent the liberation of Aleppo by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the Russian Federation. In the last fifteen days, the SAA and Russia have achieved significant progress, and it is this that has led to an escalation of tensions. Some of the most significant episodes reflecting this over the last few days include: jets of the international coalition hitting the SAA, causing 90 deaths; US government officials threatening Russia with the downing of her planes and the bombings of her cities, resulting in Russian civilian deaths; and the blaming of Moscow for an attack on a humanitarian convoy.

The climax seemed to have been reached at the United Nations where the US representatives prevented a Russian resolution condemning the terrorist attacks on the Russian embassy in Damascus. It is interesting to note that fifteen years after the attacks of September 11, 2001, Washington finds itself defending Al Nusra Front (AKA Al Qaeda) in an official United Nations meeting; something to ponder. But apparently there is no limit to provocations, and a few days after this incredible denouement, the Pentagon was keen to point out that the possibility of a preventive nuclear strike against Russia is still valid.

It therefore seems almost simplistic to emphasize that because of the success of the SAA, Washington, Ankara, Riyadh, Doha and Tel Aviv are showing unprecedented signs of weakness and nervousness. Their commitment to overthrowing the legitimate government of Assad has failed. The combined action of the Syrian and Russian ground, air and sea forces pushed Washington and the corporate media to move from words of condemnation to increasingly open threats.

Last month the situation against the terrorists quickly changed in the north of Syria thanks to the Syrian Arab Army and its allies supported by the West. In Aleppo, the SAA continues to work every day with great success toward the city’s liberation. Neighborhoods and large areas are back under government control. The relentless advances of the troops loyal to Assad are altering the course of the war in Syria in favor of Damascus, eliminating the US attempts to remove the legitimate Syrian government. A victory in Aleppo would mean the near certainty of defeat for the terrorists in the remaining areas of the country. The closing of the border with Turkey would cut the supply lines, with consequences and repercussions throughout Syria.

What would still remain open are a few crossing areas in the south of the country near the border with Jordan that have always been a supply source for terrorists. However, it would be very difficult for this supply line alone to sustain the conflict or adequately replace the one closed north of Aleppo. Especially in the north through Turkey, and to the west through the uncontrolled border with Iraq, the terrorists receive continuous supplies. The liberation of Mosul by the Iraqi army, Aleppo by the SAA, and Der Al-Zur in the near future, will pave the way for the strategic recapture of Raqqa, the last bastion of Daesh, thereby defeating even the Plan B to partition the country.

With the failure of the northern front, the terrorists will be faced with the probable prospect of the complete collapse of their operations nationwide. Some will continue to fight, but most will throw away their weapons knowing that they have lost the war. Once this is achieved, the liberation of the rest of Syria should be a matter of a few months. It should be remembered that the recapture of Aleppo would guarantee a crushing defeat for the regional sponsors of international terrorism (Qatar and Saudi Arabia).

Still, it is not only the advance of Aleppo that is cause for concern for enemies of Syria. Obama and his administration are now irrelevant, also because of one of the most controversial presidential elections in recent history. The uncertain future of Washington’s foreign policy has prompted partners such as Riyadh, Doha, Ankara and Tel Aviv not to hesitate in further adding fuel to the Syrian conflagration, worried about any future inactivity from Washington and eager to advance their own military solution to the conflict.

In the case of Ankara, the invasion of Iraq and Syria is a serious danger that risks plunging the region into further chaos and destruction, with the Iraqi prime minister not hesitating to label the Turkish move reckless and warning of the conflict expanding into a regional conflict. Saudi Arabia’s problems are even greater, as it does not have the ability, in terms of men and means, to intervene directly in Syria because of its disastrous involvement in the war in Yemen. The speed with which confidence in Riyadh is crumbling is unprecedented. Her large currency reserves are dwindling, and it seems it is because tens of billions of dollars have been squandering in financing the military action against Yemen. Another example of independent military action concerns Israel.

Four years into the Syrian conflict, Israel continues its secret war against Hezbollah and Iranian troops, who are engaged in areas bordering Israel in fighting al-Nusra Front and Daesh. For Tel Aviv, there are still two options desirable to the Syrian crisis, both in line with their strategy, namely, the continuation of chaos and disorder, or a balkanization of Syria. In both cases, the objective is to expand Israel’s sphere of influence far beyond the Golan Heights, which were occupied illegally years ago.

The unsuccessful attempts of Turkey, Israel and Saudi Arabia to change events in Syria have highlighted the growing strategic misunderstandings between the United States and regional partners, misunderstandings that often oblige Ankara, Riyadh and Tel Aviv to turn to the Russian Federation for confidential dialogue, since Moscow is the only player able to adjust the delicate Middle East equilibrium.

In the near future, it remains evident to Moscow and Damascus that some risks still exist, despite a well-considered overall strategy. The acceleration in the liberation of Aleppo also has an ancillary purpose that aims to minimize maneuverability for the next American administration. In a certain way, it is a race against time: Aleppo must be liberated in order to chart the way towards the end of the conflict before the next US president comes into office in January 2017. It is yet to be seen whether Clinton or Trump plan to go beyond Obama’s empty threats, but understandably Damascus and Moscow have no intention of being caught off guard, especially with a probable Clinton presidency.

After years of negotiations with the schizophrenic diplomacy of the US, Moscow and Damascus have decided to protect themselves against any sudden decisions that may come from the American «deep state». Deploying the most advanced systems existing in air defense, Moscow has called Washington’s bluff as no one has done in years. The red line for Moscow was crossed by the tragic events of September 17 in Der al-zur. The creation by the Russians of a no-fly zone over Syrian skies has been repeatedly suggested. But incredibly, in the hours immediately after the cowardly attack against Syrian troops, the US Department of Defense and the State Department proposed the creation of a no-fly-zone that would serve to ground Russian and Syrian planes. It was a brazen and provocative proposal for Damascus and Moscow if there ever was one.

Sensing the danger in these words, Moscow acted immediately, deploying cutting-edge systems to protect Syrians skies with equipment that can shoot down cruise missiles, stealth aircraft, and even ballistic missiles (S-300 and S-400). To make sure Washington fully understood the message, the Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) reiterated what was already publicly announced, namely that any unidentified object would be shot down immediately, as there would not be any sufficient time for Russian operators to verify the original launch, trajectory and final target of any objects detected. It is a clear warning to the US and its long-standing strategy that requires the use of large amounts of cruise missiles to destroy anti-aircraft systems in order to pave the way for a no-fly zone as was seen in Libya.

The Russian MoD has even specified that American fifth-generation stealth aircraft could be easily targeted, alluding to a radius of operation of the S-200 systems, S-300 and S-400 (and all variants) that would surprise many international observers. This statement also seems to indirectly confirm another theory that remains pure speculation, which is that during the September 17 attack by the US on the SAA in Der Al-Zur seem, some jets from the international coalition were targeted by Russian or Syrian air-defense systems (perhaps S-200s or S-400s), forcing the airplanes to retreat before facing the prospect of being shot down.

Whatever the intentions that are hidden behind Washington’s hysterical threats, Moscow has suggested several asymmetrical scenarios in response to a direct attack on its personnel in Syria. In addition to the S-300 and S-400 systems, the MoD has openly declared its knowledge of the exact locations of US special forces in Syria, a clear reference to the Syrian and Russian ability to strike US soldiers operating alongside terrorists or moderate rebels.

All of Major-General Igor Konashenkov’s recent press conferences have clearly shown new systems deployed in Syria for air defense, a more than intentional advertisement. Aside from deterrence continuing to be one preferred instrument adopted by Moscow, the unusually strong, direct and unambiguous words of the Russian MoD easily show how the patience of Moscow and Damascus has been exhausted, especially following the recent sequence of events as well as repeated threats.

In such a scenario, the US can only rely on one weapon: complaints, threats and hysterical crying amplified by the mainstream media, generals and the official spokespeople of dozens of agencies in Washington. Nothing that can actually stop the liberating action of the SAA and its allies.

The United States has no alternatives available to prevent an outcome to the conflict that is undesirable for it.

Whichever route it chooses, there is no way to change the events in Syria. Even American generals had to admit that a no-fly zone in Syria is out of the question. It is easy for US State Department spokesperson Admiral Kirby to launch empty threats, but it is more difficult for the military to act on these threats while avoiding a nuclear apocalypse. Whatever the outcome of the upcoming presidential elections, the war in Syria for the United States and its regional partners is irretrievably lost, and the hysteria and provocations of recent weeks is symptomatic of the frustration and nervousness that has not been common for Americans in recent years.

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The Democratic Swindle: Hillary Or Trump?

octobre 16th, 2016 by Luciana Bohne

“Do you think we would be better off under Hillary or Trump,” asked the members of my Writing Group, at the meeting first Sunday in October.

“It’s not an either/or matter. I can’t give you a short answer.”

But afterwards, I wrote the answer here.

We have political democracy in America but scarce economic democracy. We have the political structures of democracy, but they teeter on foundations of exceptions. These check the advance of genuine democracy from below. We have democracy for the few and exclusion for the many. We have socialism for capital and capitalism for the rest. Every political right or freedom, moreover, is provisional. It comes with clauses of exception in small print or loopholes accrued over time. These preserve the state’s privilege to rescind them.

We have a democracy that contradicted itself from inception. It professed that “all men” were born equal, except those un-people who were legalized chattel—the property of men who bought them. This infant democracy, too, restricted the vote to men of property, encouraging ownership by theft of lands belonging to those other un-people—the native nations. That pattern of dispossession is evident today in the systematic violence against black youth. Black men are 6.6 percent of the population; they are 40 percent of 2.3 million of the incarcerated population, up from 375.000 in 1970. Six million citizens who have served their sentences are not allowed to vote.

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The nature of our democracy

Property, not the demos, was engineered as the nec plus ultra of vital interests into the DNA of our constitutional machinery. Ostracism waved the semaphore on top of the shining hill of white post-colonial America. We seized, we owned, we profited, or we didn’t belong to the utopian enclave—the exalted den of zealous profiteers.

The ethic of greed and competition hardly insures social harmony. It is secured by buying public opinion. This means building a superstructure of ideological control. It means conditioning the public to adopt as their own the values and interests of the ruling elite. Therefore, the inculcated belief in the sanctity of property induces the ruled to believe that “the pursuit of happiness” consists in the acquisition of material goods—not, as understood by the thinkers of the Enlightenment, the acquisition of the right to self-development, denied under the rigid social structures of feudalism.

The notion of property in capitalism predicates exploitation. It is not the guarantee of public welfare, harmony, and security. Property is the mother of racism, war, genocide, and inhumanity. We have, in our huckster democracy, good citizens who oppose war and racism, but opposing wars and racism in a property-obsessed state is like opposing the fire in Hell. Fire is the nature of Hell as property is the nature of our state. We must call for abolishing Hell.

“It is quite obvious,” wrote the young Frederick Engels in his first published book, The Conditions of the Working Class in England, observing the emerging democracy of the industrial age in England, “that all legislation is calculated to protect those that possess property against those who do not.”

The swindle

When you have political democracy without economic justice, you have form without content. Karl Marx, who with Engels studied the emerging constitutions of liberal Europe, especially after the revolutions of 1848-49, wrote it all up in The Holy Family, and called this vested, partial democracy, “the democratic swindle.” He considered the US the model country of this “swindle,” the most democratic in constitutional form, the most effective for regulating the people’s passions within the limits of ruling class interests, insuring social peace in the vise of its brutal liberal embrace.

To be sure our constitution was the most democratic of the emerging liberal age.

In Europe, for example, nascent liberal constitutions were blighted by a reactionary impulse toward the preservation of degrees of despotism. Not ours. In writing, we repudiated kings and despots. We were “we the people.” We ruled. We had graduated from subjects to citizens.

It was a brilliant hoax, the illusion of power resting with the people. “For god’s sake, let them vote; don’t be afraid of elections,” whispered the US elites to their fretful counterparts in Europe in the late 19th century. “Let them warrant their own subjection with the vote. Let them think they rule the state. You will have social harmony at a cheaper rate than you do now with the expenditures on dungeons and gendarmes.”

Europe listened because the socialist movements took off in massive earnest at the end of the 19th century, demanding social and economic justice. They listened because international socialism threatened to unite in common struggle against imperialism the subject peoples of the colonies with the subject masses in the imperial motherland. The laboring masses of Europe realized that if the sun never set on the British Empire, it never rose on British slums.

To reassert social harmony, concessions were made. Then the socialist movement was wiped out in the First World War, both a class and an inter-imperialist war. The rising tide of consciousness of general oppression subsided and crashed on the mud of Flanders and the trenches of the Western front. On the Eastern front, the tide held, wiped out autocracy in Russia, and began the experiment of people’s rule. One thing the imperialists did not take into account when they egged on the people of each nation to kill the people of the other was the reflection that wars are the crucible of revolution. If there is a silver lining in the ongoing butchery of today’s wars by the West against post-independence colonial places it is the hope that history will repeat itself in a blow-back of global revulsion and revolt.

Neoliberalism sets in

Since 1945, the American two-party system succeeded brilliantly in maintaining a controlled social order, playing a game of pretend conservative and progressive opposition. In reality, the game was played to confine the people to a political closet of stiflingly narrow proportions, a suffocating space of political choices, in which all the people were expected to do was face-off over whatever trivial or expense-free concession the state threw at one group or the other. Keep them agitated but leashed; give them the impression that in dissenting and debating, they live in a free society. This is how the rulers liked it: the people divided but hemmed in. True, occasionally the people broke out and took to the streets, but minimal concessions were made, and they returned to the closet to squabble over their merits or demerits.

In the 1970s, the rulers made a momentous decision. They noted that the rate of profit on investments within the welfare state was flat. They noted that maintaining the industrial economy had too many overhead costs. They noted that concessions made to insure social harmony had accumulated to a tipping point at which the freedom of capital to expand was at risk. They decided to take it all back: the industrial investment in the country’s continuing development; the progress of workers’ rights; the cost of social services; the regulations on banking; the restrictions on financial schemes and gambles. In short, they wanted the pre-Great Depression undisciplined Wall Street casino back.

They knew they were embarking on social warfare. They knew the people would suffer, but they trusted that the ravages of neoliberal scorched-earth policies would take time to bite home. The predictable revolt against pauperization could be delayed by retribalizing society into identity groups, each seeking the attention of the state to a single issue. We became a nation of Balkanized minorities because the state knew that our strength—our only weapon—was united in numbers. Atomized, we could be dealt with

When in the late 1970s, the steel industry left Pittsburgh for Brazil, though the rate of profit was 12%, the area was economically devastated. Teaching composition 90 miles north of Pittsburgh, I read essays in the 1980s from students at the working-class public university where I taught. The essays told heart-wrenching stories of family’s distress—steelworker fathers who lost their jobs, drank, quarreled with wives, divorced.

More painful to read, however, were the causes the students attributed to the insecurity of their young lives. They cited too stringent environmental laws; excessive corporate taxation; union greed. They surrendered their reason to the passion of resentment which the Republican Party stoked using the cudgel of racism. They supposed democracy had gone too far with Affirmative Action, favoring one group over another. They agreed that “government was too big” and welfare too lavish. The philistines in the Republican Party compensated their misguided trust with pedantic lucubrations on family and religious values, the “sanctity of life,” the sobriety of the death penalty as social discipline—measures that did not deplete the defense budget or the corporate subsidies by a single cent. The prison complex became a lucrative site for private investment and exploitation—the Workhouse of the British 19th century.

The Democratic Party, meanwhile, preached racial tolerance but passed draconian laws incarcerating the most vulnerable—the young, the poor, and disproportionately black. They “reformed” welfare, and led resentful whites to believe that uppity blacks were losing their handouts. In reality, most people on welfare were poor whites. The Democratic Party launched the discourse of multiculturalism, ghettoizing social groups by single-issue politics, which further fractured social cohesion, solidarity, and cooperation.

What lay buried under the discourses of values and identity was class, the unmentionable, the proscribed. The American working class ceased to exist as a linguistic entity in public and intellectual discourse. It ceased to exist politically, because when language dies, the people’s history, culture, and consciousness die, too. So the Democrats passed NAFTA and CAFTA, acts of economic aggression against labor at home and abroad. They repealed the Glass-Steagall Act to throw the door open to untrammeled financial license, which gave us the crash of 2007-8, when the bullshit of both parties finally hit the fan. The hitherto divided and apathetic polity broke out in a chorus of irate rage against “the rich.” Here was the political backwardness of the American people, so assiduously cultivated by both parties, awakening to a perception of class as a social relation of unequal power in society.

Social harmony breaks down

In this year’s presidential electoral campaign, we’ve seen the grip of control by both parties loosening. The halcyon days of class conciliation and of cooperation by the working population with the interests of economic elites have clearly come to some sort of beginning of the end. The somnambulist voters who had formerly lined up behind the candidate selected by their respective parties —Republicans to the fake right, Democrats to the fake left—suddenly woke up, broke out of their apathy in disorderly, riotous, unexpected disobedience.

Twelve million voters joined the campaign of “independent” Senator Bernie Sanders, who offered himself as the candidate of democratic socialism. 13.3 million became partisans of the billionaire real estate entrepreneur Donald Trump, the upstart rogue candidate of the Republican Party. In reality, neither candidate acknowledged the magnitude of the problem of world capitalism in crisis, the root cause of the return to rapacious capitalism, advanced by neoliberalism. Neither grasped or confessed to grasp that neoliberalism was a necessity for capitalism’s survival. Thus, both proposed to set the clock back to a time when the American people prospered, Sanders to the economics of the New Deal; Trump to the days of industrial Fordism, two options specifically trashed by neoliberal economics. Hillary Clinton, as Bill Clinton’s partner in neoliberal ideology and practice, does understand that neoliberalism is the last battle for the global hegemony of international capital. That is why she’s the candidate of the Bush Neo-Cons.

But the people, driven by their increasingly dire material conditions, had finally had enough. The Obama years had put paid to any hope for change—to any lingering trust in the promises of both parties. The wars continued and intensified, raising the defense budget to over 600 billion dollars; the military-industrial complex garnered riches to raise the envy of Croesus; surveillance intensified; the banks recovered and profited, while the people chewed on the crumbs of austerity; the export of capital rushed out of a country badly in need of investments; the job market offered precarious, insecure, and underpaid work; the anti-labor, anti-sovereignty international trade deals pressed on. Corruption. Police violence. Scapegoating immigrants—and massive deportations. Media control. Lies. Belligerence. Destructive foreign policy: military aggression and regime change. Shredding of international law and treaties. Fake humanitarianism. Loss of the “good opinion of the world,” which the Constitution so anxiously bid the people of the United States to cultivate. In lieu of good neighbors, our rulers aspire to become abusive landlords of the globe.

The people are ashamed. In some corner of their darkening conscience, they are ashamed of their country. Increasing poverty strips them of their dignity. They must feel shame for the conditions of their private and national lives. And that is not good for the rulers: shame is an emotion where revolutionary consciousness begins. Who can live long without self-respect before resorting to revolt or succumbing to loathing humanity so as to displace self-loathing, as fascists do? Above all, who can live long in a society where endemic violence is a clear symptom of its doleful absence of love?

Conclusion

Trump or Hillary? Wrong question. Rather, we need to realize that in so far as it is the choice the leaders propose, it is a trap, which now we cannot escape but from which we can take instruction for the future. In the liberal culture in which we have all been educated—Republicans or Democrats– we are used to looking for saviors from above. We attach ourselves to the powerful. We look upward for emancipation, but radical change and democratization come from below. That’s where the hardness is, but that’s what scares us. We are soft because we don’t know our own strength, and as long as we don’t know it, we are subjects–not citizens.

We should see in both the Trump and the Sanders partisan defections from the mainstream parties the glimmer of a potential—in fact, a necessity– of organizing a party of the people. We could even call it Party of the Basket of Deplorables, for if we exclude the “messy masses” (the term Marx and Engels used, to mock the contempt in which they were held by the arrogant elite), we admit that democracy hasn’t a prayer. They are “messed up,” but are they to blame, who have ceased to matter, or even exist, on the front of the class war that has been launched against democracy—that is, against us all?

The color line must be erased. That is an imperative for unity. In America, racism is the endemic, the recurring plague. It is the root of our political disunity. So that is the first task: educate it out of existence. Engels, who shared his life with Mary Burns, Irish Republican radical, well understood the racism against the Irish pervading the English working class. This was no mere psychological disorder. It arose because the manufacturers of the Midlands imported Irish labor as scabs to break strikes. Nevertheless he saw in the English working class the strength required for a social revolution:

“England exhibits the noteworthy fact that the lower a class stands in society and the more ‘uneducated’ it is in the usual sense of the word, the closer is its relation to progress and the greater is its future.”

I have tried “to patiently explain”—Lenin’s maxim—and, in the length of the explanation that is not even a “straight” answer, I may have exhausted the reader’s patience, but it is important to know, that if we vote for either of the two candidates, we do so without the illusion that elections give us power. If we vote for the “lesser evil” let it be for the last time, for evil it will be.

Luciana Bohne is co-founder of Film Criticism, a journal of cinema studies, and teaches at Edinboro University in Pennsylvania. She can be reached at: [email protected]

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