‘Terrifying’: AT&T Spying On Americans For Profit.

octobre 26th, 2016 by Nadia Prupis

If companies are allowed to operate in this manner without repercussions, our democracy has no future’

Telecommunications giant AT&T is spying on Americans for profit and helped law enforcement agencies investigate everything from the so-called war on drugs to Medicaid fraud—all at taxpayers’ expense, according to new reporting by The Daily Beast.

The program, known as Project Hemisphere, allowed state and local agencies to conduct warrantless searches of trillions of call records and other cellular data—such as « where a target is located, with whom he speaks, and potentially why »—for a massive range of investigations, the Beast‘s Kenneth Lipp reports. In one case examined by the news outlet, a sheriff’s office in Victorville, California used Hemisphere to track down a homicide suspect.

Hemisphere was first revealed by the New York Times in 2013, but was described at the time as a « partnership » between AT&T and drug enforcement agencies used in counter-narcotics operations.

Neither, it turns out, is entirely true.

Lipp writes:

AT&T’s own documentation—reported here by The Daily Beast for the first time—shows Hemisphere was used far beyond the war on drugs to include everything from investigations of homicide to Medicaid fraud.

Hemisphere isn’t a « partnership » but rather a product AT&T developed, marketed, and sold at a cost of millions of dollars per year to taxpayers. No warrant is required to make use of the company’s massive trove of data, according to AT&T documents, only a promise from law enforcement to not disclose Hemisphere if an investigation using it becomes public.

The details were revealed as AT&T seeks to buy out Time Warner in a mega-merger that media watchdogs are warning would create « dangerous concentrations of political and economic power. »

Evan Greer, campaign director at the digital rights group Fight for the Future, said Tuesday, « The for-profit spying program that these documents detail is more terrifying than the illegal [National Security Agency] surveillance programs that Edward Snowden exposed. Far beyond the NSA and FBI, these tools are accessible to a wide range of law enforcement officers including local police, without a warrant, as long as they pay up. »

« It makes me sick to my stomach thinking about it, » Greer said.

While the government can request that private companies hand over user data, the documents show that AT&T went above and beyond to make the operation profitable, Lipp writes. ACLU technology policy analyst Christopher Soghoian told the Beast, « Companies have to give this data to law enforcement upon request, if they have it. AT&T doesn’t have to data-mine its database to help police come up with new numbers to investigate. »

And because the contract between the telecom company and the U.S. government stipulates only that agents not speak about Hemisphere if a probe using it becomes public, investigators may be left with no choice but to create a false narrative to explain how they obtained certain evidence, according to Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) attorney Adam Schwartz.

« This document here is striking,” Schwartz told Beast. « I’ve seen documents produced by the government regarding Hemisphere, but this is the first time I’ve seen an AT&T document which requires parallel construction in a service to government. It’s very troubling and not the way law enforcement should work in this country. »

« At a minimum there is a very serious question whether they should be doing it without a warrant. A benefit to the parallel construction is they never have to face that crucible. Then the judge, the defendant, the general public, the media, and elected officials never know that AT&T and police across America funded by the White House are using the world’s largest metadata database to surveil people, » he said.

Greer added: « Customers trusted AT&T with some of their most private information, and the company turned around and literally built a product to sell that information to as many government agencies and police departments as they could. Not only did they fail to have any safeguards to prevent unauthorized use of the data, they actually required law enforcement to keep the program secret and dig up or fabricate other evidence, to hide the fact that they’d received information from AT&T. »

Fight for the Future called on AT&T to shut down the program and on the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate Hemisphere and reveal all the cases in which it was used.

« If companies are allowed to operate in this manner without repercussions, our democracy has no future, » Greer said.

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Civilian Toll Mounts As Mosul Offensive Enters Second Week

octobre 26th, 2016 by Bill Van Auken

With the US-led offensive to retake Mosul from the Islamic State (ISIS), there are increasing reports of death and suffering on the part of Iraqi civilians caught up in the fighting and facing retribution from both ISIS and troops and militias loyal to Baghdad.

Abdul-Ghani Asadi, the commander of the Iraqi army’s anti-terrorism contingent, reported Monday that Iraqi artillery has advanced close enough to Mosul to begin systematically shelling the city, which was once Iraq’s second largest metropolis and still has a population of over 1 million. It fell to ISIS in 2014, when a far superior force of US-trained Iraqi government troops fled in the face of the Sunni Islamist fighters.

If the brutal and reactionary Islamist militia has been able to hold the city for so long, it is in no small part because of the overwhelming hostility within Mosul’s population toward the central government in Baghdad, whose Shia-dominated security forces systematically suppressed and abused Sunnis throughout Iraq.

These sectarian fissures, the product of the wholesale destruction of the US war of aggression begun in 2003 and the subsequent divide-and-rule methods of the eight-year American occupation, are now being deepened by the Mosul offensive, with the city’s civilians paying the price.

There are already reports of Sunni civilians fleeing Mosul at the risk of being killed by ISIS, only to be imprisoned and brutalized at the hands of Iraqi security forces once they escape.

The Washington Post Tuesday profiled one woman who with her six children fled Mosul to the south and into the oncoming Iraqi security forces.

“… as the woman spoke in a camp for newly displaced people south of Mosul—watched by men with guns, with no electricity or food in her tent and her children playing in dirt—her escape seemed like the prelude to another miserable ordeal.”

In the same camp, a group of shepherds said “they had been beaten by soldiers after they escaped from the Islamic State.”

In another camp to the east of Mosul, the Post reported, “dozens of young men who had fled areas in and around the city were kept behind a padlocked gate, sequestered from families who moved freely in other parts of the camp. Some had been there for 40 days without any indication of when they would be allowed to leave, they said.

‘We fled a prison for another prison,’ said Mohamed Asad, who sat with a group of young men in a tent.”

In earlier offensives to drive ISIS out of the cities of Fallujah and Ramadi in Anbar province, hundreds of Sunni men were massacred and many faced torture at the hands of Iraqi government troops and Shia militias.

Meanwhile, in Kirkuk, the oil-rich city to the south of Mosul, efforts by the Kurdish Peshmerga militia to defeat ISIS fighters who launched attacks there last week to draw forces away from Mosul have reportedly led to acts of collective punishment against Kirkuk’s large Sunni Arab population.

The New York Times cited UN officials and local residents as reporting that Kurdish officials in Kirkuk “responded by forcing out hundreds of Arab families who had sought safety there.”

“Arab residents of Kirkuk who were interviewed on Tuesday reported that armed Kurdish security agents had removed families from homes and forced them to move to camps,” the Times reported. “They said several homes were also destroyed, in what appeared to be a methodical attempt to force out as many Arabs as possible.”

In Kirkuk, as in Mosul itself, the US-backed offensive is sowing the seeds for subsequent sectarian warfare with the potential of drawing in regional powers, including Turkey and Iran.

Reports have also begun to filter out of Mosul of brutal reprisals by ISIS against those suspected of opposing its rule.

UN human rights spokesman Rupert Colville told a UN meeting Geneva that Iraqi security forces had discovered the bullet-riddled bodies of 70 civilians in the village of Tuloul Naser, near Mosul, on October 20. It was also reported that 50 former police officers being held outside the city had also been killed.

In another incident reported in the village of Safina, 15 civilians were massacred and their bodies were thrown into the river, while six men were tied to a vehicle and dragged through the village in an attempt to terrorize the local population.

Colville also recounted a report that ISIS fighters had shot to death three women and three girls, while wounding four other children, after they lagged behind during a forced relocation.

Given the record of ISIS, these reports are highly credible, as are claims that the Islamist militia intends to use the civilian population as “human shields.” What is striking about the ample reporting of these facts in the Western media is the contrast to their total silence over similar atrocities carried out by the US-backed “rebels,” Al Qaeda-linked militias similar to ISIS, across the border in Syria.

This blatant double standard has a long history. ISIS was not seen as a problem by Washington until it stormed across the border into Iraq and overran a large swathe of Iraqi territory, while exposing the utter rot within the Iraqi state and its US-trained security forces.

With the present offensive against Mosul, there are reports that one aim of the US intervention is to send the ISIS fighters back across the border into Syria to fight another day, rather than destroy them.

CNN cited Sheikh Abdullah Alyawer, a tribal leader in the town of Rabia, on Iraq’s border with Syria, as saying that hundreds of ISIS fighters and their families have been pouring across the border at an ISIS-controlled crossing point at Ba’aaj, south of Sinjar.

The report appeared to confirm earlier charges from both the Syrian government and Moscow that the US and its allies had intentionally left open a corridor to the west of Mosul, a rat line to facilitate the transfer of the Islamist fighters into Syria in order to strengthen the flagging war for “regime change” initiated by Washington over five years ago.

Speaking to a meeting of defense ministers from 13 countries in Paris, French President Francois Hollande warned of the transfer of ISIS fighters from besieged Mosul to Raqqa in Syria. “In these columns of people leaving Mosul will be hiding terrorists who will try to go further, to Raqqa in particular,” he said.

Russia’s military command issued a statement on Tuesday that it was monitoring the Iraqi-Syrian border and had warplanes prepared to carry out airstrikes against ISIS forces attempting to escape. Such an intervention would cut across US objectives and again heighten the danger of a military confrontation between the two major nuclear powers.

In an editorial on the Mosul offensive, the Wall Street Journal Tuesday pointed to one of the principal objectives Washington is pursuing with its deployment of thousands of US troops in support of the campaign.

“Defeating Islamic State in Mosul is a vital U.S. interest, but the only way the next Administration will be able to prevent an Islamic State resurgence or Iranian domination of the region is a long-term U.S. deployment in Iraq of several thousand troops, both for political leverage with Iraq and other regional players and as a regional rapid-reaction force,” the editorial states. In other words, the battle for Mosul is only part of the preparations for far wider US wars in the Middle East and beyond.

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The decision whether to allow the commercialisation of the first genetically modified (GM) food crop (mustard) in India rumbles on. As I have previously discussed here, the bottom line is government collusion over GM crop technology (that is not wanted and not needed) with transnational agribusiness, which is trying to hide in the background. 

The real story behind GM mustard in India is that it presents the opportunity to make various herbicide tolerant (HT) mustard hybrids using India’s best germ plasm, which would be an irresistible money spinner for the developers and chemical manufacturers (Bayer-Monsanto). GM mustard is both a Trojan horse and based on a hoax.

Various high-level reports (listed here) have advised against introducing GM food crops to India. Allowing for not one but three GMOs (which is what the GM mustard in question constitutes, when we include its two crucial GM parental lines) is according to campaigner Aruna Rodrigues a serious case of regulatory ‘sleight-of-hand’, permissible due to diluted rules to ensure easy compliance.

If allowed to go through, India will be forced to accept a highly toxic and unsustainable technology suited to monocropping. HT GM crops would be particularly unsuitable for its agriculture given the large number of small farms growing a diverse range of crops alongside mustard that contribute towards agricultural biodiversity and, in turn, diverse, healthy diets.

The processes being used to push through GM mustard are, according to this writ by Rodrigues, based on fraud and unremitting regulatory delinquency. She argues that the whole system is in addition being protected by a subterranean process of regulation that has also broken India’s constitutional safeguards by keeping the biosafety data hidden from the nation.

Rodrigues says, “These matters require criminal prosecution.”

New development

The government has now told the Supreme Court (SC) that it won’t release GM mustard without the court’s say so. At the same time, however, it strongly opposes the writ filed by Rodrigues.

In an affidavit response to Aruna Rodrigues’ writ, however, the Union of India revealed something that merited a press release from the civil organisation Navdanya and Aruna Rodrigues (presented in full below this article).

According to the press statement, the government’s response contained an admission by the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) itself that no claim had been made in any documents submitted to it that HT Mustard DMH 11 out-performs non-GMO hybrids.

So then, what is the point of GM mustard? And what were all the claims being made in media about GM mustard outperforming non-GMO hybrids by 25-30% in yield?

According to the press statement, that claim was also made by the developers (Dr Pental and his team at Delhi University) and is clearly recorded by the media. It also notes that the claim of superior yield was implied in the Supreme Court (SC) during a ‘hearing’ (24 October) on India’s import bill for edible oil.

The press statement says:

“It is now clear, by the GEAC’s own admission, that DMH 11 does not out-yield India’s best non-GMO cultivars and this includes hybrids against which this mustard was not tested.”

Navdanya and Aruna Rodrigues ask:

“Therefore, what is the Union of India’s point? Is this HT mustard being introduced because of its ability to just make hybrids? Given that it does not outperform our non-GMO hybrids, the argument collapses on its essential lack of science and reasoned thinking.”

They conclude that this HT Mustard DMH 11 is not needed – which is in fact the first step of a risk assessment protocol for GM crops!

HT mustard DMH 11 will make no impact on the domestic production of mustard oil, which was a major reason why it was being pushed in the first place. The argument was that GM mustard would increase productivity and this would help reduce imports of edible oils. Implicit in this was that India’s farmers were unproductive and GM would help overcome this.

While it is clear that India’s imports of edible oils have indeed increased, this is not as a result of an underperforming home-grown sector. India essentially became a dumping ground for palm oil. Until the mid-1990s, India was virtually self-sufficient in edible oils. Then import tariffs were reduced, leading to an influx of cheap (subsidised) edible oil imports that domestic farmers could not compete with.

This was a deliberate policy that effectively devastated the home-grown edible oils sector and served the interests of palm oil growers and US grain and agriculture commodity company Cargill, which helped write international trade rules to secure access to the Indian market on its terms. It therefore came as little surprise that in 2013 India’s then Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar accused US companies of derailing the nation’s oil seeds production programme.

Supporters of GM twisted this situation to call for the introduction of GM mustard to increase productivity.

Now their arguments on virtually each and every count have been shown to be erroneous and constitute little more than a cynical ruse to facilitate Bayer-Monsanto GM food crops and associated agropoisons entry into India.

PRESS RELEASE

UNION OF INDIA REPLY AFFIDAVIT 20/21 OCT 2016

GEAC STATES: “NO CLAIM MADE THAT DMH 11 OUTPERFORMS NON-GMO HYBRIDS”

“No such claim has been made in any of the submitted documents that DMH 11 out-performs Non-GMO hybrids. The comparison has only been made between hybrid DMH 11, NC (national Check) Varuna and the appropriate zonal checks — MSY of 2670 Kg/ha has been recorded over three years of BRL trials which is 28% and 37% more than the NC & ZC respectively”. (Ref. U of India Reply Pg 55 point 86-88)

Petitioner Comment:

With this statement, the Union of India effectively buries its own ‘raison d’être’ for its HT Mustard DMH 11. The following points may be noted:

(a)   The claim of a 25-30% increase in yield may not have technically been made in the SC. This adherence to a technicality is mischievous to the extreme, but much more moot is that the Regulators by this argument cut the grass from under their own feet.

The above yield is indeed the claim by the Developers, clearly recorded by the Media and strangely in the SC by implication, by bringing in the issue of our import bill for edible oil in the ‘Hearing’ of the 24th. The claim is:

·         That the superior yield of this HT mustard DMH 11, (that despite there being NO TRAIT for YIELD in the Barnase-Barstar system with the Bar gene glufosinate), through its HYBRID-MAKING capability is superior to Non-GMO cultivars in the Country.

(b)   The Petitioners’ have proven without doubt based on RTI data that DMH 11 field trials were fraudulent, and specifically  on the question of DELIBERATELY poor-yielding Comparators used in the field testing of  HT Mustard DMH 11  in the BRL I & II field trials .

NOTE: By this statement the Government concedes the argument that DMH 11 does not out-yield India’s best NON-GMO cultivars and this includes HYBRIDS against which this mustard was not tested in BRL I &II trials (2010-11 onwards).

Therefore, what is the Union-of India’s point? Is this HT mustard being introduced because of its ability to JUST make HYBRIDS? Given that it does not outperform our Non-GMO hybrids, the argument collapses on its essential lack of science and reasoned thinking.

CONCLUSION

·         This HT Mustard DMH 11 is NOT NEEDED (the first step of a risk assessment protocol for GM crops )

AND

·         This HT mustard DMH 11 will make no impact on DOMESTIC production of Mustard Oil leave alone the import oil bill of which mustard and Rape together are less than 2% of the total oil import (of 14.3 million Metric Tonnes in 2015-16)

Aruna Rodrigues: Petitioner GMO PIL Mo: 098263 96033

Indra Shekhar Singh, Media Spokesperson, Navdanya

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Details of a US-initiated proposed control agreement on the export and use of armed drones have been announced. The Joint Declaration on the Export and Subsequent Use of Armed or Strike-Enabled Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), signed by 48 nations including the UK, sets out very briefly – on less than one side of paper – five broad principles to be adhered to in relation to the export and use of armed drones. According to an accompanying Fact Sheet issued by the US State Department, The “will serve as a basis for discussions on a more detailed set of international standards… which the United States and its partners will convene in spring 2017.”

It is welcome that, on paper at least, the US and the international community now recognise, as the Joint Declaration puts it, the “misuse of armed or strike-enabled UAVs could fuel conflict and instability, and facilitate terrorism and organized crime.”  Despite this however there are real problems with the Declaration.  Not least that while the document talks about the “responsible use” of armed drones, this is not defined in any clear or meaningful way other than by merely stating that drones are subject to international law.

Expanding drone strikes

As has been very clear over the past decade, there are serious disagreements between the US and the international community as well as international law experts as to how aspects of the growing use of armed drones adheres to international law.  As Rachel Stohl of the Stimson Center argues, with such a broad-brush approach, many are worried that the declaration not only provides “a blank check” for future use and export of drones, but that it also serves to effectively legitimize past US drone use.

Stohl also points out that the document has been weakened since the original draft was circulated among potential signatory States. Changes have been made to the text which open up large loopholes such as the addition of the sentence “none of which should be construed to undermine the legitimate interest of any State to indigenously produce, export, or acquire such systems for legitimate purposes.” The need for transparency mechanisms to have “due regard to national security considerations” has also been added to the document.

While some have been criticising the document for being too weak, others such as drone advocate, retired Air Force General David Deptula, have attacked the proposed agreement for treating drones as deserving of particular attention. “The singling out of drones in the State Department declaration does more harm than good by lending undue credibility to adversary propaganda that these aircraft somehow represent “Terminator-like” machines that warrant extra regulation” he wrote this week.

The impetus for the Joint Declaration comes in part from the US drone lobby who say that the current rules such as the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) “hurt industry“. The Defence press reported this week that lobbyists see the agreement as a chance to boost US drone exports, which currently lag behind that of Israel.  It is notable that both Israel and China have not signed the declaration at this stage. State Department officials expressed hope they would take part in the discussion scheduled for next year.

Over the coming year there will no doubt be lots of wheeling and dealing behind the scenes over this new initiative.  It is possible that the agreement will end up as little more than window dressing with no real impact, particularly if a new muscular US administration decides to jettisons the whole process in a post-Obama world. However, if States sign a weak agreement based on the current draft it could help to erode what little control there already are on the proliferation and use of such systems.

So far the whole process has been taken place behind closed doors with seemingly little input from experts and civil society groups. While this is a State level process, there is concern that officials charged with developing the new regime have little understanding of the issues.  Earlier this year I was part of a small delegation that met with Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials to talk about the need to strengthening controls on the export of armed drones.  It quickly became apparent however that the level of knowledge and understanding of the issue among officials was not far off non-existent. Our concern is that as this agreement has been developed in such a rush – partly by the Obama’s administration’s concern to have something in place before he leaves office – officials are only turning only to the drone industry for advice and help.

NGOs, academics and human rights groups have been working on this issue for many years and it should be axiomatic that government officials consult widely among those with expert knowledge of the issue. The voice of the many victims of drone strikes should also be heard  in this process.  In the end, it is vital that public concerns about the growing use of armed drones are fed into this process to ensure that there is a strong and sustainable agreement that ensures proper controls over armed drones.

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Does The Russian Government Have A Reality Disconnect?

octobre 26th, 2016 by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

During the decades-long Cold War the belief in America was that the Soviet Union had an ideology of world domination.  Every nationalist movement, such as Vietnam’s effort to throw off French colonialism, was misinterpreted as another domino falling to Soviet world conquest. This mistaken American belief persisted despite Stalin’s purge of the Trotsky elements that preached world revolution.  Stalin declared (1925): “socialism in one country.”

As the Soviets did not have the aim that the US attributed to them, the two governments could cooperate in reducing the dangerous tensions that nuclear weapons presented.

The rise of the American neoconservatives and their doctrine of US world hegemony has given the United States the expansionist ideology formerly attributed to the Soviets.  Only this time the expansionist ideology is real.  Yet, Russia’s foreign minister, Lavrov, said today that:

 “we [the US and Russia] have no ideological differences which make the Cold War inevitable.”

The inability of the Russian government to understand that the neoconservative ideology of US world hegemony is the driving force of US foreign policy leaves Lavrov puzzled at the high level of hostility toward Russia.  As Lavrov believes that there are no ideological differences between the two countries, he doesn’t understand the hostility.  However, he does understand that this hostility toward Russia is a negation of Cold War rules that both countries avoid surprising the other with what could be perceived as a dangerous threat.

There is no sign that the US government understands the danger in Russia’s perception of threat or that Washington cares.

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venezuela

Washington’s Intent is Economic Destabilization and “Regime Change” In Venezuela

By Stephen Lendman, October 25 2016

Venezuela’s oil-dependent economy suffers greatly from low crude oil prices and US economic warfare – waged to destabilize the country, create enormous hardships, mobilize majority opposition to President Nicolas Maduro’s leadership, and end nearly 18 years of economic and social progress. The collapse in the price of crude oil was the result of a carefully designed speculative operation.

genocide canada

“Genocide Denial” in Canada

By John Bart Gerald, October 26 2016

Several current news items lead to the same point of focus: Canada’s evasion of its responsibility to honour and adhere to the Convention on Genocide. Its unfaithfulness encourages states of emergency to play out through Indigenous communities in Canada. It’s also evident in foreign policies against more distant peoples. As though the Convention on Genocide were not primary law, had no statute of limitations, has no affect beyond the good will and salaried hopes of NGO’s, and no application to first world countries.

Camp de CalaisThe Refugee Crisis and the Police State: France Orders Forced Removal Of Migrants At Calais Camp

By Abayomi Azikiwe, October 25 2016

Area designated as “the jungle” contained 6,000-10,000 displaced persons seeking refuge Some 1,200 French security forces descended on the migrant camp in Calais on the English Channel with riot gear, buses and sledgehammers in an attempt to relocate the thousands of people awaiting admission into Britain.

Paul_Wellstone,_official_Senate_photo_portrait

Tribute to the Last Honorable US Senator: The Story of Paul Wellstone’s Suspected Assassination

By Joachim Hagopian, October 26 2016

On October 25th, 2002 the last great hero of the common people in the US Senate was very likely murdered by agents of the shadow US crime cabal government otherwise known as the Bush-Cheney regime. His wife and daughter and two pilots also died in the air crash. Paul Wellstone’s story deserves to be retold and Americans need to be reminded that criminals in and out of our government still need to be punished for their unindicted crimes. This article was written as both a tribute to an outstanding American patriot and a reexamination of his probable assassination by criminals still on the loose.

Nuclear-War-Weapons

The Simple Act of “Pushing a Button”. Miscalculation, Mistake or Malice? The Unspoken Aftermath of a Nuclear War…

By David Krieger, October 26 2016

On one side of the ledger is everything natural and extraordinary about life with its long evolution bringing us to the present and poised to carry its processes forward into the future. On the other side of the ledger is “the button,” capable of bringing most life on the planet to a screeching halt. Also on this side of the ledger are those people who remain ignorant or apathetic to the nuclear dangers confronting humanity. We all need to recognize what is at stake and choose a side.

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Mads Andenæs, jurista e presidente do Grupo de Trabalho da ONU sobre Detenção Arbitrária, comenta a decisão do governo equatoriano de negar acesso de Assange à internet

Asilado na Embaixada do Equador em Londres desde agosto de 2012, Julian Assange doWikiLeaks tem acesso à Internet negado pelo governo equatoriano desde o último dia 17, menos de 24 horas após ter liberado parte dos correios eletrônicos de John Podesta, atual chefe de campanha da candidata democrata à presidência dos Estados Unidos, Hillary Clinton.

Através de comunicado oficial, o Ministério de Relações Exteriores do país sul-americano afirmou que « respeita o princípio de não intervenção nos assuntos de outros países », o que motivou Quito a cortar temporariamente a Internet de Assange, quem vem divulgando reveladores correios eletrônicos de Hillary Clinton e de seu Partido Democrata, agitando fortemente a corrida à Casa Branca. No caso particular das mais recentes mensagens do chefe da campanha democrata interceptadas por WikiLeaks, evidenciou-se seu desprezo pelos latino-americanos e católicos e confirmou-se o quanto a ex-secretaria de Estado prioriza as grandes corporações, como Goldman Sachs.

Ao mesmo tempo, o governo equatoriano ressaltou seu compromisso em proteger « vítimas de perseguição política » como Assange, e a intenção de « salvaguardar sua vida e integridade física ». Negando ter sofrido qualquer pressão externa para o corte da Internet, em consonância com o discurso do Departamento de Estado norte-americano, a chancelaria equatoriana garantiu: « Ratificamos que a proteção do Estado equatoriano seguirá enquanto as circunstâncias que motivaram a concessão de tal asilo permaneçam ».

Já WikiLeaks afirma que inúmeras fontes norte-americanas garantem ter havido pressão de Washington para que o governo de Rafael Correa restringisse o acesso á Internet do jornalista australiano que, desde 2010, tem remexido as vísceras do poder global com a liberação de centenas de milhares de correios eletrônicos confidenciais, secretos e ultra-secretos envolvendo os porões do poder, especialmente os Estados Unidos e a própria CIA, evidenciando ainda mais a suja política coercitivo-expansionista norte-americana.

Na seguinte entrevista, comenta este caso que tem gerado polêmica internacional o jurista norueguês Mads Andenæs (imagem acima), diretor da Faculdade de Direito de Oslo, e desde 2009 presidente do Grupo de Trabalho da ONU sobre Detenção Arbitrária, em defesa exatamente de Julian Assange.



Edu Montesanti: Como o senhor vê a decisão do governo equatoriano de negar o acesso de Julian Assange à Internet? O presidente Rafael Correa alega que seu país não interfere em eleições estrangeiras: sua medida é mesmo democrática?

Mads Andenæs: Isso me surpreendeu. O presidente Correa é um dos meus heróis, e eu não consigo compreender bem esta mais recente medida. Entendo que esse fato mais recente é preocupante para Assange. E deve ser para todos nós.

Edu Montesanti: WikiLeaks tuitou após o ocorrido: « Várias fontes norte-americanas nos afirmam que John Kerry pediu que o Equador detivesse Assange de publicar documentos de Hillary Clinton durante as negociações de paz das FARC », enquanto o Departamento de Estado dos Estados Unidos negou a acusação, e o presidente Correa disse que agiu por conta própria, e que não cede a pressões estrangeiras. A seu ver, professor Mads, houve pressão de Washington no sentido de Quito para uma medida desse tipo, como diz Assange?

Mads Andenæs: Houve pressão, sem dúvida. O que você cita aqui soa crível, mas disso só sei o que tenho lido nos jornais.

Edu Montesanti: O senhor acha que o governo do Equador vai restringir trabalhos jornalísticos do WikiLeaks, em geral?

Mads Andenæs: Espero que não.

Edu Montesanti: Você acha que o asilo de Assange corre risco?

Mads Andenæs: Não, realmente espero que não. Mas é preocupante que tanta pressão seja exercida sobre os equatorianos. Estou cada vez mais preocupado que Assange não esteja seguro nenhum lugar, em asilo ou não. Ele tem muito boas razões para resistir à extradição.

Lembre-se que dois juízes do Supremo Tribunal do Reino Unido discordaram do julgamento sobre a extradição para a Suécia, e o juiz relator e um dos juízes da Suprema Corte na Suécia executaram o pedido ilegal porque ele era desproporcional. O professor Andrew Ashworth, de Oxford, advertiu que o pedido sueco não alega fatos que constituam um ato criminoso sob a lei Inglesa.

A professora Liora Lázaro, também de Oxford, considerou que a detenção de Assange viola o direito internacional. O presidente do Comitê de Direitos Humanos da Associação do Tribunal Inglês, Kirsty Brimelow QC, e o conselheiro-geral da Human Rights Watch, Dinah PoKempner, apoiaram a decisão do Grupo de Trabalho das Nações Unidas sobre Detenção Arbitrária. O Reino Unido e a Suécia agora devem apenas respeitar o direito internacional, tal como aplicado pela ONU.

Edu Montesanti: O senhor teme que se a oposição equatoriana, pró-Washington, ganhar a eleição presidencial de 2017, Assange será extraditado para os Estados Unidos?

Mads Andenæs: Espero mesmo que eles não ganhem, e se acontecer isso, que não reneguem o asilo. Medo… sim, tenho fortes razões para sentir tanto medo neste caso.

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Edu Montesanti é comunicador, escritor, professor de idiomas e tradutor. Autor do livro Mentiras e Crimes da “Guerra ao Terror” (2012), escreve para a revista Caros Amigos, para Jornal Pravda e Pravda Report (Rússia), para Global Research (Canadá), e para Truth Out (Estados Unidos). É tradutor do sítio na Internet das Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo (Argentina), e foi tradutor do sítio na Internet da escritora, ativista pelos direitos humanos e ex-parlamentar afegã injustamente expulsa do cargo, Malalaï Joya. Escreveu para Diário Liberdade (Galiza), Observatório da Imprensa (TV Brasil), e Nolan Chart (Estados Unidos). Contato: [email protected] / www.edumontesanti.skyrock.com
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Apresentou-se o livro que investiga o papel do banco público durante o terrorismo de Estado

Autor: Julián Athos Caggiano / Tradutor: Edu Montesanti / Fonte: Espacio Memoria Data: 11.10.2016

 

“O Banco Nación foi o braço financeiro das forças repressivas da última ditadura”, resumiram Juan Santarcángelo e Andrés Wainer durante a apresentação do livro “El Banco de la Nación Argentina y la dictadura: el impacto de las transformaciones económicas y financieras en la política crediticia (1976-1983)” realizada no dia 11 de outubro na Casa por la Identidad de Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo. Publicada por Siglo XXI Editores, a investigação esteve sob responsabilidade de Eduardo Basualdo, Cintia Russo, Guido Perrone, Santarcángelo e Wainer.

Estiveram presentes o deputado nacional Axel Kicillof e a presidenta de Abuelas, Estela de Carlotto. A mesa foi moderada pelo diretor da Casa por la Identidad, o neto restituído Manuel Gonçalves Granada, filho de Gastón Gonçalves, trabalhador do banco e desaparecido pelo terrorismo de Estado.

“A ditadura submeteu a Argentina a um papel subordinado das grandes potências, e converteu o país em uma engrenagem da rentabilidade financeira, por meio da destruição do capital local e a super-exploração da classe trabalhadora. Um modelo que não podia instalar-se sem repressão, já que despojou de direitos econômicos a toda a população”, disse Kicillof.

O ex-ministro da Economia da Nação elogiou o livro “porque permite aprender como se implementou esse modelo de valorização financeira e o neoliberalismo na Argentina, como também é uma ferramenta para realizar um balanço destes doze anos de governos nacionais, populares e democráticos”. Além disso, afirmou que uma descoberta essencial da investigação passa pelos empréstimos que o Banco fez aos comandos em chefe das três forças. E destacou a análise sobre a conformação do diretório do Banco co, representantes das principais corporações econômicas, e ressaltou: “A ditadura foi uma CEOcracia”.

Estela Carlotto disse que “o livro nos ensina que há uma história que não devemos esquecer, e ajuda no avanço dos julgamentos de lesa humanidade que hoje estão tentando banalizar”. Também expressou: “O que conta esta investigação é atual. O que as Abuelas queremos, é que esta história não se repita”.

Santarcángelo destacou que o livro surgiu com um pedido da Fundación Banco Nación em 2014, e que teve como objetivo investigar o papel do Banco, de sua política creditícia e da conformação empresária do diretório durante a última ditadura. Nessa linha, explicou que com o modelo implementado desde 1976 “a economia real ficou subordinada ao setor financeiro”. Entre os pontos fundamentais da reforma executada pela ditadura, enfatizou a limitação dos mecanismos de financiamento da indústria; o fim da nacionalização dos depósitos; a livre flutuação da taxa de juros; a “desregulação” do sistema bancário; e a habilitação para contrair dívida no exterior.

O economista e investigador do Conicet e da Universidade de Quilmes pontuou que estas medidas tiveram grande impacto no Banco Nación, cujo papel creditício a nível nacional caiu 50% durante o período ditatorial; e investiu-se na porcentagem dos empréstimos do mercado interno, que representavam 80% em 1975 e caíram a apenas 20% em 1983. Também manifestou que houve uma mudança no plano institucional, já que se militarizou a estrutura do Banco e houve dezenas de trabalhadores da entidade detidos, desaparecidos pelo terrorismo de Estado.

Por sua vez, Wainer expressou que sob a ditadura reduziu-se o papel das entidades públicas no setor financeiro, ao mesmo tempo que se produziu uma expansão dos bancos estrangeiros. “O paradoxal foi que, a pesar desta redução do papel no sistema local, o Banco Nación incrementou os créditos em dólares brindados pelas sucursais no exterior”, indicou. Nesse sentido, relatou que a sede aberta no Panamá chegou a concentrar 20% desses créditos. “O Banco desempenhou um duplo papel: forneceu dólares para sustentar a valorização financeira; e, então, foi o braço financeiro da ditadura”, concluiu o investigador do Conicet e da Área de Economia e Tecnologea da FLACSO.

Edu Montesanti

 

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Economista Avalia Crise Brasileira: Críticas às Políticas Petistas e Perspectivas

« Reforma tributária é fundamental. É preciso que os ricos respondam pela maior parte do ajuste tributário e fiscal. Com a queda da renda e o desemprego em alta o pequeno empresário e, principalmente, trabalhador já estão sofrendo com a crise brasileira. É fundamental, também, evitar a paranoia fiscal focada no corte de gastos públicos »

« Não houve revolução social nenhuma no Brasil. Não houve uma reforma tributária, as políticas sociais como Bolsa Família e os benefícios da previdência social não alteraram, de forma nenhuma, a estrutura de distribuição de riqueza e renda do país », avalia nesta entrevista exclusiva ao Jornal Pravda Reinaldo Gonçalves, sobre os mais de 13 anos do PT no governo federal.

Para o economista, o que se chama de pacote econômico de Temer são inconsistentes, tratando-se na realidade de conjunto de medidas que, em grande medida, só deverão surtir efeito a médio e longo prazo. « É pouco provável que a redução dos subsídios e incentivos fiscais tenha impacto no curto prazo já que o governo estará pressionado pelos setores dominantes »

De nada adianta a atual « paranoia fiscal focada no corte dos gastos públicos », sendo urgente eficiência nestes gastos diante do « liberalismo social tupiniquim marcado por forte conteúdo assistencialista » promovido pelo PT em nome de revolução social. « Não houve uma reforma tributária, nem mudança na distribuição funcional da renda (salários versus lucros e juros). Os governos do PT aprofundaram e ampliaram o Modelo Liberal Periférico introduzido no governo FHC ».

Questionado sobre as concessões que, segundo a cúpula petista, se diferencia da política das privatizações tucanas, Gonçalves é enfático: « Farsa, pura farsa », e vai além: « Melhor exemplo de privatização foi o estímulo dado pelo governo às instituições privadas de ensino superior via incentivos fiscais e financiamentos ».

Analisando o desmantelamento estatal pelo PT, agravado pelos escândalos de corrupção, Gonçalves comenta a vulnerabilidade externa do Brasil, para ele presente em todas as esferas: « comercial, produtiva, tecnológica, monetária e financeira ». Internamente, aponta « a cooptação e a fragilização de forças políticas como MST, CUT, UNE etc », por parte do PT, especialmente do ex-presidente Lula.

Detalha também as causas da atual crise financeira: « Há uma combinação de determinantes, assim como catalisadores. Ao fim e ao cabo, o que há uma combinação trágica de falhas de modelo com falhas de mercado e falhas de governo ».

Passando pela análise da política externa focada na cooperação Sul-Sul, o economista encerra esta entrevista com perspectivas para o futuro. « O cenário mais provável (60%) é a melhora da situação econômica ».

Autor de diversas obras, entre elas Economia Política Internacional (Rio de Janeiro: Elsevier, 2016), o economista Reinaldo Gonçalves leciona Economia Internacional na Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), onde se formou. É mestre em Economia pela Fundação Getúlio Vargas – FGV-RJ, e doutor em Letters and Social Sciences pela University of Reading na Inglaterra.

A seguir, a entrevista.

Edu Montesanti: Como o senhor vê o pacote econômico apresentado pelo presidente interino Michel Temer, e em que ele se diferencia do modelo de seus antecessores, presidentes Dilma e Lula?

Reinaldo Gonçalves: Não se trata de um pacote econômico com medidas consistentes. Trata-se, simplesmente, de um conjunto de medidas focadas no aumento da receita e uma redução das despesas da União. Ademais, a maioria só terá efeitos no médio e longo prazo. A medida de mais curto prazo (fechamento do Fundo Soberano e venda das ações do Banco do Brasil que lastreiam esse fundo) é irrelevante em termos de impacto fiscal.

Recuperar R$ 100 bilhões de recursos do BNDES depende do grau de comprometimento desses recursos em empréstimos. A diretriz de congelamento real dos gastos sociais só tende a ter efeito no médio e longo prazos. A maior regulamentação dos fundos de pensão e das estatais e os ajustes na Petrobras também tendem a ter impacto no longo prazo.

É pouco provável que a redução dos subsídios e incentivos fiscais tenha impacto no curto prazo já que o governo estará pressionado pelos setores dominantes. O « balcão » deve continuar aberto para determinados segmentos dominantes.

Edu Montesanti: Quais as medidas urgentes para se conter a crise, e proporcionar condições para crescimento com distribuição de renda?

Reinaldo Gonçalves: Reforma tributária é fundamental. As diretrizes são: manutenção da carga tributária, racionalização, moralização e progressividade. É preciso que os ricos respondam pela maior parte do ajuste tributário e fiscal.

Com a queda da renda e o desemprego em alta o pequeno empresário e, principalmente, trabalhador já estão sofrendo com a crise brasileira. A conta do ajuste fiscal deve ficar com os grandes capitalistas e rentistas.

É fundamental, também, evitar a paranoia fiscal focada no corte de gastos públicos. Quanto aos gastos, é necessário mais eficiência do que cortes.

Edu Montesanti: Quais circunstâncias exatamente trouxeram o Brasil a esta crise?

Reinaldo Gonçalves: Há uma combinação de determinantes, assim como catalisadores. Ao fim e ao cabo, o que há uma combinação trágica de falhas de modelo com falhas de mercado e falhas de governo. As falhas de governo envolvem inépcia, corrupção, déficit de governança, péssimo desempenho econômico, problemas de governabilidade etc. Ou seja, o governo Dilma sempre foi, desde o início do primeiro mandado, marcado pela mediocridade esférica. Essas falhas agravaram as falhas de mercado.

Aqui, é o abuso do poder econômico que também se expressa no abuso do poder político, e ambos geram ineficiência sistêmica. O Brasil andou para trás, conforme analiso no livro « Desenvolvimento às Avessas » (Rio de Janeiro: LTC, 2013). As falhas do Modelo Liberal Periférico são graves e implicam transformações fragilizantes: desindustrialização; dessubstituição de importações; reprimarização; maior dependência tecnológica; desnacionalização; perda de competitividade internacional; crescente vulnerabilidade externa estrutural; maior concentração de capital; e dominação financeira.

Essas transformações fragilizantes do MLP impõem restrições ao desempenho econômico de longo prazo. A situação econômica se agrava no contexto do sistema político-partidário corrupto, clientelista e patrimonialista que sempre houve no Brasil. Ocorre que esse sistema foi aprofundado e ampliado nos governos do PT. O resultado é uma crise sistêmica: ética, econômica, social, política e institucional. A ruptura de governo é, simplesmente, consequência dessa crise sistêmica.

Edu Montesanti: Em que pontos os governos do PT promoveram a propalada revolução social? Em que aspectos o modelo econômico petista se diferenciou do modelo de Fernando Henrique Cardoso?

Reinaldo Gonçalves: Não houve revolução social nenhuma no Brasil. Os governos do PT adotaram uma forma de liberalismo social tupiniquim marcado por forte conteúdo assistencialista. Não houve uma reforma tributária, nem mudança na distribuição funcional da renda (salários versus lucros e juros).

As políticas sociais como Bolsa Família e os benefícios da previdência social não alteraram, de forma nenhuma, a estrutura de distribuição de riqueza e renda do país. Cabe notar que os dados usados, que mostram queda significativa do índice de desigualdade, abarcam, fundamentalmente, rendas derivadas do trabalho. Ou seja, a melhora ocorre dentro da classe trabalhadora.

Ademais, com a crise fiscal os ganhos conjunturais já começam a ser revertidos. Os governos do PT não alteram a estrutura de distribuição de riqueza e renda. Essa é a essência do social liberalismo. Os governos do PT aprofundaram e ampliaram o Modelo Liberal Periférico introduzido no governo FHC.

Edu Montesanti: O PT se defende das críticas de suas concessões, tão combatidas pelo partido antes de chegar ao governo federal, alegando que não são exatamente privatizações. Como o senhor avalia as concessões feitas ao longo destes anos pelos presidentes Dilma e Lula?

Reinaldo Gonçalves: Farsa, pura farsa. Valer repetir: os governos do PT aprofundaram o Modelo Liberal Periférico (MLP) introduzido no governo FHC. Como parte do MLP há privatizações, concessões, liberalizações e desregulamentações.

O agravante nos governos do PT é que as falhas de governo (inépcia e corrupção) geraram mais falhas de mercado. Essas falhas implicam abuso de poder econômico, ineficiência e perda de competitividade. Isso ocorreu, inclusive, nos setores que foram privatizados ou nos arranjos de concessões.

Melhor exemplo de privatização foi o estímulo dado pelo governo às instituições privadas de ensino superior via incentivos fiscais e financiamentos.

Edu Montesanti: Qual sua avaliação do argumento petista de que o país passou fortalecido pela crise econômica internacional de 2008?

Reinaldo Gonçalves: O Brasil tem enorme vulnerabilidade externa em todas as esferas: comercial, produtiva, tecnológica, monetária e financeira. No segundo semestre de 2008, a moeda brasileira foi uma das que mais sofreu desvalorização. A crise cambial causou falências de grandes empresas no setor bancário e na indústria. O Brasil tinha e continua tendo uma « blindagem de papel crepom ». Vale mencionar que as reservas internacionais do país (pouco mais de 360 bilhões de dólares) não garantem o passivo externo financeiro de US$ 1 trilhão. O país está « vendido » em mais de 600 bilhões de dólares.

O mundo sabe disso. Na maioria dos países, o impacto da crise se limitou a 2 ou 3 anos enquanto no Brasil até hoje o país sente dramaticamente os efeitos da queda da demanda mundial, do aumento das restrições de acesso a mercados e da queda dos preços das commodities. Países vulneráveis têm reduzida capacidade de resistência a fatores desestabilizadores externos.

Edu Montesanti: A mídia, até renomados juristas e, logo, a sociedade estão completamente divididos em relação à (i)legalidade do impedimento da presidente Dilma.

Os que avaliam que é ilegal, argumentam que a presidente petista apenas atrasou pagamentos, algo não apenas normal em tempos de crise mas também praticado por pelo menos 17 governadores recentemente, por numerosos prefeitos e até por Lula quando era presidente, por Aécio Neves quando governador de Minas Gerais, e diversas vezes pelo ex-presidente Fernando Henrique Cardoso. Outro argumento dos que se posicionam contrariamente ao impedimento é que a presidente Dilma é a única sem nenhuma acusação e sem sequer ser investigada pela Operação Lava-Jato por corrupção.

A seu ver, ela cometeu crime de responsabilidade fiscal e/ou qualquer outro que justificasse impedimento?

Reinaldo Gonçalves: O pedido de impedimento apresentado ao Congresso, os relatórios do Congresso e as análises de especialistas em finanças públicas (Gil Castelo Branco, José Roberto Afonso, Rogério Werneck etc.) são conclusivos e convincentes. Houve, sim, crime de responsabilidade.

Dilma Rousseff deve, também, ser julgada pelo conjunto da obra, ou seja, ela é responsável direta por uma das mais graves e profundas crises sistêmicas que o país experimentou em toda a história republicana.

Edu Montesanti: O pacote do governo interino inclui uma antecipação do recebimento de 100 bilhões de reais em empréstimos ao BNDES, que vencerão em 2016. Tal medida configura a chamada « pedalada », utilizada como justificativa para impedir a continuidade do mandato da presidente Dilma?

Reinaldo Gonçalves: Penso que não.

Edu Montesanti: Por que o senhor considera fracassada a política externa do PT, tida como exitosa por seus defensores principalmente em relação à cooperação Sul-Sul e à integração regional, em especial envolvendo o Mercosul? 

Reinaldo Gonçalves: O fracasso da estratégia de Cooperação Sul-Sul é evidente, particularmente no que se refere às relações comerciais com os países-membros dos blocos Mercosul, IBAS e BRIC. A intensidade do comércio bilateral do Brasil com todos os países-membros fundadores do Mercosul cai durante os governos Lula e Dilma em comparação com o governo FHC.

O fracasso do Mercosul é, portanto, uma marca da política externa dos governos do PT.

Edu Montesanti: No artigo Por que a esquerda tem mais razões do que a direita para ser a favor do impedimento de Dilma e da punição do Lula?, o senhor defende « investigação, indiciamento, julgamento, condenação e prisão de Lula ». Por quê?

Reinaldo Gonçalves: A investigação já existe. O próximo passo é o indiciamento por crimes e infrações. Procuradores de São Paulo já pediram a prisão de Lula. Esse processo deve seguir até a punição.

Além disso, devemos, mais uma vez, considerar o conjunto da obra. Lula é, sem dúvida alguma, o principal responsável pela atual crise sistêmica no Brasil. Ele é responsável, ainda, pelo apodrecimento e a destruição da esquerda brasileira. Lula foi o principal operador e beneficiário do transformismo do PT que gerou um projeto de social liberalismo frágil, insustentável e fracassado.

Ainda como parte da herança ignóbil de Lula há o governo Temer que só existe porque os governos do PT criaram uma crise sistêmica. Portanto, a crise gera o impedimento e o governo Temer que, apesar de reduzir as falhas de governo, manterá as falhas de mercado e aprofundará as falhas do Modelo Liberal Periférico.

Lula é o principal responsável pelo desenvolvimento às avessas do Brasil que também se caracteriza pelo aumento do patrimonialismo e seus vícios. Lula é responsável direto pelo invertebramento da sociedade civil organizada já que houve a cooptação e a fragilização de forças políticas como MST, CUT, UNE etc.

Por fim, como parte da herança ignóbil de Lula, há que se destacar, naturalmente, o governo Dilma, a apoteose da mediocridade esférica!

Edu Montesanti: Dada a atual conjuntura, que esperar para o país economicamente? Quem serão os maiores beneficiados e os grandes prejudicados?

Reinaldo Gonçalves: O cenário mais provável (60%) é a melhora da situação econômica em decorrência, em primeiro lugar, das falhas do governo Dilma. Por mais ineficaz que seja o governo Temer, é muito pouco provável que ele seja pior que o governo Dilma.

Em segundo lugar, as condições de governabilidade tendem a melhorar após o impedimento definitivo de Dilma.

Por fim, haverá, gradualmente, uma reversão das expectativas adversas que dominaram nos últimos anos.

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Entrevista com Kevin Ryan 

Nesta entrevista, Kevin Ryan, autor de Another Nineteen: Investigating Legitimate 9/11 Suspects, fala sobre: as 28 páginas classificadas recentemente anunciadas pela mídia, e suas contradições; a insustentável versão oficial dos ataques de 11 de Setembro de 2001; a fracassada Comissão de Bush para apurar os atentados e o que deve ser investigado para se chegar à verdade dos fatos; a cobertura dos meios de comunicação e o estado de espírito dos norte-americanos hoje em relação ao 11 de Setembro; e suas perspectivas dados os atuais candidatos presidenciais dos Estados Unidos, em investigar seriamente os ataques do 11/9 a fim de se fazer justiça aos familiares das vítimas.

Edu Montesanti: Kevin Ryan, muito obrigado por conceder esta entrevista. É uma grande honra para mim. Você poderia, por favor, descrever suas atividades no movimento pela verdade do 11/9 [9/11 Truth]?

Kevin Ryan: Sou membro de várias organizações que procuravam revelar a verdade sobre o 11/9. Sou membro-fundador da Scholars for 9/11 Truth & Justice, e do 9/11 Working Group of Bloomington. Também tenho atuado como diretor do Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth.

Tenho ministrado palestras e de outras formas colaborado com membros da família vítimas do 11/9, e mantenho amizade com alguns deles. A coragem e a determinação por parte deles são inspiradoras para mim.

Sou co-editor do Journal of 9/11 Studies desde 2006, ano em que este teve início. Naquela época, tive três companheiros que me ajudaram a publicar cerca de 150 artigos e cartas sobre os crimes do 11/9.

Qual a evidência em relação ao envolvimento do governo saudita nos ataques do 11/9?

As pessoas citam o depoimento de Zacarias Moussaoui, relatado por ter apontado o dedo a vários príncipes sauditas como fontes de financiamento da Al-Qaeda. Além disso, sabemos que os supostos sequestradores do 11/9 receberam apoio, financeiro e de outras formas, de alguns sauditas.

Nisto, incluiu-se Omar Al-Bayoumi, suspeito da espionagem saudita e empregado de uma empresa de aviação saudita, que acomodou dois dos suspeitos em um apartamento e pagou-lhes o aluguel.

Al-Bayoumi e outro suspeito de ter sido agente da Al-Qaeda, Osama Basnan, receberam apoio financeiro regular da princesa da Arábia, Haifa bint Faisal, através de pagamentos de Haifa a suas esposas.

Há também muitas ligações notáveis de sauditas com o 11/9 que sugerem que pessoas poderosas nos Estados Unidos podem ter estado envolvidas nos crimes.

Por exemplo, fatos envolvendo a Stratesec, empresa que possuía contratos de segurança com várias das instalações impactadas naquele dia, vincula os sauditas ao 11/9. A Stratesec realizou sua reunião anual, através da qual se elegeu diretores como Marvin Bush [irmão mais novo do então presidente Bush] para o conselho, em escritórios alugados pelos sauditas no complexo Watergate.

O diretor executivo da Stratesec, um homem chamado Wirt D. Walker, suspeito de operações internas no 11/9, usou o mesmo escritório saudita como endereço oficial para vários de seus outros negócios.

Isto incluiu a Aviation General, empresa que operava de um galpão em um pequeno aeroporto na cidade de Oklahoma, que agora é ocupado, por coincidência, pelo instrutor de voo de Zacarias Moussaoui.

De maneira mais simples, é claro, 15 dos 19 sequestradores acusados eram cidadãos sauditas. No entanto, existe uma grande quantidade de provas de que estes homens estiveram envolvidos em comportamentos claramente não-muçulmanos tais como usar drogas, beber álcool e frequentar clubes de strip-tease.

Além disso, alguns deles parecia ser protegido pelas autoridades durante seu período nos Estados Unidos.

Qual a evidência de que as supostas 28 páginas classificadas da versão oficial do 9/11,  mencionam os sauditas?

O relatório da Investigação Conjunta do Congresso sobre o 11/9 fez muitas referências em relação à Arábia Saudita, mas a evidência real fornecida era frágil. Muitas das referências questionaram a cooperação saudita com as autoridades norte-americanas nas investigações relacionadas à Al-Qaeda.

Ironicamente, essas referências sauditas foram feitas por pessoas como o ex-diretor do FBI, Louis Freeh, suspeito de ter facilitado o terrorismo, pelo ex-assessor de Segurança Nacional, Sandy Berger, que mais tarde foi flagrado roubando documentos que a Comissão do 11/9 havia solicitado ao Arquivo Nacional, e pelo líder de contraterrorismo Richard Clarke, conhecido por ter vazado planos secretos para capturar Osama bin Laden em diversas ocasiões antes do 11/9.

O relatório da Investigação Conjunta também menciona « o líder da Al-Qaeda, Abu Zubaydah », por ter recrutado para a Al-Qaeda na Arábia Saudita. Mais tarde, ao responder a uma petição de habeas corpus, o governo dos EUA recuou de sua alegação de que Zubaydah tenha tido qualquer relação com a Al-Qaeda.

Nem a Investigação Conjunta, nem a Comissão do 11/9 que tanto se apoiou nessa afirmação como verdadeira, revisou seus relatórios após esta incrível revelação. E, pelo menos, um dos líderes da Comissão pareciam contrair amnésia sobre Zubaydah.

Estão nos deixando com observações feitas pelo ex-senador Bob Graham e outros que têm visto as 28 páginas redigidas. Eles fazem comentários que sugerem que os líderes sauditas estavam envolvidos no financiamento dos ataques.

Se estas observações referem-se a alguma informação já conhecida, como os pagamentos efetuados pela princesa Haifa ou qualquer outra coisa, não estará claro até que vejamos essas páginas. Mas é importante notar que Graham estava entre as pessoas que inicialmente trabalharam para atrasar qualquer investigação sobre o 11/9.

Mais importante ainda, o acesso contínuo aos recursos naturais da Arábia Saudita é de interesse primordial para os líderes do governo dos EUA. Parece que os clamores para a liberação dessas 28 páginas estão sendo usados mais para controlar o governo saudita, e, assim, fornecer acesso aos EUA a esses recursos, do que prestes a chegar à verdade sobre o 11/9.

Como você avalia as recentes declarações do presidente Obama, que permitir que os familiares das vítimas do 11/9 processem a Arábia Saudita por cumplicidade naquele crime abriria terrível precedente ao expor os Estados Unidos até a ações judiciais em solo estrangeiro?

As ações do presidente Obama, incluindo sua recente visita à Arábia Saudita e a promessa de vetar o projeto de lei que permitiria que os sauditas fossem processados, parecem colocá-lo no papel de bom policial em uma rotina de mau policial/bom policial em curso.

Ele está permitindo que eles saibam que está do seu lado, enquanto seus colegas no Congresso e na mídia corporativa estão fazendo ameaças sobre a liberação das 28 páginas.

É um ato de equilíbrio destinado a manter o novo rei saudita e seus assessores mais jovens sob controle, ajudando-os a compreender que seu país pode ser controlado por meio da força-dirigida da propaganda, se necessário.

As leis norte-americanas acerca da imunidade soberana têm sido a base para a rejeição de processos por parte das famílias do 11/9 no passado. A administração de Obama prevê que, se as alterações a estas leis forem feitas, os EUA estariam abertos a ações judiciais por parte dos muitos estrangeiros que o país tem atacado; por exemplo, as vítimas da invasão e da ocupação do Iraque.

A única exceção à lei é que os cidadãos podem processar um governo estrangeiro citado pelos EUA como patrocinador do terrorismo. Portanto, se ao governo saudita é aberta uma exceção, ligando-o ao terrorismo, os EUA não teriam que mudar a lei e enfrentar o risco.

Estas questões parecem ser parte da iniciativa política dos líderes norte-americanos, engajando-se agora em controlar o governo saudita.

Qual seria o interesse da Casa de Saud em ajudar um ataque terrorista como o do 11/9 nos EUA, Kevin?

O regime saudita vê inimigos em todos os lugares, e usa sua relação com a máquina de guerra norte-americana para se proteger contra esses inimigos. A Casa de Saud tem colaborado com os EUA desde os anos de 1930 mas, na década de 1970, essa relação cresceu a ponto de incluir o apoio de operações secretas através de uma organização chamada Safari Club.

O presidente George H. W. Bush, mais tarde, ajudou a criar laços mais estreitos entre as operações da Arábia Saudita e da CIA através do financiamento terrorista da CIA à rede BCCI.

Essa rede privada financiou os mujahideen [combatentes] no Afeganistão, e foi o precursora da Al-Qaeda. O amigo pessoal, íntimo de Bush, o príncipe Bandar (Bandar Bush) tem estado no centro do terror apoiado pela Arábia desde antes do 11/9.
Kevin, observa-se algumas contradições profundas no contexto das 28 páginas: ele aponta que a Al-Qaeda esteva por trás dos ataques do 11/9, o que é refutado por Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth. Em segundo lugar, a grande mídia, que se esqueceu há muito tempo dos ataques do 11/9 e se recusou a investigar suas implicações, agora estranhamente anuncia as 28 páginas.

O professor Michel Chossudovsky observa que:

Este suposto envolvimento saudita nos ataques do 11/9 tem servido para conduzir segmentos do movimento pela verdade do 11/9 a um discurso errado e contraditório. (…) O objetivo do truque de propaganda da conexão saudita é, em última análise, sustentar a narrativa oficial que afirma que os terroristas islamitas estavam por trás dos ataques de 9/11.

Ele também lembra que:

As duas figuras-chave por trás dessa nova onda de propaganda são o ex-senador Bob Graham, que liderou a investigação conjunta do Senado e as comissões de Inteligência dos deputados, junto do republicano Porter Goss, funcionário de carreira da CIA que, posteriormente, foi nomeado Diretor de Inteligência Nacional (DNI) pela administração de Bush.

Graham coordenou a elaboração e a edição do relatório, incluindo as 28 páginas classificadas sobre a Arábia Saudita.

Enquanto Graham está sendo agora anunciado pela mídia como um defensor da verdade pelo 11/9, a evidência sugere que nos primeiros momentos pós-ataques do 11/9, ele esteve envolvido (em conjunto com Porter Goss) em um encobrimento em nome de Bush-Cheney.
Como você avalia esses fatos?

Professor Chossudovsky nos diz que a Al-Qaeda é uma criação da CIA. Isso não significa que a Al-Qaeda não existe, mas que se trata de uma inimiga controlada pelas pessoas que dizem nos proteger dela.

Jogando em ambos os lados novamente, como no caso de democratas contra republicanos e de judeus contra muçulmanos, os poucos poderosos podem facilmente enganar o público através deste tipo de propaganda dualista.

O artigo que você cita, de Chossudovsky, usa como base meu próprio artigo anterior sobre o assunto. Portanto, estamos de acordo sobre a questão em sua maior parte. No entanto, vejo as 28 páginas como não apenas um blefe que propaga o mito de que « os muçulmanos fizeram isso », que sabemos ser falso, mas também como meio de controlar o regime saudita.

A mídia ainda fala sobre os « 19 sequestradores », a maioria deles sauditas enquanto sete deles estão comprovadamente vivos. Desta maneira, o número de supostos sequestradores deve ser mudado, não? E como você vê o fato de que alguns dos supostos terroristas suicidas nos aviões anunciados pelo FBI, logo depois apareceram vivo no Norte da África e no Oriente Médio?

Nas semanas posteriores aos atentados do 11/9, fontes de notícias tradicionais informaram que alguns dos sequestradores acusados ainda estavam vivos. Isso foi relatado por importantes meios de comunicação, como The Independent, o London Telegraph e a British Broadcasting Corporation.

Embora a BBC tenha tentado retirar as reivindicações mais tarde, o Telegraph informou que havia entrevistadoalguns desses homens, os quais o jornal disse que tinha os mesmos nomes, as mesmas datas de nascimento, os mesmos locais de nascimento, e as mesmas ocupações dos acusados.

Embora tenha havido especulações sobre identidades roubadas, ninguém explicou satisfatoriamente as discrepâncias acerca dos relatos dos supostos terroristas ainda estarem vivos.

Uma tentativa particularmente frágil, citada como fonte primária na Wikipedia, era uma absurda reportagem sem nenhuma base da revista alemã Der Spiegel, que utilizou o « historiador dos EUA, Daniel Pipes » como autoridade.

Não é mencionado o fato de que Pipes, um neocon de segunda geração e assinante do Project for the New American Century, é sem dúvida o islamofóbico mais importantes do mundo.

Mais importante, os relatórios de que os homens acusados ainda estavam vivos não foram investigados pelo FBI nem pela Comissão do 11/9. Mesmo o novo diretor do FBI, Robert Mueller, expressou publicamente dúvidas sobre a identidade dos sequestradores.

No entanto, até hoje não houve nenhuma resposta oficial a estas contradições, apesar de sua alta relevância para a investigação em geral.

Você diz que « nos EUA, a mídia tende a focar a história apenas na Arábia Saudita ». A que se deve isso?

Quando os meios de comunicação predominantes relatam as questões não respondidas do 11/9, geralmente são muito limitados. Nunca vemos histórias sobre os testemunhos do bombeiro para as explosões secundárias nos edifícios do World Trade Center, nem investigação sobre os exercícios militares que obstruíam as respostas de defesa aérea naquele dia. Não ouvimos nada sobre como setenta por cento das questões das famílias das vítimas do 11/9 permanecem sem resposta diante da versão oficial.

Apenas ouvimos sugestões de que a Arábia Saudita poderia estar envolvida no financiamento à Al-Qaeda. Embora isso provavelmente seja verdade até certo ponto, dizer que tal revelação vai nos trazer a verdade sobre os crimes do 11/9 é como dizer que a verdade sobre o câncer é que ele é causado por tumores, sem nunca questionar como surgem os tumores. Há, em ambos os casos, muito mais a ser desvendado.

A Arábia Saudita tem a [segunda] maior reserva de petróleo do mundo, e a economia EUA é criticamente dependente da estabilidade da Arábia e do fornecimento deste recurso vital. A manutenção da relação EUA-Arábia e os preços do petróleo em dólares norte-americanos são prioridades muito altas para os líderes norte-americanos.

É justo dizer que qualquer coisa que os líderes do governo EUA digam sobre a Arábia Saudita, está ligada à manutenção deste relacionamento e ao sistema de petrodólares. Isso, na minha opinião, inclui os clamores pela liberação das 28 páginas ainda classificadas.

Diz-se que milhares de judeus que trabalhavam no World Trade Center, surpreendentemente, não foram trabalhar exatamente no dia 11 de setembro de 2001. O que você pode dizer sobre isso?

Que o mito tem sido muito exagerado. Essa versão parece ter se originado no fato de que dois funcionários de uma empresa israelense localizada em Nova Iorque foram avisados de que um ataque poderia ocorrer na cidade naquela manhã.

Apesar disso, o aviso não foi específico sobre o World Trade Center e levou a uma investigação que aparentemente nunca foi concluída. O que as pessoas precisam entender é que havia uma grande quantidade de conhecimento prévio sobre os ataques do 11/9, com uma dúzia de governos fornecendo alertas de vários tipos antes dos ataques. O governo israelense estava entre os doze governos que forneceram avisos, segundo informações da Imprensa.

É também muito importante entender que o 11/9 foi um engano que utilizou as tendências mais banais da psique humana. Embora a guerra nunca se deu por diferenças religiosas, os mais frágeis entre nós sempre irá achar que que é assim, pois eles estão sendo enganados.

E cria dicotomias duvidosas como a do judeu contra os muçulmanos ou a do democrata contra o republicano, que têm sido uma maneira de enganar as massas enquanto os verdadeiros culpados jogam dos dois lados, para seu próprio benefício. Em relação ao 11/9, já passou da hora de se reconhecer que a religião não teve nada a ver com aquilo, e que os estrangeiros não poderiam ter perpetrado os atentados.

O professor David Griffin menciona em seu livro  The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions about the Bush Administration and 9/11, que o governo dos EUA tem sido o principal beneficiário dos ataques. Você também menciona em seu livro Another Nineteen: Investigating Legitimate 9/11 Suspects, que a versão oficial é falsa. Para você, quais poderiam ser os interesses do governo dos EUA em relação aos ataques do 11/9? Você acredita que eles realmente foram um « novo Pearl Harbor » para Washington já que o próprio Project for the New American Centrury de 2000, elaborado por membros do Partido Republicano quando Bush era candidato a presidente, apontava como necessário aos Estados Unidos?

Concordo com o ponto principal do professor Griffin, sim. Os crimes do 11/9 foram um pretexto para guerras de agressão que já tinham sido previstas, empreendidas para consolidar o poder através da pilhagem de recursos naturais.

O exercício desse novo poder tem se dado através da máquina de guerra norte-americana, mas os verdadeiros beneficiários são empresas transnacionais e as pessoas que são proprietárias dessas empresas.

Um exemplo de empresa que se beneficiou dos ataques foi a Science Applications International Corporation(SAIC).

Você mencionou anteriormente que « questões das famílias das vítimas do 11/9 permanecem sem resposta diante da versão oficial ». Você também diz em seu livro que é necessária uma nova investigação sobre os crimes do 11/9. Aponte, por favor, as questões que permanecem sem resposta.

As perguntas sem resposta da Family Steering Committee for the 9/11 Independent Commission podem ser encontrados na Internet. As perguntas são voltadas aos líderes norte-americanos que foram completamente ineficazes em proteger a nação.

Como evidenciei em meu livro, ou esses mesmos homens facilitaram o terrorismo ou inexplicavelmente fracassaram ao responder quando a nação foi atacada.

As questões mais amplas que permanecem sem resposta incluem: Por que a rede de comando dos EUA não responder aos ataques? Nenhum dos principais líderes fez nada para proteger a nação, e muitas das pessoas mais importantes não estavam presentes em seus postos de trabalho.

Além disso, por que as defesas aéreas norte-americanas não conseguiram, com aviões sequestrados voando ao redor do país durante duas horas, capturá-los com jatos interceptadores como é o caso frequente? Esta questão é agravada pelo fato de que quatro relatos oficiais diferentes foram apresentados para as falhas da defesa aérea, cada um contrariando o anterior.

Da mesma forma, vários relatos oficiais diferentes foram fornecidos para a destruição sem precedentes dos três grandes edifícios naquele dia, mas nenhuma dessas explicações jamais considerou a óbvia hipótese de demolição controlada. A hipótese de demolição é agora sustentada por uma grande quantidade de evidências, e por isso devemos perguntar: Quem colocou explosivos nos edifícios do World Trade Center?

Como estas questões podem ser respondidas? Que medidas as famílias e ativistas como você reivindicam que devam ser tomadas? 

Estas perguntas podem ser respondidas através da investigação. No entanto, uma vez que tivemos várias investigações do governo dos EUA que não conseguiram responder à maioria das perguntas, precisamos de investigação independente, talvez internacional.

Há muita coisa que os investigadores independentes podem fazer para revelar mais envolvendo a verdade.

Você convida as pessoas que perguntam o que mais pode ser feito para alcançar verdade e justiça pelo 9/11, a formular as seguintes questões:

1. O que mais podemos saber da versão oficial sobre transponder e do uso do piloto automático no 11/9?

2. Quem foi convidado à reunião de eliminação de explosivos/terrorismo no World Trade Center 7 na manhã de 11 de setembro de 2001, e qual foi a ordem do dia?

3. O que os clubes de strip-tease, os bares e os outros negócios frequentados pelos supostos terroristas têm em comum?

Comente, por favor, cada um desses pontos, Kevin.

Estes são apenas alguns exemplos de perguntas para investigadores independentes. A primeira trata de como os aviões foram sequestrados e por que não houve resposta. Muitas vezes as pessoas entendem mal, pensando que os transponders dos aviões sequestrados foram todos desligados e, portanto, os aviões não poderiam ter sido rastreados.

Esta afirmação não reconhece que as autoridades tinham rastreado aviões que traficavam drogas via radar por muitos anos. Mais importante, o voo 175 não desligou seu transponder. Este foi o segundo avião que atingiu o World Trade Center e seu transponder esteve ligado durante todo o tempo que os defensores de ar o assistiam na tela.

Por isso, eles sabiam que estava fora da rota. Voou sequestrado por 20 minutos após o primeiro avião ter atingido o World Trade Center (cerca de 45 minutos após o primeiro sequestro, este fato era sabido das lideranças da Administração Federal de Aviação).

Na medida que o piloto automático avança, é interessante notar que, de acordo com o estudo oficial da trajetória de voo, o piloto automático do voo 77 ficou ligado enquanto o avião era sequestrado, e ao longo de sua volta de 180 graus de volta para Washington. Parece que ou a volta a Washington foi parte do caminho do voo programado, ou o piloto automático foi comandado instantaneamente.

A segunda questão refere-se a uma reunião convocada por Larry Silverstein e pelo Serviço Secreto no edifício 7 do World Trade Center na manhã de 11/9. Unidades de eliminação de explosivos provenientes de instalações militares dos EUA haviam sido convidadas para a reunião. Foi apenas mais uma incrível coincidência? Precisamos saber mais sobre isso.

A terceira questão centra-se nos homens acusados. Os fatos que sabemos sobre eles mostram que se comportaram de forma bastante diferente do que o governo apresentou, e eles, claramente, não eram muçulmanos. Quem os apoiou?

Em que pontos a Comissão do 11/9 falhou?

Como afirmado anteriormente, a Comissão do 11/9 não conseguiu responder 70% das perguntas colocadas pelas famílias do 11/9, responsáveis por dirigir a criação da Comissão.

Também é importante perceber que um esboço do que viria a se tornar o Relatório da Comissão do 11/9 foi produzido antes do início da investigação. O esboço foi mantido em sigilo do pessoal da Comissão, e parece ter determinado o resultado da investigação.

Além disso, a Comissão alegou repetidas vezes, 63 vezes para ser exato, que não encontrou nenhuma evidência relacionada a muitos dos aspectos mais importantes dos crimes. Esses fatos sugerem que a Comissão nunca teve nenhuma intenção de revelar a verdade sobre o 9/11.

Evidências apontam para uma « execução interna » dos atentados, isto é, perpetrada dentro dos Estados Unidos e não a partir de cavernas no Afeganistão?

Por « execução interna », a maioria das pessoas quer dizer que os norte-americanos em posições de poder foram responsáveis pela realização dos ataques. Deste ponto de vista, é difícil discordar considerando que as pessoas fora dos Estados Unidos não poderiam ter feito o que precisava ser feito [para atingir e derrubar as Torres Gêmeas e o Pentágono].

Por exemplo, apenas os norte-americanos poderiam ter levado a rede de comando dos EUA a falhar, e apenas os norte-americanos poderiam ter desativado as defesas aéreas.

Em outro sentido, o 11/9 continua sendo um « trabalho interno » pelo qual muitos norte-americanos não vão sequer atentar à evidência dos crimes. Eles simplesmente não podem considerar as implicações que se seguem, a partir da ideia de que não sabemos quem nos atacou em 11/9. As barreiras psicológicas são muito grandes.

Como está o estado de espírito da sociedade norte-americana em geral, no que respeita à luta pela investigação independente dos atentados do 11/9?

Infelizmente, muitos norte-americanos não estão interessados em nada que questione sua lealdade cega ao governo. Para alguns, muitas das instituições da própria vida seriam colocadas em questão se os fatos sobre o 11/9 fossem conhecidos.

Eles teriam que perguntar por que tantas pessoas não conseguiram fazer o seu trabalho, incluindo aqueles dentro do sistema de justiça, da mídia, das universidades, e da aplicação da lei. Isso os tiraria do conforto psicológico e, portanto, muitas pessoas não podem seguir por este caminho.

Como você vê a cobertura da mídia, tanto a predominante quanto a alternativo, envolvendo as investigações do 11/9? Como pode atuar a mídia a fim de ser um suporte realmente eficaz para a apuração da verdade dos fatos?

Na sociedade de hoje, a mídia não é uma ferramenta para informar o público. É de entretenimento e propaganda. As pessoas não são entretidas por questões que desafiam seriamente as principais instituições de suas vidas.

E isso não é do interesse dos meios de comunicação, que agora são quase inteiramente de propriedade de apenas algumas grandes corporações para impor a verdade à sociedade. Como a GE pode vender armas se sua parceira, a rede de TV NBC disser às pessoas a verdade sobre a guerra?

Existem maneiras de se produzir uma mídia mais objetiva e responsável, eu acho. Mas isso requer que as pessoas passem por momentos mais dolorosos em que são forçadas a ver o engodo em suas próprias vidas. Talvez o próximo grande ataque terrorista leve a uma convocatória para reportagens mais factuais.

Qual é sua expectativa em relação aos candidatos presidenciais atuais, a fim de se ter uma investigação levada a sério nos próximos anos envolvendo o 11/9?

Nenhum dos candidatos presidenciais vai fazer nada para desafiar a versão oficial do 11/9. Se o fizessem, nunca ouviríamos nada sobre eles na mídia corporativa.

 

Artigo original em inglês :

911-truth

9/11 Truth and Saudi Arabia’s Alleged Involvement in the 9/11 Attacks. The Missing 28 Pages

  • Posted in Português
  • Commentaires fermés sur Verdades sobre o 11 de Setembro e Suposto Envolvimento Saudita nos Ataques

Saviez-vous qu’aux États-Unis, à trois reprises, des gouvernements ont répudié avec succès les dettes publiques dues aux banquiers privés ?

Dans les années 1830, quatre États des États-Unis ont répudié leurs dettes ; il s’agissait du Mississipi, de l’Arkansas, de la Floride et du Michigan |1|. Les créanciers étaient principalement britanniques. Alexander Nahum Sack écrit à ce propos : « L’une des principales raisons justifiant ces répudiations a été le gaspillage des deniers empruntés : le plus souvent on avait emprunté pour l’établissement de banques ou la construction de chemins de fer ; or, ces banques firent faillite, les lignes de chemins de fer ne furent pas construites. Ces opérations louches ont été souvent le résultat d’un accord entre des membres indélicats du gouvernement et des créanciers malhonnêtes » (p. 158) |2|. Les créanciers qui ont essayé de poursuivre, devant la justice fédérale des États-Unis, les États qui avaient répudié leurs dettes ont été déboutés. Pour fonder ce rejet des plaintes, la justice fédérale s’est basée sur le 11eamendement à la Constitution des États-Unis qui prescrit que « le pouvoir judiciaire des États-Unis ne peut mener aucun procès civil ou en équité à l’encontre de l’un des États des États-Unis intenté par un citoyen d’un autre État, ou par des citoyens ou sujets d’États étrangers. » |3| Cet acte unilatéral de répudiation a été couronné de succès. Les motifs de la répudiation étaient le mauvais usage des fonds empruntés et la malhonnêteté tant des emprunteurs que des prêteurs. Il n’était pas fait référence à un quelconque caractère despotique du régime.

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La guerre de sécession aux États-Unis

À la suite de la Guerre de Sécession (1861-1865), le gouvernement fédéral a obligé les États sudistes à répudier les dettes qu’ils avaient contractées pour mener la guerre. C’est l’objet du 14e amendement à la Constitution des États-Unis, qui stipule que « neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States » (« ni les États-Unis, ni aucun État n’assumera ou ne paiera une dette ou une obligation contractée pour aider une insurrection ou une rébellion contre les États-Unis ») |4|. Les créanciers avaient acheté, à Londres et à Paris principalement, des titres émis par des banquiers européens pour le compte des États sudistes. Parmi les créanciers, on trouvait la Banque Erlanger de Paris ainsi que sa filiale londonienne. Elle a organisé en 1865 la souscription de « l’emprunt Erlanger », permettant aux épargnants de se faire rembourser en coton du Sud des États-Unis, à l’époque de la guerre de Sécession, sous réserve que les États confédérés du Sud l’emportent. Ce pari était rémunéré par un taux d’intérêt, relativement élevé pour l’époque, de 7 % par an. L’emprunt était aussi négociable à Londres. Pendant la guerre de Sécession, les États du Sud avaient organisé une rétention du coton, qui a propulsé les cours jusqu’à un record historique de 1,89 dollar la livre, toujours inégalé deux siècles plus tard. Cette hausse représentait une multiplication par vingt du cours en quelques mois, mais les industriels britanniques avaient eu le temps de constituer des stocks. En 1870, cinq ans après la fin de la guerre, le coton américain avait quasiment retrouvé son niveau de production et le pays restera leader mondial du coton jusqu’en 1931, comme il l’était depuis 1803. Mais les porteurs d’obligations ne furent jamais remboursés, étant donné la répudiation décrétée par le gouvernement fédéral et l’application de la section 4 du 14e amendement à la Constitution (Voir La dette : l’arme qui a permis à la France de s’approprier la Tunisie). La motivation de la répudiation était que les emprunts avaient servi à financer la rébellion des États du Sud, regroupés dans la confédération, contre les États-Unis. Il n’était pas question de la nature despotique, ou autre, du régime des États du Sud. C’est la finalité des emprunts qui a été invoquée et surtout le fait qu’ils avaient été contractés par des forces rebelles.

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Le président Lincoln rendant visites aux troupes

Une troisième vague de répudiations a eu lieu aux États-Unis après 1877. Huit États du Sud |5| répudièrent leurs dettes en décrétant que les dettes accumulées pendant la période qui s’étend entre la fin de la Guerre de Sécession et 1877 résultaient des emprunts illicites effectués par des politiciens corrompus (dont des esclaves affranchis) qui étaient soutenus par les États du Nord. Cette répudiation a donc été décidée par des gouvernants racistes (ils appartenaient en général au parti démocrate) revenus au pouvoir au Sud après le retrait des troupes fédérales qui ont occupé le Sud jusqu’en 1877.

Ces trois exemples d’annulation des dettes publiques montrent qu’il est parfaitement possible pour les pouvoirs publics de répudier des dettes. Les raisons invoquées ont varié et le troisième cas de répudiation, dont les motivations sont contraires aux droits humains, renforce l’idée selon laquelle les gouvernements, s’ils le veulent, peuvent imposer aux banquiers de faire les frais d’une annulation de dettes. Évidemment, il faut s’assurer qu’une telle répudiation soit légitime et respecte les droits humains.

Eric Toussaint

Notes

|1| Ce texte est le troisième d’une série consacrée à des répudiations de dettes qui ont eu lieu aux États-Unis, à Cuba et au Costa Rica au 19e siècle et avant la Seconde Guerre mondiale. Le premier texte : « La répudiation par les États-Unis de la dette réclamée à Cuba par l’Espagne en 1898, Quid de la Grèce, de Chypre, du Portugal, etc. ? », le second : « En quoi la répudiation des dettes par le Costa Rica devrait inspirer d’autres pays ». Résumé de la politique extérieure des États-Unis à l’égard de ses voisins des Amériques au cours du 19e siècle jusqu’aux années 1930.

|2Les effets des transformations des États sur leurs dettes publiques et autres obligations financières : traité juridique et financier, Recueil Sirey, Paris, 1927. Voir le document presque complet en téléchargement libre sur le site du CADTM

|3| Concernant le 11e amendement, voir https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/XIe_a…

|4| Il est très important de souligner que le 14e amendement exclut également toute indemnisation des propriétaires d’esclaves. Quatre millions d’esclaves furent émancipés sans la moindre compensation à l’égard de leurs anciens maîtres. Source : Sarah Ludington, G. Mitu Gulati, Alfred L. Brophy, « Applied Legal History : Demystifying the Doctrine of Odious Debts », 2009. Pour se faire une idée de la lutte contre l’esclavage dans le contexte de la guerre de sécession, voir le film The Free State of Jones sorti sur les écrans en 2016.

|5| Il s’agit de l’Alabama, l’Arkansas, la Floride, la Géorgie, la Louisiane, la Caroline du Nord, la Caroline du Sud et le Tennessee. Pour plus de détails, voir Sarah Ludington, G. Mitu Gulati, Alfred L. Brophy, op.cit.
Pour se faire une idée de la lutte contre l’esclavage et la discrimination raciale pendant et après la guerre de sécession, voir l’intéressant film The Free State of Jones sorti sur les écrans en 2016.

Eric Toussaint docteur en sciences politiques des universités de Liège et de Paris VIII, est porte-parole du CADTM international et est membre du Conseil scientifique d’ATTAC France. Il est auteur des livres Bancocratie, ADEN, Bruxelles, 2014, Procès d’un homme exemplaire, Editions Al Dante, Marseille, 2013 ; Un coup d’œil dans le rétroviseur. L’idéologie néolibérale des origines jusqu’à aujourd’hui, Le Cerisier, Mons, 2010. Il est coauteur avec Damien Millet du livre AAA, Audit, Annulation, Autre politique, Le Seuil, Paris, 2012 ; La dette ou la vie, Aden/CADTM, Bruxelles, 2011. Ce dernier livre a reçu le Prix du livre politique octroyé par la Foire du livre politique de Liège Dernier livre : Bancocratie ADEN, Brussels, 2014. Il a coordonné les travaux de la Commission pour la Vérité sur la dette publique de la Grèce créée le 4 avril 2015 créée par la la présidente du Parlement grec. Cette commission a fonctionné sous les auspices du parlement entre avril et octobre 2015. Suite à sa dissolution annoncée le 12 novembre 2015 par le nouveau président du parlement grec, l’ex-Commission a poursuivi ses travaux et s’est dotée d’un statut légal d’association sans but lucratif.
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Biens communs : Le pillage grec

octobre 26th, 2016 by Eleni Panousi

Le « Fonds de mise en valeur du patrimoine privé de l’État grec », ou TAIPED |1|, a été établi en 2011 dans le cadre du 2e mémorandum. Son statut juridique est celui de société anonyme avec un actionnaire unique : l’État grec. La troïka est fortement impliquée dans toute décision le concernant. Elle assure, avec deux observateurs, le contrôle du conseil d’administration, et nomme trois des sept membres du « Comité d’experts ». Le TAIPED est financé par le produit de privatisations, de concessions d’utilisation ou d’exploitation, estimé à 50 milliards d’euros, un chiffre qui ne se base sur aucune réalité. Les privatisations et les concessions ne prennent pas en compte la valeur réelle des actifs grecs, sous-estimés du fait de l’écroulement économique |2|. Il gère aujourd’hui le plus important programme de privatisation au monde !

Au cours des années suivant sa création – des années marquées pour la Grèce par une profonde récession et une crise humanitaire allant en s’aggravant – le TAIPED a souvent été volontairement associé par les dirigeants politiques grecs à un discours vantant les « privatisations » comme des « investissements » nécessaires au pays. Les gouvernements successifs ont cherché à éviter une réelle prise de conscience de la vraie nature de ce programme, baptisé par Syriza, avant sa prise de pouvoir, de « Chenil des scandales » |3|. Pensé par les « instances » non élues de l’UE comme un fonds qui allait permettre de rembourser – sur le court terme – une partie de la dette publique contractée par le pays, le TAIPED conduit aujourd’hui la Grèce à brader une quantité exorbitante de ses biens, ce qui permet aux « acquéreurs vautours », étrangers comme locaux, de s’approprier ou d’exploiter – dans le cadre de concessions d’utilisation et d’exploitation – une très grande partie de son patrimoine !

Détournement de la législation grecque par le « TAIPED »

Le portefeuille du TAIPED comprend des infrastructures, aéroports, ports, routes, autoroutes et autres, des sociétés, eau, électricité, exploitation des ressources naturelles, téléphonie, jeux d’argent et de très nombreux biens immobiliers : des milliers d’hectares de terrains – surtout en bord de mer – et un très grand nombre de bâtiments publics abritant des services et des organismes publics.

La loi fondatrice stipule que l’utilisation des biens publics grecs peut se faire par vente, location, gestion des affectations, concession… Les biens transférés entrent dans le fonds sans contrepartie. Il reçoit la pleine propriété et la possession immédiate des biens transférés lesquels ne peuvent plus retourner dans le secteur public.

Les privatisations s’opposent aux politiques de défense de l’environnement

Le but du TAIPED est bien le démantèlement et l’exploitation par le privé de l’ensemble du patrimoine de l’État grec. De très nombreux décrets et textes de lois ont été mis en place dès 2010, des procédures rapides visant à contourner le cadre législatif pour la protection de l’environnement et le développement durable ont été adoptées, réduisant d’autant le rôle et le contrôle de l’État. Les textes de lois ont été amputés de la notion de patrimoine « public », ce qui a ouvert la porte aux exploitations incontrôlées, en particulier celle des zones naturelles protégées.

L’impact écologique

Les privatisations s’opposent aux politiques de défense de l’environnement. Alors que tous les sites naturels protégés étaient regroupés dans ce qu’on appelle le « patrimoine public », qu’ils soient publics ou privés, avec le TAIPED ils tombent dans le domaine privé. C’est ainsi que la disparition de la notion de « patrimoine public » ou communs, signe la fin de la protection des sites. Il en va de même de la totalité des ressources énergétiques de la Grèce en cours de privatisation, comme le pétrole, le gaz naturel, l’électricité, l’eau et de très nombreux sites en montagne pour y installer des éoliennes, etc. La politique extractiviste, le pillage des communs pratiqué depuis des siècles dans les pays en développement, par des entreprises privées ou des États colonisateurs, bat son plein dans la Grèce d’aujourd’hui. L’installation de mines privées et autres sociétés extractivistes dans des sites comme Skouries |4| – non gérés par le TAIPED pour l’instant – en sont un exemple caractéristique.

Le nombre de terres, d’îles, de sites naturels en bordure de mer ou de lacs en vente est tel qu’en ne prenant en compte que la privatisation des accès – à la mer, aux lacs et rivières – ou la taille des projets futurs, on peut se faire une idée du bouleversement écologique à venir. Son ampleur sera catastrophique à l’échelle du territoire grec. Aucune étude sur l’avenir de ces zones à la suite de ces « plans de privatisation » n’a été réalisée par l’État grec. Les biens mis en vente ont été choisis selon la logique du bénéfice maximum sur le court terme. Les quelques études de faisabilité citées sur le site du TAIPED sont réalisées par des bureaux d’études fantômes qui ne sont là que pour valider les ventes. Le « développement » proposé – une catastrophe certaine – se fait au nom de la croissance du tourisme. Il suffit de jeter un coup d’oeil au site du fonds pour se rendre compte à quel point le « développement » en question sera destructeur pour l’environnement et l’esthétique des lieux, ce qui sera à terme contre-productif.

Pour la première fois, au cours de l’histoire grecque, les plages grecques et toutes les terres situées en front de mer sont en danger de perdre leur caractère public autant que leur caractère naturel, à l’image des immenses projets touristiques en Espagne. Des catastrophes écologiques autant que des destructions de paysage. Les sites archéologiques et les bâtiments de grand intérêt culturel ne semblent pas non plus être à l’abri.

Un grand nombre de zones « ouvertes à l’exploitation »se trouvent dans des zones de protection internationale (Ramsar, Natura 2000) et la question se pose de savoir qui paiera les amendes des traités internationaux qui ne seront pas respectés. Dans l’ambiguïté générale en matière de bien public, le patrimoine hellénique est pris en sandwich entre ce qui est censé être protégé, une catégorie qui tend pourtant à disparaître, et ce qui peut être considéré comme une propriété privée de l’État. De nombreux sites ont déjà été vendus, certains en bord de mer, d’autres avec des lacs naturels, sans qu’aucune clause de protection, étude des dangers et impacts écologiques ne soit inclus dans les contrats de vente aux investisseurs.

Tel est le résultat de la politique impulsée par la Troïka européenne, aujourd’hui Quartet, au nom du remboursement de la dette publique du pays. Pourtant au moment des premiers problèmes en 2009, son montant était de 127 % du PIB. Un an après le 3e mémorandum signé par le gouvernement socialiste Syriza en 2015, cette fameuse dette publique approche les 185 % du PIB. L’écroulement social et économique de la Grèce, dû à ces politiques imposées de l’extérieur et privilégiant le remboursement de dettes illégitimes et insoutenables, selon les textes internationaux comme la déclaration universelle des droits de l’Homme, en est la cause.

Nous ne pouvons que constater le mensonge du Quartet prétendant créer les conditions économiques du remboursement. Ce dépeçage de la Grèce au nom du paiement de la dette n’est-il pas le but caché de ces mémorandums ? Cela ne relève-t-il pas d’une époque que l’on pensait disparue, celle de la politique de la « canonnière », de la prison ou de l’esclavage pour dette impayée ? Veut-on faire subir à la Grèce un sort analogue à celui d’Haïti, qui, contrainte de payer pendant un siècle une rançon à la France, est aujourd’hui complètement dominée par des intérêts étrangers, et dont la population vit dans une très grande pauvreté ?

Eleni Panousi


Cet article est extrait du magazine du CADTM : Les Autres Voix de la Planète

 

Notes

|1| Remplacé par le HCAP S.A (Hellenic Corporation of Assets and Participations S.A.) Plus d’infos voir : Le triste anniversaire du troisième mémorandum

|2| « Entre 2010 et 2015, les privatisations grecques n’ont rapporté que 5,4 milliards d’euros ». Romaric Godin, « Grèce : la vraie nature du troisième mémorandum », La Tribune, 15/7/2015

|3| SYRIZA avait publié, avant de prendre le pouvoir, un rapport exhaustif qui faisait état des grands scandales en Grèce. Il s’agit de « la Bible noire de la honte », EEKE, Commission de transparence des Affaires publiques, Syriza, publiée en Mai 2014. Le chapitre dédié au TAIPED avait pour titre « TAIPED, le chenil des scandales ou les bonnes privatisations ! “La Bible noire de la honte », pages 94 à 107. https://issuu.com/blackbook14/docs/…

|4| Il s’agit de la mine d’or , « Hellenic Gold » , investisseur privé sur le site de Skouries à Halkidiki, ancien site forestier d’une grande beauté, aujourd’hui pillé de ses richesses naturelles et dangereusement pollué.

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Formation de soldats français à l’encadrement de Daech

octobre 26th, 2016 by Réseau Voltaire

Le 22 septembre 2016, en nettoyant les abords d’un refuge troglodyte abandonné, non loin de l’église Saint-Florent, à la sortie de Saumur (France), des travailleurs ont vu trois hommes s’enfuir précipitamment dans une fourgonnette blanche. En pénétrant dans la grotte, ils ont découvert du matériel vidéo, un groupe électrogène ainsi que des journaux en langue arabe et des drapeaux de Daech.

Calmant l’émoi de la population, de la police et de la gendarmerie, et du sous-préfet, le général Arnaud Nicolazo de Barmon, commandant les Écoles militaires de Saumur, a déclaré qu’il ne s’agissait pas de terroristes, mais d’un exercice de formation du Centre interarmées de la défense nucléaire, radiologique, biologique et chimique (CIA NBCR).

Si tel était le cas, en plein état d’urgence, le CIA NBCR aurait violé les règles de notification de cet exercice, avant sa réalisation, auprès des différents pouvoirs publics locaux. En outre, on ne voit pas en quoi ce matériel aurait une quelconque utilité pour des exercices de défense nucléaire, radiologique, biologique ou chimique.

Dans les mêmes locaux que le CIA NBCR à Saumur se trouvent des écoles spécialisées dans le Renseignement et le Combat interarmes.

Depuis le tout début des événements en Syrie, en 2011, la présence de Forces françaises y est attestée. En 2012, 19 soldats français qui avaient été faits prisonniers avaient été restitués à la frontière libanaise au chef d’état-major des armées, l’amiral Édouard Guillaud, avec d’autres soldats encadrant l’Émirat islamique de Baba Amr. La morts de soldats français encadrant des troupes islamistes a été certifiée en de nombreux endroits, notamment à Sannayeh en 2013. Bien que la France ait, en 2014, soutenu Al-Qaïda contre Daesh, la présence d’officiers français au sein du Califat a été attestée par plusieurs témoins en 2016.

En novembre 2014, le Pentagone déclarait avoir tué à Samarda un agent de la DGSE travaillant au sein d’Al-Qaïda, David Drugeon, tandis que le ministère français de la Défense démentait tout lien avec la victime. Par la suite, la presse états-unienne affirmait que David Drugeon avait formé Mohamed Mera (attentat de Toulouse et de Montauban) et les frères Kouachi (attentat contre Charlie Hebdo).

La France n’a jamais officiellement reconnu avoir des troupes au sol en Syrie, bien qu’elle ait admis y avoir un quartier général commun avec des forces spéciales alliées.

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Les États-Unis vont-ils se réformer ou se déchirer ?

octobre 26th, 2016 by Thierry Meyssan

Observant la campagne électorale présidentielle états-unienne, Thierry Meyssan analyse la résurgence d’un vieux et lourd conflit civilisationnel. Hillary Clinton vient de déclarer que cette élection ne portait pas sur des programmes, mais sur la question de savoir « Qui sont les Américains ? ». Ce n’est pas sur des questions politiques que les ténors républicains viennent de retirer leur soutien à leur candidat, Donald Trump, mais à propos de son comportement personnel. Selon notre auteur, jusqu’à présent, les États-uniens étaient des migrants venant d’horizons différents et acceptant de se soumettre à l’idéologie d’une communauté particulière. C’est ce modèle qui est en train de se briser, au risque de briser le pays lui-même.


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73% des électeurs millénaristes (c’est-à-dire croyant à l’imminence de la fin du monde) condamnent le candidat républicain Donald Trump. 68% d’entre eux considèrent que la candidate démocrate Hillary Clinton est plus apte à défendre les classes moyennes ; 64% qu’elle est meilleure en politique étrangère ; 61% en économie.

 

Au cours de l’année de campagne électorale états-unienne que nous venons de traverser, la rhétorique a profondément changé et un clivage inattendu est apparu entre les deux camps. Si, au départ, les candidats parlaient de sujets proprement politiques (comme la répartition des richesses ou la sécurité nationale), ils traitent aujourd’hui principalement de sexe et d’argent.

C’est ce discours et non pas les questions politiques qui a fait exploser le Parti républicain —dont les principaux leaders ont retiré leur soutien à leur candidat— et qui recompose l’échiquier politique, faisant ressurgir un très ancien clivage civilisationnel. D’un côté, Madame Clinton se veut politiquement correcte tandis que de l’autre « Le Donald » fait voler en éclats l’hypocrisie de l’ancienne « première Dame ».

D’un côté, Hillary Clinton promeut l’égalité hommes/femmes, bien qu’elle n’ait jamais hésité à attaquer et salir les femmes qui révélaient avoir couché avec son mari ; qu’elle se présente non pas pour ses qualités personnelles, mais en tant qu’épouse d’un ancien président, et qu’elle accuse Donald Trump de misogynie parce qu’il ne cache pas son goût pour la gente féminine. De l’autre, Donald Trump dénonce la privatisation de l’État et le racket des personnalités étrangères par la Fondation Clinton pour obtenir un rendez-vous au département d’État ; la création de l’ObamaCare non pas dans l’intérêt des citoyens, mais pour le profit des assurances médicales ; et va jusqu’à mettre en cause la sincérité du système électoral.

J’ai parfaitement conscience que la manière dont s’exprime Donald Trump encourage de fait le racisme, mais je ne pense pas du tout que ce soit au cœur du débat électoral malgré la battage qu’en font les médias pro-Clinton.

Il n’est pas indifférent que, lors de l’affaire Lewinsky, le président Bill Clinton ait présenté ses excuses à la Nation et ait réuni des pasteurs pour prier pour son salut. Tandis que mis en cause pour des faits similaires par un enregistrement audio, Donald Trump s’est contenté de présenter ses excuses aux personnes qu’il avait blessées sans faire appel à des membres du clergé.

Le clivage actuel reprend la révolte des valeurs des Catholiques, des Orthodoxes et des Luthériens contre celles des Calvinistes, principalement représentés aux États-Unis par les Presbytériens, les Baptistes et les Méthodistes.

Si les deux candidats ont été élevés dans la tradition puritaine (Clinton comme Méthodiste et Trump comme Presbytérien), Madame Clinton est revenue à la religion à la mort de son père et participe aujourd’hui au groupe de prière des chefs d’état-major des armées, The Family, tandis que Monsieur Trump pratique une spiritualité plus intériorisée et ne fréquente guère de temples.

Bien sûr, personne n’est enfermé dans les schémas dans lesquels il a été élevé. Mais lorsque l’on agit sans réfléchir, on les reproduit à son insu. La question de l’environnement religieux de chacun peut donc être importante.

Pour comprendre ce qui est en jeu, il faut revenir en Angleterre au XVIIème siècle. Oliver Cromwell renversa par un coup d’État militaire le roi Charles Ier. Il prétendit instaurer une République, purifier l’âme du pays, et fit décapiter l’ancien souverain. Il créa un régime sectaire inspiré des idées de Calvin, massacra en masse les Irlandais papistes, et imposa un mode de vie puritain. Il conçu aussi le sionisme : il rappela les Juifs en Angleterre et fut le premier chef d’État au monde à réclamer la création d’un État juif en Palestine. Cet épisode sanglant est connu sous le nom de « Première Guerre civile britannique ».

Après le rétablissement de la monarchie, les Puritains de Cromwell fuirent l’Angleterre. Ils s’installèrent aux Pays-Bas, d’où certains d’entre eux partirent à bord du Mayflower aux Amériques (les « Pères pèlerins »), tandis que d’autres fondèrent la communauté Afrikaneer en Afrique australe. Lors de la Guerre d’indépendance des États-Unis au XVIIIe, on revit l’affrontement des Calvinistes contre la Monarchie britannique, de sorte que dans les manuels actuels d’Histoire britannique, on la désigne comme la « Seconde Guerre civile ».

Au XIXème siècle, la Guerre de sécession opposa les États du Sud (principalement habités par des colons catholiques) à ceux du Nord (plutôt habités par des colons protestants). L’Histoire des vainqueurs présente cet affrontement comme une lutte pour la liberté face à l’esclavage, ce qui est de la pure propagande (les États du Sud abolirent l’esclavage durant la guerre lorsqu’ils conclurent une alliance avec la monarchie britannique). De fait, on retrouva l’affrontement des Puritains contre le trône anglais, raison pour laquelle certains historiens parlent ici de « Troisième Guerre civile britannique ».

Au cours du XXème siècle, cet affrontement interne de la civilisation britannique semblait révolu, hormis la résurgence des Puritains au Royaume-Uni avec les « chrétiens non-conformistes » du Premier ministre David Llyod George. Ces derniers divisèrent l’Irlande et s’engagèrent à créer le « Foyer national juif » en Palestine.

Quoi qu’il en soit, un des conseillers de Richard Nixon, Kevin Philipps, consacra une thèse volumineuse à ces guerres civiles, constata qu’aucun des problèmes n’était résolu, et annonça une quatrième manche [1].

Les adeptes des Églises calvinistes, qui depuis 40 ans votaient massivement pour les Républicains, soutiennent désormais les Démocrates.

Je ne doute pas que Madame Clinton sera le prochain président des États-Unis, ou que si Monsieur Trump était élu, il serait rapidement éliminé. Mais en quelques mois, on assiste à une large redistribution électorale sur fond d’une évolution démographique irréversible. Les Églises issues des Puritains ne totalisent plus que le quart de la population et basculent dans le camp démocrate. Leur modèle apparaît comme un accident historique. Il a disparu d’Afrique du Sud et ne pourra pas survivre encore bien longtemps, ni aux États-Unis, ni en Israël.

Au-delà de l’élection présidentielle, la société US doit rapidement évoluer ou se déchirer à nouveau. Dans un pays où la jeunesse rejette massivement l’emprise des prêcheurs puritains, il n’est plus possible de déplacer la question de l’égalité. Les Puritains envisagent une société où tous les hommes sont égaux, mais pas équivalents. Lord Cromwell voulait une République pour les Anglais, mais seulement après avoir massacré les papistes irlandais. C’est ainsi qu’actuellement aux États-Unis, tous les citoyens sont égaux devant la loi, mais au nom des mêmes textes les tribunaux condamnent systématiquement des noirs tandis qu’ils trouvent des circonstances atténuantes aux blancs ayant commis des crimes ou délits équivalents. Et, dans la majorité des États, une condamnation pénale, même pour un excès de vitesse, suffit à se voir retirer le droit de vote. Par conséquent, blancs et noirs sont égaux, mais dans certains États, la majorité des hommes noirs a légalement été privée de son droit de vote. Le paradigme de cette pensée, en politique étrangère, c’est la « solution à deux États » en Palestine : égaux, mais surtout pas équivalents.

C’est la pensée puritaine qui a conduit les administrations du pasteur Carter, de Reagan, de Bush (Sr. et Jr. sont deux descendants directs des Pères pèlerins), de Clinton et d’Obama à soutenir le wahhabisme en contradiction avec les idéaux affichés par leur pays, et aujourd’hui à soutenir Daesh.

Jadis, les Pères pèlerins fondèrent des communautés à Plymouth et Boston, qui ont été idéalisées dans la mémoire collective états-unienne. Les historiens sont pourtant formels, ils disaient former le « Nouvel Israël » et choisirent la « Loi de Moïse ». Ils ne placèrent pas de Croix dans leurs temples, mais les Tables de la Loi. Quoique chrétiens, ils attachaient plus d’importance aux écritures juives qu’aux Évangiles. Ils obligèrent leurs femmes à se voiler la tête et rétablirent les châtiments corporels.

Thierry Meyssan


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Et si les prédictions de troubles populaires et même de chaos en Algérie pour sa soumission à l’ultralibéralisme par les instruments d’ajustement structurel appuyés par l’application des théories du choc et de la diversion par son gouvernement, ses partis politiques pédoncules, une presse d’obligés par son inféodation au capital et toute cette série de self fulfilling prophecies (prophéties auto-réalisatrices) s’avèrent fausses ?

L’action vaut plus que l’écrit

Par anticipation des troubles ou chaos en Algérie et en application du droit international, le 05 mars 2016, une lettre portant initiative BRINA [1] (acronyme de Sur la Base des RIchesses NAturelles) a été envoyée au Secrétaire général de l’ONU avec ampliation pour les dirigeants des plus importantes institutions internationales intergouvernementales telle que l’OTAN et à la présidence de la République française es qualité colonisateur de l’Algérie. Après réception d’une réponse au nom du S.G de l’ONU, sous le parrainage de l’ambassadeur du royaume de Suède, une autre lettre a été envoyée à certains ambassadeurs africains à l’ONU [2].

Les points essentiels de l’initiative BRINA sont : la délégation d’une mission onusienne pour l’étude et l’évaluation des risques de violences populaires en Algérie et de l’embrasement sous régional, une action de persuasion de la Banque mondiale en activant le mécanisme de la Politique d’accès à l’information pour la divulgation des accords signés avec l’Algérie ainsi qu’auprès du Fonds monétaire international pour divulguer d’une façon intelligible par les citoyens la position nette de l’Algérie, les mouvements ayant touché ses différents comptes (DTS, réserves internationales, dépôt aurifère) sur une période de trois ans  conformément au Guide du dialogue des services du FMI avec les parlementaires et de rendre public l’équation du taux de change effectif réel d’équilibre (du dinar algérien) [3].

Analyse sommaire de cette probable erreur de ces prédictions

Il est nécessaire d’établir une distinction entre troubles populaires, sociaux et chaos. Les populaires sont causés par l’injustice, le mépris des services administratifs et de police tant civile que politique envers le peuple. Les sociaux sont les événements liés aux effets dévastateurs des programme et politique d’ajustement structurel ou de crise économique induites par les politiques publiques. Le chaos est la situation dans laquelle les autorités officielles ont perdu toute emprise sur le cours des événements. C’est une situation marquée par un volume de violence et d’imposition d’un ordre fixé par des milices, des gangs et des mafias. Cette dernière est d’un point de vue empirique pilotée soit par la bourgeoisie soit par les anarcho-nihilistes ou les deux en y incluant les religieux et les militaires dans le cas de l’Algérie.

Dans ses publications par le Centre de recherche sur la mondialisation, l’auteur de ce texte fait partie des signatures qui ont spéculé sur ces cygnes noirs.

À l’heure de cette rédaction, la première explication de cette erreur dans la prédiction est liée à l’asymétrie de l’information et à l’opacité de la communication des parties prenantes tant algériennes qu’étrangères qui ont rendu difficile toute analyse des perspectives pour l’Algérie.

Le rédacteur a constaté que les missions de la Banque mondiale et du Fonds monétaire international en Algérie rendues publiques étaient devenues assez fréquentes. Il a utilisé quelques informations de l’agence Bloomberg, du Financial Times et le très peu de signaux relayés par les journaux algériens comme ces bourdes d’amateurs ou de condescendance lexicale des représentants de ces deux institutions comme aléa moral, libertés et droits de propriétés. Il a aussi exploité les déclarations de ministres Algériens contenant des concepts assez sophistiqués [4]. Les plus importants ont été : la rationalisation des dépenses de santé par le ministre de tutelle et la dévaluation compétitive du dinar utilisée par le ministre de l’Économie et le recul du ministre de l’Enseignement supérieur sur la tarification des études ainsi que la déclaration du ministre de l’Agriculture se rapportant au désengagement de l’État dans la subvention des programmes et investisseurs nationaux.  Il est primordial de signaler que ce dernier n’a pas soulevé les questions liées aux banques de stockage et ventes de l’ADN des plantes et semences algériennes tout autant que celui du Commerce qui a mis en veilleuse l’accession de l’Algérie à l’OMC dont une raison serait l’exigence de normalisation des relations avec Israël pour bénéficier du statut de la Nation la plus favorisée de la part des puissances occidentales.

La deuxième (explication) serait la si simple compréhension des objectifs de ce qui se passe en Libye et Syrie qui montrent que les questions de terrorisme religieux ne sont qu’un exercice sanglant de puissance. Cette deuxième justification est relativement facile à étayer : elle est la réaction populaire à l’impact des publications de fond véhiculées via le Web et dans lesquelles ont été détaillés les enjeux réels que sont une nouvelle multipolarité et la confirmation des U.S.A comme hégémon, lesquels États-Unis d’Amérique sont encore dans le pétrin des sub-primes et l’inertie du taux d’intérêt presque nul de la Federal Reserve.

La nouvelle constitution comme atténuateur de la prédiction du chaos

L’atténuateur est la soumission de l’Algérie par l’annulation de la première mouture de la constitution et son remplacement par un succédané [5] lequel a été approuvé par le Congrès dont les membres, exceptés ceux tenus à la gorge par les U.S.A, la France et le Royaume Uni, ne savent même pas qui l’a rédigée.

La présidence de la République, ses conseilleurs et sbires prenant toujours la majorité du peuple algérien pour des écervelés ont utilisé tamazight comme un osselet pour un jeu pipé, la religion pour des querelles et de la répression, la plus honteuse étant celle des mères des disparus des années 1990.

Le difficile futur du dinar algérien à styliser et effets complexes à anticiper

En relation avec les élections législatives [a] annoncées, noyé dans l’agitation politicienne en cours, la favellisation des villes, l’explosion de la traite des humains en Algérie et du commerce des stupéfiants, c’est le sort difficile à cerner de la valeur du dinar et sa convertibilité ainsi que l’étendue de la nature des capitaux qui seront autorisés à circuler librement par l’effet des investissements directs étrangers brownfield ou greenfield causé par le criminel relâchement-accommodement de la Loi sur l’investissement dite de 49/51.

En annonçant des élections législatives et pour prouver la sincérité de la future assemblée, la réduction des indemnités des élus actuels, en tant qu’agent, de pas moins de 75%  par une loi immédiate est une preuve à fournir au peuple, en tant que principal, comme gage.  

Exceptés le ministre du Budget et le gouverneur de la banque d’Algérie qui tiennent entre leurs mains cette bombe monétaire et qui leur fait peur à annoncer, dans cette opération d’asile psychiatrique qu’est devenue l’Algérie par une fuite en avant de la présidence de la République, du silence des généraux-janviéristes incapables d’agir pour la patrie par honte des conséquences de leur aveuglement antérieur, par le fait de la diversion, du choc et d’intoxication par de l’information, tous les autres ministres transpirent par leur exposition aux médias et lynchages populaires ; la dernière étant celle des Télécommunications avec la privatisation du réseau commuté qui se fera en toute vraisemblance avant la gratuité de la téléphonie urbaine, laquelle devrait être adossée au dégroupage de la boucle locale.

Si le ministre de l’Énergie est porté par l’euphorie du prétendu succès de la réunion de l’Opep d’Alger, le sabordage de la distribution du carburant en démantelant la compagnie publique Naftal l’attend et c’est toute la valeur de la Révolution algérienne des frères et sœurs de Messaoud Kechout et de cette mère qui a raté son rendez-vous dans un maquis de Kabylie [5] qui sera rétrocédée aux pays de l’OTAN.

Les Algériens de moins-de-trente ans bien placés pour une nouvelle révolution pacifique [6]

Comme celle de sa libération devenue universelle, cette nouvelle révolution sera conduite contre l’ultralibéralisme mené par le trio : U.S.A, France et Royaume Uni. Elle est conditionnée par la prise de hauteur des Algériens de moins de trente ans sur les fétidités ambiantes et qui s’orienteront sur le futur national et régional de long terme, c’est-à-dire un horizon supérieur à 20 ans. Les Algériens s’appuieront sur l’histoire du pays et les éléments suivants.

Une guerre contre la violence ethnique, culturelle et religieuse

Autrement dit, un consensus de fait pour la paix. Dans un modus vivendi unanime, les Algériens agiront pour l’indispensable double insécabilité de la nation et du territoire laquelle avec ses externalités marquera tout l’espace régional y compris les pays du Sahel et contiendra les mouvements de la terreur qui viennent du Sud et du Sud-Est principalement.

Une double préservation portée par un hymne national bilingue

À la différence de l’actuel unilingue, des Algérien.ne.s édifieront un nouvel hymne national bilingue qui sera adopté de facto ou de jure. L’Algérie a connu plusieurs œuvres qui ont ce caractère d’hymne national. Le premier est Akker A Mmis Umazigh (Debout, fils d’Amazigh) œuvre d’Idir Ait Amrane (1924, 2004), le second est l’actuel Qassaman, une commande de Ramdane Abane (1920, 1957), l’un des penseurs de la guerre de libération, auprès de Zakaria Moufdi (1908, 1977) et il constitue une erreur peu importe qu’elle soit de de conviction ou de responsabilité qui devait être corrigée en 1962 sur proposition de Hocine Ait Ahmed (1926, 2015) qui a écrit à la page 51 de son livre La guerre et l’après-guerre :

Il convient également de faire du drapeau de l’Émir le drapeau de la République. C’est le symbole de la permanence de l’Algérie, d’autant qu’il est inspiré dans ses couleurs par les traditions nationales des étendards d’avant 1830. […] Le drapeau actuel restera l’emblème de la révolution. Le problème de l’hymne national, qui fait partie de ces détails importants peut être réglé rapidement par voie de concours.

L’autre chant considéré à tort comme une parodie de Qassaman est l’œuvre de Lwenes Matoub (1956, 1996) intitulé Aghuru (Trahison) [7] et qui a été repris dans une traduction [8] par un Norvégien en hommage à son auteur.

Ce projet d’hymne national est tout indiqué pour être une œuvre d’une Algérienne de la trempe de Yamina Mechakra (1949, 2013) [9], auteure de La Grotte Éclatée, une monumentale œuvre de cœur pour la liberté et la libération.

L’acceptation du sacrifice

Pour libérer la patrie, des Algériens ont été sacrifiés et d’autres se sont sacrifié, le dernier à partir est Hocine Ait Ahmed. Ses funérailles ont été un moment d’amour et de communion. La ferveur qui a entouré cette circonstance a fait réagir même les généraux réputés froids et cruels qui ont voué aux pires gémonies ceux comme Mohamed Boudiaf [10] qui leur ont permis d’être ce qu’ils sont. Proches de la limite biologique de la vie, ils peuvent dans un acte de rédemption historique à la manière de John Perkins [11] relancer la patrie en avouant toutes leurs erreurs et accords secrets. Il est une lapalissade que les populations actuelles consentiront des sacrifices extrêmement douloureux en acceptant de donner beaucoup et recevoir peu et qui passent par au moins les trois gestes violents socialement qui suivent.

La surévaluation de la monnaie et le refus de toute convertibilité

Depuis sa naissance en 1964, le dinar algérien n’a connu que des dévaluations. À cause de ces politiques aveugles [12] ; les déficits commerciaux et budgétaires ont explosé, les réserves de change sont siphonnées et le brandissement du glaive de l’endettement international sans oublier que cette politique d’austérité conduit directement vers la crise de liquidités financières ; la probable crise de solvabilité n’est pas à écarter si des énergies renouvelables sont exploitées à grande échelle en Occident. Sa surévaluation arbitraire d’au moins 60%, tout en causant un choc social, est plus efficace et non plus rationnelle que cette descente aux enfers.

Le refus populaire de toute concession de terre aux étrangers

À l’ouest de l’Algérie et en attendant les autres pays, des concessions pour une agriculture intensive ont été accordées aux Américains. Les Algériens doivent s’opposer becs et ongles à cette pratique parce qu’en plus de la colonisation, c’est la stérilisation de la terre qui en sera l’effet à court terme et c’est la paupérisation qui achèvera le peuple algérien. Par les minerais nécessaires aux technologies du future, les enjeux mondiaux sur les terres rares sont plus qu’une guerre et pour l’illustration, le Canada a modifié sa loi sur les investissements pour contrer la Chine qui veut en prendre possession de certaines d’entre-elles.

Avoir l’audace pour une nouvelle Révolution pacifique

Dans des conditions pires que les actuelles, des Algériens ont propulsé une révolution, d’autres l’ont servie. En 2017, un élan de solidarité et un mouvement de coopération internationale et cette révolution sera couronnée de succès. Cette révolution commencerait par une participation massive aux prochaines élections législatives pour rejeter tous les candidats et priver l’Exécutif de l’organe législatif indispensable pour les lois qui démoliront le pays et imposer la suspension de l’actuelle indigne constitution sans bloquer l’État qui doit continuer à fonctionner quoi qu’il en coûtera.

Cherif Aissat

Note :

[a]. C’est la loi de la majorité des voix qui prévaut dans les élections législatives algériennes alors que d’autres règles plus efficaces pour l’élimination des candidats clowns et partis potiches comme l’antiplurality method existent. Voir Chapitre 15 Strategy and Voting pp 589-620 dans Games of Strategy d’Avinash Dixit, Susan Skeath et David Reiley, 4 ed. W. W. Norton & Company. 2015

Références

[1]. Aissat, Chérif. Lettre au SG de l’ONU et Institutions internationales intergouvernementales. Objet : Initiative BRINA. http://ksari.com/index.php/nouvelles/n-point-de-vue/2301-lettre-au-sg-de-l-onu-et-institutions-internationales-intergouvernementales

[2]. Aissat, Chérif. Aux ambassadeurs auprès des Nations Unies de : Suède, Canada, Maroc, Mauritanie, Mali, Niger et Tunisie. http://ksari.com/index.php/nouvelles/n-point-de-vue/1979-aux-ambassadeurs-aupres-des-nations-unies-de-suede-canada-maroc-mauritanie-mali-niger-et-tunisie

 [3]. Aissat, Chérif. Algérie. Révision de la Constitution : soumission à l’ultralibéralisme et au club Bilderbeg. http://www.mondialisation.ca/algerie-revision-de-la-constitution-soumission-a-lultraliberalisme-et-au-club-bilderbeg/5388795  

[4]. À écouter certaines déclarations de ministres et en consultant leurs profils sur le portail Internet du gouvernement algérien, il est évident qu’ils ne comprennent pas la portée politique ni les impacts économiques de ce qu’ils affirment.

[5]. Kechout, Messaoud est le dernier survivant du premier groupe de choc durant la guerre de libération nationale mis sur pied par Ali Khodja.

[6]. Aissat, Chérif. Le destin de l’Algérie est chez les moins-de-trente-ans. Centre de recherche sur la mondialisation. http://www.mondialisation.ca/le-destin-de-lalgerie-est-chez-les-moins-de-trente-ans/5550652

[7]. Matoub, Lounes. Aghuru (Trahison) transcrit en kabyle et traduit en francais. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWRsMuqFGis

[8]. Moddi.  En version anglaise, Moddi chanteur Norvégien rend hommage à Matoub Lounes… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XelE8y_CXc

[9]. Mechakra, Yamina. La grotte éclatée. Sned. Alger. 1979.

[10]. Boudiaf, Mohamed né en 1919. Fondateur du Front de libération nationale et du Parti de la révolution socialiste. Exilé au Maroc. Sur insistance de la junte militaire algérienne, il a accepté de diriger le Haut comité d’État en janvier 1992, instance collégiale mise en œuvre après l’arrêt du processus électoral. Il a été assassiné en direct à la télévision en juin 1992. Ni la vérité est connue ni le procès transparent de ses assassins n’a eu lieu à ce jour. Ni ses amis durant la révolution, ni les généraux encore en vie n’ont révélé ce qu’ils savent. 

[11]. Aissat, Cherif. À la recherche de la cité de Platon. John Perkins, l’ex assassin financier repenti. http://lequotidienalgerie.org/2008/07/17/a-la-recherche-de-la-cite-de-platon/. L’article original a été publié par le Quotidien d’Oran.

12.  Ricardo, David sur la valeur de la monnaie : « In the present state of the law, they [central bankers] have the power, without any control whatsoever, of increasing or reducing the circulation in any degree they may think proper ; a power which should neither be entrusted to the state itself, nor to anybody in it; as there can be no security for the uniformity in the value of the currency, when its augmentation or diminution depends solely on the will of the issuers.”

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“They didn’t act like people and they didn’t act like actors. It’s hard to explain.”—J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

“Eleanor Rigby . . . Lives in a dream/Waits at the window, wearing a face/That she keeps in a jar by the door/Who is it for?”—The Beatles, Eleanor Rigby

The idiocy of the presidential election race will soon be over, as will the endless pseudo-debates and the droning of the commentators, who have been prattling on for more than a year, as if there were something to consider about this sick farce; as if the deep state had not been directing this life-movie from the start.

Gore Vidal got a laugh when years ago he referred to Ronald Reagan as our “acting president.” But we’ve had four acting presidents since and their acts have left millions dead and wounded around the globe, including thousands of American troops. Now we have the sordid spectacle of an election campaign that is so patently phony that delusionary is the only word that can describe the thinking of those who take it seriously. Many Americans have acquiesced in this ongoing tragedy, playing their parts in this deadly charade. The ghosts of all America’s victims walk among us, and they will haunt us until we come to life by admitting our own complicity in their deaths. The show must not go on, but it will, as long as we keep acting our parts.

Norman O. Brown so well describes our stage set:

“Ancestral voices prophesying war; ancestral spirits in the danse macabre or war dance; Valhalla, ghostly warriors who kill each other and are reborn to fight again. All warfare is ghostly, every army an exercitus feralis (army of ghosts), every soldier a living corpse.”

The Obama administration repeatedly sets the stage by talking about and waging an endless war, a 30-year war, a long struggle, an open-ended war. Soon Obama’s feral, war loving understudy, Hillary Clinton, will take center stage as he exits right, after promoting her. “This is not me going through the motions here,” he recently said. “I really, really, really want to elect Hillary Clinton.” The role-playing, black face of empire will be replaced by the role-playing female face of empire as the audience cheers, hiding from their masked selves their part in a face-saving, phony performance. Without a complicit audience, the performance can’t go on. But it does, or, as Kurt Vonnegut put it, “So it goes.” But the act is wearing thin.

The autumnal season and especially the Halloween weekend of ghosts, the dead, and masks has me thinking of my own experience with acting, and how understanding the nature of our complicity in a mass act of bad faith is so important.

Having grown up as the only brother among seven sisters, I was always my parents’ favorite son. With such dumb luck, I never felt the need to be someone I wasn’t and so accepted my favored fate. But from an early age, I learned from my sisters what it meant to “put on your face.” Like most girls in a cosmetic culture, they would stand or sit in front of a mirror dutifully applying lipstick, cover-up, and mascara (Italian, maschera, mask) in preparation for their entrances onto the social stage where they would face so many other faces facing and eyeing them. Mirrors meeting mirrors, looking-glass selves. It seemed to the boy I was, such an exhausting act.

At the time I had only a dim awareness of life the movie.

Then, when I was a young teenager, I had the great opportunity to learn how to be a public phony and put on a face. I got to lie to a national television audience and got paid for my deception. The show was a very popular one—To Tell the Truth—one of many game shows my parents, sisters, and I appeared on. We were a “theatrical” family, not trained actors, but a brood of faces unconsciously hoping to discover who they were through their acts. My parents had started this by accepting an invitation to appear on a show hosted by Johnny Carson, Do You Trust Your Wife? (The show was later renamed Who Do You Trust?—an apt, albeit grammatically incorrect, appellation for the paranoid Cold War years.)

But I didn’t then care about politics; I just wanted to put on a good face and lie well while ostensibly telling the truth. I succeeded by convincing two of the celebrity panelists that I was who I wasn’t—Robert McGee—and getting paid $250 for my act. Lying seemed so easy; all you needed was a good mask and a convincing demeanor. This was my public lesson in “putting on your face.”

Ever since then, I’ve been fascinated by masks, liars, and the role of acting on the social stage.

As the Halloween weekend transpires, this enchantment increases. I think of how all persons are, by definition, masked, the word person being derived from the Latin, persona, meaning mask. Another Latin word, larva, occurs to me, it too meaning mask, ghost, or evil spirit. The living masks light up for me as I think of ghosts, the dead, all the souls and spirits circulating through our days. While etymology might seem arcane, I rather think it offers us a portal into our lives, not just personally, but politically and culturally as well. Shakespeare was right, of course, “all the world’s a stage,” though I would disagree with the bard that we are “merely” players. It does often seem that way, but seeming is the essence of the actor’s show and tell. But who are we behind the masks? Who is it uttering those words coming through the masks’ mouth holes (the per-sona, Latin, to sound through).

Halloween. The children play at scaring and being scared. Death walks among them and they scream with glee. The play is on. The grim reaper walks up and down the street. Treats greet them. The costumes are ingenious; the masks, wild. The parents stand behind, watching, smiling. It’s all great fun, the candy sweet. So what’s the trick? When does the performance end?

As Halloween ends, the saints come marching in followed by all the souls. The Days of the Dead. Spirits. Ghosts walk the streets. Dead leaves fall. The dead are everywhere, swirling through the air, drifting. We are surrounded by them. We are them. Until.

Until when? Perhaps not until we dead awaken and see through the charade of social life and realize the masked performers are not just the deadly politicians and celebrities, not only the professional actors and the corporate media performers, but us.

Lying is the leading cause of living death in the United States, and the pharmaceutical companies have no prescription for this one. Not yet, anyway, as far as I care to know.

It seems to me that Albert Camus (image right) was right, and that we should aspire to be neither victims nor executioners. To do so will take a serious reevaluation of the roles we play in the ongoing national tragedy of lie piled upon lie in aggressive wars around the world and in election farces that perpetuate them. The leading actors we elect are our responsibility. We produce and maintain them. They are our mirror images; we, theirs. It is the danse macabre, a last tango in the land of bad actors, our two-faced show. This masquerade ball that passes for political reality is infiltrated by the ghosts of all those victims we have murdered around the wide world. We may choose not to see them, but they are lurking in the shadowy corners. And they will haunt us until we make amends.

“Do you not know there comes a midnight hour when everyone has to throw off his mask?” warned Kierkegaard, “Do you believe that life will always let itself be mocked? Do you think you can slip away a little before midnight in order to avoid this? Or are you not terrified by it?”

“Whenever I take up a newspaper,” Ibsen added, “I seem to see ghosts gliding between the lines. There must be ghosts all the country over, as thick as the sands of the sea. And then we are, one and all, so pitifully afraid of the light.”

Edward Curtin is a sociologist and writer who teaches at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and has published widely.

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Geneva International Centre for Justice (GICJ) sent an urgent appeal to Mr Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and to the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances on 11 and 12 October 2016, with regards to the 643 individuals disappeared from Saqlawiya (Al Anbar province, Iraq), on 2-5 June 2016. This occurred in the aftermath of the “liberation campaign” launched against the city of Fallujah in May 2016 allegedly aiming at retaking the city from ISIS.

Our Centre has mentioned this case to the High Commissioner and the Working Group in several instances before, particularly through letters sent on the 8 June, 29 June, 5 August and 9 August 2016. We have also released a detailed report, titled Fallujah: Inside the Genocide, at the time of the military operation to document the grave human rights violations occurred at the hands of the Iraqi security forces-affiliated militias against civilians, which has been sent to both the High Commissioner and the Working Group on 20 June 2016 along with a list of those identified at the time as disappeared.

Now that GICJ has available a fully updated list with the names of each of the 643 individuals who has forcibly disappeared in those unfortunate circumstances, it considered a matter of primary urgency to forward such list to the OHCHR in the hope that immediate action can be taken to investigate into the disappearances.

Context

The military operation launched against Fallujah on 22 May 2016 by the Iraqi security forces, backed by hundreds of militias – trained and armed by Iran- and well supported by a US-led air coalition, predictably proved to have been used as another pretext for sectarian violence in Iraq. In particular, the militia units who took part to the conflict, namely belonging to the umbrella organization known as al-Hashd al-Shaabi, were extensively reported of having committed crimes of all sorts against those who managed to escape the city earlier this year.

GICJ would like to remind that these militias (al-Hashd al-Shaabi) are an independent military formation into Iraq’s military force, linked directly to the Prime Minister, as per Office Order 91 issued on 24th February 2016. This means that while legitimizing the group, the decree also formally reinforces its link with the government, which should therefore ultimately respond of its conduct.

As of the 2ndto 5th June 2016, during the fighting in Saqlawiya, a small city 20 km west of Fallujah, over 1,000 civilians fled the conflicts and sought the assistance and help of al-Hashd al-Shaabi militias, whose role is blatantly and allegedly to assure security in the country, according to the government.

However, instead of being provided with the support and assistance they were looking for, the survivors were arbitrarily detained on the claim of allegedly belonging to ISIS. During their imprisonment, the victims were subjected to heinous practices of torture, including stabbing with knives and other weapons, beating up, as well as verbal and psychological abuse of sectarian connotation. Of this lot, hundreds were executed or died as a consequence of the severe torture practices, while others, and precisely 643 of them, simply disappeared.

These facts were indeed confirmed by the High Commissioner for Human Rights in his statement on the 5 July 2016 and by Mr Ján Kubiš, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq, in a briefing of the Security Council held on 15 July 2016.

Families have not been informed of their whereabouts or even the reason for their detention, leaving hundreds of wives, mothers and other relatives in absolute despair. GICJ receives daily calls from the family members of the disappeared demanding truth and justice for their loved ones.

Enforced disappearances as an intimidation tool

The list of those disappeared in Saqlawiya contained in our report highlights one important pattern: the victims of the militias’ abductions are mostly members of the same families. This is one striking proof that behind the involuntary disappearances, there is an intentional will to target individuals on the basis of their sect or ethnic origins. Namely, they in fact target the Sunni component of society.

What it is important to truly understand is that the practice of enforced disappearances at the hands of pro-government militias, and in particular those belonging to Al-Hashd Al-Shaabi, are not isolated incidents caused by the misbehaviour of a few individuals vis-à-vis an otherwise impeccable conduct (as the Iraqi authorities claim), but constitute a well-orchestrated strategy of demographical change by the government. Enforced disappearances have in fact become a widespread tool of intimidation in Iraq nowadays, and what happened in Saqlawiya is nor the first or the last case of this.

For what concerns the justice system, Iraq almost completely lacks one. The dysfunctional governance apparatus, combined with the ineffective, corrupted and biased judiciary has translated in a massive lack of accountability for victims of abuses and allowed the great degree of impunity which perpetrators shamelessly enjoy.

GICJ has direct contact with some of the relatives of the victims who have stated they are scared to report the disappearances to the security forces and ask for information on the whereabouts of their loved ones for fear of reprisals. Some of them have reported to have been threatened of losing their places in the refugee and IDP camps if they spoke up. At the same time, any other method of peaceful protest against these abhorrent policies will be met either with violence, as previous cases showcased, or with blatant indifference by the government. Families, in other words, are left in a state of hopelessness and frustration. For these reasons, GICJ called on the OHCHR to help on this matter those who could not be helped otherwise.

What can be done?

The crime of enforced disappearance is a truly despicable one. It breaches international law and it is an appalling violation of human rights, and, if we may add, it is a dark expression of the evil that humanity is capable of.

GICJ therefore has called on the High Commissioner and the Working Group in particular, to take care of this matter with urgency before it is too late. We fear in fact that those who have disappeared might have suffered the same fate as other thousands of people who have fallen at the hands of Al-Hashd Al-Shaabi militias during previous liberation campaigns (Diyala, Ramadi, Tikrit, Amerli, etc…), that is torture, killing and slaughtering.

One responsibility under the mandate of the Working Group is to request Governments to carry out investigations and to inform the Working Group of the results. This can be also pressurised by the High Commissioner to certain extents. In this context, GICJ has urged both of them not to rely on the Iraqi government on this important duty, because large evidence shows without a doubt that the Iraqi authorities have no intention of bringing the perpetrators to justice, and are instead undeniable complicit. The implication of the government is in fact not hidden nor disguised, as we previously explained, nevertheless the authorities have never even acknowledged the disappearance of these hundreds of persons.

In this respect, it is worth noting that although a Committee of Inquiry was established by the Prime Minister back June 2016 to investigate into allegations of crimes committed by militias, this is in fact chaired by the Chairman of Al-Hashd Al-Shaabi himself, Mr Falih Al-Faydh, and, predictably, has led to no outcome whatsoever.

For all above reasons, GICJ has rather demanded the High Commissioner to call on the Human Rights Council to dispatch an independent commission of inquiry to investigate into all allegations of human rights violations at the hands of militias and urged the Working Group to interfere into the investigations with regards to enforced disappearances.

With its urgent appeals, the Centre aims at obtaining information of the whereabouts of the 643 individuals abducted by the Al-Hashd Al-Shaabi militias in Saqlawiya. This will bring a little hope to the victims’ families that perhaps not all is lost in Iraq, and that a glimpse of justice can be found even in the darkest of places.

List of identified disappeared persons from al-Saqlawiya/Fallujah-Iraq, at the hands of the governmental militias on 2-5 June 2016.

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« Genocide Denial » in Canada

octobre 26th, 2016 by John Bart Gerald

On his return from attempting to stop the terrible slaughter of Rwandans there was no official to welcome home Canada’s General Romeo Dallaire. In his recent memoir, Waiting For First Light: My Ongoing Battle with PTSD,(1) Dallaire reveals that his return also began a pattern of suicide attempts, blamed on ptsd, perhaps survivor’s guilt, but which these years later might be traced more accurately to his reluctance to understand that the people who sent him to Rwanda did not care for humanity.

Dallaire, a protector, continues to affirm Canada’s adherence to a code of genocide prevention, on paper, and as a Senior Fellow contributes to the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies. It is the major Genocide prevention NGO in Canada, but noted for coincidences of policy with those of the U.S. State Department and Canadian foreign service. Any MIGS project concerned with the genocide of U.S. or Canadian Aboriginal peoples, or of Palestinians is hard to find. Our society’s intransigence of not caring, hardens.

Currently it’s not even helpful to discuss a relationship between the U.S. and the Convention on Genocide since U.S. foreign policies lack moral compass. Having withdrawn from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, the U.S. avoids charges of genocide as long as it has the military power to do so. With less military power, Canada subscribing to the Court, needs moral and political power to maintain its borders. Of necessity, diplomacy has meaning. Canada ratified the Convention on Genocide in 1952, (2) a generation before the U.S. which waited until 1988.

Several current news items lead to the same point of focus: Canada’s evasion of its responsibility to honour and adhere to the Convention on Genocide. Its unfaithfulness encourages states of emergency to play out through Indigenous communities in Canada. It’s also evident in foreign policies against more distant peoples. As though the Convention on Genocide were not primary law, had no statute of limitations, has no affect beyond the good will and salaried hopes of NGO’s, and no application to first world countries.

Canadian Mining Companies

From Toronto the Justice and Accountability Project has just issued a report on the responsibility of Canadian Mining companies for one level of violence in Latin America. The “Canada Brand”: Violence and Canadian Mining Companies in Latin America,(3) documents 44 deaths and 403 injuries in the years 2000 to 2015, all involving Canadian Companies in Latin America, and declares this is the tip of an iceberg. It classifies the majority of the victims as « targeted. »

While the report includes cases of criminalization it doesn’t include reports of deaths and injuries which aren’t verified by two independent sources and it doesn’t include « death threats, deliberate burning of crops and property destruction, forced displacement, reported assassination attempts without reported injury, illness from environmental contamination, or psychological trauma from any of the violence… »(4) or countries in other regions such as in Canada or Africa. This is 15 years of violence against native protectors of the land without bringing to bear the effects of the mining companies on entire communities and their habitats: to put the two together places the mining companies within a perspective of the U.N . Convention on Genocide. The murder of activist protectors suggests the element of « intention » considered by U.S. interpretation necessary to prosecution of genocide charges.

In Muskrat Falls Labrador, on October 23rd, 150 protesters entered the Crown corporation Nalcor’s construction site to protest the company’s reluctance to thoroughly clear vegetation and some topsoil from the land it’s about to flood. Uncut vegetation as well as topsoil are considered factors in the increase of methylmercury poisoning of the watershed. Nalcor workers are being evacuated from the camp, turning their quarters over to the protesters. The RCMP is blocking roads to discourage reinforcement to the protesters. Pam Palmater, a respected lawyer and Mi’kmaq teaching as an Associate Professor in Toronto, sees the company’s carelessness in risking the environment to poison as part of the ongoing industrial genocide of native peoples.(5) It’s a concern which increasingly covers settlers, immigrants, as both Indigenous and ‘settler’groups are equally deprived of power under law. Mayors of four nearby towns affected by the flooding say Nalcor consistently ignores them and they’ve been excluded from the talks between the company and Indigenous groups.

First Nations

In northern Saskatchewan so far in October four indigenous children – girls of from ten to fourteen years of age, took their own lives. This is part of an ongoing suicide epidemic in first Nations communities of the north where the suicide rate is five times the norm for Canada. The government is responding by increasing the number of mental health care workers available. This misses the point of the children’s final acts. As a group they’re refusing life on the terms that Canada offers. Suicide rates among northern Indigenous people are a result of social engineering by Canada’s dominant culture, either through its lack of concern or by intention. It continues the colonial genocide of subjugation. What could stop the native society’s slide into hopelessness is honouring the society’s basic needs of housing, water, food. This is not beyond the power and convenience of Canadian and Provincial governments. It seems beyond the business game plans of resource corporations and a European mindset of superiority which permeates all areas of Canadian society.

A recent article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal reveals that the children of Nunavut have the highest respiratory infection rates in the world, and accuses the Nunavut government of covering up respiratory disease (respiratory syncytial virus / RSV) infections, which according to statistics from 2009 (why aren’t these statistics current?) hospitalized 40% of the children in Western Nunavut. The dosage of pharmaceuticals for treatment costs about $6500 / patient.(6) And children often have to be flown to hospital. Emergency funds go to pharmaceutical companies and airlines rather than the community and improving the living conditions and poor nutrition which cause the disease rate. The cycle of poverty and relief profits big business, as maintained by government budgeting.

All of these areas converge in a consideration of genocide but to mention the word « genocide » is a snare. While university courses and human rights NGOs raise the issue of genocide again and again as a thorn in the side of Canada’s self-image – the nuts and bolts of legally applying the Convention under Canadian law are so carefully controlled that the term has no meaning except in the service of a European exploitative class.

Application of the U.N.’s Convention on Genocide, which has teeth within Canadian law(7) requires permission of Canada’s Minister of Justice.(8)Canada’s Minister of Justice is a political appointment by the nation’s Prime Minister. Therefore practically, it isn’t likely the Prime Minister would ever be charged with genocide, nor will his political allies, nor the visiting leaders of allied countries, which gives all of them a certain amount of freedom from worry. And under the code of one dominant ruling elite, protection is assured subsequent government administrations and Ministers of Justice, as long as a group remains to subjugate. The same provision of requiring Ministerial approval applies to the prosecution of any crimes against humanity.(9)

Writing about this for some years, I’ve seen no challenge to this facet of Canadian law which obviously protects the establishment’s governance from prosecution for one of the worst crimes known to humankind. My belief is that Canada could survive honest and direct application of the Convention on Genocide to its policies, but won’t be able to if it delays in correcting root causes of disproportionate Aboriginal death and disease.

This loophole protecting politicians who further genocide lends impunity to the policies of NATO countries in their assaults on the peoples of Afghanistan, Libya, the former Yugoslavia, Iraq, Syria, where militarily applied policies have involved what I think was/is genocide. The U.S., British, French policies find the democratically elected country heads guilty of crimes then bomb the peoples into subservience and fealty to NATO. It is clearly genocide against a national group, again and again.

The media of our NATO countries have formed a reality for our peoples which doesn’t recognize the criminality of NATO country foreign policies. In North America the governments’ impunity in oppressing First Peoples, Blacks and all the poor, while claiming to save them, provides a third rail carrying the power to knock out any resistance to the terrible crimes of foreign policy necessary to corporate resource extraction with high profits.

The impunity is acceded to by a professional class where the judicial system is so expensive, the lawyers so strictly controlled, the laws so favourable to capital, that there is no effective protest of obvious injustices. Where the mental health industry accepts as norm the murder of foreign civilian populations. Where the economic machinery empowered by security and surveillance would refuse existence to those who question, protest, and struggle effectively. Where the security industry believes in the fears created to further its expansion. Where education becomes naked training of skill sets for serving oppressive corporations. Where artists and writers are rewarded for saying nothing.

The situation of all young people gradually becomes near that of a Saskatchewan Indigenous girl. First Peoples precede us. If government maintains its refusal to protect Indigenous peoples with the primary human rights laws, then peoples of settler stock will, when convenient to power, find themselves without as well. We have to affirm and apply the protections of the Genocide Convention, for others, or we lose that protection for ourselves.

Notes

1. “Inside Roméo Dallaire’s brutally revealing new memoir,” Brian Bethune, Oct. 21, 2016, Maclean’s.
2. “Treaties, States Parties and Commentaries: Canada, current, International Committee of the Red Cross ICRC.
3. The « Canada Brand”: Violence and Canadian Mining Companies in Latin America, Justice and Accountability Project, Oct. 24, 2016, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Toronto, Ontario.
4. Ibid.
5. « Muskrat Falls a ‘modern day form of genocide’: lawyer, » Hans Rollmann, Oct. 21, 2016, the In dependent.ca (Newfoundland & Labrador).

6. « ‘Horribly sick kids :’ Arctic regions have highest infant lung infection rates in the world, » The Canadian Press, Oct. 18, 2016, CBC News ; « ‘We have not seen it stop’ : Canada’s public health agency review respiratory illness in Nunavut babies, » John Van Dusen, Oct. 25, 2016, CBC News.
7. Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act – S.C.2000, c.24 (Section 4),(Section 6), (SCHEDULE : Provisions of Rome Statute), and (Section 14).
8. Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act – S.C.2000, c.24,“Procedures and Defences” 9. (3, 4).
9. The Canadian law against torture which wasn’t applied to former U.S. President Bush at his most recent visit of May 12th, 2014.

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No life-saving drugs, necessary equipment, or chance of survival – RT’s Murad Gazdiev visited children in an Aleppo hospital who are suffering from cancer – some treatable – but vital medicine can’t reach them due to EU and US sanctions.

Dozens of young cancer sufferers gathered at Cancer Care Syria, a small organization which helps cancer patients. Since the EU and US imposed sanctions on Syrian President Bashar Assad, some of these children have almost lost all hope for recovery. The sanctions, which target the Syrian regime and its supporters, have deeply affected the economy, including the health care sector.

The center helps children with forms of cancer that can be easily treated with western medicine. Three-year-old Waffa could have had her eye cancer cured, but the sanctions made the medicine unavailable, and she had to have her eye amputated. On top of that, the only hospital in Aleppo that specialized in cancer was taken by rebels and destroyed in fighting.

Waffa had to live with an empty eye socket for almost a year until Cancer Care Syria managed to collect enough money to buy her a prosthetic eye.

The girl’s mother told RT that this new eye has brought back hope for a normal life “She said, ‘look at me, I have my second eye! Now nobody will stare at me strangely,” the woman said.

Waffa could have had her eye cancer cured © RT

Waffa could have had her eye cancer cured © RT

RT’s Murad Gazdiev also talked to 3-year-old Omar who is not aware how dangerous cancer can be – he just says he’ll battle it.

“I will fight and beat the cancer… because I am strong,” he said.

Omar says he will battle his cancer © RT

Omar says he will battle his cancer © RT

10-year-old Kamar doesn’t even know she has cancer – she was told that she is a bit sick. The girl thinks she comes here to the center to help other children, but in fact, they also help her.

“I like to help them. I have a lot of friends here. I love them – and they love me,” she told RT.

Kamar doesn’t even know she has cancer © RT

Kamar doesn’t even know she has cancer © RT

“Almost all the children who died of cancer did so because of European sanctions. We ask the European Union and humanitarian agencies to lift these sanctions and let cancer medicine in because children are suffering,” Muzzna Al-Ulabi, a head of Cancer Care Syria, told RT.

Cancer Care Syria is struggling to collect money for children. Sometimes it buys or smuggles cancer medicine from neighboring Lebanon.

© RT © RT

“When the war began, we dreamed of opening a specialized children’s cancer hospital – but we don’t have that sort of money. We don’t even have $6,000 dollars a month for medicine for the children,” Al-Ulabi said.

But even if there is vital medication, mothers of cancer-affected children worry that their sons and daughters won’t get enough food to recover.

“The children need enough food, or they won’t survive. It’s what all the mothers think about – having enough food for the children.”

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On October 25th, 2002 the last great hero of the common people in the US Senate was very likely murdered by agents of the shadow US crime cabal government otherwise known as the Bush-Cheney regime. His wife and daughter and two pilots also died in the air crash. Paul Wellstone’s story deserves to be retold and Americans need to be reminded that criminals in and out of our government still need to be punished for their unindicted crimes. This article was written as both a tribute to an outstanding American patriot and a reexamination of his probable assassination by criminals still on the loose.

Minnesota Democratic Senator Paul Wellstone was a man of integrity who was among the few politicians openly and adamantly opposing the Iraq invasion as well as the creation of the US version of Gestapo-land Security. As a fearless populist leader he’d been a constant thorn in the side ever since then President George H. W. Bush responding to the junior senator’s uncomfortable questions at a reception asked, “Who is this chickenshit?”

Years later as the only senator up for reelection who voted against the Iraq War when Democrats held just a one seat edge over the Republicans in the Senate (with one independent caucusing with Democrats), his thorny side made him the #1 GOP target. With the Karl Rove led Republican Party just one seat away from gaining Republican control over the US Senate, Wellstone’s death gave his Republican challenger Norm Coleman the 49-49 split and, as the President of the Senate, Cheney’s tie breaking vote would deliver the GOP 50-49 advantage needed to steamroll yet more tax cuts through for the rich, unending bankers’ wars and a never seen before boom for the military-security industrial complex. Again, motive and means tilt heavily towards assassination. The facts make it more than probable.

A month prior to the November 2002 election Vice President Cheney had arranged a meeting with Wellstone, threatening him with grave consequences should he vote against the preplanned Iraq invasion. A few days later speaking to a group of war veterans, Wellstone publicly recalled Cheney’s threatening words:

« If you vote against the war in Iraq, the Bush administration will do whatever is necessary to get you. There will be severe ramifications for you and the state of Minnesota. »

Then just days after that, 11 days prior to the midterm election and a year to the exact day after the deadly anthrax pushed Patriot Act victory, on October 25th Paul Wellstone, his wife and daughter along with three staffers and two pilots all died in an extremely suspicious plane crash.

The FBI was at the crash site within 90 minutes, indicating they’d left their Minneapolis office before the “accident” at about the same time Wellstone’s plane was just taking off that morning, indicating the possibility of pre-knowledge.

« The authors note that it would’ve taken agents at least three hours to reach the swampy and remote crash site. How they got there from the Twin Cities so quickly remains a mystery ».

Additionally, the NTSB as the national agency that normally takes the lead role investigating all US plane crashes suddenly wasn’t. The FBI moved in ahead immediately proclaiming just another bad weather accident. Yet all on the ground witnesses and reports disagree, from pilots landing at the destination airport just two hours prior to the Wellstone flight to the airport manager who less than an hour after the crash was himself flying over the crash site. The plane considered a Rolls Royce among small planes was in tiptop shape and the two pilots steeped in skilled experience.

As the feds’ rogue cops for go-to cover-ups, as in 9/11 and the anthrax attacks the year before, and the 1993 World Trade Center and 1995 Oklahoma City bombings, the FBI has a long shady history of leaving its corrupt dirty fingerprints all over these well documented false flag, history changing events.

A couple of brave Democratic House members anonymously stated that they believe Wellstone was murdered. In one Congressman’s words:

I don’t think there’s anyone on the Hill who doesn’t suspect it. It’s too convenient, too coincidental, too damned obvious. My guess is that some of the less courageous members of the party are thinking about becoming Republicans right now.

An unnamed CIA source admitted:

Having played ball (and still playing in some respects) with this current crop of reinvigorated old white men, these clowns are nobody to screw around with. There will be a few more strategic accidents. You can be certain of that.

A number of other Democratic politicians at a 2 to 1 margin to Republicans have also incurred mysterious deaths  holding “unpopular” views just ahead of hotly contested elections. Two years earlier while traveling in Colombia Senator Wellstone had already experienced one known attempt on his life when a bomb planted enroute from the airport was discovered. Since that plot failed, he was then sprayed with the highly toxic poison glyphosate.

As a longtime critic of the CIA and covert operations, Wellstone was targeted for assassination in both Colombia and in Minnesota by the masters of mayhem, murder and deceitful cover-ups – the FBI/CIA Criminals-In-Action at the behest of mastermind Cheney.

So far in our two-tiered justice system, murder pays off for those high up on the psychopath food chain like Cheney, the Bushes and Clintons. Renowned investigative reporter Seymour Hersh exposed Cheney’s “executive assassination ring.” Cheney used the CIA as well as the military Joint Special Operations Command as his personal army of hitmen reporting directly to him. (see video below)

If the neocons can live with themselves for murdering 3000 Americans on 9/11, they certainly never lose sleep over a few more targeted eliminations that include the genocidal 4 million Muslim bloodbath caused by the Bush crime family wars.

The heavy-handed Bush-Cheney push for Iraq War and a DHS congressional vote prior to their 2003 invasion cast enormous high stakes in the Senate. Then add the known history of contempt from former CIA director Bush, the Cheney threat just days prior to Wellstone’s death, a slew of brazenly contradictory crash site anomalies, and the exposed murderous means used to pass the Patriot Act and the 9/11 false flag tragedy the year prior, all of this circumstantial evidence taken together strongly points to yet more diabolical skullduggery perpetrated by Skull & Bones criminals against humanity.

The neocons grabbed the Hegelian solution they needed for waging unlimited war in the name of terrorism anywhere in the world while simultaneously at home merging FEMA into their newly created Homeland Security tasked with stripping away the rest of America’s constitutional liberties in the name of “national security.” In its first dozen years alone, deep state’s gluttonously monolithic DHS cancer has metastasized into the third largest federal department boasting near a quarter million fulltime employees. By hook, crook and murder the Cheney-Bush gang in 2003 got what they’d been wanting and plotting for years, two concurrent never-ending wars in the Middle East and the monstrous apparatus Homeland Security whose purpose is making war against the American people. Sadly the rest of the Western vassal nations play follow the leader.

If examined according to the Hegelian Dialectic of 1) problem, 2) reaction and 3) solution, a draconian formula used by deep state to manufacture increased authoritarian control over the US populace, Paul Wellstone’s death can easily be explained.

More than any other single member of Congress, the Minnesota senator posed a serious threat as the major opposition leader standing in the way of war criminals Bush and Cheney’s Iraq invasion as well as their formation of the Department of Homeland Security, two preplanned agendas rooted in the neocon think tank the Project for a New American Century (PNAC). Prior to their stealing the 2000 election and their PNAC’s “Pearl Harbor” event they created called 9/11, their regime had already called for attacking Iraq for regime change and erection of the DHS cancer. The Bush-Cheney reaction to their problem Paul Wellstone was to assassinate him making it appear as an accident.

By murder once Wellstone was out of the way, the neocons’ solution sent a loud and clear message of intimidation and a death threat in order to effectively silence any other potential Congressional opponents to the war in Iraq. Wellstone’s elimination paved the way for the war criminals’ successful campaign to win national support for the March 2003 US invasion of Iraq. That said, the month before the invasion on February 15th, 10-15 million people around the world in over 600 cities assembled in massive protest against the US intervention, the biggest one day antiwar demonstration in history. But unfortunately once the US military occupation began, the antiwar movement gradually fizzled out.

And the PNAC (members of PNAC project, image left) calling for regime change in seven sovereign nations including Iraq within five years was underway. The predatory rape and pillaging of Iraq as the world’s second largest oil producer was justified by lies of Saddam’s non-existent WMD’s and ties to terrorism. Sadly the neocons who are still at the helm wreaking havoc in 2016 were able to implement an enormous new Department of Homeland Security monstrosity masquerading as public “safeguard” against terrorism. So without Wellstone and virtually no further opposition in Congress, the neocons created their multibillion dollar security state apparatchik promoting and enforcing draconian counterterrorism laws leading to increasing centralized authoritarian government control that is ushering in their New World Order.

This tried and true Hegelian strategy has also been regularly utilized to further identify deep state obstacles as problems based on perceived neocons’ threats to US global unipolar hegemony.

American Empire’s relentless efforts to isolate, weaken and target for global war designated international enemies Russia, China and Iran through propagandized demonization and orchestrating fake crises illustrate yet more examples of the Hegelian Dialectic in action. And just as the US crime cabal was successful in eliminating Wellstone as their New World Order threat, for decades the crime cabal government has been planning its war against identified American dissenters as enemies of the state who object to its heavy-handed tyranny.

Paul Wellstone’s courageous opposition to the powerful Washington establishment’s evil cost him and his family’s life. Since we Americans are now in the same crosshairs of the same still entrenched shadow assassins, it’s time to make their arrests for treason and mass murder prior to our own death and destruction.

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.id/.

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“Since the appearance of visible life on Earth, 380 million years had to elapse in order for a butterfly to learn how to fly, 180 million years to create a rose with no other commitment than to be beautiful, and four geological eras in order for us human beings to be able to sing better than birds, and to be able to die from love.

It is not honorable for the human talent, in the golden age of science, to have conceived the way for such an ancient and colossal process to return to the nothingness from which it came through the simple act of pushing a button.”

I recently came across this quotation by the great Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the author of One Hundred Years of Solitude and recipient of the 1982 Nobel Prize for Literature. The quotation is from a 1986 speech by Garcia Marquez entitled “The Cataclysm of Damocles.”

In the short quotation, he captures what needs to be said about nuclear weapons succinctly, poetically and beautifully. With a few deft literary brushstrokes, he shows that the journey of life from nothingness to now could be ended with no more than “the simple act of pushing a button.”

The button is a metaphor for setting in motion a nuclear war, which could happen by miscalculation, mistake or malice. Of course, it matters whose finger is on the button, but it matters even more that anyone’s finger is on the button.

There are not good fingers and bad fingers resting on the button. No one is stable enough, rational enough, sane enough, or wise enough to trust with deciding to push the nuclear button. It is madness to leave the door open to the possibility of “a return to nothingness.”

On one side of the ledger is everything natural and extraordinary about life with its long evolution bringing us to the present and poised to carry its processes forward into the future. On the other side of the ledger is “the button,” capable of bringing most life on the planet to a screeching halt. Also on this side of the ledger are those people who remain ignorant or apathetic to the nuclear dangers confronting humanity.

We all need to recognize what is at stake and choose a side.

Put simply, do you stand with life and the processes of nature that have brought such beauty and diversity to our world, or do you stand with the destructive products of science that have brought us to the precipice of annihilation? We must each make a choice.

I fear too many of us are not awakened to the seriousness and risks of the unfolding situation. We are taken in by the techno-talk that amplifies the messages of national security linked to the button.

Nuclear deterrence is no more than a hypothesis about human psychology and behavior. It does not protect people from a nuclear attack. It is unproven and unprovable.

Nuclear deterrence may or may not work, but we know that it cannot provide physical protection against a nuclear attack. Those who believe in it, do so at their own peril and at our common peril.

The possibility of “a return to nothingness” is too great a risk to take. We must put down the nuclear-armed gun. We must dismantle the button and the potential annihilation it represents. We must listen to our hearts and end the nuclear insanity by ending the nuclear weapons era.

If we fail to act with engaged hearts, we will continue to stand at the precipice of annihilation – the precipice of a world without butterflies or beautiful roses, without birds or humans.

The golden age of science will come to an end as a triumph of cataclysmic devastation, which will be humanity’s most enduring failure.

Reading, discussing and understanding the meaning of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s short quotation should be required of every schoolchild, every citizen, and every leader of every country.

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Our Sieges and Theirs. Syria and Iraq vs. US-NATO-Al Qaeda

octobre 26th, 2016 by Stephen Gowans

“In Syria almost everybody is under siege to a greater or lesser degree,” observes the Independent’s Patrick Cockburn. [2] Most people, however, think the only siege in Syria is the one imposed on (East) Aleppo by Syrian and Russian forces.

But siege as a form of warfare is hardly uniquely embraced by the Syrian Arab Army and Russian military. On the contrary, the United States and its allies have been practicing siege warfare in the Levant and beyond for years, and continue to do so. It’s just that US-led siege warfare has been concealed behind anodyne, even heroic, labels, while the siege warfare of countries Washington is hostile to, is abominated by Western state officials crying crocodile tears.

Here’s how the deception works:

Sieges of cities controlled by Islamic State, carried out by US forces and their allies, are called rescue operations, or campaigns to liberate or retake cities—never sieges. Other sieges—the ones carried out by Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, formerly Al Nusra, which, herein, I’ll call Al Qaeda for convenience—are ignored altogether (which might suggest something about the relationship of Al Qaeda’s Syria affiliate to the United States.) And a particularly injurious form of siege—economic sanctions — is presented as a separate category altogether and not siege warfare at all. But sanctions, imposed by rich countries, such as the United States and those of the European Union, on poor countries, such as Syria, are a modern form of siege, and have been called sanctions of mass destruction, in recognition of their devastating character.

In the Levant, the sieges which are identified as such by Western state officials, and in train, by the Western mass media, are sieges of cities controlled by Al Qaeda, carried out by Syrian forces and their allies. These sieges—which cause hunger, kill civilians, and destroy buildings—are denounced in the West as ferocious attacks on innocents which amount to war crimes. “Russia’s bombardment backing the siege of Aleppo by Syrian government forces,” notes the Wall Street Journal, “has created a humanitarian crisis.” [3] A UN Security Council resolution—vetoed by Russia—has called for an end to Russian bombing of Aleppo. British foreign minister Boris Johnson has mused openly about war crimes indictments against Syria and Russia.

Yet US campaigns to drive Islamic State out of Manbij, Kobani, Ramadi, Fallujah, Baiji and Tikrit, and now Mosul, have also caused hunger, killed civilians, and destroyed buildings. Unlike the Syrian military’s siege of East Aleppo, these campaigns have been celebrated as great and necessary military victories, but have, themselves, created vast humanitarian crises.

Cockburn observes that the “recapture” of “cities like Ramadi, Fallujah, Baiji and Tikrit…would scarcely have happened without the coalition air umbrella overhead.” [4] That is, the cities liberated by Iraqi forces and their US patron were bombed into submission, even though civilians were trapped inside. Iraqi ground forces only moved in after these cities were left in ruins by coalition airstrikes and Iraqi artillery bombardment, as mopping up forces.

Rania Khalek, writing in the Intercept, points out that “U.S.-backed ground forces laid siege to Manbij, a city in northern Syria not far from Aleppo that is home to tens of thousands of civilians. U.S. airstrikes pounded the city over the summer, killing up to 125 civilians in a single attack. The U.S. replicated this strategy to drive ISIS out of Kobane, Ramadi, and Fallujah, leaving behind flattened neighborhoods.” [5]

To recover Ramadi from Islamic State, Iraqi forces surrounded and cordoned off the city. [6] In addition, the US led coalition bombarded Ramadi with airstrikes and artillery fire. [7] The bombardment left 70 percent of Ramadi’s buildings in ruins. The city was recovered, but “the great majority of its 400,000 people” were left homeless. [8]

Iraqi forces also besieged the city of Fallujah, preventing most food, medicine and fuel from entering it. [9] Militias “prevented civilians from leaving Islamic State territory while resisting calls to allow humanitarian aid to reach the city.” [10] This was done “to strangle Islamic State” [11] with the result that civilians were also “strangled.” Inside the city, tens of thousands endured famine and sickness due to lack of medicine. [12] Civilians reportedly survived on grass and plants. [13] Many civilians “died under buildings that collapsed under” artillery bombardment and coalition air strikes. [14]

The current campaign to recover Mosul is based on the same siege strategy US forces and their Iraqi client used to liberate Ramadi and Fallujah. US and allied warplanes have been bombarding the city for months. [15] Iraqi forces, aided by US Special Forces, are moving to cordon it off. “Some aid groups estimate that as many as a million people could be displaced by fighting to recapture the city, creating a daunting humanitarian task that the United Nations and other organizations say they are not yet ready to deal with.” [16]

Writer and journalist Jonathan Cook commented on the utter hypocrisy of Westerners who condemn the Syrian/Russian campaign to liberate East Aleppo from Islamist fighters while celebrating the Iraqi/US campaign to do the same in Mosul. Targeting the British newspaper, the Guardian, beloved by progressives, Cook contrasted two reports which appeared in the newspaper to illustrate the Western heart beating for all except those the US Empire drowns in blood.

Report one: The Guardian provides supportive coverage of the beginning of a full-throttle assault by Iraqi forces, backed by the US and UK, on Mosul to win it back from the jihadists of ISIS – an assault that will inevitably lead to massive casualties and humanitarian suffering among the civilian population.

Report two: The Guardian provides supportive coverage of the US and UK for considering increased sanctions against Syria and Russia. On what grounds? Because Syrian forces, backed by Russia, have been waging a full-throttle assault on Aleppo to win it back from the jihadists of ISIS and Al-Qaeda – an assault that has led to massive casualties and humanitarian suffering among the civilian population. [17]

Central to Western propaganda is the elision of the Islamist character of the Al Qaeda militants who tyrannize East Aleppo. This is accomplished by labeling them “rebels,” while the “rebels” who tyrannize the cities the United States and its allies besiege are called “Islamic State,” ISIL” or “ISIS” fighters. The aim is to conjure the impression that US-led sieges are directed at Islamic terrorists, and therefore are justifiable, despite the humanitarian crises they precipitate, while the Syrian-led campaign in East Aleppo is directed at rebels, presumably moderates, or secular democrats, and therefore is illegitimate. This is part of a broader US propaganda campaign to create two classes of Islamist militants—good Islamists, and bad ones.

The first class, the good Islamists, comprises Al Qaeda and fighters cooperating with it, including US-backed groups, whose operations are limited to fighting secularists in Damascus, and therefore are useful to the US foreign policy goal of overthrowing Syria’s Arab nationalist government. These Islamist fighters are sanitized as “rebels.”

The second class, the bad Islamists, comprises Islamic State. Islamic State has ambitions which make it far less acceptable to Washington as an instrument to be used in pursuit of US foreign policy goals. The organization’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, aspires to lead a caliphate which effaces the Sykes-Picot borders, and is therefore a threat, not only to the Arab nationalists in Damascus—an enemy the organization shares in common with Washington— but also to the US client states of Iraq and Saudi Arabia, which Islamic State attacks. The US objective in connection with Islamic State is to push the organization out of Iraq (and out of areas in Syria that can be brought under the control of US-backed fighters) and into the remainder of Syria, where they can wear down Arab nationalist forces.

Syria’s “moderates”—the “rebels”—if there are any in the sense of secular pro-democrats, are few in number. Certainly, their ranks are so limited that arming them, in the view of US president Barack Obama, would make little difference. The US president told New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman that his administration had “difficulty finding, training and arming a sufficient cadre of secular Syrian rebels: ‘There’s not as much capacity as you would hope,’” Obama confessed. [18] Obama’s assessment was underscored when “a US general admitted that it had just four such ‘moderate’ fighters in Syria after spending $500 million on training them.” [19] Veteran Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk dismissed the idea of the “moderates” as little more than a fantasy. “I doubt if there are 700 active ‘moderate’ foot soldiers in Syria,” he wrote. And “I am being very generous, for the figure may be nearer 70.” [20]

Elizabeth O’Bagy, who has made numerous trips to Syria to interview insurgent commanders for the Institute for the Study of War, told the New York Times’ Ben Hubbard that my “sense is that there are no seculars.” [21] Anti-government fighters interviewed by the Wall Street Journal found the Western concept of the secular Syrian rebel to be incomprehensible. [22]

To be clear: Syrian and Russian forces are waging a campaign to liberate East Aleppo from Islamists, whose only difference from Islamic State is that they’re not a threat to the US client states, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. It’s “primarily al-Nusra who holds Aleppo,” US Department of Defense spokesperson Colonel Steve Warren said on April 25, referring to Al Qaeda. [23] Other militant Islamist organizations, including US-backed groups, are also in Aleppo, intertwined with, embedded with, sharing weapons with, cooperating with, and acting as auxiliaries of Al-Qaeda.

Author and journalist Stephen Kinzer, writing in the Boston Globe, reminds us that:

For three years, violent militants have run Aleppo. Their rule began with a wave of repression. They posted notices warning residents: “Don’t send your children to school. If you do, we will get the backpack and you will get the coffin.” Then they destroyed factories, hoping that unemployed workers would have no recourse other than to become fighters. They trucked looted machinery to Turkey and sold it. [24]

The Invisible Sieges

While sieges imposed by US-led forces are hidden by not calling them sieges, sieges imposed by Washington’s Al-Qaeda ally are simply ignored.

“Only three years ago,” notes Fisk, the same Islamist fighters who are under siege today in East Aleppo, “were besieging the surrounded Syrian army western enclave of Aleppo and firing shells and mortars into the sector where hundreds of thousands of civilians lived under regime control.” [25] Fisk observes acidly that the “first siege didn’t elicit many tears from the satellite channel lads and lassies” while the “second siege comes with oceans of tears.” [26]

To the ignored Al Qaeda-orchestrated siege of West Aleppo can be added “the untold story of the three-and-a-half-year siege of two small Shia Muslim villages in northern Syria,” Nubl and Zahra. Those sieges, carried out by Al-Qaeda against villages which remained loyal to Syria’s Arab nationalist government, left at least 500 civilians dead, 100 of them children, through famine and artillery bombardment. [27] The “world paid no heed to the suffering of these people,” preferring to remain “largely fixed on those civilians suffering under siege by (Syrian) government forces elsewhere.” [28]

And then there’s the largely untold story of the 13 year-long siege imposed on a whole country, Syria, by the United States and European Union. That siege, initiated by Washington in 2003, with the Syria Accountability Act, and then followed by EU sanctions, blocks Western exports of almost all products to Syria and isolates the country financially. This massive, wide-scale siege plunged Syria’s economy into crisis even before the 2011 eruption of upheavals in the Arab world [29]—demonstrating that Washington’s efforts to force Syrian president Bashar al-Assad to step down began long before the Arab Spring. The roots of US hostility to Assad’s government are found in the danger of its becoming “a focus of Arab nationalistic struggle against an American regional presence and interests” [30] – another way of saying that the Arab nationalist goals of unity, independence and socialism, which guide the Syrian state, are an anathema to the US demand—expressed in the 2015 US National Security Strategy—that all countries fall in behind US global “leadership.”

Under US siege warfare, unemployment shot up, factories closed, food prices skyrocketed and fuel prices doubled. [31] “Syrian officials” were forced “to stop providing education, health care and other essential services in some parts of the country.” [32] Indeed, so comprehensive was the siege, that by 2011 US “officials acknowledged that the country was already under so many sanctions that the United States held little leverage.” [33]

Western siege warfare on Syria has blocked “access to blood safety equipment, medicines, medical devices, food, fuel, water pumps, spare parts for power plants, and more,” [34] leading Patrick Cockburn to compare the regime change campaign to “UN sanctions on Iraq between 1990 and 2003.” [35] The siege of Iraq—at a time when the country was led by secular Arab nationalists who troubled Washington as much, if not more, than the secular Arab nationalists in Syria vex Washington today—led to the deaths, though disease and hunger, of 500,000 children, according to the United Nations. Political scientists John Meuller and Karl Meuller called the siege a campaign of economic warfare amounting to “sanctions of mass destruction,” more devastating than all the weapons of mass destruction used in history. [36] When the West’s siege warfare on Arab nationalist Iraq ended in 2003 it was immediately resumed on Arab nationalist Syria, with the same devastating consequences.

According to a leaked UN internal report, the “US and EU economic sanctions on Syria are causing huge suffering among ordinary Syrians and preventing the delivery of humanitarian aid.” [37] Cockburn notes that “Aid agencies cited in the report say they cannot procure basic medicines or medical equipment for hospitals because sanctions are preventing foreign commercial companies and banks having anything to do with Syria.” [38] “In effect” concludes the veteran British journalists, “the US and EU sanctions are imposing an economic siege on Syria as a whole which may be killing more Syrians than die of illness and malnutrition in the sieges which EU and US leaders have described as war crimes.” [39]

Meanwhile, a U.S. Navy-backed blockade of Yemen’s ports [40]—in other words, a siege— has left much of the country, the poorest in the Arab world, “on the brink of famine.” [41] Last year, a United Nations expert estimated “that 850,000 children in the country of 26 million” faced “acute malnutrition” as a result of the US-backed siege. The blockade amounts to “the deliberate starvation of civilians,” the UN expert said, which constitutes a war crime. [42] “Twenty million Yemenis, nearly 80% of the population, are in urgent need of food, water and medical aid,” wrote British journalist Julian Borger last year. The siege, also backed by Britain, has created “a humanitarian disaster.” [43]

That Washington protests so vehemently about the humanitarian consequences of Syria’s campaign to liberate East Aleppo from Al Qaeda, while US forces and their allies kill civilians through airstrikes, artillery bombardments and siege-related famine and disease in campaigns to capture territory from Islamic State, Yemen’s Houthi rebels, and Syria’s secular Arab nationalists, invites the obvious question: Why the double standard? Why does the Western heart beat for the civilians harmed in the campaign to liberate East Aleppo but not for the civilians harmed by Western campaigns to bring territory under the control of the United States and its proxies?

The answer, in short, is that Al Qaeda is a US asset in Washington’s campaign to overthrow the Arab nationalists in Damascus, and therefore Washington objects to military operations which threaten its ally. On the other hand, Washington sparks one humanitarian crisis after another in pursuit of its foreign policy goal of coercing submission to its global leadership. Jabhat Fatah al-Sham’s value to Washington resides in its implacable opposition to the secularism of Syria’s ruling Arab nationalist Ba’ath Party, and its willingness to accept the Sykes-Picot boundaries drawn up by Britain and France after WWI. Thus, the Syrian al-Qaeda outfit limits its operations to working toward the overthrow of secularists in Damascus. Washington is unwilling to accept radical Islamists seizing control of the Syrian state, but is willing to work with Al-Qaeda to eliminate a common enemy.

Washington plays a similar game with Islamic State, by calibrating its military campaign against the bad Islamists, in order to prevent them from threatening Iraq and Saudi Arabia while at the same time using them as a tool to weaken Syria’s Arab nationalist state. US airstrikes have been concentrated in Iraq, reports the Wall Street Journal. The air war focusses on Islamic State targets in Iraq, explains the newspaper, because “in Syria, U.S. strikes against the Islamic State would inadvertently help the regime of President Bashar al-Assad militarily.” [44] Likewise, France has “refrained from bombing the group in Syria for fear of bolstering” the Syrian government. [45] The British, too, have focused their air war overwhelmingly on Islamic State targets in Iraq, conducting less than 10 percent of their airstrikes on the Islamist organization’s positions in Syria. [46] The New York Times reports that “United States-led airstrikes in Syria … largely (focus) on areas far outside government control, to avoid … aiding a leader whose ouster President Obama has called for.” [47] Hence, US-coalition “airstrikes against the Islamic State in Syria” have been so limited as to make them “little more than a symbolic gesture.” [48] Fisk sums up the phony war against Islamic State in Syria with a sarcastic quip: “And so we went to war against Isis in Syria—unless, of course, Isis was attacking Assad’s regime, in which case we did nothing at all.” [49]

Consistent with the US approach of employing Al Qaeda as a cat’s paw against Syria’s secular Arab nationalists, any military operation which sets back Al-Qaeda’s campaign to overthrow the Assad government is a blow against a US foreign policy objective. Those who implore the United States to join Russia in a coalition to destroy Islamist militancy in the Muslim world miss the point. Washington only abhors jihadists when they threaten the United States and its satellites; otherwise, the US state embraces militant Islam as a useful tool to be used against secular governments which refuse to submit to the international dictatorship of the United States.

Owing to the harm they inevitably inflict on non-combatants, it is easy to condemn military campaigns to liberate cities occupied by enemy forces. But it is much more difficult to suggest a realistic alternative to using force to extirpate enemies from urban redoubts. Compromise and negotiation? For the United States, compromise means Arab nationalists stepping down and yielding power to US puppets—not compromise, but the fulfillment of US objectives. Washington isn’t interested in compromise. It has declared that it can and will lead the world, which means it is determined to set the rules. But even if there were a willingness in Washington for compromise, why should the United States have a role to play in deciding Syria’s political future? We can’t be true democrats, unless we fight for democracy in international relations. And we can’t have democracy in international relations if the United States and its allies intervene in other countries, enlisting jihadists to carry out their dirty work, in order to have a say in a political transition, once their mujahedeen allies have created a catastrophe.

What’s more, even had Damascus and its Russian ally concluded that the humanitarian consequences of attempting to drive Al Qaeda out of East Aleppo were too daunting to warrant a siege campaign, the day of siege would only be delayed. Were Syria’s secular Arab nationalists to yield power under a US negotiated political settlement, the United States, acting through its new Syrian client, would arrange the siege of the city to crush its former Islamist allies, who could not be allowed to challenge the new US marionette in Damascus. Only this time, the siege would be called a rescue operation, the label “rebel” would be dropped in favor of “radical Islamist terrorist,” the ensuing humanitarian crisis would be duly noted then passed over with little comment, and hosannas would be sung to the US military leaders who slayed the Islamist dragon.

On October 19, a Swiss journalist confronted Assad on civilian deaths in East Aleppo. “But it’s true that innocent civilians are dying in Aleppo,” the journalist said. Assad replied: “The “whole hysteria in the West about Aleppo (is) not because Aleppo is under siege…Aleppo has been under siege for the last four years by terrorists, and we (never) heard a question (from) Western journalists about what’s happening in Aleppo (then) and we (never) heard a single statement by Western officials regarding the children of Aleppo. Now they are asking about Aleppo…because the terrorists are in bad shape.” The Syrian Army is advancing “and the Western countries—mainly, the United States and its allies (the) UK and France” feel “they are losing the last cards of terrorism in Syria.” [50]

My book Washington’s Long War on Syria is forthcoming April 2017.

NOTES

1 Adapted from Robert Bontine Cunninghame Graham, 1897. “Our bishops scream to high heaven when the Armenians are violated by the Turks, but say nothing about the much worse crimes committed by their own countrymen. The hypocritical British heart beats for all except those their empire drowns in blood.”

2 Patrick Cockburn, “The silent devastation of Daraya: Capture of suburb is a big step toward Assad winning the battle for Damascus,” The Independent, September 8, 2016

3 Anton Troianovski and Amie Ferris-Rotman, “Germany hosts Putin and Poroshenko for Ukraine summit,” The Wall Street Journal, October 18, 2016.

4 Patrick Cockburn, “Iraq’s ‘ramshackle’ Mosul offensive may see Isis defeated but it will expose deep divisions between the forces involved,” The Independent, October 18, 2016

5 Rania Khalek, “US and EU sanctions are punishing ordinary Syrians and crippling aid work, UN report reveals,” The Intercept, September 28, 2016

6 Helene Cooper, Eric Schmitt and Michael R. Gordon, “U.S. set to open a climactic battle against ISIS in Mosul, Iraq,” The New York Times, October 7, 2016

7 Patrick Cockburn, “Air strikes on ISIS in Iraq and Syria are reducing their cities to ruins,” The Independent, May 27, 2016

8 Ibid.

9 Matt Bradley, “Iraqi blockade of occupied Fallujah takes toll on civilians,” The Wall Street Journal, January 31, 2016

10 Tim Arango, “In effort to defeat ISIS, US and Iran impede one another,” New York Times, April 25, 2016

11 Matt Bradley, “Iraqi blockade of occupied Fallujah takes toll on civilians,” The Wall Street Journal, January 31, 2016

12 Tim Arango, “Iran-led push to retake Falluja from ISIS worries U.S.” The New York Times, May 28, 2016; Rania Khalek, “US and EU sanctions are punishing ordinary Syrians and crippling aid work, UN report reveals,” The Intercept, September 28, 2016

13 Matt Bradley, “Iraqi blockade of occupied Fallujah takes toll on civilians,” The Wall Street Journal, January 31, 2016

14 Tim Arango, “Iran-led push to retake Falluja from ISIS worries U.S.” The New York Times, May 28, 2016

15 Helene Cooper, Eric Schmitt and Michael R. Gordon, “U.S. set to open a climactic battle against ISIS in Mosul, Iraq,” The New York Times, October 7, 2016; Missy Ryan, “Mosul offensive poses key test for U.S. strategy against Islamic State,” The Washington Post, October 14, 2016

16 Helene Cooper, Eric Schmitt and Michael R. Gordon, “U.S. set to open a climactic battle against ISIS in Mosul, Iraq,” The New York Times, October 7, 2016

17 Jonathan Cook, “Guardian front page channels Orwell’s 1984,” Jonathan Cook Blog, October 17, 2016

18 Thomas L. Friedman, Obama on the world,” The New York Times, August 8, 2014

19 Patrick Cockburn, “The West has been in denial over how to tackle the threat of Islamic State,” Evening Standard, November 19, 2015

20 Robert Fisk, “David Cameron, there aren’t 70,000 moderate fighters in Syria—and whosever heard of a moderate with a Kalashnikov anyway?” The Independent, November 29, 2015

21 Ben Hubbard, “Islamist rebels create dilemma on Syria policy”, The New York Times, April 27, 2013

22 Nour Malas, “Islamists gain momentum in Syria”, The Wall Street Journal, February 27, 2013

23 Sam Heller and Avi Asher-Schapiro, “’The regime can’t be trusted’: Inside Syria’s Aleppo as a shaky truce begins,” Vice, May 5, 2016

24 Stephen Kinzer, “The media are misleading the public on Syria,” The Boston Globe, February 18, 2016

25 Robert Fisk, “No, Aleppo is not the new Srebrenica—the West won’t go to war over Syria,” The Independent, August 4, 2016

26 Ibid.

27 Robert Fisk, “Syria civil war: The untold story of the siege of two small Shia villages – and how the world turned a blind eye,” The Independent, February 22, 2016

28 Ibid.

29 Nada Bakri, “Sanctions pose growing threat to Syria’s Assad”, The New York Times, October 10, 2011

30 Moshe Ma’oz, Bruce Cumings, Ervand Abrahamian and Moshe Ma’oz, Inventing the Axis of Evil: The Truth about North Korea, Iran, and Syria, The New Press, 2004, p .207

31 Nour Malas and Siobhan Gorman, “Syrian brass defect, bouying rebels”, The Wall Street Journal, March 9, 2012.

32 Joby Warrick and Alice Fordham, “Syria running out of cash as sanctions take toll, but Assad avoids economic pain”, the Washington Post, April 24, 2012

33 David E. Sanger, “U.S. faces a challenge in trying to punish Syria”, The New York Times, April 25, 2011

34 Rania Khalek, “US and EU sanctions are punishing ordinary Syrians and crippling aid work, UN report reveals,” The Intercept, September 28, 2016

35 Patrick Cockburn, “The silent devastation of Daraya: Capture of suburb is a big step toward Assad winning the battle for Damascus,” The Independent, September 8, 2016

36 John Mueller and Karl Mueller, “Sanctions of mass destruction,” Foreign Affairs, May/June 1999

37 Patrick Cockburn, “US and EU sanctions are ruining ordinary Syrians’ lives, yet Bashar al-Assad hangs on to power,” The Independent, October 7, 2016

38 Ibid.

39 Ibid.

40 Maria Abi-Habin and Adam Entous, “U.S. widens role in Saudi-led campaign against Houthi rebels in Yemen,” The Wall Street Journal, April 12, 2015

41 Shuaib Almosawa and Ben Hubbard, “A roar at a funeral, and Yemen’s war is altered,” The New York Times, October 9, 2016

42 Shuaib Almosawa, Kareem Fahim and Somini Sengupta, “Yemeni government faces choice between a truce and fighting on,” The New York Times, Aug 14, 2015

43 Julian Borger, “Saudi-led naval blockade leaves 20m Yemenis facing humanitarian disaster,” The Guardian June 5, 2015

44 Maria Abi-Habib, “Islamic State remains unchallenged from its sanctuary in Syria”, The Wall Street Journal, August 10, 2014

45 Matthew Dalton, “Reports on Islamic state plans in Europe fueled French move to prepare Syria strikes, The Wall Street Journal, September 15, 2015

46 Patrick Cockburn, “Government has no strategy, no plan and only ‘phantom’ allies in Syria, scathing Commons report reveals,” The Independent, September 22, 2016

47 Anne Barnard and Hwaida Saad, “ISIS fighters seize control of Syrian city of Palmyra, and ancient ruins, “The New York Times, May 20, 2015

48 Patrick Cockburn, “Chilcot report: Tony Blair, the Iraq war, and the words of mass destruction that continue to deceive,” The Independent, July 4, 2016

49 Robert Fisk, “I read the Chilcot report as I travelled across Syria this week and saw for myself what Blair’s actions caused,” The Independent, July 7, 2016

50 “President al-Assad to Swiss SRF 1 TV channel: Fighting terrorists is the way to protect civilians in Aleppo,” SANA, October 19, 2016

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In one moment, the pretend Sultan publically rebuked the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne signed by Ataturk and in particular he denied the terms of the 1920 Treaty of Sèvres which affirmed that the Arab lands of the erstwhile Ottoman Empire would be ceded.

The parts of Sèvres relating to Arab territory remain un-amended by the subsequent Treaty of Lausanne. The seeding of these Arab lands was the product of the Arab Revolt which began in the Hejaz in 1916 and ultimately ended in Damascus. Interestingly, one of the final battles of the revolt was in Aleppo, where Arab forces dealt a decisive blow to the Ottoman Empire.

But the story does not end there, where Britain had made promises to the Arabs of independence and freedom, instead they made a secret deal with France in 1916 to divide Arab lands into colonial mandates between the two great western imperial powers. The secret plan was first revealed to the world by the early Soviet press.
It would ultimately not be until after the Second World War that Arab lands would gain full independence. Under largely Kemalist governments, Turkey avoided direct confrontation with the Arabs, but under Erdogan this has changed.

As I have written previously, Erdogan is a Sultan of Many Clothes. He has presented himself as both the friend and enemy of just about every nation and peoples in the world at various times. Prior to the western engineered civil strife in Syria, Erdogan was busily prancing around the Arab world proclaiming himself a new Sultan in all but name.

The political disunity of the Arabs had allowed him to do this. Now, far from asking the Arabs to court him as a former colonial overlord turned pseudo-messiah, he is openly implying that Turkey will ‘take back’ Aleppo and Mosul.

The military realities bear this out. Turkey is in Syria illegally and recently Damascus has said that they consider any Turkish violation of Syrian territory to be an act of war and will respond accordingly. This includes the shooting down of Turkish jets. The Iraqi government issued a similar statement about Turkish presence in northern Iraq.

The blatant Turkish disregard for the sovereignty Arab lands must be dealt with. The only solution is a return to the principles of Arab unity, first politically proffered by General Nasser. Although much has been made of the impossibility of such unity, when one compares the prospects of Arab unity to that of European unity, one can better understand the potential of such unity.

The EU, for all its problems, isn’t going to go away any time soon. This is in spite of the fact that European peoples have little in common other than economic need. Their shared history is written in blood.

Religious wars, ethnic disputes, genocide, territorial disputes, ideological revolutions and language barriers tell the long tale of European interaction. Indeed, the modern European Union was created in part as an attempt to avoid conflict by creating an atmosphere of economic reliance and interdependence. Today it exists for pragmatic reasons rather than because of any actual unity between these peoples.

By contrast, the Arabs have been organically unified in the past. Look at the Umayyad and Abbasid Caliphates. The Arabs are a single people with a single language. The differences between varieties of Sunni and Shi’a Islam are far less than those between Orthodox Christianity, Roman Catholicism and Protestantism. Arabs have every possibility to unite and every reason to do so.

Frankly it would be a reunification rather than a unification. But between the Sykes-Picot agreement which created borders to divide the Arabs, western neo-colonial interference into Arab affairs and powerful Wahhabi regimes in the Gulf who seek to enslave fellow Arabs to a western funded cult masquerading as Islam, things have been difficult.

Were there a new United Arab Republic whose borders stretched from Libya to Iraq, no Turkish leader would dream of saying Aleppo or Mosul are anything but Arab lands, to be ruled by Arab leaders. But because the Arabs remain divided, he has shouted it with vigour.

What a sad state of affairs it is that when Russian people living in what is historically Russian territory, vote to re-join Russia and the west go bonkers. Yet when a Turkish leader claims to want to restore Ottoman colonial rule over Arabs, no one says anything.

Erdogan’s words are dangerous and must be taken seriously. He clearly wants more than to just use Syria and Iraq as a place to fight Kurds he may otherwise be forced to fight in Turkey itself. He has designs on the Arab lands, he smells blood and President Assad knows this. Perhaps the only piece of tentative good news from the wider Arab world have been Egyptian military drills with Russia.

Some say that at long last, President Sisi may do the right thing, step away from the Saudis whose filthy feet he had been kissing, and join Russia in an Arabist battle against all the enemies of modern, free, Arab dignity.

From the nightmare that is Wahhabism on one side and Ottoman imperialism on the other, this is the time for the Arabs to resurrect the dream of unity in order not just to fight the enemies within and without, but to better themselves.

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It’s safe to say that the abuse of painkillers and psychotropic drugs has become epidemic in the United States, while the situation is being aggravated by the struggle for the legalization of marijuana that has been on the rise in most states. Recently, the Attorney General of the United States, Loretta Lynch has stressed the catastrophic effect that the systematic drug abuse has had on all layers of the American society.

This sinister addiction has been manifesting itself in the growing number of crimes being committed all across the country. According to the American Thinker, the number of crimes committed under the influence of drugs has increased by 17% in Washington and Colorado. Yet, it won’t be an exaggeration to state that the US hasn’t realized what kind of a Pandora box it has opened.

But the rise of crime is not the only way the systematic drug abuse manifests itself in the American society, since it seems that certain statements of the prominent representatives of US political and business elites were made under painkillers and psychotropic drugs. This “deviant behavior” has recently been manifesting itself in the Russophobic remarks that can often be heard in Washington these days.

Just take a look at one of the articles featured in The Washington Post:

While we’re on the subject of Vladimir Putin, it’s worth noting another way Russia is working against US interests. Russia is helping to sustain the war on drugs. Russia can also surely see that the war on drugs is weakening the United States.

This article partially explaining the sudden row of accusations against Russia, that one could only make while being high as a kite.

For example, the US State Department has decided to announce that Russia fabricated the Northern Lights, to undermine mental fortitude of the American population. The White House spokesman Josh Ernest has claimed that:

The motive is obvious The constant flashing and gyrating shapes in the sky are intended to cause sleep deprivation. When people do not get enough sleep, their guard is down. The Russians are trying to undermine our national security with this cheap stunt.

In turn, US Ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, has just recently demanded the United Nations Security Council to introduce a regime of economic sanctions against Russia “for tampering with the electromagnetic field of the Earth”.

In her latest speech, the US Air Force General Nina M. Armagno stated that there’s a distinct Russian-Chinese threat coming from space, which by 2025 will threaten all the US satellites.

If those reports are not enough to blow one’s top off, how about the announcement that the State of California just decriminalized child prostitution. Therefore, it is no longer illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to engage in prostitution or to solicit money for sex. CBS Sacramento has reported that Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill that exempts minors from the current California prostitution laws. In other words, a person under the age of 18 can no longer be arrested for violating prostitution laws that apply to adults.

Against this background, the recent arrest of Fairfax City Mayor Richard “Scott” Silverthorne for his attempt to pay for gay sex with drugs seems rather strange, since it must be the typical sort of behavior for the American political elites today.

It’s clear that American politicians have lost touch with reality, since they fail to recognize how delusional their statements sound. Probably, to get American elected representatives off drugs one must call WADA, which must be pretty convenient, since the latter has been working for Washington for quite a while now.

Grete Mautner is an indepenent researcher and journalist from Germany, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.

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Man, I dream of just being able to paint. Go to sleep when I want, get up when I want, eat when I want. Try to enjoy what’s left for me. Talk to the little children—be an elder for my people. —Leonard Peltier, United States Penitentiary, Coleman I in Florida, July 4, 2016.

This is not a good time to be black in America, and not just because of people walking while black, driving while black, running while black, breathing while black, but because of all the hells that people suffer all across America. The truth of the matter is, it ain’t gettin’ sweeter. It ain’t getting better. —Mumia Abu-Jamal, October 07, 2016, SCI Mahanoy state prison, Frackville, Pennsylvania.

Leonard Peltier and Mumia Abu-Jamal have been unjustly imprisoned for decades, and their last chances for freedom will come in the six weeks between the November 8 election and the inauguration of the next president on January 20. During that interval, President Barack Obama will himself be totally free. With no political pressures to worry about, he can do something that should have been done long ago: liberate these two men.

In June 1975, during a confrontation on the Pine Ridge Reservation, Oglala, South Dakota that involved members of the American Indian Movement (AIM), two FBI agents were shot dead. In 1977, Leonard Peltier, an Anishinabe-Lakota American Indian, grandfather, painter, writer, and a member of the AIM was convicted and sentenced to two consecutive terms of life imprisonment for their murders. This, despite the fact that there was zero proof that he did it, and ample proof that the authorities manufactured evidence against him.

Radio journalist, writer, and former Black Panther Party member Mumia Abu-Jamal was convicted and sentenced to death in July 1982 for the murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner. The incident took place on December 9, 1981, and he has maintained his innocence since. He has spent most of the ensuing 34 years in solitary confinement on Pennsylvania’s Death Row. In 2001, a federal judge ordered that his death sentence be overturned, and after losing many appeals of that order, on December 7, 2011, Philadelphia District Attorney made the announcement that he was giving up on restoring Mumia’s death sentence. He is now commuted to life imprisonment without parole.

Both Peltier and Mumia have health problems. Among other ailments, Peltier suffers from diabetes, high blood pressure, prostate issues and a heart condition. An affiliate of Physicians for Human Rights has said, “Peltier risks blindness, kidney failure, stroke and premature death, given his inadequate diet, living conditions and health care.” In late 2015, he was diagnosed with an abdominal aortic aneurysm that requires surgery, which is being denied him. If the aneurysm decides to rupture, he will die within minutes.

In late August this year, a federal judge denied a request from Mumia for life-saving medication that could cure his hepatitis C. Mumia’s lawyers refiled a case against the Hepatitis C Care Committee and against the DOC officials. This denial remains in effect despite having been declared unconstitutional. Mumia has said that the protocol constitutes “deliberate indifference to the medical needs of at least 6,000 people in Pennsylvania prisons.”

As soon as I arrived in the Indies, on the first Island which I found, I took some of the natives by force in order that they might learn and might give me information of whatever there is in these parts.

—words of Christopher Columbus taken from Howard Zinn’s A Peoples History of the United States.

Since that fateful day in October, 1492, when the discovered glistening gold ornaments on the ears of the Arawak Indians lit up the colonist’s eyes, many, many people of color in these, the robbed-again United States of America, have been systematically annihilated, afflicted with diseased blankets, enslaved, lynched, whipped, raped, dispossessed, imprisoned, deported, shot by the police, dehumanized, you name it. All this to keep the white elite extractive mechanism going, and going, and going, until one day, no doubt, it will be all gone.

Leonard Peltier and Mumia Abu-Jamal are just the latest in a long line of victims of a cultural genocide and a black oppression agenda that goes back 500 years, with no signs of stopping.

All of the riches and finite resources in far off places like Iraq, and right here in this occupied land of gold, “bed, bath and beyond” have yet to be sucked dry. Meanwhile, today, the battle in Mosul rages on; in this country, one in three black men, and one in six Latino men can expect to be incarcerated in their lifetime.

Having spent 41 years and 34 years behind bars simply for resisting empire, Peltier and Mumia are perhaps our last living link between the dark past and equally dark future. Their stories, their geography, their art, their words, their ailing bodies, their eyes, today, serve as an atlas of the genocidal and racist white settler history of this country.

How can America heal from this? By acknowledging the wrong that has been done to Peltier and Mumia and setting them free would be a start. Or is the government too afraid to disturb the sleeping giant of deception and atrocities on which this country was founded, fearing the long reparations list that might unfurl all the way to the moon? If that’s the case, then it’s business-as-usual, as always, before one day when it will all come tumbling down with its own weight.

Meanwhile, here’s a window into Peltier’s thoughts…..

Like so many Native children, I was ripped away from my family at the age of 9 or so and taken away to get the “Indian” out of me at a boarding school. At that time, Native Peoples were not able to speak our own languages for fear of being beaten or worse. Our men’s long hair, which is an important part of our spiritual life, was forcibly cut off in an effort to shame us. Our traditional names were replaced by new European-American names. These efforts to force our assimilation continue today. Not long ago, I remember, a Menominee girl was punished and banned from playing on the school’s basketball team because she taught a classmate how to say “hello” and “I love you” in her Native language. We hear stories all the time about athletes and graduates who face opposition to wearing their hair long or having a feather in their cap.

I’m 71 years old and still in a maximum security penitentiary. At my age, I’m not sure I have much time left….when I was indicted the average time served on a life sentence before being given parole was 7 years. So that means I’ve served nearly 6 life sentences and I should have been released on parole a very long time ago. Then there’s mandatory release after serving 30 years. I’m 10 years past that. The government isn’t supposed to change the laws to keep you in prison — EXCEPT if you’re Leonard Peltier, it seems. Now, I’m told I’ll be kept at USP Coleman I until 2017 when they’ll decide if I can go to a medium security facility — or NOT.

As the last remaining months of President Obama’s term pass by, my anxiety increases. I believe that this president is my last hope for freedom, and I will surely die here if I am not released by January 20, 2017.

….and into Mumia’s thoughts:

It is a tragedy that we’re now counting down the days of the first African American—accent on African—president in the history of the United States. And when he leaves you will still have the greatest incarcerator [the United States] on earth at work, and growing and continuing to divest and destroy and diminish the lives of millions of people. The fact that you could have a black president and not put a dent in that hellhole is startling.

[Obama] went into a prison that was empty. Because all of the prisoners were emptied from the cells. So, he walked into a prison block. Yes, that’s true, and it’s historic [Obama is the first sitting president to walk into a prison block]. But it’s also true that he walked in an empty prison block. If you have the greatest incarceration on earth in this nation, then, you know, why don’t you make history by creating empty cells? By freeing people.

It’s been fifty unbelievable years, since Huey and Bobby typed out the ten-point program and platform of the Black Panther Party for self defense. How many times in the last fifty years have you reread the ten-point program and marveled at how grim the conditions still facing millions of black people remain. Half a century, and black life still don’t matter.

You have to admit against your better judgement, perhaps. But it’s damn good entertainment [on the current electoral debacle], and it’s unbelievable. I mean this is the ultimate reality show. It’s so real, it’s unreal. I think it reflects clearer than anything we could have imagined—the fall of empire. This is how democracies fall. History repeats itself. First time it’s tragedy. Second time it’s farce. So, it’s interesting. It’s entertaining. It’s unbelievable. Yet, here we are.”

Yes. Here we are. Everything has been white-washed, including America’s first black president. Behold the irony, for he holds the pen that the white man has thrust in his hand after deeming him worthy of the White House. The question is, does Obama have the courage to finally grant Peltier and Mumia clemency, not only because he can but because it’s right?

(I understand that it’s not in president Obama’s hands to pardon Mumia Abu-Jamal since he is a state prisoner. But, it is incumbent upon president Obama to at least try and urge Governor Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania to pardon him.)

Yes You Can, President Obama, Yes You Can!

Please visit WhoIsLeonardPeltier.Info to learn more about Leonard Peltier, and here to look at his art. Please visit FreeMumia.com to learn more about Mumia Abu-Jamal, and to PRISON RADIO to listen to Mumia’s broadcast from prison.

Priti Gulati Cox is an interdisciplinary artist, and a local coordinator for the peace and justice organization CODEPINK. She lives in Salina, Kansas, and can be reached at [email protected]. Please click here to see more of her work.

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Elections in the United States are far and away the most expensive in the entire world. In 2012, the Federal Election Commission reported that $7 billion was spent on the presidential campaign. By the time the ink is dry on the 2016 election, the number will likely be even higher. American voters take for granted that political campaigns provide value that allows them to choose the candidate that best represents their ideology and policy positions. But, is this really the best system? Is it even a good one?

The astronomical cost of campaigns in the U.S. prohibits all but a small handful of individuals with the celebrity and access to obscene sums money the realistic opportunity to compete. It should be no surprise that the two finalists for president in 2016 are both multi-millionaire oligarchs. Even so, they are dependent on raising hundreds of millions of dollars from big business and other special interests.

Is it reasonable to expect that after such a process the winner of the election will be able to represent the interests of the average citizen rather than the super-wealthy elite individuals and corporations whose patronage allowed them achieve victory at the polls?

A recent Princeton University academic study disputes this notion. Martin Giles and Benjamin Page write that statistical measures demonstrate that elites and business interests have an impact on policy directly correlated to their wealth, while the average voter has no discernible impact on policy at all. The influence of regular citizens is so low, the authors argue, that it would be inaccurate to characterize the American political system as a democracy.

As greater economic power necessarily translates to greater political power, a reasonable remedy to the situation would be to decrease inequality in the United States. If inequality was drastically rolled back to a level closer to that found after the end of WWII – through massive taxes on wealth, income and capital gains, along with the abolition of inheritance – perhaps the conditions would exist for fair elections based on competitive campaigns.

But absent such a drastic realignment of the politico-economic system, are there better possibilities for American citizens to elect officials that represent their interests? The nation has seen that Barack Obama’s promises in 2008 to represent “hope and change,” to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, close Guantanamo, operate transparently, limit domestic surveillance and reform taxes were, in reality, little more than hot air.

What if instead of being allowed to create his own narrative, a summary of his undistinguished record as an lawyer from elite universities and corporate-friendly record state representative and politician was what voters had to guide their expectations of how he would govern?

Perhaps the U.S. could look to Cuba, where the Revolutionary government – facing unrelenting subversion and destabilization for decades by its imperial neighbor to the north –  has managed to eliminate money from politics entirely. At the municipal level, candidates spend no money and do not campaign at all. Instead, voters are presented with short biographies to reference in determining who they believe would better represent them.

As the U.S. prepares for its latest electoral spectacle in a few weeks, I offer sample bios for the two presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, based on what they may look like if they were running for office in Cuba.


Hillary Clinton

Age: 68

Education level: Advanced degree

Occupation: Unemployed

Organizations belonged to: Democratic Party

Biography

Born on October 26, 1947 in Chicago, Illinois of capitalist social origin.

Graduated from Maine South High School in Illinois in 1965. Attended Wellesley College from 1966-1969 and received a bachelor’s degree with a major in political science. In college, she was head of the Young Republicans Club from 1966-1967. In 1968, she was elected president of the Wellesley College Government Association. During a summer program in Washington, DC, she interned for Republican House Leader Gerald Ford.

After finishing her undergraduate studies, she enrolled at Yale Law School, where she was on the editorial board of the Yale Review of Law and Social Action. In 1972, she volunteered in Austin, Texas for Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern. She was awarded a Juris Doctor degree from Yale in 1973.

She helped found Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families in 1977. That same year, she joined the Rose Law Firm and specialized in patent infringement and intellectual property. She would become the first female partner at Rose Law.

While her husband William Jefferson Clinton served as governor of Arkansas, she held three corporate board seats. For six years, she was a member of the board of Wal-Mart, the world’s largest company. As the board aggressively fought unions, she “remained silent.” She was on the board of the yogurt manufacturing firm TCBY Enterprises, as well as LaFarge, a subsidiary of a French concrete company for two years from 1990-1992.  Additionally, she served on the boards of Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Legal Services, and Children’s Defense Fund.

As first Lady in 1992, her husband appointed her to head his President’s Task Force on Health Care Reform, an effort that did not result in any legislative accomplishments. Later in his presidency, she would convince her husband to bomb the sovereign nation of Yugoslavia, which set a precedent for later illegal U.S. wars.

Voters in New York elected her to serve as the state’s junior senator in November 2000, a position she held for eight years. While in office, she voted in favor of the Authorization for Use of Military Force in 2001; two illegal wars (Afghanistan, 2001 and Iraq, 2003); and the original USA Patriot Act as well as its reauthorization in 2005. She did not pass any major piece of progressive legislation as senator.

After losing the Democratic nomination for president in 2008, she was subsequently appointed as Secretary of State. During her four year tenure at State, she pressed President Obama to carry out an illegal regime change in Libya, as well as helping solidify governments in both Honduras and Ukraine that came to power through extra-legal coups.

After resigning from government, she joined the board of the Clinton Foundation, an enterprise organized as a charitable organization that has been accused of being “a vehicle to launder money and to enrich Clinton family friends.”

During the same period, she gave 92 speeches to corporations that paid her a total of $21.6 million.


Donald Trump

Age: 70

Education level: Bachelor’s degree

Occupation: Unemployed

Organizations belonged to: Republican Party

Biography

He was born on June 14, 1946 in Queens, New York of aristocratic social origin.

He attended an elite private school, before behavior problems led him to transfer to the New York Military Academy.

After finishing primary school, he attended Fordham University for two years before transferring to the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, from which he received a bachelor of arts degree in economics in 1968.

His father was an extremely wealthy real estate developer and one of the richest men in the country. In addition to providing him an executive position in the family business as a young man. When he started his real estate career with the construction of the Grand Hyatt hotel in New York City in 1978, his father provided a $1 million loan and acted as a “silent partner.”

Estimates of the fortune he inherited from his father are as high as $200 million.

In 1973, he was sued by the Justice Department for racial discrimination. The New York City Human Rights Division gathered evidence that his apartment buildings would not rent to African Americans and a superintendent claimed to be only acting on orders from management. The lawsuit was settled two years later.

He used debt leverage to build multiple hotels and casinos in Atlantic City and other locations. Many of the properties bore his name.

From 1991 to 2009, his companies filed four Chapter 11 bankruptcies.

Reportedly he has done business with mafia members and drug traffickers.

He was accused by hundreds of contractors, including plumbers, painters and carpet companies, of failing to pay for work done to build his casinos.

When journalists have published stories about him that he dislikes, he has threatened to sue them.

Starting in 2004, he became the host of a reality television show called The Apprentice. Later, this was spun off into another reality show, Celebrity Apprentice. Trump spent 13 seasons with the shows.

He was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award in both 2004 and 2005 (Outstanding Reality-Competition Program).

In 2013, he was inducted to the WWE Hall of Fame.

Unlike every candidate for the past 40 years, he has refused to release his tax returns. Some have suggested there is strong evidence he does not pay income taxes.


Presently, political campaigns are little more than billion-dollar public relations exercises that allow elite servants of the corporate class to deceive the public into mistakenly believing they will represent their best interests.

As the above bios demonstrate, if the ability to control and shape their message is removed from the candidates, the voters are presented with a much different picture. Perhaps American voters will start demanding more than simply enacting a new version of campaign finance reform to fix their broken system.  Political campaigns, as they currently exist, arguably do more to obscure and distort the history and record of candidates than they do to provide transparency and allow a rational choice based on relevant information about how they will govern.

This article first appeared on the American Herald Tribune

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The US is dramatically increasing the tempo of its military operations in MENA (the Middle East and North Africa), especially in the Horn of Africa.

Djibouti has an important role to play in the military planning. The small republic guards the entrance to the Red Sea and Suez Canal to make it a perfect springboard for launching military interventions in Africa and the Middle East.

Housing 4,000 military and civilian personnel, Camp Lemonnier, the US military base in the country, is the hub of a network of American drone bases in Africa. It is used for aerial strikes at insurgents in Yemen, Nigeria and Somalia, as well as exercising control over the Bab-el-Mandeb strait – a strategic maritime waterway linking the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean through the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea. In 2014, America signed a new 20-year lease on the base with the Djiboutian government, and committed over $1.4 billion to modernize and expand the facility in the years to come.

According to Stars and Stripes, the US Air Force deployed F-16 fighters and KC-135 to Djibouti in July. Until the publication, the information had been kept secret. The aircraft remain on standby amid concerns over the situation in South Sudan, including threats to the lives of American citizens there. In July, about 50 combat-equipped troops were sent to protect US diplomatic personnel amid widespread violence and civil unrest in that country. The US has provided assistance in form of training and equipping of the elite presidential guard; employment of foreign instructors to teach army recruits; development of riverine forces; training of commandos. This aid is rendered despite the fact that South Sudan uses child soldiers.

Under Obama, this country receives waivers to the prohibition on US security assistance under the Child Soldiers Prevention Act (CSPA), despite recent reports by UNICEF that children in the country are forcefully recruited into the armed forces. The law prohibits the US government from furnishing security assistance or selling arms to any government that has been identified as recruiting children into its armed forces or armed groups that it supports. In theory, the administration is to sanction such countries under the law, which is circumvented with the help of waivers.

Djibouti is also situated close to Yemen, where the US has recently got involved in the military conflict between the Saudi-Arabia – led coalition and the Houthi rebels.

On October 13, the US military launched a series of cruise missile strikes on three radar installations in Yemen. The attack became a response to recent threats made on naval vessels in the Red Sea. This was the first time, when the US has taken part in the Yemen conflict directly. Under the circumstances, airpower would be more efficient than cruise missiles launched from surface ships. F-16 jets are perfectly suited for carrying out such missions as knocking out radar sites or other ground based assets in Yemen. Providing air cover for US ships in the region is important, but the fact that tankers are also based in Djibouti, the mission could envisage a scenario with delivering air strikes at much greater distance.

The US plans could include Somalia. On October 16, The New York Times reported that US special operators have been quietly escalating the war on al-Shabab in Somalia carrying out more than a half-dozen raids per month.

The operations are a combination of ground raids and drone strikes. The article states that «the Pentagon has acknowledged only a small fraction of these operations but even the information released publicly shows a marked increase this year».

Somalia’s government has recently requested an explanation from the United States for an air raid that it says killed 22 soldiers and civilians in the north of the country on September 28. The Somali army had confirmed that Galmudug forces and civilians were killed in the raid, describing it as a case of «friendly fire».

Whatever the plans are, the United States has significantly beefed up the offensive potential in the region. It could be Yemen or Somalia, or both, as well as some other country. We’ll have to wait and see. After all, Djibouti hosts army-aviation-supported Special Operations Forces (SOF) teams. With F-16s as air cover, they can deliver a powerful blow against a potential enemy in any scenario. There is a great probability that the United States will soon launch a military operation in the region.

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“We don’t know yet where we are going, but it will obviously be better than the Jungle, which was made for animals, not humans.” — Wahid, Afghan refugee, PRI, Oct 24, 2016

It grew out as an organic consequence of failure – a failure on the part of Europe’s authorities to come to some measure of proportionate and even handed procedures to assess and process desperate refugees who have very little intention of returning back to their countries.

Calais’ informal camp, which came to be known as the Jungle, had 7,000 residents from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, among other countries, living in squalid conditions, an assemblage perched tantalisingly close to the English coast.  Since Monday, more than 4,000 individuals have been moved.  The operation has involved the tearing down of wooden shacks and the deployment of diggers to remove debris.

Aware of the political message it might convey, French authorities have insisted on a dismantling process to be done essentially by hand.  This has merely cloaked the cynicism further, as it would make little difference to some of the residents determined to make a fist of keeping the “Jungle” tradition alive in some form.  The promise of sub-camps sprouting in the environs of the Channel coast is already being made.

The Jungle tradition has not merely seen residents dig in their heels in the hope of making a stand, but local, sometimes violent resistance.  Forms of violence, in short, have proliferated, be they at the hands of tear gas used by police authorities, or thugs keen to brandish their patriotic credentials.

Research by Arshad Isakjee and Thom Davis also warn about “the invisible public health dangers that refugees have suffered, and the microbiological threats of living in such squalid conditions – conditions that the state could easily have chosen to improve.”[1]

Moved camp residents have already made something of an impression by decamping to the Miramar hotel in Saint German-sur-Ay.  Alternatives have been thin on the ground.  Selecting it was primarily based on the resort’s emptiness at this time of the year.  Some local residents have been far from impressed, worried by the prevalence of young, desperate men who might prey on empty homes.

At the very least, some measure of processing is being promised, even if it does little to deal with the problem as a system.  On Tuesday, 1,264 adults were taken to shelters across the country, while 372 unaccompanied children were located to what are termed “provisional reception centres” within the camp, adapted from converted shipping containers.

All in all, a confused doctrine of mismanagement has reigned.  French authorities have shown little interest in ameliorating conditions within the camp, falling short of minimum humanitarian standards outlined by the UNHCR and the Sphere Project[2].

From across the Channel, Britain’s cooperation has been resolutely stubborn, at points verging on complete indifference to chances of accepting the refugees. “The situation is unacceptable and everyone knows it,” claimed the French President, François Hollande on a September visit to Calais.

That unacceptable situation, something Hollande has done little to alleviate, has also been reciprocated by Britain’s security moves.  If anything, the cooperative dimension has tended to involve a vast securitisation of the refugee problem.  Less emphasis here is placed on settlement programs but those of policing, control and repulsion.

While residents in the camp suffered from food shortages and miserable conditions of shelter, the UK got busy beefing up border security in its efforts to shut off points of entry.  From 2014, £12m over three years was committed, comprising, amongst other things, the building of a 15ft fence along the motorway leading to the port.[3]

In August 2015, France and the UK made an agreement outlining new measures specific to Calais, among them a “control and command centre” and the deployment of 500 more French and British police.[4]

Some French political figures have decided to capitalise on the point, treating the refugees as subjects of electioneering worth.  Hollande, it is argued, must carry the can on this point, largely for being soft with Britain’s share of the bargain.

British Home Secretary Amber Rudd inched a bit closer to some rapprochement with a promise that half of the camp’s unaccompanied children would be taken to British shores, though it’s a meagre concession.  The move is being facilitated by what has been termed the “Dubs” amendment to the Immigration Act, permitting vulnerable children of a certain category to be admitted, despite not having family residing in the country.

The principle behind this entire operation remains one and the same.  Far from having a human element, it bristles with a security rationale.  It was, in fact, left to an umbrella of non-government organisations to fill the human void, among them Secours Catholique, Kitchen In Calais and Care 4 Calais, to name but a sprinkling.

There will be those from the inhuman Jungle who will find settlement; few will find their way to Britain. Others intend resisting the thousand or so riot police slated for the operation.  But the failings in Calais will simply be propagated further, a story not merely of French but European mismanagement.  Bureaucracy, and security, remain twinned policy rationales in the global refugee crisis.

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 People’s Forum met from 13-14 October 2016, ahead of the BRICS 2016 heads-of-state summit which was hosted in India at a time when humanity and the planet face severe, overlapping crises that were analysed in our Forum.

Global Research brings to the attention of its readers this important declaration of the People’s Forum on BRICS held in Goa, India, 14 October 2016.  

*

Building Solidarities for Social, Economic and Environmental Justice:  

Goa Declaration of the People’s Forum on BRICS 

Alto Porvorim, Goa, India 

14 October 2016 

·         democracy is under threat, as the illegitimate Brazilian ‘President’ Michel Temer’s presence reminds us, along with attacks on democratic space in the other BRICS;

·             state repression is rising, such as in India where movements’ dissent is met with brutal repression, and in South Africa where university students have been brutally victimised by local police in recent days;  

·             ecological destruction is widespread, with catastrophic rates of species loss, pollution of land and air, freshwater and ocean degradation, and public health threats rising, to which no BRICS country is immune;

·             in particular, climate change is already having disastrous effects –for example, in India and Southern Africa where large regions face extreme drought – with no relief expected from the Paris COP21 agreement in which negotiators regrettably agreed to non-binding commitments that benefit mainly the North and the BRICS corporations;

·             the world economy is teetering on the brink of a financial meltdown, reflected in the chaos that several BRICS’ stock and currency markets have been facing, as well as in our countries’ vulnerability to crisis-contagion if major European banks soon fail in a manner similar to the US-catalysed meltdown in 2008-09;

·             the longer-term crisis of capitalism is evident in the marked slowdown in international trade and in declining global profit rates, especially evident in the three BRICS countries (South Africa, Russia and Brazil) which have negative or negligible GDP growth;

·             in addition to commodity crashes, one cause of the economic crisis is the deregulatory, neoliberal philosophy adopted by BRICS governments, which puts corporate property rights above human and environmental rights; in the guise of development

·             in the World Trade Organisation, BRICS’ contributions to negotiations were disastrous in the latest round, where food sovereignty was lost because India and Brazil joined the US and EU to reinforce liberalisation;

·             the new generation of Bilateral Trade and Investment Treaties will potentially have adverse impacts on lives and livelihoods of people across the BRICS and their hinterlands, and need complete rethinking.

·             the world’s workers are losing rights, farmers are suffering to the point of suicide, and labour casualisation is rampant in all our countries, with the result that BRICS workers are engaged in regular protest, including the strike by 180 million Indian workers which inspired the world on 2 September 2016;

·             on the social front, the threat to our already-inadequate welfare policies is serious, especially in Brazil’s coup regime but also across the BRICS where inadequate social policies are  driving people on the margins to destitution;

·             the commodification and privatisation of public services is causing misery, such as in South Africa where university students are fighting hard for a fee-free, decolonised tertiary education;

·             patriarchy and sexual violence, racism, communalism, caste discrimination, xenophobia and homophobia run rampant in all the BRICS, and because these forces serve our leaders’ interests, they are not addressing the structural causes, perpetuating divide-and-rule politics, and failing to dissuade ordinary people from contributing to oppression;

·             unsustainable energy options such as nuclear power and large infrastructure projects are being undemocratically pushed in BRICS countries. The spirited resistance from peoples movements is being met with brutal repression of those fighting against land appropriation, loss of livelihoods and environmental and health hazards

·             the destructive arms trade is rampant in the BRICS, such as India’s with Israel, or South Africa’s notorious corrupting arms deal with Northern firms; and

·             the whole world is concerned about geopolitical tensions in West Asia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Haiti.

Everywhere that people’s movements have made alternative demands – such as democracy, peace, poverty eradication, sustainable development, equality, fair trade, climate justice – the elites have co-opted our language and distorted our visions beyond recognition. Many of our leaders are hopelessly corrupt, and so while BRICS spin-doctors claim that their work in Goa will “build responsive, inclusive and collective solutions,” we have spent two days looking beyond the pleasing rhetoric and have found a very different, harsh reality.

While we criticise the way world power is created and exercised, the BRICS leaders appear to simply want power sharing and a seat at the high table. For example, the BRICS New Development Bank is working hand-in-glove with the World Bank; the Contingent Reserve Arrangement empowers the International Monetary Fund; and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank serves mainly corporate interests – and all these financial institutions, despite their rhetoric of transformation, are opaque and untransparent to people in BRICS countries, with no accountability mechanisms or space for meaningful participation by our movements

Whether or not these crises are resolved in coming decades, or degenerate into full-blown catastrophes, the BRICS governments and peoples will be central to most, if not all. The need for our popular movements to focus on how the BRICS as a bloc contribute to these global problems or could address these, and to combine our forces across borders, is the reason the People’s Forum was convened.

Building on the work of prior meetings of progressive movements in Durban (2013) and Fortaleza (2014), the Goa BRICS People’s Forum brought together more than 500 representatives of movements from numerous countries in two plenaries, 14 workshops and countless informal collaborations, apart from 8 workshops in the run up in the host State of Goa and in Delhi.

We heard testimonies confirming that the BRICS countries and corporations are reinforcing the dominant neoliberal, extractivist paradigm. Negative trends in the areas of global and local politics, and on issues of economics, environment, development, peace, conflict and aggressive nationalism, or social prejudice based on gender, race, caste, sexual orientation are not being reversed by the BRICS, but instead are often exacerbated. The BRICS speak of offering strong alternatives to the unfair North-dominated regimes of trade, finance, investment and property rights, climate governance, and other multilateral regimes. But on examination, we find these claims unconvincing.

Consider the way the BRICS leaders bulldozed their way into Goa. The summit was thrust on our society, the environment was damaged during road-widening, fisherfolk were prevented from pursuing their livelihood during the summit and ordinary people who make a living along the roadside have been displaced – to give the visitors a false impression of our state. Tibetans who wanted to raise the status of Tibet with China were arrested and imprisoned.

We have raised constructive critiques of BRICS in our plenaries and workshops. But beyond the analysis, we understand that only people’s power and activism, across borders, can make change. Some of our most successful struggles – such as access to life-savings medicines or ending apartheid – required and were strengthened by international solidarity. This Forum found many routes forward for cross-cutting BRICS internationalism on various issues.

We recognise the need for a just solution to the Syrian crisis in accordance with the principles of international law, and condemn the US-backed aggression and the Pentagon/NATO doctrine of regime change. We reaffirm our solidarity with the Palestinian struggle against colonialism and occupation, and we endorse Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions against apartheid Israel, including opposition to Israel’s attempted export of its unsustainable water and agricultural technologies to BRICS countries.

We intend to win our demands for social, economic and environmental justice. The victories we have won already on multiple fronts – such as halting numerous multinational corporations’ exploitation, gaining access to essential state services, occupying land and creating agricultural cooperatives,  and generating more humane values in our societies – give us momentum and optimism.

In 2017 and beyond, the BRICS People’s Forum will reconvene, and redouble our efforts with new-found allies and united transcontinental movements in solidarity and struggle from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

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Cette révolution syrienne qui n’existe pas…

octobre 25th, 2016 by Stephen Gowans

Note de la rédaction: l’article traduit ci-dessous est une dénonciation, en bonne et due forme, des mensonges de propagande qui empoisonnent « la gauche » aux USA concernant le conflit syrien, en l’occurrence sous le clavier d’Eric Draitser qui écrivait sur le site web Counterpunch. Il s’agissait pour l’auteur de démontrer que certains discours se disant « de gauche » cachent en réalité des projets inavouables et manipulateurs au service d’agendas impérialistes occidentaux, et sionistes. Dans le même temps, il offre au lecteur une chronologie très instructive sur le conflit syrien et ses origines cachées dans les ambitions post-coloniales des nations occidentales. De plus, c’est un excellent travail journalistique a posteriori de « débunkage » des manipulations oligarchiques (relayées par leurs médias aux ordres) par l’usage de leur propre travail « à contre-emploi ». Enfin, les reproches émis envers la distorsion du discours « de gauche » aux USA sont parfaitement transposables à la France (ainsi qu’à la plupart des pays francophones) et à ses partis « de gauche », qui diabolisent tous – et à tort – le régime syrien. – Will Summer


Dans certains milieux circule une rengaine dans le vent qui veut que le soulèvement syrien, comme Eric Draitser l’écrivait dans un récent article de Counterpunch, « a commencé en réaction aux politiques néolibérales du gouvernement syrien et à sa brutalité », et que « le contenu révolutionnaire de la faction rebelle en Syrie a été mis sur la touche par un ramassis de djihadistes, financés par les Qataris et par les Saoudiens. » Cette théorie semble, à mon esprit défendant, reposer sur une logique de présomptions mais non de preuves.

Une revue des dépêches médiatiques pendant les semaines précédant et suivant immédiatement l’éruption d’émeutes à Deraa, au milieu du mois de mars 2011 – généralement reconnues pour avoir marqué le début des troubles – ne fournit aucune indication que la Syrie ait été aux prises avec un empressement révolutionnaire, anti-néolibéral ou autre. Au contraire, des journalistes travaillant pour Time Magazine et pour le New York Times ont évoqué le large soutien dont bénéficiait le gouvernement, que les opposants d’Assad lui concédaient sa popularité et que les Syriens ne témoignaient guère d’intérêt à manifester. Dans le même temps, ils ont décrit les troubles comme une série d’émeutes concernant des centaines – et non pas des milliers ou des dizaines de milliers – de personnes, mues par un agenda principalement islamiste et exhibant un comportement violent.

Time Magazine rapporta que deux groupes djihadistes, qui allaient plus tard jouer des rôles de premier plan dans l’insurrection, Jabhat al-Nusra et Ahrar al-Sham, étaient déjà en activité à la veille des émeutes alors que seulement trois mois auparavant des dirigeants des Frères Musulmans avaient exprimé « leur espoir d’une révolte civile en Syrie ». Les Frères Musulmans, qui avaient plusieurs décennies plus tôt déclaré la guerre au Parti Ba’as au pouvoir en Syrie par rejet du laïcisme du parti, étaient enferrés dans une lutte à mort avec les nationalistes arabes depuis les années 1960, et s’étaient engagés dans des bagarres de rue avec des partisans du Parti Ba’as depuis les années 1940. (dans l’une de ces bagarres Hafez al-Assad, père du Président actuel qui allait lui-même servir comme Président de 1970 à 2000, fut poignardé par un adversaire Frère Musulman.) Les dirigeants des Frères Musulmans ont fréquemment rencontré, à partir de 2007, des représentants du State Department US et du Conseil National de Sécurité US, ainsi que de la Middle East Partnership Initiative financée par le gouvernement US, qui endossait ouvertement le rôle de financement d’organisations putschistes à l’étranger – une tâche que la CIA avait jusqu’alors rempli clandestinement.

Washington avait conspiré pour purger la Syrie de l’influence nationaliste arabe dès le milieu des années 1950 quand Kermit Roosevelt Jr., qui avait été le maître d’œuvre de l’éviction du Premier Ministre Mohammad Mossadegh en Iran, renversé pour avoir nationalisé l’industrie pétrolière de son pays, ourdit avec les renseignements britanniques d’exciter les Frères Musulmans pour renverser un triumvirat de dirigeants nationalistes arabes et communistes à Damas, considérés par Washington et Damas comme nuisibles aux intérêts économiques occidentaux dans le Moyen-Orient.

Washington alimenta les combattants des Frères Musulmans en armes pendant les années 1980 pour mener une guérilla urbaine contre Hafez al-Assad, que les bellicistes à Washington traitaient de « Communiste arabe ». Son fils Bachar poursuivit l’attachement des nationalistes arabes à l’unité (de la nation arabe), à l’indépendance et au socialisme (arabe). Ces objectifs guidaient l’état syrien – comme ils avaient guidé les états nationalistes arabes de Libye sous Mouammar Qaddafi, et d’Irak sous Saddam Hussein. Ces trois états étaient les cibles de Washington pour la même raison: leurs principes nationalistes arabes s’opposaient fondamentalement à l’agenda impérialiste US d’hégémonie planétaire des États-Unis.

Le refus par Bachar al-Assad de renoncer à l’idéologie nationaliste arabe consterna Washington qui se plaignit de son socialisme, la tierce partie de la sainte trinité des valeurs ba’athistes. Des plans pour évincer Assad – partiellement inspirés par son refus d’embrasser le néolibéralisme de Washington – étaient déjà en préparation à Washington en 2003, sinon plus tôt. Si Assad était un champion du néolibéralisme comme le prétendent Draitser et d’autres, cela a étrangement échappé à l’attention de Washington et de Wall Street, qui se plaignaient de la Syrie « socialiste » et de ses politiques économiques résolument anti-néolibérales.

Un bain de sang déclenché avec l’aide des USA

Fin janvier 2011, une page Facebook a été créée avec le titre « The Syrian Revolution 2011 ». Elle annonçait qu’un « Jour de Colère » serait tenu le 4, et le 5 février [1]. Les manifestations « s’évanouirent d’elles-mêmes », selon Time. Le Jour de Colère se solda par un Jour d’Indifférence. En plus, les liens avec la Syrie étaient ténus. La plupart des slogans scandés par les quelques manifestants présents concernaient la Libye, exigeant que Mouammar Qaddafi – dont le gouvernement était assiégé par des insurgés islamistes – quitte le pouvoir. Des projets pour de nouvelles manifestations furent faits pour le 4 et le 5 mars, mais elles n’attirèrent pas davantage de soutien [2].

La correspondante de Time Rania Abouzeid attribua l’échec des organisateurs de ces manifestations pour attirer un soutien significatif au fait que la plupart des Syriens n’étaient pas opposés à leur gouvernement. Assad avait une réputation favorable, en particulier parmi les deux-tiers de la population âgée de moins de 30 ans, et les politiques de son gouvernement jouissaient d’un large soutien. « Même des opposants concèdent qu’Assad est populaire et jugé proche de l’énorme cohorte de jeunes du pays, à la fois émotionnellement, psychologiquement et, bien entendu, chronologiquement », rapportait Abouzeid en ajoutant qu’au contraire « des dirigeants pro-US renversés de Tunisie et d’Égypte, la politique étrangère d’Assad hostile envers Israël, son soutien acharné en faveur des Palestiniens et de groupes militants comme le Hamas et le Hezbollah sont en accord avec les sentiments du peuple syrien. » Assad, en d’autres termes, avait une légitimité. La correspondante de Time poursuivait pour écrire qu’Assad « conduisant lui-même jusqu’à la Mosquée des Omeyyades en février pour prendre part aux prières marquant l’anniversaire du Prophète Mohammed, et flânant parmi la foule du Souq Al-Hamidiyah entouré d’une garde restreinte » s’était « attiré, à titre personnel, l’affection du public » [3].

Cette description du Président syrien – un dirigeant aimé de son peuple, idéologiquement en phase avec les sentiments syriens – s’érige en contraire du discours qui allait émerger peu de temps après l’éruption de manifestations violentes dans la ville syrienne de Deraa moins de deux semaines plus tard, et qui allait s’implanter dans celui des gauchistes US dont Draitser. Mais à la veille des événements déclencheurs de Deraa, la Syrie se faisait remarquer par sa quiétude. Personne ne « s’attend à un soulèvement de masse en Syrie », rapportait Abouzeid « et, malgré l’expression d’une dissidence une fois de temps en temps, il y en a très peu qui souhaitent y prendre part » [4]. Un jeune Syrien dit à Time: « Il y a beaucoup d’aides du gouvernement pour la jeunesse. Ils nous donnent des livres gratuits, des écoles gratuites, des universités gratuites. » (Pas trop l’image d’un état néolibéral comme dépeint par Draitser…) Elle continue: « Pourquoi y aurait-il une révolution? La probabilité en est peut-être d’un pour cent. » [5] Le New York Times partageait cette opinion. La Syrie, rapportait le journal, « semblait immunisée contre la vague de révoltes frappant le monde arabe. » [6] La Syrie était libre de troubles.

Mais le 17 mars, il y eut un violent soulèvement à Deraa. Il y a des récits contradictoires quant à qui, ou ce qui l’a déclenché. Time rapporta que la « révolte à Deraa a été provoquée par l’arrestation d’une poignée de jeunes pour avoir peint un mur avec des graffitis anti-régime. » [7] Robert Fisk de The Independent offrait une version légèrement différente. Il rapportait que « des agents des services de renseignement avaient tabassé et tué plusieurs garçons qui avaient tagué des graffitis sur les murs de la ville. » [8] Un autre récit soutient que le facteur ayant mis le feu aux poudres à Deraa ce jour-là, avait été l’usage extrême et disproportionné de la force par les services de sécurité syriens en réponse à des manifestations s’opposant à l’arrestation des garçons. Il y a eu « quelques jeunes dessinant des graffitis sur les murs, ils ont été mis en détention, et comme leurs parents voulaient les récupérer, les services de sécurité ont réagi de façon vraiment très, très brutale. » [9] Un autre récit, provenant du gouvernement syrien, affirme que rien de tout cela ne s’est produit. Cinq ans après les événements, Assad déclara lors d’une interview que cela « n’est pas arrivé. Ce n’était que de la propagande. En fait, nous en avons entendu parler, et nous n’avons jamais vu ces enfants ayant été emmenés en prison à l’époque. Donc, c’était une histoire fausse. » [10]

Mais s’il y a eu des désaccords sur ce qui avait déclenché le soulèvement, il y en a eu peu pour dire qu’il était violent. Le New York Times rapporta que « les manifestants ont mis le feu au quartier-général du Parti Ba’as au pouvoir ainsi qu’à d’autres bâtiments gouvernementaux… et ont affronté la police… En plus du quartier-général du parti, les manifestants ont incendié le palais de justice de la ville et les bureaux locaux de la compagnie de téléphone SyriaTel. » [11] Time ajoutait que les manifestants avaient mis le feu au bureau du gouverneur, ainsi qu’à ceux de la succursale locale d’une deuxième compagnie de téléphonie mobile. [12] L’agence de presse du gouvernement syrien, SANA (Syrian Arab News Agency), publia des photographies de véhicules en flammes sur son site web. [13] Clairement il ne s’agissait pas là d’une manifestation pacifique, ainsi qu’elle serait décrite plus tard. Ce n’était pas non plus un soulèvement populaire. Time rapporta que les manifestants se dénombraient par centaines, et pas en milliers ou en dizaines de milliers. [14]

Assad a immédiatement réagi aux troubles de Deraa, annonçant « une série de réformes, y compris une augmentation du salaire des fonctionnaires, une plus grande liberté pour les médias d’information et les partis politiques, et un réexamen de la loi sur l’état d’urgence, » [15] une restriction des libertés politiques et civiques de temps de guerre en vigueur parce que la Syrie était officiellement en guerre contre Israël. Avant la fin du mois d’avril, le gouvernement allait abroger « la loi sur l’état d’urgence du pays vieille de 48 ans » et abolir « la Cour Suprême de l’État sur la Sécurité. » [16]

Pourquoi le gouvernement a-t-il fait ces concessions? Parce que c’est ce qu’avaient demandé les manifestants de Deraa. Les manifestants se sont « rassemblés dans et autour de la Mosquée d’Omari à Deraa, scandant leurs exigences: la libération de tous les prisonniers politiques… l’abolition de la loi sur l’état d’urgence vieille de 48 ans; davantage de libertés; et la fin de la corruption endémique. » [17] Ces exigences étaient cohérentes avec l’appel, articulé début février sur la page Facebook « The Syrian Revolution 2011 », pour « mettre fin à l’état d’urgence et à la corruption en Syrie. » [18] Un appel exigeant la libération de tous les prisonniers politiques fut également rédigé dans une lettre signée par des religieux et posté sur Facebook. Les exigences des religieux incluaient l’abrogation de la « loi sur l’état d’urgence, la libération de tous les détenus pour des raisons politiques, la cessation du harcèlement par les services de sécurité du régime et un combat contre la corruption. » [19] Relâcher les détenus pour des raisons politiques équivalait à libérer des djihadistes ou, pour employer le terme communément usité en Occident, des « terroristes ». Le State Department US avait reconnu que l’Islam politique était la principale force d’opposition en Syrie [20]; les djihadistes constituaient la majeure partie du corps des opposants à même d’être incarcérés. Que des religieux réclament que Damas libère tous ses prisonniers politiques est comparable à ce que l’État Islamique exige de Washington, Paris et Londres la libération tous les Islamistes détenus dans les prisons US, françaises et britanniques pour des affaires liées au terrorisme. Il ne s’agissait pas d’exigences pour des emplois ou davantage de démocratie, mais de l’issue de détention d’activistes inspirés par l’objectif d’instaurer un état islamique en Syrie. L’appel à lever l’état d’urgence, pareillement, semblait avoir peu de rapport avec la promotion de la démocratie et davantage avec l’amélioration de la mobilité des djihadistes et de leurs acolytes, pour organiser l’opposition à l’état laïc.

Une semaine après l’explosion des violences à Deraa, Rania Abouzeid de Time rapportait qu’il « ne semble pas y avoir d’appels répandus pour la chute du régime ou pour l’éviction du Président, relativement populaire. » [21] Effectivement, les exigences émises par les manifestants et par les religieux ne comprenaient pas d’appel à la démission d’Assad. Et les Syriens se ralliaient à leur Président. « Il y a eu des contre-manifestations dans la capitale en soutien au Président, » [22] réunissant d’après les rapports beaucoup plus de monde que les quelques centaines de manifestants qui avaient pris les rues de Deraa pour incendier des bâtiments et des voitures, et affronter la police. [23]

Le 9 avril – moins d’un mois après les événements de Deraa – Time rapportait qu’une série de manifestations avait été organisées et que l’Islam y jouait un rôle prééminent. Pour quiconque un tant soit peu familier avec l’enchaînement sur plusieurs décennies de grèves, de manifestations, d’émeutes et d’insurrections qu’avaient initié les Frères Musulmans contre ce qu’ils estimaient être le gouvernement « infidèle » ba’athiste, tout cela ressemblait à l’histoire qui se répétait. Les manifestations n’atteignaient pas la masse critique. Au contraire, le gouvernement continuait à bénéficier de « la loyauté » d’une « large partie de la population », selon Time. [24]

Les Islamistes ont joué un rôle éminent dans la rédaction des Déclarations de Damas au milieu des années 2000, qui réclamaient le changement de régime. [25] En 2007 les Frères Musulmans, archétypes du mouvement politique islamiste sunnite, ayant inspiré al-Qaeda et sa progéniture de Jabhat al-Nusra à l’État Islamique, se sont mis en cheville avec un ancien vice-président syrien pour fonder le Front du Salut National. Cet organe a fait de fréquentes rencontres avec le State Department US et le Conseil National de Sécurité US, ainsi qu’avec la Middle East Partnership Initiative [Inititative de Partenariat au Moyen-Orient, NdT] financée par le gouvernement US, [26] qui accomplissait ouvertement ce que la CIA faisait naguère en secret, c’est-à-dire acheminer des fonds et de l’expertise aux cinquièmes colonnes des pays où Washington n’aimait pas le gouvernement.

En 2009, juste deux ans avant l’éruption des troubles à travers le monde arabe, les Frères Musulmans de Syrie ont dénoncé le gouvernement nationaliste arabe de Bachar al-Assad comme élément exogène et hostile à la société syrienne, qui devait être éliminé. Selon la réflexion du groupe la communauté des Alaouïtes, à laquelle appartient Assad et que les Frères considéraient comme hérétiques, se servait du nationalisme arabe laïc comme couverture pour la progression d’un agenda sectaire, dont l’objectif était la destruction de la Syrie de l’intérieur par l’oppression des « vrais » Musulmans (c’est-à-dire des Sunnites). Au nom de l’Islam, il était nécessaire de renverser ce régime hérétique. [27]

Seulement trois mois avant le début des violences de Syrie en 2011, l’érudit Liat Porat écrivit un billet pour le Crown Center for Middle East Studies, basé à l’Université de Brandeis. « Les dirigeants du mouvement, » concluait Porat, « continuent d’exprimer leur espoir d’une révolte civile en Syrie, dans laquelle ‘le peuple syrien remplira son devoir et libérera la Syrie du régime tyrannique et corrompu’. » Les Frères Musulmans stressaient le fait qu’ils étaient engagés dans une lutte à mort contre le gouvernement nationaliste arabe laïc de Bachar al-Assad. Il était impossible de trouver un arrangement politique avec ce gouvernement car ses dirigeants n’appartenaient pas à la nation syrienne, musulmane et sunnite. L’appartenance à la nation syrienne était réservée aux vrais Musulmans affirmaient les Frères, et pas aux hérétiques alaouïs qui embrassaient des croyances étrangères aussi anti-islamiques que le nationalisme arabe. [28]

Que les Frères Musulmans syriens aient joué un rôle clé dans le soulèvement s’est vu confirmé en 2012 par la Defense Intelligence Agency US [renseignements militaires, NdT]. Un document ayant fuité de l’agence déclarait que l’insurrection était sectaire et emmenée par les Frères Musulmans et al-Qaeda en Irak, précurseur de l’État Islamique. Le document poursuivait pour dire que ces insurgés étaient soutenus par l’Occident, les pétromonarchies arabes du Golfe Persique et la Turquie. L’analyse prédisait correctement l’établissement d’une « principauté salafiste » – un état islamique – en Syrie orientale, soulignant que c’était là le souhait des appuis étrangers de l’insurrection, qui voulaient voir les nationalistes arabes isolés et coupés de l’Iran. [29]

Des documents mis au point par des chercheurs du Congrès US en 2005 ont révélé que le gouvernement US envisageait activement le changement de régime en Syrie longtemps avant les soulèvements du Printemps Arabe de 2011, ce qui défie l’opinion que le soutien US en faveur des rebelles syriens reposait sur leur allégeance à un « soulèvement démocratique », et démontrent qu’il s’agissait de l’extension d’une politique de longue date visant à renverser le gouvernement de Damas. En effet, les chercheurs reconnaissaient que la motivation du gouvernement US pour renverser le gouvernement nationaliste arabe laïc à Damas n’avait rien à voir avec la promotion de la démocratie au Moyen-Orient. Pour être précis, ils relevaient que la préférence de Washington allait vers les dictatures laïques (Égypte) et les monarchies (Jordanie et Arabie Saoudite). Le moteur des efforts visant le changement de régime, selon les chercheurs, était le désir de balayer un obstacle à l’accomplissement des objectifs US au Moyen-Orient en lien avec: le renforcement d’Israël, la consolidation de la domination US en Irak et l’instauration d’économies de marché sur le mode néolibéral. La démocratie n’a jamais fait partie du décor. [30] Si Assad faisait la promotion de politiques néolibérales en Syrie comme le prétend Draitser, il est difficile de comprendre pourquoi Washington a pu citer le refus syrien d’épouser l’agenda US d’ouverture des marchés et de liberté des entreprises comme prétexte pour procéder au changement du gouvernement syrien.

Afin de mettre un accent sur le fait que les manifestations manquaient de soutien populaire massif le 22 avril, plus d’un mois après le début des émeutes à Deraa, Anthony Shadid du New York Times rapportait que « les manifestations, jusqu’ici, ont semblé ne pas atteindre le niveau des soulèvements populaires des révolutions d’Égypte et de Tunisie. » En d’autres termes, plus d’un mois après que des centaines – et pas des milliers, ni des dizaines de milliers – de manifestants aient provoqué des émeutes à Deraa, il n’y avait pas de signes d’un soulèvement populaire de type Printemps Arabe en Syrie. La rébellion restait une affaire essentiellement circonscrite aux Islamistes. Par contraste, il y avait eu à Damas d’énormes manifestations en soutien – et non pas hostile – au gouvernement, Assad était toujours populaire et, selon Shadid, le gouvernement profitait de la loyauté des « sectes hétérodoxes chrétiennes et musulmanes. » [31] Shadid n’a pas été le seul journaliste occidental à rapporter que les Alaouïtes, les Ismaïliens, les Druzes et le Chrétiens soutenaient fortement le gouvernement. Rania Abouzeid de Timeobserva que les Ba’athistes « pouvaient compter sur le soutien des groupes minoritaires conséquents de Syrie. » [32]

La réalité que le gouvernement syrien commandait la loyauté des sectes hétérodoxes chrétiennes et musulmanes, telle que rapportée par Anthony Shadid du New York Times, suggère que les minorités religieuses de Syrie décelaient dans ce soulèvement quelque chose qui n’a pas assez été rapporté par la presse occidentale (et que les socialistes révolutionnaires aux États-Unis ont manqué), c’est-à-dire qu’il était alimenté par un agenda sectaire sunnite islamiste qui, s’il devait porter ses fruits, aurait des conséquences désagréables pour tous ceux n’étant pas considérés comme de « vrais » Musulmans. Pour cette raison les Alaouïtes, les Ismaïliens, les Druzes et les Chrétiens s’alignaient avec les Ba’athistes qui cherchaient à réduire les clivages sectaires dans leur engagement programmatique de génération d’unité de la nation arabe. Le slogan « les Alaouïtes dans la tombe et les Chrétiens à Beyrouth! » entonné pendant les manifestations des premiers jours [33] ne faisait que confirmer le fait que le soulèvement s’inscrivait dans la continuité de la lutte à mort proclamée par l’Islam politique sunnite contre le gouvernement nationaliste arabe laïc, et n’était nullement une révolte populaire en faveur de la démocratie ou contre le néolibéralisme. S’il s’était agi de l’une ou l’autre de ces choses, alors comment expliquer que la soif de démocratie et l’opposition au néolibéralisme n’aient été présentes qu’au sein de la communauté sunnite, et absentes dans les communautés des minorités religieuses? Assurément, un déficit de démocratie et une tyrannie néolibérale auraient dépassé les frontières religieuses, si jamais ils avaient figuré parmi les facteurs déclencheurs d’un soulèvement révolutionnaire. Que les Alaouïtes, les Ismaïliens, les Druzes et les Chrétiens n’aient pas manifesté, et que les émeutes aient reposé sur les Sunnites avec un contenu islamiste suggère fortement que l’insurrection, dès le départ, constituait la recrudescence de la campagne djihadiste sunnite engagée de longue date contre la laïcité ba’athiste.

« Dès le tout début le gouvernement Assad a déclaré qu’il était engagé dans un combat contre des militants islamistes. » [34] La longue histoire des soulèvements islamistes contre le Ba’athisme antérieurs à 2011 suggère certainement que c’était très probablement le cas, et la façon dont le soulèvement évolua par la suite, en tant que guerre emmenée par des Islamistes contre l’état laïc, ne fait que renforcer ce point de vue. D’autres preuves à la fois positives et négatives corroboraient l’affirmation d’Assad que l’état syrien subissait l’attaque de djihadistes (tout comme il l’avait déjà été maintes fois dans le passé). Les preuves négatives, que le soulèvement n’était pas une révolte populaire dirigée contre un gouvernement impopulaire, transpiraient des rapports médiatiques occidentaux qui démontraient que le gouvernement nationaliste arabe de Syrie était populaire et commandait la loyauté de la population.

Les manifestations et les émeutes anti-gouvernementales à petite échelle ont attiré beaucoup moins de monde, par contraste, qu’une énorme manifestation à Damas en soutien au gouvernement et assurément, également beaucoup moins que les soulèvements populaires d’Égypte et de Tunisie. De plus, les exigences des manifestants étaient centrées sur la libération de prisonniers politiques (principalement des djihadistes) et sur la levée des restrictions de temps de guerre sur la dissidence politique, pas sur des appels à la démission d’Assad ou au changement des politiques économiques du gouvernement. Les preuves positives proviennent des rapports médiatiques occidentaux démontrant que l’Islam politique a joué un rôle prééminent dans les émeutes. En outre, alors qu’il était crédité que les groupes islamistes armés n’étaient entrés dans l’arène que dans le sillage des émeutes initiales du printemps 2011 – « piratant » ainsi un « soulèvement populaire » – en réalité, deux groupes ayant joué un grand rôle dans la révolte armée post-2011 contre le nationalisme arabe laïc, Ahrar al-Sham et Jabhat al-Nusra étaient tous les deux actifs, au début de cette année-là. Ahrar al-Sham « avait commencé à former des brigades […] bien avant la mi-mars 2011, » quand l’émeute de Deraa a eu lieu, selon Time. [35] Jabhat al-Nusra, franchise d’al-Qaeda en Syrie, « était inconnu jusqu’à fin janvier 2012 où le groupe a annoncé sa formation [… mais] il était déjà actif depuis des mois. » [36]

Un autre élément de preuve corroborant l’idée que l’Islam militant a joué très tôt un rôle dans les soulèvements – ou du moins, que les manifestations ont tout de suite été violentes – est qu’il y « avait dès le départ des signes que des groupes armés étaient impliqués. » Le journaliste et écrivain Robert Fisk se souvient avoir vu un enregistrement des « tous premiers jours du ‘soulèvement’ montrant des hommes équipés d’armes de poing et de Kalashnikovs, pendant une manifestation à Deraa. » Il se souvient d’un autre événement survenu en mai 2011, où « une équipe d’Al Jazeera a filmé des hommes armés tirant sur des troupes syriennes à quelques centaines de mètres de la frontière du nord du Liban, mais la chaîne a décidé de ne pas diffuser l’enregistrement. » [37] Même des officiels US, qui étaient hostiles au gouvernement syrien et dont on aurait pu attendre qu’ils contestent la version de Damas selon laquelle la Syrie était engagée dans une lutte contre des rebelles armés, ont « concédé que les manifestations n’étaient pas pacifiques et que certains participants étaient armés. » [38] En septembre, les autorités syriennes faisaient savoir qu’elles déploraient la perte de plus de 500 policiers et soldats, tués par les insurgés. [39] À la fin du mois d’octobre ces chiffres avaient plus que doublé. [40] En moins d’un an, le soulèvement était parti de l’incendie de bâtiments du Parti Ba’as et de bureaux gouvernementaux avec des affrontements contre la police, à la guérilla comprenant des méthodes qui seraient plus tard définies de « terroristes », quand elles sont menées contre des cibles occidentales.

Assad allait se plaindre plus tard que:

Tout ce que nous avons dit depuis le début de la crise en Syrie, ils le disent plus tard. Ils ont dit que c’était pacifique, nous avons que ça ne l’était pas, ils tuent – ces manifestants, qu’ils ont appelé des manifestants pacifiques – ils ont tué des policiers. Et ce sont devenus des militants. Ils ont dit oui, ce sont des militants. Nous avons dit ce sont des militants, et c’est du terrorisme. Ils ont dit que non, ce n’est pas du terrorisme. Et ensuite, quand ils admettent que c’est du terrorisme nous disons que c’est al-Qaeda et ils disent non, ce n’est pas al-Qaeda. Alors quoique nous disions, ils le disent plus tard. [41]

Le « soulèvement syrien », écrivait le spécialiste du Moyen-Orient Patrick Seale, « ne devrait être considéré que comme le dernier épisode, sans nul doute le plus violent, de la longue guerre entre Islamistes et Ba’athistes qui remonte à la fondation du Parti Ba’as laïc dans les années 1940. Le combat qui les oppose a désormais atteint le niveau de lutte à la mort. » [42] « Il est frappant, » poursuivait Seale en citant Aron Lund qui avait rédigé un rapport pour l’Institut Suédois des Affaires Internationales sur le djihadisme syrien, « que quasiment tous les membres des divers groupes armés sont des Arabes sunnites; que les combats ont surtout été circonscrits uniquement dans les zones de peuplement arabes sunnites, tandis que les régions habitées par les Alaouïtes, les Druzes ou les Chrétiens sont demeurées passives ou ont soutenu le régime; que les défections du régime sont sunnites presque à 100%; que l’argent, les armes et les volontaires proviennent d’états islamistes ou d’organisations et d’individus pro-islamistes; et que la religion soit le dénominateur commun le plus important du mouvement des insurgés. » [43]

La brutalité qui met le feu aux poudres?

Est-il raisonnable de croire que l’usage de la force par l’état syrien ait enflammé la guérilla qui a commencé peu de temps après?

Cela défie le raisonnement, qu’une réaction excessive de la part des services de sécurité face au déni de l’autorité du gouvernement dans la ville syrienne de Deraa (s’il y a vraiment eu sur-réaction), puisse déclencher une guerre majeure impliquant une foule d’autres pays et mobilisant des djihadistes venant de dizaines de pays différents. Il aura fallu ignorer un éventail de faits discordants dès le départ, pour pouvoir donner à cette histoire le moindre soupçon de crédibilité.

D’abord, il aura fallu passer outre la réalité que le gouvernement Assad était populaire et considéré comme légitime. Il est possible de plaider qu’une réaction trop excessive, issue d’un gouvernement hautement impopulaire en face d’un défi trivial à son autorité ait pu fournir la mèche indispensable à l’embrasement d’une insurrection populaire, mais malgré les insistances du Président Barack Obama selon lequel Assad manquait de légitimité, il n’existe aucune preuve que la Syrie, en mars 2011, ait été un baril de poudre de ressentiment anti-gouvernemental sur le point d’exploser. Comme Rania Abouzeid de Time le rapportait la veille des émeutes à Deraa, « même ses opposants concèdent qu’Assad est populaire » [44] et « personne ne s’attend à des soulèvements de masse en Syrie et, malgré l’expression d’une dissidence de temps en temps, il y en a très peu souhaitent y prendre part. » [45]

Ensuite, il nous aura fallu délaisser le fait que les émeutes de Deraa impliquaient des centaines de participants, un piètre soulèvement de masse, et les manifestations qui ont suivi ont également échoué à atteindre une masse critique comme l’avait rapporté Nicholas Blanford, de Time. [46] De même, Anthony Shadid du New York Times n’a relevé aucune preuve révélant un soulèvement de masse en Syrie, plus d’un mois après les émeutes de Deraa. [47] Ce qui se passait vraiment, à l’inverse de la rhétorique propagée par Washington évoquant le Printemps Arabe qui aurait atteint la Syrie, c’était que des djihadistes étaient engagés dans une campagne de guérilla contre les forces de sécurité syriennes qui avait, déjà en octobre, pris les vies de plus d’un millier de policiers et de soldats.

Enfin, il nous aura fallu fermer les yeux sur le fait que le gouvernement US, avec son allié britannique, avait concocté des plans en 1956 pour la création d’une guerre en Syrie par l’embrigadement des Frères Musulmans, devant provoquer des soulèvements intérieurs. [48] Les émeutes de Deraa et les affrontements qui ont suivi contre la police et les soldats ressemblent au plan qu’avait ourdi le spécialiste en changements de régimes, Kermit Roosevelt Jr. . Il ne s’agit pas d’affirmer que la CIA ait épousseté le projet de Roosevelt et l’ait recyclé pour être déployé en 2011; seulement que le complot démontre que Washington et Londres étaient capables de projeter une opération de déstabilisation impliquant une insurrection emmenée par les Frères Musulmans, afin d’obtenir le changement de régime en Syrie.

Il nous aurait fallu également avoir ignoré les événements de février 1982 quand les Frères Musulmans ont pris le contrôle de Hama, la quatrième plus grande ville du pays. Hama était l’épicentre du fondamentalisme sunnite en Syrie, et une base importante pour les opérations des combattants djihadistes. Aiguillonnés par la fausse nouvelle du renversement d’Assad, les Frères Musulmans se livrèrent à un joyeux et sanglant saccage de la ville, prenant d’assaut les commissariats et assassinant les dirigeants du Parti Ba’as ainsi que leurs familles, et des fonctionnaires du gouvernement ainsi que des soldats. Dans certains cas les victimes étaient décapitées, [49] une pratique qui serait revigorée des décennies plus tard par les combattants de l’État Islamique. Chaque responsable du Parti Ba’as de la ville de Hama fut assassiné. [50]

L’Occident se souvient davantage des événements de Hama en 1982 (s’il s’en souvient du tout) non pour les atrocités commises par les Islamistes, mais pour la réaction de l’armée syrienne qui, comme il faut s’y attendre de la part de n’importe quelle armée, a impliqué l’usage de la force pour restaurer la souveraineté de contrôle du territoire saisi par les insurgés. Des milliers de troupes furent déployées pour reprendre Hama aux Frères Musulmans. L’ancien responsable du State Department US William R. Polk a décrit les suites de l’assaut de l’armée syrienne sur Hama comme similaires à celles de l’assaut US contre la ville irakienne de Falloujah en 2004, [51] (à la différence évidemment que l’armée syrienne agissait de manière légitime à l’intérieur de son propre territoire, tandis que les militaires US agissaient de façon illégitime en tant que force d’occupation pour écraser l’opposition à leurs activités.) Le nombre de morts au cours de l’assaut contre Hama demeure encore disputé. Les chiffres varient. « Un rapport précoce paru dans Time affirmait que 1000 personnes y avaient trouvé la mort. La plupart des observateurs estimaient que 5000 personnes avaient été tuées. Des sources israéliennes et les Frères Musulmans – des ennemis jurés des nationalistes arabes laïcs qui avaient donc intérêt à exagérer le bilan des morts – « ont déclaré que le nombre de morts avait dépassé les 20 000 victimes. » [52] Robert Dreyfus, qui a écrit sur la collaboration de l’Occident avec l’Islam politique, plaide que les sources occidentales ont délibérément gonflé les chiffres du bilan des morts afin de diaboliser les Ba’athistes et les dépeindre en tueurs sans pitié, et que les Ba’athistes ont laissé courir ces histoires pour intimider les Frères Musulmans. [53]

Alors que l’armée syrienne déblayait les décombres de Hama dans les suites de l’assaut, des preuves furent découvertes attestant que des gouvernements étrangers avaient fourni de l’argent, des armes et du matériel de communication aux insurgés dans Hama. Polk écrit que:

Assad voyait bien les fauteurs de troubles à l’œuvre parmi son peuple. C’était, après tout, l’héritage émotionnel et politique du règne colonial – un héritage douloureusement évident pour la majeure partie du monde post-colonial, mais qui est passé presque inaperçu en Occident. Et cet héritage n’est pas un mythe. C’est une réalité que, souvent des années après les événements, nous pouvons vérifier d’après des documents officiels. Hafez al-Assad n’a pas eu besoin d’attendre des fuites de documents classés: ses services de renseignements et des journalistes internationaux ont dévoilé des douzaines de tentatives de subversion de son gouvernement par des pays arabes conservateurs et riches en pétrole, par les États-Unis et par Israël. La plupart s’étaient engagés dans des « sales tours », de la propagande ou des injections d’argent, mais il importe de relever que lors du soulèvement de Hama en 1982, plus de 15 000 fusils automatiques d’origine étrangère ont été capturés, ainsi que des prisonniers comprenant des éléments des forces paramilitaires jordaniennes, entraînés par la CIA (à peu près comme les djihadistes qui apparaissent si souvent dans les rapports médiatiques sur la Syrie en 2013). Et ce qu’il a vu en Syrie a été confirmé par ce qu’il a pu apprendre des changements de régime à l’occidentale en d’autres lieux. Il était informé de la tentative d’assassinat du Président Nasser d’Égypte par la CIA, ainsi que du renversement anglo-US du gouvernement du Premier Ministre d’Iran, Mohammad Mossadegh. [54]

Dans son livre « De Beyrouth à Jérusalem », le chroniqueur du New York Times Thomas Friedman a écrit que « le massacre de Hama peut être considéré comme la réaction naturelle d’un politicien progressiste dans un état-nation relativement jeune, s’efforçant de réprimer des éléments rétrogrades – ici des fondamentalistes islamiques – cherchant à miner tout ce qu’il avait pu accomplir pour construire la Syrie en république laïque du vingtième siècle. C’est également pourquoi, » continuait Friedman, « s’il y avait eu quelqu’un pour faire un sondage d’opinion objectif en Syrie dans le sillage du massacre de Hama, le traitement par Assad de la rébellion y aurait reflété un assentiment significatif, même au sein des Musulmans sunnites. » [55]

L’émergence d’un Djihad islamiste sunnite contre le gouvernement syrien pendant les années 1980 défie l’interprétation selon laquelle le militantisme islamiste sunnite au Levant est une conséquence de l’invasion par les USA de l’Irak en 2003, et des politiques sectaires pro-Chiites des autorités d’occupation US. Cette perspective est historiquement myope, et aveugle à l’existence d’un militantisme islamiste sunnite depuis plusieurs dizaines d’années comme force politique signifiante au Levant. Dès l’instant où la Syrie obtint formellement son indépendance de la France après la Seconde Guerre Mondiale, dans les décennies qui suivirent au cours du vingtième siècle et jusqu’au siècle suivant, les forces antagonistes présentes en Syrie ont été le nationalisme arabe laïc et l’Islam politique. Comme l’écrivait le journaliste Patrick Cockburn en 2016, « l’opposition armée syrienne est dominée par Da’esh, al-Nusra et Ahrar al-Sham. » La « seule alternative à ce règne (du nationalisme arabe laïc) est celui des Islamistes. » [56] C’est depuis longtemps le cas.

Finalement, il nous aura fallu en plus ignorer le fait que les stratèges US avaient projeté depuis 2003 – et peut-être aussi tôt qu’en 2001 – de contraindre Assad et son idéologie nationaliste arabe laïque à quitter le pouvoir, et financé depuis 2005 l’opposition syrienne – y compris des groupes affiliés aux Frères Musulmans. Donc, Washington avait œuvré au renversement du gouvernement Assad dans le but de dé-ba’athifier la Syrie. Une lutte de guérilla dirigée contre les nationalistes arabes laïcs de Syrie se serait déployée, que la réaction du gouvernement syrien à Deraa ait été excessive ou pas. La partie était déjà lancée, et il ne fallait plus qu’un prétexte. Deraa l’a fourni. Ainsi, l’idée selon laquelle l’arrestation de deux garçons à Deraa, pour avoir peint des graffitis anti-gouvernementaux sur un mur, ait pu enflammer un conflit de cette ampleur est aussi crédible que la notion accréditant l’embrasement de la Première Guerre Mondiale, en tout et pour tout à l’assassinat de l’Archiduc François-Ferdinand.

La Syrie socialiste

Le socialisme peut être défini de plusieurs façons, mais s’il peut l’être par l’exercice de la propriété publique sur les mécanismes de l’économie de pair avec une planification économique étatique, alors la Syrie selon ses Constitutions de 1973 et 2012 en remplit clairement les critères. Toutefois, la République Arabe Syrienne n’a jamais été un état socialiste prolétarien selon les catégories reconnues par les Marxistes. C’était plutôt un état arabe socialiste, inspiré par l’objectif de réaliser l’indépendance politique arabe et de surmonter l’héritage de sous-développement de la nation arabe. Les concepteurs de la Constitution voyaient le socialisme comme un moyen d’accomplir la libération nationale et le développement économique. « La marche vers l’établissement d’un ordre socialiste, » ont écrit les rédacteurs de la Constitution de 1973, est une « nécessité fondamentale pour mobiliser les potentialités des masses arabes dans leur lutte contre le Sionisme et contre l’impérialisme. » Le socialisme marxiste se préoccupait de la lutte entre une classe nantie exploitante et une classe laborieuse exploitée, tandis que le socialisme arabe situait le combat entre nations exploitantes et nations exploitées. Bien que ces deux socialismes différents opéraient en fonction de niveaux d’exploitation différents, ces distinctions n’avaient aucune importance pour les banques, les multinationales et les gros investisseurs occidentaux tandis qu’ils scrutaient le monde à la recherche de bénéfices à leur portée. Le socialisme travaillait contre les intérêts commerciaux du capital industriel et financier US, qu’il soit orienté vers la fin de l’exploitation de la classe laborieuse ou le dépassement de l’oppression impérialiste de groupes nationaux.

Le socialisme ba’athiste irritait Washington depuis longtemps. L’état ba’athiste avait exercé une influence considérable sur l’économie syrienne par le biais d’entreprises nationalisées, de subventions données à des entreprises nationales privées, de limites imposées à l’investissement extérieur et de restrictions appliquées aux importations. Les Ba’athistes considéraient ces mesures comme les outils économiques indispensables d’un état post-colonial, s’appliquant à arracher sa vie économique aux griffes d’anciennes puissances coloniales et à cartographier une voie de développement libre de la domination d’intérêts étrangers.

Les objectifs de Washington, cependant, étaient évidemment antinomiques. Washington ne voulait pas que la Syrie nourrisse son industrie et conserve énergiquement son indépendance, mais qu’elle serve les intérêts des banquiers et des gros investisseurs qui comptaient vraiment aux États-Unis en ouvrant les forces vives de la Syrie à l’exploitation, ainsi que son territoire et ses ressources naturelles à la propriété étrangère. Notre agenda, déclarait l’Administration Obama en 2015, « se concentre sur l’abaissement des tarifs [douaniers] pour les produits américains, l’effacement des barrières à nos biens et services, et à l’application de normes plus draconiennes pour niveler le terrain à l’avantage des entreprises américaines. » [57] Ce n’était guère un nouvel agenda, c’était celui de la politique étrangère US depuis des décennies. Damas ne rentrait pas dans le rang dicté par Washington, qui insistait pouvoir et vouloir « diriger l’économie mondiale. » [58]

Les partisans de la ligne dure à Washington avaient vu Hafez al-Assad comme un Communiste arabe, [59] et les responsables US considéraient son fils Bachar comme un idéologue incapable de se résoudre à délaisser le troisième pilier du programme du Parti Socialiste Arabe Ba’as: le socialisme. Le State Department US se plaignait que la Syrie avait « échoué à rejoindre une économie mondiale de plus en plus interconnectée, » ce qui revenait à dire qu’elle avait échoué à abandonner ses entreprises nationalisées entre les mains d’investisseurs privés comprenant des intérêts financiers de Wall Street. Le State Department US exprimait également sa déception que « des raisons idéologiques » avaient empêché Assad de libéraliser l’économie syrienne, que « la privatisation des entreprises n’est toujours pas très répandue, » et que l’économie « demeure hautement contrôlée par le gouvernement. » [60] Clairement, Assad n’avait pas appris ce que Washington avait appelé « les leçons de l’histoire, » c’est-à-dire, que « les économies de marché, pas les économies entièrement planifiées par la lourde main du gouvernement, sont les meilleures. » [61] En rédigeant une Constitution qui mandatait que le gouvernement maintienne un rôle dans l’orientation de l’économie pour le bien des intérêts syriens, et que le gouvernement ne ferait pas travailler les Syriens pour les intérêts des banques, des multinationales et des investisseurs occidentaux, Assad affermissait l’indépendance de la Syrie contre l’agenda de Washington visant à « ouvrir les marchés et niveler le terrain à l’avantage des entreprises américaines… à l’étranger. » [62]

En sus de tout cela, Assad a souligné son allégeance aux valeurs socialistes contre ce que Washington avait naguère défini comme « l’impératif moral » de la « liberté économique » [63] en inscrivant les droits sociaux dans la Constitution: sécurité contre la maladie, le handicap et la vieillesse; accès aux soins médicaux; éducation gratuite à tous les niveaux. Ces droits vont continuer à être gardés hors d’atteinte des législateurs et des politiciens, qui auraient pu les sacrifier sur l’autel de la création d’un climat de basse fiscalité, attractif pour les affaires des investisseurs étrangers. Affront supplémentaire à l’encontre de l’orthodoxie pro-business de Washington, la Constitution contraignait l’état à pratiquer une fiscalité progressive.

Enfin, le dirigeant ba’athiste a inclus dans sa Constitution mise à jour une provision qui avait été introduite par son père en 1973, un pas vers une démocratie réelle et authentique – une provision que les preneurs de décisions à Washington, avec leurs légions de connexions aux monde de la banque et de l’industrie, ne pouvaient pas supporter. La Constitution exigeait qu’au moins la moitié des membres de l’Assemblée Populaire soit tirée des rangs de la paysannerie et du prolétariat.

Si Assad est un néolibéral c’est certainement au monde, l’un des adeptes les plus singuliers de cette idéologie.

Sécheresse?

Un dernier point sur les origines du soulèvement violent de 2011: quelques sociologues et analystes ont puisé dans une étude publiée dans les minutes [Proceedings] de la National Academy of Sciences pour suggérer que « la sécheresse a joué un rôle dans les troubles syriens. » Selon ce point de vue, la sécheresse a « provoqué la perte de récoltes qui ont mené à la migration d’au moins un million et demi de personnes, des zones rurales aux zones urbaines. » Ceci, en conjonction avec l’afflux de réfugiés venant d’Irak, a intensifié la compétition dans un bassin d’emplois limité dans ces zones urbaines, faisant de la Syrie un chaudron de tension économique et sociale sur le point d’entrer en ébullition. [64] L’argument semble raisonnable, même « scientifique », mais le phénomène qu’il cherche à expliquer – un soulèvement de masse en Syrie – n’a jamais eu lieu. Comme nous l’avons vu, une revue de la couverture médiatique occidentale n’a révélé aucune référence à un soulèvement de masse. Au contraire, les journalistes qui s’attendaient à trouver un soulèvement de masse ont été surpris de n’en déceler aucun. À la place, les journalistes occidentaux ont trouvé que la Syrie était étonnamment calme. Les manifestations organisées par les administrateurs de la page Facebook « The Syrian Revolution 2011 » ont été des pétards mouillés. Des opposants concédaient qu’Assad était populaire. Les journalistes n’ont pu trouver personne croyant qu’une révolte était imminente. Même un mois après les incidents de Deraa – qui ont impliqué des centaines de manifestants, éclipsés par les dizaines de milliers de Syriens qui ont défilé à Damas pour soutenir le gouvernement  – le correspondant du New York Times sur place, Anthony Shadid, ne parvenait à trouver en Syrie aucun des signes des soulèvements de masse qu’avaient vécu la Tunisie ou l’Égypte. Au début du mois de février 2011, « Omar Nashabe, un observateur et correspondant de longue date du quotidien arabe Al-Akhbar, basé à Beyrouth » disait à Time que « les Syriens souffrent sans doute de la pauvreté qui afflige 14% de la population combinée à un taux de chômage estimé à 20%, mais Assad conserve sa crédibilité. » [65]

Que le gouvernement commandait le soutien populaire a été confirmé quand l’entreprise britannique YouGov publia un sondage fin 2011, qui montrait que 55% des Syriens désiraient qu’Assad reste au pouvoir. Le sondage ne récolta presque aucune mention dans les médias occidentaux, poussant le journaliste britannique Jonathan Steele à poser la question: « Imaginez qu’un sondage d’opinion respectable découvre que la majorité des Syriens préfère que Bachar al-Assad demeure au pouvoir, est-ce que cela ne serait pas une nouvelle importante? » Steele décrivit les résultats du sondage comme « des faits incommodes » qui ont « été étouffés » parce que la couverture médiatique des événements en Syrie avait « cessé d’être juste » et s’était transformée en « arme de propagande ». [66]

De beaux slogans en lieu et place de politique et d’analyse

Draitser peut être déclaré fautif non seulement pour avoir propagé un argument établi par présomption ne reposant sur aucune preuve, mais aussi pour avoir remplacé la politique et l’analyse par l’émission de slogans. Dans son article du 20 octobre sur Counterpunch, « Syria and the Left: Time to Break the Silence » [La Syrie et la Gauche: Il est Temps de Rompre le Silence, NdT], il affirme que les objectifs devant définir la Gauche sont la quête de paix et de justice comme si c’étaient des qualités inséparables, ne se trouvant jamais en opposition. Que la paix et la justice puissent parfois être antithétiques est illustré dans la conversation qui suit, entre le journaliste australien Richard Carleton et Ghassan Kanafani, un écrivain, romancier et révolutionnaire palestinien. [67]

C: Pourquoi ton organisation n’entame-t-elle pas des pourparlers de paix avec les Israéliens?

K: Tu n’entends pas vraiment « pourparlers de paix ». Tu veux dire capituler. Abandonner.

C: Pourquoi ne pas simplement parler?

K: Parler à qui?

C: Parler aux dirigeants israéliens.

K: C’est comme une espèce de conversation entre l’épée et le cou, c’est ça?

C: Hé bien, s’il n’y a aucune épée ni aucun fusil dans la pièce, tu pourrais toujours parler.

K: Non. Je n’ai jamais vu de conversation entre un colonialiste et un mouvement de libération nationale.

C: Mais malgré tout ça, pourquoi ne pas parler?

K: Parler de quoi?

C: Parler de la possibilité de ne pas se battre.

K: Ne pas se battre pour quoi?

C: Ne pas se battre du tout. Pour quoi que ce soit.

K: D’habitude, les gens se battent pour quelque chose. Et ils arrêtent de le faire pour quelque chose. Alors tu ne peux même pas me dire pourquoi, et de quoi nous devrions parler. Pourquoi devrions-nous parler d’arrêter de nous battre?

C: Parler d’arrêter de se battre pour faire cesser la mort et la misère, la destruction et la douleur.

K: La misère et la destruction, la douleur et la mort de qui?

C: Des Palestiniens. Des Israéliens. Des Arabes.

K: Du peuple palestinien qui est déraciné, jeté dans des camps, qui souffre de la faim, assassiné pendant vingt ans et interdit d’employer son propre nom, « Palestiniens »?

C: Pourtant, mieux vaut ça plutôt qu’ils soient morts.

K: Pour toi, peut-être. Mais pas pour nous. Pour nous, libérer notre pays, avoir notre dignité, le respect, posséder simplement des droits humains est une chose aussi essentielle que la vie elle-même.

Draitser n’explique pas les valeurs auxquelles devrait se consacrer la Gauche aux USA quand la paix et la justice sont en conflit. Son invocation du slogan « paix et justice » en tant que mission d’élection pour la Gauche US semble n’être rien de plus qu’une invitation faite aux gauchistes d’abandonner la politique pour s’embarquer plutôt sur une mission les vouant à devenir de « belles âmes » se situant au-delà des conflits sordides qui empoisonnent l’humanité – sans jamais prendre parti, hormis celui des anges. Son affirmation comme quoi « aucun groupe n’a à cœur les meilleurs intérêts de la Syrie » est presque trop stupide pour mériter un commentaire. Comment le saurions-nous? L’on ne peut s’empêcher d’avoir l’impression qu’il croit qu’il sait, et avec lui la Gauche US, seuls parmi tous les groupes et tous les états du monde, ce qui est le mieux pour « le peuple syrien ». C’est peut-être pourquoi il annone que la responsabilité de la gauche US est vouée « au peuple de Syrie, » comme si le peuple de Syrie était une masse indifférenciée dotée d’intérêts et d’aspirations identiques. Les Syriens dans leur ensemblecomprennent à la fois les républicains laïques et les Islamistes politiques, qui possèdent des opinions irréconciliables sur la manière d’organiser l’état, et qui ont été enferrés dans une lutte à mort pendant plus d’un demi-siècle – lutte entretenue, du côté islamiste, par son propre gouvernement. Les Syriens dans leur ensemble comprennent ceux qui sont en faveur de l’intégration dans l’Empire US et ceux qui s’y opposent; ceux qui collaborent avec les impérialistes US et ceux qui s’y refusent. De cette perspective, que signifie donc l’affirmation que la gauche US ait une responsabilité envers le peuple de Syrie? Quel peuple de Syrie?

Je pensais que la responsabilité de la gauche US se situait auprès des travailleurs des États-Unis, pas du peuple de Syrie. Et je pensais pareillement que la Gauche US aurait considéré que parmi ses responsabilités figure la diffusion d’analyses politiques rigoureuses et fondées sur des preuves, démontrant comment les élites économiques US utilisent l’appareil d’état US pour faire progresser leurs propres intérêts aux dépens des populations, domestiquement et à l’étranger. Comment la longue guerre de Washington contre la Syrie affecte-t-elle la classe laborieuse aux USA? C’est ce dont Draitser devrait parler.

Mon livre, « La Longue Guerre de Washington contre la Syrie », paraîtra en avril 2017.

Stephen Gowans

 

Article original en anglais :

syria.pixels

The Revolutionary Distemper in Syria That Wasn’t. US-NATO Sponsored Al Qaeda Insurgency Since the Outset in March 2011 , 22 octobre 2016

Traduit par Lawrence Desforges, globalepresse.net

 

_______________________

NOTES

1 Aryn Baker, “Syria is not Egypt, but might it one day be Tunisia?,” Time, 4 février 2011

2 Rania Abouzeid, “The Syrian style of repression: Thugs and lectures,” Time, 27 février 2011

3 Rania Abouzeid, “Sitting pretty in Syria: Why few go backing Bashar,” Time, 6 mars 2011

4 Rania Abouzeid, “The youth of Syria: the rebels are on pause,” Time, 6 mars 2011

5 Rania Abouzeid, “The youth of Syria: the rebels are on pause,” Time, 6 mars 2011

6 “Officers fire on crowd as Syrian protests grow,” The New York Times, 20 mars 2011

7 Nicholas Blanford, “Can the Syrian regime divide and conquer its opposition?,” Time, 9 avril 2011

8 Robert Fisk, “Welcome to Dera’a, Syria’s graveyard of terrorists,” The Independent, 6 juillet 2016

9 « President Assad to ARD TV: Terrorists breached cessation of hostilities agreement from the very first hour, Syrian Army refrained from retaliating », SANA, 1 mars 2016

10 Ibid

11 “Officers fire on crowd as Syrian protests grow,” The New York Times, 20 mars 2011

12 Rania Abouzeid, “Arab Spring: Is a revolution starting up in Syria?” Time, 20 mars 2011; Rania Abouzeid, “Syria’s revolt: How graffiti stirred an uprising,” Time, 22 mars 2011

13 “Officers fire on crowd as Syrian protests grow,” The New York Times, 20 mars 2011

14 Rania Abouzeid, “Arab Spring: Is a revolution starting up in Syria?,” Time, 20 mars 2011

15 “Thousands march to protest Syria killings”, The New York Times, 24 mars 2011

16 Rania Abouzeid, “Assad and reform: Damned if he does, doomed if he doesn’t,” Time, 22 avril 2011

17 “Officers fire on crowd as Syrian protests grow,” The New York Times, 20 mars 2011

18 Aryn Baker, “Syria is not Egypt, but might it one day be Tunisia?,” Time, 4 février 2011

19 Nicholas Blanford, “Can the Syrian regime divide and conquer its opposition?” Time, 9 avril 2011

20 Alfred B. Prados and Jeremy M. Sharp, “Syria: Political Conditions and Relations with the United States After the Iraq War,” Congressional Research Service, 28 février 2005

21 Rania Abouzeid, “Syria’s Friday of dignity becomes a day of death,” Time, 25 mars 2011

22 Rania Abouzeid, “Syria’s Friday of dignity becomes a day of death,” Time, 25 mars 2011

23 “Syrie: un autre éclairage du conflit qui dure depuis 5 ans, BeCuriousTV , » 23 mai 2016, http://www.globalresearch.ca/syria-aleppo-doctor-demolishes-imperialist-propaganda-and-media-warmongering/5531157

24 Nicholas Blanford, “Can the Syrian regime divide and conquer its opposition?” Time, 9 avril 2011

25 Jay Solomon, “To check Syria, U.S. explores bond with Muslim Brothers,” The Wall Street Journal, 25 juillet 2007

26 Ibid

27 Liad Porat, “The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood and the Asad Regime,” Crown Center for Middle East Studies, Brandeis University, décembre 2010, No. 47

28 Ibid

29 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

30 Alfred B. Prados and Jeremy M. Sharp, “Syria: Political Conditions and Relations with the United States After the Iraq War,” Congressional Research Service, 28 février 2005.

31 Anthony Shadid, “Security forces kill dozens in uprisings around Syria”, The New York Times, 22 avril 2011

32 Rania Abouzeid, “Syria’s Friday of dignity becomes a day of death,” Time, 25 mars 2011

33 Fabrice Balanche, “The Alawi Community and the Syria Crisis Middle East Institute, 14 mai 2015

34 Anthony Shadid, “Syria broadens deadly crackdown on protesters”, The New York Times, 8 mai 2011

35 Rania Abouzeid, “Meet the Islamist militants fighting alongside Syria’s rebels,” Time, 26 juillet 2012

36 Rania Abouzeid, “Interview with official of Jabhat al-Nusra, Syria’s Islamist militia group,” Time, 25 décembre 2015

37 Robert Fisk, “Syrian civil war: West failed to factor in Bashar al-Assad’s Iranian backers as the conflict developed,” The Independent, 13 mars 2016

38 Anthony Shadid, “Syria broadens deadly crackdown on protesters”, The New York Times, 8 mai 2011

39 Nada Bakri, “Syria allows Red Cross officials to visit prison”, The New York Times, 5 septembre 2011

40 Nada Bakri, “Syrian opposition calls for protection from crackdown”, The New York Times, 25 octobre 2011

41 « President al-Assad to Portuguese State TV: International system failed to accomplish its duty… Western officials have no desire to combat terrorism », SANA, 5 mars 2015

42 Patrick Seale, “Syria’s long war,” Middle East Online, 26 septembre 2012

43 Ibid

44 Rania Abouzeid, “Sitting pretty in Syria: Why few go backing Bashar,” Time, 6 mars 2011

45 Rania Abouzeid, “The youth of Syria: the rebels are on pause,” Time, 6 mars 2011

46 “Can the Syrian regime divide and conquer its opposition?” Time, 9 avril 2011

47 Anthony Shadid, “Security forces kill dozens in uprisings around Syria”, The New York Times, 22 avril 2011

48 Ben Fenton, “Macmillan backed Syria assassination plot,” The Guardian, 27 septembre 2003

49 Robert Fisk, “Conspiracy of silence in the Arab world,” The Independent, 9 février 2007

50 Robert Dreyfus, « Devil’s Game: How the United States Helped Fundamentalist Islam », Holt, 2005, p. 205

51 William R. Polk, “Understanding Syria: From pre-civil war to post-Assad,” The Atlantic, 10 décembre 2013

52 Dreyfus

53 Dreyfus

54 William R. Polk, “Understanding Syria: From pre-civil war to post-Assad,” The Atlantic, 10 décembre 2013

55 Cité dans Nikolas Van Dam, « The Struggle for Power in Syria: Politics and Society under Assad and the Ba’ath Party », I.B. Taurus, 2011

56 Patrick Cockburn, “Confused about the US response to Isis in Syria? Look to the CIA’s relationship with Saudi Arabia,” The Independent, 17 juin 2016

57 National Security Strategy, février 2015

58 Ibid

59 Robert Baer, « Sleeping with the Devil: How Washington Sold Our Soul for Saudi Crude », Three Rivers Press, 2003, p. 123

60 Site Internet du State Department US. http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/3580.htm#econ. Accédé le 8 février 2012

61 The National Security Strategy of the United States of America, septembre 2002

62 National Security Strategy, février 2015

63 The National Security Strategy of the United States of America, mars 2006

64 Henry Fountain, “Researchers link Syrian conflict to drought made worse by climate change,” The New York Times, 2 mars 2015

65 Aryn Baker, “Syria is not Egypt, but might it one day be Tunisia?,” Time, 4 février 2011

66 Jonathan Steele, “Most Syrians back President Assad, but you’d never know from western media,” The Guardian, 17 janvier 2012

67 “Full transcript: Classic video interview with Comrade Ghassan Kanafani re-surfaces,” PFLP, 17 octobre 2016, http://pflp.ps/english/2016/10/17/full-transcript-classic-video-interview-with-comrade-ghassan-kanafani-re-surfaces/

 

  • Posted in Francais @fr
  • Commentaires fermés sur Cette révolution syrienne qui n’existe pas…

En ces temps troublés, la « communauté internationale » – nom de scène des trois Occidentaux qui se piquent d’être les maîtres de droit divin de notre planète – semble perdre les pédales. Voilà donc nos larrons en quête de nouvelles aventures.

Comme d’habitude, l’Amérique, cette nation qui se croit indispensable et dispense aux quatre coins de l’univers ses leçons de morale, de démocratie et de droits de l’homme en faisant oublier qu’elle doit son existence au génocide des amérindiens et sa prospérité actuelle au pillage du monde considéré comme une arrière-cour, donne le ton. Ses sbires, les ci-devant « grandes puissances européennes », qui se plaisent à jouer aux gros poissons dans les petites mares, ne sont pas en reste…Ayant remis les pendules à l’heure avec son Brexit et lancée dans le compte à rebours d’un Scotxit, la perfide Albion peut s’investir à fond dans son rôle traditionnel de cheval de Troie de l’Amérique. Pour sa part, notre « grande nation », qui fait tout pour ne plus l’être, se distingue par son arrogance ordinaire, sa prétention anachronique et le naufrage de sa diplomatie.

Nos fanfan-la-tulipe, nos malbroughsmironton-mirontaine,nos lafayette-nous-voilà, prennent de grands airs de chefs de guerre qui nous feraient rire si leurs desseins n’étaient pas aussi sinistres : appeler à envoyer « à six pieds sous terre »Bachar Al Assad, s’acharner à peaufiner la mise à mort dupeuple syrien et à détruire la vieille terre qui fut la matrice de notre civilisation, de nos religions et de notre alphabet ne sont pas des objectifs dignes d’unpays à l’histoire prestigieuse, qui se réclame si volontiers des « lumières ». Enchaîner les provocations et les incidents diplomatiques en pensant humilier ou braver ce Vladimir Poutine qui tient tête à l’Amérique, divinité révérée par nos élites, est du plus haut ridicule.

La diplomatie française est disqualifiée, marginalisée, ignorée, y compris par ses maîtres de Washington

Dans la posture qui est la sienne depuis son retour au « bercail atlantique », la France a perdu sa crédibilité, son prestige et le respect des pays qui jadis la trouvaient « juste même lorsqu’elle est injuste ». La diplomatie française est disqualifiée, marginalisée, ignorée, y compris par ses maîtres de Washington,au point d’être tenue à l’écart des grands dossiers et évincée des négociations décisives, tant est évidente sa capacité de nuisance.

Certes, nous rétorquera-t-on, la Francea encore des alliésstratégiques qu’elle choisit apparemment selon des critèresinnovants. Certainsde ces critères tiennent à des affinités profondes avec nos valeurs traditionnelles (droits de l’homme, condition de la femme, respect des travailleurs immigrés, tolérance religieuse, démocratie, libertés…), d’autres sont inspirés par une complémentarité naturelle (ils ont du pétrole et des dollars, nous avons des idées et surtout des besoins d’argent frais), d’autres enfin sont en relation avec des facteurs auxquels on ne s’attendrait pas, à savoir la proximité avec des terroristes « modérés » et des « démocrates » djihadistes: c’est ainsi qu’après l’heure du Qatar (merci pour ce moment)et une brève idylle avec Erdogan le Maléfique(gâchée par le souvenir d’un génocide),nousvivons « l’instant saoudien », avec une farandole de princes et d’émirs comme s’il en pleuvait, des promesses de contrats mirifiques, une  «identité de vues totale »propice à tous les mauvais coups. Si Paris valait bien une messe, Riyad vaut bien quelques promesses voire quelques compromissions : la distance nous sépare, mais la volonté de détruire la Syrie et de« neutraliser » Bachar al Assad nous unit…

Il y a quelque chose de pourri au royaume des grandes démocraties 

Le déferlement d’inepties, de mensonges, de trucages, de faux pavillons, de références en trompe-l’œil devrait interpeller quelque part nos élites ployant sous le fardeau de leur « mission civilisatrice et bombardière ». Hélas, nous avons beau tendre l’oreille, c’est à peu de choses près le silence radio. N’y aurait-il pas quelque chose de pourri au royaume des grandes démocraties ? N’y aurait-il pas un maillon manquant dans cette sainte trinité occidentale où l’on cherche en vain l’esprit sain qui pourrait inspirer le père anglo-américain et le fils franco-européen.

S’il n’y avait que les déclarations martiales, les contre-vérités flagrantes, les mensonges sans vergogne, les imprécations sans foi ni loi, cene serait que le énième tableau de lamauvaise série B que les médias, intellectuels et politiques, de gauche, de droite et du milieu, déversent depuis plusieurs années sur le bon peuple français qui en a vu, entendu et gobé bien d’autres. C’est agaçant et ignoble, c’est inquiétant, mais on s’y fait. L’important n’est pas la rose ou même le rouge au front, c’est de voter, quitte à choisir le plus beau, le plus hâbleur, le plus menteur, le plus martial ou le plus bête…Les campagnes électorales débutantes ou finissantes en témoignent : l’Amérique devra choisir entre la prévisible harpie, Hillary, l’égérie des néocons, faucons et autres variétés du « parti de la guerre », et l’imprévisible Trump, qui a annoncé la couleur.

Pour l’instant, il est particulièrement angoissant d’entendre, au sein de ce temple de la diplomatie que devrait être le Conseil de Sécurité,vociférer les mégères et les gorgones qui ont investi la diplomatie US et s’égosiller les diplomates aux longs doigts et aux costumes gris à rayures verticales des « grandes diplomaties », toutes et tous à l’unisson pour répercuter vers les quatre coins de la planète le courroux denos bons maîtres chahutés par l’Histoire.

Laréuniondu Conseil consacrée à la Syrie, tenue le dimanche 25 septembre 2016, devrait rester inscrite aux annales de l’arrogance et de la perfidie. Grâce soit rendue aux chevaliers de l’Axe du Bien comme Samantha Power, égérie des néoconsaméricains, au ministre anglais des affaires étrangères,qui doit sa promotion ahurie au Brexit, et au représentant français au Conseil de Sécurité, relayés de près ou de loin par les Kerry, Ayrault et consorts, le spectacle était prometteur et n’a pas déçu, qu’il s’agisse de la richesse des pauvres réparties, de la majesté du style oratoire, de la haute tenue morale des contre-vérités et acrobaties de langage ( parler sans filet est un exercice de haute volée).

De réunion en réunion, le spectacle continue, sans cesse renouvelé comme les vagues de la mer, dans une ambiance de tragédie : ceux qui veulent libérer les habitants d’Alep de la sauvagerie terroriste sont des criminels de guerre passibles de la Cour Pénale Internationale, ceux qui financent et protègent les dits terroristes sont des héros à casques blancs passibles du Nobel de la Paix. C’est beau la dialectique et comprenne qui pourra…

Ban et le sacre de Dame bêtise…

Pour couronner le sacre de Dame bêtise, nous avons droit à la prestation de Ban. Ce falot personnage, qui s’apprête à nous quitter après avoir brillé par sa servilité, a bien mérité de la patrie (américaine) : il n’aura pas eu besoin de fermerl’électricité derrière lui tant l’obscurité était déjà profonde au Secrétariat Général des Nations Unies, mais il n’aura pas attendu d’avoir rendu sa livrée pour tenir un discours qui, tranchant avec la banalité habituelle de ses propos, témoignait de sa perfidie et de son allégeance au dieu Amérique, accablant l’Etat syrien de ses affirmations mensongères et de ses accusations frelatées.

Bref, nous avons droit à une mobilisation générale du ban et de l’arrière-ban de la « communauté internationale » occidentale mobilisée au service des terroristes et de leurs parrains, dans un déferlement de haine et de bassesse qui sied mal à l’ambiance feutrée des instances diplomatiques. Tout ce beau monde, à coup d’effets de manches, de tirades grandiloquentes et patelines, de sorties collectives théâtrales, veut faire croire qu’il essaie de sauver le droit international que depuis vingt-cinq ans les maîtres impériaux de la planète ont dévasté. Est-ce parce qu’ils sont tombés sur la tête qu’ilsvoient le monde à l’envers ? En tout cas, menteurs ils sont, menteurs ils resteront !

Pour la France, quel gâchis d’avoir mis un point d’honneur à se complaire dans le déshonneur. Injuste, immorale, suicidaire, la diplomatie française est devenue  si stupide qu’elle nous fait parfois désespérer. Tout se passe comme si nos élites avaient jeté aux orties l’héritage national, les références, les valeurs, les convictions qui nourrissent une politique étrangère digne d’un grand pays…La France n’avait pas de pétrole ; voilà qu’elle semble n’avoir plus d’idées, sa diplomatie en étant réduite à racler dans les tiroirs pour proposer des trucs de concours Lépine. Il ne sera pas dit que l’aménagement de notre diplomatie  est  un aménagement de cuisine : « Lapeyre, y en a pas deux », dit le slogan, mais les ambassadeurs, il pourra y en avoir deux, comme les Croates vont en faire l’expérience. Panne de courant ? Couvre-feu de la pensée ? C’est en tout cas dans une obscurité de mauvais aloi qu’est plongée la « terre des lumières ».Et pour l’instant, il reste bien caché, l’homme d’Etat qui réussira à lui redonner sa place au soleil, levant de préférence.

Pourtant le temps presse : comme l’écrivait Paul Valéry, « le vent se lève et il faut tenter de vivre »…

Michel Raimbaud 

Michel Raimbaud est ancien ambassadeur français, écrivain et essayiste. Dernier livre paru : « Tempête sur le Grand Moyen-Orient » chez Ellipse, Paris

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Venezuela’s oil-dependent economy suffers greatly from low crude oil prices and US economic warfare – waged to destabilize the country, create enormous hardships, mobilize majority opposition to President Nicolas Maduro’s leadership, and end nearly 18 years of economic and social progress. The collapse in the price of crude oil was the result of a carefully designed speculative operation. 

Neocons in Washington want control over Venezuela’s vast oil reserves, among the world’s largest. With full US support and encouragement, the right wing opposition which controls the National Assembly want Maduros ousted – its latest tactic by recall referendum as constitutionally permitted.

On October 18, Venezuela’s Supreme Court ruled valid signatures of 20% of voters in each of the nation’s 24 states must be collected to proceed with a process against Maduro.

“(F)ailure…will render the call for the presidential recall referendum as nullified,” the High Court said in its ruling.

On October 21, Venezuela’s National Electoral Council (CNE) suspended the referendum until further notice, following Supreme Court allegations of fraud. Over 30% of signatures collected had irregularities – including listing over 10,000 deceased persons.

A previous article explained how Venezuela’s recall referendum works. Article 72 of Venezuela’s Constitution states “(a)ll magistrates and other offices (including the president) filled by popular vote are subject to revocation.”

“Once half (their) term of office…has elapsed, 20% of (registered) voters (by petition may call for) a referendum to revoke such official’s mandate.”

“When a number of voters equal to or greater than the number of those who elected the official vote in favor of revocation (provided the total is 20% or more of registered voters), the official’s mandate shall be deemed revoked…”

Signatures collected must be verified for authenticity before proceeding further with the recall process. If achieved, it’ll be organized within 90 days. Removing Maduro requires support from more than the 50.6% of voters supporting his 2013 election.

Timing is important. If held by January 10, 2017, a new election will be called if Maduro loses. If things go against him after this date, Vice President Aristobulo Isturiz will serve as president until January 2019, when his term expires.

In response to CNE’s suspending the recall process, the factions controlling the National Assembly barely stopped short of urging coup d’etat action to remove Maduro forcefully.

Last Sunday, they said they’ll impeach him for “violating democracy.” The body has no legal standing after ignoring the Supreme Court’s October 18 ruling.

United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) leader Hector Rodriguez mocked them, saying parties violating the “rules of the game come and talk about democracy…There will be no recall referendum in 2016 because of fraudulent signatures collected. »

Violent demonstrations may follow, similar to what occurred in 2014 – perhaps another US coup attempt.

On October 24, WaPo editors disgracefully headlined “How to derail Venezuela’s new dictatorship.” What followed was a disgraceful litany of misinformation, exaggeration and Big Lies.

WaPo: Maduro “made clear (he and his government are) prepared to shred what remained of the country’s constitutional order…(They) stripped the opposition-controlled national assembly of its powers, imprisoned several top leaders and tried to slow” the recall process.

Fact: Maduro and Venezuela’s CNE observe the letter of constitutional law. No opposition powers were “stripped.” Their imprisoned officials plotted to remove Maduro by coup d’etat.

Collecting fraudulent signatures “slow(ed)” the recall process, not administration officials.

WaPo: Opposition National Assembly members “issued a declaration saying Mr. Maduro had staged a coup. That is accurate – and it ought to provoke a consequential reaction from the United States and Venezuela’s Latin American neighbors.”

Fact: No Maduro “coup” occurred, nor is one in prospect. WaPo calling for “consequential” action sounds ominously like urging Washington to oust him forcefully.

WaPo: “The recall referendum the opposition was pursuing offered a democratic way out of what has become one of the worst political and humanitarian crises in Latin America’s modern history.”

Fact: US dirty tricks and economic manipulation leading to disruptions in the distribution of food, bear much responsibility for hard times in Venezuela. Real problems exist. Hunger isn’t one of them. WaPo lied claiming “(t)he vast majority of low-income families say they are having trouble obtaining food.”

Venezuelans changed their dietary practices because of the scarcity of commonly eaten foods, at times consuming less than earlier. Profiteers hoarding and diverting foodstuffs for resale are responsible, along with high inflation resulting economic manipulation.

WaPo: “(T)he United States should be coordinating tough international action.”

Fact: Neocon WaPo editors want Maduro toppled and replaced. Do they mean by coup d’etat by calling for “tough international action?”

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. His new book as editor and contributor is titled « Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III. » http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

 

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US-backed militants launched a wide scale attack on the Syrian army’s positions near Khan Al Sheh in the Western Ghouta region, but failed to achieve a success in the battle.

The militants lost up to 25 fighters and some 8 units of heavy military equipment in the failed attack. 4 units of heavy military equipment belonging to terrorists were destroyed by 1 Syrian soldier with the Russian-made Kornet guided missile launcher. The military situation of militant groups remains critical in the region.

The Syrian government forces, led by Maj General Suheil Al Hassan and his Tiger Forces, liberated more areas from the joint terrorist forces led by Jabhat al-Nusra and Ahrar ash-Sham in the northern part of Hama province. They took control of few checkpoints at the western outskirts of Ma’an and advanced in the eastern countryside of Souran and Taybat al-Imam.

A large number of militants of Jabhat al-Nusra militants, including their commander Ahmad Abdu Razaq al-Henesh, were killed in the recent air raids in the province.

Turkish air strikes and artillery shelling have killed 96 civilians, including 22 children, since the start of Turkey’s Operation Euphrates Shield on August 24, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claimed on October 24. The UK-based monitor provides a wide range of anti-Assad and pro-Western views and is constantly quoted by the mainstream media. So, such claims show the attitude of the UK, the US and their partners over the ongoing Turkish military operation in Syria.

The Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) and the Turkish Armed Forces launched a full-scale advance on the direction of strategic ISIS-controlled town of Al-Bab in the northern part of Aleppo province. They took control of the villages of Tuways, Jub al-As and Thalthanah. The crossroad town of Ebla will become the next target of the pro-Turkish forces. If Ebla is captured, the Ankara-led military grouping will be deployed in a striking distance from Al-Bab.

This move could indicate that the Turkish military and their proxies temporarily suspended the idea to purge Kurdish units in southeast of Mare.

The ISIS-linked Amaq news agency released a video on October 24 that depicts a destruction of the US-made Abrams M1 main battle tank at the Qarayyah crossroads, south of Mosul. The battle tank was reportedly blown up with the Kornet anti-tank guided missile. It is not clear to whom – the Iraqi army or the US military – the tank belonged.

The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) liberated the villages of al-Khastan, al-Harrah, Ain al-Nimrudand and the Mishraq Thermal Plant. The town of Hammam Ali is a mid-term target of the ongoing ISF advance.

The Iraqi Air Force’s Mi-35M attack helicopters carried out a series of air raids near the ISIS stronghold of Mosul, killing a top adviser to the group’s ringleader. Abu Usama was a top adviser to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and the second-in-command to the ISIS shadow governor for Mosul. The air raids took place at the town of Tal Kayf last weekend.

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Area designated as “the jungle” contained 6,000-10,000 displaced persons seeking refuge

Some 1,200 French security forces descended on the migrant camp in Calais on the English Channel with riot gear, buses and sledgehammers in an attempt to relocate the thousands of people awaiting admission into Britain. 

This is the latest tragic episode revealing the plight of Africans, Middle Easterners and Asians who have fled the turmoil taking place within their respective geo-political regions due to United States and NATO imperialist wars and the worsening global economic crisis fostered by the exploitative policies of Washington and Wall Street.

Hundreds of the people housed in the camp have resisted the forced removals by leaving the processing areas set up by the authorities. There was no official announcement about the location of where those living in makeshift housing at the camp were to be transferred.

By early morning October 25, construction workers wearing hard hats and oranges jumpsuits began to dismantle the temporary housing units using sledgehammers rather than bulldozers. French authorities say that the entire operation of removal should be complete by October 28.

Ostensibly this is an attempt to ease pressure on the border area between France and Britain allowing for the shifting of the problem to another section of the country. Conditions at the camp were described as deplorable with children living there absent of any parental custody. Much speculation is that those engaged in smuggling people from Libya across the Mediterranean are involved in human trafficking networks into Europe and the possibly the U.S.

Although the area has been a staging point for the migration into Britain from the sand dunes of northern France for at least two decades, the situation has worsened as a result of the escalation of human trafficking into Europe over the last three years. The migrant camp in Calais has been designated as the largest slum on the continent becoming a testament to the failure of European Union (EU) policy of resettlement of displaced persons.

The Independent newspaper in Britain emphasized on October 24 “That the Calais Jungle has been allowed to fester and endure for so long is a blot on the copybooks of governments, both here and on the continent. Whether you believe all of its residents should be allowed into Britain or not, few can say that people living in a state of limbo in makeshift squalor is anything other than barbarism, when there should exist procedures and facilities to process, house and deport such a population efficiently. That said procedures are evidently not in place, which begs serious questions about the preparedness and seriousness of government agencies responsible for such matters.”

With elections coming up soon in France this is a major consideration for both the Conservative and Socialist parties. Politicians have attempted to position themselves as being tough on migrant camps and the need for stricter border controls.

This process of handling the migrant crisis has taken on more of a militarized character. The presence of security agents, the threat of arrests if people do not comply with removal orders and the immediate demolition of the camps illustrates the lack of humanitarian concern for problems that were created by the proliferation of U.S. and NATO interventions which have been abysmally catastrophic.

This same article published in the Independent continues by saying: “The camp is a source of misery for those who live there. People are not safe. Food, shelter and medical assistance are not guaranteed. For all the charity pouring in, theft, assault, sexual harassment and worse is infinitely more likely in a settlement such as this. The human thing to do would have been to close it as soon as it emerged. Either way, migrants in Europe will have to be resettled or deported. Both are painful decisions, but delaying them has only made the situation worse.”

The Root Causes of Imperialist Militarism and Global Capitalism

However, framing the discussion over how to handle the migration crisis in Europe and Britain conveniently avoids the underlying issues which have spawned this dilemma. Many of the European governments such as France and England have allowed themselves to become willing accomplices in the Pentagon and NATO driven wars of conquest stemming from Afghanistan and Iraq, to Libya, Syria, Yemen, Palestine, Sudan, Somalia and other geo-political regions.

European ruling interests embody their own imperialist designs seeking to outmaneuver Washington in effort to reassert influence lost since the conclusions of World War I and II during the 20th century. Germany which is viewed as the most stable of the 21st century EU economies has been engaged in a political struggle with elements within its own body politic along with governments further to the east and south which have endured the bulk of migration into the continent. According to statistics released by Eurostat the majority of migrants are applying for asylum in Germany.

The inability of the EU countries to develop a unified position on the underlying reasons behind the crisis only provides for more repression against migrants inside these states. Mass deportations into Libya and Turkey have been suggested nonetheless the logistics of such a task would be unfeasible. Images of raging fires in Calais, the herding of thousands of children and adults onto buses with nothing but the clothes on their backs and the possession in their bags are grim enough. An escalation of removals and further dispersals of migrants would worsen the overall view of Europe to many people throughout the world.

Electoral Politics and the U.S. Dimension

In light of the developing migrant question in Europe, the U.S. has also avoided their principal role in the current situation. Countries such as Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq, Somalia, among others have been severely damaged as a direct result of the interference into the internal affairs of these states.

Consequently, successive U.S. administrations, both Republican and Democratic, have continued these military interventions while creating the conditions for mounting instability. The migration crisis in the U.S. is also articulated as a criminal justice issue along with the so-called “war on terrorism.”

The Republican candidate for president, Donald Trump, has built up a substantial bloc of voters by promising to deport undocumented residents from the country. Trump accuses the immigrant population as being a source of crime and a potential threat related to “Islamic terrorism.” He has pledged to intensify the already militarized and deadly U.S.-Mexican border.

Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton says in response that this plan advanced by Trump would be nearly impossible to implement. Nevertheless, the administration of President Barack Obama, where she served for the first four years as secretary of state, has deported more undocumented workers and families out of the U.S. than any other head-of-state in the history of the country.

In the U.S. and Europe, the migrant question blends with the unresolved character of national oppression against African Americans, Latinos and other people of color communities. There are continuous efforts underway by both parties to divide the African American community against other oppressed peoples.

However, there is a growing level of consciousness that understands that it is the racist capitalist system that manipulates immigration policy to serve its own class interests. The labor of both the existing nationally oppressed and incoming migrant workers is being exploited at higher levels every year.

Working people in the U.S. in general are toiling for less return on their labor power. There are more people being driven into poverty and therefore a direct link joining these elements of the population can be created aimed at its elimination.

These issues are not being discussed in an honest manner during the 2016 elections. It is up to the people themselves to develop a program of action to liberate those who are being exploited by the ruling interests.

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The International Criminal Court charges only Africans with human rights crimes while granting impunity to U.S. officials and their allies, undermining what had been a noble idea of universal justice, writes Nicolas J S Davies.

In the past week, Burundi and South Africa have joined Namibia in declaring their intention to withdraw from the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC). They are likely to be followed by a parade of other African countries, jeopardizing the future of an international court that has prosecuted 39 officials from eight African countries but has failed to indict a single person who is not African.

Ironically, African countries were among the first to embrace the ICC, so it is a striking turnaround that they are now the first to give up on it.

President George W. Bush and members of his national security team in Iraq in 2007

President George W. Bush and members of his national security team in Iraq in 2007

But it is the United States that has played the leading role in preventing the ICC from fulfilling the universal mandate for which it was formed, to hold officials of all countries accountable for the worst crimes in the world: genocide; crimes against humanity; and war crimes – not least the crime of international aggression, which the judges at Nuremberg defined as “the supreme international crime” from which all other war crimes follow.

As the ICC’s founding father, former Nuremberg prosecutor Benjamin Ferencz, lamented in 2011,

“You don’t have to be a criminologist to realize that if you want to deter a crime, you must persuade potential criminals that, if they commit crimes, they will be hauled into court and be held accountable. It is the policy of the United States to do just the opposite as far as the crime of aggression is concerned. Our government has gone to great pains to be sure that no American will be tried by any international criminal court for the supreme crime of illegal war-making.”

The U.S. has not only refused to accept the jurisdiction of the ICC over its own citizens. It has gone further, pressuring other countries to sign Bilateral Immunity Agreements (BIA), in which they renounce the right to refer U.S. citizens to the ICC for war crimes committed on their territory.

The U.S. has also threatened to cut off U.S. aid to countries that refuse to sign them. The BIAs violate those countries’ own commitments under the ICC statute, and the U.S. pressure to sign them has been rightly condemned as an outrageous effort to ensure impunity for U.S. war crimes.

Resistance to U.S. Impunity

To the credit of our international neighbors, this U.S. strategy has met with substantial resistance. The European Parliament overwhelmingly passed a resolution stating that BIAs are incompatible with E.U. membership, and urged E.U.- member states and countries seeking E.U. membership not to sign them.

At the start of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, President George W. Bush ordered the U.S. military to conduct a devastating aerial assault on Baghdad, known as "shock and awe."

At the start of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, President George W. Bush ordered the U.S. military to conduct a devastating aerial assault on Baghdad, known as “shock and awe.”

Fifty-four countries have publicly refused to sign BIAs, and 24 have accepted cut-offs of U.S. aid as a consequence of their refusal. Of 102 countries that have signed a BIA, only 48 are members of the ICC in any case, and only 15 of those countries are on record as having ratified the BIAs in their own parliaments.

Thirty-two other ICC members have apparently allowed BIAs to take effect without parliamentary ratification, but this has been challenged by their own country’s legal experts in many cases.

The U.S. campaign to undermine the ICC is part of a much broader effort by the U.S. government to evade all forms of accountability under the laws that are supposed to govern international behavior in the modern world, even as it continues to masquerade as a global champion of the rule of law.

The treaties that U.S. policy systematically violates today were crafted by American statesmen and diplomats, working with their foreign colleagues, to build a world where all people would enjoy some basic protections from the worst atrocities, instead of being subject only to the law of the jungle or “might makes right.”

So current U.S. policy is a cynical betrayal of the work and wisdom of past generations of Americans, as well as of countless victims all over the world to whom we are effectively denying the protections of the U.N. Charter, the Geneva Conventions, the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child and other multilateral treaties that our country ignores, violates or refuses to ratify.

Avoiding the jurisdiction of international courts is only one of the ways that the U.S. evades international accountability for its criminal behavior. Another involves an elaborate and well-disguised public relations campaign that exploit the powerful position of U.S. corporations in the world of commercial media.

Major Propaganda Funding

The U.S. government spends a billion dollars per year on public relations or, more bluntly, propaganda, including $600 million from the Pentagon budget. The work of its P.R. teams and contractors is laundered by U.S. newspapers and repeated and analyzed ad nauseam by monolithic, flag-waving TV networks.

David Petraeus, a two-star general during the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, with Lt. Gen. William S. Wallace.

David Petraeus, a two-star general during the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, with Lt. Gen. William S. Wallace.

These profitable corporate operations monopolize the public airwaves in the U.S., and also use their financial clout, slick marketing and the support of the U.S. State Department to maintain a powerful presence in foreign and international media markets.

Foreign media in allied countries provide further legitimacy and credibility to U.S. talking-points and narratives as they echo around the world. Meanwhile, Hollywood fills cinema and TV screens across the world with an idealized, glamorized, inspirational version of America that still mesmerizes many people.

This whole elaborate “information warfare” machine presents the United States as a global leader for democracy, human rights and the rule of law, even as it systematically and catastrophically undermines those same principles. It enables our leaders to loudly and persuasively demonize other countries and their leaders as dangerous violators of international law, even as the U.S. and its allies commit far worse crimes.

Double Standards in Syria/Iraq

Today, for instance, the U.S. and its allies are accusing Syria and Russia of war crimes in east Aleppo, even as America’s own and allied forces launch a similar assault on Mosul. Both attacks are killing civilians and reducing much of a city to rubble; the rationale is the same, counterterrorism; and there are many more people in the line of fire in Mosul than in east Aleppo.

President Barack Obama shakes hands with U.S. troops at Bagram Airfield in Bagram, Afghanistan, Sunday, May 25, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama shakes hands with U.S. troops at Bagram Airfield in Bagram, Afghanistan, Sunday, May 25, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

But the U.S. propaganda machine ensures that most Americans see one, in Mosul, as a legitimate counterterrorism operation (with Islamic State accused of using the civilians as “human shields”) and the other, in east Aleppo, as a massacre (with the presence of Al Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, the former Nusra Front, virtually whited out of the West’s coverage, which focuses almost entirely on the children and makes no mention of “human shields”).

The phrase “aggressive war” is also a no-no in the Western media when the U.S. government launches attacks across international borders. In the past 20 years, the U.S. has violated the U.N. Charter to attack at least eight countries (Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya and Syria), and the resulting wars have killed about two million people.

A complex whirlwind of conflict and chaos rages on in all the countries where the U.S. and its allies have lit the flames of war since 2001, but U.S. leaders still debate new interventions and escalations as if we are the fire brigade not the arsonists. (By contrast, the U.S. government and the Western media are quick to accuse Russia or other countries of “aggression” even in legally murky situations, such as after the U.S.-backed coup in 2014 that ousted the elected president of Ukraine.)

Systematic violations of the Geneva Conventions are an integral part of U.S. war-making. Most are shrouded in secrecy, and the propaganda machine spins the atrocities that slip through into the public record as a disconnected series of aberrations, accidents and “bad apples,” instead of as the result of illegal rules of engagement and unlawful orders from higher-ups.

The senior officers and civilian officials who are criminally responsible for these crimes under U.S. and international law systematically abuse their powerful positions to subvert investigations, cover up their crimes and avoid any accountability whatsoever.

Pinter’s Complaint

When British playwright Harold Pinter was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2005, he bravely and brilliantly used his Nobel lecture to speak about the real role that the U.S. plays in the world and how it whitewashes its crimes. Pinter recounted a meeting at the U.S. Embassy in London in the 1980s in which a senior embassy official, Raymond Seitz, flatly denied U.S. war crimes against Nicaragua for which the U.S. was in fact convicted of aggression by the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Seitz went on to serve as Assistant Secretary of State, U.S. Ambassador to the U.K., and then Vice-Chairman of Lehman Brothers.

Early detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison, dressed in orange jumpsuits with goggles covering their eyes, photographed on Jan. 11, 2002. (Defense Department photo by Petty Officer 1st class Shane T. McCoy, U.S. Navy)

Early detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison, dressed in orange jumpsuits with goggles covering their eyes, photographed on Jan. 11, 2002. (Defense Department photo by Petty Officer 1st class Shane T. McCoy, U.S. Navy)

As Pinter explained: “this ‘policy’ was by no means restricted to Central America. It was conducted throughout the world. It was never-ending. And it is as if it never happened.

“The United States supported and in many cases engendered every right wing military dictatorship in the world after the end of the Second World War. I refer to Indonesia, Greece, Uruguay, Brazil, Paraguay, Haiti, Turkey, the Philippines, Guatemala, El Salvador, and, of course, Chile. The horror the United States inflicted upon Chile in 1973 can never be purged and can never be forgiven.

“Hundreds of thousands of deaths took place throughout these countries. Did they take place? And are they in all cases attributable to US foreign policy? The answer is yes they did take place and they are attributable to American foreign policy. But you wouldn’t know it.

“It never happened. Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn’t happening. It didn’t matter. It was of no interest. The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people have actually talked about them. You have to hand it to America. It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It’s a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis.”

If in 2016 the world seems to be more violent and chaotic than ever, it is not because the United States lacks the will to use force or project power, as both major party candidates for President and their military advisers appear to believe, but because our leaders have placed too much stock in the illegal threat and use of force and have lost faith in the rule of law, international cooperation and diplomacy.

After a century of commercial dominance, and 75 years of investing disproportionately in weapons, military forces and geopolitical schemes, perhaps it is understandable that U.S. leaders have forgotten how to deal fairly and respectfully with our international neighbors. But it is no longer an option to muddle along, leaving a trail of death, ruin and chaos in our wake, counting on an elaborate propaganda machine to minimize the blowback on our country and our lives.

Sooner rather than later, Americans and our leaders must knuckle down and master the very different attitudes and skills we will need to become law-abiding global citizens in a peaceful, sustainable, multipolar world.

Nicolas J S Davies is the author of Blood On Our Hands: the American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq.  He also wrote the chapters on “Obama at War” in Grading the 44th President: a Report Card on Barack Obama’s First Term as a Progressive Leader.

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The Obama administration’s National Security Council has discussed proposals for a “Plan B” in Syria, involving a major escalation of the five-year-old US intervention aimed at toppling the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

“Plan B”—meant to signal Washington’s response to its failure to secure its goal of “regime change” by means of a negotiated agreement with Russia, the main ally of the Assad government—would involve significantly increasing the supply of weapons to the so-called rebels, a collection of Al Qaeda-linked Islamist militias. This would include the provision of antiaircraft weapons capable of shooting down not only Syrian government warplanes, but also those of the Russian air force.

The secret talks were convened in the context of the breakdown of a short-lived ceasefire agreement brokered between Washington and Moscow and the prospect of a Russian-backed Syrian government offensive overrunning the last urban stronghold of the Islamist forces in eastern Aleppo.

According to a report published Monday in the Washington Post, the National Security Council met at the White House October 14 to hear the proposals, but “neither approved nor rejected” them, reflecting sharp divisions within the US government and its military and intelligence complex.

Identified as strong supporters of “Plan B” were both US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and CIA Director John Brennan. According to the Post, they and other advocates of escalation argued that the “rebels” had to be reinforced because they constitute “the only force in Syria capable of prolonging the war and possibly pushing Moscow to abandon Assad as part of a political solution.”

The language is significant. It identifies a major strategic goal of US imperialism as that of “prolonging” a war that has already killed hundreds of thousands and displaced millions.

Carter is said to have advocated a “doubling down” of the CIA program in order “to inflict higher costs on Moscow for its intervention” in support of the Assad government.

Opponents of the plan, who apparently now include Secretary of State John Kerry, an earlier advocate of escalation, reportedly argued that an intervention aimed at bringing down Syrian and Russian warplanes would likely end in a direct confrontation between Washington and Moscow.

One senior administration official told the Post, “You can’t pretend you can go to war against Assad and not go to war against Russia.”

Another senior US official quoted by the Post acknowledged that the so-called Free Syrian Army, which has been armed, trained and paid by the CIA and Pentagon, as well as Washington’s regional allies, is “increasingly dominated by extremists,” i.e., Al Qaeda.

Among the major concerns voiced within US government circles about providing heavy weapons to the “rebels,” and particularly MANPADs, highly portable shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles, is that these Al Qaeda-linked forces will just as likely turn them against civilian passenger jets as Russian fighter planes.

The advocates of the escalation, according to the Post report, proposed “a compromise in which the CIA and its partners would deliver truck-mounted antiaircraft weapons that could help rebel units but would be difficult for a terrorist group to conceal and use against civilian aircraft.”

The fact that the heads of both the Pentagon and the CIA are at odds with the White House on the proposed “Plan B” raises the serious question of whether the powerful US military and intelligence apparatus will not find means to circumvent the administration’s policy in order to further an intervention in which they are deeply invested. One means of doing this would be to use regional allies, including Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar, which are already heavily involved in the war for regime change in Syria.

Moreover, it appears certain that an incoming administration led by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will introduce a change of course of Syria, opting for a more aggressive US military intervention.

In two debates with Republican rival Donald Trump, Clinton has voiced her support for the imposition of a “no-fly zone” in Syria on the pretext of humanitarian protection of civilians. The US military has warned that imposing such a zone would entail a military confrontation with Russia. Clinton herself, as revealed in a 2013 speech she delivered to Goldman Sachs released by WikiLeaks, acknowledged that creating such a zone would require extensive air strikes on government positions in densely populated areas in which “you’re going to kill a lot of Syrians.”

According to earlier reports, there is strong support from both Republican and Democratic wings of the US foreign policy establishment for an escalation in Syria.

Two pieces published in the Washington Post give a sense of the criminality of these layers. The first by the Post’s foreign policy columnist Josh Rogin and published Monday expresses support for the “interventionist side” of Clinton’s transition team, including “the Center for American Progress, the think tank founded by her campaign chairman, John Podesta, which last week released a report calling for the use of American air power to protect civilians in Syria.”

Rogin concludes the article exhorting Clinton to “accept the security and political risks that come with committing more American resources to ending the slaughter and confronting the regime and its partners.”

In an earlier op-ed piece published Saturday by the Post, John Allen, the retired Marine Corps general who headed US-led occupation forces in Afghanistan and was a speaker at the Democratic convention in July, endorsing Hillary Clinton, joined with Charles Lister of the Middle East Institute in lashing out at US policy in Syria, including “our unwillingness to tangle with the regime, and now with the Russians.”

The piece demands that the US government ratchet up the confrontation with Russia, first by “imposing an escalatory set of economic sanctions” against Moscow.

It continues: “The second option is one the Russians believe the United States will never do: Escalate the conflict. The United States must challenge the status quo and end the regime’s war crimes, by force if necessary.”

Washington, the article argues, “must both accelerate and broaden the provision of lethal and nonlethal assistance” to the so-called rebels. It goes on to advocate the formation of a “coalition of the willing,” the term coined by the Bush administration in preparing the criminal US war in Iraq, “to credibly threaten military actions against Assad’s military infrastructure.”

It acknowledges, “We should expect the possible intentional co-mingling of Syrian and Russian forces and assets,” but insists, “we should not miss the opportunity to hit offending Syrian elements and units.”

The piece concludes, “The credibility of the United States, as the leader and the defender of the free world, must be salvaged from the horrific devastation of Syria.”

The recklessness of such policies, aimed at deliberately provoking military confrontation with Russia, a power that controls the world’s second-largest arsenal of nuclear weapons, is staggering.

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A pipeline owned by the same company behind Dakota Access leaked 55,000 gallons of gasoline into a major river, endangering the drinking water of six million people.

A pipeline managed by Sunoco logistics burst Thursday night after heavy rainfall in Pennsylvania. The spill dumped 55,000 gallons of gasoline into Wallis Run, a tributary of the Loyalsock Creek that drains into the Susquehanna River. The breach was detected at 3 am when the pressure of the pipeline dropped significantly, leading Sunoco to shut down the pipeline. Though the pipeline has been shut down, the heavy rains that led to the leak are expected to continue, so the actual break in the pipeline will remain unidentified until the weather clears. The Pennsylvania water authorities have warned customers to refrain from using water from the river as a precaution. No official data has been released regarding how long the ban on water use will continue.

sunocospillpa

The Susquehanna had previously been declared the third most endangered river in the US by the NGO American Rivers. It has come under threat due to the development of the natural gas industry, particularly the practice of hydraulic fracturing or “fracking.” Fracking has caused major problems in the US due to the so-called “Cheney’s loophole” that exempts natural gas companies from the vast majority of US environmental regulations. Many other rivers in the US are endangered by fracking. American Rivers has said that fracking “poses one of the greatest risks our nation’s rivers have faced in decades. We are taking a major gamble on the clean drinking water for millions of Americans.”

A previous Sunoco spill dumped 63,000 gallons of crude oil into the Kentucky river.   Credit – Fortune

Though the recent floods have been blamed for the spill, some are calling this into question due to Sunoco’s lengthy history of poor pipeline management. Indeed, pipelines managed by Sunoco Logistics spill more frequently than another, with more than 200 recorded leaks since 2010. This is also not the first spill of a Sunoco pipeline in Pennsylvania. In 2008, an improperly installed valve “blew out” a pipeline in Murrysville, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh. Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection said that the area affected by the spill may never completely recover.

Sunoco is also a subsidiary of Energy Transfer Partners Limited, the company that also owns the controversial Dakota Access pipeline. The Dakota Access pipeline has been the site of a major protest against its construction, led by the Standing Rock Sioux with support from environmental activists and the United Nations.

The Sioux and others argue that the pipeline threatens their water supply as well as their sacred sites. The protests have been brutally suppressed on several occasions by both private security and state police. Also concerning is the fact that both US “duopoly” presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, are major advocates of fracking and pipeline construction, suggesting that – unless the general public stands up – the US’ fossil-fuel nightmare could quickly become worse as soon as January.

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Yesterday, 1,250 riot police backed up by over 2,000 other security forces surrounded the “Jungle” refugee camp in Calais, France and began to forcibly expel its residents and destroy the camp.

The operation had started the night before. Police wearing armor and armed with shields and batons surrounded and marched around the camp, which houses 7,000 refugees fleeing impoverished, war-torn countries of Africa, Asia and the Middle East and trying to reach Britain.

In the early morning, police fired tear gas to crush protests that erupted as dozens of refugees lit fires and tried to fight off the security forces, throwing rocks and bottles. Thousands of refugees were then herded into processing zones, many with only light jackets or sandals to wear despite the cold, to be loaded onto buses and transferred to so-called Orientation and Greeting Centers (CAO) across France.

By the end of the day, according to Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, police had taken 1,918 refugees out of the refugee camp, loaded onto 45 buses.

This is only the prelude to an all-out assault to crush the resistance of those refugees, including women and children, who intend to remain in the camp to the end, to keep trying to reach Britain. Le Monde wrote, “When, on Thursday or Friday, all the volunteer migrants will have taken the bus, only the recalcitrant ones will remain. ‘Then, we will be finished with the humanitarian operation,’ said one official. The police operation will begin.”

With unparalleled cynicism, France’s Socialist Party (PS) government is hailing the police assault on the “Jungle” and the forcible deportation of refugees to CAOs as a “humanitarian” operation. In fact, it is a drastic attack on fundamental democratic rights to asylum that has long been demanded by the neo-fascist National Front (FN).

The operation, Cazeneuve said, would “provide shelter to those who can justifiably obtain refugee status in France and who should not be in a precarious, vulnerable situation in Calais, in the hands of people traffickers who are real actors of the trade in human beings.”

State authorities brought in hundreds of journalists to give wall-to-wall coverage of the police operation that focused on the busing, while keeping silent on the police assaults and echoing PS claims that it is a “humanitarian” enterprise.

The Pas-de-Calais police prefecture’s press release stated, “Over 700 journalists are now accredited. They can rely on the services of the Pas-de-Calais prefecture, who are doing their best to reconcile journalists’ ability to report on the operation and the continuation of the operation itself, in the interests of the migrants.”

The PS’s claim that the assault on the “Jungle” aims to protect refugees is an odious political lie. Together with the British government, which refuses to admit most of the refugees, it is carrying out a drastic attack on democratic rights. The anti-refugee operation aims to divide the workers with the anti-immigrant hatreds that the ruling class is stoking across Europe, and to appeal to the only social base the PS retains after being discredited by its policies of austerity and war—namely, the police.

Despite the appalling conditions that prevailed in the “Jungle,” where refugees were forced to live in tents and with minimal resources, they will face even more difficult and uncertain conditions once they are scattered across hundreds of tiny camps in villages and towns across France.

The UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) stressed that the estimated 1,200 children in the “Jungle” will be at risk from the clearing of the camp. UNHCR spokesman Adrian Edwards said aid to those displaced by the operation was vital, so “that children don’t move on to other destinations and risk becoming exploited by human traffickers or end up living in the streets without any support.” He stressed the need to reunite children with any relatives now living in Europe.

At the request of the French police, British authorities cut off even the trickle of admissions of refugees into Britain as the assault on the “Jungle” began. In recent days, around 200 children had been brought to Britain, including 60 girls.

“Due to planned operational activity in Calais, and at the request of the French authorities, we have reluctantly agreed that the transfer process will be temporarily paused,” a British Home Office spokesman said.

The closure of the “Jungle” is part of a reactionary European Union (EU) policy of closing its borders and denying asylum to the tens of millions of people who are fleeing imperialist wars and ethnic conflict in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Sudan and beyond. This has led to thousands of deaths, as refugees piled into unseaworthy ships drowned in the Mediterranean—an outcome EU officials tacitly welcome, insofar as they have declared that refugee deaths could dissuade others from attempting the journey.

The significance of this barbaric policy goes beyond the number of refugees who have died, or who are being deported from Calais. As the European imperialist powers escalate their participation in unpopular US-led wars across the Middle East, they are massively building up police powers at home. Nowhere is this more obvious than France, where the PS has imposed a state of emergency after terror attacks carried out in Paris by Islamist networks mobilized in NATO’s war in Syria.

While refugees, immigrants and Muslims are currently the main target of the police in France, the central target is the working class. Already, masses of French youth and workers were targeted in brutal assaults by riot police when they protested the PS’s reactionary labor law this spring.

A central component of this political offensive is the PS’s promotion of neo-fascism’s historical legacy and political program. After trying to inscribe in the constitution the principle of deprivation of nationality—the legal pretext for the deportation of Jews from Nazi-Occupied France in World War II, long defended only by the far right—the PS recently adopted another FN proposal, to create a National Guard. Its purpose, ominously, is to assist the army in military operations on French soil.

Now, the PS is adopting another longstanding FN demand: the closure of refugee camps housing refugees trying to reach Britain in northern France. Yesterday, the FN supported the assault on the “Jungle” but demanded that the PS expel the refugees. “The solution is not distributing them among smaller camps, it’s expulsion,” said FN official Nicolas Bay. “We should above all keep them from coming in before we prevent them from leaving to go to England.”

It will not be long before the PS or its successor again turns the police apparatus against opposition in the working class to social austerity and war. It doubtless hopes that, by giving the police free rein for a reactionary assault on defenseless refugees in Calais, it will further strengthen them for their next attack against refugees, or against social protests by workers and youth at home.

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Selected Articles: The Iran Nuclear Deal – Debunking A Myth

octobre 25th, 2016 by Global Research News

Iran-US-nuclear

The Iran Nuclear Deal – Debunking A Myth. A Short List of “Negative” US Foreign Policy Decisions

By Don L. Durivan, October 24 2016

With the first anniversary of the Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA,  recently having passed, and the Obama Administration near its end, this seems to be a good time to consider one (there are a number) of the myths about the deal, and put it soundly to bed. Within the Obama Administration and in fact among those within the Beltway that support the JCPOA is the notion that “Iran needs the agreement, but we want it”.

Nuclear-War-Weapons

The Real Dangers of Nuclear War: Will the UN General Assembly Resolution To Prohibit Nuclear Weapons “Change Anything Before It Is Too Late”?

By Carla Stea, October 25 2016

This week the United Nations General Assembly will vote on Resolution A/C.1/71/L.41 which states: “12.  Calls upon States participating in the conference to make their best endeavours to conclude as soon as possible a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination.” The glacial speed with which General Assembly resolutions are implemented is notorious.  This new resolution, entitled “Taking Forward Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament Negotiations” can be considered, at least, cosmetic progress.

United-States-US-Military-Bases-Asia-1-400x273

Washington’s ‘Pivot to Asia’: A Debacle Unfolding

By Prof. James Petras, October 25 2016

In 2012 President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Ashton Carter launched a new chapter in their quest for global dominance:  a realignment of policies designed to shift priorities from the Middle East to Asia.  Dubbed the ‘Pivot to Asia’, it suggested that the US would concentrate its economic, military and diplomatic resources toward strengthening its dominant position and undercutting China’s rising influence in the region.

Abayomi Azikiwe Speaks at the International League of Peoples Struggle US Chapter National Conference, Chicago Oct. 22, 2016 (Photo by Danielle Boachie)

Building Anti-Imperialist Solidarity in the United States: The Need for Internationalism

By Abayomi Azikiwe, October 25 2016

There is a fundamental weakness in the peoples’ movement in the United States and that is the necessity for anti-imperialist internationalism. The struggles against racism, national oppression and class exploitation cannot be separated from the need to end Washington’s and Wall Street’s interference in the internal affairs of most states throughout the world. In order to win recognition in these monumental struggles it is heavily dependent upon the degree to which we can create widespread awareness of the plight of the people of color communities and the working class in general.

hungary uprising

Manipulating Uprisings: Hungary 1956

By Dr. Binoy Kampmark, October 25 2016

Magic, and tragic years, tend to fill the calendar of commemoration for central European patriots. There are religious intercessions; guiding symbols; omens.  Then there are the calamities, the crushing battles that empty entire classes and countries. For Hungary, a country ever dreamy and mournful about such events, there are two notable disasters of rollicking value.

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Dénouer l’écheveau Alep–Mossoul

octobre 25th, 2016 by Pepe Escobar

Il ne fait aucun doute que Bagdad a besoin de reprendre Mossoul à EI / EIIL / Daech. Il ne pouvait pas le faire avant. En théorie, c’est le moment.

La vraie question ce sont les motivations contradictoires du grand who’s who de qui fait quoi. Au choix – et dans le désordre – la 9e division de l’armée irakienne, les peshmergas kurdes sous la houlette de  l’opportuniste corrompu et rusé Barzani, les seigneurs tribaux sunnites, les dizaines de milliers de milices chiites du sud de l’Irak, le support opérationnel des Forces spéciales américaines, les bombardements ciblés par l’US Air Force ou, planquées en coulisse, les forces spéciales turques et leur puissance aérienne.

Voilà une recette certifiée pour garantir les ennuis.

Tout comme Alep, Mossoul est – littéralement – une affaire de légende. Elle succède à l’ancienne Ninive, installée il y a 8 000 ans, ancienne capitale de l’empire assyrien sous Sennacheribin au VIIe siècle av. J.-C., conquise par Babylone au VIe siècle av. J.-C., annexée mille ans plus tard à l’empire musulman gouverné par les Omeyyades et les Abbassides, la plaque tournante, du XIe au XIIe siècle, de l’État médiéval Atabegs, un carrefour ottoman clé sur l’ancienne Route de la soie au XVIe siècle couvrant tout le chemin de l’océan Indien au golfe Persique puis par la vallée du Tigre, jusqu’à Alep et Tripoli sur la Méditerranée.

Après la Première Guerre mondiale, tout le monde aspirait à Mossoul – de la Turquie à la France. Mais ce sont les Britanniques qui ont réussi à duper la France en laissant l’Irak, nouvelle colonie de l’Empire britannique, annexer Mossoul. Puis vint la longue domination du parti nationaliste arabe Ba’ath. En 2003, après l’opération Shock and Awe et son enfer, vint l’invasion puis l’occupation par les États-Unis, pour finir avec le tumultueux gouvernement à majorité chiite de Nouri al-Maliki à Bagdad et la prise de contrôle par EI / EIIL / Daech à l’été 2014.

Les parallèles historiques concernant Mossoul ne pouvaient pas ne pas avoir une saveur particulière. L’État médiéval du XIe / XIIe siècle se trouvait avoir à peu près les mêmes frontières que l’actuel faux Califat de Daech – incorporant à la fois Alep et Mossoul. En 2004, Mossoul a été de facto dirigée par le disgracié et failli général David Petraeus à stature présidentielle. Dix ans plus tard, après le ressaut bidon du «surge» de Petraeus, Mossoul a été gouvernée par un Califat, tout aussi bidon, inventé [par les US et d’anciens cadres de l’armée irakienne vaincue, NdT] dans une prison américaine près de la frontière koweïtienne.

Depuis lors, des centaines de milliers d’habitants ont fui Mossoul. La population d’environ deux millions à l’origine est peut être divisée par deux. Cela fait encore beaucoup pour pouvoir être correctement libérée.

Alep tombe

Le récit hégémonique au sujet de la bataille qui continue à l’Est d’Alep est le suivant: un axe du mal – nouvelle trouvaille d’Hillary Clinton [après l’axe du même nom de G.W. Bush, passé de mode et relooké, avec la Russie, mais sans l’Irak, NdT] – composé de la Russie, de l’Iran et du régime syrien bombarde sans répit des civils innocents et des rebelles modéréstout en provoquant une crise humanitaire terrible.

La majorité absolue de ces plusieurs milliers de rebelles modérés est en fait incorporée et/ou affiliée à Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (Front de Conquête de la Syrie), qui se trouve être nul autre que Jabhat al-Nusra, alias al-Qaïda en Syrie, aux côtés d’un babillage d’autres groupes djihadistes tels que Ahrar al-Sham. Les objectifs d’al-Nusra – et de ceux qui les soutiennent – sont entièrement documentés ici.

Pendant ce temps, quelques civils restent piégés dans l’Est d’Alep – sans doute pas plus de 30 000 ou 40 000 sur une population initiale de 300 000.

Et cela nous amène au cœur de la question expliquant le sabotage, par le Pentagone, de la trêve russo-américaine, les crises de rage de Samantha Power la cinglée, aveuglée par le pouvoir, et le baratin non-stop selon lequel la Russie est en train de commettre des crimes de guerre.

Si Damas contrôle, en dehors de la capitale, Alep, Homs, Hama et Lattaquié, il contrôle la Syrie qui compte 70% de la population et tous les centres industriels et commerciaux importants, alors la partie est pratiquement jouée : game over. Le reste au-delà est rural, presque vide.

Pour les poulets sans tête de la politique étrangère pratiquée actuellement par l’administration du canard boiteux Obama, le cessez-le-feu était un moyen de gagner du temps et de réarmer ce que Washington décrit comme des rebelles modérés. Pourtant, même cela était trop pour le Pentagone, qui fait face à une alliance Syrie / Iran / Russie déterminée à lutter contre toutes les déclinaisons de salafistes-djihadistes déments – quelle que soit leur terminologie – et se sont engagés à maintenir une Syrie unitaire.

Donc, reconquérir la totalité de la ville d’Alep doit être la priorité absolue de Damas, Téhéran et Moscou. Au-delà, l’Armée arabe syrienne (SAA) ne sera jamais assez forte pour reconquérir militairement l’arrière pays rural ultra-sunnite inconditionnel. Damas ne pourra également jamais reconquérir le nord kurde, le Kurdistan syrien embryonnaire. Après tout le YPG [milice kurde] est directement soutenu par le Pentagone. Qu’un Kurdistan syrien indépendant puisse jamais voir le jour sera un problème interminable à résoudre dans l’avenir.

La SAA, l’armée syrienne, une fois de plus, est extrêmement surchargée. Ainsi, la méthode pour reconquérir l’est d’Alep est vraiment extrêmement dure. Il y a une crise humanitaire. Il y a des dommages collatéraux. Et cela ne fait que commencer. Parce que tôt ou tard, la SAA, soutenue par le Hezbollah et les milices chiites irakiennes, devra reconquérir l’est d’Alep avec des bottes sur le terrain – soutenue par des avions de combat russes.

Le cœur de la question est que l’ancienne Armée syrienne libre, absorbée par al-Qaïda en Syrie et d’autres salafistes-djihadistes, est sur le point de perdre l’est d’Alep. Le changement de régime à Damas – d’où «Assad doit partir» – par la voie militaire est maintenant impossible. De là le désespoir total manifesté par Ash Carter, le chef du Pentagone – Empereur des pleurnicheurs –, par les cellules néocons implantées partout dans l’équipe du canard boiteux Obama, et leurs hordes de collabos médiatiques.

Entre en piste le plan B : la bataille de Mossoul.

Fallujah revisité ?

Le plan du Pentagone est trompeusement simple. Effacer tous les signes de présence de Damas et de son armée, la SAA, à l’est de Palmyre. Et c’est là que la bataille de Mossoul converge avec la récente attaque aérienne du Pentagone sur Deir Ezzor [tuant plus de 80 soldats syriens, NdT]. Même si nous avons une offensive dans les prochains mois contre Raqqa, menée par les Kurdes du YPG ou même par les forces turques, nous aurons encore une principauté salafiste depuis l’est de la Syrie jusqu’à l’Irak occidental, tout cela regroupé, exactement comme la Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA ) l’avait planifié – rêvé ? – en 2012.

L’historien syrien basé à Londres Nizar Nayyouf, ainsi que des sources diplomatiques anonymes, ont confirmé que Washington et Riyad ont conclu un accord pour laisser des milliers de djihadistes du faux Califat s’échapper de Mossoul vers l’ouest, aussi longtemps qu’ils se dirigent directement vers la Syrie. Un regard sur la carte de bataille nous montre que Mossoul est complètement encerclée… sauf à l’ouest.

Et le Sultan Erdogan dans tout ça ? Il a imaginé que les forces spéciales turques entreront dans Mossoul, tout comme elles sont entrées dans Jarablus à la frontière turco-syrienne, sans tirer un coup de feu, quand la ville sera nettoyée des djihadistes.

Pendant ce temps, Ankara prépare son entrée spectaculaire dans le champ de bataille, avec Erdogan, en pleine majesté dans son accoutrement sultanesque, tirant au hasard tout autour de lui. En effet, pour lui, Bagdad n’est rien d’autre que «l’administrateur d’une armée de chiites» et les Kurdes du YPG «seront expulsés de la ville syrienne de Manbij»après l’opération de Mossoul. Sans oublier que Ankara et Washington discutent activement d’une offensive contre Raqqa, alors qu’Erdogan n’a pas abandonné son rêve d’unezone de sécurité de 5 000 km2 dans le nord de la Syrie.

En un mot, pour Erdogan, Mossoul est une distraction. Ses priorités demeurent une Syrie fracturée et fragmentée, zone de sécurité incluse, et l’écrasement des Kurdes du YPG – tout en travaillant côte à côte avec les peshmergas [combattants kurdes] en Irak.

En ce qui concerne le Plan B américain, le cheikh Nasrallah du Hezbollah a clairement décelé l’ensemble du dispositif. «Les Américains ont l’intention de répéter l’intrigue de Fallujah, quand ils avaient ouvert une voie à EIIL pour s’échapper à l’est vers la Syrie avant que les avions de guerre irakiens ne viennent cibler les convois terroristes.» Il a ajouté que «l’armée irakienne et les forces populaires» doivent vaincre EI / EIIL / Daech à Mossoul,  sinon, ils devront les pourchasser dans l’est de la Syrie.

Il n’est également pas étonnant que le ministre russe des Affaires étrangères Sergueï Lavrov ait clairement vu le Grand Schéma : «Pour autant que je sache, la ville n’est pas complètement encerclée. J’espère que c’est tout simplement parce qu’ils ne peuvent pas le faire, et non parce qu’ils ne le veulent pas. Mais ce corridor pose le risque de voir les combattants d’État islamique fuir Mossoul et aller en Syrie.»

Il est clair que Moscou ne restera pas les bras croisés si tel est le cas : «J’espère que la coalition menée par les USA, qui est activement engagée dans l’opération pour prendre Mossoul, va le prendre en compte.»

Bien sûr, Mossoul – plus encore que d’Alep – pose une question humanitaire grave.

Le Comité international de la Croix-Rouge (CICR) estime que jusqu’à un million de personnes risquent d’être affectées. Lavrov va droit au but quand il insiste sur le fait que «ni l’Irak, ni ses voisins n’ont actuellement la capacité d’accueillir un si grand nombre de réfugiés, et cela aurait dû être un facteur dans la planification de l’opération de Mossoul».

Ce n’est peut être pas le cas. Après tout, pour la Coalition dirigée par les US – de derrière ? –, la priorité numéro un est d’assurer la survie du Califat bidon, quelque part dans l’est de la Syrie. Plus de quinze ans après le 9/11, la chanson reste la même, avec la guerre contre la terreur, cadeau vivace qui continue à fonctionner.

Pepe Escobar

 

Article original en anglais : The Aleppo/Mosul Riddle, Strategic Culture, 20 octobre 2016

Traduit et édité par jj, relu par Cat 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.

Le 13 octobre, la chaîne de télévision TF1 a organisé un premier débat entre les candidats à l’investiture du parti de droite Les Républicains (LR) pour la présidentielle de 2017, dont le vote aura lieu du 20 au 27 novembre. Le débat, le premier événement majeur de la campagne présidentielle française de 2017, regardé par 5 millions de téléspectateurs, a confirmé le fait que toute la classe dirigeante a l’intention de faire en sorte que l’incitation du sentiment anti-musulmans et le régime d’État policier deviennent des caractéristiques permanentes de la vie politique.

Les candidats, tout en évitant soigneusement toute mention de la guerre syrienne et du risque croissant d’une guerre de l’OTAN avec la Russie au sujet de la Syrie, ont unanimement soutenu les attaques profondes contre les droits sociaux des travailleurs, et les mesures d’État policier telles que l’état d’urgence actuelle.

Les sept candidats comprennent le favori, l’ancien Premier ministre Alain Juppé, l’ancien président Nicolas Sarkozy, et d’autres candidats plus mineurs qu’ils devancent dans les sondages.

Dans une première déclaration expliquant pourquoi il brigue la présidence, Juppé a déclaré : « Je veux d’abord restaurer l’autorité de l’État et la dignité de la fonction présidentielle ». Il a appelé à « un État fort contre le terrorisme et l’immigration illégale, éliminer le fléau du chômage, lever les obstacles à la création d’emplois ; rénover en profondeur de notre système de formation ».

Cela revient essentiellement à poursuivre la mise en place de l’État policier, des mesures d’austérité et des cadeaux aux grandes entreprises effectués par le gouvernement actuel du Parti socialiste (PS) discrédité. Juppé a appelé à jusqu’à 100 milliards d’euros de coupes budgétaires, à la prolongation de l’âge de la retraite de 62 à 65 ans, à 28 milliards d’euros de réductions d’impôt pour les entreprises, à des coupes dans les prestations familiales, à la suppression de 250 000 emplois du secteur public, et au renforcement des services de sécurité, notamment la police et la gendarmerie.

Les propositions économiques réactionnaires de Juppé ne se distinguent guère de celles de Sarkozy, qui a bâti sa campagne autour d’appels à l’identité ethnique française et d’appels aux sentiments néo-fascistes. Sarkozy s’est engagé à éliminer purement et simplement l’impôt sur la fortune qui concerne les individus dont la valeur nette est de plus de 1,3 millions d’euros, et à supprimer 300 000 emplois du secteur public.

Juppé veut aussi donner des pouvoirs extraordinaires aux autorités policières. Il soutient les appels de Sarkozy à l’internement des personnes avec des fichiers « S », c’est-à-dire, celles que les services de renseignement ont classées comme menaces à la sécurité nationale française, sur la base d’un contrôle judiciaire. Ils ont tous deux préconisé des mesures sévères pour bloquer les immigrants qui arrivent en France et pour expulser les immigrants sans papiers.

Le débat fut largement axé sur la stigmatisation des musulmans. Le candidat Bruno Le Maire a appelé à « combattre l’islam politique », insistant pour que le port de la burqa soit un crime.

Sarkozy, qui a introduit l’interdiction de la burqa quand il était au pouvoir, veut étendre l’interdiction du voile musulman dans les écoles aux universités, aux hôpitaux et à toutes les institutions publiques.

Juppé a parfois exprimé des préoccupations concernant la domination de la campagne présidentielle par l’agitation anti-immigrés et anti-musulmans, adressant des critiques légères de ses rivaux. Cependant, il continue à soutenir les mesures qui ciblent les musulmans et les immigrés.

Juppé se positionne lui-même pour profiter d’un effondrement du PS aux élections en raison de son impopularité. L’on s’attend à ce que le PS soit éliminé au premier tour, et que le Front national (FN) néo-fasciste passe facilement au deuxième tour, se retrouvant face à un candidat de droite. Juppé se présente comme le candidat le plus « modéré », capable de rallier au second tour les électeurs déçus du PS, ainsi que les électeurs de droite, contre Marine Le Pen la candidate du Front national.

Il se tourne vers les électeurs déçus du président PS François Hollande avec des appels vagues pour construire « le chemin de l’espérance ». C’est devenu la base d’une campagne médiatique internationale pour présenter Juppé comme en quelque sorte une alternative acceptable au tournant de LR vers la droite extrême.

Après le débat, Süddeutsche Zeitung a écrit : « Non, tous les candidats LR n’accompagnent pas cette marche vers la droite. Alain Juppé, le libéral conservateur favori dans la primaire, s’oppose quelque peu aux excès de Sarkozy. Il met en garde contre une « guerre civile » et ne veut pas exclure collectivement tous les musulmans ».

Yves-Marie Cann du cabinet de conseil politique Elabe, a déclaré à BFM TV : « Alain Juppé, de par ses déclarations, son style de campagne, apparaît plus modéré qu’un Nicolas Sarkozy qui est plus dans l’invective, et peut avoir des propos caricaturaux. Juppé semble davantage faire appel à la raison et tient une posture beaucoup plus équilibrée dans ce qu’il donne à voir au grand public ».

L’idée que Juppé est une alternative « modérée » à Sarkozy est une illusion politique. Bien sûr, au milieu de l’émergence d’un système électoral tripartite en France entre les électeurs PS, LR et FN, il s’oriente plutôt pour gagner des voix PS, alors que Sarkozy est plus clairement à la recherche de votes FN. Cependant, sur les questions fondamentales de guerre, d’austérité et d’attaques sur les droits démocratiques auxquelles sont confrontés les travailleurs en France et en Europe, les différences entre les trois principaux partis sont minimes.

Le PS a alimenté l’hystérie anti-musulmans et sécuritaire après les attentats terroristes de Paris menés par les réseaux islamistes utilisés par les puissances de l’OTAN dans leur guerre de changement de régime en Syrie. Hollande a repris une grande partie du programme du FN en imposant un état d’urgence, la formation d’une garde nationale, et la tentative de légitimer la politique de déchéance de la nationalité telle qu’elle était pratiquée sous l’occupation nazie, comme il a cherché à façonner une base politique afin d’imposer des guerres et des mesures d’austérité impopulaires.

Sarkozy et Juppé ont tous les deux géré des gouvernements discrédités qui ont mené des attaques profondes contre la classe ouvrière. S’ils viennent à être élus, les deux agiraient immédiatement pour imposer des guerres, des mesures d’austérité et des attaques contre les droits démocratiques.

En tant que premier ministre sous le président Jacques Chirac, Juppé a introduit des réformes libérales attaquant le système de sécurité sociale, ce qui a provoqué les grèves des chemins de fer de novembre-décembre 1995.

En tant que président de 2007 à 2012, Sarkozy a imposé une série de mesures d’austérité pendant la crise économique mondiale de 2008, a fermé de nombreuses usines, et a introduit des réformes favorables aux entreprises, y compris la réforme des retraites qui a provoqué la grève pétrolière de 2010. Ministre des Affaires étrangères sous Sarkozy, Juppé a joué un rôle clé dans le lancement de la guerre de Sarkozy en Libye, sous le couvert frauduleux de la protection des droits de l’Homme et des civils libyens.

Kumaran Ira

Article paru en anglais, WSWS, le 24 octobre 2016

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The video below highlights President Vladimir Putin’s keynote presentation at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum, June 2016, including his conversations with members of the media.

Putin reviews the confrontation between Washington and Moscow and highlights the real dangers of nuclear war.

« Today, there is no instrument in international law that prevents the possibility of mutually assured destruction. Putin has been sending out warnings for over 10 years – all of which fell on deaf ears. »

English sub-titles and analysis (below): our thanks to Fort Russ

Nobody has anything to gain from a nuclear stand-off against Russia. The power hungry decision-makers are few in number, but powerful enough to have subverted mainstream media to misrepresent Russia as the main threat to international security.

Back in 2007, Putin informed the Western world that Russia will develop its weaponry to counter US advances. This was said in response to the US missile defense system that was starting to be developed at the time (previously prohibited in international law.)

With the NATO missile defense system on Russia’s doorstep – the threat to international security is very real; not that you would know it via mainstream Murdoch media.

In 2002, the United States unilaterally and without consultation, withdrew from the landmark Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty. President George W. Bush noted that the treaty is “now behind us,” describing the ABM Treaty as a Cold War relic.

Signed in 1972, the ABM Treaty barred both the US and the USSR from deploying national defenses against long-range ballistic missiles. The treaty was based on the premise that if either superpower constructed a strategic defense, the other would build up its offensive nuclear forces to offset the defense.

The superpowers would therefore quickly be put on a path toward a never-ending offensive-defensive arms race, as each tried to balance its counterpart’s actions. Until Bush took office, the Treaty was referred to as a “cornerstone of strategic stability” because it facilitated later agreements, reducing U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear arsenals.

The US, assuming that a weakened Russia will never again be in a position to counter US hegemonic power, proceeded to encroach on Russia’s borders through its manipulation of NATO objectives.

Today, there is no instrument in international law that prevents the possibility of mutually assured destruction. Putin has been sending out warnings for over 10 years – all of which fell on deaf ears.

Who will push the button first?

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Patti chiari, sudditanza lunga

octobre 25th, 2016 by Manlio Dinucci

Dopo aver chiamato gli italiani a votare Sì al referendum, ingerendosi nella nostra politica nazionale col complice silenzio dell’opposizione parlamentare, il presidente Obama ha confermato al «buon amico Matteo» che con l’Italia gli Usa hanno «patti chiari, amicizia lunga».

Non c’è dubbio che i patti siano chiari, anzitutto il Patto atlantico che sottomette l’Italia agli Usa. Il Comandante supremo alleato in Europa viene sempre nominato dal Presidente degli Stati uniti d’America e sono in mano agli Usa tutti gli altri comandi chiave.

Dopo la fine della guerra fredda, in seguito alla disgregazione dell’Urss, Washington affermava la «fondamentale importanza di preservare la Nato quale canale della influenza e partecipazione statunitensi negli affari europei, impedendo la creazione di dispositivi unicamente europei che minerebbero la struttura di comando dell’Alleanza», ossia il comando Usa. Concetto ribadito dal segretario della Nato Stoltenberg nella recente tavola rotonda sulla «grande idea di Europa»: «Dobbiamo assicurare che il rafforzamento della difesa europea non costituisca un duplicato della Nato, non divenga una alternativa alla Nato». A garanzia di ciò c’è il fatto che 22 dei 28 paesi della Ue (21 su 27 dopo l’uscita della Gran Bretagna) fanno parte della Nato sotto comando Usa, riconosciuta dall’Unione europea quale «fondamento della difesa collettiva».

La politica estera e militare della Ue è quindi fondamentalmente subordinata alla strategia statunitense, su cui convergono le potenze europee i cui contrasti d’interesse si ricompattano quando entra in gioco il loro interesse fondamentale: mantenere il predominio dell’Occidente, sempre più vacillante di fronte all’emergere di nuovi soggetti statuali e sociali. Basti pensare che l’Organizzazione di Shanghai per la cooperazione, nata dall’accordo strategico cino-russo, dispone di risorse tali da farne la maggiore area economica integrata del mondo.

Nel quadro della strategia Usa/Nato – documenta la Casa Bianca –  l’Italia si distingue quale «saldo e attivo alleato degli Stati uniti». Lo dimostra il fatto che «l’Italia ospita oltre 30 mila militari e funzionari civili del Dipartimento Usa della difesa in installazioni dislocate in tutto il paese».

Allo stesso tempo l’Italia è «partner degli Usa per la sicurezza globale», fornendo forze militari e finanziamenti per una vasta gamma di «sfide»: in Kossovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libia, Siria, Baltico e altrove, ossia ovunque è stata e viene impiegata la macchina da guerra Usa/Nato.

Un ultimo fatto conferma quale sia il rapporto Usa-Italia: stanno per arrivare alla base di Amendola in Puglia, probabilmente l’8 novembre, i primi due dei 90 caccia F-35 della statunitense Lockheed Martin, che l’Italia si è impegnata ad acquistare.

Il costo della partecipazione dell’Italia al programma F-35, quale partner di secondo livello, è ufficialemente quantificato nella Legge di stabilità 2016: 12 miliardi 356 milioni di euro di denaro pubblico, più altre spese per le continue modifiche al caccia che ancora non è pienamente operativo e necessiterà di continui ammodernamenti. Nonostante ciò – conferma Analisi Difesa – l’Italia avrà una «sovranità limitata» sugli stessi F-35 della propria aeronautica. Una legge statunitense vieta che i «dati di missione» (i software di gestione dei sistemi di combattimento dei caccia) siano comunicati ad altri. Saranno dunque  gli Usa a controllare gli F-35 italiani, predisposti per l’uso delle nuove bombe nucleari B61-12 che il Pentagono schiererà contro la Russia, al posto delle attuali B-61, sul nostro territorio «nazionale».

Manlio Dinucci

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The Grenada Revolution Can Teach Us About People’s Power

octobre 25th, 2016 by Dr. Ajamu Nangwaya

The collapse of the Grenadian Revolution on 19 October 1983[1] should be carefully examined for the lessons that it might offer to organizers in the Caribbean who are currently organizing with the labouring classes. If the working-class shall be the architect of its liberation, the process of revolution-making should enable them to fulfill that role. Fundamental change should not be the outcome of a vanguard force that usurps the initiative of the people. Self-emancipation of the people, as advocated by Walter Rodney and C. L. R. James, is the prudent and humanistic approach to struggle, if “all power to the people” is not simply an exercise in empty sloganeering.

The Grenadian Revolution of 1979-1983 was the most significant revolutionary political development or experimentation in the post-independence Anglophone Caribbean. This Caribbean revolution broke away from the inherited Westminster political governance of British imperialism and embraced the ideological path of revolutionary state socialism. The latter path was a rejection of capitalism that is associated with genocide, slavery, indentureship and continued neocolonialism in the Caribbean.

Ken Boodhoo makes this assessment of the legacy of the Grenadian Revolution: “The 1979-1983 experiment in Grenada will undoubtedly be regarded by historians as one of the major progressive mile-stones in the region’s history.”[2] This revolution was the result of centuries of resistance to capitalist exploitation, anti-African racism, oppression of women and European domination in the Caribbean.[3] This Grenadian Revolution was greeted with enthusiasm and solidarity within the ranks of progressive forces across the Americas.

Unfortunately, internal conflicts over political direction and organisational leadership structures and practices within the New Jewel Movement (NJM) between its two major leaders, Prime Minister Maurice and Deputy Prime Minister Bernard Coard, led to a palace coup and the disarming of the revolution and the people.[4]

On 19 October 1983, the army fired on the people, executed Bishop and other leaders (Jacqueline Creft, Norris Bain, Fitzroy Bain, Unison Whiteman and Vincent Noel) and imposed a four-day round-the-clock curfew on the country. The leaders and civilians were murdered after the people released Bishop from house arrest and stormed Fort Rupert, the army’s headquarters.

The Revolutionary Military Council was declared the new sheriff in town on 20 October 1983 and the people were effectively chased away from the staging of history as its principal actors.[5] This repressive development officially communicated to the people that power was never located in their mass organizations and workers, zonal, and parish councils, the erstwhile grassroots democratic organs of the Grenadian Revolution. The men and women at the top of the NJM’s organisational food chain, a distinct minority, were and have always been the effective rulers of revolutionary Grenada, notwithstanding the leadership’s claim that it was constructing a system wherein the people are the decision-makers.[6]

The means that we use to pursue or achieve revolutionary outcomes will unavoidably shape the processes, relations, programmes and political, economic and social institutions in the emancipated society. When some revolutionaries dismiss the general operationalising of the notion “the end justifies the means” or “by any means necessary,” their concerns or critiques extend beyond an action that might not be guided by a moral code of action.

These revolutionaries are preoccupied with the real fear that the means unguided by strict moral or ethical guidelines could undermine the goals and practices that are the foundation of the very society being pursued by the forces of human emancipation. With respect to the Grenadian Revolution, authoritarian means could not have given birth to the following end – the self-emancipation of the people. Effective control, initiative and power must be in the hands of the working-class in order for it to carry out the tasks associated with the development of a socialist society.

The NJM mimicked the organizational processes, structures and beliefs and spirit of the Leninist model of organising the people for revolution. It went in this direction after the failure of the series of mass protest actions of 1974 and January 1975 to overthrow the entrenched, authoritarian and repressive Eric Gairy regime, even with one mass protest that attracted 20,000 participants. The expected spontaneous uprising of the masses did not materialize and the NJM looked for other models of fomenting a successful insurrection.

After 1974, the NJM embraced the idea and practice of the Leninist vanguard party with its restrictive and exacting membership criteria, a hierarchical, commandist organisational structure and a conspiratorial, secretive ethos.[7] This approach to the exercise of power was maintained during the tenure of the People’s Revolutionary Government of 1979-1983.

During the present period of struggle, it is critically important for organisers to centre self-emancipation or the people taking centre stage in the theorizing and practical actions that are executed in the movements for peace, dignity, justice, respect and socialism. The Grenadian Revolution has taught us that power-from-above as expressed through a vanguard party and an all-powerful state coupled with community-based consultative structures is not a substitute for the direct exercise of power by the working-class and other oppressed groups.

Based on the accumulated experience of the working-class with revolutionary or radical parties that have captured state power, it should be clear that the power to make the final economic, social and political decisions are usually sequestered in the hands of the politicians, party bosses and the bureaucracy. Today’s organisers cannot ignore the fact that top-down decision-making structures are a fundamental character of the state. The preceding state of affairs is hostile to the possibility of the people shaping the decisions that impact their lives.

The revolutionary socialist or communist society will be a stateless one. If means are ends in a state of becoming that which is self-consciously desired or planned, the state with its hierarchy, centralist nature and power-from-above tendencies cannot serve as the instrument for engendering socialism. Since 1917 to today, we have almost one hundred years of revolutionary history to examine the capacity of the state to engender the self-organisation of the masses. The venerable Caribbean Marxist C. L. R. James was also skeptical of the ability of the state to promote socialism with the self-management of the people over the workplace and the rest of society’s critical institutions.[8]

The programmes, projects and institutions that emerge from the organising work of the revolutionary organizers in the Caribbean should reflect the participatory democratic or self-emancipatory principles and practices that will be found in the future socialist or communist society. The organisations and institutions of the labouring classes should be laboratories that prepare the people for the communist or anarchist society that will be classless, stateless and self-organised by the people.

Therefore, as we organise against the exploitative and alienating nature of the capitalist workplace, the revolutionary organisers and the people must embrace labour self-management as a way to get the working-class ready for a society in which capital is under the control of the workers. This self-organization or self-emancipatory philosophy, attitude and beliefs should be extended to all areas of activities in the organising that is done in the Caribbean and the rest of the Americas.

The Grenadian Revolution has made it clear that the hierarchically organized and centralist vanguard party and the overwhelming power imbalance between the state and civil society will not give birth to a socialist society that is defined by the self-emancipation of the labouring classes. Imperialism’s acts of aggression and destabilization cannot serve as an excuse to not actualize the self-organization of the masses.

Notes

[1] The violent seizure of power by a faction of the New Jewel Movement and disarming of the labouring classes provided the pretext for the invasion and destruction of the Grenadian Revolution by the United States on 25 October 1983.

[2] Ken I. Boodhoo, The Grenada Revolution: Rationale for Failure and Lessons for the Caribbean (Dialogue #61) (1986). LACC Occasional papers series. Dialogues (1980 – 1994), Paper 8: 29.

[3] David Hinds, “The Grenadian Revolution and the Caribbean Left: The Case of Guyana’s Working People’s Alliance,” Journal of Eastern Caribbean Studies, 35, 3 and 4 (2010): 76.

[4] Brian Meek’s argue in his book Caribbean Revolutions and Revolutionary Theory: An Assessment of Cuba, Nicaragua and Grenada (Kingston, Jamaica: University of the West Indies Press, 2001 [1993]) that no sharp ideological differences existed between Bishop and Coard with respect to their commitment to Leninism and socialism. The political conflict was centred upon the role of the principal leader and the party in the process of the revolution’s activities (pp. 170-74).

[5] Steve Clark, “The Second Assassination of Maurice Bishop,” New International: A Magazine of Marxist Politics and Theory, no. 6 (1987): 62-63.

[6] Tony Martin, Ed, In Nobody’s Backyard: The Grenada Revolution in its Own Words, Volume I: The Revolution at Home, (Dover, Massachusetts: The Majority Press, 1983), 58-61.

[7] Tennyson S D Joseph, “C.L.R. James’ Theoretical Concerns and the Grenada Revolution: Lessons for the Future,” Journal of Eastern Caribbean Studies, 35, 3 and (2010): 15-18; Meeks, Caribbean Revolutions, 149-52.

[8] Tennyson S D Joseph, “C.L.R. James’ Theoretical Concerns,” 6-9. 

Ajamu Nangwaya, Ph.D., is an organizer, writer and a lecturer at the University of the West Indies.

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USA/Otan – Pactes clairs, sujétion longue

octobre 25th, 2016 by Manlio Dinucci

Après avoir appelé les Italiens à voter Oui au référendum[1], en s’ingérant dans  notre politique nationale avec le silence complice de l’opposition parlementaire, le président Obama a confirmé à son « bon ami Matteo » qu’avec l’Italie les USA ont « des pactes clairs, une amitié longue ».

Il ne fait aucun doute que les pactes soient clairs, et avant tout le Pacte atlantique qui soumet l’Italie aux USA. Le Commandant suprême allié en Europe est toujours nommé par le Président des Etats-Unis d’Amérique et tous les autres commandements clé sont aux mains des USA.

Après la fin de la guerre froide, à la suite de la désagrégation de l’URSS, Washington affirmait l’«importance fondamentale de préserver l’Otan comme canal de l’influence et de la participation étasuniennes dans les affaires européennes, en empêchant la création de dispositifs uniquement européens qui mineraient la structure de commandement de l’Alliance», c’est-à-dire le commandement étasunien. Concept réaffirmé par le secrétaire de l’Otan, Stoltenberg dans la récente table ronde sur la « grande idée d’Europe » : « Nous devons assurer que le renforcement de la défense européenne ne constitue pas un doublon de l’Otan, qu’il ne devienne pas une alternative à l’Otan ». Garantie de cela : le fait que 22 des 28 pays de l’Ue (21 sur 27 après la sortie de la grande-Bretagne) font partie de l’Otan sous commandement USA, reconnue par l’Union européenne comme « fondement de la défense collective ».

La politique extérieure et militaire de l’Ue est ainsi fondamentalement subordonnée à la stratégie étasunienne, sur laquelle convergent les puissances européennes dont les conflits d’intérêt se re-compactent quand entre en jeu leur intérêt fondamental : conserver la domination de l’Occident, de plus en plus vacillant face à l’émergence de nouveaux sujets étatiques et sociaux. Il suffit de penser que l’Organisation de Shanghai pour la coopération, née de l’accord stratégique sino-russe, dispose de ressources capables d’en faire la plus grande aire économique intégrée du monde.

Dans le cadre de la stratégie USA/Otan -documente la Maison Blanche- l’Italie se distingue comme « allié solide et actif des Etats-Unis ». Le démontre le fait que «l’Italie abrite plus de 30 mille militaires et fonctionnaires civils du Département USA de la défense dans des sites déployés dans tout le pays ».

En même temps l’Italie est « partenaire des USA pour la sécurité mondiale », en fournissant des forces militaires et des financements pour une vaste gamme de « défis » : au Kosovo, Afghanistan, Irak, Libye, Syrie, Baltique et ailleurs, partout où a été et se trouve engagée la machine de guerre USA/Otan.

Un ultime fait confirme ce qu’est le rapport USA-Italie : sont en train d’arriver à la base d’Amendola dans les Pouilles, probablement le 8 novembre, les deux premiers des 90 chasseurs F-35 de l’étasunienne Lockheed Martin, que l’Italie s’est engagée à acheter.

Le coût de la participation italienne au programme F-35, en tant que partenaire de second niveau, est officiellement quantifié dans la Loi de stabilité 2016 : 12 milliards 356 millions d’euros d’argent public, plus d’autres dépenses pour les modifications continues au chasseur qui n’est pas encore pleinement opérationnel et nécessitera des mises à jour continues. Malgré cela -confirme Analisi Difesa–  l’Italie aura une « souveraineté limitée » sur les F-35 de sa propre aéronautique. Une loi étasunienne interdit que les « données de mission » (les software de gestion des systèmes de combat des chasseurs) soient communiqués à d’autres. Ce seront donc les USA qui contrôleront les F-35 italiens, prédisposés à l’utilisation des nouvelles bombes nucléaires B61-12 que le Pentagone basera contre la Russie, à la place des actuelles B-61, sur notre territoire « national ».

 Manlio Dinucci

Edition de mardi 25 septembre 2016 de il manifesto :

Italia USA

Patti chiari, sudditanza lungaL’arte della guerra

 

Traduit de l’italien par Marie-Ange Patrizio


[1] https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Référendum_constitutionnel_de_2016_en_Italie

Manlio Dinucci est géographe et journaliste. Il a une chronique hebdomadaire “L’art de la guerre” au quotidien italien il manifesto. Parmi ses derniers livres:  Geocommunity (en trois tomes) Ed. Zanichelli 2013; Geolaboratorio, Ed. Zanichelli 2014;Se dici guerra…, Ed. Kappa Vu 2014.

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The Charter of the United Nations opens with the words:  “Determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought sorrow to mankind.” 

This week the United Nations General Assembly will vote on Resolution A/C.1/71/L.41 which states:

“12.  Calls upon States participating in the conference to make their best endeavours to conclude as soon as possible a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination.” 

The glacial speed with which General Assembly resolutions are implemented is notorious.  This new resolution, entitled “Taking Forward Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament Negotiations” can be considered, at least, cosmetic progress.

Nevertheless,  General Assembly resolutions do not have the force and legally binding status of Security Council resolutions, nor the capacity to impose sanctions or further punitive measures in case of violation.

 

Ignoring its own “determined” words, the United Nations still appears to be conspicuously in denial of the deadly trajectory that the US, the UK and Germany are spearheading, as the US invests one trillion dollars in development of advanced nuclear weapons in coming years.  This investment is paid for by US citizens who are currently enduring increasing poverty, economic inequality, homelessness, astronomical increases in the cost of education (which makes advanced education prohibitively expensive, and, indeed inaccessible for many Americans), inadequate health care, infrastructure deterioration, etc.

The UK announced a 60 billion dollar investment in upgrading nuclear weapons, as their own citizens also endure a deplorably lowered standard of living, and Germany has been applauded by NATO countries for its recently announced 150 billion dollar investment in a military buildup.

It defies comprehension that the mere mention of the problems created by grossly increased investment in nuclear weapons causes many United Nations officials to squirm, and at best give lip service to disarmament, while simultaneously delivering bellicose statements at the Security Council, demonizing Russia and the tiny DPRK as justification for this astronomically profitable increased investment in the deadliest of all weapons of mass destruction, nuclear weapons.

When I have raised questions, with some United Nations officials, concerning the implication of the huge investments in nuclear weapons by NATO states,  some reply defensively that the subject of reduction of military budgets “threatens certain powerful interests,” and one official more candidly replied that this problem of nuclear weapons buildup cannot be resolved as long as the present ideological conflicts exist.

Throughout over one hundred meetings held during the first week of the 71 Session of the General Debate, at which most Heads of State and Heads of Government were present, from September 19 through September 24, there were, of course, numerous laudable meetings on Gender Equality, Climate Change, the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, Refugee and Migrant Crisis, Public-Private Partnerships, Progress Toward LGBT Equality, and of course the inevitable contentious Security Council harangues on Syria, all of which are important subjects of great concern to all 193 member states of the UN.

However, during that first Star-Studded week not one meeting focused upon the imperative need for nuclear disarmament and the threat that the renewed nuclear arms race poses to the survival of the human species and to all other living species on the planet, including the dangers of a nuclear winter which will obliterate all progress made on the hundreds of issues which were attended to and by the highest government officials in the world.  Though on September 23 there were meetings on “Alliance of Civilizations,” and “Activating the Jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, “Open Government Partnership,” etc., there was only one meeting on September 21 at 11:30AM, the “Eighth Ministerial Meeting of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).

Finally, it was only after the highest level government officials had left, at the very end of the General Debate, on September 26, in commemoration of the “International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons,” that an “informal” meeting was held,  almost as an afterthought, addressing what should have earlier been a top priority.    The few remaining higher level government officials and permanent representatives finally addressed the subject of the “Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons,” and the outrage of the current potential victims of this horrifically unjust global nuclear imbalance, (where a few nuclear armed states have the power to demolish the entire world), was finally expressed.

It is stupefying that nuclear weapons, the most destructive of all weapons, are the only weapon of mass destruction which have never been subjected to a legally binding treaty prohibiting their use and prohibiting their possession.  The delegations of South Africa, Morocco, Chile, and innumerable other non-nuclear weapon states deplored the fact that there is no international instrument banning nuclear weapons.  Where there has been an alphabet soup of partial and paltry attempts to control the use of nuclear weapons, including the CTBE, the NPT, START, SALT, ABM treaties, etc., the fact that nuclear weapons not only still exist, but are actually being upgraded at exorbitant cost, financially, psychologically politically geo-strategically, socially, is a global crime, and the failure of the United Nations to successfully address this problem is so great that it may ultimately result in  the violation of the United Nations pledge to save humanity from the “scourge of war” that the United Nations was created to prevent.

Among the most powerful speeches at that September 26 meeting for the “Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons” was the address given by H.E. Ambassador Olof Skoog of Sweden, who stated:

“We cannot continue to commemorate the victims of nuclear weapons year after year while at the same time accepting that these weapons still remain in existence.  Sweden’s position is clear.  The only guarantee that these weapons will never be used again is their total elimination…My Government is deeply concerned by the lack of progress in nuclear disarmament.  While we should be seeing real progress on disarmament, in reality 16,000 nuclear weapons remain in the world, each and every one of them posing a real threat to humanity.  There is a risk that these weapons could be used by accident, miscalculation or design.  Rather than engaging in disarmament, we see that the states possessing nuclear weapons are modernizing design.    Some states even talk about using them and some are expanding their nuclear arsenals.  All this is utterly unacceptable.  It is also economically irrational.  Consider the cost of these weapons and put it next to the constant shortfalls in financing for development and humanitarian needs.  A truly mind-boggling discrepancy….During the past years there has been a serious and dangerous loss of momentum and direction in disarmament and non-proliferation efforts.”

On Friday, October 14, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons gave a briefing at the United Nations Correspondents Association, and stated:  “a cross-regional group of nations formally submitted a draft resolution to the First Committee of the UN General Assembly to establish a mandate for negotiations in 2017 on a “legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination.  …More than 100 nations participated in the working group, with an overwhelming majority expressing their support for the prohibition of nuclear weapons as a first step towards elimination.…Most nations agree the prohibition of nuclear weapons is the only appropriate course of action in light of the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of their use.”

On October 10, Ambassador Wang Qun, Director-General of the Arms Control Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China stated at the First Committee 71 Session:

“China has always stood for complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons, and adhered to the policy of no-first use of nuclear weapons at any time and under any circumstance.”  (China’s is not an economy seeking the massive profits which the military-industrial complex provides its supporters in the United States .  Indeed, investment in the military distorts the very socialist basis on which the Chinese economy rests.)   The Soviet Union had also stated their commitment to “no-first use of nuclear weapons,” and had hoped to invest their resources in social programs, but since its collapse, and capitalist Russia’s current encirclement by hostile NATO powers in the West, and the THAAD missile system in the East, Russia has, inevitably, abandoned that no-first use policy.  Perhaps if the United States was committed to a “no-first use” of nuclear weapons, there might be hope of reaching a nuclear free world.

If the General Assembly this week adopts L.41, leading toward a legally binding instrument prohibiting nuclear weapons, that may, at least, make possible the stigmatization of nations investing huge sums of their budgets in modernization of nuclear weapons.  However, it remains to be seen whether stigmatization will have the power to persuade such weapons manufacturers as Lockheed, Northrup-Grumman, etc., to forego the exponential profits they are accruing from the manufacturing of advanced nuclear weapons, and the even more gargantuan profits they will reap from using these monstrous weapons in a war.  Are they oblivious to the consequences of this trajectory?

Carla Stea is Global Research’s Correspondent at United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY.

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The Green Party in the U.S. is a « Movement Party »

octobre 25th, 2016 by Ann Garrison

David Cobb is the campaign manager of the Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein and vice presidential candidate Ajamu Baraka. I spoke to him on October 22, 2016.

Ann Garrison: David Cobb, most people who’ve even considered voting for Jill Stein are familiar with her platform now, with the Green New Deal, the peace offensive and the idea that « We don’t need no friggiin’ wall; we just need to stop invading other countries. » What they may not understand is the significance of the five percent goal, the goal of getting five percent nationally in this election. Can you explain that?

David Cobb: Yes, Ann. First we have to understand that, if the Green Party receives five percent of the overall vote nationally, we will qualify for a minimum of $10 million for matching funds for the next election cycle. The Stein/Baraka campaign will finish this campaign probably raising something between four to five million dollars. So imagine starting a campaign with more money than we raised during this entire election cycle. That’s what we’re talking about. And it’s not just about the money. It’s also about the apparatus and institution building, because we are running a campaign to guarantee being on the ballot in the next election cycle. Each state has different ballot access laws, but we are focusing our effort, focusing our energy, focusing our candidate time on those states where we can maintain ballot access. So the point I’m making is that the Green Party strategy is about building an apparatus for the future.

We’re not merely a protest vote, we’re a movement vote. We are preparing to take and exercise state power. We know that this struggle must be protracted, this cannot happen in just one election cycle. A political revolution is absolutely necessary in this country, but a political revolution cannot be run, r-u-n, in just one election cycle. And a political revolution cannot be won, w-o-n, by any one candidate or two candidates, no matter how good she or they are. A real political revolution requires sustained effort over time, an understanding of how power operates, an understanding of the historic moment that we’re in, an understanding of a shared political analysis around race and gender and class and sexual orientation, and understanding of social, political and economic institutions. You see, the Green Party is a serious, credible revolutionary force and I’m inviting people to think about the Green Party differently than they may have before this campaign.

AG: As a bunch of tree huggers.

DC: Hahahaha.  Ann, there’s worse things to hug than trees!

AG: Good point. Like maybe Wall Street and the military industrial complex. Now I want to know about the ten million dollars. Would it go into the party’s infrastructure?

DC: That money would be available for the candidate and the party, for the party’s convention and for the party’s nominee. So there are multiple ways the party would be able to leverage that five percent and we would be able to leverage it.

AG: A lot of the complaints about the Green Party are that it doesn’t spend enough time and money on its local infrastructure, on local party building, local elections, that it just runs a candidate for president every four years.

DC: Well, let’s first actually dispel that myth. The realty is that there are approximately 400,000 registered Greens and Green Party members across this country. The second thing is that there have been thousands, literally thousands, of Green Party local candidates in the last eight years. The Greens have elected hundreds of people to office at the local level, and Greens win about 34% of the time that we run in local elections. So please do not allow independent media to repeat a myth that the corporate media creates. The Green Party is actually very involved in local elections, and Greens are very involved in multiple movements for peace, justice, democracy and ecology across this country. The problem has been that Greens have not been seen being Green, but Greens are usually on the front lines of most of the social justice and social change efforts in this country.

AG: As Jill Stein surrogate YahNé Ndgo said, the Green Party is a party of activists.

DC: There’s no doubt. We aim to be the electoral arm of the social movements that so many of our members are engaged in.

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The elephant in the room is now visible to everyone. All the developments of the past years, from the extreme violence and cynicism of the “memoranda of understanding” imposed upon Greece to the decision of the British referendum in favour of Brexit, point to the same direction: the deep crisis of European Integration. It was supposed to be the most advanced example of economic and political integration and the first successful introduction of a single currency in such a broad area. It presented itself as a paragon of stability and human rights. Yet the reality is very different.

Faced with the global capitalist crisis of 2007-8 not only did the EU not find a means to react and protect European economies from the fall-out of the crisis, but the embedded austerity of the European project just made things worse. The global crisis was combined with the accentuated contradictions and structural inequality of the Eurozone to create a true recipe for destruction, leading to extreme social crisis in the European South and intensifying recession tendencies in the global economy.

Faced with the debt-crisis of most European countries, with Greece as the most notable case, the EU answered with increased indebtedness and using the debt crisis as the excuse for the biggest experiment in neoliberal social engineering of past decades, an attempt to dismantle social rights won with the struggles of decades.

Something Rotten at the Heart of Europe

Faced with an open legitimization crisis, exemplified in the fact that almost all democratic processes, in which the people actually had a say, were against further integration, the answer of European elites has been the insistence on ‘bureaucratic caesarism’, to use the phrase of Durand and Keucheyan. This was expressed in the most cynical manner in Jean-Claude Juncker’s infamous phrase “there is no democratic choice against the European treaties.”

Faced with increased American aggression and attempts toward a “New Cold War,” exemplified in aggressive geopolitical moves from the part of American imperialism, the EU has been even more immersed in the politics of “Euro-Atlanticism” such as sanctions against Russia.

Faced with the refugee crisis, the EU has opted for the murderous policies of “Fortress Europe,” making the tragedy even worse, with thousands of dead refugees and migrants in the Mediterranean showing the true and very ugly face of Europe.

Faced with the new conditions in Europe and the fact that important segments of the working classes in European countries are not of European origin, the answer of the EU and European governments has been a return to the darkest traditions of colonialism and racism, leading to the current wave of anti-immigrant, anti-refugee policies and the increasing ideological climate of intolerance, chauvinism and islamophobia.

And faced with the fact, obvious to everybody, that after a referendum the world’s fifth largest economy decided to leave the EU, the reaction has been a collective “burying of the head in the sand” instead of a facing up to the reality that “there is something rotten at the heart of Europe.”

All these attest to the deep crisis of the European project. However, at the same time we know very well the class forces that will continue to support it. Despite the fact that European policies have not managed to reverse austerity and the economic crisis, the bourgeoisies are happy with the neoliberal discipline imposed upon societies by means of the euro and rules of European economic governance. Even the bourgeoisies of the lesser developed countries accept these difficulties as the price to pay for the advantages of reduced labour cost, mass privatization, flexible labour and anti-union laws. European corporations, especially of the European centre take advantage of the unified market but also of the fact that they can invest in those countries that are being turned into “special economic zones,” without labour rights, social or environmental protection, Greece being the example that easily comes to mind.

A Socialist Strategy

Therefore, it is more than obvious that the only possible progressive, radical, socialist answer is a strategy for exit from the euro and the EU. Some years ago, perhaps there was some excuse for those that still had illusions about the possibility to change the EU from within or to suggest plans for ‘another’ EU, with ‘another’ euro and ‘another’ ECB. After the crisis and in particular after the Greek experience, we all know that this is impossible. The EU cannot be reformed. It was never designed to be reformed. It was from the beginning an attempt toward safeguarding capitalist social relations and accumulation, by means of reduced sovereignty and the embedded neoliberalism of the euro. Therefore, the only left strategy is that of exit. Left Europeanism has been and still is the high point of the defeat of the Left in Europe, the most visible result of bourgeois ideological and political hegemony inside the Left.

Some people on the Left still say ‘yes, but what about the Far-Right?’ I will say it in very simple terms: the rise of the Far-Right with its ersatz “Euroscepticism” has been the result of the strategic deficits of the Left and its inability to be the leading political force in the struggle against the EU, ceding political and ideological space to the reactionary, xenophobic and deeply systemic forces of the Far Right, political forces who in reality actually support the EU. It was the Left that let a position, historically belonging to the Left, namely the refusal of European Integration, to be hijacked by the Far-Right. Moreover, if one wants to realize where does left Europeanism lead to, the answer is very simple: Tsipras. The limit of left Europeanism is capitulation to the EU, its austerity and capitalist restructuring.

So, what is important? The task we face is exactly to create a new relation of forces inside the European Left, in favour of a strategy of exit, by opening up the debate and coordinating all the forces that are in favour of ‘Left exit’, both at the national and at the European level.

And yes this is something that has to be done by political forces and movements that refer to the Left, that refer to the working class movement, that have an anticapitalist and anti-imperialist line, that have a socialist perspective, that want the exit to be part of a strategy for social emancipation, that want to create new “historical blocs” of the forces of labour, of knowledge and of culture under the hegemony of the working class.

Today, it would be a great error to say that we have to move beyond the distinction between Right and Left. No, the divide is active. Not, in the sense of ‘self-proclaimed’ identity, as parties like Syriza do, but in the sense of the actual divide between the working class and in general the subaltern classes and the capitalists. Saying that the Right-Left divide is irrelevant, only helps the Far Right which uses the same rhetoric. We must reclaim the very notion of the Left and make it again synonymous with struggle, justice and emancipation.

Popular Sovereignty

To do this we must say that yes sovereignty matters and that reduced sovereignty and transfer of authority from nation-states to transnational organizations such as the EU has been part of the capitalist and neoliberal attack upon societies. When we talk about sovereignty we talk about democracy. This why we must insist on the necessary reclaiming of popular sovereignty as a strategic goal of the Left. And popular sovereignty is not just simply about institutional arrangement, nor does it imply some naive belief in bourgeois parliamentarism. It has to do with democracy as ability of the subaltern to impose their collective will and change the course of history of a certain historical formation. Popular sovereignty in this sense has to do with power and the social bloc that exercises it.

European Integration is not the perverse form of a cosmopolitanism or internationalism; it is the actual nationalism of capital. The euro is the nationalism of capital. The recuperation of monetary sovereignty that represents a form of popular internationalism.

Popular sovereignty has nothing to do with nationalism or social-chauvinism. In contrast, we need to rethink the very notion of the people as the alliance and unity and common struggle of the subaltern, regardless of ethnicity or religion. This new conceptualization of the people can be much more inclusive in reality and is our answer to the reactionary investment of the Far Right upon imaginary “national identities” and myths of “common origin” and “blood.” Our conception of the people as a collective subject in struggle, as alliance in struggle, as unity along class lines and political strategies, can create new forms of belonging that have nothing to do with nationalism and racism but can actually offer societies a new and emancipatory form of unity and ‘coherence’.

To do this we also need to articulate the strategy for rupture with a transition program, as an alternative narrative for societies. We need to rethink the transition program as a strategy of reclaiming sovereignty and democratic control against the Eurozone, the EU and in general the systemic violence of internationalized capital, and at the same time as initiating a profound process of social transformation, based upon public ownership, self-management and democratic and participatory planning, as a process of experimentation, based upon the collective ingenuity of a people in struggle, in a radical and social horizon. Exiting the Euro and the EU should not be considered just a step toward a more favourable macro-economic condition; the pervasive effects of European Integration and their devastating results upon the productive base of society make a socialist orientation a necessity and not a luxury, in contrast to the traditional reformism and economism of the Left. In this sense, it is imperative to rethink socialism beyond both social-democracy and bureaucratic state socialism, that is to rethink it as a transition process, full of conflicts and struggles in order to expand the ‘traces of communism’ already emerging in collective aspirations and demands for a social organization freed of the rule of capital.

We need to go beyond any conception of the State as a neutral instrument. Contemporary capitalist states, especially within processes of integration such as the EU that are based upon ceding aspects of sovereignty, bear the marks of the most aggressive neoliberal strategies. A new form of radical left governance must begin with profound transformations of the state, by means of a Constituent Process, in order to facilitate new forms of democracy, worker’s control and restrictions upon the activities of capital. At the same time, it has to be based upon the strength of the autonomous movements that have to be independent of the State and always pressing for more radical changes. Otherwise, the neoliberal and capitalist logic already inscribed in the material configuration of the state and the institutional networks and decision processes inside it will take precedent.

Despite the tragic condition of the European Left, we need not despair. The new conjuncture with all the elements of the crisis of European Union creates new opportunities for a refoundation of the Left based upon the centrality of the rupture with the “European road.” We must seize this opportunity and work toward this target, beginning with coordinating all the radical left anti-EU, anti-euro forces in Europe.

Panagiotis Sotiris teaches at the University of the Aegean. This article first appeared on his blog The Future Lasts a Long Time.

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There is a fundamental weakness in the peoples’ movement in the United States and that is the necessity for anti-imperialist internationalism.

The struggles against racism, national oppression and class exploitation cannot be separated from the need to end Washington’s and Wall Street’s interference in the internal affairs of most states throughout the world.

In order to win recognition in these monumental struggles it is heavily dependent upon the degree to which we can create widespread awareness of the plight of the people of color communities and the working class in general. There are efforts underway to achieve these objectives although much more work has to be done.

Racist State Violence

International consciousness in regard to the character of the U.S. state is growing immensely. This is in part due to the mass demonstrations and urban rebellions which have sprung up by and large spontaneously in response to the vigilante death of Trayvon Martin in 2012 and the not-guilty verdict handed down in the trial of George Zimmerman. When Zimmerman’s acquittal was announced it did more to turn public opinion domestically and internationally against institutions which devalue African American life and democratic rights. It was during this period that the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter began to trend. Since then there have been efforts to build BLM chapters across the U.S., spreading internationally into the United Kingdom and Latin America.

Later on August 9, 2014, in Ferguson, Missouri, 18-year-old Michael Brown was gunned down by a white police officer. Immediately demonstrations erupted in Ferguson both nonviolent and violent. These manifestations spread nationally bringing attention to the false notion that America had become a so-called “post-racial society” in the period following the election of President Barack Obama in 2008.

Obama, who was forced to address the problems of the “special oppression” of African Americans after the unrest in Ferguson, the situation of African Americans gained international attention prompting editorials in leading periodicals both in the U.S. and internationally questioning this false assertion of post-racialism.

The administration responded in its signature dubious fashion leaning in favor of maintaining the status-quo of national oppression. Obama, of course, gave his view of what “African Americans feel” and in the next instance denounces violence saying it will not accomplish anything. This is a blatant falsehood because the U.S. state was born in violence and maintains its existence through brute force and coercion inside the country and abroad.

What these developments further exposed was the failure of the Obama administration to not only have refused to address the special oppression of African Americans but to also advance a policy of public avoidance in the face of worsening social conditions.

It was the African American masses and other oppressed groups who suffered the brunt of the economic crisis beginning in 2007. Detroit was one of the hardest hit urban areas and when Obama came into office in 2009, there was considerable “false hope” that these difficulties would attract the attention of the White House and the-then majority Democratic House and Senate (2008-2010).

Subsequent rebellions and waves of mass demonstrations in the streets, campuses, and now athletic fields, have stripped the administration of any pretense of political legitimacy. Colin Kapernick and others within professional, college and high school sports settings illustrated that no matter how they are classified as “privileged”, the specter of racist violence remains within their purview. No matter how “privileged” these people are the threats from the armed agents of the state remains with them at all times. Racism is on the increase in the U.S. and the refusal of the ruling class and the capitalist state to advance any reforms in this regard speaks volumes about the current phases of imperialism and its public posture.

The Crisis of U.S. Capitalism and Its Global Implications

The degree to which the capitalist class can claim any semblance of a “recovery” is related to the expansion of low-wage labor and the mega-profits of transnational corporations. This is reinforced by the systematic defunding of public education, municipal services and environmental safeguards.

There are examples too numerous to outline within the context of this presentation. We could speak about the undemocratic system of emergency management and forced bankruptcy in Detroit and other Michigan cities that have majority African American populations. There is also the water crisis in Flint and the near collapse of public schools in Detroit, Highland Park, Inkster and other cities.

A nationally-coordinated movement led by trade unions demanding a minimum wage of $15 per hour is growing immensely across the country. People of all generations are working more for less money.

The prison-industrial-complex, now encompassing approximately 2.2 million people, with millions more under judicial and law-enforcement supervision, represents another form of super-exploitation and social containment that is connected to racial profiling and the unjust court system.

These are some of the principal issues we must take up in the U.S. Our internationalism must be informed by the specific conditions of the workers and oppressed and the movements that have sprung up in the last four years.

Drawing the Links Between Domestic Oppression and the International Situation

In conclusion we would like to point to some of the major areas of U.S. imperialist interventions and the need to make comparisons to what is happening domestically.

Perhaps the most profound crisis today of displacement is starkly revealed by the migration from North Africa into Southern Europe. This movement of dislocated persons has been documented by the United Nations Refugee Agency as the largest since the conclusion of World War II. There are 60 to 75 million people who have been internally and externally displaced in the modern world.

These forced removals stem directly from the foreign policy imperatives of war and economic exploitation engineered by Washington and Wall Street. The interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Haiti, Libya, Yemen and Somalia are fueling underdevelopment and balkanization.

Many of these wars remain largely hidden from people in the U.S. Much of the social impact of these wars of regime-change and genocide are being manifested inside these geo-political regions and in Southern, Central and Eastern Europe.

Nonetheless, the crisis of imperialist war has its economic components. The overproduction of oil and other commodities are driving down prices and consequently engendering higher rates of joblessness, poverty, food deficits, class conflicts and civil war. Countries such as Somalia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Nigeria, rich in natural resources, land and strategic waterways are facing varying levels of recession, depression and further enslavement to international finance capital.

Finally, it is our task at present to point to the direct relationship between U.S. domestic and foreign policy. A policy of national oppression inside the U.S. is reflected in the military and economic destruction of countries from the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, extending across Africa, the Middle East, the Asia–Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean.

The problems we are facing in North America cannot be effectively tackled or solved independent of the people of the international community. The world’s peoples must unite in a program of anti-imperialism aimed at ending all forms of oppression and exploitation.

The above text is is a paper delivered at the ILPS U.S. Chapter national conference held on October 22, 2016 at Teamster City in Chicago, Illinois. The event was attended by several hundred delegates who participated in the panels, workshops and cultural presentations as well as an evening march through the Magnificent Mile retail district in the Loop opposing police brutality in honor of Laquan McDonald who was gunned down by the police prompting a citywide civil disobedience campaign during November and December 2015. The author attended the founding ILPS U.S. Chapter congress in May 2012 also held in Chicago. Azikiwe began his presentation acknowledging the 50th anniversary of the formation of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense in October 1966.

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Washington’s ‘Pivot to Asia’: A Debacle Unfolding

octobre 25th, 2016 by Prof. James Petras

In 2012 President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Ashton Carter launched a new chapter in their quest for global dominance:  a realignment of policies designed to shift priorities from the Middle East to Asia.  Dubbed the ‘Pivot to Asia’, it suggested that the US would concentrate its economic, military and diplomatic resources toward strengthening its dominant position and undercutting China’s rising influence in the region.

The ‘pivot to Asia’ did not shift existing resources from the Middle East, it added military commitments to the region, while provoking more conflicts with Russia and China.

The “pivot to Asia” meant that the US was extending and deepening its regional military alliances in order to confront and encircle Russia and China.  The goal would be to cripple their economies and foster social unrest leading to political instability and regime change.

The US onslaught for greater empire depended on the cooperation of proxies and allies to accomplish its strategic goals.

The so-called ‘pivot to Asia’ had a two-pronged approach, based on an economic trading pact and various military treaty agreements.  The entire US strategy of retaining global supremacy depended on securing and enhancing its control over its regional allies and proxies.  Failure of the Obama regime to retain Washington’s vassal states would accelerate its decline and encourage more desperate political maneuvers.

Strategic Military Posturing

Without a doubt, every military decision and action made by the Obama Administration with regard to the Asia-Pacific Region has had only one purpose – to weaken China’s defense capabilities, undermine its economy and force Beijing to submit to Washington’s domination.

In pursuit of military supremacy, Washington has installed an advanced missile system in South Korea, increased its air and maritime armada and expanded its provocative activities along China’s coastline and its vital maritime trade routes.  Washington has embarked on a military base expansion campaign in Australia, Japan and the Philippines.

This explains why Washington pressured its client regime in Manila under the former President ‘Nonoy’ Aquino, Jr., to bring its territorial dispute with China over the Spratly Islands before a relatively obscure tribunal in Holland.  The European ruling, unsurprisingly in favor of Manila, would provide the US with a ‘legal’ cover for its planned aggression against China in the South China Sea.  The Spratly and Paracel Islands are mostly barren coral islands and shoals located within the world’s busiest shipping trade routes, explaining China’s (both Beijing and Taipei) refusal to recognize the ‘Court of Special Arbitration’.

Strategic Economic Intervention: The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

The US authored and promoted Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP) is a trade and investment agreement covering 12 Pacific countries designed to ensure US regional dominance while deliberately cutting out China.  The TPP was to be the linchpin of US efforts to promote profits for overseas US multi-nationals by undercutting the rules for domestic producers, labor laws for workers and environmental regulations for consumers.  As a result of its unpopular domestic provisions, which had alienated US workers and consumers, the electorate forced both Presidential candidates to withdraw their support for the TPP – what one scribbler for the Financial Times denounced as “the dangers of popular democracy”.  The Washington empire builders envisioned the TPP as a tool for dictating and enforcing their ‘rules’ on a captive Asia-Pacific trading system.  From the perspective of US big business, the TPP was the instrument of choice for retaining supremacy in Asia by excluding China.

The Eclipse of Washington’s “Asian Century”

For over seventy years the US has dominated Asia, ravaging the continent with two major wars  in Korea and Indo-China with millions of casualties, and multiple counter-insurgency interventions in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Timor, Myanmar, Pakistan and Afghanistan.  The strategic goal has been to expand its military and political power, exploit the economies and resources and encircle China and North Korea.

Under the Obama-Clinton-Kerry Regime, the imperial structures in Asia are coming apart.

Washington’s anti-China TPP is collapsing and has been replaced by the Chinese sponsored Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) with over fifty member countries worldwide, including the ten nations of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASAEN), plus Australia, India, South Korea and New Zealand.  Of course, China is funding most of the partnership and, to no one’s surprise, Washington has not been invited to join…

As a result of the highly favorable terms in the RCEP, each and every current and former US ally and colony has been signing on, shifting trade allegiances to China, and effectively changing the configuration of power.

Already Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Indonesia have formalized growing economic ties with China.  The debacle of the TPP has just accelerated the shift toward China’s new trade pact (RCEP).  The US is left to rely on its ‘loyalist four’, a stagnant Japan, Australia, South Korea and its impoverished former colony, Philippines, to bolster its quest to militarily encircle China.

The Dangers of ‘Popular Democracy’: President Duterte’s Pivot to China and the End of US Supremacy in SE Asia?

For over a century (since the invasion of the Philippines in 1896), especially since the end of WWII, when the US asserted its primacy in Asia, Washington has used the strategic Philippine Archipelago as a trampoline for controlling Southeast Asia.  Control of the Philippines is fundamental to US Imperialism: Washington’s strategic superiority depends on its access to sea, air, communications and ground bases and operations located in the Philippines and a compliant Philippine ruling class..

The centerpiece of US strategy to encircle and tighten control over China’s maritime routes to and from the world-economy is the massive build-up of US military installations in the Philippines.

The US self-styled “pivot to Asia” involves locating five military bases directed at dominating the South China Sea.  The Pentagon expanded its access to four strategic air and one military base through the ‘Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement’ signed by the Philippine President Aquino in 2014 but held up by the Philippine Courts until April 2016.  These include:

(1) Antonio Bautista Airbase on the island of Palawan, located near the contested Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.

(2) Basa Airbase 40 miles northwest of the Philippines capital of Manila, overlooking the South China Sea.

(3) Lumbia Airbase located in the port of Cagayan de Oro, Mindanao, a huge US facility under construction.

(4) Mactan – Benito Ebuen airbase located on Mactan Island off the coast of Cebu in the central Philippines.

(5) Fort Magsaysay located in Nueva Ecija, on Luzon, the Philippine Army’s Central Training and command center, its largest military installation which will serve the US as the training and indoctrination base for the Philippine army.

Pentagon planners had envisioned targeting Chinese shipping and air bases in the South China Sea from its new bases on western shores of the Philippines.  This essentially threatens the stability of the entire region, especially the vital Chinese trade routes to the global economy.

Washington has been intensifying its intervention in the South China Sea relying on decrees issued by its previous proxy President Benigno (Noynoy) Aquino, III (2010-2016).  These, however, were not ratified by the Congress and had been challenged by the Philippine Supreme Court.

Washington’s entire “pivot to Asia” has centered its vast military build-up on its access to the Philippines.  This access is now at risk.  Newly elected President Rodrigo Duterte, who succeeded Aquino in June 2016, is pursuing an independent foreign policy, with the aim of transforming the impoverished Philippines from a subservient US military colony to opening large-scale, long-term economic trade and development ties with China and other regional economic powers.  Duterte has openly challenged the US policy of using the Philippines to encircle and provoke China.

The Philippine “pivot to China” quickly advanced from colorful rhetoric to a major trade and investment meeting of President Duterte and a huge delegation of Philippine business leaders with his Chinese counterparts in Beijing in late October 2016.  During his first 3 months in office Duterte blasted Washington for meddling in his ongoing campaign against drug lords and dealers.  Obama’s so-called ‘concerns for human rights’ in the anti-drug campaign were answered with counter-charges that the US had accommodated notorious narco-politician-oligarchs to further its military base expansion program.  President Duterte’s war on drugs expanded well beyond the alleged US narco-elite alliance when he proposed two strategic changes: (1) he promised to end the US-Philippine sea patrols of disputed waters designed to provoke Beijing in the South China Sea; and (2) President Duterte announced he would end military exercises with Washington, especially in Mindanao, because they threatened China and undermined Philippine sovereignty.

President Duterte, in pursuit of his independent nationalist-agenda, has moved rapidly and decisively to strengthen the Philippines ‘pivot’ toward China, which in the context of Southeast Asia is really ‘normalizing’ trade and investment relations with his giant neighbor.  During the third week of October (2016) President Duterte, his political team and 250 business leaders met with China’s leaders to discuss multi-billion-dollar investment projects and trade agreements, as well as closer diplomatic relations.  The initial results, which promise to expand even more, are over $13 billion dollars in trade and critical infrastructure projects.  As the Philippine’s pivot to China advances, the quid pro quo will lead to a profound change in the politics and militarization of Southeast Asian.  Without total US control over the Philippines, Washington’s strategic arc of encirclement against China is broken.

According to a recent ruling by the Philippine Supreme Court, the controversial US military base agreement (Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement) imposed by the former President Aquino by fiat without congressional ratification can be terminated by the new President by executive order.  This ruling punches some major holes in what the Pentagon had considered its ‘ironclad’ stranglehold on the strategic Philippine bases.

The Duterte government has repeatedly announced its administration’s commitment to a program of economic modernization and social reconstruction for Philippine society.  That agenda can only be advanced through changes that include multi-billion dollar infrastructure investments, loans and technical cooperation from China, whereas remaining a backward US military colony will not only threaten their Asian economic partners, but will condemn the Philippines to yet another generation of stagnation and corruption.  Unique in Southeast Asia, the Philippines has long been mired in underdevelopment, forcing half of its qualified workforce to seek contract servitude abroad, while at home the society has become victims of drug and human trafficking gangs linked to the oligarchs.

Conclusion

Washington’s ‘pivot to Asia’, enshrined in its effort to corral the Asian countries into its anti-China crusade is not going as the Obama-Clinton-Kerry team had envisioned.  It is proving to be a major foreign policy debacle for the outgoing and (presumably) incoming US presidential administrations.  Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton has been forced to denounce the Transpacific Trade Partnership (TPP), one of her own pet projects when she was Secretary of State.  The Pentagon’s military base strategy stuck in a 1980’s time-warped vision of Southeast Asia is on the verge of imploding.    The Philippines, its former colony and vassal state, is finally turning away from its total subservience to US military dictates and toward greater independence and stronger regional ties to China and the rest of Asia.  Southeast Asia and the South China Sea are no longer part of a grand chessboard subject to Pentagon moves for domination.

In desperation, Washington may decide to resort to a military power grab– a coup in the Philippines, backed by a coalition of Manila-based oligarchs, narco-bosses and generals.  The problem with a precipitate move to ‘regime change’ is that Rodrigo Duterte is immensely popular with the Philippine electorate – precisely for the reasons that the Washington elite and Manila oligarchs despise him.  The mayor of Manila, Joseph Estrada, himself a former victim of a Washington-instigated regime change, has stated that any US backed coup will face a million-member mass opposition and the bulk of the nationalist middle and powerful Chinese-oriented business class.  A failed coup, like the disastrous coup in Venezuela in 2002 against Hugo Chavez could radicalize Duterte’s policy well beyond his staunchly nationalist agenda and further isolate the US.

See James Petras latest book from Clarity Press: ISBN: 978-0-9972870-5-9, $24.95 / 252 pp. / 2016 http://www.claritypress.com/PetrasVIII.html

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Washington’s ‘Pivot to Asia’: A Debacle Unfolding

octobre 25th, 2016 by Prof. James Petras

In 2012 President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Ashton Carter launched a new chapter in their quest for global dominance:  a realignment of policies designed to shift priorities from the Middle East to Asia.  Dubbed the ‘Pivot to Asia’, it suggested that the US would concentrate its economic, military and diplomatic resources toward strengthening its dominant position and undercutting China’s rising influence in the region.

The ‘pivot to Asia’ did not shift existing resources from the Middle East, it added military commitments to the region, while provoking more conflicts with Russia and China.

The “pivot to Asia” meant that the US was extending and deepening its regional military alliances in order to confront and encircle Russia and China.  The goal would be to cripple their economies and foster social unrest leading to political instability and regime change.

The US onslaught for greater empire depended on the cooperation of proxies and allies to accomplish its strategic goals.

The so-called ‘pivot to Asia’ had a two-pronged approach, based on an economic trading pact and various military treaty agreements.  The entire US strategy of retaining global supremacy depended on securing and enhancing its control over its regional allies and proxies.  Failure of the Obama regime to retain Washington’s vassal states would accelerate its decline and encourage more desperate political maneuvers.

Strategic Military Posturing

Without a doubt, every military decision and action made by the Obama Administration with regard to the Asia-Pacific Region has had only one purpose – to weaken China’s defense capabilities, undermine its economy and force Beijing to submit to Washington’s domination.

In pursuit of military supremacy, Washington has installed an advanced missile system in South Korea, increased its air and maritime armada and expanded its provocative activities along China’s coastline and its vital maritime trade routes.  Washington has embarked on a military base expansion campaign in Australia, Japan and the Philippines.

This explains why Washington pressured its client regime in Manila under the former President ‘Nonoy’ Aquino, Jr., to bring its territorial dispute with China over the Spratly Islands before a relatively obscure tribunal in Holland.  The European ruling, unsurprisingly in favor of Manila, would provide the US with a ‘legal’ cover for its planned aggression against China in the South China Sea.  The Spratly and Paracel Islands are mostly barren coral islands and shoals located within the world’s busiest shipping trade routes, explaining China’s (both Beijing and Taipei) refusal to recognize the ‘Court of Special Arbitration’.

Strategic Economic Intervention: The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

The US authored and promoted Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP) is a trade and investment agreement covering 12 Pacific countries designed to ensure US regional dominance while deliberately cutting out China.  The TPP was to be the linchpin of US efforts to promote profits for overseas US multi-nationals by undercutting the rules for domestic producers, labor laws for workers and environmental regulations for consumers.  As a result of its unpopular domestic provisions, which had alienated US workers and consumers, the electorate forced both Presidential candidates to withdraw their support for the TPP – what one scribbler for the Financial Times denounced as “the dangers of popular democracy”.  The Washington empire builders envisioned the TPP as a tool for dictating and enforcing their ‘rules’ on a captive Asia-Pacific trading system.  From the perspective of US big business, the TPP was the instrument of choice for retaining supremacy in Asia by excluding China.

The Eclipse of Washington’s “Asian Century”

For over seventy years the US has dominated Asia, ravaging the continent with two major wars  in Korea and Indo-China with millions of casualties, and multiple counter-insurgency interventions in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Timor, Myanmar, Pakistan and Afghanistan.  The strategic goal has been to expand its military and political power, exploit the economies and resources and encircle China and North Korea.

Under the Obama-Clinton-Kerry Regime, the imperial structures in Asia are coming apart.

Washington’s anti-China TPP is collapsing and has been replaced by the Chinese sponsored Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) with over fifty member countries worldwide, including the ten nations of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASAEN), plus Australia, India, South Korea and New Zealand.  Of course, China is funding most of the partnership and, to no one’s surprise, Washington has not been invited to join…

As a result of the highly favorable terms in the RCEP, each and every current and former US ally and colony has been signing on, shifting trade allegiances to China, and effectively changing the configuration of power.

Already Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Indonesia have formalized growing economic ties with China.  The debacle of the TPP has just accelerated the shift toward China’s new trade pact (RCEP).  The US is left to rely on its ‘loyalist four’, a stagnant Japan, Australia, South Korea and its impoverished former colony, Philippines, to bolster its quest to militarily encircle China.

The Dangers of ‘Popular Democracy’: President Duterte’s Pivot to China and the End of US Supremacy in SE Asia?

For over a century (since the invasion of the Philippines in 1896), especially since the end of WWII, when the US asserted its primacy in Asia, Washington has used the strategic Philippine Archipelago as a trampoline for controlling Southeast Asia.  Control of the Philippines is fundamental to US Imperialism: Washington’s strategic superiority depends on its access to sea, air, communications and ground bases and operations located in the Philippines and a compliant Philippine ruling class..

The centerpiece of US strategy to encircle and tighten control over China’s maritime routes to and from the world-economy is the massive build-up of US military installations in the Philippines.

The US self-styled “pivot to Asia” involves locating five military bases directed at dominating the South China Sea.  The Pentagon expanded its access to four strategic air and one military base through the ‘Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement’ signed by the Philippine President Aquino in 2014 but held up by the Philippine Courts until April 2016.  These include:

(1) Antonio Bautista Airbase on the island of Palawan, located near the contested Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.

(2) Basa Airbase 40 miles northwest of the Philippines capital of Manila, overlooking the South China Sea.

(3) Lumbia Airbase located in the port of Cagayan de Oro, Mindanao, a huge US facility under construction.

(4) Mactan – Benito Ebuen airbase located on Mactan Island off the coast of Cebu in the central Philippines.

(5) Fort Magsaysay located in Nueva Ecija, on Luzon, the Philippine Army’s Central Training and command center, its largest military installation which will serve the US as the training and indoctrination base for the Philippine army.

Pentagon planners had envisioned targeting Chinese shipping and air bases in the South China Sea from its new bases on western shores of the Philippines.  This essentially threatens the stability of the entire region, especially the vital Chinese trade routes to the global economy.

Washington has been intensifying its intervention in the South China Sea relying on decrees issued by its previous proxy President Benigno (Noynoy) Aquino, III (2010-2016).  These, however, were not ratified by the Congress and had been challenged by the Philippine Supreme Court.

Washington’s entire “pivot to Asia” has centered its vast military build-up on its access to the Philippines.  This access is now at risk.  Newly elected President Rodrigo Duterte, who succeeded Aquino in June 2016, is pursuing an independent foreign policy, with the aim of transforming the impoverished Philippines from a subservient US military colony to opening large-scale, long-term economic trade and development ties with China and other regional economic powers.  Duterte has openly challenged the US policy of using the Philippines to encircle and provoke China.

The Philippine “pivot to China” quickly advanced from colorful rhetoric to a major trade and investment meeting of President Duterte and a huge delegation of Philippine business leaders with his Chinese counterparts in Beijing in late October 2016.  During his first 3 months in office Duterte blasted Washington for meddling in his ongoing campaign against drug lords and dealers.  Obama’s so-called ‘concerns for human rights’ in the anti-drug campaign were answered with counter-charges that the US had accommodated notorious narco-politician-oligarchs to further its military base expansion program.  President Duterte’s war on drugs expanded well beyond the alleged US narco-elite alliance when he proposed two strategic changes: (1) he promised to end the US-Philippine sea patrols of disputed waters designed to provoke Beijing in the South China Sea; and (2) President Duterte announced he would end military exercises with Washington, especially in Mindanao, because they threatened China and undermined Philippine sovereignty.

President Duterte, in pursuit of his independent nationalist-agenda, has moved rapidly and decisively to strengthen the Philippines ‘pivot’ toward China, which in the context of Southeast Asia is really ‘normalizing’ trade and investment relations with his giant neighbor.  During the third week of October (2016) President Duterte, his political team and 250 business leaders met with China’s leaders to discuss multi-billion-dollar investment projects and trade agreements, as well as closer diplomatic relations.  The initial results, which promise to expand even more, are over $13 billion dollars in trade and critical infrastructure projects.  As the Philippine’s pivot to China advances, the quid pro quo will lead to a profound change in the politics and militarization of Southeast Asian.  Without total US control over the Philippines, Washington’s strategic arc of encirclement against China is broken.

According to a recent ruling by the Philippine Supreme Court, the controversial US military base agreement (Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement) imposed by the former President Aquino by fiat without congressional ratification can be terminated by the new President by executive order.  This ruling punches some major holes in what the Pentagon had considered its ‘ironclad’ stranglehold on the strategic Philippine bases.

The Duterte government has repeatedly announced its administration’s commitment to a program of economic modernization and social reconstruction for Philippine society.  That agenda can only be advanced through changes that include multi-billion dollar infrastructure investments, loans and technical cooperation from China, whereas remaining a backward US military colony will not only threaten their Asian economic partners, but will condemn the Philippines to yet another generation of stagnation and corruption.  Unique in Southeast Asia, the Philippines has long been mired in underdevelopment, forcing half of its qualified workforce to seek contract servitude abroad, while at home the society has become victims of drug and human trafficking gangs linked to the oligarchs.

Conclusion

Washington’s ‘pivot to Asia’, enshrined in its effort to corral the Asian countries into its anti-China crusade is not going as the Obama-Clinton-Kerry team had envisioned.  It is proving to be a major foreign policy debacle for the outgoing and (presumably) incoming US presidential administrations.  Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton has been forced to denounce the Transpacific Trade Partnership (TPP), one of her own pet projects when she was Secretary of State.  The Pentagon’s military base strategy stuck in a 1980’s time-warped vision of Southeast Asia is on the verge of imploding.    The Philippines, its former colony and vassal state, is finally turning away from its total subservience to US military dictates and toward greater independence and stronger regional ties to China and the rest of Asia.  Southeast Asia and the South China Sea are no longer part of a grand chessboard subject to Pentagon moves for domination.

In desperation, Washington may decide to resort to a military power grab– a coup in the Philippines, backed by a coalition of Manila-based oligarchs, narco-bosses and generals.  The problem with a precipitate move to ‘regime change’ is that Rodrigo Duterte is immensely popular with the Philippine electorate – precisely for the reasons that the Washington elite and Manila oligarchs despise him.  The mayor of Manila, Joseph Estrada, himself a former victim of a Washington-instigated regime change, has stated that any US backed coup will face a million-member mass opposition and the bulk of the nationalist middle and powerful Chinese-oriented business class.  A failed coup, like the disastrous coup in Venezuela in 2002 against Hugo Chavez could radicalize Duterte’s policy well beyond his staunchly nationalist agenda and further isolate the US.

See James Petras latest book from Clarity Press: ISBN: 978-0-9972870-5-9, $24.95 / 252 pp. / 2016 http://www.claritypress.com/PetrasVIII.html

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Manipulating Uprisings: Hungary 1956

octobre 25th, 2016 by Dr. Binoy Kampmark

“Nobody foresaw it.  Nobody was ready for it – neither in Budapest, Moscow, Washington or anywhere else.” — Ralph Walter, Radio Free Europe executive, RFE, Oct 22, 2006

Magic, and tragic years, tend to fill the calendar of commemoration for central European patriots. There are religious intercessions; guiding symbols; omens.  Then there are the calamities, the crushing battles that empty entire classes and countries.

For Hungary, a country ever dreamy and mournful about such events, there are two notable disasters of rollicking value. There is Mohács 1526, where a good deal of the country’s aristocratic elite fell before the relentless Ottoman advance.  The event effectively gave the Hapsburgs the ascendency to the west, assuming the role of defender against the Turkish advance into Europe.

Then there is 1956, where the invaders assumed the form of Soviet tanks and a hundred thousand troops, precipitating the 200,000 refugees and the execution of then premier Imre Nagy two years later.  The turning point came on November 1, 1956.  Nagy decided that Hungary would exit the Warsaw Pact, declaring itself neutral.

The crushing force of the subsequent Soviet invasion traumatised the communist movement in Western Europe, stripping the ranks of various party branches while hardening others who felt that ideology needed tanks to back its strictures against the waverers. Behind the Iron Curtain, it was a warning to dissidents to play it by ear – and a resolutely acute one at that.

It also brought revolution into homes.  “Hungary 1956,” the late historian Eric Hobsbawm reminds us, “was the first insurrection brought directly into Western homes by journalists, broadcasters and cameramen, who flooded across the briefly breached Iron Curtain from Austria.”[1]

As with any such historical events, more tends to be made of less.  The initial protests were hardly premised on a back breaking revolution.  Inspired by anti-Soviet protests in Poland, thousands of students marched through Budapest sporting the famous “Sixteen Points” on October 23.

Central to these demands was a freeing up of Hungary from its labouring satellite status, entailing the withdrawal of Soviet troops, freer foreign policy, and free elections.  Then came the greater numbers, posing a direct challenge to the authority of the first secretary Ernő Gerő, the enthusiastic removal of Stalin’s statue, and fire from nerve wracked secret police.

As Charles Gati’s Failed Illusions: Moscow, Washington, Budapest and the 1956 Hungarian Revoltsuggests, “relatively few Hungarians actually fought against Soviet rule, and their ultimate aim was to reform the system, not to abolish it.”

Nor was there anything systematic or steely about the organisation of the protest.  Hungary’s doomed Imre Nagy was not as skilful as he might have been, despite showing courage before the proceedings arrayed against him.  If history takes place on a moving train, this particular one proved wobbly and uncertain.

Caught between the absolute aims of the fighters, and reassuring Moscow that their disruption might be kept minimal, Nagy failed to do both, a symptom of what Hobsbawm termed “heroic victimisation”.  Much of this had to do with the fact that the Hungarian Communist Party, by that point, was in tatters.

Misinformation and mishandling, in short, was everywhere.  Assertions that the Soviet leadership were compulsively “trigger happy” are dismissed by Gati.  There were concessions sought; there was a hope for a solution more reminiscent of Yugoslavia or Poland.  But it becomes increasingly hard to avoid the sense that historical actors, once unleased, have no sense of what can happen next. Folly tends to be a default outcome.

The other story was the interplay of the other side of the now thick curtain, which had only been momentarily pierced by the de-Stalinising rhetoric of Nikita Khrushchev.  Many of the Hungarian students laboured under some presumption that Western intervention in some guise, marshalled with US support, would take place.  Such outlets as Radio Free Europe fed the manna of presumed freedom to the “student movement”, as it was termed.

This was aided by the counter-revolutionary rhetoric of rollback, encouraged by initial US Cold War administrations keen to arrest, and repel Soviet influence. Like some radical mystique, Soviet rule was meant to melt into to the background before the idea of a popular uprising.

But the eyes of then US President Dwight D. Eisenhower were glued to another spectacle: that of the Anglo-French-Israeli attack on Egypt after the nationalisation of Suez by the Nasser regime.  The pretext for gradualism was set, with neither superpower too eager to place the other in direct line of potential nuclear conflict.

Such a train of events also supply current regimes with counterfeit political currency.  Acts become unvarnished in their heroism.  The government of Viktor Orbán has tended to be greedy in that regard, using historical shibboleths as readily as slogans.

The chance of commemorating 1956 after six decades was always going to be impossible.  “People who love their freedom,” he said on Sunday, “must save Brussels from Sovietization, from people who want to tell us who we should live with in our countries.”[2] Russian tanks had been replaced by Muslim immigrants and Brussels.

The opposition party Egyutt (Together) begged to differ, with several members attempting to interrupt this display of self-love.  Hundreds of whistles and red cards were distributed to assist heckling and disruption.

According to the party’s vice president, Péter Juhász, “Viktor Orbán’s policies are exactly the kind Hungarians rebelled against in 1956.”[3] While 1956 saw a revolt against the Soviet bloc’s Stalinist chill, with its glacial response, Juhász saw Orbán as getting all too warm with Moscow – literally, with the decision to permit Russian construction of nuclear reactors in Paks.  “Back then, Hungarians stood up to Soviet domination, while today Orbán has committed Hungary to Russia for decades.”

Orbán’s dog whistle world is set in hard blocs of culture and civilization, usually what he considers the better ones against the worst.  The refugee debate in Hungary took that turn when Orbán decided that foreboding fences rather than processing centres provided better solutions.  Besides, he insisted, Hungary was taking the lead again – this time against resurgent Ottomans and Islam. That’s historical Hungary for you: a self-touted figure part vanguard, and always, part heroic victim.

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

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Over the course of its history, the New York Times has reported on many American elections that have been rigged or stolen or are suspected of having been being rigged or stolen. For example, as a supporter of the black civil rights movement, the NY Times has many stories in its archives of elections rigged by disenfranchisement of black voters.

But this was when the NY Times was an independent voice before it became a whore for the Oligarchs who rule America. When the NY Times reported that black Americans could have no confidence in the integrity of American elections, the NY Times did not denounce itself for delegitimizing American democracy.

The NY Times forgot all of this when it published Max Fisher’s article yesterday. Fisher fished up “scholars” among the Hillary advocates, and they obligingly told him that Trump’s questioning of the integrity of American elections were the tactics of a would-be dictator who is at work delegitimizing democracy so that he can take over.

What Fisher and his “scholars” overlook is that the US government is already delegitimized in the eyes of the American population, as well as foreign populations. If the US government was not already delegitimized, Donald Trump would not have been successful in what, despite Trump’s damnation by the presstitutes, was an easy sweep-aside of the Establishment’s candidates for the Republican presidential nomination.

The US government is delegitimized, not only in the eyes of Americans, but also in the eyes of most of the world

Millions of Americans have lost their jobs, their careers, their hopes, because corrupt bought-and-paid-for-Washington enabled Globalism to send the futures of the American people to China and India.

Millions of Americans lost their homes, because the corrupt Federal Reserve came down on the side of five “banks too big to fail” at the expense of the American people. Millions of Americans along with much of the world know that the US government has been slaughtering millions of peoples in seven countries based on lies, wasting not only countries and the lives of millions of peoples, but trillions of American dollars that Americans needed for their welfare. Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction. Assad did not use chemical weapons.

Gaddafi was innocent of all the absurd charges that Washington used to destroy Libya, a country that had the most progressive social system on earth. Russia did not invade Ukraine. The Taliban had nothing whatsoever to do with 9/11. Yet countries are in ruins because of Washington’s war crimes justified by transparent lies.

If the NY Times does not know this, the organization is too stupid to justify its existence. Of course the Times knows it. But the NY Times is no longer a newspaper. It is a cog in the Ministry of Propaganda that works to create a Matrix in which brainwashed Americans accept the dictates of the Oligarchs.

The purpose of the Times’ article is to discredit in advance criticism of an election that the ruling Oligarchs intend to steal. If the Times believed that Hillary would have a clear election victory, there would be no point to Fisher’s article.

We see voluminous signs of the intended theft of the election. For example, Hillary’s lead in the polls is based on the pollsters skewing the affiliation of those polled to Democrats. The percentage of Democrats in the samples is far higher than their percentage of registered voters. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-10-23/how-wapos-latest-poll-give-hillary-12-point-advantage-over-trump 

It the past it was difficult to steal elections unless they were very close. Exit polls were a check on vote count, and the disenfranchisement of blacks could be risky if it attracted the attention of the US Department of Justice. The new method, which is unfolding before our eyes, steals the election in advance with the Oligarchs’ candidate far ahead in the polls (now by 12 points according to the latest fiction) and by making anyone who questions the faked results into a fascist dictator.

Obviously, if Hillary was really ahead by 12 points — a landslide — there would be no need for Fisher’s article or for the constant drumbeat against Trump.

Judging from the hysteria, as reflected in Fisher’s NY Times article, for example, the Oligarchs are aware that objections to their rule has elevated Trump. In order to hold on to power, the American Oligarchs must smash Trump and put their bought-and-paid-for-candidate, Hillary — whom the Oligarchs have provided along with Bill a personal fortune of $120 million and endowed the Clinton Foundation with $1,600 million — into the Oval Office.

Pollsters by nature of their business are unreliable. If truthful results offend the establishment political organizations, the pollsters are out of work. Polls have to serve the Oligarchs or the polling firms go down. Trump is an outsider toward whom the ruling Oligarchy is totally opposed, which is why Americans support him. Therefore, polling firms are adverse to betting their future on poll results favorable to Trump, especially when the whores who constitute the American print and TV media, such as the NY Times, are all out to put Hillary in the White House.

As Hillary’s public statements have made clear, Hillary is antagonistic toward Russia and the Russian government, calling the president of Russia “the new Hitler.” She promises conflict with Russia, which would certainly be nuclear and end life on earth.

Trump says in the face of contrary ruling neoconservative opinion that he sees no point in conflict with Russia and no point in NATO’s continued existence a quarter century after the purpose of NATO collapsed with the Soviet Union. Trump might not be successful in appointing a government that serves his instincts, but at least he gives us hope of avoiding military conflict with Russia and China. With Hillary there is no hope whatsoever. My opinion is that the world would not survive Hillary’s first term. I have known the neoconservatives since the 1970s. They are crazed fanatics, and they hate Russia. Hillary is their agent.

It is unclear that the Russian government understands, or takes seriously, the neoconservative ideology of US world hegemony. Putin’s hesitant, indecisive behavior in Syria has done more to set himself and Russia up for demonization than to defeat ISIS. http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2016/10/24/by-cooperating-with-washington-on-syria-russia-walked-into-a-trap-paul-craig-roberts/ 

The Western world is corrupt and evil. The list of its victims is almost endless. What disconnect makes some Russians desire association with the Western world?

How the Media and Democrats Rig the Perception of Trump

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/oct/18/undercover-video-shows-democrats-saying-they-hire-/ 

The Orchestrated Trump-Putin Connection

Leaked emails prove that the Trump-Putin connection was orhestrated as campaign talk
to deflect attention from damaging content of Clinton’s released emails.

https://www.rt.com/usa/363779-clinton-trump-putin-isis/ 

Integrity Of US Elections Among Lowest Of All Countries

According to Shyla Nelson, the co-founder of Election Justice USA, US elections are manipulated in many ways, including «voter suppression, unauthorized registration purges, district gerrymandering, gross exit poll variances, the privatization of voting machinery, and the lack of transparency in ballot processing – our elections will continue to rank among the lowest in the world in integrity.

US elections are so corrupt that the US has threatened Russian diplomats with arrest if they attempt to monitor the US November presidential election.

http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2016/10/23/us-gives-another-reason-believe-democracy-deeply-flawed.html 

Bill Clinton’s Victims of Alleged Sexual Abuse (the ones we know about)

http://www.albertpeia.com/oxfordassault.htm 

But we must not tolerate Trump’s lewd comments.

Bill and Hillary are lawless because they have never been held accountable. As the justice system has given Hillary a pass, will voters hold her accountable in November, or will the American public also give her a pass?

Hillary Has Never Been Held Accountable For Anything

What is worse, Hillary laughing about her success in getting a child rapist off or Trump’s lewd comments about women? Why is it that the TV women can’t come up with the right answer? How can democracy function when a propaganda ministry takes the place of the media?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2658801/I-never-trusted-polygraph-Hillary-Clinton-LAUGHS-recalls-helped-suspected-child-rapist-walk-free-prosecution-lost-crucial-evidence.html 

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/06/20/exclusive-hillary-clinton-took-me-through-hell-rape-victim-says.html 

A Comparison of Trump’s and Hillary’s Crowds

Trump’s crowds are hundreds of times larger than Hillary’s, so how is it that she is in the lead? We are being told lies in order to cover up the coming election theft.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4K56KaJ7Ds&app=desktop 

Poll of Likely Voters Finds 53% Want Hillary Indicted

If 53% of voters want Hillary indicted, how can she be leading in the presidential race?

Which of the polls is wrong?

https://www.rt.com/usa/363759-hillary-emails-indicted-poll/ 

Rigged Elections Are An American Tradition

http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2016/10/21/rigged-elections-are-an-american-tradition-paul-craig-roberts/ 

Stephen Lendman pleads: don’t let them steal the election, reject the presstitutes’ propaganda:

« November 8 isn’t election day. It’s orchestrated grand theft theater to anoint Hillary Obama’s successor. Americans are deluded to believe their vote matters.

This year’s outcome was decided well in advance, likely last year before aspirants announced their candidacy for the nation’s highest office.

Power brokers running America bear full responsibility for concocting a sham system, fantasy democracy, not the real thing.

Disgracefully one-sided pro-Hillary media scoundrels and corporate pollsters share blame for creating the impression of her unbeatability.

Press agent journalism proliferates. Biased corporate polls are easily manipulated to show what sponsors want. On Sunday, The New York Times virtually declared Hillary November’s winner and next president, saying she “has a 93% chance to win.”

The dirty game aims to discourage Trump supporters, convince them he has no chance to win, hoping many will stay home, while encouraging rank and file for Hillary to show up en masse.

Any number of dirty tricks can be used to assure she’s anointed president-elect. Stolen elections are a longstanding US tradition from the early days of the republic.

Now it’s done by methods explained above, electronic ease, voter roll stripping and other dirty tricks.

Paul Craig Roberts explains turnout for Trump stump speeches overwhelming exceeds what Hillary attracts.

So how come most polls show her leading, he asks? “We are being told lies in order to cover up the coming election theft,” he justifiably explains.

Want more evidence? Here it is. Citing an October 18 – 19, Rasmussen poll, RT International reported 65% of voters surveyed saying Hillary acted extrajudicially by storing classified State Department emails on her private server.

A 53% majority believe she should be indicted. When asked if Hillary’s email scandal was important in influencing their vote, 70% replied affirmatively – 49% calling it very important.

If Hillary wins as expected, around 70% of Republican voters believe it’s by election-rigging, according to a separate Reuters/Ipsos poll RT cited.

If most voters want her indicted, polls showing her leading Trump lack credibility.

She’s the establishment candidate, Wall Street’s choice, Trump an outlier, relentlessly denigrated, things rigged to assure he loses.

Democracy in America serves its privileged few alone — indifferent to the needs, rights and welfare of most others, especially the nation’s poor and vulnerable. (Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]).

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts’ latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the WestHow America Was Lost, and The Neoconservative Threat to World Order.
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Campaign finance records show Clinton ally and Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe donated nearly $500,000 to the election campaign of the wife of the FBI deputy director who later oversaw the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email scandal.

McAuliffe’s political action committee, Common Good VA, donated $467,500 to the 2015 senate campaign of Dr. Jill McCabe, who happens to be the wife of Andrew McCabe, the deputy director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Thanks to his impressive fundraising abilities, McAuliffe has enjoyed a long-standing political and personal relationship with the Clintons. He was chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 2001 to 2005, and chaired Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2008.

During the presidency of Bill Clinton, McAuliffe and his team raised an unprecedented $275 million for Clinton’s causes. McAuliffe also guaranteed Bill and Hillary’s $1.35 million mortgage for their post-presidential house in Chappaqua, New York, and sat on the board of the Clinton Foundation for a time.

In addition to McAuliffe’s cash donation, the Virginia Democratic Party funneled another $207,788 worth of support to McCabe’s campaign, which brought the funding total “from entities either directly under Mr. McAuliffe’s control or strongly influenced by him” to over $675,000, according to the WSJ. McCabe ended up losing the election to Republican Richard Black.

There were no inappropriate motives behind the generous donations, McAuliffe told the paper.

[Gov. McAuliffe] supported Jill McCabe because he believed she would be a good state senator. This is a customary practice for Virginia governors… Any insinuation that his support was tied to anything other than his desire to elect candidates who would help pass his agenda is ridiculous,” said McAuliffe’s spokesman.

The FBI also denied any wrongdoing by emphasizing that as a federal employee McCabe had no involvement in his wife’s campaign and was promoted to Deputy Director of the bureau after the election was over.

[Mr. McCabe] played no role, attended no events, and did not participate in fundraising or support of any kind”, said the FBI in a statement.

Months after the completion of her campaign, then-Associate Deputy Director McCabe was promoted to Deputy, where, in that position, he assumed for the first time, an oversight role in the investigation into Secretary Clinton’s emails.”

The motivation behind the political backing has been somewhat disputed on Twitter, with liberal pundits suggesting the governor could simply have been making a play to shift the Virginia legislature towards the Democrats.

While others say the coincidental timeline raises too many suspicions:

• March 2015: News of Clinton’s private server used to send and receive classified emails is revealed, that same month Dr. McCabe announces candidacy.

• July 2015: FBI investigation into Clinton’s emails in launched. McCabe, who was running FBI’s Washington, DC office (which had a part in the probe) is promoted to No. 3 position at FBI headquarters and joins the team overseeing the Clinton investigation.

• September 2015: McAuliffe donates to Dr. McCabe campaign.

• February 2016: Mr. McCabe becomes FBI Director James Comey’s second-in-command.

• July 2016: FBI announces decision to not press charges against Clinton.

The political waters become even muddier when considering McCabe’s FBI office actually investigated Mr. McAuliffe during the same time period, over donations he reportedly made on behalf of a Chinese businessman.

Virginia’s political reputation has been tarnished by authorities in other ways. McAuliffe’s predecessor, Republican Robert McDonnell, was convicted of corruption in 2014, but the verdict was eventually overturned by the US Supreme Court.

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Denied a « Human Standard of Living » by the State of Israel: The Gaza Blockade has Entered its Tenth Year

octobre 25th, 2016 by United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

“I have survived the past three wars, but that is not the problem. In this place, wars come and go. The bigger struggle is not to lose hope. The only way I can do that is to retreat, and create my own world, and become oblivious.” This was told to me by 36-year old Ali, who works as a waiter in one of the coffee shops in Gaza city.

Ali was born in Gaza and for almost ten years has been living under a tight blockade on air, land and sea, entering its tenth year in June 2016. The blockade keeps him and the rest of the 1.8 million people of Gaza isolated and locked into a tiny 365 square kilometres-enclave – the Gaza Strip has one of the highest population densities in the world – tormented by extreme poverty and dilapidated by repeated conflicts.

Chronic fuel and electricity shortages, with power cuts between 18 and 22 hours per day, extreme water pollution  – 95 per cent of the Gaza groundwater is undrinkable – and devastated infrastructure, as a dire reminder of repeated cycles of armed violence, are the daily reality. Gaza’s people are denied a human standard of living. This was not always the case: before the imposition of restrictions on movements of people and goods, the Gaza Strip was a relatively developed society with a productive base and a thriving economy.

Blockade and occupation have reversed this process, accelerated by repeated Israeli military operations and widespread destruction, and today Gaza is subject to what the UN calls de-development. Located at the Mediterranean Sea between Egypt and Israel, Gaza could be famous for its palm trees, fruits and white beaches. Instead, it is known for a sewage and hygiene crisis titled by the Time magazine a “ticking global-health time bomb”.

UNRWA not only frequently spoke out against the disastrous impact of recurrent conflicts in Gaza, but has also – along with the UN at the highest level – repeatedly condemned the rockets launched from the enclave. We are disturbed by all risks to loss of life. At the same time we believe that the current, and increasing, restrictions on the movement of people and goods may in a very significant manner lead to exactly the opposite result of their stated reasons to enhance security in Israel. The severe restrictions represent a potential risk for increased frustration, violence and radicalisation, and could even be the trigger for another devastating conflict in the Gaza Strip.

THE REPEATED WARNINGS WILL BECOME REALITY

The UN has issued repeated warnings about the unsettling and serious conditions prevailing in the tiny enclave; we warned already four years ago that the Gaza Strip will become unliveable – meaning that there will effectively not be enough resources for people to survive – by 2020. This is in less than four years. These warnings have been repeated ever since. If no fundamental and immediate action is taken to address the underlying causes of conflict such as the blockade which must be fully lifted, they will become reality; the catastrophe will not be looming on the horizon anymore.

When a place becomes unliveable, people move. This is the case for environmental disasters such as droughts, or for conflicts, such as in Syria.

Yet this last resort is denied to the people in Gaza. They cannot move beyond their 365 square kilometres territory. They cannot escape, not the devastating poverty or the fear of another conflict. Its highly educated youth – almost 50 per cent of the population are below 17 years of age – do not have the option to travel, to seek education outside Gaza, or to find work, anywhere else beyond the perimeter fence and the two tightly-controlled border-checkpoints in the north and south of the Gaza Strip.

With the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza almost entirely closed except for a few days per year, and with Israel often denying exit even for severe humanitarian cases or staff of international organizations, the vast majority of the people have no chance of getting one of the highly sought-after “permits”. They can also not leave across the sea without the risk of being arrested or shot at by the Israeli or Egyptian navies, and they cannot climb over the heavily guarded perimeter fence between Israel and Gaza without the same risks.

The blockade has effectively eroded what was left of a middle class, sending almost all of the population into aid-dependency and destitution. The unemployment rate in quarter two of 2016 stood at 41.7 per cent – not including heavy underemployment – and 80 per cent of the population are forced to rely on humanitarian assistance to be able to cover their very basic needs, such as food, but also basic education, basic health care, shelter, or even items such as blankets, mattress or a cooking stove. While UNRWA in 2000, before the blockade, provided food assistance to 80,000 beneficiaries, we support over 930,000 persons today – a 12-fold increase.

PSYCHOSOCIAL IMPACT: HIGH LEVELS OF STRESS AND DISTRESS

The compounded effects of the blockade have also had a less visible, but yet profound and palpable psychological impact on the people in Gaza. Whatever resilience people have left, it is being eroded with every day the blockade continues. The UNRWA Community Mental Health Programme has found that Palestine refugees in Gaza are experiencing increasingly higher levels of stress and distress. The reporting of suicide cases across the Gaza Strip, once unheard of but now becoming a regular occurrence, clearly suggest that the coping capacity of Palestinians is being exhausted.

Among Palestine refugee children, UNRWA estimates that a minimum of 30 per cent require some form of structured psychosocial intervention. Their most common symptoms are: nightmares, eating disorders, intense fear, bed wetting.

“Boredom is a key factor for the depression and hopelessness of the young people. They sit in the dark – literally because of the lack of electricity – and feel helpless. They think about their life and only see negative solutions. Gaza is full of ideas; there is so much creativity in this place.  But we don’t focus enough on our own ideas.  We focus on our aid-dependency. The blockade has also led to a blockade in the mind-set of people. Young people are retreating. Why should we try, if there is always and every time a big NO to everything?” summarised Rana Quffa, a youth community leader from Gaza’s Middle Area, the feelings that engulf Gaza’s youth to me.” Life in Gaza is a vicious cycle. Who will help us break it?” she also asked.

The blockade on Gaza is not just political terminology; it is also not a natural disaster that just “happened”. The blockade on Gaza is man-made, and it is about real lives, about real stories. It is time to give Gaza, and its youth, its future back. The blockade must be lifted.

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This week the European Parliament will be debating the general EU budget for 2017/18. The main focus of the debate is likely to be the knock-on impacts of Brexit and the falling pound, infrastructure, migration and the many other major challenges facing the continent.

Understandably, a lot of significant items are likely to be overlooked, including a crucial point, that could see the EU taking steps towards adopting an institutional military-industrial strategy. Buried within the budget is the EU’s first proposed Preparatory Action for defence research.

If the budget is agreed, this would effectively be a trial-run that would see the European Parliament subsidising military research for the first time. It would represent an important precedent. At present, the European Commission finances exclusively civilian or dual-use R&D through its €80 billion Horizon 2020 programme.

The proposal, would cover the period of 2017-2020 at the estimated cost of€50-100 million – paving the way for a full research programme that the European Union Institute for Security Studies (EUISS), which made the proposal in the first place, estimates would cost at least €3.5 billion between 2021-2027.

Arms trade influence over decision making

Right from the start, the process has been influenced by those with a vested interest. The group that put the EUISS report together included high level representation from some of the biggest arms companies in the world. In fact, the majority of those on the Group of Personalities that the EUISS appointed to develop proposals are from the arms trade, so the pro-military conclusion is not particularly surprising.

In effect the arms industry has been brought in to advise the EU on military strategy and reached the conclusion that what is needed is more military spending.

Needless to say, arms companies already benefit from huge amount of public money. A lot of arms company R&D is already funded by member states. Supporters of the change have made clear that they do not foresee any parallel reduction of national budgets for military research, with manyn Member States still bound by their NATO commitments.

There is an international dimension to it too. The ADS, a trade body for arms companies, is clear about its motivations for supporting the proposal, which it says is focused on trying to “maintain and improve long-term competitiveness in the European Defence Industry.”

No explanation is provided for where the money would come from. Would it mean cutting 3.5bn EUR from other budgets? What would be cut in order to fund it? There is also very little explanation of how it will be spent or what checks-and-balances will be in place to stop it from becoming a blank-cheque for arms companies.

What kind of Europe do we want?

There is no question that security is a major challenge and that the EU has a critical role to play in addressing it. However, threats to security are multi-faceted and the solutions that the EU proposes to address them must be clearly based on the Treaties and core values of the EU.

The EU was envisaged as a peace project. The European Parliament stood up for those values this February, when it voted to support an arms embargo against Saudi Arabia due to its devastating bombardment of Yemen. Many of the weapons being used in the destruction are made in Europe, with many being manufactured by the same companies that would benefit from the proposed subsidy.

The EU should be investing in jobs and research projects that promote sustainable industries and contribute to the prevention of conflicts. This proposal could mean taking funds from other projects for something that would only benefit those that profit from war and conflict.

In a busy news agenda, the change may not be generating the headlines that the precedent deserves, but it is getting grass-roots opposition, with over 62,000 people having signed a European Network Against Arms Trade petition to oppose the spending.

Underpinning the opposition is the broader question of what kind of Europe we want. Do we want a social Europe that invests in people and peace, or do we want one that focuses on arms, militarism and war?

As UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has said ‘the World is over-armed and peace is under-funded.’ The EU could play a big role in changing this, but right now it risks doing the exact opposite.

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Not only are these borders artificially drawn, they highlight the utter insanity of fencing an entire population in the world’s largest open-air prison simply because of Israel’s need to maintain a Jewish demographic majority.

Summer days are long, but in Gaza, they are longer than one might think. They get even longer when the electricity and the internet are shut off, which is most of the time. This had been my daytime nightmare ever since Israel imposed its siege on the Gaza Strip in 2007. To escape it, you could read or visit a friend to talk to, but when the weather gets hot and humid, the energy to do any of these activities evaporates.

On one such hot and humid day, I went to the roof of my house out of boredom. Although this was not the first time I had looked at the landscape from my family’s rooftop in Deir Al-Balah, some thoughts and reflections made this day unforgettable. I looked east and there were the borders between the Gaza Strip and Israel, and I looked west and there was the sea. From that same spot, both borders were visible, and between them, the familiar scene of innumerable drab houses stretching towards both horizons.

Palestinian workers salvage building materials near Erez Crossing at Gaza’s northern border, Beit Hanoun, May 11, 2014. Human rights organizations have documented dozens of cases of Israeli army gunfire at persons who posed no threat and were well outside the 300-meter so-called “no-go zone” imposed by the Israeli military inside Gaza’s borders. In many cases, no warning was given before soldiers opened fire. (photo: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)

At that moment, I recalled one of the famous common sayings used by Palestinians in Gaza to refer to the Strip: we’re trapped ‘min al-silik ila al-silik’ (from the fence to the fence). This simple phrase sums up Gaza’s current reality: a fenced place, surrounded by dead-ends and, within it, a caged human sea with almost no hope or future. Such thoughts never abandoned me. They chased me most of the time I spent in Gaza, where I observed how the Strip grew ever more overcrowded.

‘From fence to fence’ is a simple enough expression, and yet it reflects the geographic space Palestinians inhabit. For them, ‘the fence’ is the most pernicious manifestation of the Zionist conquest in 1948, and its continuity into the present. The fence is a physical barrier that was imposed by an external force, which divides what the Palestinians in Gaza consider as their historic land, and which prevents them from returning to their original towns and villages. The fence is a constant reminder of the rupture caused by the 1948 War, which pushed many Palestinians out of their towns and villages in what is today the State of Israel.

Even when some Gazans refer to the armistice line of 1949, few people refer to it as a border. It is mostly referred to in Arabic as ‘al-silik’ — literally, ‘the wire,’ or ‘the fence.’ For the Palestinians in Gaza, the fence evokes the Nakba, the refugee struggle, and the occupation. The fence, as a physical barrier to refugee return, was the beginning of the tragedy. The fence today is its continuation. And since the fence caused the problem, the solution must include its removal. The fence is the history that Palestinians in Gaza never want to forget, and no amount of aid can induce them to do so.

Barbed wire, and behind that the border wall can be seen through the fence at Erez Crossing terminal, the northern checkpoint leading from the Gaza Strip to Israel. (Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

The central element of the historical context behind Gaza’s present reality is the Nakba (catastrophe) of 1948. The Nakba is not history relegated to the past, but history lived in the present: in the narrow alleys of the crowded refugee camps, in the women who leave their humble houses in the camps every morning to receive their food packages, in the barefoot children who play soccer on Gaza’s beach, and in the lands of depopulated villages just beyond the fence still visible from the rooftops of Gaza’s refugee camps. The Nakba is still present in Gaza, not only by the continuation of the state of refuge, but also by the continuity of the rupture that it caused.

By the time the 1949 armistice agreement was signed, around 200,000 refugees had already arrived in the Strip and gathered in eight refugee camps. Unlike many of the refugees that fled to neighboring Arab countries, Gaza’s new arrivals were never far from their original homes. Across the armistice lines, many could see their old villages.

In 1950, the Israeli Knesset passed the ‘Law of Return,’ which allows only Jews to ‘return’ to Israel proper, whereas its policy towards the Palestinian refugees who were spirited across the borders and the demarcation line was clear: they will never come back.

After the Six-Day War in 1967 and the beginning of Israel’s occupation and military administration, these refugees were allowed to travel into Israel with special permits where they were able to finally see their towns and villages, but of course, they were never allowed to return permanently.

The post-Nakba history shows that Palestinian refugees in Gaza resisted the demarcation line. For them, the land beyond the line was perceived as a lost paradise to which generations of refugees yearned to return. As for the early refugees, it took them time to understand that the line had become practically impassable. Attempts by refugees to cross to their towns and villages, including farmers who tried to cultivate their land, were brutally confronted by kibbutz residents and Israeli military outposts located near the demarcation line, and led to the deaths of many of those who attempted to cross.

During this period, the armistice line began to develop into a frontier of confrontation and resistance, despite its artificial nature. Later on, the line would take the physical shape of a fence, to be engraved in the Palestinian collective memory and awareness as both a material and a symbolic monument of rupture and territorial and emotional disconnection.

Metaphors such as ‘from fence to fence’ remind Palestinians in Gaza — both as refugees and natives — of their loss, their tragedy, and the abnormality of the fence that divides their land and prevents their return. Not only are these borders artificially drawn and reinforced with the use of brutal force, but they highlight the utter insanity of fencing an entire population in the world’s largest open-air prison simply because of Israel’s need to maintain a Jewish demographic majority.

The fact that Gaza’s crisis could be solved tomorrow if the majority-refugee population were granted its right of return is completely ignored by the humanitarian discourse. The tragedy of Gaza needs to be understood through the intensity of loss, especially since in Gaza’s situation, what was lost is only a stone’s throw away for many refugees, who can still see their former towns and villages beyond the fence.

The author, a Palestinian from Deir al-Balah city in the Gaza Strip, is a PhD candidate at New York University for a joint program in Hebrew and Judaic Studies and History.

A version of this article was originally published on The Nakba Files, part of The Nakba & the Law, a joint project of the Columbia University Center for Palestine Studies and Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel. The piece is an edited excerpt of an essay that appears in Gaza as Metaphor, a new volume edited by Helga Tawil-Souri and Dina Matar.

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Obama, Clinton and the mainstream media all say that Russia hacked the Democratic National Committee and released emails to throw the election to Trump.

But former CIA, State Department, and House Intelligence Committee security expert Fred Fleitz notes:

Only two intelligence entities – the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – have weighed in on this issue, not 17 intelligence agencies [as Hillary Clinton had claimed]. And what they said was ambiguous about Russian involvement. An unclassified October 7, 2016 joint DNI-DHS statement on this issue said the hacks

“. . . are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts. These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the US election process. Such activity is not new to Moscow — the Russians have used similar tactics and techniques across Europe and Eurasia, for example, to influence public opinion there. We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities.”

Saying we think the hacks “are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts” is far short of saying we have evidence that Russia has been responsible for the hacks. Maybe high-level officials would have authorized them if Russian hackers were responsible, but the DNI and DHS statement did NOT say there was evidence Russia was responsible.

Headline: National Review

Indeed, the NSA executive who created the agency’s mass surveillance program for digital information, who served as the senior technical director within the agency, who managed six thousand NSA employees, the 36-year NSA veteran widely regarded as a “legend” within the agency and the NSA’s best-ever analyst and code-breaker, who mapped out the Soviet command-and-control structure before anyone else knew how, and so predicted Soviet invasions before they happened (“in the 1970s, he decrypted the Soviet Union’s command system, which provided the US and its allies with real-time surveillance of all Soviet troop movements and Russian atomic weapons”) – says that Russia probably would not have used a “known” hacking method to gather and then leak DNC emails to sway the election.

Instead – if it were Russia – they probably would have used a different, covert method, so people couldn’t see their fingerprints (like the U.S. did with the Stuxnet hack).

Moreover, Binney said that he thought the hack may have been conducted by an NSA employee who was upset at Clinton’s careless handling of America’s most sensitive intelligence.

On the other hand, the head of the organization which leaked the emails to the press – Julian Assange of Wikileaks – not only denied that it was the Russians, but has strongly and repeatedly hinted that the hacker was a DNC insider.

Washington’s Blog asked NSA technical director Bill Binney about these two – NSA leaker and DNC leaker – and he explained:

Both are clear possibilities.

Also, there could be other governments, groups or individuals that hacked into HRC [i.e. Hillary Rodham Clinton] or the DNC and had the emails. Now the question is who sent them to Wikileaks? It could be any one of them or as Julian [Assange] somewhat implied that it was an insider in the DNC.

If the idiots in the intelligence community expect us to believe them after all the crap they have told us (like WMD’s in Iraq and “no we don’t collect data on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans”) then they need to give clear proof of what they say. So far, they have failed to prove anything.

Which suggests they don’t have proof and just want to war monger the US public into a second cold war with the Russians.

After all, there’s lots and lots of money in that for the military-industrial-intelligence-governmental complex of incestuous relationships.

We asked Binney:

What if the intelligence community spokespeople say “we can’t reveal the evidence we have that the Russians did it, because that would reveal our sources and methods?”

He responded:

If you recall, a few years ago they pointed to a specific building in China that was where hacks on the US were originating. So, let’s see the same from the Russians. They don’t have it. That’s why they don’t show it. They want to swindle us again and again and again. You can not trust these intelligence agencies period. (And see this.)

The former intelligence analyst, British Ambassador to Uzbekistan, and chancellor of the University of Dundee, Craig Murray, wrote last week:

I left Julian [Assange] after midnight. He is fit, well, sharp and in good spirits. WikiLeaks never reveals or comments upon its sources, but as I published before a fortnight ago, I can tell you with 100% certainty that it is not any Russian state actor or proxy that gave the Democratic National Committee and Podesta material to WikiLeaks. The claim is nonsense. Journalists are also publishing that these were obtained by “hacking” with no evidence that this was the method used to obtain them.

[We’ll update this post with a quote from Murray as soon as we reach him.]

Remember also that the intelligence official – DNI Director Clapper – who pushed the claim that the Russian might be behind the hack guy who started is a documented liar and political hack.

In any event, if Russia did hack the DNC emails, what does it actually mean?   Well, the former head of both the CIA and NSA said:

I have to admit my definition of what the Russians did [in alleging hacking the Democratic National Committee] is, unfortunately, honorable state espionage.

A foreign intelligence service getting the internal emails of a major political party in a major foreign adversary? Game on. That’s what we do.

By the way, I would not want to be in an American court of law and be forced to deny that I never did anything like that as director of the NSA. 

emphasis added

In other words, even if Russia was the source of the DNC emails, the U.S. has done the same exact thing.

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Heather Ann Thompson’s book Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy” is a detailed study of the inner workings of America. The blueprint for social control employed before and after the crushing of the Attica revolt is the same blueprint used today to keep tens of millions of poor people, especially poor people of color, caged or living in miniature police states.

Thompson meticulously documents the innumerable ways the state oppresses the poor by discrediting their voices, turning the press into a megaphone for government propaganda and lies, stoking the negative stereotypes of black people, exalting white supremacy, ruining the lives of people who speak the truth, manipulating the courts and law enforcement, and pressuring state witnesses to lie to obstruct justice. Her book elucidates not only the past but also the present, which, she concedes, is worse.

“America by the early twenty-first century had, in disturbing ways, come to resemble America in the late nineteenth century,” Thompson writes near the end of her book. “In 1800 the three-fifths clause gave white voters political power from a black population that was itself barred from voting, and after 2000 prison gerrymandering was doing exactly the same thing in numerous states across the country.

After 1865, African American desires for equality and civil rights in the South following the American Civil War led whites to criminalize African American communities in new ways and then sent record numbers of blacks to prison in that region. Similarly, a dramatic spike in black incarceration followed the civil rights movement—a movement that epitomized Attica. From 1965 onward, black communities were increasingly criminalized, and by 2005, African Americans constituted 40 percent of the U.S. prison population while remaining less than 13 percent of its overall population. And just as businesses had profited from the increased number of Americans in penal facilities after 1870, so did they seek the labor of a growing captive prison population after 1970. In both centuries, white Americans had responded to black claims for freedom by beefing up, and making more punitive, the nation’s criminal justice system.”

click image to order book

On Sept. 9, 1971, prisoners at the Attica Correctional Facility in upstate New York rebelled in the face of intolerable conditions. They were sick of the racist-fueled violence of the white, rural guards; angry at poor medical care and the dearth of vocational and educational programs; underfed (the prison allocated only 63 cents a day to feed a prisoner); unhappy about their mail being censored, or destroyed if it was in Spanish; living in poorly ventilated cells with little or no heat or stifling heat; unable to buy basic commissary items on salaries that averaged 6 cents a day; and tired of being given only one bar of soap and one roll of toilet paper a month and allowed only one shower a week.

The uprising was not premeditated. It took place when prisoners, trapped inadvertently by guards in a tunnel that led to the yard, thought they were going to be given another beating by sadistic correction officers. The spontaneous uprising took place “because ordinary men, poor men, disenfranchised men, and men of color had simply had enough of being treated as less than human,” Thompson writes.

Four hundred fifty prisoners had previously staged a peaceful sit-down strike in the prison’s metal shop to protest wages that, as a witness later testified at a New York state hearing, were “so low that working at Attica [was] tantamount to slavery.” Prisoners had formed committees and sent respectful letters to prison authorities asking them to address their concerns. The requests were largely ignored. Despite authorities’ promises that there would be no retribution, those who organized the protests were put in isolation or transferred to other prisons. The callousness of the officials was especially unconscionable in light of the fact that the state had netted huge sums for sales of products made by the prisoners.

After three days of negotiations, in which the prison authorities refused to grant the rebellious prisoners amnesty, 550 New York state troopers, 200 sheriff’s deputies and numerous Attica prison guards were issued high-powered weapons, including rifles loaded with especially destructive bullets that expanded on impact, bullets banned in warfare under the Geneva Conventions. The prisoners had no firearms. The assault force members were fed a steady diet of lies and unfounded rumors to stoke their hatred of the prisoners. Black radicals were coming, they were falsely told, to the town of Attica to kidnap white children, a rumor that led to the closing of the schools.

Through clouds of CS gas, the assault force stormed the yard, where some 1,200 prisoners held 42 guards and civilian staff members. It unleashed a blizzard of gunfire, shooting 130 people. Twenty-nine prisoners and nine hostages died. (One guard beaten by prisoners in the first moments of the uprising died later in a hospital.)

The assault force, which had done all the killings that day, immediately began to hide evidence of its crimes. State officials told the press outside the prison that seven or eight of the hostages had died when the prisoners slit their throats. They claimed that the genitals of one of the guards were cut off and stuffed in his mouth. These reports were untrue, but they dominated the news coverage.

Meanwhile, inside the retaken institution, many prisoners were suffering from gunshot wounds that would not be treated for days. Some were stripped and made to run gantlets in which they were beaten by guards with ax handles, baseball bats and rifle butts. Those singled out as the leaders of the rebellion were marked with Xs on their backs, forced to crawl through mud, tortured and in few cases, it appears, executed.

New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller and the Nixon White House feared that the rebellion presaged armed revolution. The scores of dead and wounded were, for them, a message to the rest of the country—defy us and we will kill you. Today, any citizen who seriously resists the corporate state can expect the same response.

Thompson writes, “All of those assembled in the president’s office agreed that while the morning’s events made a particularly ‘gruesome story,’ news of the slashings and castration would go a long way toward discrediting America’s ‘bleeding hearts’ like ‘the Tom Wickers of the world.’ ‘I think this is going to have a hell of a salutary effect on future prison riots,’ Nixon said. ‘Just as Kent State [the May 4, 1970, shooting by National Guardsmen of unarmed students that left four dead and nine wounded] had a hell of a salutary effect. … They can talk all they want about force, but that is the purpose of force.’ ”

The avalanche of government lies permeates the narrative—not a surprise to anyone who has reported on the inner workings of power or spent time in our prisons and marginal communities.

There are heroes in the narrative. Their fate, which is almost universally bleak, is also instructive. The prisoner Sam Melville, who was serving an 18-year sentence in Attica for setting off explosives in government buildings to protest the Vietnam War, who taught classes to other inmates and who researched prison operations to show how the institution cruelly exploited prisoner labor for profit, was executed by guards after the uprising, according to other prisoners. So, apparently, was Elliot “L.D.” Barkley, who was in prison for violating parole by driving without a license and who, although he was only 21, was one of the most articulate spokespeople for the prisoners. Prisoners such as Frank “Big Black” Smith, savagely tortured by guards after the uprising, and Bernard “Shango” Stroble rose up majestically during the revolt to protect hostages and maintain order, and they fought for justice long after their release from prison. Civil rights attorneys such as Ernie Goodman and William Kunstler came to the prisoners’ defense.

A few within the governmental system exhibited rare moral courage. Among them were Dr. John Edland of the Monroe County medical examiner’s office, who refused to falsify autopsy reports and told the public that the hostages had been killed by state gunfire; Attica guard Michael Smith, who defied his own fraternity to speak the truth about state abuse; and government attorney Malcolm Bell, who exposed the state cover-up of the killings by the state troopers, sheriff’s deputies and prison guards. However, most who knew the truth remained silent.

Edland was especially singled out for condemnation. He was attacked as incompetent by state officials and called a clown and, although a Republican, a radical left-winger. (State troopers were dispatched to local funeral homes to prevent morticians from informing families of the cause of death of hostages.) Edland received death threats and other hate mail, was shunned by the local community and saw state troopers menacingly idle their automobiles in front of his home. Edland called the day he released the autopsy findings “the worst day of my life.”

When the state decides to isolate, discredit and crush you it has innumerable ways to do so. The press often is manipulated. Employers blacklist you. A gullible population is made to believe the caricature of you as a traitor or an enemy. Such smear campaigns are now directed against Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden.

New York State Police Capt. Henry “Hank” Williams oversaw the investigation into the 1971 assault. This meant that, in Thompson’s words, “the main investigators of the crimes of Attica were those who may well have committed them.” Williams made sure that “nothing related to the shooting—shell casings, the weapons themselves—was collected.” No chalk outlines, usually required at a crime scene, were drawn to indicate where the bodies had fallen. No calculations were made regarding bullet trajectories. The yard where the killings took place was cleaned up under Williams’ supervision as quickly as possible.

Prisoners were threatened with violence or indictment if they refused to incriminate the leaders of the uprising. The goal was not justice; it was to punish and isolate the prisoner leadership and protect law enforcement.

“When strong-arm tactics still proved ineffective,” Thompson writes concerning one interrogation, “they switched their approach: should this witness help them, investigators suggested, they would, in turn, help him get paroled. In addition to enticing the witness with the possibility of parole, they also promised to make prison life easier for him in the meantime.”

Scores of prisoners were indicted in connection with the uprising; only one member of the assault force was charged, with a minor offense. The state’s entire case when it went to the courts was built on a scaffolding of lies designed to exonerate the assault force and punish prisoner leaders. Jurors, who saw doctored films and photographs, never knew they were being presented with fabricated and tainted evidence, including photos of crude knives that had been planted next to slain prisoners. Witnesses recited stories fed to them by government investigators.

The state has never admitted wrongdoing for the Attica assault, and important parts of the record—autopsies, ballistics reports, trooper statements, and depositions—remain sealed nearly five decades later. Thompson stumbled onto Attica files in the Erie County courthouse and the New York State Museum, but since her discovery, she writes, they have vanished or “been removed from anyone’s view.”

“American voters ultimately did not respond to this prison uprising by demanding that states rein in police power,” she concludes. “Instead they demanded that police be given even more support and even more punitive laws to enforce.

“Indeed, the 1960s and 1970s were all about the politics of the ironic. At the Democratic National Convention protests of 1968, Kent State in 1970, and Wounded Knee in 1973, unfettered police power each time turned protests violent, and yet, after each of these events, the nation was sent the message that the people, not the police, were dangerous. Somehow, voters came to believe that democracy was worth curtailing and civil rights and liberties were worth suspending for the sake of ‘order’ and maintaining the status quo.”

Though immediately after the Attica uprising there were minor reforms, these improvements were soon rolled back. Conditions in prisons today are worse than those that led to the 1971 revolt. Control of prison populations is more brutal, more sophisticated and more inhumane. It is doubtful that the press, unlike at Attica in 1971, would ever be allowed inside a prison during an uprising to air the voices of the prisoners.

Much of the worst damage was done during the Clinton administration. President Bill Clinton signed into law, with Republican support, the draconian 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act. It provided $9.7 billion to build more prisons. By 1995 the prison population exceeded 1 million. It would soon double.

“The fact that so many of these people now in prison had been arrested because they were drug addicts, mentally ill, poor, and racially profiled concerned few if any politicians, whether in a statehouse or in Washington, D.C.,” Thompson writes. “Then, to make sure that this now enormous group of the incarcerated did not resist their deteriorating conditions of confinement via the nation’s legal system as they had done so effectively both before and after the Attica uprising, in 1996 legislators passed the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA).”

The PLRA made it difficult and often impossible for prisoners to use the courts to protect their Eighth Amendment right not to endure cruel and unusual punishment.

The New York Times columnist Tom Wicker, who was part of the negotiating team that tried to resolve the Attica uprising without bloodshed, singled out white fear as the central issue in the 1971 case. “White fear fixed itself upon the literal presence of black human beings. Black people, to whites, were the symbolic representation of the evil in man and thus were also the handy instruments by which white people could hold themselves symbolically innocent of that evil.” Wicker concluded, “The heart of the matter was the fear of blackness.”

This white fear remains unexamined in America. It allows us to stand by passively and watch the daily murders by police of unarmed black men and women. It allows us to maintain a prison system that holds a staggering 25 percent of the world’s prisoners, the majority of them poor people of color. This white fear condemns us as a nation. It perpetuates the evil of white supremacy. Poor people of color have been robbed of the most elemental forms of justice and basic constitutional rights. But the state, in the age of deindustrialization, has no intention of stopping there. These forms of social control, so familiar to poor people of color, will bear upon all of us.

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With the first anniversary of the Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA,  recently having passed, and the Obama Administration near its end, this seems to be a good time to consider one (there are a number) of the myths about the deal, and put it soundly to bed. Within the Obama Administration and in fact among those within the Beltway that support the JCPOA is the notion that “Iran needs the agreement, but we want it”. 

The truth is that Iran needs the agreement as does the current Administration of the United States. It is embarrassing for a superpower to acknowledge such a need. It suggests vulnerability, a state of mind anathema to the American political psyche, too difficult to tolerate, and so better to flip the truth with a distortion.

Turning to key statements from the Obama Administration is one means to uncover this need. Take, for example, national security advisor Susan Rice, stating in 2013:

“The Iranian nuclear issue remains one of the gravest threats to international security”. (1)

Take her word at face value for a moment – no such statement could more indicate dire need. Obama himself touts the agreement as a prevention of war with Iran.

Obama, as well as Rice, are politicians. It is difficult to know whether they truly believe their own words, but they have provided them. Putting their words aside and looking at track record in foreign policy is far more compelling, revealing and closer to the truth of how need has propelled the Administration.  Also, exposure of selective negotiated elements within the 165 page JCPOA helps to show in a practical way how need has been played out.

Someone needs only to imagine that they are President Obama and the following short list of foreign policy negative decision-making and pronouncements leaps out. With your Administration, you have:

•    Entrenched yourself as history’s greatest arms merchant, including exceptional promotion  of arms to the most unstable part of the world, the Middle East

•    Planned a $1 trillion dollar modernization of the U.S. nuclear weapons arsenal, after being awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace with no real accomplishment to show for it but for speaking and advocating for a nuclear weapons    free world.

•    Announced in the 2008/2009 period broadly that Al Qaeda was so decimated as to be essentially buried. Reasonably informed private citizens recognized the remarkable ignorance of the comments. Events throughout Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, Syria and other locations have proven the statement to be hollow.

•    Stated more currently, in early January ’16 and two days before the horrific ISIS attack on Paris that “We had contained ISIS” in Syria and Iraq. Assuredly the same reasonably informed portion of the public recognized that the assertion would prove to be empty.

•    With special influence from Hillary Clinton, decided that a policy of unprovoked war against the country of Libya in 2011 was both sensible thinking and a reflection of “Smart Power”.  Refusals to accept two different cease fire/peace accords, one in fact worked out between the American military and Libya’s army, with endorsement by Libya’s Colonel Gaddafi, led to mayhem, evident today. After launching 67 cruise missiles on the country in the first day of “operations” decidedly refused to call this a war, but a “kinetic military action”. Most of mankind surely recognized the offensiveness of such language.  By virtue of the war, Libya went from being one of the most advanced countries in Africa (though not without problems, assuredly) to state disintegration, to the point of it being officially declared a failed state.

•    Officially supported the development of ISIS in Syria, from 2012 until 2015, as official Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) declassified documents revealed. In 2015, claiming to be fighting ferociously against ISIS, mysteriously failed to bomb the ISIS stolen-oil truck convoys running from Syria into Turkey, until Russia shamed your Administration by bombarding these itself.   And at least indirectly, supported the Al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria, the Al-Nusra Front, working hand in glove with countries such as Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar to provide financing and weapons, and to push a military agenda in the already horrendous civil war in Syria.

•    Deliberately provoked Russia in Ukraine by supporting a coup d’etat, and thereby created tensions that never should have been and which could well have been either avoided altogether, or greatly lessened. In an effort  apparently unparalleled since the Cold War, have launched a deliberate policy of blame, this against Vladimir Putin  for virtually every ill, and have been so intent to poison the atmosphere of relations with Russia that your press secretary was allowed to criticize the way Mr. Putin sat when speaking with another head of state.

•   Were exposed by Edward Snowden for promoting the massive National Security Administration surveillance program, so widespread as to even be tapping the phone of Angel Merkel, head of state of Germany, one of America’s most reliable allies. Even the sleepy American public was alarmed.

•    Failed to offer any real support to the plight of the Palestinians, never mind justice, in either seriously trying to prevent excessive, disproportionate violence by Israel against them, or stand up to Prime Minister Netanyahu when Israel continued to build West Bank settlements.

•    Announced in 2008 the coming “most transparent Presidency”. In a remarkably secretive manner, proceeded to design the TPP trade agreement. The content and details of the Agreement have been shrouded, except for those multi-national corporations which would be the expected biggest beneficiaries.

Could a President with such a record ever not need some self-defined signature foreign policy achievement? The answer is easy. American Presidents, Obama among them, are obsessed with their “legacy”, or what they leave in their wake. The media’s promotion of legacy adds to the obsession. The Iran nuclear agreement was to be an essential part of Obama’s legacy, given his track record in so many places around the world. While there are other reasons assuredly for having the agreement, it is debatable that they might reflect need more than want. Among them would be prospects for multi-nationals to work deals with Iran. The foreign policy track record suggests no debate, however.

The fact that there even has been an agreement with Iran is proof that the Administration line of want, not need is empty rhetoric. Successive American Administrations, Clinton-Bush-Obama, maintained consistent stances in “negotiations” or behavior toward Iran that reflected what Mohamed El-Baradei, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) from 1997-2009 described as at times bullying, prodding, dominating and refusing to show respect to Iran as a nation.

Consider his quote:

“The Western notion of how to approach Iran was like going into a souk and offering the proprietor a fair sum for the desired merchandise but also threatening to burn down the shop if he didn’t accept. While the tactic might play well in a Clint Eastwood movie, it was doomed from the start in Tehran. » (2)

He was also very critical of Iran, but the point here is that bullies do not enter into agreements simply when they want to – they enter when they need to enter. The power posturing reared its head even during the opening of negotiations, with Wendy Sherman, Obama’s chief negotiator for the Iran negotiations, offering the accusatory line that “lying is in the DNA of Iran”.

Elements of the JCPOA with Iran

Enter the elements of the JCPOA. The Agreement was negotiated between Iran and collectively the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and China, defined as the E3/EU+3. There are negotiation outcomes that would not likely have been secured by Iran if the E3/EU+3 merely wanted the agreement. A tortuous and even pathological distrust has existed for decades between the United States (especially) and Iran, working in both directions. This type of distrust does not tend to promote concessions unless an opposing party, in this case Iran, insists upon them, and the other driving party (United States) feels a strong need for the agreement.

•    An Administration that really needed an agreement might well relent on an “anytime, anywhere” provision regarding inspecting Iran’s nuclear facilities, and this is exactly what the Obama Administration did. Anytime anywhere refers to unannounced inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the international watchdog agency for nuclear proliferation. Iran would not allow this. In other words, just don’t show up. Requests are required. The Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant, long a facility of concern by western powers, is   one such example. It is to be converted into a nuclear and physics research center. (3)

•    Additionally, consistent with its policy of refusing to recognize Iran’s right to safeguarded enrichment, the Administration and its predecessor worked hard to thwart negotiations with Iran unless Iran first suspended its nuclear program, including enrichment. Iran repeatedly refused. The Obama Administration never got the precondition of suspension, including in the interim agreement to the JCPOA, whose terms were published by the European Union in its “Factsheet” of 17 January, 2014. (4) This was another striking example of need over want.

•    While the west would never have preferred the following protective language for Iran, it conceded, out of need. When requesting access per the JCPOA, “good faith, with due observance of the sovereign rights of Iran” must be honored, and  “such requests will not be aimed at interfering with Iranian military or other national security activities”.(5) The latter refers in part to the Parchin military complex, which America and its European allies have long had suspicions about as to use and research but which Iran has maintained has no nuclear application.

•    To prevent feared United States double-standards, Iran achieved language whereby once the IAEA is satisfied that all nuclear material in Iran is for peaceful purposes, the US will seek legislative action to end or encourage the end of nuclear-related sanctions on the acquisition of nuclear commodities or services, “to be consistent with the US approach to other non-nuclear-weapon states under the NPT” (the nuclear non-proliferation treaty). (6) A superpower never wishes to have language in an agreement restricting its ability to use double standards unless it in fact needs the agreement.

•    The agreement also contains language that requires the United States and its allies to “take all measures required to lift sanctions and will refrain from imposing exceptional or   discriminatory regulatory and procedural requirements in lieu of the sanctions and restrictive measures covered by the JCPOA”. (7)

As well the U.S. specifically will “take appropriate steps” and “will actively encourage officials at the state or local level to take into account the changes in the U.S. policy reflected in the lifting of sanctions”. (8) These possible preventive measures by Iran signal its understanding of the long political reach of sanctions in the U.S. Concessions to this understanding reflect something other than a mere we want.

Unfortunately, the evidence of need does not assure the JCPOA’s success, and the pattern of implementation leaves a sense of skepticism, not due to Iran, which has met its requirements on schedule and well, but for the EU/EU+3 (primarily the U.S., France and Britain) who are stumbling along dealing with the effects of the needless atmospheric poison they worked so hard to create about Iran, but now need to detoxify, if the parties to the Agreement are to reap the benefits they anticipated.

Notes

1. Peter Jenkins, Asia Times, March 15, 2013, “A strange way to build trust with Iran”.
2. Mohamed El Baradei, The Age of Deception (Macmillan, 2011), page 196
3. The JCPOA, page 17
4. European Union FACTSHEET, Terms of the agreement on a Joint Plan of Action, 17 January, 2014:
www.eeas.europa.eu
5. The JCPOA, page 22
6. The JCPOA, page 7
7. The JCPOA, page 8
8. The JCPOA, page 7

Don L. Durivan is a Boston area long-time student of foreign policy, and writes occasionally on either the processes that lead to war making, or uncovering aspects of war or conflict resolution that go largely unaddressed. He works professionally on both domestic and developing-world health care projects.

 

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