The Global Research News Hour will be presenting special broadcasts over the summer months. 

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In the wake of the controversy surrounding high profile police violence against Blacks and retaliation in recent weeks, we feature the following repeat broadcast, which originally aired December 4, 2015.

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February 26, 2012. Sanford, Florida. Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17 year old African-American high school student was fatally shot in the gated community in which he lived, by an armed neighbourhood watch coordinator named George Zimmerman. Zimmerman had profiled and pursued Martin. On Saturday July 13, 2013, Zimmerman was found not guilty of Second Degree Murder and acquitted of the charge of manslaughter.

August 9, 2014. Ferguson, Missouri. Michael Brown, an unarmed 18 year old African-American was shot up to 8 times by white police officer Darren Wilson. Some witness testimony claimed Brown had his hands up in surrender (leading to the familiar protest slogan “Hands up! Don’t Shoot!”) Brown’s killer was cleared of all charges that he had violated Brown’s civil liberties.

November 22, 2014. Cleveland, Ohio. A twelve year old African-American Tamir Rice, armed with a non-functioning replica of a pistol, was shot to death by two police officers within seconds of them arriving on the scene. The officers did not administer First Aid immediately after Rice was shot, and he succumbed to his injuries the following day.

 July 17, 2014. Staten Island, New York. A 43 year old father of six, Eric Garner, died after being placed in a choke hold by arresting officer Daniel Pantaleo. Video of the arrest showed Garner saying “I can’t breathe!” The Garner family received a $5.9 million settlement from the city of New York for damages related to his death which was ruled a homicide, yet a local grand jury declined to bring charges against the officer responsible.

November 15, 2015. Minneapolis, Minnesota. A 24 year old African-American man Jamar Clark was shot by two police officers. Eyewitnesses claimed Clark was restrained, unarmed and not resisting at the time he was shot. The incident inspired activists to set up a protest encampment outside the city’s fourth police precinct, which was removed by police on December 3rd.

These are just a few of the more spectacular incidents of African American deaths which have sparked outrage among anti-racist activists all across the United States. The pattern suggests a tendency among law enforcement to persecute Blacks more often than Caucasians. This perception was partially confirmed in March of 2015 when a Department of Justice report determined that the Ferguson Police Department routinely violated the constitutional rights of its Black residents.

Anti-racism demonstrations have flared up in recent weeks. The social media hashtag #BlackLivesMatter has served as the cyber-backdrop for a movement aimed at confronting a highly unequal racialized justice system,

How have these events come to pass in 21st Century America? This is the subject of this week’s Global Research News Hour program.

Following a rundown of the Global Research website’s more popular articles, we hear from Michelle Gross of the Minneapolis-based watchdog Communities United Against Police Brutality. She outlines some of the history of persecution of people of Colour in Minneapolis, the futility of relying on Grand Jury indictments, the involvement of White Supremicist groups in the city, and an interesting strategy proposed to restrain officers from further violations of the rights of vulnerable citizens.

Then we speak with outspoken essayist, columnist and editor of Pan African Newswire, Abayomi Azikiwe. He explores the history of Black repression by US Law enforcement more generally, the successes and failures of past Black Liberation movements, and what it will ultimately take to root out the blight of racist violence by State authorities.

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The Global Research News Hour airs every Friday at 1pm CT on CKUW 95.9FM in Winnipeg. The programme is also podcast at globalresearch.ca . The show can be heard on the Progressive Radio Network at prn.fm. Listen in every Monday at 3pm ET.

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Here is another sign that what had been quiet disagreement between American Jews and Israel is breaking out in the open, thanks to the approaching jubilee year of the occupation. Citing “nearly half a century” of occupation, a former AIPAC official comes out for conditioning US aid to Israel on that country agreeing to freeze its illegal settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem. He says forthrightly that Israel’s “oppressive and discriminatory settlement policies in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem continue unabated.”

Greg Slabodkin, of Buffalo, is described as “a former opposition researcher for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee,” or AIPAC, in his piece in the Hill. The article is pegged to the news that the Obama administration is going to sign an aid package with Israel giving it $40 billion over ten years, “the biggest U.S. military aid package ever given to any country.”

Under Netanyahu’s watch, Israel clearly has no intention of ending its occupation. Consequently, the United States should be exerting pressure on Israel to persuade the Netanyahu government to abandon its settlement activities, not rewarding the Jewish state with increased military aid.

The Obama administration should make it clear that there are strings attached to U.S. aid and that Israel’s failure to comply with a settlement freeze will have financial penalties.

Slabodkin is for the two-state solution, but he repeatedly slams the “occupation.” Recall that the Democratic Party was incapable of even mentioning the occupation in its party platform.

His piece includes a jab at Netanyahu as a madman:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who recently formed the most right-wing government in Israel’s history, has driven U.S.-Israel relations to their lowest point in a generation by undermining the prospects for peace with the Palestinians by entrenching the Israeli occupation, which has lasted nearly half a century.

Clearly the Israeli discourse and the U.S. Jewish discourse are feeding one another here. Centrist Israeli Zionists like Moshe Ya’alon and Yitzhak Herzog have been so openly critical of the fascistic political culture in Israel that they are giving American Jews power to speak out.

Daniel Birnbaum, the American-born head of SodaStream, has also issued an attack on Netanyahu to the Times of Israel, saying that Netanyahu has encouraged the “evil manifestations” of the conflict between Palestinians and Jews.

It pains me to say that I believe this administration is nurturing the conflict in all its evil manifestations. They nurture the hate and the boycott and they nurture separatism.

Birnbaum says that Netanyahu made certain that 74 SodaStream workers could not get permits to travel from the West Bank to the Negev to work for his company so that Netanyahu could blame the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) for their unemployment.

Bibi [Netanyahu] is systematically spreading hate within Israel between Jews and Arabs and between Orthodox and secular.

With such a separatist track record, it’s no wonder that he won’t embrace a straightforward solution to lower the flames and build a bridge to coexistence. Apparently our 74 Palestinians represent a threat to his agenda.

This is very much what Yakov Hirsch wrote here some weeks ago, that Israelis are flipping out over Netanyahu’s nihilist Zionism, which offers no path to a peaceful future and embraces a fascistic ideology that Palestinians just want to kill Jews.

Yet another sign that Israel is cracking apart. Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman has called President Obama a Neville Chamberlain, for a deal the world made a year ago. What is Jeffrey Goldberg going to say?

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  • Commentaires fermés sur Former AIPAC Official Says Israel Should get no US Aid without Ending ‘Oppressive’ Settlements

It’s official. Green Party delegates in Houston on Saturday nominated her as party standard bearer for president of the United States. She’s the real thing, the only true people’s candidate in the race for the nation’s highest office.

Money-controlled interests oppose her.

Clinton or Trump succeeding Obama assures more of the same, Hillary by far the worst of two unacceptable choices, the greatest threat to world peace if anointed America’s next president.

Jill humbly accepted her party’s nomination, saying “(t)his is what democracy looks like. This is what political revolution looks like.”

Her agenda reflects a nation and “world that works for all of us…that puts people, planet and peace over profit.”

The Green Party “stands up for the people” on all issues vital to everyone – endorsing peace over war, respect for fundamental human and civil rights, transition to green energy, social justice over neoliberal harshness, and governance serving everyone equitably.

Jill’s running mate Ajamu Baraka “brings a lifetime of dedication to racial and economic justice.” She called it “an honor” to run for president at a time of “unprecedented crisis and unstoppable momentum for transformational change…”

It won’t come from money-controlled “parties funded by predatory banks, war profiteers and fossil fuel giants.” Grassroots activism alone can change things.

Jill quoted abolitionist champion Frederick Douglas once saying “(p)ower concedes nothing without a demand. It never has. It never will.” We “must be that demand,” she stressed.

False claims about economic recovery and strength ignore a national “emergency,” including mass unemployment and underemployment, increasing poverty, homelessness, hunger and deprivation, a generation of debt-entrapped students, endless wars in multiple theaters at home and abroad, and national leaders caring only about their own self-interest.

“Meanwhile, the super-rich party on, richer than ever,” said Jill. “Twenty-two of these super-rich people have the wealth equivalent to half of the US population.”

“And the political elite that serve the economic elite are making things worse, inflicting austerity on everyday people while they squander trillions on wars, Wall Street bailouts, and tax favors for the wealthy.”

Government of, by and for everyone equitably and fairly is crucially needed at the most perilous time in world history.

Tell Trump “we don’t need no friggin wall. We just need to stop invading other countries,” said Jill. Both wings of America’s one-party state support dirty business as usual getting dirtier all the time.

“We can’t simultaneously fight terrorism with one hand, while we and our allies fund terrorism, train terrorists and arm terrorists with the other,” Jill stressed.

“The only ones benefitting from this catastrophic policy are the war profiteers themselves, who are calling the shots in foreign policy by funding the establishment parties and their politicians.”

“US foreign policy has become fundamentally a marketing strategy for the weapons industry. We started the terrorist threat. Now it’s time to shut it down. That is what our campaign alone will do.”

“Hillary Clinton is the problem…not the solution to Donald Trump. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”

In November, vote Green, the only acceptable choice.

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

His new book as editor and contributor is titled « Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III. » http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

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

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  • Commentaires fermés sur « People, Planet and Peace over Profit »: Jill Stein’s Acceptance Speech As Green Party Presidential Nominee

“Olympism is a philosophy of life, exalting and combining in a balanced whole the qualities of body, will and mind. Blending sport with culture and education, Olympism seeks to create a way of life based on the joy of effort, the educational value of good example, social responsibility and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles . . .

The goal of Olympism is to place sport at the service of the harmonious development of humankind, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity.” — The Olympic Charter’s first two of seven Fundamental Principles of Olympism. (https://stillmed.olympic.org/Documents/olympic_charter_en.pdf)

Two days prior to the start of the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach called for a minute of silence — for the 11 Israeli athletes and coaches killed by Palestinian terrorists/freedom fighters at the 1972 Munich Olympics — during the inauguration of a “place of mourning” in the athletes village in Rio de Janeiro.

While it is commendable to mourn those who are in any way unjustly killed, Bach’s noble sentiment was to say the least hypocritical for several reasons. There was for instance no mention of, or moment of silence for the thousands of innocent Palestinians killed during Apartheid Israeli assaults including recent and current extrajudicial murders with impunity by the  Israeli Defence Force and equally murderous settlers.

Double standards? During South Africa’s Apartheid era, the IOC in 1964 barred South Africa from taking part in the 18th Olympic Games in Tokyo over its refusal to condemn apartheid. The IOC’s decision was announced the in Lausanne, Switzerland, after South Africa failed to meet an ultimatum to comply with its demands by 16 August. Coincidentally, later that year in October South Africa was also suspended indefinitely by FIFA, football’s international governing body. So far, however, both these overtly august but covertly corrupt bodies have failed to either condemn or take action against Israel whose version of Apartheid brutality has repeatedly exceeded that of Apartheid South Africa’s worst massacre — when police opened fire on the crowd in 1960, killing 69 people in the township of Sharpeville — as opposed to Israel’s recent Operations Cast Lead and Protective Edge which alone slaughtered over 3,600 mostly innocent Palestinian civilians with tens of thousands of others injured.

Both the IOC (founded on June 23, 1894 in Paris) and FIFA (founded May 21, 1904 in Paris) were also around during the 1948 Palestinian exodus otherwise known as the Nabka when thousands of Palestinians were murdered with some 750,00 deliberately terrorised into fleeing from their homes and to be subsequently denied “the right of return” which Israel’s racial discrimination automatically grants to all Jews even though most of them have no genetic or other connection whatsoever to Palestine

(http://www.ifamericansknew.org/history/ref-nakba.html)

The IOC’s current hypocrisy in Brazil is merely a repeat of 2014 World Cup when Israel — despite its well documented racism — was allowed to compete in the competition at a time when both the Brazilian government and FIFA had launched separate anti-racism campaigns. How could they have possibly missed such readily available evidence on Youtube.

(https://www.theguardian.com/news/video/2015/nov/24/beitar-jerusalem-most-racist-football-team-israel-video(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPxv4Aff3IA)

The discrepancy between how the world has viewed Apartheid in Israel and South Africa has been due mainly to the fact that the Afrikaners, unlike the Israelis, had not been the victims of a horrendous holocaust; their past suffering was not of a sufficient scale to have accumulated either the amount or kind of international sympathy that would condone continued human rights violations; they did not have a dedicated worldwide network of lobbyists who could diffuse, suppress or influence negative public opinion; and last but not least, unlike the Israelis, they lacked the benefit of having at their disposal the support of the U.S whose influence or power of veto within international organisations have always been supportive of Israel.

While lobby and pressure groups can play a legitimate role in bringing about changes that are a benefit to society, they should not be allowed to erode and undermine any of the rights inherent to all human beings irrespective of nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status. We are all equally entitled without discrimination to our human rights which are are all interrelated, interdependent and indivisible.The principle of universality of human rights became the cornerstone of international human rights law. The principle was first emphasised in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights in 1948 — the year of the Nabka — and has since been reiterated in numerous international human rights conventions, declarations, and resolutions with the 1993 Vienna World Conference on Human Rights noting that it was the duty of States to promote and protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms, regardless of their political, economic and cultural systems.

The Apartheid nation of Israel should recognise that such principles are present in all the major human rights treaties and provide the central theme of some of international human rights conventions with the principle of non-discrimination being complemented by the principle of equality, as stated in Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” Hypocritical Israelis who demand so much for themselves should perhaps pause and just for a moment unselfishly consider the following:

“The true civilisation is where every man gives to every other man every right he claims for himself.” — Robert G. Ingersoll

International organisations such as the IOC and FIFA are equally bound by human rights obligations  which include making those who violate such rights accountable for their contemptible actions through bans and boycotts — as in the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions campaign — which along with free speech are non-negotiable basic civil rights that pro-Israel Jewish lobby groups are trying to silence and criminalise. Jews should carefully consider the words of Yehoshafat Harkabi — Chief of Israeli Military Intelligence (1955-9) and subsequently a professor of International Relations and Middle East Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem — who in his book Israel’s Fateful Hour, called for Israel’s withdrawal from the occupied territories and warned as follows:

“We Israelis must be careful lest we become not a source of pride for Jews but a distressing burden. Israel is the criterion according to which all Jews will tend to be judged. Israel as a Jewish state is an example of the Jewish character, which finds free and concentrated expression within it. Anti-Semitism has deep and historical roots. Nevertheless, any flaw in Israeli conduct, which initially is cited as anti-Israelism, is likely to be transformed into empirical proof of the validity of anti-Semitism. It would be a tragic irony if the Jewish state, which was intended to solve the problem of anti-Semitism, was to become a factor in the rise of anti-Semitism. Israelis must be aware that the price of their misconduct is paid not only by them but also Jews throughout the world. In the struggle against anti-Semitism, the frontline begins in Israel.”

William Hanna is a freelance writer with published books the Hiramic Brotherhood of the Third Temple and The Tragedy of Palestine and its Children. Purchase information, sample chapter, other articles, and contact details at:

(http://www.hiramicbrotherhood.com/)

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  • Commentaires fermés sur The Olympics: Hypocrisy, Double Standards and Profit Taking Precedence Over Human Rights

Human Rights Watch stated during today’s UN Security Council meeting on Children and Armed Conflict:  “Unlawful air strikes by the Saudi-led coalition have killed and maimed hundreds of children in Yemen and damaged dozens of schools, but the coalition strong-armed the Secretary-General in an attempt to escape scrutiny.  The coalition should be returned to the Secretary-General’s list of shame until it stops its indiscriminate bombardment of Yemen’s civilians.”

Among the most incriminating disclosures at a press briefing held by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International at the United Nations on June 29th is the information  that the US and UK have been active participants in this mass slaughter of civilians in Yemen, by providing intelligence to Saudi Arabia which has led to 3,000 civilian deaths in Yemen from Saudi air strikes.  The US and UK are legally responsible for these war crimes, which can only be described as deliberate.  According to Philippe Bolopion of Human Rights Watch, the Pentagon has been providing targeting assistance to the “coalition forces” led by Saudi Arabia, and a letter sent by Human Rights Watch to US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter more than one year ago, demanding cessation of this complicity has received no reply one year later.  Human Rights Watch Deputy-Director Bolopian described Yemen as “one of the most hellish places on earth for children.”

In a call to suspend Saudi Arabia from the UN Human Rights Council, Amnesty International stated that Saudi Arabia has cynically manipulated its membership in the Human Rights Council to shield itself from accountability:

“As a member of the Human Rights Council Saudi Arabia is required to uphold the highest standards of human rights.  In reality, it has led a military coalition which has carried out unlawful and deadly airstrikes on markets, hospitals and schools in Yemen.  The coalition has also repeatedly used internationally banned weapons in civilian areas.  At home it has carried out hundreds of executions, put children on death row after grossly unfair trials, and ruthlessly repressed opposition and human rights activists….In recent weeks, Saudi Arabia has evaded accountability by pressuring the UN to remove the military coalition it leads in Yemen from a list of states and armed groups that violate childrens rights in armed conflict.  Saudi Arabia threatened to disengage from the UN, withdraw its financial support including humanitarian projects, and to take its close allies with it.  Key allies of Saudi Arabia, including the USA and UK, have failed to halt transfers of arms for use in Yemen despite mounting evidence of war crimes.”

In a howl of protest against what the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General described as overwhelming pressure, the UN Secretary-General exposed what has been the toxic modus operandi of the United Nations since the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 678 in 1990, authorizing the military action against Iraq which “destroyed the infrastructure necessary to support human life in Iraq,” as attested to by Marti Ahtissari in his report on the consequences of that 1991 US UK coalition’s relentless bombing of Iraq throughout the winter of 1991.

Ban Ki-moon’s highest level disclosure of the threats and blackmail to which he was subjected after issuing a report denouncing coalition attacks  (the ‘list of shame’) massacring children in schools and patients and doctors in hospitals reveals the way “business as usual” is too often conducted, at all levels at the United Nations, leading to the discrediting of the legitimacy of the United Nations.  Ban Ki-moon denounced as “unacceptable for member states to exert undue pressure.”

At a press encounter on June 9th, the Secretary-General, after submitting to “bullying” by Saudi-Arabia, and removing their name from the “list of shame” stated:

“There has been fierce reaction to my decision to temporarily remove the Saudi-led Coalition countries from the report’s annex.  This was one of the most painful and difficult decisions I have had to make.  The report describes horrors no child should have to face.  At the same time, I also had to consider the very real prospect that millions of other children would suffer grievously if, as was suggested to me, countries would de-fund many UN programmes.  Children already at risk in Palestine, South sudan, Syria, Yemen and so many other places would fall further into despair.  It is unacceptable for Member States to exert undue pressure.  Scrutiny is a natural and necessary part of the work of the United Nations.”

Although the coalition has been accused of “indiscriminate” bombing of non-military and civilian targets in Yemen, the involvement of the Pentagon in providing targeting assistance leads to a more sinister interpretation of possibly deliberate “coalition” action, substantiating allegations of war crimes.

In his final months in office, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon may have rendered a great service to the UN, exposing the process which is betraying the original purpose of the UN, desecrating and transforming the UN into an instrument of war.

Twenty-five years ago, during the inexorable drumbeat of the UN Security Council leading to the “coalition” attack which devastated  Iraq, and began the transformation of that country into an incubator of terrorism, I asked the Ambassador of a non-permanent member of the Security Council, representative of a country adamantly opposed to military action against Iraq, whether he had been subjected to pressure to change his position by the then Soviet Union.  He replied:  “Never.”  I then asked him whether he had been subjected to pressure by the US, and he replied:  “Constantly.”  When I asked whether I could quote him, he replied:  “If you do, I will never speak to you again.”  Ultimately, the then US Secretary of State James Baker wrung the arm of the Ambassador’s  Foreign Minister, and the country reversed its position, and supported the “War Resolution, 678” in violation of its own principles.  Perhaps if that Ambassador had agreed to expose this pressure to which his country was being subjected, the ensuing perversion of the United Nations could have been prevented, and the devastation of Iraq, with its deadly and tragic consequences could have been avoided.

Ban Ki-moon’s howl of protest against the “undue pressure” to which he has been subjected, compelling him to act against his own conscience, may have proved his most important service to the United Nations, as he affirmed that “Scrutiny if a natural and necessary part of the work of the United Nations.”

After two terms in office, and almost a decade at the job, this may become his parting gift to the organization he must lead, and his legacy.

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This year, it resembles militarization seen in war zones with tens of thousands of soldiers, police and other security operatives infesting Rio, the site of the games – hosted by an illegitimate US-supported coup d’etat regime.

Mass street protests rocked opening night, continued on Saturday, perhaps remaining unrelenting through the August 21 closing ceremony – media downplaying or ignoring them.

Among the NYT’s top commented on reports and commentaries, nothing on Rio rage, nothing on the coup d’etat regime hosting this year’s games, nothing on billions of dollars spent while imposing crushing neoliberal harshness on Brazil’s poor and disadvantaged at a time of the country’s most dire economic conditions in half a century.

Instead, The Times featured America’s men and women basketball teams housed on a luxury liner. The Washington Post covered athletic contests alone. Wall Street Journal reports were similar.

Mass outrage in Rio’s streets, demanding its coup d’etat regime resign, were ignored. One sign displayed reflects overwhelming public sentiment, saying “FORA TEMER (out Temer, the illegitimate interim president).”

Telesur said Washington sent over 1,000 intelligence operatives (spies) to Rio – citing NBC News quoting National Intelligence director James Clapper’s spokesman, Richard Kolko, saying “US intelligence agencies are working closely with (their) Brazilian (counterparts) to support their efforts to identify and disrupt potential threats to the Olympic Games in Rio.”

Hundreds of other US security personnel were sent, together with Brazilian operatives turning Rio into an armed camp, an inhospitable venue for sport, tourism or anything else, especially for city residents.

As a young boy in the 1940s when my dad took me to Red Sox games, the only police around Boston’s Fenway Park were traffic cops – perhaps things much different today and for Chicago sporting events where I now live. I haven’t been to one since I took my own children to see the Cubs and White Sox many years ago.

Obama devoted his weekly address to the Rio Games, suppressing what most needed highlighting – instead featuring meaningless comments like “we’re ready to root on Team USA,” claiming it “reminds the world why America always sets the gold standard.”

His remarks make painful listening – demagoguery substituting for straight talk.

Talented young athletes represent the best in sport. Olympism disgracefully exploits them for huge profits.

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

His new book as editor and contributor is titled « Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III. » http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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

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  • Commentaires fermés sur Rio Olympics 2016: US Intelligence Ops, Soldiers and Police Deployed. Mass Street Protests

Theories and speculations about the failed military coup in Turkey abound, ranging from a botched CIA coup; to one inspired by Erdogan’s arch-enemy, the self-exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen, now living in Pennsylvania, USA; to a combination of both, CIA-Gulen; to a purposely failed auto-coup by Erdogan and his close military allies – and possibly many more, or combinations of different conspiracies. – The old question Cui Bono is in order.

As of now, Erdogan looks like the big winner. He has regained popular support, was able to accuse his ultra-rich preacher enemy, Gulen, as well as Washington as the coup instigators, and he can pursue his new alliance with Russia and renewed friendship with Bashar al-Assad.

Is it so simple? By looking closer, a failed CIA-Mossad-MI6 coup is perhaps the most realistic scenario.

It appears that Russia played a crucial role in having the audacious and ill-prepared coup fall apart. 

(http://themillenniumreport.com/2016/07/bombshell-expose-the-u-s-military-used-incilirk-air-base-to-stage-failed-coup-in-turkey/#more-32420).

Washington and its European-NATO allies are becoming ever bolder in their pursuit of attaining world dominance. The arrogance of being untouchable does not pay well with Russian president Vladimir Putin. 

Flash-back to the downing of the Russian Sukhoi Su-24M fighter jet near the Syria–Turkey border on 24 November 2015. It was pursued by two US-made Turkish Air Force F-16 fighters that took off from the Turkish Incirlik Air Base, also used by the US and Royal Air Forces, where the US has stationed about 5,000 servicemen, in addition to uncountable fighter jets and war helicopters.

Were the pilots acting (indirectly) on behalf  of  US intelligence? [with a view to creating divisions between Russia and Turkey, GR Ed] One of them shot the Russian plane down. The pilot died.

The CIA had dozens of their agents infiltrated into the Turkish Air Force. How did the Pentagon think the Russians were not aware of this? The Federal Security Service (FSS) of the Russian Federation, KGB’s successor, informed the Kremlin. Putin knew who was behind the crime, when he cut all ties with Turkey. But he wanted Erdogan to react.

Putin knew Erdogan was vulnerable. He had lost the trust of Washington and was hated by the Europeans for his megalomania, his aspirations of becoming the new Ottoman ruler.

But Washington needed Incirlik and Turkey as NATO’s most strategic base in the region – just between Europe and Asia. The Americans were afraid that Erdogan might move into Russia’s camp as his hope for a future in Europe had vanished, and he increasingly realized that he was a mere peon for Washington – facilitating, funding and arming ISIS-Daesh, aka NATO’s ground troops, by keeping the border to Syria open, so ISIS could slip in and out, selling their oil stolen from Iraq, Syria and the Kurds, to such illustrious clients like Israel.

By playing along with the story that the SU-24M was shot down by orders of Erdogan, Russia severed all relations with Turkey – diplomatic and commercial. The latter were significant for the Turkish economy, particularly exports of agricultural goods (annually about US$ 1 billion), Turkish construction contracts in Russia (US$4.5 – 5 billion) and Russian tourism in Turkey (US$ 3.5 billion). Total annual losses for Turkey were estimated in excess of US$ 10 billion.

In addition, Turkey relies on Russia for 55% of its annual natural gas requirements. Russia has also suspended work on the TurkStream pipeline that was to bring Russian gas to the Black Sea for delivery to Turkey and Europe.

Erdogan had a lot to lose by playing patsy for the US-EU-NATO, helping them destroying the Middle-East and turning a « former friend », Mr. Assad, into his arch-enemy. The calculation was not complicated. And Washington knew it. So – Erdogan had to go, in one way or another. Once more, ‘Regime Change’ was on the agenda. A coup was planned for mid-August 2016. The Pentagon-NATO-CIA had already made numerous ‘friends’ in the ranks of the Turkish military, police and judiciary system. Erdogan of course knew that there were traitors within his presumed supporters. He just needed a reason to purge them.

At the latest, when Mr. Erdogan called Mr. Putin to apologize for the downed Russian jet and subsequently went to Moscow to talk with the Russian leader in person, did he learned who was really behind the downing of the plane last November?  He now had a confirmation for who his unreliable ‘friends’ are in Washington.

He hastened to solidify his new relationship with Russia (and Syria?), and Putin canceled all ‘sanctions’ against Turkey. Erdogan is scheduled to meet Putin in Saint Petersburg on August 9.

These were dangerous signs for the Washington-NATO alliance. The CIA-Mossad-MI6 coup had to be quickly brought forward, lest western armed forces may lose Incirlik – god forbid – to Russia! And that after ‘losing’ Crimea, the Russian Black Sea port, and Jumbo Prize for putting Ukraine under Nazi rule. The emerging Middle-East / Central Europe scenario did not look good.

Shortly before the quickly and poorly prepared coup was launched on 15 July, Putin informed Erdogan of the western plans. He sent a special emissary via a complex supposedly disguising detour route from Moscow to Ankara. The envoy handed Erdogan a long list of allegedly high ranking suspects in the Turkish Administration.

As soon as the rebellion to overthrow Erdogan began, he immediately mobilized the Turkish people to take to the streets in his defense. Strangely and paradoxically to do so he had the help of a CNN-Turk reporter who broadcast Erdogan’s call for support via her smart-phone over the social media. The public Turk TRT broadcasting station was in the hands of rebel soldiers. As Erdogan fled Ankara in a helicopter, two F-16 fighters took off in his pursuit – from NATO controlled Incirlik – of all places! But to no avail. The war jets did not fire a single shot onto Erdogan’s helicopter. The verdict must have been already clear at that time.

There are many controversies and contradiction in this strange ‘coup story’ – a story that defies all logic, especially knowing that the most perfected and most practiced coup-plotters are behind it – the alliance of lies, deception and assassinations, CIA-Mossad-MI6. Most likely their arrogance prevented them from contemplating that there may be an ace chess-player out there who can outsmart them all.

Erdogan did not hesitate to blame Washington for the failed putsch – which thanks to Vladimir Putin’s timely warning and the angry people in the streets hilariously climbing on to circulating tanks, was crushed and Recep Tayyip Erdogan emerged as the new popular leader of Turkey.

For how long remains to be seen. The British Independent quotes the Turkish Prime Minister, Binali Yildirim, reporting that 265 people died in the failed coup, including about ‘100 plotters’.

Let’s face it, Erdogan is no saint. His trustworthiness has a shabby record. It’s like a straw in the wind. He did not lose any time to use this occasion to arrest his enemies and suspects – so far about 70,000 and counting – military, police, judges, medical doctors, professors, teachers – and reintroducing the death penalty. He knows these drastic and tyrannical measures will distance him even further from the EU, but he doesn’t care. He knows first-hand how corrupt and deceptively the EU is dealing with her own people, let alone the people in the MENA Region (Middle East and North Africa).

While President Putin immediately called Mr. Erdogan wishing him well and congratulating him for the crushed coup, US Secretary Kerry flew to an emergency breakfast meeting in Brussels to confer with EU and NATO leaders (sic) to ‘discuss a unified stance on the crisis in Turkey.’

The French Foreign Minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, questioned whether Turkey could remain a reliable ally and suggested that European backing of Erdogan against the ‘putschists’ was not “a blank check”. Of course, they all knew better: The new Turkey-Russia alliance could be the death knell for US-NATO’s self-declared and presstitute-propagated supremacy in the region. Kerry went even further openly questioning whether to consider expulsing Turkey from NATO.

This sounded about as fake as when German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble threatens Greece to be excluded from the EU / Euro, if they don’t behave and pay up. These liars know it is sheer propaganda of treachery for the people at large to swallow such statements in awe, while the masters also know that Greece and Turkey are crucial for their wars and plans of global domination, since they are both strategically important NATO countries – absolutely to be prevented from drifting east.

This botched coup is BIG; much bigger than the mainstream media are making the west believe. It could definitely and irreversibly tilt the balance of power in the MENA Region, perhaps give rise to a new world paradigm, as the new and crucial Russia-Turkey alliance solidifies, Turkey may be accepted into the wider circle of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa). Turkey is geographically situated at one of the most strategically important cross-roads between East and West, thereby making her a geopolitical kingpin.

Turkey moving East might ruin the West’s game plan. We can only hope for that to happen. However, the masters and economic elites behind Washington, have no tendency of letting go after losing a battle. Defeat must be total. Theirs or that of the rest of the world. It’s all or nothing.

There is more at stake than just Erdogan and Turkey’s survival as a western ally, much more. It would be way presumptuous to rest on the laurels of winning a battle against the West. There may be more in store for Turkey.

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a former World Bank staff and worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He writes regularly for Global Research, ICH, RT, Sputnik, PressTV, Chinese 4th Media, TeleSUR, The Vineyard of The Saker Blog, and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance.

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Interview with Theotonio Dos Santos, Brazilian social scientist and one of the most influential intellectuals of Latin America. 

At 79, Theotonio Dos Santos can affirm that he has lived through the greatest political processes in the region: he was exiled in Chile after the 1964 coup in Brazil and his new destination in Mexico in 1973 until he came back to his homeland, Brazil, with the return of democracy, in 1985.

He is one of the pillars of the Dependency Theory and the term “World-systems”. Now, on his trip to Buenos Aires, where he was invited by the Latin American Council of Social Sciences (CLACSO), which he co-founded, he explains the reasons why Dilma Rousseff’s government is agonizing and, parallelly, the region is experiencing a return to neoliberalism, even though it seemed to be in the past history of the continent.

“I see the situation in Latin America as part of a broader offensive at a worldwide level”, he says at the offices of CLACSO, where the determinant element is the loss of economic and political control by the hegemonic center of the world-system, the US.

How is this offensive manifested?

There is a very desperate strategy to regain power and, even though it didn’t come out as expected, it had quite destructive local effects. For example in the Middle East, where there is a deep crisis and Russia, that began to cooperate, ended up being labeled again as “Europe’s great enemy”.

Does this new confrontation start in Syria? 

They see Russia as a threat, mostly because of its alliance with China, which once again puts us in a state of worldwide dispute. So far, they have only managed to create really difficult situations in the old Soviet world, but the US has no control over the situation.

So, the attack against Dilma’s government could be explained by her government’s rapprochement with the BRICS? 

All that’s not under US control is regarded as a threat and the BRICS are a strategic threat to the US. In a way, they are right, because the BRICS have taken up a place that used to belong to the US. Regarding Latin America, their main concern is oil and Venezuela, which has the biggest reserves of the world. And, also, Brazil —after the discovery of the Pre-Salt—, which dedicates part of its income to health, education, science and technology.

Dilma’s government was terminated, boycotted, and the Congress was filled with disgraceful officials

That isn’t difficult to do (laughs).

The question is, why wasn’t the Workers’ Party able to stop the impeachment?

The Workers’ Party has always played the negotiation card and one of the consequences of this policy was diminishing the intensity of social and political mobilization.

That was their biggest mistake?

Every time I spoke with Lula about this I told him there had to be a united left, regardless of all the negotiations, because they needed a strong backing to support the negotiation. If you limit yourself, the result is that you start depending on negotiation more and more. Lula had a high ability to negotiate and there was a great expectation that the Workers’ Party and the PSDB would alternate in the presidential power. That was the proposal of (former President) Fernando Henrique Cardozo after he left the Dependency Theory. But there were many unnecessary concessions, and very negative too. Because a country can’t afford to sponsor the creation and strengthening of a financial minority that profits from unproductive activity and speculation.

But the Workers’ Party never attacked those financial groups.

On the contrary, Lula’s President of the Central Bank, Henrique Meirelles, is now the Minister of Economy (in Temer’s administration) and in the past he had been with Fernando Henrique Cardoso. He is a pawn of International Banking. This helped consolidate Lula’s relationship with the financial system, but the result is catastrophic.

What happened then? Did Dilma have a different capacity to negotiate?

There are some elements to be taken into account: First, the decrease in the price of oil due to the increase of US production via fracking, which had a great impact but only for a limited period of time. Around Dilma a group began criticizing the attempts of the PT to try to confront this negative situation and affirmed that an adjustment was necessary. All of this was during a very dangerous crisis and during a period of rising inflation, which used to be almost non existent (around 4 per cent), but then increased in addition to the increment of the interest rate.

This was on January 2014, when Dilma started her second term. 

She had begun to accept the idea of rising the rate in 2013, forced by the Central Bank. She was paving the way to hold growth back, so as to paralyze inflation. On the other hand, there’s something that I have been discussing for many years with many schools of bourgeois economic thought: the idea that inflation is the result of an economic excess that can only be held back through a raise in interest rates.

The classic old monetarist formula

The dramatic result was that inflation increased. What conclusion do you draw? Both the theory and its application are wrong… but no, they claim that the interest rate grew very little. The climate was prepared for this situation and we were already at a 14% interest rate, and a declining growth.

What should we expect for the future? Will Dilma come back or not? 

The common sentiment is that there will be conditions for her to come back because the campaign has been strong, but the interim government has done some terrible and paradoxical things: A union leader that supports such an anti-unionist and anti-workers’ government has to pay a cost, not only in elections, but in his own class as well. Union leaders, even the ones that supported the right and the impeachment, are backing out to avoid being associated to an increase in the retirement age or other similar measures. The proposition to raise weekly working hours and to directly modify the minimum wage, which Lula had increased by almost 200%, is very violent. This has had major effects in people’s lives. If you start to believe that you can make all of these changes in an exceptional regime, imagine what you could do if you were in fact effectively in power. This is creating a very complex situation that has not resulted in a new wave of support in favour of Dilma but I have been told by the PT that they have chances of coming back —the line is very thin, they only need six more Senators’ votes. Of course, every Senator is different and Dilma is not easy. She will hardly negotiate in terms of selling/buying votes, she comes from a revolutionary movement and she is faithful to that, even though, at the same time she knows that sometimes these things are necessary.

But she doesn’t like it.

No, she doesn’t, that’s the thing.

It seems as though Brazil is resigning a historical destiny of leadership that Itamaraty (the Ministry of External Relations) thought had been fulfilled after the country entered the BRICS. 

It has been 200 years of struggle for the independence of Latin America. Pro-Hispanics and pro-Portuguese have struggled for years to remain in power when Spain and Portugal were only instruments of England’s power. These men thought that their ability to survive as a dominant class depended on that historical alliance. They believe that the US the greatest power and they don’t know how to handle the possibilities that China opens as a worldwide buyer. That’s very serious because the Chinese negotiate in a collective manner, in great projects, and therefore, they negotiate state to state. Businessmen are taken into account but only as auxiliaries for State planning. Our bourgeoisie doesn’t believe that. These people are the anti-independence of Latin America.

How do you see the future of the region? Because Mauricio Macri’s triumph has certainly accelerated the coup in Brazil and the onslaught against Venezuela 

It seems as though this is a very favourable phase for them. But when the time comes that an effective resistance finally emerges, I highly doubt their ability to control the situation. Because they stand on top of a world created by mass media, which denies reality, and create psychological realities with specialized people who know exactly how to communicate that to the masses.

It’s absurd to believe in managing the world as if neoliberalism was the only source of economic growth and development. There are no economic sectors that are not lead by State’s investment nor any processes that are not related to the transference of State resources. This leads us to a false idea, that the left also needs to learn, which is that you need to cut down State expenses to transfer them to a minority that is basically in the financial sector. In Brazil, we pay 40% more in public expenses due to a debt  explicitly created for macroeconomic reasons.

This scenario implies that at a given point there could be massive uprisings. Could this create situations similar to the ones in the Middle East? 

Ultimately, it might, but I believe that the US doesn’t want this because the cost might be too high in this situation in which they are deploying their troops to do something that sounds incredible, but they say it explicitly: to surround China. In Middle East, the results have been devastating. The strategy might have been the “creative chaos”. If that is the case, they have already achieved it.

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Washington has sent more than 1,000 intelligence agents to Rio in an effort to protect the 2016 Olympic Games, NBC News reports after reviewing a classified intelligence report on U.S. security efforts.

According to the report, the spies are already on the ground in Rio de Janeiro as part of a “highly classified” mission that includes a total of 17 U.S. intelligence agencies that are working in coordination with Brazilian authorities.

“U.S. intelligence agencies are working closely with Brazilian intelligence officials to support their efforts to identify and disrupt potential threats to the Olympic Games in Rio,” Richard Kolko, a spokesman for National Intelligence Director James Clapper, told NBC News.

The U.S. also has hundreds of analysts, law enforcement and special operations on the ground to assist the 85,000 soldiers, police and other security forces Brazil deployed across Rio for the event. Security has been a major concern during these Summer Olympic Games, especially since the Olympic venue is an often chaotic and violent mega-city of 12 million people.

Last month, the FBI said it arrested 11 Brazilians who investigators say were sympathetic to the Islamic State group, a terrorist organization that would be attracted to the possibility of carrying out an attack on the Olympics while the world’s attention is fixed on the games.

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In May, Barack Obama became the first US president in history to visit the memorial of the American atomic bombings of Japan in Hiroshima. However, in true American fashion, he offered no apology.

“We have a shared responsibility to look directly in the eye of history. We must ask what we must do differently to curb such suffering again,”

The location of Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park was once the city’s busiest downtown commercial and residential district. However, the devastating atomic blast from the U.S. bomb that killed over 100,000 innocent civilians left the clearing in which the monument now sits.

The United States, with the consent of the United Kingdom as laid down in the Quebec Agreement, dropped nuclear weapons on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, during the final stage of World War II. The two bombings, which killed more than a hundred thousand innocent civilians, remain the only use of nuclear weapons for warfare in history.

The United States holding the largest stock of nuclear weapons in the world is as ironic as it is terrifying.

On August 6, the U.S. dropped a uranium gun-type atomic bomb (Little Boy) on the city of Hiroshima. American President Harry S. Truman called for Japan’s surrender 16 hours later. Truman then told the Japanese, in psychopathic fashion, to “expect a rain of ruin from the air, the like of which has never been seen on this earth.”

hiroshima

Three days later, on August 9, the U.S. dropped a plutonium implosion-type bomb (Fat Man) on the city of Nagasaki. Within the first two to four months of the bombings, the acute effects of the atomic bombings killed 90,000–146,000 people in Hiroshima and 39,000–80,000 in Nagasaki; roughly half of the deaths in each city occurred on the first day.

During the following months, large numbers died from the effect of burns, radiation sickness, and other injuries, compounded by illness and malnutrition. In both cities, most of the dead were innocent civilians, including tens of thousands of children.

While the Japanese monument in Hiroshima was specifically built to remember the horror of America’s nuclear bombs and the murderous devastation left in their wake, Japan is quite literally covered in lesser known silent monuments from dozens of firebombings carried out on its cities by the United States military — before the atomic blasts.

One bombing campaign, in Tokyo alone, killed nearly as many innocent civilians as the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

On the night of March 9, 1945, four months before the nuclear attack, the U.S. launched one of the most murderous and horrifying bombing campaigns in the history of the world.

That night marked the beginning of a several weeks-long wave of firebomb and napalm attacks across more than 60 Japanese cities. Many of these bombings were just as bad as the two atomic bomb attacks. However, when adding the sum total of innocence slain by U.S. bombs, the deaths in those five dozen cities eclipses the total deaths in both atomic bombings by several magnitudes.

While Hiroshima and Nagasaki have been deeply engraved on the consciousness of humanity and commemorated in monuments, museums, films, novels and textbooks, the firebombing and napalming of civilians of many other Japanese and Asian cities has largely disappeared from consciousness, except for the victims.

In Tokyo alone, U.S. bombers dropped 300,000 incendiary bombs, completely destroying 16 square miles of neighborhoods — killing more than 100,000 people, mostly civilians. Some survivor accounts detail flaming napalm seeping into bomb shelters and burning entire families alive.

One of the reports from the bombers stated that the firestorm was so vast and hot that it caused a B-29 bomber weighing 60 tons to be thrust upward by 600 meters as it flew over.

Tokyo was one of more than 60 cities in which hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians were burned alive as they sought cover from the death raining down from above.

During what some historians refer to as The Forgotten Holocaust, the U.S. dropped millions of incendiary bombs, napalm, and even fastened bombs to live bats that were trained to fly up underneath roofs to explode and set houses on fire.

Some historians have calculated the total dead from the U.S. bombing campaigns in Japan to upwards of one million innocent civilians. It is no wonder you’ve never heard about these attacks in your high school history class as it shows the true face of American terror.

In 2003, Errol Morris won an Academy Award for his documentary film, The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara. The film consisted mostly of interviews with Robert McNamara, one of which described his role in the bombings.

McNamara was an American business executive and the eighth Secretary of Defense, serving from 1961 to 1968 under Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, during which time he played a major role in escalating the United States involvement in the Vietnam War.

Following that, he served as President of the World Bank from 1968 to 1981. McNamara also consolidated intelligence and logistics functions of the Pentagon into two centralized agencies: the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Defense Supply Agency.

So, when this well-connected military industrial complex insider talks about U.S. war crimes, you should listen.

Apparently knowing that he could not be prosecuted for his previous war crimes in World War II and Vietnam, McNamara spoke candidly in the film about strategizing with General Curtis LeMay to, quite literally, set Japan on fire.

In the brief excerpt from the documentary below, McNamara explains how LeMay said that “If we’d lost the war, we’d all have been prosecuted as war criminals.”

“And I think he’s right,” says McNamara. “He, and I’d say I, were behaving as war criminals,” McNamara continued.

“LeMay recognized that what he was doing would be thought immoral if his side has lost. But what makes it immoral if you lose and not immoral if you win?” pondered the now deceased McNamara.

McNamara was unapologetic in his testimony, and it seemed as if he really believed that since the U.S. ‘won’ the war, their horrifyingly murderous track record was somehow just. By this same logic, had Hitler ‘won,’ history should revere him as a hero instead of a murderous sociopath.

Sadly, McNamara is right — had Germany been successful, they could very well be written into history by themselves as the saviors of the free world.

“Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past.” — the political ideology of the totalitarian government of Oceania in George Orwell’s dystopian 1984.

Below is that powerful video in which McNamara compares the Japanese cities’ sizes to that of American ones to illustrate the sheer size of destruction. To put the initial bombing of Tokyo into perspective, it would have been the equivalent of burning half of New York City, and all of its inhabitants, to the ground.

Please share this article with your friends and families to let them know the real history behind America’s ‘exceptionalism.’

 

Matt Agorist is an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA. This prior experience gives him unique insight into the world of government corruption and the American police state. Agorist has been an independent journalist for over a decade and has been featured on mainstream networks around the world. Follow @MattAgorist on Twitter and now on Steemit

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If you asked a typical American about conspiracy theories, he or she probably wouldn’t have any trouble rattling off an extensive list of theories ranging from the Kennedy assassination to 9/11. But if there’s one potential conspiracy that most Americans are totally unaware of, it’s the supposed CIA plot to kill UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld.

Dag had been the Secretary General for eight years, but died in an accidental plane crash in 1961, while en route to a cease-fire negotiation in the British protectorate of Northern Rhodesia. But, over the years, there have been multiple claims that the plane was shot down, and that he was actually killed in an assassination plot that involved some combination of the CIA, a Belgian Mining Company, a South African paramilitary unit, and British intelligence. Why? Because he was pushing for Congo’s independence, which would have hurt the interests of any of those forces.

Adding fuel to the theories, was a copy of a secret government document that surfaced in South Africa 18 years ago, which suggested that the CIA, MI5, and the South African government were in on Dag’s death. They presented statements from CIA director Allen Dulles, saying that “Dag is becoming troublesome … and should be removed.” Unfortunately the original documents couldn’t be found, so there was no way to verify the copies.

But last year the South African government claimed to have found the original document, which has led the UN to reopen their investigation into Hammarskjöld’s death. The CIA has, of course, dismissed these claims as “absurd and without foundation.”

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On Monday, the US National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announced the final development phase of the upgraded airborne nuclear bomb B61-12 prior to production, the first version of which is to be completed by 2020; earlier reports suggested that 20 of these modernized bombs are destined for Europe as a possible deterrent against Russia.

NNSA, the agency responsible for the military use of nuclear technology, has given the go ahead for the production of the upgraded B61-12 thermonuclear aircraft bomb.It said production of the first upgraded B61-12 nuclear bombs will begin in fiscal year 2020. All remaining bombs will be adapted by 2024.

Authorizing the B61-12 warhead life-extension program (LEP) is the final development phase prior to actual production.

According to reports, unlike the free-fall gravity bombs it will replace, the B61-12 is a guided nuclear bomb. A new tail kit assembly, made by Boeing, enables the bomb to hit targets far more precisely than its predecessors.

Using “Dial-a-yield” technology, the bomb’s explosive force can be adjusted before launch from a high of 50,000 tons of TNT equivalent to a low of 300 tons.

The B61-12 will have both air- and ground-burst capability. The capability to penetrate below the surface has significant implications for the types of targets within the bomb’s reach.

The B61-12 will initially be integrated with B-2, F-15E, F-16, and Tornado aircraft. From the 2020s, the weapon will also be integrated with, first, the F-35A bomber-fighter F-35 and later the LRS-B next-generation long-range bomber.

The B61-12 will replace the existing B61-3, —4, —7, and —10 bomb designs. It is thought that approximately 480 B61-12s will be produced through the mid-2020s.Currently around 200 B61 bombs are deployed in underground vaults inside around 90 protective aircraft shelters at six bases in five NATO countries (Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Turkey). [These bases currently house the B61 arsenal, which when decommissioned would be replaced by state of the art  B61-12,  M. Ch, GR Editor]

Two of which would utilize US aircraft (one air base in Incirlik, Turkey and one in Aviano, Italy).

Non-US aircraft are assigned to other bases (Kleine Brogel, Belgium; Büchel, Germany; Ghedi Torre, Italy; and Volkel, The Netherlands).

In September last year German television station ZDF cited a Pentagon budget document saying that the US Air Force would deploy modernized B61 nuclear bombs to Germany’s Buchel air force base replacing the 20 weapons already at the site.

“In other words, the American modernized thermonuclear aircraft bomb has been primarily, and for the nearest quarter of a century, destined to Europe. Washington however does not specify how and from whom the modernized nuclear bombs are going to defend the continent,” says an analytical articleon the RIA Novosti website.

“However it is easy to guess that the thermonuclear bombs will be first of all used for the ‘deterrence” of Russia and the rest of Europe will fall hostage to the circumstances orchestrated from across the ocean,” the website adds. Back in September 2015, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov characterized the move as a potential “violation of the strategic balance in Europe,” that would demand a Russian response.

“This could alter the balance of power in Europe,” Peskov then said.

“And without a doubt it would demand that Russia take necessary countermeasures to restore the strategic balance and parity.”

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Amnesty International strongly condemned tomorrow’s referendum regarding Thailand’s new charter aimed at moving the nation forward after over a decade of political chaos and now two military coups, the most recent having been in 2014.

Thailand’s The Nation would report in an article titled, « Amnesty International questions reliability of referendum, » would claim:

The Amnesty International has questioned the reliability of the Sunday referendum, pointing out it will be held under “chilling climate” when the people cannot speak their minds freely.

In its press statement issued Friday, the Amnesty International said the referendum is taking place « against a backdrop of pervasive human rights violations that have created a chilling climate ». It said the Thai authorities have arbitrarily arrested scores of people, have cancelled or disrupted peaceful assemblies and took off the air a television station in recent weeks.

It said these incidents were just the most recent undue restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association.

However, what Amnesty International does not say is that the arrests were not « arbitrary, » and instead targeted supporters of ousted former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, now a convicted criminal living in self-exile to evade a 2 year jail sentence and a raft of other pending criminal charges, according to the London Guardian.

Amnesty also fails to mention that the « peaceful assemblies » and the « television station » they referred to are also both organised and run directly by Thaksin Shinawatra and his political forces.

Amnesty International, based in the United Kingdom, would likely find it difficult to defend a political party in England run openly by a convicted criminal living abroad who regularly organised attempts to subvert state power including through the use of armed terrorism.

So one wonders why Amnesty International obfuscates the fact that this is precisely what Shinawatra has done in regards to Thailand, and why Amnesty believes arresting and disrupting the activities of those involved in such subversion amounts to « pervasive human rights violations » rather than the impartial application of the rule of  law.

Amnesty International’s Convenient Omissions 

According to Wikileaks, the US Embassy itself noted a string of terrorism carried out by the supporters of Thaksin Shinawatra leading up to and in the wake of the first military coup aimed at ousting him and his political forces from power in 2006.

In one cable titled, « Thai Government Ascribes Bombings to Political Opponents, » the US Embassy in Bangkok would admit:

Many observers will find it plausible that Thaksin or his supporters may have orchestrated bombings in order to discredit those who overthrew him. During the last two years of Thaksin’s administration, there were numerous incidents in which bombs were placed at Bangkok sites associated with Thaksin’s opponents…

In the cable, at least 5 separate incidents were listed.

Since then, Shinawatra has deployed violent mobs into the streets on a number of occasions, the most notable of which occurred in 2009, 2010, and between 2013-2014.

For now over a decade, Thailand opposition groups (called « red shirts ») have repeatedly depended on Western human rights advocates to pressure the government into allowing widespread protests which then are inevitably used as cover for armed violence. Today, Amnesty International is attempting to reignite the violent cycle once again.

Shinawatra’s mobs would gun down two innocent bystanders in 2009 as they attempted to protect their property from the mobs’ looting. In 2010, Shinawatra would augment his mobs with an estimated 300 heavily armed terrorists, who on the first day of bloody confrontations, would ambush and kill 7 soldiers including the colonel leading anti-riot operations.

Armed terrorists deployed by Thaksin Shinawatra on April 10, 2010. Those being arrested today in Thailand are supporters of the political forces who have systematically and repeated employed terrorism across the country. 

Another Western human rights organisation, Human Rights Watch, would depict the initial outbreak of violence on page 62 of its report « Descent into Chaos (.pdf) » which stated:

As the army attempted to move on the camp, they were confronted by well-armed men who fired M16 and AK-47 assault rifles at them, particularly at the Khok Wua intersection on Rajdamnoen Road. They also fired grenades from M79s and threw M67 hand grenades at the soldiers. News footage and videos taken by protesters and tourists show several soldiers lying unconscious and bleeding on the ground, as well as armed men operating with a high degree of coordination and military skills.

The violence in 2010 would continue on for weeks claiming nearly 100 lives before concluding in citywide arson carried out by Shinawatra’s supporters that incurred billions in property damage.

Citywide arson carried out by supporters of Thaksin Shinawatra in 2010.

In the wake of the 2014 coup, under martial law, the military quickly swept the country, disrupting Shinawatra’s networks of armed terrorists rounding up huge caches of weaponry, including grenades, rifles and even rocket propelled grenade launchers (RPGs). Amnesty International fails to mention that those being arrested today in Thailand are supporters of the political forces guilty of wielding such violence against the nation and its people.

Finally, between 2013-2014 when anti-Shinawatra protesters took to the streets to call for his sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, to step down from power, his armed terrorists would again take to the streets, utilising 40mm grenade launchers, hand grenades, and military-style rifles in almost nightly attacks on protest camps throughout Bangkok.

In fact, up to the eve of the 2014 coup that finally ousted Shinawatra’s sister from power, there were violent attacks carried out by Shinawatra’s supporters.

Why Amnesty International does not mention any of this remains a mystery, unless the organisation is intentionally trying to misinform global public opinion as to the true nature of Thailand’s current political crisis and how the referendum represents an attempt to finally end political violence and abuse of power that in every way represents  « pervasive human rights violations » in reality, as Amnesty claims the referendum represents in fiction.

It is clear that political forces in Thailand still supporting Shinawatra despite the means he has used in pursuit of returning himself and his political allies to power, do not represent a legitimate opposition protected under conventions of « free speech » and « right to assemble. » Like criminals of every other variety, those who have systematically and repeatedly abused these rights at the cost of the lives and well-being of others in society, forfeit these rights and must be brought to justice.
Arresting people engaged in criminality, or disrupting the activities of those supporting criminals is universally recognised as both a legitimate and appropriate. That Amnesty International attempts to frame it otherwise in Thailand’s case, raises fears that just as the organisation did in Syria or Libya, where it portrayed armed terrorist organisations as legitimate opposition, their reputation and clout is once again being used to usher in and compound human catastrophe, not avoid it.

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The Elective Affinities of Hillary Clinton

août 7th, 2016 by Luciana Bohne

God has not been preparing the English-speaking and Teutonic peoples for a thousand years for nothing but vain and idle self-contemplation and self-admiration. . . . He has made us adept in government that we may administer government among savage and senile peoples.” — Senator Albert J. Beveridge of Indiana, during the US annexation of the Philippines, 1898.

A grotesque power-fest at the Democratic Party Convention in Philadelphia left me feeling about Hillary Clinton the way P. G. Wodehouse’s Bertie Wooster felt about his Aunt Agatha—“the one who chews broken bottles and kills rats with her teeth.”

There is something disquieting and secretively lascivious about her open-mouthed cackle. She doesn’t so much laugh as lusts. She reminded me, too, of the mythical basilisk in the bestiary at the convention—the queen among the serpents. The basilisk of legend, wearing a king’s crown on his head, is only twelve-fingers long, but his venom withers all living plants in his wake. His gaze is enough to kill, according to Pliny the Elder. Only the droppings of a weasel have the potent odor to kill him, but it didn’t work with this basilisk. Her weasel endorsed her, embraced her, kissed her. His odor and her venom neutralized each other and merged into the unity party of the Serpent and the Weasel.

Her party’s opponent is Charybdis, “a huge bladder of a creature whose face was all mouth and whose arms and legs were flippers” according to Jorge Luis Borges’ Book of Imaginary Beings (1957). As if that were not enough, this Charybdis is reputed to be the troll of a foreign monster, Mandrake, the Demon in the Kremlin. Neither the basilisk’s party nor Charybdis’ own party, a sort of mollusk like the Kraken, likes him. See here and here.

I’m raving, you say? This is the Age of Empire, and empire breeds monsters. We live with them now. Imperialism is our political and economic reality. Nothing material or substantial can be reformed within this colossal juggernaut. Yet, we continue to pretend that this has no bearing on our lives. In 2003 alone, the Iraq invasion cost $60 billion, three times the yearly budget for education, yet, we wonder why schools are starving for funds. When we clamor for reforms without mentioning imperialism, it is as if we were told we would be dead in three weeks and reacted by scheduling an appointment for a facelift.

A facelift is exactly what elections have produced in the last two decades. Bill Clinton’s Nero, saxophone in lieu of harp; George Bush’s Claudius, malapropisms for stutters; Obama’s Titus, fortunate son, charm and treachery—they are all faces of imperialism, exceptionalism, hegemony, capital penetration, globalization, neoliberal reconolization, “full spectrum dominance,” “rebalance.” They are the CEOs of international capitalism in the White House. Their charge is to do away with the sovereignty of nations, economically when possible, militarily when necessary. They destabilize and destroy whole countries through open, economic, proxy, or clandestine wars; they organize and train terrorist organizations; they foment regime change; they privatize the public wealth; they impose deadly economic reforms on countries they indebt in perpetuity; they launch economic sanctions, often in tandem or in the run-up to war. The goal they serve is the domination of the planet to extract resources, secure markets, and depress wages. In Haiti, workers are paid 62 cents per hour. Why would any sane investor hire an American worker for $7 per hour when a Haitian, whose dependent country has stripped him/her of all workers’ protection rights, works for pennies?

We are the Lotus Eaters, if we don’t know the cost and suffering of imperialism.

In this predatory process, the masters of the world—the economic elite—have amassed mountains of money over tree decades, and are desperate for “opportunities” for investment. They know that money must move, or it dies. At this stage of disinvestment in industrialization in the capitalist centers because of diminished returns, money becomes the chief export commodity. To secure astronomical returns, lands and resources that belong to other people must be seized and controlled. To achieve this goal, they need a strong, autocratic, and authoritarian state and an appointed dictator. An imperator, head of the army, whose rule is characterized by weak legislative and judicial branches.

Ruthless, ambitious, violent, and conniving, Hillary Clinton’s Roman imperial analog is Agrippina, Nero’s mother and Claudius’ niece and murderous wife. Her ferocious chemistry makes her kindred by choice to the ferocity of the empire. The two are bound by “elective affinities”– Die Wahlverwandtschaften (1809) of Goethe’s third novel, which examines the possibility that human passions are ruled by chemical affinities , the preference of one substance for another. I am convinced that the imperial candidate with the most affinities with the ruling elite is Hillary Clinton. If Donald Trump is sincere in saying he wants peace with Russia, he would have to be a Titan to reverse a centenary robotic American foreign policy by 360 degrees. That would go against all the laws of political motion, including inertia, which were set down at the birth of the United States. The prize was always to be fabled Eurasia—“he who controls Eurasia controls the world,” wrote that other cobra-eyed basilisk, Zbigniew Kazimierz Brzezinsk, the veteran Zbiggus Dickus of foreign lunacy at the State Department and the NSA.

And so this woman, the Agrippina on the Potomac, will sit behind the “grand chessboard,” playing with human pawns. She will make a good empress, even though less than 40 percent of the country’s voters consider her “trustworthy.” But the people’s trust is irrelevant. They are themselves untrustworthy. Having come out from under the spell of “charming” Obama to realize that he was a magician’s trick, the people are spinning off center—the “extreme center,” as Tariq Ali wittily calls it. The people need whipping back into the herd. For that, a virago will do. She will ride rough-shod with Sin and Death, the moral allies of the empire, over hurdles of sovereignties and international law. She will further ravish the already enfeebled Constitution before eating it whole because the inevitable cost of an expansionist foreign policy is the loss of economic and political freedom at home.

They all trust her. She has affinities with them all.

The Financiers

The financial empire trusts Hillary Clinton. Top mega-financiers and hedge fund founders and managers who have contributed to her campaign since March 2015 include: George Soros, hedge-fund billionaire, $7 million; Haim Saban, Israeli hawk and entertainment mogul, $5 million; James Simon, founder, Renaissance Technologies, hedge fund billionaire and former code-breaker for the military, $ 3.5 million; Herbert Sandler, founder of Golden West Financial Corporation, the California savings and loan enterprise; Donald Sussman, hedge-fund manager, $2.5 million.

There was no way that the new world order of financial monopoly capitalism would consider for CEO of the neoliberal empire someone like Bernie Sanders, not because he was “progressive” but because he was “regressive,” and in their view no doubt an unrealistic fantasist. The idea of bringing back the New Deal, a liberal order they had been overthrowing since the 1980s, must have had them belly-laughing in private, but they saw no harm so long as the senator from Vermont fed the illusion in the people that capitalism could be reformed and become a good thing. Ditto for Donald Trump: his regression consists of offering the people another fantasy, a return to a long gone Fordist America, the industrial powerhouse of the planet, in which American workers were the “aristocrats” of labor. At one point in history, Detroit was the capital of this aristocracy, the best-paid white workers in the world. Thus, both candidates offer a spectacle to the voters of a quarrel with their respective parties, but not with their parties’ de-facto bi-partisan pursuit of economic world supremacy. All the same they were useful. They helped to deflect, diffuse, confuse, and veil that stark, existential reality that is the cause of our woes and those of the planet: American economic and military expansion—the weasel more so than Charybdis.

Hillary Clinton is not a retro-fantasist, apart from being a fantasist of the neoliberal order. Her fantasy is their fantasy. Thus they back her.

The Liberal Humanitarian Carnivores

The liberal humanitarians trust Hillary’s exemplary ability to sell a war crime as a service to humanity.

The modern idea of “humanitarian war” is as old as Columbus; as old as the conquistadores. White, civilized Europeans, arriving in the “New World,” killed “savages” in order to civilize whoever survived. And then worked them to death and took their lands. In that tradition, the modern liberal humanitarian must be a flesh-eater. “A liberal society cannot be defended by herbivores. We need carnivores to save us,” wrote Michael Ignatieff, former Professor of Human Rights Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, in a New York Times magazine op-ed piece, May 2, 2004. There is no need to recite the litany of Hillary Clinton’s bloody deeds since 1990. Gary Leupp covers them comprehensively in a 2015 CounterPunch article  but for carnivorism, who can forget her maenad-possessed laughter on watching the tearing apart of Qaddafi’s flesh on video—a scene reminiscent of Euripides’ tragedy, “The Bacchae”?

Bill Clinton’s administration in the 1990s disemboweled Yugoslavia on humanitarian grounds, after portraying it as the resurgence of the genocidal Third Reich and its president, Slobodan Milosevic, as the new Hitler. Milosevic, by the way, has just been exonerated of all crimes for which Clinton’s kangaroo International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia had formerly condemned him. In 2003, casting her vote for the invasion of Iraq, Hillary Clinton cited the persecution of Milosevic as the example to follow for removing Saddam Hussein. It’s worth listening to her self-assurance in demonizing a man she, and Bill Clinton’s administration, knew to be innocent of the charges—knew because they trumped them up:

We and our NATO allies did not depose Mr. Milosevic, who was responsible for more than a quarter of a million people being killed in the 1990s. Instead, by stopping his aggression in Bosnia and Kosovo, and keeping on the tough sanctions, we created the conditions in which his own people threw him out and led to his being in the dock being tried for war crimes as we speak.

But Bill Clinton didn’t just scrap Yugoslavia; he junked international law by removing from the Security Council the legal monopoly on authorizing war. He set a precedent in the Kosovo War by claiming Responsibility to Protect (R2P), which gives humanitarian intervention the pseudo-legal means to overthrow a sovereign state. The UN Charter specifically disallows humanitarian intervention for a very good reason: it was that responsibility Hitler’s rogue regime claimed for invading Poland—the protection of German minorities—to start WW II.

Never mind. The Kosovo precedent opened the gates to all the “humanitarian” wars that followed, including Hillary Clinton’s war on Libya in 2009, consistent with her approval of her husband’s intervention in Kosovo. During a meeting with Code Pink on 6 March 2003 at the US Capitol, defending her vote in favor of attacking Iraq, Senator Clinton applauded her husband’s war in Kosovo, claiming that he saved Kosovar Albanian from ethnic cleansing—a lie—while commending his initiative to go it alone, without the “international community’s” consent:

With respect to whose responsibility it is to disarm Saddam Hussein, I do not believe that given the attitudes of many people in the world community today that there would be a willingness to take on very difficult problems were it not for United States leadership.  And I am talking specifically about what had to be done in Bosnia and Kosovo, where my husband could not get a Security Council resolution to save the Kosovar Albanians from ethnic cleansing.  And we did it alone as the United States, and we had to do it alone.  It would have been far preferable if the Russians and others had agreed to do it through the United Nations — they would not.  I’m happy that, in the face of such horrible suffering, we did act.

She’s praising here her husband’s international crime, the interference with a country’s sovereignty for fictional humanitarian reasons. No, the goal of the war in Kosovo was not ethnic defense (Bill Clinton’s policy throughout the 90s in the former Yugoslavia was to foment and prey on ethnic anarchy) but the expansionist penetration of a foreign territory and the construction of one of the largest military bases in Europe, at Camp Bondsteel, costing the American people a good chunk of social services—possibly, his welfare “reform,” for example.

Liberal humanitarian warmongers peddle the ludicrous claim that “America is the essential country” (Madeleine Albright) for safeguarding liberal democracy throughout the world, sublimely indifferent to the evidence that the world can’t wait to get America’s essentialism off its back. Hillary Clinton’s belligerent foreign policy is notorious. She has promised to bomb Iran. She has managed and supervised the destruction of Libya. She has organized the coups in Paraguay and Honduras. Her neo-con team at the State Department funded and organized the coup in Ukraine, Nazified its political, military, and cultural life, triggering a civil war (while calling Putin “Hitler”).

There’s no reason to believe that her carnivorous humanitarian resources have been depleted since then. While Secretary of State for Obama, she authorized the sale of weapons to Qatar that she knew would go to the Libyan rebels to topple Qaddafi and then go to Syria to arm al Qaeda to overthrow Assad. She denied any involvement under oath. In an exclusive interview with The Telegraph, her campaign foreign policy adviser, Jeremy Bash, former Chief of Staff at the Pentagon and CIA, said that she would work to get President Assad “out of there”:

A Clinton administration will not shrink from making clear to the world exactly what the Assad regime is. It is a murderous regime that violates human rights; that has violated international law; used chemical weapons against his own people; has killed hundreds of thousands of people, including tens of thousands of children.

If Assad is as guilty as she was sure at the time Milosevic was, we’re in for another international crime.

On Russia, the Council on Foreign Relations reports that she’s calling for strengthening NATO and “tougher measures against Putin to punish him for invading Ukraine and annexing Crimea as well as for supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.” “I remain convinced,” they quote her, “that we need a concerted effort to really up the cost on Russia and, in particular, on Putin.” She considers that Russia’s intervention in Syria creates “chaos”:

I think it’s important too that the United States make it very clear to Putin that it’s not acceptable for him to be in Syria creating more chaos, bombing people on behalf of Assad, and we can’t do that if we don’t take more of a leadership position, which is what I’m advocating.

Russia Today blames Clinton’s outrageous Russophobia—“Hillary Clinton is the Bachman Turner Overdrive of US politics”–on Obama’s mistake for allowing the Neo-con contingent to dominate the State Department:

Obama’s other mistake was to allow Hillary, as Secretary of State, to retain neocon holdovers from the Bush administration on her Eastern Europe team. Even more incredibly, Kerry then inherited them for the second term. “Obama allowed US officials on the ground (in Ukraine and elsewhere) to pursue a grossly irresponsible and provocative anti-Russian policy,” Anatol Lieven recently told the Valdai Club. “What on earth, one may ask, was Victoria Nuland, a neo-conservative State Department official married to the arch neocon Robert Kagan, doing in the Obama administration at all, given that her attitudes run clearly counter to his?”Lieven also pointed out that “figures like Nuland are still favored by Hillary Clinton (Kagan is now moving into her political camp) and much of the US foreign and security establishment; and that with regard to Russia, that establishment is still conditioned to pursue what are in effect Cold War attitudes.”

The Neo-Cons and “New” Imperialists

 Hillary Clinton represents the personification of rehabilitated imperialism, the overarching geopolitical focus of American politics. That is why she will be the establishment’s choice—tested and proven. She will press hard against the political independence of Russia and the economic rise of China, a pressure that encapsulates American foreign policy in the foreseeable future.

Neo-con and neo-liberal promoters of the “new imperialism” are Western regime intellectuals and historians such as Max Boot, Niall Ferguson, and Michael Ignatieff.

As a result, by 2003, the year of the invasion of Iraq, media pundits were busy domesticating the word “empire.” American propaganda had proscribed the word for decades on account of there being only one empire, which was “evil”: the USSR. With the Soviet Union gone, America congratulated itself on being #1, the sole super-power, the essential country, and, the old standby, the exceptional country. None of these brands resonated with the force that the scope of conquering the world required. To make matters worse, critics of the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, were floating the un-American term “imperialism.” Something had to be done. With the evil empire dead, the good empire could re-emerge. Max Boot, Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at Council on Foreign Relations, proposed “an American might to promote American ideals”–messianic political morality at the point of a gun. He explained,

In the early twentieth century, Americans talked of spreading Anglo-Saxon civilization and taking up the ‘white man’s burden’; today they talk of spreading democracy and defending human rights. Whatever you call it, this represents an idealistic impulse that has always been a big part in America’s impetus for going to war.

Soon after 9/11, 2001, Boot had already invoked this impetuous idealism to respond to the lament of suffering nations pining for the . . . return of a British-style imperial ministration.

Afghanistan and other troubled lands today cry out for the sort of enlightened foreign administration once provided by self-confident Englishmen in jodhpurs and pith helmets.

And in 2002, Boot wrote, “Imperialism used to be the white man’s burden. This gave it a bad reputation. But imperialism doesn’t stop being necessary because it is politically incorrect” (New York Times Magazine, July 28, 2002). Neoconservative William Kristol, of The Weekly Standard, said more tersely on Fox television at the time, “if people want to say we’re an imperial power, fine.”If there is a place on earth that is testy about Western imperialism, that place is China. If there is an American official who has sorely tested China’s anti-colonial sensibility, that person is Clinton. As First Lady, she rousingly declared that “women’s rights are human rights” in Beijing at the UN World Conference on Women in 1995. As Secretary of State, in 2011, she denounced China’s “deplorable” record of human rights in an interview with Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic. Again in 2011, she proposed a US policy toward China as one “of advancing democracy and human rights” in a Foreign Policy article, titled “America’s Pacific Century.”

To Chinese officials’ ear this aggressive insistence on human rights sounded suspiciously like a systematic call for color revolution in China. Her hostile intent, had already become apparent in 2010. At the ASEAN Regional Forum in Hanoi, she confirmed China’s suspicion that she advocated a US policy of containment by intervening in the territorial disputes of the South China Sea. Recommending a “rebalance” of power in the disputed areas, she asserted that the US had “a national interest in freedom of navigation, open access to Asia’s maritime commons, and respect for international law in the South China Sea.”

China’s Foreign Minister at the time, Yang Jiechi, at first walked out of the meeting, only to return an hour later with the ominous reminderthat “China is a big country and other countries are small countries, and that’s just a fact.”

On the unpopular Trans-Pacific Trade Agreement, a pact China correctly perceives as economic containment, she said in her debate with Bernie Sanders on 4 February 2016 that she now opposes it after having strenuously and enthusiastically supported it as Obama’s Secretary of State until 2012 and beyond. Her flip-flops on the TPT are well documented here.

These three affinities—with finance, war, and imperialism—make Hillary Clinton the perfect mate for president of the financial-imperial White House. Picture her in jodhpurs and pith helmet astride the financial bull, taking on the “white woman’s burden,” and riding the humanitarian “savage wars for peace.” Stop worrying about Donald Trump “Charybdis” and learn to avoid where the Basilisk treads, which will be difficult. You can prepare by reviewing her record as “empire-slayer” here.

In choosing between presidential candidates today, it’s best to stick to Bertie Wooster’s advice about aunts: “It is no use telling me there are bad aunts and good aunts. At the core, they are all alike. Sooner or later, out pops the cloven hoof.”

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The hysterical ‘information war’ just stopped being funny. The influential Atlantic Council has released a paper calling for Poland to ‘reserve the right’ to attack Russian infrastructure, including Moscow’s public transport and RT’s offices, via electronic warfare.

There are some ideas that are so outlandish, so outrageous, so off-the-reservation weird that the only way they should enter the public realm is by sheer accident, or in haphazard fashion through whistleblowers and WikiLeaks data dumps.

Regrettably, however, that was not the case with the Atlantic Council’s latest paper, alarmingly entitled ‘Arming for Deterrence: How Poland and NATO Should Counter a Resurgent Russia’. The recommendations put forward in this paper are the result of a deliberate decision (predicated upon the unfounded idea that Russia would initiate a military attack against Eastern European and Baltic nations), and that’s what makes its contents all the more disturbing.

Heeding Tolstoy’s advice, let’s jump right into the action: Page 12, paragraph 7 and I quote: “Poland should announce that it reserves the right to deploy offensive cyber operations (and not necessarily in response just to cyber attacks). The authorities could also suggest potential targets, which could include the Moscow metro, the St. Petersburg power network, and Russian state-run media outlets such as RT.”

Holy hooliganism, Batman! That comment made me sit straight, spill my coffee and check to see if I wasn’t perusing a parody piece by The Onion. No such luck. My gut reaction, however, was to ignore the bombast and hyperbole, since responding would only give the authors some satisfaction that they hit a nerve. And I must admit, they succeeded. In fact, they hit my sciatic nerve, the longest neuron transmitter in the human body that begins in the lower back and runs through the buttock and down the leg (I once underwent leg surgery and the doctor, in an experimental mood, I assume, injected anesthetics directly into this hot spot, which is about the equivalent of being hit by a dozen police Tasers at once).

In other words, ignoring this shocking remark was not an option. The reasons should be obvious. Though the paper ‘merely’ suggested “offensive cyber attacks,” the Moscow Metro, which carries about 10 million commuters daily, has suffered a number of deadly attacks over the years. The last thing it really needs is an “offensive” attack of any kind.

On August 8, 2000, a bomb equivalent to two pounds of TNT detonated inside a pedestrian underpass at Pushkinskaya metro station in the center of Moscow. The attack claimed the lives of 12 and injured 150. On February 6, 2004, an explosion devastated a rush-hour carriage between the Avtozavodskaya and Paveletskaya stations, killing 41 and wounding over 100 commuters on their way to work. A marble plaque on the platform of the Avtozavodskaya Metro bears the names of the victims. On March 29, 2010, dual explosions 40 minutes apart hit the Lubyanka and Park Kultury stations during yet another morning rush hour, killing 40 and injuring 102 others.

Needless to say, Muscovites still carry a lot of emotional baggage from these tragic incidences, so for anybody to suggest the Moscow Metro (or any form of public transport, for that matter) come under some sort of attack is simply outrageous. Although an « offensive cyber attack » (isn’t every attack by nature « offensive » – why the need to be tautological?) does not rank in the same category as a bomb attack, for example, it is nevertheless a form of violence that could have catastrophic consequences.

Second, mentioning St. Petersburg (formerly Leningrad) – the site of a 872-day military siege by the Nazi Army (Sept. 1941 to January 1944) in which somewhere between 643,000 and 1.5 million civilians died of starvation, disease and bombardment – in the context of an attack is just stupid. Most likely it is a cheap effort by the authors to provoke an emotional response from the Russians, who take immense pride from the incomparable sacrifices made by the people of Leningrad (Perhaps even more disturbing, however, is the fact that there is a nuclear power plant 70 kilometers outside of St. Petersburg; would that fall under our author’s purview for a cyber attack?). Why would the authors deliberately rile the Russians over one of their most culturally and historically significant cities? I have some wild guesses, but more on that a bit later.

Who needs Geneva’s conventions?

I am a bit surprised that it is necessary to remind people – especially authors for an influential think-tank – as to what the Geneva Convention has to say with regards to protecting citizens. Article 51(2) of Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions, explicitly states:

“The civilian population as such, as well as individual civilians, shall not be the object of attack. Acts or threats of violence, the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population, are prohibited.”

Although I am no lawyer, that statement seems pretty straightforward. Not only the act of violence, but “threats of violence”are prohibited, and an “offensive cyber attack” – which could be severely disruptive, even deadly, in our hyper-technological societies – would certainly qualify.

The authors of the Atlantic Council piece, therefore, are skirting the margins of legality, not to mention sanity, I would say, especially when we consider that Russia has not demonstrated hostile intentions against any Eastern European country, except for those invasions that exist in the vivid imaginations of NATO planners.

Now, concerning the other “potential targets” that our ambitious authors have lined up for Poland’s punchy army, namely, “Russian state-run media outlets such as RT,” once again the authors have gone off the rails as far as the law is concerned. That is because media facilities are considered to be civilian installations and strictly off-limits to any sort of attack, “offensive cyber attacks” included.

“Radio and television facilities are civilian objects and as such enjoy general protection. The prohibition on attacking civilian objects has been firmly established in international humanitarian law since the beginning of the twentieth century and was reaffirmed in the 1977 Protocol I and in the Statute of the International Criminal Court,” advises Marco Sassoli, Antoine Bouvier and Anne Quintin in a case study regarding the protection of journalists.

There is yet another problem with this particular paper that became apparent just days after its publication. First, let us reconsider the gratuitous advice the authors have for the Polish authorities (who will hopefully take a pass on this think-tank junk): “Poland should announce that it reserves the right to deploy offensive cyber operations (and not necessarily in response just to cyber attacks).” That parenthetical comment at the end is not my addition; it appears in the original. So what exactly would qualify Russia’s civilian infrastructure for being on the receiving end of some sort of Polish attack via electronic warfare? The authors do not tell us. I guess they just want to keep everybody in the dark, so to speak.

In any case, the comment is problematic and could have serious unforeseen consequences at least as far as already strained Russian-Polish relations go. After all, there always remains the risk that there will be, in some theoretical future, an “offensive cyber attack” of unknown origin on the Moscow Metro, St. Petersburg power grid or at RT offices.

Needless to say, such an unexpected turn of events would not look very good for the Polish authorities – even if they are innocent of such an aggression. It would look much worse, of course, should an “offensive cyber attack” result in injury or death to any citizens in Russia (It needs emphasized at this point that the possibility exists of some third-party deliberately initiating a cyber attack in the hope of aggravating tensions between Russia and Poland, which would give NATO the justification it desperately needs for its dwindling relevance in a post-Cold War world).

Under a section entitled “Policy declarations”, the authors give the Polish authorities another misguided suggestion: “Poland should make clear policy declarations regarding its behavior in the event of Russian incursions and on targeting within Russia.” The last part of that sentence is unclear and could be interpreted as two distinct events: 1. “The event of Russian incursions”, and 2. “Targeting within Russia” – bereft of any initial Russian incursion.

Meanwhile, the term “offensive cyber attacks” appears in another section of the paper where the authors remark: “NATO has tied its own hands by declaring that it would not use all tools available to it, such as refraining from using offensive cyber operations. Holding back from offensive cyber operations is tantamount to removing kinetic options from a battlefield commander.” Using and comparing these two terms in the same sentence is troubling. As Timothy Noah wrote in Slate, kinetic means“dropping bombs and shooting bullets—you know, killing people.”

Ironically, just days after this nonsense burst asunder from the busy bowels of US ‘thinktankdom’, the Russian Security Service (FSB) reported that computer networks of some 20 Russian state, defense, scientific and other high-profile organizations were infected with malware used for cyber-espionage, describing it as a professionally coordinated operation.

“The IT assets of government offices, scientific and military organizations, defense companies and other parts of the nation’s crucial infrastructure were infected,” the FSB said in a statement as cited by the Russian media.

Although these sort of attacks will continue to occur in our hi-tech societies, it seems a bit reckless to suggest that one state should say it « reserves the right » to initiate « offensive cyber attacks » against civilian targets, especially when the country under consideration, Russia, has not demonstrated any hostile intentions towards its neighbors. But that is certainly not the impression the reader will get from perusing the aggressive Atlantic Council report, which paints a totally misleading picture of Russia.

Who writes this stuff?

The disturbing advice put forward in this paper is more understandable when we know the background of the authors.

Gen. Sir Richard Shirreff, NATO’s Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe from 2011 to 2014, is now partner at Strategia Worldwide Ltd. He recently published “2017: War with Russia”, the plot of which is pretty much self-explanatory.

It is hard to top the late fiction writer Tom Clancy when it comes to presenting (Soviet) Russia as the world’s preeminent villain, but Shirreff certainly gives the author of « The Hunt for Red October » a run for his money.

NATO, according to Shirreff, will be at war with Russia by May 2017 (Surprise – just in time for the one-year anniversary of Shirreff’s Russophobic thriller. Oh, happy sales!). Russian forces will invade the Baltic States and threaten to employ nuclear weapons if NATO attempts a military response. “A hesitant NATO will face catastrophe… the day of reckoning for its failure to match strong political statements with strong military forces finally arrives,” his trembling fingers typed.

Amazing what a democratic referendum by the good people of Crimea to join the Russian Federation can do to some people’s overactive imaginations.

Sadly, the primary motivator for such attacks on Russia boils down to the most primal motivator of them all: the profit motive. As a partner at Strategia Worldwide Ltd, which provides clients with “a comprehensive approach to corporate risk management… in complex, dangerous and difficult environments,” according to its sleek website, Shirreff’s groundless predictions about Russian aggression against its neighbors will probably draw more customers through Strategia’s front door. Or boost book sales. Either way, it doesn’t bode well for EU-Russian relations when rabble-rousers can get away with hawking phantom fears and libelous lies for filthy lucre.

But this non-fiction tale just gets more fantastic. The other author, Maciej Olex-Szczytowski, is described as an « independent business adviser, specializing in defense. » In 2011-12 he was Special Economic Adviser to Poland’s Foreign Minister, Radoslaw Sikorski.

But the biography missed the really juicy part of Olex-Szczytowski’s resume.

“Maciej Olex-Szczytowski is Adviser on Poland to BAE Systems, Europe’s largest company in the Defence Sector. A commercial and investment banker by training, he has led some €50 billion worth of transactions in Central Europe, and has provided advice to numerous corporations and governmental entities in the region.”

Well now the warmongering jibes against Russia is starting to make some sense, at least from a business portfolio perspective.

Imagine. We have a former general turned business executive who is predicting that Russia will – for some inexplicable reason – invade the Baltic States (I can only presume for its excellent pastries and liquors) in 2017, teaming up with an investment banker who oversees the sale of tens of billions of dollars in military hardware to the EU, now advising Poland to “reserve the right” to launch an “offensive cyber attack” against Russian civilian infrastructure.

No conflict of business interests there, right? Nah! It is individuals like these, for whom the entire planet is one big business opportunity, and to hell with the risk of accidentally kick-starting a beast called Armageddon, who are the real regional aggressors.

Hopefully the Polish authorities are wise enough to see through this thinly veiled and very revolting business plan and politely reject the self-interested suggestions of Richard Shirreff and Maciej Olex-Szczytowski. With friends like these two, who needs enemies? After all, it will be Poland that will be forced to pay the piper the price of ruined relations with Russia, not the European military industrial complex, which will only reap a windfall should it come to fruition.

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The Democratic Party may have presented themselves as a unified force to go after Republican Donald Trump in November, but such unity was not evident in the streets of Philadelphia.

Legions of people collected in the streets of Philadelphia to express their concerns as the Democratic National Convention got underway the week of July 25th.

Above and beyond the sentiments expressed by climate and social justice activists, many supporters of Bernie Sanders had arrived in the city. Not only did many of them criticize Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton for policies revolving around the 2009 coup in Honduras, support for fracking, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), they blasted the former first lady and the Democratic Party over the revelation that the Democrats had rigged the race on the Democratic side in favour of Ms. Clinton.

As someone who was in the streets that week, I discovered that Bernie Sanders had broad support on the ground, while Hillary Clinton had virtually none. Sanders supporters were by and large hostile to Hillary, even declaring they would vote for (Green presidential candidate) Jill Stein.

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On this special summertime edition of the Global Research News Hour, we bring you audio from some of those Sanders supporters as well as environmental and other activists.

The audio recorded in this report contains interviews with and sound from a clean energy march, an outdoor of a black Resistance march,  and an act of civil disobedience.  Listeners exposed to propaganda of a party united behind Clionton may wish to consult this report to get a more balanced sense of what happened that week.

The Global Research News Hour will be presenting special broadcasts over the summer months. 

Affiliate radio stations are encouraged to air this content as appropriate. 

Past programs are also available for download and rebroadcast.

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The Global Research News Hour airs every Friday at 1pm CT on CKUW 95.9FM in Winnipeg. The programme is also podcast at globalresearch.ca . The show can be heard on the Progressive Radio Network at prn.fm. Listen in every Monday at 3pm ET.

Community Radio Stations carrying the Global Research News Hour:

CHLY 101.7fm in Nanaimo, B.C – Thursdays at 1pm PT

Boston College Radio WZBC 90.3FM NEWTONS  during the Truth and Justice Radio Programming slot -Sundays at 7am ET.

Port Perry Radio in Port Perry, Ontario –1  Thursdays at 1pm ET

Burnaby Radio Station CJSF out of Simon Fraser University. 90.1FM to most of Greater Vancouver, from Langley to Point Grey and from the North Shore to the US Border.

It is also available on 93.9 FM cable in the communities of SFU, Burnaby, New Westminister, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Surrey and Delta, in British Columbia Canada. – Tune in every Saturday at 6am.

Radio station CFUV 101.9FM based at the University of Victoria airs the Global Research News Hour every Sunday from 7 to 8am PT.

CORTES COMMUNITY RADIO CKTZ  89.5 out of Manson’s Landing, B.C airs the show Tuesday mornings at 10am Pacific time.

Cowichan Valley Community Radio CICV 98.7 FM serving the Cowichan Lake area of Vancouver Island, BC airs the program Thursdays at 6am pacific time.

Campus and community radio CFMH 107.3fm in  Saint John airs the Global Research News Hour Fridays at 10am.

 

In an effort to learn more about the impacts of long-term exposure to heavy metals and other toxins associated with warzone bombardments and military installations, a new study released Friday examined a sample of donated teeth and discovered that the children of Iraq are suffering from alarming levels of such substances, specfically lead.

The study—entitled Prenatal Metal Exposure in the Middle East: Imprint of War in Deciduous Teeth of Children—focused on Iraq, invaded by the U.S. and coalition forces over thirteen years ago, due to the amount of bombing its population has witnessed over the last thirteen years and the troubling level of cancers and birth defects now evidenced in the population that could be related to that relentless violence. The Iraqi teeth were compared to donated samples from both Lebanon, which has seen a more moderate level of bombing and warfare during the same time period, and Iran, which has experienced relative peace since the end of the Iraq/Iran War in 1988.

« In war zones, » the abstract of the study explains, « the explosion of bombs, bullets, and other ammunition releases multiple neurotoxicants into the environment. The Middle East is currently the site of heavy environmental disruption by massive bombardments. A very large number of US military bases, which release highly toxic environmental contaminants, have also been erected since 2003. Current knowledge supports the hypothesis that war-created pollution is a major cause of rising birth defects and cancers in Iraq. »

Scientifically known as a person’s « deciduous teeth, » what are also called « baby teeth » are useful to study, the researchers explain, because they « originate in fetal life and may prove useful in measuring prenatal metal exposures. » The researchers say their findings confirm the hypothesis that in war-torn Iraq the levels of contaminants found were much higher than in those countries that have seen markedly less violence.

« Our hypothesis that increased war activity coincides with increased metal levels in deciduous teeth is confirmed by this research, » reads the study. « Lead levels were similar in Lebanese and Iranian deciduous teeth. Deciduous teeth from Iraqi children with birth defects had remarkably higher levels of Pb [lead]. Two Iraqi teeth had four times more Pb, and one tooth had as much as 50 times more Pb than samples from Lebanon and Iran. »

To further explain the context and implications of the newly-published researchers, it is worth quoting the study at length:

In war zones, the explosion of bombs, bullets, and other ammunition releases multiple neurotoxicants into the environment, adding to the burden of childhood exposures. Recent studies in Iraq indicate widespread public exposure to neurotoxic metals (Pb and mercury) accompanied by unprecedented increases in birth defects and cancers in a number of cities (Savabieasfahani 2013). Current knowledge supports the hypothesis that war-created pollution is a major factor in the rising numbers of birth defects and cancers in Iraq.

The Middle East has been the site of a massive environmental disruption by bombardments. In 2015 alone, the USA dropped over 23,000 bombs in the Middle East. Twenty-two thousand bombs were dropped on Iraq/Syria (Zenko 2016). US military bases also produce and release highly toxic environmental pollutants in the Middle East. Though our knowledge is limited, a recent report by Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) offers a conservative estimate of two million killed in the Middle East since the 2003 US invasion of Iraq. Around one million people have been killed in Iraq, 220,000 in Afghanistan, and 80,000 in Pakistan. A total of around 1.3 million, not included in this figure, have been killed in other recently created war zones such as Yemen and Syria (Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR)).

It may seem callous to focus on the “long-term” effects of war while these horrific consequences of war are here and now. Nevertheless, long-term public health consequences of war need to be better examined if we are to prevent similar wars in the future (Weir 2015). To that end, here we report the results of our last samples from a growing war-zone.

Deciduous teeth of children from Iraq, Lebanon, and Iran can show a continuum of high to low war-related-exposures in children. Measurements of environmental samples in the areas of our interest are rare in the literature. Therefore, we deduce that a continuum of high to low war-related exposures can be detected in children of the selected areas based upon the knowledge of the number and length of wars fought in each country in modern times. We do know that Iraq continues to be the target of repeated bombings and military activity, that Lebanon has been the site for multiple wars, and that military activities have occurred in Lebanon intermittently up to 2016 (Haugbolle 2010). In contrast, Iran has been the site of only one war in modern times, which ended in 1988 (Hersh 1992). Our aim is to evaluate deciduous teeth for their suitability to serve as markers of prenatal exposures to neurotoxic heavy metals.

Metals are one of the main components of bombs, bullets, and other weaponry. Buncombe (2011) offers a historic account of the very large number of bombs and bullets that were dropped in the Middle East post-2003. Additionally, 1500 US military bases and facilities—with their associated toxic pollutants—have been erected in the Middle East since 2003 (Nazaryan 2014; Vine 2014). It has been suggested that US military bases are among the most polluting operations on earth (Nazaryan 2014; Broder 1990; Milmo 2014).

In Iraq, there are currently over 500 US military bases (Kennedy 2008; Vine 2014). Pollutants released from these bases have reportedly harmed human health (Institute of Medicine, IOM 2011). Metals are released in the environment in large quantities during and following wars, either by direct bombing or as a result of waste generated and released by military installations (IOM). Metals are persistent in the environment (Li et al. 2014), and their adverse effects on health—especially the health of sensitive populations (i.e., pregnant mothers, fetuses, growing children)—have been established (Parajuli et al. 2013; Grandjean and Landrigan 2014). Public exposure to war-related pollutants intensifies as wars become frequent and as the environmental release of waste associated with military bases increases. Metal exposures and toxicity are frequently reported in children, particularly those living in areas of protracted military attacks in the Middle East (Alsabbak et al. 2012; Jergovic et al. 2010; Savabieasfahani et al. 2015).

« As prenatal exposures become more severe and common in war zones, » the authors write, « the accurate measurement of those prenatal exposures becomes more urgent. The use of deciduous teeth, which originate in fetal life, as a biomarker of prenatal exposure, is worthwhile if we are to protect children from such exposures in the future. »

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On Friday, 5 August 2016, the open-ended working group (OEWG) to take forward nuclear disarmament negotiations met in Geneva for its third and final session. The first day gave participants the opportunity to share their general views on the Chair’s zero draft of the report before going into more detail during the first collective reading of the report.

Participants in the discussion included the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), Indonesia on behalf of a group of states, Ecuador, Germany on behalf of a group of states, Norway, Canada, Chile, Austria, South Africa, Brazil, Guatemala, Fiji, Malaysia, Mexico, Iran, SwitzerlandIreland, Argentina, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, Costa Rica, Nigeria, Basel Peace Office, Finland, Australia, Sweden, Kenya, the International Fellowship for Reconciliation, and Algeria.

Chile, AustriaIreland, and Brazil appreciated the presence and contributions of civil society. Ireland also appreciated the gender balance of the meetings, both of panelists and participants, which it suggested should serve as a role model for international engagement on nuclear disarmament.

General comments

All delegations appreciated the efforts of Ambassador Thani to produce a balanced and factual report. However, it soon became clear that groupings that crystalised during the February and May discussions continue to hold diverse views about the best approach to nuclear weapons, which impacted their assessment of the report.

Germany, taking the floor on behalf of the states supporting the “progressive approach” working paper, expressed concern with some of the “imbalances and inconsistencies” these states perceive in the representation of some aspects of the debate and recommendations. Germany, in this context, referred among others to paragraphs 20, 25, 27, 30, and 50. Norway too saw “imbalances and inconsistencies” as expressed by Germany.

Norway, Australia, and Finland stressed that the participation of nuclear-armed states is necessary for nuclear disarmament. On the other hand, Guatemala pointed out that these states’ continued absence from the OEWG suggests they still do not have the necessary political will for nuclear disarmament. Austria stressed that the voluntary non-participation of the nuclear-armed states cannot be held against the value and outcome of the work of the OEWG.

Indonesia, speaking on behalf of Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, the Philippines, Zambia, South Africa, and Nigeria, reiterated the call to convene a conference in 2017, by the General Assembly, open to all states, international organisations, and civil society, to negotiate a legally-binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination.

Canada, in opposition to this approach, reiterated its belief that it is not yet the time for a legal prohibition and stressed that the incremental approach was the most realistic given the current environment. A ban would pose a considerable risk to the non-proliferation and security architecture, argued the Canadian delegation.

Chile pointed out, however, that the “progressive approach” alone cannot facilitate nuclear disarmament. Chile expressed concern that nuclear weapons remain the only weapon of mass destruction not categorically prohibited.

Australia again stressed the need to take into account the current geo-political situation, including considerations of national security. In that context, Austria stressed that there is no contradiction between human security and international security, nor between human security and national security, as national security aims at providing security to the population of a given country. Mexico stressed that collective security of all overrides national interests.

Fiji recalled the first hand experience of the Pacific islanders who survived massive nuclear testing in the area. For these survivors, nothing less than the complete prohibition of nuclear weapons is acceptable. It is not just a moral and legal issue, but must be a matter of conscience.  A legally-binding treaty would be the ideal way to fill legal gap, argued Fiji.

Ireland underlined that a whole range of global challenges are inextricably linked with progress on nuclear disarmament, cautioning that states’ failure to make progress on the nuclear issue puts all other goals at risk.

Recommendations 

Switzerland argued that based on the mandate of the OEWG resolution, the recommendations should enjoy consensus to be adopted. It also thought paragraphs 58 and 59 on legal recommendations could be more nuanced and would benefit from additions.

Germany, speaking on behalf of a group of states, suggested relabeling section V on recommendations to “issues for further consideration,” as they are not agreed upon. Moreover the recommendation in paragraph 59 would go against that contained in 58, Germany argued, as a prohibition might risk the rupture of the NPT, in the group’s perception. In connection to paragraph 59, Australia thought it important to clarify what a prohibition is, as it does not believe that a simple prohibition will facilitate the reduction of one nuclear weapon.

Guatemala, however, thought it unacceptable to replace the name of section V, as it should be in line with the mandate. Argentina believes this title reflects the debate correctly in an inclusive manner.

CELAC, Ecuador, Austria, Guatemala, Brazil, Kenya, and Indonesia speaking on behalf of a group of states reiterated their call for a recommendation for the UN General Assembly to adopt mandate to negotiate an international legally-binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons. Austria believes the OEWG will fail in its work if states do not agree on a clear recommendation initiating such negotiations with urgency.

Malaysia reiterated that paragraph 59 reflects the readiness of the majority of states to take action. However, Australia challenged the notion of the majority of states for the recommendation on prohibition. The delegation argued that a majority was only clear from “early sessions”, not in working papers or interventions from the floor. Australia also indicated its belief that a new legal instrument would risk legal overlaps. Additionally, Australia said, the negotiations of a new treaty could pose an unnecessary burden on smaller delegations.

Austria in this context highlighted the composition of the majority that wants to start negotiations in 2017, convened by the UN General Assembly, open to all states, international organisations, and civil society organisations.

First reading of the draft

After the general exchange of views, the Chair suggested a first collective reading of the draft and invited states to share their views on particular paragraphs. Ths exchange continued informally in the afternoon. The discussions focused on paragraphs 18-25, 26-37, 38-40, 41-45, Annex I, and 46-50.

Apart from specific suggestions regarding the wording and arrangement of paragraphs, the discussions also focused on the relative nature of qualifications used throughout the report, i.e. ‘a number’, ‘a few’, or ‘many’. These arguments bring back memories of the debate in Main Committee I during the 2015 NPT Review Conference.

The reading of the remaining paragraphs will continue on Monday at 3 pm in room XXVI at the Palais.

Reflections

Once again states that value nuclear weapons as tools for their security—above the security of other countries or even their own citizens—are continuing to vocalise opposition to the best opportunity for progress in nuclear disarmament that we have seen in decades.

While the draft report is far from perfect, its recognition that the majority of states have called for the start of negotiations on a prohibition treaty is correct. The development of such a treaty is the appropriate response to the now widespread recognition of their humanitarian consequences. The report also notes that a treaty banning nuclear weapons is seen as “the most viable option for immediate action” and that it would greatly advance the stigmatisation of nuclear weapons. This is an accurate reflection of the OEWG discussions and it must not be changed.

The opposition to this reality is loud, but it is small. And it is based on an unrelenting commitment to maintaining the existing nuclear order, in which a handful of states hold privilege and power through the threat of massive nuclear violence.

Yet these same states are ostensibly committed to the achievement of a nuclear weapon free world. They continuously water down their words, reducing the impact of their rhetoric, but the stated policy remains the same. They are bound to it by their adherence to the NPT. And any commitment to nuclear disarmament in fact requires support of prohibition. These states make their arguments about sequencing, but this does not hold up against scrutiny. Legally-binding, non-discriminatory, loophole-less commitments to the prohibition of nuclear weapon activities is an imperative step towards disarmament and it is this that causes them fright—for it would require actual change to their practices that have henceforth gone unchallenged in practical economic, legal, political, or social terms.

The arguments against the ban are either stale—a prohibition will support, not undermine the NPT—or becoming increasingly desperate. Australia’s suggestion that small delegations would be “overwhelmed” by negotiations of a nuclear weapon prohibition treaty does not seem to be reflected in the positions of “small delegations” themselves. Five very small Pacific Island states, for example, have submitted an extremely concrete working paper demanding that negotiations begin as soon as possible.

This first meeting of the August session was held on the eve of the anniversary of the US atomic bombing of Hiroshima. The Austrian delegation paid homage to this infamous anniversary, highlighting the statement of Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz, arguing that the on this 71st anniversary of the first use of nuclear weapons states must work to achieve the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons.

The majority has made its view clear. The rest of this session must be spent ensuring that this view is carried forward to action at the UN General Assembly this October.

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The Olympic Gold Medal Obsession

août 6th, 2016 by Dr. Binoy Kampmark

Obsessions of any sort, notably of a consuming nature, are never healthy matters.  The drive to win gold, laced with a desperation often reflected in steroid consumption and psychological battering, has made the Olympic Games the least of savoury spectacles.

Even worse than the physical reduction of the athlete to mechanism and medal winning machine is the complicity towards it from the coaching establishment and hungry spectators.  Nothing is quite as terrifying as triumph – or failure – by association, the vicarious delight, or woe, the groupies feel when their chosen champion falls.  “We,” they claim, were also in the pool that day.

Australia is particularly bad on this score.  Its failure to net a monstrous swag of medals at the Montreal Olympics in 1976 was seen as a catastrophe to morale, a national disgrace. Only one silver and four bronze medals were brought home.

The characteristic approach to gold madness was typified by the near hysterical antics of Australian swimming coach, Laurie Lawrence, at the Seoul Olympics in 1988.  After Duncan Armstrong won gold in the 200m freestyle event in record time, Lawrence exclaimed effusively how,  “He did it again. Lucky lane six.”

The interviewer proceeded to ask him whether Lawrence was ready to respond to a question about how he felt.  “Mate, we just beat three record-holders.  How do you feel?”  In conclusion, Lawrence lands the fundamental blow to those who believe that the competition, not the victory, is what counts.  “Why do you think we come here?  For the silver?  Stuff the silver!”[1]

The Lawrence philosophy was much evident during the London 2012 Olympics.  Australian swimmer Emily Seebohm had won silver in her 100m backstroke final.  Instead of congratulatory embraces, there was commiseration and grief. She had only won silver.  Apologies to parents, the coach and the Australian public followed.  To be second was to be humiliated.

With such conditions at play, it was little wonder that a 2010 survey of ethical and integrity issues in Australian sport conducted by the Australian Sports Commission and Colmar Brunton Social Research found a host of concerns: “Athletes being pushed too hard by coaches or parents”; “Negative coaching behaviours and practices” and negative administration.[2]

A quick glance at Australia’s performance at the London Games should have punctured the gloom of the medal cravers.  The country’s athletes won eight gold, 15 silver, and 12 bronze, a highly credible 35 medals leading to an eighth placing on the table.

Broadcaster, television presenter and author Waleed Aly, writing in The Monthly, encouraged a celebration of the achievement, while regarding any gold lust as a “puerile” fascination. Those treating the performance as below par were to be treated with derision.[3]

In the wake of that performance, deemed poor by the lucre-craving establishment, veteran Fairfax journalist Paul Sheehan would express concern at that voracious hunger for the medal count:

“Hundreds of millions of tax dollars and thousands of hours of grinding, invisible sacrifice by athletes have been compromised by an obsession with gold.  This obsession has clouded the reality that Australia has just had a brilliant Olympics.  An unambiguous success” (Sydney Morning Herald, Aug 13, 2012).

The other fallacy in boosting medal counts is the notion that high rankings actually lead to increased sports participation and a tongue wagging interest in following Olympic heroes.  The statistics regarding sport participation in England showed a decline of interest in sport leading up to the 2012 games. Nor has a figure like Michael Phelps, who dominated his swimming meets in 2008, inspired a generation of enthused swimmers.[4]

As the Games commence at Rio, Australian journalists and the sporting establishment, led by the steely Kitty Chiller, is running the pre-emptive remarks about gold again.  Predictions are being made, the loot being divvied out.  In July, Chiller suggested that the 410-strong team would bag “15 maybe even 16” gold medals of a projected medal tally of 45, a feat that would land Australia in the top five.[5]

Medals are being awarded even before the first events have taken place.  Even Chiller admits that, “For any country to double the number of gold in [four-year period] is a huge ask. I genuinely believe we can do it.”

The erroneous assumption made is that record holders will perform on the day and win gold.  On swimmer Cate Campbell, the ABC observed that breaking a world record a mere month before Rio made her “the favourite to win the gold in the 100 metres freestyle.”

The same network ran with the jarring headline that Australia’s swimming team were “aiming to erase memories of London.”  Readers were introduced to “the stars of the Australian swimming team hoping to rebound from the poor showing at the 2012 Olympics in London.”[6]

Again, the grand hope will be in the pool, where Australians are always expected to excel with automatic superhuman achievement.  In Chiller’s cool words, “Yes, we’re going to rely on swimming, we always do.”  Again, they will not be prepared for the disappointment should those medals not eventuate.  The gold disease tends to be a particularly aggressive one.

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

Notes

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Syrie / Qui trompe qui : Lavrov ou Kerry?

août 6th, 2016 by Nasser Kandil

Résumé : Les doigts se pointent vers Hillary Clinton, devenue non seulement la candidate du parti démocrate à la présidence, mais aussi la candidate de l’alliance israélo-saoudienne, le troisième partenaire étant le Front al-Nosra. Elle torpille les accords américano-russes par l’intermédiaire du Secrétaire à la Défense des États-Unis, Ashton Carter, en préparation d’un nouveau chapitre de la guerre contre la Syrie, dans lequel le projet de mainmise des Frères Musulmans sur ce pays est remplacé par le modèle afghan, afin de faire payer le prix fort à la Russie et de modifier les équilibres, quitte à se mouiller dans le récent coup d’État en Turquie, non pour gagner la guerre contre le terrorisme, mais pour profiter du dernier quart d’heure du mandat d’Obama, devenu un canard boiteux, et servir les intérêts d’Israël et de l’Arabie saoudite [NdT].

 ___________________________________________

Le Secrétaire d’État américain, John Kerry, a déclaré qu’il craignait que les couloirs humanitaires annoncés par les Russes ne soient une ruse [1] et que si cela devait se vérifier, Washington mettrait un terme à toutes formes de coopération avec Moscou.

Il est intéressant de noter que Kerry n’a pas qualifié de « ruse » le fait que l’Armée syrienne et ses alliés aient complètement encerclé Alep, notamment en coupant la route du Castello et en prenant le quartier industriel du Layramoun, mais s’est limité aux couloirs humanitaires.

De leur côté, les alliés de la Syrie n’ont cessé de répéter depuis le début de ladite « cessation des hostilités » en février 2016 -et tout ce qui s’en est suivi comme réarmement qualitatif du Front al-Nosra et des milices opérant sous sa bannière, ou en étroite relation avec son organisation, dont 200 chars, 1000 missiles TOW, 100 canons de longue portée et des dizaines de milliers de toutes sortes de projectiles, plus des centaines de millions de dollars consentis et un afflux de milliers de militants d’Al-Qaïda en Syrie via sa frontière avec la Turquie – que les Américains avaient « trompé » les Russes.

Et ceci, en feignant s’être entendus sur l’objectif d’assiéger le Front al-Nosra et Daech [EIIL, ISIS, État islamique en Irak et au Levant] afin de les écarter de la scène politique et militaire en tant qu’organisations terroristes, puis en jouant les prolongations à cet effet, jusqu’à ce que les préparatifs du Front al-Nosra -en collaboration avec la Turquie, le Qatar, l’Arabie saoudite et Israël- soient achevés, avant de lancer ses milices dans une offensive ayant abouti à la reprise de Khan Touman et de Khalsa au sud d’Alep, ainsi qu’à la reprise de Kansabba dans la campagne de Lattaquié, et à des dizaines de martyrs dans les rangs de l’Armée syrienne, des experts iraniens et du Hezbollah.

Cette tromperie US perdure malgré l’annonce d’une nouvelle entente suite à la rencontre de Kerry et de Lavrov à Moscou en juillet dernier, les Américains traînant les pieds, une fois de plus, sous prétexte qu’ils auraient besoin de plus de temps pour séparer ceux qu’ils qualifient d’« opposition modérée » des terroristes du Front al-Nosra, tout en faisant pression sur les Russes pour qu’ils cessent tout soutien miliaire efficace contre cette organisation terroriste.

Et tandis qu’à Washington John Kerry est regardé comme un mari trompé et que les alliés de la Syrie considèrent que Sergueï Lavrov se berce d’illusions, les réalités politiques auxquelles sont confrontés les Présidents Obama et Poutine disent qu’une entente entre Washington et Moscou est obligatoire, imposée par les circonstances, quelles que soient les ambitions des uns et des autres. Elle implique une nouvelle approche du dossier syrien sous le slogan de la guerre contre le terrorisme, non sous celui du changement de régime.

Moscou et ses alliés sont déterminés à éradiquer le Front al-Nosra dans le nord de la Syrie, mais il semble qu’à Washington les choses se présentent différemment. Ainsi, à peine Kerry avait-il annoncé l’accord de principe conclu entre les deux chefs des diplomaties russe et américaine dans le but de combattre Daech et le Front al-Nosra, trois évènements inséparables de ce qui se passe à Washington ont eu lieu :

  • Le changement de positionnement du Front al-Nosra [2] consécutif au feu vert donné par Ayman al-Zawahiri, le chef d’Al-Qaïda, l’autorisant à sacrifier, si nécessaire, ses liens avec l’organisation pour poursuivre le combat en Syrie, suivi des remerciements publics du chef du Front Al-Nosra, Al-Joulani, lequel s’est empressé de donner à sa milice le nouveau nom de « Jabhat Fateh al-Cham » [Le front de la conquête du Levant]. Un changement soudain alors que jusqu’ici, le Front al-Nosra avait refusé toutes les offres venues de Turquie, du Qatar et de l’Arabie saoudite pour qu’il se distancie, ne serait-ce que verbalement, d’Al-Qaïda. Une opération menée précipitamment, plutôt destinée à Washington afin d’inviter certaines administrations à coordonner les efforts pour saper l’entente russo-américaine et certainement pas destinée à répondre aux offres des gouvernements de la Turquie, de l’Arabie Saoudite, du Qatar, d’Israël ou de la France ; laquelle avait proposé, par la voix de son Président, de traiter le Front al-Nosra selon une équation similaire à celle appliquée au Hamas : un mouvement religieux national ayant quelques pratiques terroristes qui pourrait néanmoins être adapté au processus politique, moyennant certaines conditions.
  • La déclaration de Hillary Clinton, tout juste investie par le Parti démocrate dans la course à la présidence [3], affirmant qu’elle prévoyait de revoir complètement la stratégie américaine en Syrie et de déloger le Président Bachar al-Assad, alors que l’Administration Obama aurait consenti à ne plus soutenir cette politique à son égard.
  • Des paroles qui resteraient vagues si Ashton Carter -lequel aurait reçu la promesse de rester à son poste au cas où Hillary Clinton était élue- n’avait parlé très clairement de son intention de concentrer ses efforts sur le sud de la Syrie pour combattre Daech [4], en ignorant totalement le Front al-Nosra, bien qu’il soit notoirement connu que Daech est peu représenté dans le sud syrien, tandis que le Front al-Nosra y est en étroite relation avec l’Arabie Saoudite, via la frontière jordanienne, et remplit une fonction centrale dans la stratégie sécuritaire américano-israélienne, notamment par la mise en place de ladite « ceinture de sécurité » autour du Golan afin d’empêcher la Résistance d’atteindre la ligne de désengagement.

Ajoutez à ce qui précède que les armes sophistiquées, dont des missiles anti-aériens, utilisées par le Front al-Nosra dans le nord de la Syrie, confirment la complicité américaine, sans laquelle ces armes ne pourraient se trouver en sa possession, même si elles étaient issues de l’arsenal de l’armée saoudienne, qatarie, turque ou émiratie, comme le disent les médias russes depuis que l’hélicoptère russe de transport militaire a été abattu ce 1er août dans la province d’Idleb.

Or, pour tous ceux qui s’opposent à ce qu’ils qualifient de « concessions » accordées par Barak Obama à la Russie et surtout à l’Iran, Hillary Clinton répondrait au mieux à leurs aspirations, car c’est de l’équilibre des forces avec la Russie et l’Iran que dépendra le rôle des États-Unis et de leurs alliés dans le nouvel ordre mondial qui se dessine, notamment les alliés saoudien et israélien.

En effet, le profil d’Hillary Clinton qui héritera de l’échec des guerres de George W. Bush qu’elle a soutenues, qui aura perdu son poste de Secrétaire d’État pour s’être acharnée contre la Syrie avant d’admettre son impuissance, qui se sera opposée à l’accord sur le nucléaire iranien avant de reconnaître que c’était le meilleur choix possible, correspond le mieux à l’opportunisme politique recherché par Washington  et ses alliés ces jours-ci. Comment en douteraient-ils, alors que c’est le type même du politicien dont les prises de position sont fonction d’intérêts financiers personnels et dont le parcours est semé d’un nombre record de dossiers prouvant sa corruption ? Pour exemple, son rôle documenté dans la livraison d’armes chimiques au Front al-Nosra par l’intermédiaire de l’ambassade américaine à Benghazi, dans le seul but de justifier la guerre contre la Syrie.

Lorsqu’il était encore directeur de la CIA, David Petraeus a formé avec Hillary Clinton le duo menant la guerre contre la Syrie. Aujourd’hui, c’est au tour d’Ashton Carter, de le remplacer dans ce duo, pour profiter de ce qui reste du mandat d’Obama afin de réduire les concessions accordées par ce dernier et ainsi garantir aux USA une dimension internationale plus large, notamment face à la Russie, et une dimension régionale dominante à l’Arabie saoudite et à Israël face à l’Iran ; le Front al-Nosra étant le cheval de Troie nécessaire à la réussite de ces deux missions.

Telle est l’explication du changement de nom précipité du Front al-Nosra et de la livraison de missiles sol-air avec l’accord du Secrétariat à la Défense des États-Unis ; le nouveau duo marchant sur les traces du précédent avec la même volonté de faire de ce Front le partenaire qu’il substituerait à l’Armée syrienne dans la guerre contre Daech.

En effet, le désaccord, entre décideurs américains, sur les options possibles dans le cadre d’un règlement du conflit sur la Syrie, pourraient se résumer en deux équations :

  • La première correspond aux calculs d’Obama et de son ministre des Affaires étrangères, John Kerry. Elle consiste à dire que jouer avec la Russie et l’Iran, en couvrant le Front al-Nosra et en refusant de le combattre, priverait Washington de l’opportunité de gagner la guerre contre Daech et accorderait à la Russie, à l’Iran et à la Syrie, les lauriers de la victoire sur Daech et le Front al-Nosra à la fois.
  • La deuxième, adoptée par Clinton, Carter et certaines élites démocrates et républicaines, repose sur l’« afghanisation » de la Syrie afin d’y piéger la Russie et lui faire payer le prix fort par un maximum de subventions et d’armes accordées au Front al-Nosra, ce qui permettrait d’exploiter le temps pour arriver à négocier dans de meilleures conditions, étant donné que la guerre d’usure n’a pas encore atteint ses objectifs et que la Russie et l’Iran sont directement impliqués dans la guerre. D’où les efforts en cours pour faire en sorte que le Front al-Nosra se transforme en partenaire de type Taliban plutôt que du type Al-Qaïda et, par conséquent, de prolonger la guerre sans s’impliquer directement. Ainsi, c’est en position de force, face à Moscou et Téhéran, que Washington pourrait réussir à maintenir certains équilibres et avantages pour lui-même et ses alliés.

Mais il semble que ce ne soit pas possible de prendre le risque d’attendre la prochaine administration US pour tester cette deuxième équation car, entretemps, les points d’entente entre l’administration actuelle et Moscou pourraient anéantir le Front al-Nosra et déboucher sur la victoire de la Russie, de l’Iran et de la Syrie. Par conséquent, le meilleur moment pour la mettre en application se situe juste avant le dernier quart d’heure du mandat d’Obama. En cas de réussite, la prochaine administration entamerait les négociations en position de force. En cas d’échec, il sera toujours temps de profiter de ce qui reste du mandat d’Obama pour sauver la situation et revenir vers les points d’entente avec Moscou.

En ce sens, l’annonce faite par Ashton Carter de raids concentrés sur le sud de la Syrie et ce qu’elle sous-entendait comme déploiement, sur les frontières du Golan, d’unités du Front al-Nosra rendu « modéré » par la simple modification de son nom, plus la guerre féroce menée actuellement par ce même Front al-Nosra dans le nord de la Syrie contre la Russie, la Syrie, l’Iran et le Hezbollah à l’ombre des déclarations bafouillantes des États-Unis et des encouragements publics de l’Arabie saoudite et d’Israël, révèlent le chaînon manquant de la série des tentatives d’Hillary Clinton ; à savoir, la Turquie dont la coopération est indispensable à la réussite de son projet.

C’est ce qui ressort de plusieurs rapports des services de renseignement turc et russe sur le rôle joué par David Petraeus dans le coup d’État en Turquie à partir du moment où Erdogan s’est tourné vers Moscou et que le pari sur le Front al-Nosra avait échoué, sur le rôle du cabinet spécialisé en droit des affaires de Hillary Clinton dans la gestion des intérêts de Fethullah Gulen aux USA et à l’étranger, sur le rôle de la base d’Incirlik et du commandant de la « US Central Command ».

Si ces informations sont confirmées, elles pourraient expliquer l’échec du coup d’État en Turquie et empêcher Hillary Clinton de mettre à profit le dernier quart d’heure du mandat d’Obama, malgré les largesses financières de l’Arabie saoudite et le soutien public d’Israël.

D’après des observateurs à Moscou, ce qui se passe actuellement dans le nord de la Syrie et à Washington signifie que l’Administration Obama s’est déjà transformée en canard boiteux et que les accords qu’elle aurait conclus ne sont que de l’encre sur papier, étant donné qu’elle ne peut les mettre à exécution, ni même les protéger. C’est pourquoi, mieux vaut laisser l’action militaire sur le terrain décider du mot de la fin.

C’est d’ailleurs le chemin suivi par les Syriens, les Iraniens et le Hezbollah. Moscou, qui les en a dissuadés à un moment donné pour permettre à Washington de se positionner sur le chemin d’une entente politique, semble aujourd’hui considérer que la Turquie est un meilleur partenaire que Washington pour une telle entente, et qu’une éventuelle future administration Clinton est indigne de confiance à moins de lui arracher ses crocs.

Pour cela, il faut écraser le Front al-Nosra, retarder l’agenda de la guerre contre Daech et laisser les interactions turco-américaines découvrir le rôle d’Hillary Clinton dans le coup d’État raté en Turquie.

Nasser Kandil

03 ; 04/07/2016

 

Sources : Extraits à partir de deux articles d’Al-Binaa

http://www.al-binaa.com/?article=130889

http://www.al-binaa.com/?article=131095

Traduction de l’arabe par Mouna Alno-Nakhal pour Mondialisation.ca

 

Notes :

[1] « Les Etats-Unis ont exprimé vendredi leur très grand scepticisme sur l’ouverture par le régime syrien de couloirs humanitaires à Alep annoncée par la Russie, le secrétaire d’Etat John Kerry évoquant même une possible ruse de Moscou… »

http://video.lefigaro.fr/figaro/video/syrie-washington-tres-sceptique-sur-des-couloirs-humanitaires-du-regime-a-alep/5064911418001/

[2] Le canular d’Al-Qaïda en Syrie : le front al-Nosra écarté. Un nouveau front est né

http://french.almanar.com.lb/adetails.php?fromval=1&cid=18&frid=18&eid=317381

[3] Syrie : Hillary Clinton délogerait Bachar al-Assad une fois élue

http://www.lopinion.fr/edition/international/syrie-hillary-clinton-delogerait-bachar-al-assad-fois-elue-107731

[4] La coalition veut ouvrir un front contre l’EI dans le sud de la Syrie

http://www.lefigaro.fr/flash-actu/2016/07/27/97001-20160727FILWWW00320-la-coalition-veut-ouvrir-un-front-contre-l-ei-dans-le-sud-de-la-syrie.php

 

Monsieur Nasser Kandil est libanais, ancien député, Directeur de Top News-nasser-kandil, et Rédacteur en chef du quotidien libanais Al-Binaa

Why the CIA is for Hillary Clinton

août 6th, 2016 by Patrick Martin

In an op-ed column in Friday’s New York Times, former top CIA official Michael Morell publicly endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. In the article, Morell branded Clinton’s Republican opponent, Donald Trump, as a pawn of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Morell retired from the CIA in 2013 after a 33-year career, having spent two decades in high-level positions in Washington. His duties included preparing the President’s Daily Brief for George W. Bush. For three years he was deputy director, running the agency day-to-day, and he had two stints as acting director, for three months in 2011 and for four months in 2012-2013.

Morell was a top official throughout the period of CIA kidnappings (renditions) of victims who were then held in secret prisons and tortured. He helped lead the CIA when it was carrying out drone missile assassinations and other forms of covert state terrorism. Throughout his tenure in Langley, Virginia, the CIA was engaged in war crimes in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Syria and many other countries.

After Morell left the agency, Obama appointed him to the President’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies, which prepared a whitewash of National Security Agency spying following the revelations by Edward Snowden. He then moved seamlessly to a position as a well-paid media commentator for CBS News, while joining the campaign of former CIA officials to block the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture.

That such an individual comes out publicly in support of Hillary Clinton says a great deal about the nature of the Democratic presidential campaign and the type of administration Clinton will head in the event that she wins the November election.

Morell’s op-ed column appears under the headline: “I Ran the CIA. Now I’m Endorsing Hillary Clinton.” As far as the New York Times is concerned, support for Clinton from an organization that is identified around the world with torture and murder should be shouted from the rooftops. It is something to be proud of, a positive credential for the Democratic presidential nominee.

The former CIA official declares Clinton “highly qualified to be commander in chief,” praises “her belief that America is an exceptional nation that must lead in the world,” and notes that in the internal discussions over US intervention in the Syrian civil war, “she was a strong proponent of a more aggressive approach.”

Morell denounces Trump as unqualified to be president, in part because of his volatile personality and lack of national security experience, but mainly because of his supposed connection to Russia.

He writes:

“President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia was a career intelligence officer, trained to identify vulnerabilities in an individual and to exploit them. That is exactly what he did early in the primaries. Mr. Putin played upon Mr. Trump’s vulnerabilities by complimenting him. He responded just as Mr. Putin had calculated…

“Mr. Trump has also taken policy positions consistent with Russian, not American, interests—endorsing Russian espionage against the United States, supporting Russia’s annexation of Crimea and giving a green light to a possible Russian invasion of the Baltic States. In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation.”

This extraordinary allegation adds fuel to the campaign launched by pro-Clinton pundits like New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, portraying Trump as a “Siberian candidate” whose campaign represents a Russian intervention into the US elections.

The Clinton campaign has embraced and promoted these McCarthyite smears, issuing a video Friday posing the question, “What is Donald Trump’s connection to Vladimir Putin?” The video, available on YouTube, consists of clips of right-wing media figures, including Joe Scarborough, Charles Krauthammer and George Will, denouncing Trump for his praise for Putin, interspersed with questions suggesting that Trump has secret business ties to Russia and is being financed by Russian oligarchs.

In style and political content, the video recalls the ravings of the John Birch Society, the anticommunist organization of the 1950s and 1960s that claimed leading US political figures, including President Eisenhower, were Soviet agents.

This underscores the drastic shift to the right in the political orientation of the Democratic Party. It does not oppose Trump on the basis of his militarism or his authoritarian contempt for democratic rights. Instead, the Clinton campaign is presenting itself as the authoritative party of the military-intelligence complex and the political establishment, appealing to billionaires, the military brass and the intelligence agencies.

In the form of Trump vs. Clinton, the US electoral system has provided working people the “choice” between an openly fascistic demagogue and an avowed representative of the Pentagon, the CIA and the financial establishment hell-bent on launching new imperialist wars.

The barrage of claims by the corporate media that Trump, as distinct from “normal” US politicians, is deranged deserves only contempt. Both Trump and Clinton are deadly enemies of the working class. They may be opposed to one another in the election campaign, but that is no argument for working people to take sides. Rather, workers and youth must draw the conclusion that the entire political system is deeply dysfunctional and should be swept away.

The Democratic Party is appealing, not to the mass opposition and disgust with Trump on the part of working people, but to the opposition to Trump within the US ruling elite, whose main concern is that the Republican candidate’s friendly gestures towards Putin, his open questioning of the value of NATO, and his expressed reservations about US wars in the Middle East are cutting across the bipartisan foreign policy consensus in Washington.

This poses immense dangers to the working class. The logic of the Democrats’ anti-Trump campaign is to channel mass opposition to Trump behind preparations for war with Russia, a nuclear-armed power. In the event of a Democratic victory—increasingly likely according to polling this week—Clinton will claim a mandate for war policies that can be carried out only through a frontal assault on the living standards and democratic rights of American workers. This demonstrates that the differences between Clinton and Trump are purely tactical: how best to subordinate the working class to the war drive of American imperialism.

As the World Socialist Web Site has previously pointed out, Trump did not crawl out of the Manhattan sewers or a Munich beer hall. He emerged from the well-heeled, corrupt circle of real estate speculators in New York City, where he had the closest ties with the Democratic Party machine. He was molded and promoted for decades by the corporate-controlled media and the political establishment. He and the Clintons are old friends: he invited them to one of his weddings; they asked for his money for their political campaigns and bogus charities.

If Trump is suddenly branded as a monster who must be kept out of the White House, it is only because the US financial aristocracy and the military-intelligence apparatus have a different monster in mind, one they consider more dependable: Hillary Clinton. She’s the monster who is on message—on Ukraine, Russia, NATO and the anti-Chinese “pivot to Asia.” She knows which generals to salute and which billionaires to flatter. She’s a “safe pair of hands,” which means she can be relied on to kill the right people.

That is the meaning of Clinton’s endorsement by the CIA’s Michael Morell and, more generally, the wave of support for her campaign from billionaires, Republicans, generals and the media.

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Obama’s Mysterious $400 Million Cash Cargo Plane to Iran

août 6th, 2016 by Alex Christoforou

The most troubling aspect of the $400 million cash payment to Iran, is not the fact that the payment was made in cash. This can surely be explained by the US’s lack of a banking relationship with the heavily sanctioned Iran.

Nor was it the fact that the payment was not reported to the US public. The White House can say it had no reason to report, what it claims was a small part of a larger (Iran-Nuclear weapons) settlement deal…that had already been made public months ago.

What snags Obama, in what the president himself claims is “spy novel” stuff, comes down to simple timing and sequence of events.

To recap…on January 17, 2016, a cargo plane with $400 million in foreign currencies (Euros and Swiss Francs) was sent to Iran in the cover of the night.

The very same day the Iranian government released four American hostages held in Tehran.

One of the US Iranian hostage Saeed Abidini, spoke to FOX Business, and explained that the Iran government did not let his plane leave Tehran until the Obama ‘ransom plane’ arrived.

The four Americans waited on the tarmac for hours. Once the plane with the $400 million arrived, they were free to go.

Here is how Saeed Abidini explains it to Fox Business.

Timing is everything, and the timing of events in this case do not bode well for Obama’s explanation regarding the transaction with Iran.

Transcript below (courtesy of Gateway Pundit)…

Saeed Abidini: I just remember the night at the airport sitting for hours and hours there and I asked police— why you not letting us go — And he told me we are waiting for another plane and if that plane take off we gonna let you go.

Trish Regan: You slept there at the airport?

Abidini: Yes, for a night. They told us you going to be there for 20 minutes but it took hours and hours. And I ask them why you don’t let us go, because the — was there, pilot was there, everyone was there to leave the country. And he said we are waiting for another plane so if that plane doesn’t come we never let us go.

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A large cache of US-made ammunition has been discovered in a house in Aleppo’s Bani Zaid district, abandoned by the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (also known as al-Nusra Front) fighters.

« The video appeared online on Thursday and purported to show the discovery of a large cache of western arms and ammunition in a house in Aleppo’s eastern Bani Zaid district. The majority of the weapons appear to be of US origin and include US-made anti-tank missiles system (TOW 2A), American UN0181 missiles, as well as US-made 81mm mortars and ammunition. Some of the boxes containing weapons are labeled with the letters ‘USA’, » RT reported Thursday.

Citing Scotland Yard detective Charles Shoebridge, the media outlet called attention to the fact that the video appears to be genuine.

It is no secret that American weapons destined for the US-backed « moderate » fighters have repeatedly ended up in the wrong hands.

On September 22, 2015 The Telegraph reported that fighters with the US-trained Division 30 surrendered to al-Qaeda affiliate al-Nusra Front and handed their weapons to the terrorists.

Two months later the al-Nusra Front militants released a video where they openly thanked the Free Syrian Army (FSA) for supplying them with US-made anti-tank TOW missiles.

On April 13, 2016, Al Jazeera released footage that purportedly showed al-Nusra Front extremists demonstrating US-made weapons captured from the Syrian Revolutionary Front (Jabhat Thowar Suriyya) in the Syrian province of Idlib. The White House regarded the SRF as its bulwark against Daesh in Syria.

On June 26, The New York Times revealed that « weapons shipped into Jordan by the Central Intelligence Agency and Saudi Arabia intended for Syrian rebels have been systematically stolen by Jordanian intelligence operatives and sold to arms merchants on the black market, » citing American and Jordanian officials.

Adding embarrassment to frustration, the media outlet noted that some of the stolen weapons were used to kill two Americans at a police training facility in Amman, according to FBI officials.

On July 3, Al-Masdar News reported that al-Nusra Front raided the headquarters of the FSA on July 2 in the towns of Kafr Anbel, Hazazen and Ma’arat Harmeh.

« Al-Nusra [Front] seized all weapons and ammunition held by the FSA group, including a batch of US supplied TOW anti-tank missiles, » the media outlet reported.

Incredible as it may seem, the US State Department has as of yet failed to tackle the problem.

During a June 27 press briefing, State Department spokesperson Elizabeth Trudeau refused to provide any comments on the New York Times’ report regarding the systematical theft of the US-made weapons destined for « moderate Syrian opposition » in Jordan.

« We have no comment on that report. There is an ongoing investigation. The United States remains committed to Jordan’s security and stability, and we’re proud to stand side by side with Jordan in the global counter-ISIL [Daesh] coalition. But on that particular report, there’s an ongoing investigation. I just can’t speak to it, » Trudeau stressed.

Likewise she refused to discuss earlier reports shedding light on US weapons repeatedly ending in the hands of al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria.

Trudeau also remained silent about the agencies involved in the investigation into the case.

Speaking to Trudeau, Matthew Lee of the Associated Press called attention to the fact that the White House had been also questioned on the matter.

« You know what they did? » Lee asked, « They referred the questions to the State Department and to the FBI. »

So what lies at the root of the US State Department’s unwillingness to discuss the problem? Why are the same mistakes being repeated by the Obama administration over and over again?

In their article for War on the Rocks, US academics Austin Carson and Michael Poznansky explained why the US covert program of training and arming the Syrian rebels is « worth the trouble » despite the fact that US-made weapons often find their way into the wrong hands.

« Anecdotal reports of rogue Jordanian intelligence officers hustling weapons on the black market are a far cry from systematic evidence about the CIA’s success in affecting Assad’s thinking, influencing the battlefield, and expressing American interests. Of course, this opacity is the raison d’être of covert action, » the scholars believe.

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In late July, Defense Secretary Ash Carter hosted the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL Meeting at Andrews Air Force Base in Washinghton. It was the fourth time when defense and foreign leaders from more than 30 countries gathered in order to discuss the ongoing operations against the Islamic State.

Carter emphasized a significant success of the US-led coalition that, according to him, had resulted in liberation of the cities of Ramadi and Fallujah in Iraq, the narrowing of ISIS-controlled territory in the Syria-Iraq battlespace and the successful cooperation with local security forces in Iraq.

The US Defense Secretary called this approach a new tactical scheme of the war against ISIS.

However, the facts on the ground hardly show something really new in the US strategy in the Middle East. First of all, Ramadi and Fallujah have been liberated as result of agreements with the local Suni clans that had decided to make a deal with Baghdad instead of become involved into bloody clashes with the Iraqi Shia militias. In this case, a major part of ISIS units freely withdrew from these cities and deployed in the nearby areas. If this is a new US anti-ISIS strategy, it’s easy to expect the liberation of Mosul via the same way. However, these PR victories have nothing related to the destruction of the Islamic State as the organized terror group.

It looks that Washington sees ISIS and other jihadi groups as a counterbalance to the Iranian influence in Iraq and Syria. And only the Russian intervention in Syria is the only reason why the US-led international coalition has decided to intensify operations against ISIS. Furthermore, the so-called “new tactical scheme” offered by Carter allows ISIS to maintain its military and terror capabilities for further operations. The recent ISIS terror attack in Baghdad that killed 300 people showed this, clearly.

The expected operation to liberate Mosul was also discussed during the meeting. According to US officials, more than two billion dollars are needed to do this. This amount includes such thing as “support for the displaced, and what it requires of preparations to relieve their suffering and help them to return to their areas of residence.” In other words, this is contribution to the local Sunni forces under the possible agreement over Mosul. The United States expects is going to raise this amount from the coalition members.

All these developments demonstrated that the US has been implementing its long-standing strategy of using various terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq in order to oppose the growing influence of Iran and Russia in the region. The recent statements of US State Secretary John Kerry about preventing the Syrian government forces’ offensive in Aleppo is a part of the same strategy.

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I Thought NATO “Liberated” Libya in 2011?

août 6th, 2016 by Steven MacMillan

“Operation Unified Protector is one of the most successful in NATO’s history… We have done this together for the people of Libya, so they can take their future firmly and safely into their own hands. Libyans have now liberated their country. And they have transformed the region. This is their victory” – Former NATO Secretary GeneralAnders Fogh Rasmussen, speaking in October, 2011.

“In Libya, the death of Muammar al-Qaddafi showed that our role in protecting the Libyan people, and helping them break free from a tyrant, was the right thing to do”  US President, Barack Obama, speakingin October, 2011.

“I am proud to stand here on the soil of a free Tripoli and on behalf of the American people I congratulate Libya. This is Libya’s moment, this is Libya’s victory, the future belongs to you” – Former US Secretary of State and Democratic Candidate for President, Hillary Clinton, speaking in October, 2011.

On August the 1st, US warplanes bombed Islamic State (IS/ISIS/ISIL) targets in the Libyan city of Sirte, almost exactly five years after Western imperialists declared NATO’s 2011 war in Libya a complete success.

These strikes are not the first conducted by the US in Libya this year, in a broader campaign that is officially aimed at defeating an enemy that the US had a major hand in creating in the first place (I’m sure the military-industrial complex isn’t complaining however).

Peter Cook, the Pentagon’s Press Secretary, said in a statement released on the 1st of August in relation to the strikes that:

“Today, at the request of the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA), the United States military conducted precision air strikes [which is Orwellian/Pentagon-speak for dropping bombs (not uncommonly on civilians)] against ISIL targets in Sirte, Libya, to support GNA-affiliated forces seeking to defeat ISIL in its primary stronghold in Libya… The U.S. stands with the international community in supporting the GNA as it strives to restore stability and security to Libya.”

Wait a minute though, have I missed something? I thought Libya was “liberated” in 2011 and the country is now a beacon of ‘freedom and democracy’ for the Middle East and North Africa? Are the Libyan people not enjoying being “free from a tyrant;” similar to the liberty the Syrian people will experience if Assad the ‘tyrant’ is overthrown and the country is handed over to al-Qaeda?

Since the future belonged to the Libyan people in 2011, is the country not a vibrant and prosperous democracy today? Is Libya not one of the major hubs of the Mediterranean, with trade booming and flocks of tourists travelling from across the world to sample the delights of the country – from the fascinating culture of the indigenous people to the stunning (I must admit) Roman ruins?

I thought the standard of living for the average Libyan was much higher than it was before the tyrant was deposed? Is Libya not helping to build the African continent up to try and alleviate the millions of people who live in poverty?

I thought the “most successful” campaign in NATO’s history meant that terrorism could not gain a foothold in the country, considering the Western alliance spends the majority of its time (after antagonising Russia that is) talking about fighting terrorism? I thought NATO’s love-bombs only hit the baddies, and never killed or maimed any civilians?

Are the Libyan people not enjoying the fruits of another Western foreign policy success story? Are the Libyan people not enjoying the stability that always follows a Western war of aggression? I thought the Libyan “kinetic military action” was yet another triumphant imperial endeavour, just like Afghanistan, Iraq and the numerous other countries that were lucky to be the targets of Western ‘humanitarian’ forces?

Steven MacMillan is an independent writer, researcher, geopolitical analyst and editor of  The Analyst Report, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

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Unemployment in America: Another Phony Jobs Report

août 6th, 2016 by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

As John Williams has made clear, the monthly payroll jobs number consists mainly of an add-on factor of 200,000 jobs.  These jobs are a product of the assumption in the Birth-Death Model that new business ventures create more unreported new jobs than the unreported job losses from business failures. 

If we sustract out this made-up number, July saw a gain of 55,000 jobs, not enough to keep up with population growth.  Even the 55,000 figure is overstated according to John Williams’ report: “The gimmicked, headline payroll gain of 255,000 more realistically should have come in below zero, net of built-in upside biases.”

In other words, the 255,000 jobs are the product of a virtual reality created by a faulty model and manipulations of seasonal adjustments. Williams says the real rate of unemployment is not the claimed 4.9% figure but 23%.

Even if we assume that 255,000 jobs were created in July, the news remains bad, because the jobs claimed are mainly lowly paid part time jobs without benefits and provide insufficient income to support an independent existence.  This is why so many employed young people continue to live at home with their parents.

The labor force participation rate, a measure of labor market strength, is far below where it was 22 years ago. The low participation rate is inconsistent with the claimed 4.9% rate of unemployment.

Real GDP growth has been flat since 2009. The government produces the illusion of growth by understating Inflation.

The conclusion is that Washington lies about the economy just as it lies about everything else.

The liquidity provided by the Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, Bank of Japan, and Bank of England inflates the prices of stocks and bonds and keeps the stock market near its high.  The inflated stock market creates the impression that the economy is strong.  But, of course, if the economy were strong, interest rates would not be zero.

The house of cards will not forever stand.

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Moscow, Beijing and Washington: A Complicated Triangle

août 6th, 2016 by Federico Pieraccini

The historical importance of relations between the United States, China and Russia has long been analyzed from the beginning of the Cold War. Often the tone of interactions has determined the global situation. Important information can undoubtedly be gleaned concerning current and future strategies by observing the direction in which the dynamic relations between Moscow, Beijing and Washington are headed.

For a good part of the Cold War the United States enjoyed a privileged situation that relied on a tempestuous relationship between Moscow and Beijing, especially from the end of the 1960’s until the collapse of the Soviet Union. Ideological differences, regional conflicts and territorial disputes spanning for decades allowed Washington to occupy the apex of this complicated triangular relationship. It was in this climate that Nixon’s memorable visit to China developed in 1972, preceded by months of diplomatic work done by Henry Kissinger. The primary objective of the visit, beyond the dispute over Taiwan and the beginning of a fruitful economic cooperation, was to negotiate an agreement and align strategies against the Soviet Union. To date, there is no unique reason that can explain the collapse of the Soviet Union. But certainly the unenviable position of Moscow, subjected to the combined external pressures of Beijing and Washington, did little to help.

Since 1991, Russia and the PRC have embarked on a long path of reconciliation and reconstruction of bilateral relations based on trust and common interests. During the first post-Soviet decade, the triangular relationship between the powers saw strong cooperation and fewepisodes of conflict. It was during this period that the Chinese began to power up their economic engine, reaching what it is now. In particular, trade between Washington and Beijing skyrocketed, going from a few billion dollars in 1990 to a hundred billion dollars per annum in the early 2000’s. At the same time, Russia and the United States were experiencing their most agreeable period in history, thanks to Gorbachev and Yeltsin selling out Russia, bowing to western wishes to exploit the Russian Federation. It was during this embryonic phase that the trilateral relationship between the three powers began to crack. The level of poverty, decline, misery and humiliation suffered in the former Soviet Union, especially in Russia, compelled the Kremlin to appoint a young Vladimir Putin as Prime Minister, and then President, of the Russian Federation.

The apex of the triangle

Events on September 11, 2001 were the main driver for the adoption of a US global interventionist policy. Under the pretext of the infamous war on terror, every corner of the globe became open to attack, any perceived threat assuming a strategic priority to be addressed. As can be imagined, with such stated objectives, the next 15 years led to a progressive loss of stability and sense of security for both China and Russia. In particular, NATO expansion towards Russia’s borders, flaring up in the 2008 war with Georgia, marked the beginning of a direct action to attack the Eurasian superpower. Simultaneously in Southeast Asia, diplomatic action, increasingly expressed in military terms, led Beijing to demonstrate a more determined posture on matters concerning the definition and defense of its maritime boundaries.

In spite of the rising tensions, it was only in the recent 24-36 months that the situation took a dramatic turn. The events in Ukraine radically damaged relations between Moscow and Washington, and the affair concerning Crimea permanently changed the delicate balance in the triangular relationship between China, Russia and the United States. Specifically, it is important to observe the development of events from the coup in Ukraine, namely, international sanctions imposed by the European Union and the United States on Russia forced Moscow to make a long-awaited strategic turn to the east.

Immediately, vital trade agreements that had been lingering for 20 years awaiting approval were agreed to in a matter of weeks, thanks to the sudden motivation of Moscow and Beijing. Even military technology exchanges have overcome the historical mistrust between Moscow and Beijing, delivering a huge blow to American hegemonic aspirations. The last 15 years have seen a gradual but inexorable strategic rapprochement between China and Russia, the inadvertent result of Washington’s perpetual bullying. The paradoxical result of this continuous bullying has been Moscow’s turning to the east, resulting in Sino-Russian cooperation that effectively serves to place the United States in a weaker position with respect to both.

The privileged position held for decades by the United States has gradually evaporated, vanishing completely.

Beijing is the new vertex

In spite of all this, the People’s Republic and the United States continued to increase their trade, reaching a staggering five hundred billion dollars per annum in 2015. The insistence with which Washington has tried in every way – initially with the Asian crisis of 1997, then with strong pressure on regional allies (Japan and India in particular) to contain the economic growth of China – has ended up putting Washington in a disadvantageous position. A similar situation was seen with the same attitude pursued by NATO and the European Union of advancing towards Russia’s borders. The reunification of Crimea and the militarization of the ‘Spratly Islands’ are just two emblematic examples of what consequences American policies can lead to and how unproductive they can end up being for Washington.

The aspirations to global dominance of the American deep state have resulted in pushing China and Russia to adopt a comprehensive shared strategy in which they place at the center of their relations common interests rather than differences. Historical mistrust is a thing of the past, with the absence of ideological difference no longer providing a hindrance to mutual cooperation that pervades all areas. The weaknesses of the two nations was transformed into a strength through mutual all-around support.

A good example can be seen in the need for Russia to attract fresh capital, following the application of illegal international sanctions, and the equally important need for China to have rich agricultural lands to cultivate. Recent studies show that Siberia has probably the most fertile lands in the world. Both Moscow and Beijing needed to correct respective strategic deficits: food independence in the case of China, and foreign investment in the case of Russia. The combination of these needs fostered a fruitful collaboration that allowed them to quickly solve their issues: Chinese companies received long Siberian land concessions in exchange for huge capital. Further developments of this agricultural strategy will be interesting to follow in the near future.

Equally obvious is the aspiration of China and Russia to become international brokers, organizing and bringing together different countries within frameworks such as BRICS, SCO and AIIB. Although differing in purpose, membership and methods of action, it is the principle that unites all these organizations led by Moscow and Beijing. Stability, economic prosperity, cooperation and security are the four pillars on which these new global alliances are being built.

The Carnegie Endowment explains the strategic balance (especially nuclear) among the three powers, with an asymmetrical relationship between China and the US, a symmetrical one between Russia and the United States, and latent one between China and Russia.

The tragedy for the United States seems interminable

Although the global economic system is dominated by the dollar, benefiting only Washington, recent pushes towards the internationalization of the yuan (the IMF Basket and ASEAN), and trade exchanges between China and Russia that increasingly tend not to be conducted in dollars, explain the future trend of global currencies. The supremacy of the dollar depends mainly on its use in the oil trade, forcing countries to accumulate American money as a reserve currency in order to operate in the international markets. With the United States leading and imposing its international economic architecture, it is easy to understand the reasons behind the visits of Putin and Xi to Iran, and the even more significant visit of the Chinese leader to Saudi Arabia in recent months.

The maneuvers towards de-dollarization are already being conducted. This for Washington is an existential threat that can hardly be ignored. Equally improbable is the possibility of America halting this drift. The American policy over the past fifteen years has forged unexpected agreements between the Russian Federation and the Republic of China that will end up in benefiting global stability. The failure of the global hegemonic aspirations of Washington, and of the strategies adopted against China and Russia, have ended up isolating the United States rather than Moscow and Beijing.The tragedy for the United States seems interminable

The hysteria that has plunged the American oligarchy has produced devastating results in America. Donald Trump and his strategy to accelerate the withdrawal of the US from the world stage in favor of a domestic recovery has had an unexpected success and could be the last chance to save the American empire from a future collapse. We could even almost overdo it and go further by stating that a Clinton presidency would transform the understanding between Moscow and Beijing, raising it to hitherto unseen levels, permanently isolating Washington.

Federico Peraccini an Independent freelance writer based in Milan specialized in international affairs, conflicts, politics and strategies
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Evolution of Capitalism, Escalation of Imperialism

août 6th, 2016 by Prof. Ismael Hossein-Zadeh

The purpose of this essay is to show that as capitalism has evolved from the early stages of small-scale manufacturing to the current stage of the dominance of finance capital, its arena of expropriation has, accordingly, expanded from the early colonial/imperial conquests abroad to today’s universal dispossession worldwide, both at home and abroad. Specifically, it aims to expose the class nature of imperialism independent of nationality and/or geography, and to indicate how this profit-driven characteristic of capitalism is at the root of today’s global austerity economics; an ominous development that dispossesses not only defenseless peoples abroad, but also the overwhelming majority of the people at home—a socio-economic plague that can be called the “new imperialism,” or “imperialism by dispossession” [1].

The new imperialism differs from the old, classical imperialism in at least four major ways.

First, contrary to the old pattern of colonial/imperial conquests and plunders, which often proved quite lucrative to the imperium, war and military operations under the new imperialism are not even cost efficient on purely economic grounds, that is, on grounds of national interests. While immoral, external military operations of past empires often proved profitable and, therefore, justifiable on national economic grounds. Military actions abroad usually brought economic benefits not only to the imperial ruling classes and war profiteers, but also (through “trickle-down” effects) to their citizens. Thus, for example, imperialism paid significant dividends to Britain, France, the Dutch, and other European powers of the seventeenth, eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth centuries. As the imperial economic gains helped develop their economies, they also helped improve the living conditions of their working people and elevate the standards of living of their citizens.

This pattern of economic gains flowing from imperial military operations, however, seems to have somewhat changed in the context of the recent U.S. imperial wars of choice. Moralities aside, U.S. military expeditions and operations of late are not justifiable even on economic grounds. Indeed, escalating U.S. military adventures and aggressions have become ever more wasteful, cost-inefficient, and burdensome to the overwhelming majority of its citizens.

This should not come as a surprise in light of the fact that imperialist wars and military adventures are often prompted not so much by national interests as they are by special interests. Recent U.S. policies of military aggression are increasingly driven not as much by a desire to expand the empire’s wealth beyond the existing levels, as did the imperial/colonial powers of the past, but by a desire to appropriate the lion’s share of the existing resources (or tax dollars) for the military-industrial-security-intelligence establishment. This pattern of universal or generalized expropriation can safely be called dual imperialism because not only does it exploit the conquered and the occupied abroad but also the overwhelming majority of U.S. citizens and their resources at home.

Second, beneficiaries of war and military aggressions under the new imperialism tend to systematically invent (or manufacture, if necessary) external “threats to national security” in order to justify continued expansion of military spending. Enlargement of military spending during the Cold War era was not a difficult act to perform as the explanation—the “communist threat”—seemed to conveniently lie at hand. Justification of increased military spending in the post-Cold War period, however, has required the military-industrial-security-intelligence interests to be more creative in concocting “new sources of danger to U.S. interests.” This perennial need for international conflicts and/or external enemies is what makes the new, post-Cold War imperialism more dangerous than the imperialist powers of the past ages.

War profiteering is, of course, not new. Nor are bureaucratic tendencies in the ranks of military hierarchies to build parasitic, ceremonial military empires. By themselves, such characteristics are not what make the U.S. military-industrial-security-intelligence complex more dangerous than the military powers of the past. What makes it more dangerous is the “industrial” part of the complex: the extent to which war has become big business. In contrast to the United States’ arms industry, arms industries of the past empires were often owned and operated by imperial governments, not by profit-driven private corporations. Consequently, as a rule, arms production was dictated by war requirements, not by market or profit imperatives of arms manufacturers. As far as arms industry is concerned, instigation of international conflicts, or invention of external “threats to national security,” is a lucrative proposition that would increase both its profits by expanding its sales markets abroad and its share of national budget at home.

This has had dire consequences for world peace and stability. Under the rule of past military empires, the subjugated peoples or nations could live in peace—imposed peace, of course—if they respected the nefarious geopolitical interests and economic needs of those imperial powers and simply resigned to their political and economic ambitions. Not so with the U.S. military-industrial-security-intelligence empire: the interests of this empire are nurtured through “war dividends.” Peace, imposed or otherwise, would mean that the powerful beneficiaries of war dividends would find it difficult to either expand the sale of their armaments abroad or justify their inordinately large share of national tax dollars at home.

This means that, contrary to the model of past empires, mere perception of external threats is not sufficient for the accumulation of the fortunes of the U.S. military-industrial-security-intelligence empire. Actual, shooting wars—preferably manageable or controllable at the local of regional levels—are needed not only for the expansion but, indeed, for the survival of this empire. Arms industries need occasional wars not only to draw down their stockpiles of armaments, and make room for more production, but also to display the “wonders” of what they produce: the “shock and awe”-inducing properties of their products, or the “laser-guided, surgical operations” of their smart weapons. In the era of tight and contested budget allocations, arms producers need such “displays of efficiency” to prove that they do not waste tax payers’ money. Such maneuvers are certain to strengthen the arguments of militarist politicians against those (few) who resist huge military appropriations. Sadly, however, the incentive for the military industry to prove its efficiency is often measured, though not acknowledged, in terms of actual or potential death and destruction [2].

Third, as pointed out earlier, imperial dispossession has become increasingly more dispersed, generalized or universal: it deprives not only the peoples of distant lands, as did the old imperial/colonial powers, but also the overwhelming majority of citizens at home.

A variety of relatively newer instruments are now utilized to bring about the expropriation of the masses in favor of the plutocratic elites. These include privatization and commodification of public domain, public infrastructures and public services (such as healthcare and education); neoliberal fiscal policies that tend to lower tax obligations of the oligarchic interests by cutting social spending; continued escalation of military spending, which tends to disproportionately benefit the stock and/or stake holders of the military-industrial-security-intelligence spending; manipulation or utilization of financial crises to rescue, or bail out, the so-called too big to fail financial players; and (perhaps most importantly) asset price inflation by means of central banks’ polices of cheap or easy money, which benefits, first and foremost, the big banks and other major financial players that can outbid small borrowers who must borrow at much higher rates than the near-zero rates guaranteed to the big borrowers.

Instead of regulating or containing the disruptive speculative activities of the financial sector, monetary policy makers, spearheaded by central banks, have in recent years been actively promoting asset-price bubbles—in effect, further exacerbating inequality. This shows how the proxies of the financial oligarchy, ensconced at the helm of central banks and their shareholders (commercial banks), serve as agents of subtlely funneling economic resources from the public to the financial oligarchy—just as the rent or tax collectors and bailiffs of feudal lords collected and transferred economic surplus from the peasants/serfs to the landed aristocracy.

Four, in the same fashion as the imperialist expropriation has over time expanded from the early pillage of resources abroad to include the currently generalized dispossession at home, so have imperialistic means of expropriation been diversified or expanded from the sheer military force of earlier times to today’s multitudes of relatively newer means of regime change and dispossession. These newer means of worldwide dispossession include “soft-power” instruments such as color-coded revolutions, “democratic” coup d’états, manufactured civil wars, orchestrated and/or money-driven elections (peddled as manifestations of democracy), economic sanctions, and the like. Perhaps more importantly, they also include powerful financial institutions and think tanks such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), central banks, and credit rating agencies like Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Group.

These guardian-angels of global plutocracy can (and do) change “unaccommodating,” or “unfriendly,” regimes not only in the less developed countries but also in the core capitalist countries. This is how during the ongoing financial turbulence of recent years a number of governments have been changed in Europe. These have included the ousting of the Greek government of Prime Minister George Papandreou in 2011 and that of the Italian government of Prime Minister Mario Monti in 2013. This also explains the failure or defeat of socialist and/or social-democratic experiments in countries such as the Soviet Union, China, Vietnam, Chile, Nicaragua, Brazil, Cuba, and many countries in Europe. Threatened by the fear of sanctions, capital flight, economic isolation, or regime change, most of these countries have been forced to abandon their humane economic models of the immediate post-WW II period and adopt the cruel austerity economics of neoliberalism.

*****

How are these historical transitions and transformations to be explained? What precipitated imperialism’s transition from the earlier pattern of core-periphery plunder to the currently borderless or dispersed dispossession worldwide, at home and abroad? Are these changes the products of purely political/ideological calculations, or are they the results of some more fundamental changes in the structure of capitalist production?

While no single factor can be pinpointed as accounting for these historical developments, long-term systematic changes in the structure of capitalist production (from the early stages of manufacturing at home to the current stage of the dominance of finance capital worldwide) seem to be most explanatory. In the early stages of capitalism, raw materials were imported from the periphery of the core capitalist world, used for the production of manufactures at home, which were then sold abroad. In other words, the dominant mode of capitalist production was manufacturing, the main location was the home country, and the dominant form of exports was commodity capital, or finished products.

This mode of production and international trade worked like a virtuous circle for the core capitalist countries: abundant and cheap imports of raw materials from abroad meant more production and higher employment at home, more production at home meant more exports abroad, more export of finished products meant more import of raw materials from abroad, and so one. This pattern of capitalist production, in turn, shaped the pattern of the colonial/imperialist means of safeguarding the interests of the imperium: military expeditions, colonial conquests and transfer of economic resources from the periphery to the core of the capitalist world—hence, the old, classical pattern of colonialism/imperialism.

Today, as the core capitalist economies are dominated by finance capital, the virtuous circle of trade, production and prosperity just mentioned has turned into a vicious circle: export of finance capital, or outsourcing, means less investment, less employment, less production and less income at home. This means, in turn, more imports from abroad, more borrowing to pay for those imports (more national debt), less tax revenue for the government, higher budget deficits, less social spending, more austerity, and so on.

By the same token as these developments tend to deprive the outsourcing countries of production and employment at home, they also bring the economic structure of host countries under the rules and regulations of neoliberal economics. Entrenchment of neoliberal economics on a global scale, however, requires more than the traditional armies or military forces of imperialism. Perhaps more importantly, it also requires new, metaphorical soldiers or armies such as WTO, the IMF, central banks, credit rating agencies, and the like—hence, the new imperialism: imperialism based on universal or generalized dispossession.

Globalization of capitalism and (along with it) universalization of economic austerity, has led to an indisputable cross-border class alliance between global plutocracies. Representatives of transnational capital and their proxies in capitalist governments routinely meet to synchronize their cross-border business and financial policies—a major focus of which in recent years has been to implement global austerity measures and entrench neoliberal policies worldwide. These meetings include the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the World Bank and the IMF annual meetings, the Periodic G20 meetings, the Aspen Institutes Ideas Festival, The Bilderberg Group annual geopolitics forum, and the Herb Allen’s Sun Valley gathering of media moguls—to name only a handful of the many such international policy gatherings.

Today’s elites of global capitalism “are becoming a trans-global community of peers who have more in common with one another than with their countrymen back home,” writes Chrystia Freeland, Global Editor of Reuters, who travels with the elites to many parts of the world. “Whether they maintain primary residences in New York or Hong Kong, Moscow or Mumbai, today’s super-rich are increasingly a nation unto themselves,” she adds [3].

*****

What is to be done? What are the political implications of this analysis for the working class and other grassroots? What can they do to protect their jobs, their communities and their environment?

Popular responses to these questions tend to focus heavily on protectionist policies of trade restriction, as often reflected in slogans such as “buy American.” Such populist sentiments are advocated by both the rightwing politicians such as Donald Trump and the so-called leftwing politicians such as Bernie Sanders. While nationalist and/or protectionist policies such as “buy American” may be pleasing to populist sentiments, long-term benefits of such policies to global labor and other grassroots are dubious. For one thing, such policies are bound to heighten international labor rivalry, thereby making labor more vulnerable to the accumulation imperatives of capital. For another, protectionist policies can easily become contagious with dire consequences in terms of trade wars, likely followed by actual/shooting wars.

Therefore, in challenging the unbridled corporate free trade agenda and, more generally, the global austerity of neoliberalism, the working people must put forth their own agenda, an agenda that would go beyond populist type of “buy domestic/national” slogans. A positive left-labor agenda must focus on, among other things, the importance of a long-term international labor strategy based on worker-to-worker or union-to-union links. Specifically, Such a strategy would aim at (a) eliminating or reducing international labor rivalry by taking the necessary steps toward the establishment of labor-cost parity within the same company and the same trade, subject to the cost of living and productivity in each country; and (b) establishing independent labor, community, and environmental organizations that would monitor, influence, shape and, ultimately, lead the world economy.

A strategy of this sort would replace the current downward competition between workers in various countries with coordinated bargaining and joint policies for mutual interests and problem-solving worldwide—just as the World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, central banks, and other multilateral organizations are constantly seeking solutions to the problems facing global markets/capital. While this may sound radical, it is not any more radical than what the transnational plutocracy is doing: coordinating their cold-hearted neoliberal austerity strategies on a global scale.

If at an earlier stage of capitalist development “workers of the world unite” seemed an outlandish dream of the leading labor champion Karl Marx, globalization of capitalism, fantastic increases in labor productivity, the abundance of material resources, and enormous developments in technology, which have greatly facilitated cross-border organizing and coordination of actions by the worldwide labor and other grassroots, have now made that dream an urgent necessity [4].

References

[1] See, for example, David Harvey, The New Imperialism, Oxford University Press, 2005. 

[2] The preceding four paragraphs are based largely on excerpts from Chapter One of my book, The Political Economy of U.S. Imperialism (Palgrave-Macmillan 2007)]. 

[3]. “The Rise of the New Global Elite,” The Atlantic, January–February 2011, available at: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/01/the-rise-of-the-new-global-elite/308343/&gt ]. 

[4] For a longer discussion of these issues see Chapter 8 of my book, Beyond Mainstream Explanations of the Financial Crisis: Parasitic Finance Capital (Routledge 2015)]. 

Ismael Hossein-zadeh is Professor Emeritus of Economics (Drake University). He is the author of Beyond Mainstream Explanations of the Financial Crisis (Routledge 2014), The Political Economy of U.S. Militarism (Palgrave–Macmillan 2007), and the Soviet Non-capitalist Development: The Case of Nasser’s Egypt (Praeger Publishers 1989). He is also a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion.

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Not long after a U.S.-backed rebel group in Syria received worldwide attention for a beheading, the group may have deployed chemical weapons in Aleppo.

A video of the rebels, known as Harakat Nour al-Din al-Zenki, beheading a 10-year-old Palestinian boy went viral last month, and on Wednesday, the Russian defense ministry said al-Zenki rebels were responsible for a chemical gas attack on the Old City of Aleppo.

“On August 2, 2016 at 19 hours 05 minutes militants from the Harakat Nour al-Din al-Zenki group, considered by Washington as ‘moderate opposition,’ launched poisonous materials from the Sukkari district towards the eastern part of Aleppo,” the ministry reported, according to RT.

Quoting Syria’s state-run SANA news agency, RT continued:

“A ‘terrorist attack’ on the Old City of Aleppo with ‘shells containing toxic gas’ led to the deaths of five and suffocation of eight more civilians, the outlet quoted the city’s health director, Mohamad Hazouri, as saying.”

Watch “Five dead, dozens injured in chemical gas attacks in Syria” from RT America:

A doctor at a hospital in Aleppo told RT:

“We’ve taken 12 injured people, six other patients have already died from suffocation. Our doctors were prepared to treat people showing symptoms of gas poisoning. We’ve been expecting terrorists to use weapons of this kind.”

The rebels, whom the doctor referred to as “terrorists,” are still considered potential allies by the Obama administration. In 2014, the faction was part of a coalition that received military supplies from the United States, including anti-tank missiles.

The U.S. has repeatedly accused the Syrian government of chemical weapons use, despite a lack of conclusive evidence. Meanwhile, the Obama administration has ignored evidence that its rebel allies are committing similar war crimes. The renowned investigative journalist Seymour Hersh reported in 2014:

“The joint chiefs also knew that the Obama administration’s public claims that only the Syrian army had access to sarin were wrong. The American and British intelligence communities had been aware since the spring of 2013 that some rebel units in Syria were developing chemical weapons.”

The U.S. government’s reaction to the latest incident seems to be following a familiar pattern. On Wednesday, State Department spokesperson Mark Toner gave a vague answer when pressed by Caleb Maupin, an RT reporter and MintPress News contributor.

“We condemn strongly the use of any chemical weapons and any credible allegations of their use in Syria we’ll investigate,” Toner told Maupin.

Toner further claimed the U.S. is still investigating the beheading, adding: “I know that the group itself said that they’d also made some arrests and set up a commission of inquiry into the incident.”

Last month, Toner said the State Department would reevaluate its support for al-Zenki rebels if it found proof of the beheading incident.

“If we [the United States] can prove indeed what happened and this group [al-Zenki] was involved in it… it would give us pause about any assistance or frankly any further involvement,” Toner told RT.

Despite these assurances, it’s likely that Western weapons and military aid will continue to flow to extremist groups. In December, investigative journalist Peter Oborne reported that military aid from the U.S., United Kingdom and their allies to the Free Syrian Army and other so-called “moderate” groups routinely ends up in the hands of terrorists — all in the name of destabilizing the Syrian government under President Bashar Assad.

“The weapons conduit that the West gave to the FSA is understood to be a sort of Wal-Mart that the radical groups can take weapons and use to fight Assad,” Oborne wrote. “The weapons migrate along the line to the more radical elements.”

Watch “Are chemical attacks enough for US to pull aid from ‘moderate’ rebels?” from RT America:

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The following is a compilation of articles that create a historical countdown from Pressing Issues which looks at the behind the scene events of the days leading to the US nuclear attacks on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, respectively on August 6 and August 9, 1945. Examining the nuclear attacks on Japan, it is worth quoting General Eisenhower  that « the Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn’t necessary to hit them with that awful thing. »

Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Asia-Pacific Research Editor, 6 August 2016.

 

*      *     *

Author’s Note

Each summer I count down the days to the atomic bombing of Japan (August 6 and August 9, 1945), marking events from the same day in 1945. I’ve been doing it here for more than two weeks now. I’ve written  three books and ebooks on the subject: Hiroshima in America (with Robert Jay Lifton), Atomic Cover-Up (on the decades-long suppression of shocking film shot in the atomic cities by the U.S. military), and Hollywood Bomb (the wild story of how an MGM 1947 epic was censored by the military and Truman himself).

The Nuclear Countdown

July 30, 1945: 

Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, commander of U.S. troops in Europe, has visited President Truman in Germany, and would recall what happened in his memoir (Mandate for Change): « Secretary of War Stimson, visiting my headquarters in Germany, informed me that our government was preparing to drop an atomic bomb on Japan. I was one of those who felt that there were a number of cogent reasons to question the wisdom of such an act…

« During his recitation of the relevant facts, I had been conscious of a feeling of depression and so I voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives. It was my belief that Japan was, at that very moment, seeking some way to surrender with a minimum loss of ‘face’. The Secretary was deeply perturbed by my attitude… »

In a Newsweek interview, Ike would add: « …the Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn’t necessary to hit them with that awful thing. »

— Stimson, now back at the Pentagon, cabled Truman, that he had drafted a statement for the president that would follow the first use of the new weapon–and Truman must urgently review it because the bomb could be used as early as August 1. Stimson sent one of his aides to Germany with two copies of the statement. The Top Secret, six-page typed statement opened: « ____ hours ago an American airplane dropped one bomb on ______ and destroyed its usefulness to the enemy. That bomb has more power than 20,000 tons of TNT…. It is an atomic bomb. It is a harnessing of the basic power of the universe. » Later, as we will see, the claim that Hiroshima was merely « a military base » was added to the draft.

–After scientists sifted more data from the July 16 Trinity test of the first weapon, Gen. Leslie R. Groves, military head of the Manhattan Project provided Gen. George Marshall, our top commander, with more detail on the destructive power of atomic weapons. Amazingly, despite the new evidence, Groves recommended that troops could move into the « immediate explosion area » within a half hour » (and, indeed, in future bomb tests soldiers would march under the mushroom clouds and receive harmful doses of radiation). Groves also provided the schedule for the delivery of the weapons: By the end of November more than ten weapons would be available, in the event the war had continued.

–Groves faced a new problem, however. Gen. « Tooey » Spaatz on Guam urgently cabled that sources suggested that there was an Allied prisoner of war camp in Nagasaki just a mile north of the center of the city. Should it remain on the target list? » Groves, who had already dropped Kyoto from the list after Stimson had protested, refused to shift. In another cable Spaatz revealed that there were no POW camps in Hiroshima, or so they believed. This firmed up Groves’s position that Hiroshima should « be given top priority, » weather permitting. As it turned out, POWs died in both cities from the bombing.

July 31, 1945:

–In Germany, Admiral William D. Leahy, chief of staff to Truman–and the highest-ranking U.S. military officer during the war–continues to privately express doubts about the bomb, that it may not work and is not needed,  in any case. (Gen. Eisenhowerhad just come out against using the Bomb.)  Leahy would later write in his memoirs:

« It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the effective sea blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons.

« The lethal possibilities of atomic warfare in the future are frightening. My own feeling was that in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was not taught to make war in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children. »

–The assembly of Little Boy is completed. It is ready for use the next day.  But a  typhoon approaching Japan will likely prevent launching an attack. Several days might be  required for weather to clear.

–Secretary of War Stimson sends semi-final draft of statement for Truman to read when first bomb used and he has to explain its use, and the entire bomb project, to the U.S. and the world, with this cover note: « Attached are two copies of the revised statement which has been prepared for release by you as soon as the new weapon is used. This is the statement about which I cabled you last night.  The reason for the haste is that I was informed only yesterday that, weather permitting, it is likely that the weapon will be used as early as August 1st, Pacific Ocean Time, which as you know is a good many hours ahead of Washington time. »

It is an atomic bomb. It is a harnessing of the basic power of the universe. The force from which the sun draws its power has been loosed against those who brought war to the Far East.

August 1, 1945:

—Truman wrote a letter to his wife Bess last night talking about the atomic bomb (but without revealing it): “He [Stalin] doesn’t know it but I have an ace in the hole and another one showing—so unless he has threes or two pair (and I know he has not) we are sitting all right.”

And today he gives a letter to Stalin, which confounds the Soviet leader. Earlier, Stalin had promised to declare war on Japan around August 7. Now Truman writes that more consultation is needed. Truman had earlier pushed for the quick entry, writing in his diary « fini Japs » when that occurred, even without use of The Bomb. Now that he has the bomb in his « pocket » he apparently hopes to stall the Soviets.

–Truman has also approved statement on the use of the bomb, brought to him last night in Germany by a courier, drafted by Secretary of War Stimson and others, and ordered it released after the bomb drop. A line near the start has been added explicitly depicting the vast city of Hiroshima (occupied mainly by women and children) as nothing but a “military base.” The president, and the drafters of the statement, knew was false. An earlier draft described the city of Nagasaki as a “naval base” and nothing more. There would be no reference to radiation effects whatsoever in the statement—it was just a vastly bigger bomb.

—The Potsdam conference ended early this morning, with Truman expected to head back to the US by sea tomorrow.

—The “Little Boy” atomic bomb is now ready for use on the island of Tinian. Under the direction of the lead pilot, Paul Tibbetts, practice runs have been completed, near Iwo Jima, and fake payloads dropped, with success. Truman’s order had given the okay for the first mission later this day and it might have happened if a typhoon was not approaching Japan.

—Stimson writes in his diary about decision today to release to the press, with Truman’s coming statement after  the use of the bomb, a 200-page report on the building of the bomb, revised to not give too much away. Here he explains why they will release it at all: “The aim of the paper is to backfire reckless statements by independent scientists after the demonstration of the bomb. If we could be sure that these could be controlled and avoided, all of us would much prefer not to issue such a paper. But under the circumstances of the entire independence of action of scientists and the certainty that there would be a tremendous amount of excitement and reckless statement, [Gen. Leslie] Groves, who is a very conservative man, had reached the conclusion that the lesser evil would be for us to make a statement carefully prepared so as not to give away anything vital and thus try to take the stage away from the others.”

August 2, 1945 

—Early today, Paul Tibbets, pilot of the lead plane, the Enola Gay (named after his mom) on the first mission, reported to Gen. Curtis LeMay’s Air Force headquartters on Guam. LeMay told him the “primary” was still Hiroshima. Bombardier Thomas Ferebee pointed on a map what the aiming point for the bomb would be—a distinctive T-shaped bride in the center of the city, not the local army base. “It’s the most perfect aiming I’ve seen in the whole damned war,” Tibbets said. But the main idea was to set the bomb off over the center of the city, which rests in kind of a bowl, so that the surrounding hills would supply a “focusing effect” that would lead to added destruction and loss of life in city mainly filled by women and children.

—By 3 p.m., top secret orders were being circulated for Special Bombing Mission #13, now set for August 6, when the weather would clear. The first alternate to Hiroshima was Kokura. The second, Nagasaki. The order called for only “visual bombing,” not radar, so the weather had to be okay. Six planes would take part. Two would escort the Enola Gay, one would take photos, the other would be a kind of mobile lab, dropping canisters to send back scientific information.

—Meanwhile, three B-29s arrived at Tinian carrying from Los Alamos the bomb assemblies for the second Fat Man device (which would use plutonium, the substance of choice for the future, unlike the uranium bomb meant for Hiroshima).

—Japanese cables and other message intercepted by the United States showed that they were still trying to enlist the Soviets’ help in presenting surrender terms–they would even send an envoy–but were undecided on just what to propose. The Russians, meanwhile, were just five days from declaring war on Japan.

–Top U.S. officials were on now centering on allowing the Japanese to keep their emperor when they give up.  In his diary Secretary of War Stimson endorses a key report which concludes: « The retention of the Emperor will probably insure the immediate surrender of all Japanese Forces outside the home islands. »  Would offering that win a swift Japanese surrender–without the need to use the bomb?  Not considered.

—Six years ago earlier on this day, August 2, 1939, Albert Einstein sent a letter to President Roosevelt stating the Germans were trying to enrich uranium 235—and that this process would allow them to build an atomic bomb. This helped spark FDR’s decision to create the Manhattan Project.

August 3, 1945 

–On Tinian, Little Boy is ready to go, awaiting word on weather, with General LeMay to make the call. Taking off the night of August 5 appears most likely scenario.

–On board the ship Augusta steaming home for USA after Potsdam meeting, President Truman, Joint Chiefs chairman Admiral Leahy, and Secretary of State James F. Byrnes–a strong A-bomb booster–enjoy some poker.   Byrnes aide Walter Brown notes in his diary that « President, Leahy, JFB [Byrnes) agreed Japan looking for peace. (Leahy had another report from Pacific.) President afraid they will sue for peace through Russia instead of some country like Sweden. »

–Leahy had questioned the decision to use the bomb, later writing: « [T]he use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender…. [I]n being the first to use it, we…adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was not taught to make war in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children. »

–Our « Magic » intercepts show Japan monitoring the Soviets’ military buildup in the Far East (prelude to the declaration of war in four days).  Also, Japanese still searching for way to approach Molotov to pursue possible surrender terms before that happens. Another Magic intercept carried the heading, « Japanese Army’s interest in peace negotiations. » War Department intel analysts revealed « the first statement to appear in the traffic that the Japanese Army is interested in the effor tto end the war with Soviet assitance. » A segment of Prime Minister Togo’s message declared: « The Premier and the leaders of the Army are now concentrting all their attention on this one point. »

John McCloy, then assistant secretary of war and a well-known « hawk » in his later career, would later reflect, « I have always felt that if, in our ultimatum to the Japanese government issued from Potsdam [in July 1945], we had referred to the retention of the emperor as a constitutional monarch and had made some reference to the reasonable accessibility of raw materials to the future Japanese government, it would have been accepted. Indeed, I believe that even in the form it was delivered, there was some disposition on the part of the Japanese to give it favorable consideration. When the war was over I arrived at this conclusion after talking with a number of Japanese officials who had been closely associated with the decision of the then Japanese government, to reject the ultimatum, as it was presented. I believe we missed the opportunity of effecting a Japanese surrender, completely satisfactory to us, without the necessity of dropping the bombs. »

–Soviet General Vasilevskii reports to Stalin that Soviet forces ready for invasion from August 7 on.

August 4, 1945:

—On Tinian, Little Boy is ready to go, awaiting word on weather, with General LeMay to make the call. With the weather clearing near Hiroshima, still the primary target, taking off the night of August 5 appears the most likely scenario. Secretary of War Stimson writes of a “troubled” day due to the uncertain weather, adding: “The S-1 operation was postponed from Friday night [August 3] until Saturday night and then again Saturday night until Sunday.”

—Hiroshima remains the primary target, with Kokura #2 and Nagasaki third.

—Paul Tibbets, pilot of the lead plane, the Enola Gay, finally briefs others in the 509th Composite Group who will take part in the mission at 3 pm. Military police seal the building. Tibbets reveals that they will drop immensely powerful bombs, but the nature of the weapons are not revealed, only that it is “something new in the history of warfare.” When weaponeer Deke Parsons says, “We think it will knock out almost everything within a three-mile radius,” the audience gasps.

Then he tries to show a film clip of the recent Trinity test—but the projector starts shredding the film. Parsons adds, “No one knows exactly what will happen when the bomb is dropped from the air,” and he distributes welder’s glasses for the men to wear. But he does not relate any warnings about radioactivity or order them not to fly through the mushroom cloud.

—On board the ship Augusta steaming home for the USA after the Potsdam meeting, President Truman relaxes and plays poker with one of the bomb drop’s biggest booster, Secretary of State Jimmy Byrnes. Truman’s order to use the bomb had simply stated that it could be used any time after August 1 so he had nothing to do but watch and wait. The order included the directive to use a second bomb, as well, without a built-in pause to gauge the results of the first and the Japanese response—even though the Japanese were expected, by Truman and others, to push surrender feelers, even without the bomb, with Russia’s entry into the war on August 7.  Hence: assembly-line massacre in Nagasaki.

–Gen. Douglas MacArthur,  who directed the U.S. war in the Pacific, and would soon become the head of our occupation of Japan, had still not been told of the existence and planned use of the new bomb.  Norman Cousins, the famed author and magazine editor, who was an aide to MacArthur, would later reveal:  « MacArthur’s views about the decision to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were starkly different from what the general public supposed….When I asked General MacArthur about the decision to drop the bomb, I was surprised to learn he had not even been consulted. What, I asked, would his advice have been? He replied that he saw no military justification for the dropping of the bomb. The war might have ended weeks earlier, he said, if the United States had agreed, as it later did anyway, to the retention of the institution of the emperor. »  As we noted earlier, both General Eisenhower and Truman’s top aide, Admiral Leahy, both protested the use of the bomb against Japan in advance.

August 5, 1945:

—Pilot Paul Tibbets formally named the lead plane in the mission, #82, after his mother,Enola Gay. A B-29 that would take photos on the mission would be named Necessary Evil.

—Also on Tinian, Little Boy is ready to go, awaiting word on weather, with General Curtis LeMay to make the call. At 3:30 p.m., in an air-conditioned bomb assembly hut, the five-ton bomb as loaded (gently) on to a trailer. Crew members scribbled words onto the bomb in crayon, including off-color greetings for the Japanese. Pulled by a tractor, accompanied by a convoy of jeeps and other vehicles, the new weapon arrives at the North Field and is lowered into the bomb pit.

–The bomb is still not armed. The man who would do, before takeoff, according to plan, was Parsons. But he had other ideas, fearing that the extra-heavy B-29 might crash on takeoff and taking with it “half the island.” He asked if he could arm the bomb in flight, and spent a few hours—on a hot and muggy August day—practicing before getting the okay.

—Pilot Tibbets tries to nap, without much success. Then, in the assembly hall just before midnight, he tells the crew, that the new bomb was “very powerful” but he did not mention the words “nuclear,” “atomic’ or “radiation.” He calls forward a Protestant chaplain who delivers a prayer he’d written for this occasion on the back of an envelope. It asks God to “to be with those who brave the heights of Thy heaven and who carry the battle to our enemies.”

—Hiroshima remains the primary target, with Kokura #2 and Nagasaki third. The aiming point was directly over the city, not the military base or industrial quarter, guaranteeing the deaths of tens of thousands of women and children.

— The Soviets are two days from declaring war on Japan and marching across Manchuria. Recall that Truman had just written in diary « Fini Japs » when the Soviets would declare war, even without the Bomb.  (See new evidence that it was the Soviet declaration of war, more than the atomic bombing, that was the decisive factor in Japan’s surrender.)

—Halfway around the world from Tinian, on board the ship Augusta steaming home for the USA after the Potsdam meeting, President Truman relaxes. Truman’s order to use the bomb had simply stated that it could be used any time after August 1 so he had nothing to do but watch and wait. The order included the directive to use a second bomb, as well, without a built-in pause to gauge the results of the first and the Japanese response—even though the Japanese were expected, by Truman and others, to push surrender feelers, even without the bomb, with Russia’s entry into the war on August 7.


To see the original entries please click here:

Countdown to Hiroshima: X-Minus 7 Days

Countdown to Hiroshima: X-Minus 6 Days

Countdown to Hiroshima, X-Minus 5 Days

Countdown to Hiroshima: X-Minus 4 Days

Countdown to Hiroshima: X-Minus 3 Days

Countdown to Hiroshima: X-Minus 2 Days

Countdown to Hiroshima: X-Minus 1 Day

Greg Mitchell is the author of more than a dozen books, with three on the use of the bomb, including Atomic Cover-Up (on the decades-long suppression of shocking film shot in the atomic cities by the U.S. military) and Hollywood Bomb (the wild story of how an MGM 1947 drama was censored by the military and Truman himself).

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Fires of Illusion: Guarding the Olympic Flame in Rio…

août 6th, 2016 by Dr. Binoy Kampmark

“The investment is not for us, it’s for the foreigners.” — Felipe Paiva, Rio favela resident, CBC, Aug 3, 2016

The hideous mess that is the Olympic spectacle is about to be charged at the opening ceremony in Rio de Janeiro. Its lead-up has been tumultuous, suggesting that any ideal of peaceful reflection by states, participants, and observers about the broader values of Olympism should be best forgotten.

In addition to a shrunken Russian outfit, culled because of doping suspicions, and the sniping and savaging between the World Anti-Doping Agency and the International Olympic Committee (each purporting to want to regulate the other), lies the broadest, most reasonable criticism of all: the games as a monstrous monetary distraction.

Costing an estimated $12 billion, it has made such demonstrators as Pedro Rosa tell Associated Press that the government had taken “money from health, education and social programs to guarantee the Olympics.”[1]  The country is in recession, the worst in 25 years; its suspended president, Dilma Rousseff, faces an impeachment trial.

No better illustration of this anger to such waste has been offered than the insistent harassment of carriers of the Olympic flame itself. It has become the detestable symbol, not merely of profligate spending, but needless endeavour.  All, it can be argued, for the better, given the orchestrated myth-making ventures around its significance.

Supposedly lit with the good help of the sun in the days of Ancient Olympia, the flame has gone through historical revivals and re-inventions.  This, broadly speaking, is the analogue of the Olympic Games – invention and mythology masking defect and drawback.

One enduring notion,  that the Olympic Truce somehow suspended conflict while providing safe passage to spectators and athletes to the Games, did not lead to a conclusion of hostilities.  Historians have noted that Sparta still attacked Elean territory in 420 B.C., for which it was fined, while the Arcadians ran roughshod over the sanctuary of Olympia in 364.

This is where the good realm of illusion intrudes upon the thick world of fact, not least the actual notion that the five interlocked rings were somehow a matter of antiquity.   Much of that error can be laid at the incautious scribbling hands of Lynn and Gray Poole, who mistook a movie prop for ancient lore.

Points of Olympic ceremony have at various stages been contested, not least of all because the Berlin games of 1936 made such a spectacular point of utilising the ceremonial to total effect.  Individuals such as sports administrator Carl Diem and film maker Leni Riefenstahl deserve far more credit than they actually get for staging the occasion.  This Nazi stain is hardly a glorious point, but its concealment remains a feature each time the Olympic Games are held.

The lighting of the flame was conclusively documented at the Amsterdam Olympics in 1928 and Los Angeles in 1932, though previous references seem to have been matters of re-enactment, a fabrication of Olympism for heart-filled historical retellings.  The relay itself became the child of propaganda exultance.

As David C. Young would suggest in an exchange in Archaeology (Nov/Dec 1996), “Torch races did take place in ancient Athens and are depicted on Athenian vases, but these were local events held for local youth; they had no connection whatsoever with Olympia or the Olympic Games.”

The torch relay to Rio has been particularly ugly, and images of riot police guarding its sacral relevance have revealed the sheer bankruptcy of the project.  “There is not going to be a torch,” cried protesters in the town of Niteroi this week.  Other towns have also witnessed similar indignation.  “As the torch passes lit in Itaborai, jobs, health and education are put out.”[2]

In late July, demonstrators at Angra dos Reis were reported as blocking the torch bearers, which precipitated a violent response from military police, rubber bullets, tear gas and all.[3]  The Olympics has ever been twinned to the project of state power and violence.

A week or so prior, an effort was made to pinch the flame on Salgado Filho Avenue in the centre of Guarulhos, Sao Paulo.  The disruptor in question, clad in black, made a dash for the flame before being tackled to the ground, in the process injuring a police officer.

Unsurprisingly, attempts have also been made to extinguish the flame.  One assailant in question, equipped with fire extinguisher, ventured to do so.  Other reports showed greater success, with The Sun sneering at those “thugs” who succeeded, briefly, in the endeavour.[4]

The torch journey has also been witness to other unsavoury events.  Showing how Olympic ceremonial events can be lethal to its participants, a jaguar by the name of Juma was shot dead by a member of the Brazilian military after an event in Manaus. The animal had slipped away from its cage. Efforts to tranquilise the animal also failed.

The local organising committee for Rio issued a predictably execrable statement: “We made a mistake in permitting the Olympic torch, a symbol of peace and unity, to be exhibited alongside a chained wild animal.  This image goes against our beliefs and our values.”[5]  On the contrary, the committee was being entirely consistent with the actual values of the games.

Perhaps it is only appropriate that the Rio games go ahead in such a dark cloud, utilising propaganda to quell dissent, and again revealing how pomp and circumstance supposedly triumph over butter and bread.  Many Brazilians have chosen not to fall for that canard.  It is up to other participants and spectators to follow suit.

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

Notes

[1] http://www.cnbc.com/2016/08/04/rio-olympics-2016-economists-question-wisdom-of-hosting-olympics.html
[2] http://sports.yahoo.com/news/olympic-torch-met-with-protests-attempts-to-extinguish-on-way-into-rio-172959846.html
[3] http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3713366/Put-torch-Protesters-try-steal-extinguish-Olympic-flame-hundreds-streets-anger-against-Rio-Games.html
[4] https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/1520166/olympic-flame-extinguished-as-rioters-interrupt-relay-in-brazilian-city-angra-dos-reis/
[5] http://www.reuters.com/article/us-olympics-rio-jaguar-idUSKCN0Z72P4

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Activists Deported From South Korea Speak Out

août 6th, 2016 by Gregory Elich

On July 26, the South Korean government blocked two Korean-American activists from entering the country. Both activists planned to meet with their South Korean counterparts and to participate in a series of events, many of which are in response to the controversial decision to station a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile battery in South Korea.

[Elich] Let’s start with a little background.  Juyeon, I know you put an enormous amount of time and energy into organizing this trip. Would you tell us something about the peace tour?

[Rhee] Briefly speaking, this peace tour was about bringing awareness to the U.S. public regarding what’s happening in Korea around U.S. bases and the U.S. military presence. The U.S. has played a big role in the division and the current state of war in the Korean peninsula. Accordingly, it only appeared to be right to bring a peace activist delegation from the U.S., such as members of Veterans for Peace (VFP), to Korea, where local people’s resistance against U.S. bases is increasing, and to build solidarity and connection with each other.

This year, we are to explore and learn about people’s resistance against biological and chemical warfare programs such as the JUPITR [Joint U.S. Forces in Korea Portal and Integrated Threat Recognition] program at Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, the air and noise pollution issues at Kunsan Air Base, and the THAAD deployment issue.  In addition, we are to participate in the annual Peace and Life March around Jeju Island against the new naval base, and in the annual International Peace Forum. The trip was planned about four months ago, when Seongju had not yet been named as the location for THAAD, so we were supposed to change the plan as we saw fit once we entered South Korea.

Where we stand, budget cuts on education and job creation in the U.S. have become important issues, and the peace tour is designed to highlight and connect that the THAAD deployments and U.S. base expansions are not serving anybody in both countries, but endangers the security of these two countries by increasing military tension in East Asia.

[Elich] Tell us what happened when you arrived at the Incheon airport. How did you learn that you wouldn’t be allowed to enter the country? What explanation was given?

[Lee] At the immigration checkpoint, we were taken into a small investigation room. There, immigration officers told us a « central agency » had placed a block on our entry. We asked why we were being denied entry, and they said because the immigration office is lower on the totem pole than the « central agency » that had placed the block, they couldn’t verify the reason.

They then gave us a piece of paper that read, « It has been ordered in accordance with provisions of Article 11 and 12 of the Korea Immigration Law, that you be deported… » They told us to sign the piece of paper, and we said, « This explains nothing. What are articles 11 and 12? » They then brought out a thick legal manual and showed us the text of Article 11, which prohibits the entry of foreigners who, among other things, are « deemed likely to commit any act detrimental to national interests of the Republic of Korea or public safety. »

We asked why we are deemed detrimental to Korea’s national interest or public safety. The officers were unresponsive to our question.

We were told that we would have to board the next flight out to Hawaii (as that was the first stop on our return ticket) at 9:00 PM the next day. So we stayed in the transit area of Incheon International Airport for the next 28 hours.

Because we knew that Veterans for Peace members Bruce Gagnon and Ken Jones were flying into Incheon at 9:00 PM the next day and we wanted to see them and make sure they safely entered the country, we spoke with a Korean Airlines ticket agent to see if we could take a later flight out of Incheon. We were told by the Korean Airlines ticket agent that the National Intelligence Service had blocked our entry and that there was an order for immediate deportation, so we could not extend our stay.

[Elich] How was your experience while waiting for a return flight?

[Rhee] While in the transfer area, I was mostly concerned about making changes to our trip plans, as I was the coordinator of the trip. I remembered that a Palestinian friend had once told me that every time she flies, she knows to expect harassment from border control agents and that Arabs are three times more likely to be stopped and harassed at airports than non-Arabs. I suddenly felt sad that this, unfortunately, is a routine experience for some people. But this experience of being denied entry has hardened our resolve to fight for democracy and peace even more. Many South Korean activists sent us text messages of encouragement and referred to our experience of state repression as a « rite of passage » as people fighting for justice in a time of increasingly authoritarian rule.

[Elich] The application of provisions 11 and 12 of the Korean Immigration Law in your case is logically unsupportable. Your plans were entirely peaceful, and the events will proceed regardless. What do you think are the real reasons behind your deportation?

[Lee and Rhee] We are of the opinion that it has to do with the current hot-button issue involving the THAAD missile defense system. The South Korean government may want to block peace activists from internationalizing the struggle to oppose the recent U.S.-South Korean decision to deploy a THAAD battery in South Korea. Since a joint U.S.-South Korean working group announced Seongju, a small agricultural town in North Gyeongsang Province, as the designated site for THAAD deployment, Seongju residents have been on the street every day — protesting and holding candlelight vigils. The government continues to send representatives to Seongju to quell the protests and offer to « negotiate » but keep getting chased out by the residents, who refuse to accept anything less than a reversal of the THAAD deployment decision. Ninety percent of Seongju residents had voted for Park Geun-hye in the last presidential election, but they held a mock funeral procession for the governing Saenuri Party and have begun to leave the party in droves.

South Korea’s neighbors, China and Russia, have also expressed their disapproval of the THAAD decision. China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi chastised South Korean counterpart Yun Byung-se at a regional forum for « undermining bilateral trust. »

An important objective of our peace tour was to build solidarity with the peace movement in South Korea in opposition to the THAAD decision. Ultimately the decision to deploy the THAAD system in South Korea was a U.S. decision — as part of its broader effort to encircle China and Russia with a network of missile defense systems and to protect its military assets in the region from North Korean missiles. We feel it is important for us, as U.S. citizens, to learn as much as we can from those who are fighting on the front lines of this issue in South Korea and return home to educate the U.S. public about what our government is doing abroad in our name and with our tax dollars.

And we believe it is precisely this type of solidarity-building that the Park Geun-hye government wants to prevent. A strong connection and solidarity between the peace movements in the U.S. and Korea can really empower both sides on this issue. The Korean government must fear that our presence and voice of solidarity will embolden the South Korean people’s resistance against THAAD deployment.

[Elich] What does your deportation say about the state of democracy in South Korea under the Park Geun-hye government?

[Lee] Our deportation is not unique; it is the latest in a long list of progressive activists being denied entry into South Korea. In May of this year, a German citizen of Korean descent was refused entry after trying to attend a conference to commemorate the anniversary of the democracy uprising in Gwangju, a city that was the site of a bloody crackdown against democracy activists during the dictatorship of the 1980s. In 2012, Veterans for Peace members, who arrived in Jeju Island to join protests against the construction of the naval base there, were also denied entry. Since establishing an office in South Korea in June 2011, four Greenpeace East Asia staff have been denied entry without justification.

Democracy has been under attack under the rule of Park Geun-hye, the daughter of former dictator Park Chung-hee. Since taking office in 2012, Park has waged an aggressive campaign of crackdowns against opposition leaders, labor unions, and all those who are critical of her policies. She jailed opposition lawmaker Lee Seok-ki in 2013 and dissolved the opposition Unified Progressive Party the following year. In 2015, she jailed the president of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, Han Sang-gyun for leading protests against labor market reforms and her neo-authoritarian rule. Recently, she shut down the investigation of the 2014 Sewol Tragedy despite protests from bereaved parents who lost their children in the tragedy. Today, her government is implementing by force the agreement reached with the Japanese government last December to absolve Japan of legal responsibility for its sexual crimes during WWII in exchange for a lump-sum monetary donation. The list of Park’s undemocratic policies and actions is long.

[Elich] What effect does this experience have on your spirit and motivation?

[Lee] It was an opportunity to reaffirm the strength of our community. Despite the unexpected setback, Veteran for Peace members with whom we had planned to meet up with in South Korea are able to continue the peace tour without us, because friends and organizations in South Korea are able to step in on a moment’s notice and fill in the gap — answering our last minute requests for translation and logistics coordination for the VFP members. We were turned around and stranded in Hawaii, but a community of activists immediately took us in and housed us, fed us and introduced us to the struggles of native Hawaiians. And friends back home from all over the United States sent us messages of encouragement. We feel blessed to be part of a broader community of progressive people — our greatest source of strength that enables us to face adversity without fear or hesitation.

The experience also emboldened us to redouble our efforts in building solidarity with those fighting for democracy and peace in South Korea.  As soon as we return home, we will immediately begin organizing U.S. opposition against THAAD deployment.

Hyun Lee is a New York City-based writer and activist. She is a Korea Policy Institute fellow and a member of Nodutdol for Korean Community Development.

Juyeon Rhee is a first generation Korean immigrant grassroots organizer whose work is focused on de-militarization, peace, and unification in Korea. Juyeon has been a member of Nodutdol for Korean Community Development since 2000 and a board member at Korea Policy Institute.

Gregory Elich is on the Board of Directors of the Jasenovac Research Institute and the Advisory Board of the Korea Policy Institute. His website is https://gregoryelich.org/

All three are members of the Solidarity Committee for Democracy and Peace in Korea.

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More evidence of deep divisions between the IOC and WADA over the Russian doping scandal have emerged in two articles in The Australian.  One article, which is behind a paywall, derives from off-the-record conversations with IOC officials.  The other article, which is open access, gives Professor McLaren’s side of the story.  It alludes to the article behind the paywall and reproduces some of its material.

For an open source account of what is in the article behind the paywall, one is obliged to turn to RT.  It claims that the article says

“….that there are members within the International Olympic Committee (IOC) who believe the release of the McLaren report on the eve of the Olympics was designed to set off the “nuclear option” of issuing a blanket ban on Russia competing at the games.”

This is very similar to what I said in an article I wrote a few days ago.  I said that the whole way the campaign was conducted, and the timing of the publication of the various WADA reports, shows that the agenda all along was to get the whole of Team Russia expelled from the Olympic Games.  Here is what I said:

“That this was indeed the agenda is clear enough from the way the whole anti-doping campaign against Russia has been conducted.  It seems that a decision to expel Russia from the Olympic movement was taken probably around the time of the failure of the campaign to boycott the Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014.  All the various allegations of doping in Russia that have circulated since 2010 and even before were then sifted through to construct a case.  Someone then put them all together in a dossier, spicing them up with witness testimony from people like Stepanova and Rodchenkov.  A series of lurid articles and documentaries then appeared in the Western media, reviving all the allegations and putting the worst possible spin on them.  A series of reports from WADA then followed in quick succession starting in the autumn of last year, timed to make the maximum possible impact and to leave the least possible time for proper independent fact checking or for any other steps to be taken before the start of the Rio Games.  That way the allegations could not be properly and independently assessed and no fully fair arrangements could be made to allow for the admission of all indisputably clean Russian athletes.  That opened the way, just as the Rio Games were about to start, for the IOC to be presented with a demand for a blanket ban.”

In my article I also said on the basis of certain comments by IOC President Thomas Bach that all the facts pointed to the IOC being furious with WADA for its conduct of the whole affair.  Again RT’s summary of the article behind the paywall confirms as much.

“Once it was clear that the IOC was not going to support a full ban, the author of the report, the Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren, handed over the names of Russian athletes who had been cited in his document to the 28 federations. These names had initially not been published when the report was first made public on July 18. However, The paper’s sources reportedly said that WADA now has a problem as it “had been caught short not having enough detail to justify some of the claims against athletes.”

“They sexed it up which is crazy because now the entire report is under scrutiny and I am sure most of the report is absolutely accurate. It just puts question marks where question marks should not be,” a sports official told the publication.

The president of the Australian Olympic Committee, John Coates, who is also an IOC vice president, reportedly wrote to Australia’s Health Minister Susan Ley, saying that the IOC had a “lack of confidence in WADA.”

“McLaren said there was evidence that 170 Russian athletes, the majority of whom were set to compete in Rio, had previously had positive doping tests destroyed by the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory.   Following further analysis of the samples carried out at the Moscow laboratory, it was found that Russian samples were split into four separate categories of seriousness. However, one of these categories was for samples which were not considered serious at all.

“We were asked to make a judgment about Russian competitors based on McLaren’s report but without having any of the detail to understand the significance of them being named,” a senior sports official said, as cited by The Australian. “Now to be told that there were four different categories – why weren’t we told this at the very beginning? It’s a mess and it’s WADA’s fault.’’”

That RT is reproducing the article accurately is confirmed by the open access article.  It corroborates RT’s account of the article behind the paywall:

“Sports officials have accused WADA of “sexing up” the case against Russian athletes by handing over to sporting federations the names of competitors who had no evidence against them in order to invoke the “nuclear option” of expelling Russia from the Games.  IOC spokesman Mark Adams said yesterday the confusion showed the dangers of working with an unfinished report: “To have someone who didn’t (commit) a competition doping offence but was counted as such is a very dangerous thing. We encourage a full report by Professor McLaren before we make any full and frank ­decisions.’’”

(bold italics added)

The reference to McLaren’s report being “unfinished” and to the need for a “full report” refers to something else I said in another earlier article I wrote a week ago:

“In any rational world what ought to have happened is that when Stepanova’s and Rochenkov’s allegations became public a full and proper investigation ought to have been set up, with all the witnesses examined and represented by legal counsel, and with the forensic evidence examined by a variety of scientific experts, who could have been cross-examined and whose reports would have been made public.  Since this would have taken time – a year at least – arrangements of the sort now set up by the IOC should have been made in the meantime to ensure that there was no cheating by Russian athletes at Rio.  Given the scale of the allegations and the suspicion of state involvement in the doping, this would inevitably have involved barring Russian athletes already found to have cheated from competing in Rio, harsh though that is.  At the end of this process the investigation would have delivered a proper report – not like the deeply flawed report provided by McLaren – either confirming or refuting the allegations, and making specific recommendations to prevent the problem arising again.”

The IOC is obviously right to complain that it should not have been asked to make a decision on the basis of an incomplete report provided just 2 weeks before the Games in Rio were due to begin.  However, given his actions in preparing his report and the way he presented it, Professor McLaren is obviously the wrong person to prepare the full report IOC spokesman Mark Adams is referring to.

The open access article in The Australian shows the extent to which McLaren and WADA have been thrown onto the defensive.  It reports McLaren complaining that

“The focus has been completely lost and the discussion is not about the Russian labs and Sochi Olympic Games, which was under the direction of the IOC. But what is going on is a hunt for people supposed to be doping but that was never part of my work, although it is starting to (become) so. My reporting on the state-based system has turned into a pursuit of individual athletes.’’

I am at a total loss to understand how Professor McLaren thinks that a report supposedly about an alleged state-sponsored system of doping should not look into the evidence of doping on the part of individual athletes, when it is precisely those individual cases of doping which are the evidence that there was a state-sponsored system of doping in the first place.

Obviously there was insufficient time to look into each and every allegation of doping properly in the 57 days in which Professor McLaren’s investigation was conducted.  However that merely points to the fact that conducting a proper investigation within a timeframe of just 57 days was impossible.  Professor McLaren should have admitted as much and asked for more time to conduct his investigation properly, leaving it to WADA and the IOC to put in place proper arrangements to prevent possible cheating by Russian athletes at the Olympic Games in Rio in the meantime. However that is not what he did.   Instead he delivered an incomplete and defective report and demanded a blanket ban on the strength of it.

Frankly I cannot see in Professor McLaren’s words anything other than confirmation that that was his objective all along.  Judging from what IOC officials are reported to have told The Australian, it seems that is their opinion too.

Further confirmation that this was the objective is provided by the way WADA is now desperately trying to retreat from the way McLaren “implicated” individual athletes in his report.  In order to explain this away WADA’s chief executive Olivier Niggli is quoted by The Australian as providing what can only be called a twisted explanation of what happened.

“WADA chief executive Olivier Niggli said the confusion arose because sports officials had not understood what the word ‘’implicated’’ meant.  ‘’Professor McLaren gave each sport the list of the athletes who were implicated. That was the word used by the IOC; which athletes were appearing there in the report. Then we get to the confusing part. He gave the international federations everything he had, every name.’’ There was no further information about some names, yet the sports federations believed listing meant they were ‘’implicated’’ and they should withdraw the athletes and, following IOC guidelines, they should withdraw them from Olympics competition.”

That Professor McLaren (who is a lawyer) “implicated” athletes in a way that was not intended to cast suspicion on them strikes me as frankly absurd.  On the contrary it is now starting to look as if he presented his findings in such a way as to create the impression that there was more evidence of Russian athletes being involved in doping than was actually the case.

All this is of course grist to the mill for the lawyers in the court cases which the Russian athletes are now bringing.  Some of the comments on the thread to the article in which I discussed these court cases doubted that they would have much effect.  On the contrary it is precisely because these court cases are being brought that the IOC and WADA are now so publicly at odds with each other.  What one can see in these angry exchanges and recriminations are the frantic steps of the two sporting bodies as they try desperately to cover their positions in anticipation of the court cases that are now coming.  Moreover in any court case there is a legal duty of full disclosure which the Russian athletes can use to demand sight of all the correspondence (including telephone records and emails) which led to the decision to exclude them being made.  I expect their lawyers to advise them to use this right to the hilt.  This is beginning to look like a debacle.  As I have said before this affair is only at its start.

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This article was first published by Global Research in December 2009.

« Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Dutch, Belgian, Italian and German pilots remain ready to engage in nuclear war. »

« Nuclear forces based in Europe and committed to NATO provide an essential political and military link between the European and the North American members of the Alliance. The Alliance will therefore maintain adequate nuclear forces in Europe.”

“Although technically owned by the U.S., nuclear bombs stored at NATO bases are designed to be delivered by planes from the host country.”

« The Department of Defense, in coordination with the Department of State, should engage its appropriate counterparts among NATO Allies in reassessing and confirming the role of nuclear weapons in Alliance strategy and policy for the future. »

Is Italy capable of delivering a thermonuclear strike? Could the Belgians and the Dutch drop hydrogen bombs on enemy targets?…Germany’s air force couldn’t possibly be training to deliver bombs 13 times more powerful than the one that destroyed Hiroshima, could it?

The above is from the opening paragraph of a feature in Time magazine’s online edition of December 2, one entitled « What to Do About Europe’s Secret Nukes. »

In response to the rhetorical queries posed it adopts the deadly serious tone befitting the subject in stating, « It is Europe’s dirty secret that the list of nuclear-capable countries extends beyond those — Britain and France — who have built their own weapons. Nuclear bombs are stored on air-force bases in Italy, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands — and planes from each of those countries are capable of delivering them. »

The author of the article, Eben Harrell, who wrote an equally revealing piece for the same news site in June of 2008, cites the Federation of American Scientists as asserting that there are an estimated 200 American B61 thermonuclear gravity bombs stationed in the four NATO member states listed above. A fifth NATO nation that is home to the warheads, Turkey, is not dealt with in the news story. In the earlier Times article alluded to previously, author Harrell wrote that “The U.S. keeps an estimated 350 thermonuclear bombs in six NATO countries. » [1] They are three variations of the B61, « up to 10 [or 13] times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb » [2] – B61-3s, B61-4s and B61-10s – stationed on eight bases in Alliance states.

The writer reminded the magazine’s readers that « Under a NATO agreement struck during the Cold War, the bombs, which are technically owned by the U.S., can be transferred to the control of a host nation’s air force in times of conflict. Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Dutch, Belgian, Italian and German pilots remain ready to engage in nuclear war. » [3]

The B61 is the Pentagon’s mainstay hydrogen weapon, a « lightweight bomb [that can] be delivered by…Air Force, Navy and NATO planes at very high altitudes and at speeds above Mach 2. »

Also, it « can be dropped at high speeds from altitudes as low as 50 feet. As many as 22 different varieties of aircraft can carry the B61 externally or internally. This weapon can be dropped either by free-fall or as parachute-retarded; it can be detonated either by air burst or ground burst. » [4]

The warplanes capable of transporting and using the bomb include new generation U.S. stealth aircraft such as the B-2 bomber and the F-35 Lightning II (multirole Joint Strike Fighter), capable of penetrating air defenses and delivering both conventional and nuclear payloads.

The Pentagon’s Prompt Global Strike program, which « could encompass new generations of aircraft and armaments five times faster than anything in the current American arsenal, » including « the X-51 hypersonic cruise missile, which is designed to hit Mach 5 — roughly 3600 mph, » [5] could be configured for use in Europe also, as the U.S. possesses cruise missiles with nuclear warheads for deployment on planes and ships. But the warplanes mandated to deliver American nuclear weapons in Europe are those of its NATO allies, including German Tornados, variants of which were used in NATO’s 1999 air war against Yugoslavia and are currently deployed in Afghanistan.

There are assumed to be 130 U.S. nuclear warheads at the Ramstein and 20 at the Buechel airbases in Germany and 20 at the Kleine Brogel Air Base in Belgium. Additionally, there are reports of dozens more in Italy (at Aviano and Ghedi) and even more, the largest amount of American nuclear weapons outside the United States itself, in Turkey at the Incirlik airbase. [6]

Not only are the warheads stationed in NATO nations but are explicitly there as part of a sixty-year policy of the Alliance, in fact a major cornerstone of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. An article in this series written before the bloc’s sixtieth anniversary summit in France and Germany this past April, NATO’s Sixty Year Legacy: Threat Of Nuclear War In Europe [7], examined the inextricable link between the founding of NATO in 1949 and the deployment of U.S. nuclear weapons and delivery systems in Europe. One of the main purposes of founding the Alliance was exactly to allow for the basing and use of American nuclear arms on the continent.

Seven months after the creation of the bloc, the NATO Defense Doctrine of November 1949 called for insuring “the ability to carry out strategic bombing including the prompt delivery of the atomic bomb. This is primarily a US responsibility assisted as practicable by other nations.” [8]

The current NATO Handbook contains a section titled NATO’s Nuclear Forces in the New Security Environment which contains this excerpt:

« During the Cold War, NATO’s nuclear forces played a central role in the Alliance’s strategy of flexible response….[N]uclear weapons were integrated into the whole of NATO’s force structure, and the Alliance maintained a variety of targeting plans which could be executed at short notice. This role entailed high readiness levels and quick-reaction alert postures for significant parts of NATO’s nuclear forces.” [9]

At no time was the deployment and intended use of U.S. nuclear weapons in Europe part of a nuclear deterrence strategy. The former Soviet Union was portrayed as having a conventional arms superiority in Europe and U.S. and NATO doctrine called for the first use of nuclear bombs. The latter were based in several NATO states on the continent as part of what was called a « nuclear sharing » or « nuclear burden sharing » arrangement: Although the bombs stored in Europe were American and under the control of the Pentagon, war plans called for their being loaded onto fellow NATO nation’s bombers for use against the Soviet Union and its (non-nuclear) Eastern European allies. The USSR itself, incidentally, didn’t successfully test its first atomic bomb until four months after NATO was formed.

With the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, formed six years after NATO and in response to the inclusion of the Federal Republic of Germany in the bloc (and the U.S. moving nuclear weapons into the nation), and of the Soviet Union itself in 1991, the Pentagon withdrew the bulk of 7,000 warheads it had maintained in Europe, but still maintains hundreds of tactical nuclear bombs.

At the 1999 NATO fiftieth anniversary summit in Washington, D.C., during which the bloc was conducting its first war, the 78-day bombing campaign against Yugoslavia, and expanding to incorporate three former Warsaw Pact members (the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland), it also approved its new and still operative Strategic Concept which states in part:

« The supreme guarantee of the security of the Allies is provided by the strategic nuclear forces of the Alliance, particularly those of the United States; the independent nuclear forces of the United Kingdom and France, which have a deterrent role of their own, contribute to the overall deterrence and security of the Allies.

“A credible Alliance nuclear posture and the demonstration of Alliance solidarity…continue to require widespread participation by European Allies involved in collective defence planning in nuclear roles, in peacetime basing of nuclear forces on their territory and in command, control and consultation arrangements. Nuclear forces based in Europe and committed to NATO provide an essential political and military link between the European and the North American members of the Alliance. The Alliance will therefore maintain adequate nuclear forces in Europe.” [10]

The Time report of 2008 wrote of the ongoing policy that it is:

« A ‘burden-sharing’ agreement that has been at the heart of NATO military policy since its inception.

“Although technically owned by the U.S., nuclear bombs stored at NATO bases are designed to be delivered by planes from the host country.” [11]

It also discussed the Air Force Blue Ribbon Review of Nuclear Weapons Policies and Procedures released in February of 2008 which « recommended that American nuclear assets in Europe be consolidated, which analysts interpret as a recommendation to move the bombs to NATO bases under ‘U.S. wings,’ meaning American bases in Europe. » [12}

Both Time articles by Eben Harrell, that of last year and that of this month, emphasize that the basing of nuclear warheads on the territory of non-nuclear nations – and Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey are non-nuclear nations – is a gross violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty [NPT], whose first two Articles state, respectively:

« Each nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty undertakes not to transfer to any recipient whatsoever nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or control over such weapons or explosive devices directly, or indirectly; and not in any way to assist, encourage, or induce any non-nuclear-weapon State to manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, or control over such weapons or explosive devices. »

« Each non-nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty undertakes not to receive the transfer from any transferor whatsoever of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or of control over such weapons or explosive devices directly, or indirectly; not to manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices; and not to seek or receive any assistance in the manufacture of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. » [13]

The Time piece of December 2, then, points out that the continued presence of U.S. nuclear warheads in Europe is « more than an anachronism or historical oddity. They [the weapons] are a violation of the spirit of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)…. »

« Because ‘nuclear burden-sharing,’ as the dispersion of B61s in Europe is called, was set up before the NPT came into force, it is technically legal. But as signatories to the NPT, the four European countries and the U.S. have pledged ‘not to receive the transfer…of nuclear weapons or control over such weapons directly, or indirectly.’ That, of course, is precisely what the long-standing NATO arrangement entails. » [14]

The author also mentioned the report of the Secretary of Defense Task Force on Nuclear Weapons Management, chaired by former U.S. Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger, Phase I [15] of which was released in September and Phase II [16] in December of 2008. The second part of the report contains a section called Deterrence: The Special Case of NATO which states:

« The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) represents a special case for deterrence, both because of history and the presence of nuclear weapons….[T]he presence of U.S. nuclear weapons in Europe remains a pillar of NATO unity. The deployment of nuclear weapons in Europe is not a Service or regional combatant command issue — it is an Alliance issue. As long as NATO members rely on U.S. nuclear weapons for deterrence — and as long as they maintain their own dual-capable aircraft as part of that deterrence — no action should be taken to remove them without a thorough and deliberate process of consultation.

« The Department of Defense, in coordination with the Department of State, should engage its appropriate counterparts among NATO Allies in reassessing and confirming the role of nuclear weapons in Alliance strategy and policy for the future.

« The Department of Defense should ensure that the dual-capable F-35 remains on schedule. Further delays would result in increasing levels of political and strategic risk and reduced strategic options for both the United States and the Alliance. »

The F-35 is the Joint Strike Fighter multirole warplane discussed earlier, which its manufacturer Lockheed Martin boasts « Provides the United States and allied governments with an affordable, stealthy 5TH generation fighter for the 21st century. » [17]

Far from the end of the Cold War signaling the elimination of the danger of a nuclear catastrophe in Europe, in many ways matters are now even more precarious. NATO’s expansion over the past decade has now brought it to Russia’s borders. Five full member states (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Poland) and as many Partnership for Peace adjuncts (Azerbaijan, Finland, Georgia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine) directly adjoin Russian territory and for over five years NATO warplanes have conducted air patrols over the Baltic Sea region, a three minute flight from St. Petersburg. [18]

If launching the first unprovoked armed assault against a European nation since Hitler’s wars of 1939-1941 ten years ago and currently conducting the world’s longest and most large-scale war in South Asia were not reasons enough to demand the abolition of the world’s only military bloc, so-called global NATO, then the Alliance’s insistence on the right to station – and employ – nuclear weapons in Europe is certainly sufficient grounds for its consignment to the dark days of the Cold War and to oblivion.

Notes

1) Time, June 19, 2008
2) Ibid
3) Time, December 2, 2009
http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1943799,00.html?xid=rss-topstories
4) Global Security
http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/systems/b61.htm
5) Popular Mechanics, January 2007
6) Turkish Daily News, June 30, 2008
7) NATO’s Sixty Year Legacy: Threat Of Nuclear War In Europe
Stop NATO, March 31, 2009
http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/08/27/natos-sixty-year-legacy-threat-of-nuclear-war-in-europe
8) www.nato.int/docu/stratdoc/eng/intro.pdf
9) http://www.nato.int/docu/handbook/2001/hb0206.htm
10) NATO, April 24, 1999
http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/official_texts_27433.htm
11) Time, June 19, 2008
12) Ibid
13) http://www.un.org/events/npt2005/npttreaty.html
14) Time, December 2, 2009
15) http://www.defenselink.mil/pubs/Phase_I_Report_Sept_10.pdf
16) www.defenselink.mil/pubs/pdfs/PhaseIIReportFinal.pdf
17) Lockheed Martin
http://www.lockheedmartin.com/products/f35
18) Baltic Sea: Flash Point For NATO-Russia Conflict

Stop NATO, February 27, 2009
http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/08/27/baltic-sea-flash-point-for-nato-russia-conflict
Scandinavia And The Baltic Sea: NATO’s War Plans For The High North

Stop NATO, June 14, 2009
http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/08/31/scandinavia-and-the-baltic-sea-natos-war-plans-for-the-high-north

 

 

Riot police have fired tear gas to subdue protesters in Rio and prevent them from marching towards Maracana Stadium ahead of the Olympic Games opening. Hundreds of people are rallying to express anger at the interim government and costly sports event.

Police used tear gas and stun grenades to disperse several hundred people who had occupied a street near the stadium to protest interim government corruption and the billions spent on organizing the international competition.

The tear gas was deployed the neighborhood of Tijuca in the North Zone of Rio de Janeiro, near Afonso Pena subway station. That subway station is now temporarily closed “due to the protest,” the local municipality said in a tweet.

Afonso Pena Square became the final destination of the massive anti-corruption march that was held in the city earlier in the day.

Angry over corruption, supporters of Dilma Rousseff, the nation’s ousted president, gathered in front of the Copacabana Palace, where some athletes are staying for the Games. Earlier this year, awmakers in Brazil approved Rousseff’s impeachment process over accusations she hid a budget deficit to have a better chance at re-election in 2014.

Holding signs reading « Fora Temer, » and « Temer Out, » some 3,000 activists came out in support of Rousseff who believe that her removal from office was a « coup » organized by Michel Temer, Rousseff’s vice president, who is currently serving as Brazil’s interim president.

The crowd also spoke out against hosting the Olympics, claiming that he billions spent on the event only aided corruption in the country and only helped the elite. “No to the Olympics!” signs were visible among protesters.

According the a recent Oxford University study about the Olympic Games’ pricetag, just the sports related costs of the event will run to as much as $4.6 billion, approximately 51 percent over the initial budget. But the overall cost will amount to $12 billion, Reuters reported.

“At 156 percent in real terms, the Olympics have the highest average cost overrun of any type of mega-project,” the Oxford study found. “For a city and nation to decide to stage the Olympic Games is to decide to take on one of the most costly and financially most risky type of mega-project that exists, something that many cities and nations have learned to their peril.”

Brazil’s economy was booming when Rio was awarded the games in 2009, but the country is now in its worst recession since the 1930s, with the Brazilian Real losing a third of its value, gross domestic product declining, and inflation and unemployment skyrocketing.

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“In our age there is no such thing as ‘keeping out of politics.’ All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.” (“George Orwell” – Eric Arthur Blair, 1903-1950.)

The UK it seems, has joined the US in it’s authorities and government developing a collective form of acute paranoia. A mildly deviant act by any petty criminal or a soul with mental health problems is immediately labeled a potential terrorist act before investigations have even begun.

“We are fighting them over there so we don’t have to fight them over here” was the George W. Bush mantra. Anyone with half a brain was commenting after Afghanistan and Iraq that no American or British citizen would be safe anywhere on earth after the devastation their countries had wrought on nations which posed them not the slightest threat – mass murders, some would say genocides, based on illegalities and lies.

Not only have the actions of governments given rise to retaliation in the West, but governments’ own paranoia are threatening their own citizens.

For example in the UK, on 25th July, a situation arose which Orwell surely could not have devised in his gloomiest forbodings.

Faizah Shaheen, a psychotherapist working in the National Health Service in the UK’s northern city of Leeds, returning from her honeymoon in Turkey was apprehended and interrogated by police officers at Doncaster airport, under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act, which provides for police detaining without grounds, on suspicion of involvement in criminal activities, including terrorism.

Her crime? Reading a book.

The book in question is “Syria Speaks – Art and Culture from the Frontline” (1):

“Syria Speaks is a celebration of a people determined to reclaim their dignity, freedom and self-expression. It showcases the work of over fifty artists and writers who are challenging the culture of violence in Syria. Their literature, poems and songs, cartoons, political posters and photographs document and interpret the momentous changes that have shifted the frame of reality so drastically in Syria.”

“Syria Speaks”, published 2014 by Saqi Books was:

“supported by the Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development; CKU, the Danish Centre for Culture and Development, English PEN Promotes!; Arts Council England, the Arab British Centre and Reel Festivals.”

Glowing reviews appeared in publications including the Times Literary Supplement, the Independent, Independent on Sunday and the New York Review of Books.

Ms Shaheen was, it seems reported to the security services for travelling whilst being a Muslim and reading a book with “Syria” on the cover, by a Thompson Airways member of staff, who had spotted her carrying the book on her outbound flight two weeks earlier.

Whilst Turkey has been a staging post for wannabe “moderate” head choppers travelling from the UK to Syria it is hardly likely even they would carry a book advertising the fact and anyone who would – especially such a book – simply interested in the culture of part of the “Cradle of Civilization.”

Ironically Shaheen’s work includes working with the young with mental health problems to prevent radicalization. She also has a BA (Hons) in Fine Arts. She said of the incident: “I do question if … it would be different if it was someone who wasn’t Muslim.” Quite.

Her treatment also begs another question, Syria has become the fourteenth majority Muslim country the US has bombed since 1980 – usually enjoined by the UK, so how have Muslims become the suspects and not the victims?

Glen Greenwald (2) writes:

“Let’s tick them off: Iran (1980, 1987-1988), Libya (1981, 1986, 1989, 2011), Lebanon (1983), Kuwait (1991), Iraq (1991-2011, 2014-), Somalia (1992-1993, 2007-), Bosnia (1995), Saudi Arabia (1991, 1996), Afghanistan (1998, 2001-), Sudan (1998), Kosovo (1999), Yemen (2000, 2002-) Pakistan (2004-) and now Syria. Whew.”

Yemen of course has been bombed again since 2015 by Saudi Arabia assisted by US and UK advisers – and US and UK bombs.

Zaher Omareen, co-author of Syria Speaks told the Guardian:

“Judging individuals and even taking measures against them based on their race, their looks, their language, or the printed words they carry is unacceptable and unjustifiable. It was enough to carry a book which includes the word ‘Syria’ in its title for its owner to be under suspicion as a potential terrorist. I would like to remind the people and the government that Syria must not be reduced to the politicised and power-constructed soundbites carrying simplistic messages of violence and horror.” (3)

On Ms Shaheen’s Facebook page, a friend wrote of the reports of the incident:

“I cannot believe what I’m reading.

“Faizah is one of the most respectable people I have ever met and a genuinely amazing person. She has supported many campaigns I’ve been on and stood beside me and my friends to challenge racism, Islamaphobia, hate, detention of children and so much more.

“She was in Turkey celebrating her honeymoon when the coup attempt happened and still tried her best to enjoy her first moments with her husband.

“Now to be subjected to this bullshit … Honestly, words now fail me.”

Faizah Shaheen wrote:

“The flight services need a better procedure as I am left in tears returning from my honeymoon. I will be making an official complaint as this is simply not acceptable!

“The book in question: ‘A wise, courageous, imaginative, and beautiful response to all that is ugly in human behaviour’ – The ugly human behaviour which I experienced today.” She is quoting multiple Award winning writer, A.L. Kennedy’s review of “Syria Speaks.” Kennedy concludes: “The people shown living, dreaming and speaking here are far more than victims and only silent if we refuse to hear them.”

It seems it is not refusing to hear them that is the problem, but being allowed to hear them without being apprehended.

Will the thought police soon come banging on the door of anyone with a collection of books on the Middle East and majority Muslim countries, owning volumes of the haunting poems of Mahmud Darwish, Samih al-Qasim, Ali Ahmed Said and so many others? Or is it only Muslims who are targeted for their books and their liberty?

It was Ali Ahmed Said who wrote a requiem for the last century, “A Mirror for the Twentieth Century”:

A coffin bearing the face of a boy
A book
Written on the belly of a crow
A wild beast hidden in a flower

A rock
Breathing with the lungs of a lunatic:

This is it
This is the Twentieth Century.

It seems it is also the Twenty First Century.

It was George Orwell who wrote: “If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.”

Notes:

1.    http://www.saqibooks.co.uk/book/syria-speaks/

2.    https://theintercept.com/2014/11/06/many-countries-islamic-world-u-s-bombed-occupied-since-1980/

3.    https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/aug/04/british-woman-held-after-being-seen-reading-book-about-syria-on-plane

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Making the World over in America’s Image

août 5th, 2016 by John Kozy

The paradigms a person uses (or assumes) while thinking about anything determines the conclusions reached. The choice of  an incorrect paradigm usually renders the thought process invalid.

Free trade was practiced long before restricted trade. Restrictions were placed on trade to prevent the damage done to domestic producers by allowing free trade with foreign producers. The elimination of these restrictions on free trade has reintroduced the damage the restrictions had been introduced to prevent. A careful examination of paradigms would have avoided this malign consequence.

The basic paradigm of free trade is this: Country A produces products for domestic consumption, but it produces more than the nation can consume. The excess production is sent to country B where no similar product is produced to be sold there. Country B does the same thing with a different product. Both nations are enriched by the trade. The excess production is gainfully sold and each nation gets access to a product it did not itself produce. The earliest example of such trade is European trade with China. European made metal utensils were sent to China to be traded for silk cloth. Metal utensils for the Chinese, silk cloth for the Europeans–win win.

Trade carried on in accordance with this paradigm enriches both trading partners. When this paradigm is altered, however, malign consequences to the nations involved always eventually occur. If the Chinese had made metal utensils similar to those made by Italians, the trade between Italy and China would have  resulted in competition that would have injured the producers in at least one of the countries unless the market for the products were increased enough to accommodate the additional supply. Such an increase in the market is impossible to insure. So to prevent the economic damage from such competition, restrictions (tariffs) on trade were introduced.

Free trade does not require international treaties. Free trade is the natural way of trading internationally. The current international attempt to define trade by means of trade agreements is a perversion of the basic idea and should be examined with some skepticism.

The basic paradigm cannot be used to explain what is happening today. Consider the paradigm currently popular with American corporations and economists: The manufacturer of some domestically consumed product in  county A off shores its manufacturing to country B and then ships the manufactured products back to country A to be sold. Economists claim that the benefit the people of country A receive from this practice is lower priced products, but nothing in this paradigm compels the manufacturer to lower his prices. The claim lacks any justification whatsoever. In fact, there is nothing in the paradigm to keep the manufacturer from raising prices. The price of no product is solely determined by where it is manufactured. After all, a free market is unregulated!

Furthermore suppose country A, for instance, is like Japan where kimonos and chop sticks are popular, traditional goods. Say the manufacturers of these products decide to off shore their manufacturing to the United States where kimonos and chop sticks are not traditionally consumed. Although this procedure is described as trade, nothing is traded. The cultures of neither Japan nor the United States are enriched. As a matter of fact, both economies are damaged. Japan gains nothing but loses the manufacturing jobs and all America gains is a few marginal, low-wage jobs.

Such is the situation American manufacturers have brought about by off shoring manufacturing. Kimonos and chop sticks do not become American products merely because they are manufactured in America. Kimonos and chop sticks are Japanese no matter where they are manufactured. And a hamburger does not become a Japanese product by being made in Japan. Hungarian Goulash is not American beef stew. An American product made in a foreign nation is still an American product. Bringing it back to America to sell doesn’t make it a foreign import.

This paradigm is a total inversion of the basic paradigm that has governed international trade for thousands of years. Not only is it not a paradigm of international trade, it is not a paradigm of any kind of trade. It is merely a manufacturing paradigm.

But what if the products involved are generally consumed in both cultures?

Consider this paradigm: Germans decide to try to increase the number of German made automobiles sold in America. The competition between German and American auto manufacturers is fierce. Either the imported autos result in an increase in the number of autos sold in America or the Germans fail to increase their share of the American market or sales of American made autos decline. No other alternatives exists.

Now economists assume that the number of auto sold increases. They argue that the market is not zero summed. But they forget that it is also not infinitely expandable. Again, nothing in the paradigm compels an increase in the number of autos sold. Increase in supply does not necessarily cause a corresponding increase in demand. And when this paradigm is generalized to include more and more products, the limit to market increases will be reached for more and more products. The consequence is mass employee dislocations, exactly what has happened in America. Every country in the world cannot continually increase the production of products with the intention of selling elsewhere what cannot be consumed domestically. Americans cannot be expected to buy Japan’s excess production of kimonos and chop sticks! Likewise, the rest of the world cannot be expected to buy whatever Americans want to sell. So the claim that trade agreements will result in a greater number of American exports is not true perforce. It might not lead to any increase in exports at all. That is the fallacy in Ricardo’s sketches of comparative advantage which no economist seems to have recognized. Ricardo’s example, if put to a test, might have resulted in the production of more and cheaper wine and cloth, but the wine produced might not have been potable. Somehow or other economists fail to realize that the number of items of a kind sold is not solely dependent on price. The sale of wine also depends upon its flavor.

Nations do not negotiate treaties to promote the interests of other nations. They negotiate treaties to promote their own interests. NAFTA was not negotiated to promote the interests of Mexico. But it has not promoted the interests of the United States either. So why does the United States government persist in negotiating « free trade » agreements? Perhaps the purpose of such agreements is not trade. Governments lie!

Suppose Americans started wearing kimonos and eating with chop sticks. Suppose, too, that they started eating whale meat and rice instead of beef steak and potatoes. Suppose they started viewing sumo wrestling instead of football. You get the idea. The more Japanese products Americans adopt, the more America looks like Japan. There is, in fact, a principle here. The more one culture adopts from another, the more the cultures become alike. Specifically, the more products America exports to the rest of the world, the more the rest of the world looks like America. The free trade movement is a tool which is exactly like regime change, When America removes a native government and replaces it with an American friendly one, it is trying to make the world over in America’s image. That’s exactly what « free trade » is all about. Regime change and free trade are hegemonic instruments. And neither is working to America’s advantage.

America began negotiating so called « free trade » agreements in the 1980s. At the present time. such agreements exist with twenty other nations. And the American economy has boomed since then, hasn’t it?

Well no, it hasn’t. Since then wages in America have stagnated and the nation has experienced the worst financial downturn since the Great Depression. So much for the success of « free trade. » Astute people measure the success of policies by their results. America measures success by failures.

Regime change has also failed. All it has accomplished is the creation of conflict. But the failure of regime change is already well known.

Think of what the world will be like if it were made over in America’s image. Misery would abound! Thoughtful people everywhere already know of this impending calamity. America is disliked throughout the world for what it is trying to do, not for any other reason.

The world’s peoples do not want to abandon their cultures. The people of India, even after more than a century of colonization, do not want to be Englishmen. As de Gaulle recognized, the people of Algeria did  not want to be Frenchmen and do not want to today after decades of living in France. Despite the American myth that everyone wants to be an American, unfortunately they really don’t, and they don’t want many of America’s products either.

John Kozy is a retired professor of philosophy and logic who writes on social, political, and economic issues. After serving in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, he spent 20 years as a university professor and another 20 years working as a writer. He has published a textbook in formal logic commercially, in academic journals and a small number of commercial magazines, and has written a number of guest editorials for newspapers. His on-line pieces can be found on http://www.jkozy.com/ and he can be emailed from that site’s homepage.

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Sélection d’articles : 25 juillet au 5 août 2016

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Vers des dictatures maquillées en « démocraties ». Par Prof. Jules Dufour, 25 juillet 2016

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Belgique, …France. Haro sur le juge d’instruction. Par Jean-Claude Paye, 27 juillet 2016.

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Le Canada a perdu toute crédibilité internationale Par Oscar Fortin, 27 juillet 2016.

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L’attentat de Nice rappelle l’Opération Gladio Par Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, 27 juillet 2016

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La Turquie n’a pas sa place au sein de l’Union européenne!Par Dominique Arias, 27 juillet 2016

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Le Canada ira en guerre en Afrique Par Roger Jordan, 27 juillet 2016

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Grexit, Brexit, Turxit… Suivant! La Turquie claque la porte, Mogherini et Stoltenberg la prennent en pleine figure  Par Dominique Arias, 28 juillet 2016

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Le peuple syrien ne permettra pas de se laisser transformer en une autre copie de ce qui est arrivé en Libye… Par Dr. Bachar al-Jaafari, 28 juillet 2016

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Les jeux olympiques du XXie siecle. La guerre par d’autres moyens. Par Chems Eddine Chitour, 28 juillet 2016

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Les « nouveaux managers » de Washington en Amérique Latine : oligarques, banquiers et margoulins Par Prof. James Petras, 28 juillet 2016

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Alep: « STOP à la manipulation »Par Nabil Antaki, 31 juillet 2016

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Tribunal Russell pour le Brésil. Le coup d’Etat condamné par le Tribunal international pour la Démocratie au Brésil. Par Intal, 01 août 2016

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Libye, le grand partage Par Manlio Dinucci, 03 août 2016

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Le virus Zika ne provoque pas de malformations congénitales – Mais les produits utilisés pour le combattre, probablement! Par Moon of Alabama, 03 août 2016

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Poursuite civile contre George W. Bush et coll. en Californie : le département de la Justice bloque le dépôt du rapport Chilcot Par Inder Comar, 05 août 2016

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Le Canada s’active sur le marché mondial de l’armement et sur les théâtres de guerre Par Prof. Jules Dufour, 05 août 2016

  • Posted in Francais @fr
  • Commentaires fermés sur Zica, manipulation médiatique, justice, crimes de guerre et le grand partage de la Libye…

« Les Arabes ont fait faire un grand pas à la lutte anti-pollution en installant leurs puits de pétrole dans le désert. » 

Jean Théodore Delacour (Scientifique)

« Laissez moi vous dire ce que nous, Israeliens, avons contre Moïse. Il nous a menés pendant 40 ans à travers le désert pour finalement nous installer dans le seul coin du Moyen Orient où il n’y a pas une goutte de pétrole ».

Golda Meir Premier ministre israélien

 

Le 27 octobre 1962 disparaissait Enrico Matteï, le président de la compagnie pétrolière italienne ENI. Le 20 octobre 2014 disparaissait le patron de la compagnie pétrolière Total.

Il y a une semaine s’ouvrait en Russie le procès des individus censés être responsables de l’accident, en l’occurrence le conducteur du chasse-neige. Une instruction rapide et un verdict rapide: c’est un accident du fait que le conducteur était soûl, qu’il a reconnu que c’était lui qui circulait avec son chasse-neige sur la piste VIP de l’aéroport de Moscou, alors qu’il n’y avait pas de neige (il pleuvait) et qu’il s’était perdu du fait qu’il y avait du brouillard. Un accident conclut le jury, personne n’y trouve à redire en France, ni Total qui ne s’est pas porté partie civile ni les familles des trois autres disparus. Circulez y a rien à voir! Peut-être qu’il y a des choses à voir? Une enquête à la hussarde et un mutisme craintif des deux pays

Qui est Christophe de Margerie?

Christophe de Margerie, lit-on sur l’encyclopédie Wikipédia, né le 6 août 1951 à Mareuil-sur-Lay en Vendée et mort le 20 octobre 2014 à Moscou, est un cadre dirigeant français. Il travaille durant toute sa carrière au sein du groupe Total, dont il est le directeur général à partir de 2007, puis le président-directeur général à partir de 2010. (…) En 2006, dans le volet français de l’affaire «Pétrole contre nourriture», De Margerie est mis en examen le 19 octobre pour complicité d’abus de biens sociaux et complicité de corruption d’agents publics étrangers. Le tribunal correctionnel de Paris le relaxe le 8 juillet 2013. Christophe de Margerie défendait le principe de l’utilisation de la fracturation hydraulique pour l’exploration des gaz de schiste dans le Sud de la France.

«Peu après sa nomination, il passe plus de 24 heures en garde-à-vue, dans le cadre d’une affaire de corruption avec l’Iran. Il avait aussi été mis en cause dans le scandale de pots-de-vin et de surfacturations mis en place par le régime de Saddam Hussein pour contourner le programme onusien «pétrole contre nourriture». Le 8 juillet 2013 un jugement spectaculaire: tous les prévenus sont relaxés (…) Sous l’égide de celui qui a su imposer Total dans un univers dominé par les Etats-Unis, Total avait accéléré ces dernières années ses investissements dans l’exploration, pour remplir des objectifs ambitieux de croissance de sa production de pétrole. En 2013, Total était la première entreprise française et la onzième du monde en termes de chiffre d’affaires, générant quelque 288,8 milliards de dollars et un bénéfice de 11,2 milliards de dollars. Il était proche de Vladimir Poutine» (1),

Total et les ONG: pas d’état d’âme

Pour de Margerie «La mission de Total n’est pas de restaurer la démocratie dans le monde. Ce n’est pas notre métier. Total n’est ni un outil politique ni une ONG.» Cette phrase, prononcée par le défunt P-DG de Total, Christophe de Margerie, à propos des activités de la multinationale en Birmanie, résume à elle seule la relation conflictuelle de l’entreprise française avec les Organisations non gouvernementales. «Il est reproché à Total d’avoir eu connaissance de l’infraction de travail forcé, […] d’en avoir profité directement, faisant de Total un véritable auteur de l’infraction de séquestration», précise l’ONG Sherpa.» (2)

Total : Les zones d’ombre

Pour Muriel Boselli, journaliste indépendante spécialiste du secteur de l’énergie, auteur de L’Énigme Margerie.

«Les autorités russes ont décrété qu’il s’agissait d’un accident, quelques heures après le drame (…) On était dans un contexte très particulier de sanctions économiques à l’encontre de la Russie. Avec un Christophe de Margerie qui était fermement opposé à ces sanctions. Le groupe a de gros intérêts en Russie. La Russie va devenir le premier fournisseur d’hydrocarbures pour Total d’ici à 2020. Je ne peux pas vous dire que je suis convaincu par la thèse de l’assassinat, ni par celle de l’accident. Il manque trop d’éléments pour se faire une opinion. C’est justement ça qui me trouble.»(3)

Le pétrole premier responsable du malheur des peuples

Il faut d’abord dire que la compagnie Total a une généalogie singulière son ancêtre est la Compagnie française des pétroles créé  en en Pour rappel

« L’une des actions de modernisation entreprise par la Sublime Porte , écrit l’historien Henry Laurens, fut le chemin de fer Berlin-Bagdad (Bagdadbahn), une voie ferrée de 1600 km de long, construite entre 1903 et 1940 dans l’Empire ottoman pour assurer la liaison entre Konya (Turquie actuelle) et Bagdad (Irak actuel). (…) L’aspect de prestige n’est pas à négliger puisque l’empereur Guillaume II s’implique personnellement dans le projet (…) La politique allemande vient ici contrecarrer les intérêts français et surtout britanniques. Le chemin de fer Berlin-Bagdad et les missions militaires allemandes sont deux aspects de la liaison de plus en plus étroite entre l’Empire ottoman et les Empires centraux, qui devait les conduire ensemble vers la Première Guerre mondiale. (…)En 1912, la Deutsche Bank acquiert une part de 23,75% dans la Turkish Petroleum Company, société à capitaux britanniques et néerlandais Après la Première Guerre mondiale, la Deutsche Bank devra céder sa part de la Turkish Petroleum Company à la Compagnie française des pétroles.» (4)

Justement le pétrole sera le facteur structurel de toute la politique des puissances de l’époque, l’Angleterre et la France. C’est Clemenceau président du Conseil  qui donna la juste mesure de l’importance du pétrole dans la guerre : «Il faut que la France combattante, à l’heure du suprême choc germanique, possède l’essence aussi nécessaire que le sang… une goutte de pétrole vaut une goutte de sang.» (4)

Après les accords de Sykes Picot, on sait que les Etats Unis ne furent pas satisfaits. Du fait que la première guerre mondiale a été gagnée grâce à eux, ils demandèrent leurs parts au Moyen Orient, Devant les atermoiements  des anciennes puissances définitivement sur le déclin, devant la défaite de l’Allemagne ; le rouleau compresseur américain a commencé à produire ses effets. La cible ? L’Arabie saoudite et le coup de génie  fut de s’allier aux Saoudiens en leur promettant la sécurité politique contre la sécurité des approvisionnements américains à un prix fixé de fait par les compagnies américaines et les deux européennes fonctionnaient en  cartel – les fameuses sept sœurs, le sette sorele- d’où étaient exclus l’ENI et la CFP qui deviendra après bien des opa la compagne Total dont le dernier avatar fut Elf avec les scandales qui vont avec…

Ce cartel pris son essor après les accords d’Acchnachary dits de la ligne rouge. Une compagnie pétrolière mixte arabo-américaine fut créée ce sera la fameuse Aramco . La concession de cette compagnie couvrait et couvre toujours pratiquement tout le territoire saoudien .

Enrico Matteï : Un leader charismatique

 «Enrico Mattei, né en Italie, à Acqualagna, 1906, fut militant dans la Résistance italienne, se révélant un homme courageux, véritable meneur d’hommes. Il est nommé commissaire pour la liquidation de l’Agip dans l’immédiat après-guerre, il réussit à convaincre le gouvernement de l’époque de renoncer à liquider l’entreprise pétrolière italienne et d’investir dans un cartel public, l’ENI, qui s’occuperait de garantir à l’Italie les approvisionnements en gaz et en pétrole dont elle avait besoin pour soutenir son envolée économique. La politique autonome de l’ENI s’est adressée surtout aux pays du Proche et du Moyen-Orient et d’ Afrique du Nord. L’approche non colonialiste de Mattei envers les pays producteurs de pétrole, ses méthodes élémentaires et simples dans les négociations économiques ainsi que sa politique de formation professionnelle des équipes de techniciens ont déterminé le succès international de l’ENI.» (6)

«La toile de fond de cette histoire (la mort de Mattei), aussi noire que le pétrole, est le cartel des sept grandes compagnies pétrolières anglo-saxonnes – surnommées avec mépris par Mattei «Le sette sorele» «les sept soeurs» – British Petroleum, Gulf, Texaco, Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron, Exxon et Mobil. Celles-ci tenaient d’une main de fer les ressources énergétiques au Moyen-Orient. Or, Enrico Mattei, fondateur charismatique de la firme pétrolière italienne ENI, est convaincu que l’avenir de l’Italie de l’après-Seconde Guerre mondiale réside dans une industrialisation fondée sur une énergie bon marché. Si les réserves pétrolières de l’Italie sont limitées, Mattei est persuadé qu’il est possible d’aller chercher le pétrole hors de ses frontières à condition de nouer avec les pays producteurs des relations débarrassées de tout relent colonialiste. (…), il se proposait d’accompagner l’essor économique des pays en les associant, par un transfert progressif de technologie, à la mise en valeur de leurs sources d’énergie. «L’ENI c’est Mattei, et Mattei c’est l’ENI. Ses ambitions semblent illimitées», s’inquiétait Clare Booth Luce, ambassadrice des États-Unis à Rome dans une note confidentielle de 1955.»(6)

«L’ENI, poursuit Karel Vereycken (…) signe en 1957 un accord historique avec l’Iran, laissant pour la première fois trois quarts des profits au pays producteur et rompant avec le traditionnel fifty-fifty des «sept soeurs». Dans le monde de l’énergie et des relations internationales, cet accord fait l’effet d’une bombe. Les contrats innovent sur un point essentiel: désormais le pays producteur n’est plus un simple rentier de ses richesses, mais devient un acteur industriel associé à la mise en valeur des hydrocarbures extraits de son sol. En permettant aux pays producteurs de se transformer en industriels, Mattei s’attaque aux racines économiques du néocolonialisme. Cela lui vaut d’établir des relations de confiance avec les dirigeants des pays arabes. Il apporte aussi son soutien durant la guerre d’Algérie au FLN. La France et les États-Unis ne lui pardonneront pas ces multiples affronts. Le «révolutionnaire» Mattei devient l’homme à abattre. (…) il franchit la ligne rouge: le rideau de fer séparant les blocs de l’Ouest et de l’Est. En 1960, il négocie avec le ministre soviétique des Affaires étrangères, Andreï Gromyko, un accord selon lequel l’Urss fournira 12 millions de tonnes de pétrole à un prix inférieur de 40% à celui pratiqué par les entreprises internationales. En échange, l’ENI s’engage à fournir des équipements, notamment des tuyaux pour ses oléoducs Même si ce n’est pas le premier accord du genre, celui-ci fait scandale.» (6).

La disparition  d’Enrico Matteï patron de l’ENI

Naturellement, les Américains consolidèrent leur emprise et toute la  géopolitique américaine sent le pétrole et les nations qui ne l’ont pas compris  le paieront à leur dépens.  L’invasion de l’Irak par deux fois, l’éclatement de la Yougoslavie ( avec la création ex nihilo du Kossovo) où se trouve la plus grande base américaine en Europe qui permet d’avoir un regard sur ce qui se passe en Europe , l’Afghanistan , le chaos libyen et la Syrie qui ne veut  pas mourir c’est encore et toujours le pétrole. Le feuilleton turc s’est peut être le début d’une affaire pétrolière.

Il vient que les nations européennes exception faite du Royaume Uni se battent pour leur approvisionnement pétrolier  par leur compagnie interposée Il y a un parallèle avec Enrico Mattei, le patron de la compagnie pétrolière ENI, mort en 1962 dans le crash de son avion lors d’un atterrissage à Milan… Comme Christophe de Margerie, Enrico  avait décidé de faire du business où bon lui semblait, en se fichant de l’hégémonie des Américains dans le secteur pétrolier.  Il était l’interlocuteur des chefs d’Etat du tiers monde qui le recevaient avec les honneurs dus justement à un chef d’Etat

La politique tout azimut de Mattei faisait scandale aux Etats ! Comment une  compagnie insignifiante  peut elle venir concurrencer l’ordre établi par l’hyper-puissance américaine qui était alors au zénith ? 50 % de la richesse mondiale était détenus par les Etats Unis !  « Le président John Fitzgerald Kennedy et les dirigeants d’Exxon ont un accord à lui [Matteï ndR] proposer. La proposition est simple: en échange de l’engagement de Mattei de ne plus traiter avec les Soviétiques, la compagnie américaine fournira à l’Italie tout le pétrole souhaité à un prix concurrentiel. Il meurt le 27 octobre 1962 dans les mêmes circonstances que de Margerie (…) » (5)

On l’aura compris sa mort il l’a  décidé par son refus. Ce n’est que 35 ans plus tard que la vérité éclate. Le 20 novembre 1997, le parquet de Pavie en Lombardie annonce officiellement qu’une bombe a bien été placée dans le bimoteur Morane-Saulnier qui, en provenance de la Sicile, a explosé en vol entre Milan et Pavie. C’est Tommaso Buscetta, le plus célèbre des repentis de la mafia sicilienne, qui donna un témoignage décisif dans l’affaire Mattei: la mafia américaine aurait demandé à la «maison-mère» sicilienne de faire disparaître ce grand patron qui dérangeait les intérêts des majors américaines.» (6)

Karel Vereycken  voit à son tour  une analogie avec la mort de Matteï coupable de s’être mis à dos les Etats-Unis dans le business du pétrole où tous les coups sont permis: «Sans prétendre disposer de preuves formelles et tangibles que De Margerie ait été effectivement liquidé par des intérêts anglo-américains, la journaliste Muriel Boselli pose les bonnes questions en consacrant un chapitre entier à l’affaire Mattei, le patron de la firme pétrolière italienne ENI mort dans un crash d’avion en 1962, pour démontrer que cette hypothèse n’a rien d’absurde.»

 «Les deux hommes se ressemblent dans leurs personnalités et leurs visions. Ils sont sûrs de leur bon droit de faire des affaires où bon leur semble, en n’hésitant pas, si nécessaire, à marcher sur les plates-bandes des États-Unis, comme au Moyen-Orient, et à critiquer ouvertement la politique étrangère de la superpuissance. Ils sont tous deux dotés d’une assurance hors du commun avec un goût prononcé pour le risque. Si l’Italien est d’origine sociale modeste et le Français issu de la haute société, les deux iconoclastes sont animés par la revanche. Leur moteur n’est pas l’argent. Mattei est porté par le désir de favoriser l’indépendance énergétique de son pays et Margerie par son dévouement à toute épreuve pour Total. Enrico Mattei n’hésitait pas à négocier des contrats avec l’URSS en pleine Guerre froide. Christophe de Margerie, de son côté, luttait publiquement contre les sanctions économiques imposées par l’Occident à la Russie en pleine crise ukrainienne, se faisant de nombreux ennemis au passage. Officiellement, le crash de l’avion de Mattei est attribué au mauvais temps. Mais trente-cinq ans après l’accident, des repentis de la mafia sicilienne, ont avoué avoir placé une bombe dans l’avion à la demande de la pègre américaine, elle-même aux ordres de la CIA et du FBI. À ce jour, les commanditaires de l’attentat ne sont toujours pas connus.» (6)

Pour Richard Hir rédacteur d’une contribution en ce sens, les Etats-Unis ne seraient pas étrangers à cette mort.

«Dans mes deux articles précédents, écrit-il ‘Un accident bizarre qui en rappelle un autre » et ‘Un embarras Total », j’ai souligné les ressemblances entre les circonstances de la disparition d’Enrico Mattei, le P-DG de la firme pétrolière nationale italienne ENI au début des années 1960, et celle de Christophe de Margerie, le P-DG de Total, survenue il y a un peu plus d’un mois à l’aéroport Vnoukovo de Moscou. J’ai également démontré que les États-Unis étaient à l’origine de la première, et qu’il existait d’excellentes raisons de croire qu’ils étaient aussi à l’origine de la seconde. En effet, autant Mattei que de Margerie constituaient des menaces claires à leurs intérêts pétroliers et financiers, en plus de défier ouvertement leur hégémonie mondiale, et la menace posée par De Margerie était sans doute encore beaucoup plus existentielle que celle qu’avait posée Mattei, (..) En effet, de Margerie était le P-DG de Total, seule entreprise non américaine avec BP. Très tôt, elle a été présente au Moyen-Orient, notamment en Irak, en Afrique du Nord, et en Afrique équatoriale. Ainsi, on apprenait encore ces derniers jours que Total avait accepté de verser 400 millions $ US en guise de pénalité pour avoir enfreint l’embargo des États-Unis contre l’Iran au début des années 2000, au détriment de l’américaine Conoco.» (5)

Enrico Mattei et l’Algérie

Enrico Matteï fut de ceux qui avaient une proximité avec la Révolution: «Quelques jours avant une visite d’amitié et de travail en Algérie, depuis peu indépendante, pour laquelle il avait activement milité, Enrico Mattei meurt. Mario Pirani, journaliste et écrivain, que Mattei lui-même, en 1961, avait nommé responsable d’une sorte d’Observatoire italien composé d’une équipe de techniciens de l’ENI est envoyé sous couverture à Tunis pour prêter assistance au gouvernement algérien en exil, et pour l’aider à dessiner les scénarios énergétiques futurs de l’Algérie indépendante » (7).

« Le témoignage de Pirani, recueilli par la soussignée sous forme d’interview filmée chez lui à Rome, a été diffusé pendant le colloque qui s’est tenue à Alger. C’est un document fondamental sur l’apport technique de Mattei et de son personnel en vue des négociations d’Evian. Mario Pirani, en sa qualité d’«ambassadeur de la République de Metanopoli» – c’est ainsi qu’on l’appelait alors – raconte ses rencontres et ses pourparlers avec les protagonistes politiques européens et maghrébins de l’époque.» (7).

On dit que les services secrets français et même l’OAS auraient été les instigateurs de l’accident. En définitive, mis à part les circonstances de leur mort et leur résilience à se battre il y a des années lumière entre l’action de de Margerie qui consistait à imposer Total  pour enrichir les riches  comem ceux du Cac 40 et le combat de Matteï qui non seulement a pu imposer l’ENI dans un contexte autrement plus dur, du fait de puissance des sept sœurs et de l’hégémonie totale américaine mais aussi par ses convictions tiers mondistes –son fameux fifty-fifty– qui ont fait qu’il voulait participer au développement de l’industrie pétrolière  algérienne qui peinait à sortir de l’hégémonie de la CFP (Total actuel) et de la SN Repal deux compagnies français qui pensaient et pensent toujours- nostalgie de l’empire aidant-  que l’Algérie est  et doit demeurer leur chasse gardée. Les nationalisations de 1971 ont permis à l’Algérie de compléter son indépendance économique. Ce que nous avons fait de la manne du pétrolière en le gaspillant d’une façon inconsidérée à telle enseigne que dans l’Algérie de 2016, on se tient le ventre chaque fois que le baril du pétrole yoyote est une autre histoire , c’est celle du Dutch disease syndrome hollandais dans toute son horreur.

A quand une transition énergétique en pente douce vers le Développement Humain Durable qui fait son miel de l’intelligence  pour pouvoir avoir  une chance  de survivre dans un monde où comme  le dit si bien Nietzsche, « périssent les faibles et les ratés »?

L’Algérie du million de martyr mérite un meilleur sort !

Professeur Chems Eddine Chitour

Ecole Polytechnique enp-edi.dz

 

1.http://www.huffingtonpost.fr/2014/10/21/christophe-de-margerie-patron-france-total_n_6019242.html

2.http://tempsreel.nouvelobs.com/planete/20141022.OBS2846/mort-de-margerie-total-la-bete-noire-des-ong.html

http://www.ouestfrance.fr/europe/france/les-zones-dombre-de-laffaire-de-margerie-4391533

4. Le Bagdad Bahn: Encyclopédie Wikipédia

5.https://www.monde-diplomatique.fr/2003/04/LAURENS/10102

6. https://blogs.mediapart.fr/danyves/blog/011214/affaire-de-margerie-3eme-partie-un-message-des-etats-unis-la-france-la-maniere-du-parrain

7.http://www.solidariteetprogres.org/karel-vereycken.htmlhttp://www.solidariteetprogres.org/actualites-001/la-mort-de-christophe-de-margerie.html

8.http://baldi.diplomacy.edu/diplo/texts/cantini_Mattei_FR.pdf

 

Article de référence :

http://www.lexpressiondz.com/chroniques/analyses_du_professeur_chitour /247044-le-petrole-encore-et-toujours.html

 

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Pendant l’émission radio du dimanche d’Aaron Klein, Aaron Klein Investigative Radio, un lanceur d’alerte contre le gouvernement américain, William Binney, a mis son grain de sel dans l’histoire du piratage des courriels de la DNC [le Comité national démocrate, NdT] en déclarant que le serveur du Comité national démocrate n’a pas été piraté par la Russie, mais par un employé mécontent du renseignement américain.

La motivation du pirate… Son inquiétude face au mépris de Hillary Clinton pour les secrets de sécurité nationale, quand elle a utilisé son courriel personnel [pour envoyer des informations classifiées, NdT] et a constamment menti à ce sujet.

Binney ne faisait que commencer avec des révélations dont nous sommes sûrs qu’aucun média de masse n’osera les couvrir. Le conte Poutine l’a fait marche si bien pour endormir les moutons.

Binney a également indiqué que la NSA possédait tous les e-mails supprimés de Clinton, et que le FBI pourrait y avoir accès s’il le souhaitait. Trump n’a pas besoin de demander aux Russes pour obtenir ces courriels, il peut tout simplement demander au FBI ou à la NSA de les lui remettre.

Breitbart rapporte ensuite

Le témoignage de Binney face au Comité judiciaire du Sénat en mars 2011, exposé par le directeur du FBI, Robert S. Mueller, dans laquelle Mueller parle de la capacité du FBI à accéder à différentes bases de données secrètes «pour traquer les terroristes connus ou présumés».

Binney y déclare : «Maintenant, ce dont il (Mueller) parle est d’entrer dans la base de données de la NSA, ce qui est bien sûr démontré par les données qu’Edward Snowden a divulguées, qui montrent l’accès direct à la base de données de la NSA dont bénéficient le FBI et la CIA. Ce qui montre aussi qu’il n’y a pas de contrôle. Donc, cela signifie que la NSA et un certain nombre d’organismes du gouvernement des États-Unis possèdent aussi ces courriels.»

«Donc, si le FBI les voulait vraiment, ils n’ont qu’à aller dans cette base de données et les télécharger directement», dit-il en parlant des courriels de Clinton et de ceux de la DNC.

Interrogé à brûle-pourpoint pour savoir s’il pensait que la NSA a des copies de tous les courriels de Clinton, y compris ceux supprimés, Binney a répondu par l’affirmative.

«Oui, a-t-il répondu. C’est ce que je veux dire. Ils les ont tous et le FBI peut les obtenir quand il veut.»

Binney a supposé que ce piratage aurait pu être coordonné par quelqu’un de l’intérieur de la communauté du renseignement américain, en colère contre la manière de Clinton de gérer des données de sécurité nationale avec sa messagerie privée.

L’autre point est que Hillary, selon un article publié par The Observer en mars de cette année, a un problème avec la NSA parce qu’elle a compromis des informations Gamma, parmi les plus sensibles à la NSA. Et donc un certain nombre de fonctionnaires de la NSA se sont plaints à la presse, ou aux gens qui ont écrit l’article, de ce qu’elle a fait. Elle a sorti les informations transcrites dans ses courriels directement de rapports Gamma. C’est compromettre directement les informations les plus sensibles de la NSA. Elle a créé un vrai problème. Beaucoup de gens ne sont donc pas contents du tout de ce qu’elle a fait dans le passé. Je ne considère donc pas nécessairement les Russes comme les seuls à avoir obtenu ces courriels.

The Observer a défini ainsi la classification GAMMA :

L’étiquette GAMMA est appliquée à de l’information extrêmement sensible (par exemple une conversation déchiffrée entre des hauts dirigeants étrangers, comme cela fut le cas).

Zerohedge a quelques informations sur Binney, qui est un analyste des renseignements assez crédible pour ce genre d’information.

Plus d’un an avant Edward Snowden, durant l’été 2013, il a choqué le monde avec des révélations qui ont depuis beaucoup influé sur la politique, tant étrangère qu’américaine intérieure, en montrant à tout le monde un aperçu des activités quotidiennes de la NSA. Ancien membre du personnel de la NSA, et maintenant célèbre lanceur d’alerte, William Binney, a expliqué dans les moindres détails au magazine Wired, tout ce que Snowden allait confirmer l’été suivant.

Nous avons couvert cela dans un article de 2012 intitulé Nous sommes tout près d’un État totalitaire clés en mains – Big Brother entre en scène en septembre 2013. Sans surprise, Binney a reçu peu d’attention en 2012 – ses suggestions à l’époque étaient considérées comme absurdes et ridiculement conspiratrices. Il n’est devenu évident qu’il avait raison qu’après Snowden. Encore plus important, à la suite des révélations de Snowden, ce que Binney avait à dire est devenu parole d’évangile.

Binney était l’architecte du programme de surveillance de la NSA. Il est devenu un célèbre lanceur d’alerte quand il a démissionné le 31 octobre 2001, après avoir passé plus de 30 ans dans l’agence. Son témoignage a été utilisé devant le Comité judiciaire du Sénat en mars 2011 par le directeur du FBI de l’époque, Robert S. Mueller, qui a parlé de la capacité du FBI à accéder à différentes bases de données secrètes «pour traquer les terroristes connus ou présumés».

Alex Christoforou

 

 

Article original en anglais : NSA whistleblower says DNC hack was not done by Russia, but by U.S. intelligence, The Duran, 2 août 2016

Traduit par Wayan, relu par nadine pour le Saker Francophone

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Les récentes attaques présumées aux gaz toxique en Syrie représentent clairement un acte de désespoir des djihadistes, affirme l’ancien contractant de la CIA, Steven Kelley.

Deux attaques aux à l’arme chimique auraient eu lieu dans le Nord de la Syrie. L’une d’elles s’est produite dans une partie de la ville d’Alep contrôlée par le gouvernement syrien et l’autre dans la province d’Idleb, sur le territoire de Saraqeb occupé par les rebelles.

Au moins cinq personnes ont été tuées et plus d’une dizaine d’autres ont été blessées à Alep, la ville la plus peuplée de Syrie.

Une attaque similaire, blessant plus de 20 personnes, aurait eu lieu de nuit dans un quartier résidentiel de Saraqeb. Du chlore y aurait été déversé depuis un hélicoptère.

Le gouvernement syrien et les groupes rebelles ont nié toute responsabilité.

Accuser la Russie, ou même le gouvernement de Bachar al-Assad, est lamentable et méprisable

L’ancien contractant de la CIA, Steven Kelley, a déclaré à RT, qu’il était certain que ces attaques étaient «un acte de désespoir [commis] par les djihadistes qui tentent de défendre leur territoire dans la ville capturée».

«Accuser la Russie, ou même le gouvernement de Bachar al-Assad, est lamentable et méprisable parce que de toute évidence, ils n’ont absolument aucune raison d’utiliser une telle arme d’amateur. Si vous regardez le nombre de morts causées par cette seule attaque présumée, il est minuscule, un obus serait certainement plus efficace», a-t-il expliqué.

Les informations supposent que du chlore a été utilisé dans les deux cas. Selon Steven Kelley, il est facile d’acquérir ce produit chimique car c’est un composant utilisé très couramment pour purifier l’eau.

Lorsque Daesh est arrivé à Alep, ses combattants ont pris le contrôle de toutes sortes de produits chimiques et «il est probablement très simple pour eux d’utiliser l’eau de Javel de qualité industrielle ou même résidentielle afin de créer ces armes», a estimé l’ex-contractant.

Je crois que nous devons être extrêmement méfiants des rebelles soi-disant modérés qui sont en vérité des djihadistes

Il a ajouté que la «lamentable attaque au chlore» porte «la marque de Daesh, car ce sont les seuls à utiliser ce type d’arme».

Etant donné que ces attaques présumées se sont produites dans des zones contrôlées par des forces différentes – celles du gouvernement et celles des rebelles – les deux parties s’accusent mutuellement.

Lew Rockwell, un chroniqueur politique américain, a rappelé que par le passé, alors qu’on croyait que «toutes les armes chimiques avaient été utilisées par le régime d’Assad, il est apparu, bien évidemment, que c’était très probablement un coup des djihadistes».

«Je crois que nous devons être extrêmement méfiants des rebelles soi-disant modérés qui sont [en vérité] des djihadistes», a-t-il ajouté.

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Une dépêche faisant état d’un assouplissement du mandat du gouvernement du Canada en matière d’exportation de marchandises militaires a fait la une du Globe and Mail le 1er août dernier et celle du Journal Le Devoir le jour suivant, soit une modification substantielle de son mandat dans le contrôle des exportations de marchandises militaires y compris les armements.

Au cours de la dernière année, le Canada a cherché à mieux se positionner dans le marché mondial des produits de la Défense. Il a, dans les faits, poursuivi l’élan donné par le régime conservateur en cherchant à devenir l’un des pays les plus guerriers de la planète et ce en participant activement dans la course mondiale aux armements et au réarmement planétaire et en laissant plus de liberté aux entreprises canadiennes le soin d’exporter là où se trouvent les marchés les plus lucratifs et prometteurs, soit en premier lieu dans les pays membres de l’OTAN et, ensuite, dans plusieurs pays du Moyen Orient, de l’Afrique et de l’Asie.

Nous n’avons pas fini d’entendre parler du Canada dans l’arène des Sommets de l’OTAN et sur la scène mondiale des guerres qui se préparent. Sous la férule des conservateurs le pays n’a pas cessé de militariser l’économie et la société en suivant fidèlement les consignes de son voisin belliqueux et sans merci pour l’humanité. Cet héritage nous devons encore le supporter et le gouvernement libéral, depuis son arrivée au pouvoir il y a près d’un an, s’évertue à développer, à l’instar de la gouvernance conservatrice, des marchés pour assurer l’expansion de l’industrie de la mort, en s’assurant d’exporter de plus en plus d’armements tout en sachant très bien que ceux-ci vont être utilisés dans les carnages qui affligent des millions d’habitants dans les théâtres de guerre.

Par exemple, la gouvernance libérale ne voit pas de problème à fournir des jeeps blindés et armés à l’Arabie Saoudite, pays qui ne respecte pas les droits humains et les libertés et ce avec des contrats lucratif

Les experts et commentateurs invités provenant le plus souvent des milieux militaires, notamment par Radio-Canada, cherchent à justifier cette décision du gouvernement libéral en faisant appel au « pragmatisme » et au devoir « responsable »  qu’il faut développer dans le marché de l’armement. Il s’agit d’un marché qu’il faut protéger, car il assure une production abondante dans le pays et un plus grand prestige aux yeux des grandes puissances.

 

Rapport 2014-2015 sur les exportations de matériel militaire, Le Canada a choisi de fermer les yeux et de laisser plus de liberté aux entreprises canadiennes qui veulent exporter là où elles trouvent un marché lucratif et prometteur.

Parmi les principaux changements apportés subtilement et en douce à cette politique, selon une analyse proposée par Karl Rettino-Parazelli du Journal Le Devoir, on peut noter les suivants :

1. Équilibrer les intérêts économiques et commerciaux des entreprises canadiennes et les intérêts nationaux

 « Ottawa, dans les rapports de 2014 et de 2015 a retiré une phrase du rapport 2012-2013 expliquant que les contrôles à l’exportation visent « à imposer certaines restrictions aux exportations » en fonction de certains objectifs politiques clairement établis. Dans les rapports 2014 et 2015, on peut plutôt lire que les contrôles ont pour but « d’équilibrer les intérêts économiques et commerciaux des entreprises canadiennes et les intérêts nationaux ».

2. Réduire la portée du mandat du gouvernement fédéral concernant le détournement de matériel militaire

« Le gouvernement fédéral a également réduit la portée de son mandat en ce qui concerne le détournement de matériel militaire. Par le passé, Ottawa disait vouloir s’assurer que la marchandise exportée ne soit « pas détournée à des fins qui pourraient mettre en danger la sécurité du Canada, de ses alliés ou d’autres pays ou personnes ». Il n’est maintenant question que du Canada et de ses alliés, les mots « autres pays ou personnes » ayant été enlevés ».

3. Les demandes d’exportation de marchandises ou de technologies « peuvent » comprendre des consultations. Elles deviennent donc facultatives.

« Les précédents rapports gouvernementaux expliquaient qu’« au moment où un exportateur soumet une demande d’exportation de marchandises ou de technologies, des consultations vastes et approfondies sont menées » auprès des intervenants concernés. Dans les rapports 2014 et 2015, on indique plutôt que l’examen de la demande « peut comprendre » de telles consultations» » (ledevoir.com).

Conclusion

Nous l’avons déjà évoqué, le Canada continue de consacrer des ressources considérables avec des dépenses de 20.076 milliards CAN$ en 2014 et de 18.942 milliards en 2015  pour la Défense, le réarmement du pays avec, notamment, la construction de 21 navires de combat (croiseurs de combat, destroyers ou cuirassés) pour un coût total évalué en 2011 à 25 milliards de dollars, des engagements astronomiques pour des avions bombardiers F-35 et sa quote-part versée au NORAD et à l’OTAN. Le Canada alloue également des ressources importantes dans le processus de militarisation de l’Arctique. Ce qui était annoncé en 2007: Six à huit navires de patrouille afin de protéger les eaux côtières canadiennes, incluant le passage du Nord-Ouest. Le coût du projet était estimé à sept milliards de dollars sur une période de 25 ans (Meissner, D., 2007) y compris la construction d’un port en eau profonde.

Sur la scène internationale le Canada s’est comporté en bon subordonné des grandes puissances. Il apporte largement sa contribution. Il participe à la consolidation de la forteresse de l’Amérique du Nord de G.W. Bush dans le cadre du NORAD. Il poursuit sa collaboration avec l’Ukraine dans son programme d’entraînement des forces armées et il se présente comme l’un des protagonistes les plus actifs dans le renforcement du système global de défense de l’Europe de l’Est. Il est membre de la coalition des 60 pays qui livrent une guerre interminable au Moyen-Orient. Ne l’oublions pas, le Canada est le second exportateur d’armements dans cette région. Après l’Europe de l’Est et le Moyen-Orient le continent africain va s’ouvrir peu à peu aux opérations de militarisation par le Canada qui cherche à se joindre à la Chine, à la France, au Royaume-Uni et à plusieurs anciens pays colonialistes  qui continuent de convoiter les ressources naturelles stratégiques de ce vaste espace : « Selon des reportages, le déploiement des Forces armées canadiennes en Afrique pourrait comporter jusqu’à 1000 soldats ainsi qu’un groupe de chasseurs CF-18 » (mondialisation.ca). Ces forces pourraient être déployées en République du Mali et dans la Centrafrique et se présenteraient comme en mission de maintien de la paix tout en accompagnant les grandes puissances dans les guerres qu’elles préparent ou livrent et, notamment, celle qui affecte la Libye.

Devant cet agir, nous ne pouvons que manifester notre grande indignation et notre réprobation. Pourquoi cette velléité de domination et de participation à l’édification du complexe militaro-industriel mondial et à son processus d’expansion continue ? Le silence et l’indifférence observés au Canada concernant cette réalité constituent le plus grand obstacle qui se pose dans la recherche de la paix par la justice sociale et la solidarité entre les peuples.

Jules Dufour

Références

CHASE, Steve. 2016. Ottawa Tones down on arms-sales export control. New version of policy report dilutes govermment’s responsability for poltcy foreign sales. Le 1er août 2016. En ligne : http://globe2go.newspaperdirect.com/epaper/viewer.aspx

DUFOUR, Jules. 2011. Des navires de guerre pour le Canada. Le réarmement du pays se poursuit dans l’indifférence. Mondialisation.ca. Le 22 octobre 2011. En ligne : http://www.mondialisation.ca/des-navires-de-guerre-pour-le-canada-le-r-armement-du-pays-se-poursuit-dans-l-indiff-rence/27230

DUFOUR, Jules. 2015. La militarisation planétaire s’intensifie. Les drones de combat sèment la terreur et la mort. Montréal, Centre de recherche sur la mondialisation (CRM). Le 3 mars 2015. En ligne : http://www.mondialisation.ca/la-militarisation-planetaire-sintensifie-les-drones-de-combat-sement-la-terreur-et-la-mort/5434583

DUFOUR, Jules. 2015. Militarisation de l’Europe de l’Est: Menaces US/Otan à l’endroit de la Russie. Montréal, Centre de recherche sur la mondialisation (CRM). Le 30 juin 2015. En ligne: http://www.mondialisation.ca/militarisation-de-leurope-de-lest-menaces-usotan-a-lendroit-de-la-russie/5459176

DUFOUR, Jules. 2015. Accueil des réfugiés syriens au Canada : Redorer l’image du Canada tout en poursuivant la militarisation dans la perspective des guerres Otan? Mondialisation.ca. Le 4 décembre 2015, En ligne : http://www.mondialisation.ca/accueil-des-refugies-syriens-au-canada-redorer-limage-du-canada-tout-en-poursuivant-la-militarisation-dans-la-perspective-des-guerres-otan/5493372

DUFOUR, Jules. 2016. Canada : Des jeeps blindés et armés pour l’Arabie Saoudite. Quand l’aveuglement volontaire ne tue pas…Mondialisation.ca. Le 13 janvier 2016, En ligne : http://www.mondialisation.ca/accueil-des-refugies-syriens-au-canada-redorer-limage-du-canada-tout-en-poursuivant-la-militarisation-dans-la-perspective-des-guerres-otan/5493372

DUFOUR, Jules. 2016. Canada. Dix années de gouvernance conservatrice rétrograde et destructrice des valeurs canadiennes (2006-2015). Mondialisation.ca. Le 25 janvier 2016, En ligne : http://www.mondialisation.ca/canada-dix-annees-de-gouvernance-conservatrice-retrograde-et-destructrice-des-valeurs-canadiennes-2006-2015/5503571

GOUVERNEMENT DU CANADA. Affaires mondiales Canada. Rapport sur les exportations de marchandises militaires du Canada 2012-2013. En ligne : http://www.international.gc.ca/controls-controles/report-rapports/mil-2012-2013.aspx?lang=fra

GOUVERNEMENT DU CANADA. Affaires mondiales Canada. Rapport sur les exportations de marchandises militaires du Canada – 2014. En ligne : http://www.international.gc.ca/controls-controles/report-rapports/mil-2014.aspx?lang=fra

GOUVERNEMENT DU CANADA. Affaires mondiales Canada. Rapport sur les exportations de marchandises militaires du Canada – 2015. En ligne : http://www.international.gc.ca/controls-controles/report-rapports/mil-2015.aspx?lang=fra

JORDAN, Roger. 2016. Le Canada ira en guerre en Afrique. Mondialisation.ca. Le 27 juillet 2016. En ligne : http://www.mondialisation.ca/le-canada-ira-en-guerre-en-afrique/5538389

RETTINO-PARAZELLI, Karl. 2016. MATÉRIEL MILITAIRE. Les libéraux adoptent le ton conservateur. Ottawa a discrètement assoupli son mandat en matière d’exportation. Journal Le Devoir, le 2 août 2016.  En ligne : http://www.ledevoir.com/politique/canada/476842/exportation-de-materiel-militaire-les-liberaux-marchent-dans-les-pas-des-conservateurs

STOCKHOLM INTERNATIONAL PEACE RESEARCH INSTITUTE. SIPRI Military Expenditure Database. En ligne : https://www.sipri.org/databases/milex

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August 6: Hiroshima Day. The Dawn of the Nuclear Age

août 5th, 2016 by Michael Welch

Originally posted on August 6, 2015 commemorating the 60th anniversary of Hiroshima

« I am become death, destroyer of worlds. » -J. Robert Oppenheimer

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August 6 is Hiroshima Day. It marks the 70th anniversary of the first detonation of an atomic bomb over a civilian population.

This week’s Global Research News Hour commemorates the anniversary of the dawn of the nuclear age by presenting three past interviews relating to the new nuclear threat.

We’ll hear a December 6, 2013 interview with a lay researcher named Hatrick Penry. Hatrick Penry is otherwise known as Tony Muga. He uncovered documents revealed through Freedom of Information requests with which he essentially discredits current and ongoing claims about the state of the facility. His site is http://hatrickpenry.wordpress.com

This interview is followed by a January 16, 2015 interview with Mimi German. She speaks to the prospect of other other nuclear plants around the world melting down and about how nuclear radiation in the air, water, and food supply represent a clear and present threat to all life on this planet. Mimi German is a self-described Earth Activist, with the grassroots group No Nukes Northwest, and is founder of Radcast.org which monitors radiation readings world-wide.

We finish the show with a June 20, 2013 interview of Global Research Founder and Director Michel Chossudovsky about the threats posed by the use of tactical nuclear weapons in the theatre of Conventional Warfare. Professor Chossudovsky  is the author of eleven books including The Globalization of Poverty and The New World Order (2003), America’s “War on Terrorism” (2005), The Global Economic Crisis, The Great Depression of the Twenty-first Century (2009) (Editor), Towards a World War III Scenario: The Dangers of Nuclear War (2011), The Globalization of War, America’s Long War against Humanity (2015).

An extensive archive of  articles on Fukushima and the new nuclear danger is available on the Global Research Website.

Fukushima: A Nuclear War without a War: The Unspoken Crisis of Worldwide Nuclear Radiation

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The Global Research News Hour airs every Friday at 1pm CT on CKUW 95.9FM in Winnipeg. The programme is also podcast at globalresearch.ca .

The  show can be heard on the Progressive Radio Network at prn.fm. Listen in every Monday at 3pm ET.

Community Radio Stations carrying the Global Research News Hour:

CFUV 101. 9 FM in Victoria. Airing Sundays from 7-8am PT.

CHLY 101.7 FM in Nanaimo, B.C – Thursdays at 1pm PT

Boston College Radio WZBC 90.3FM NEWTONS  during the Truth and Justice Radio Programming slot -Sundays at 7am ET.

Port Perry Radio in Port Perry, Ontario – Thursdays at 1pm ET

Burnaby Radio Station CJSF out of Simon Fraser University. 90.1FM to most of Greater Vancouver, from Langley to Point Grey and from the  North Shore to the US Border. It is also available on 93.9 FM cable in the communities of SFU, Burnaby, New Westminister, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Surrey and Delta, in British Columbia Canada. – Tune in every Saturday at 6am.

The GRNH’s regular programmes resume in September

Aleppo

Syrian Endgame: The Battle for Aleppo and ‘Plan C’

By Prof. Tim Anderson, August 04 2016

The battle for Aleppo has forced the al Qaeda groups into their desperate last stand, as the Washington-driven proxy war on Syria moves into its final stages. The liberation of Aleppo will be the beginning of the end. The online maps have been misleading. Even before the Russian air power intervention of September 2015 the Syrian Government controlled 85% of the country’s populated areas. But reclaiming all of Aleppo is critical for Syrian control of the north and of supply lines to the shrinking ground of ISIS in the east.

obama-356133_960_720

“Liar in Chief” Obama Supports the Terrorists, Wants War with Russia and China, Still Intends to Overthrow Syrian Government

By Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, August 05 2016

I just listened to Obama give Washington’s account of the situation with ISIL in Iraq and Syria. In Obama’s account, Washington is defeating ISIL in Iraq, but Russia and Assad are defeating the Syrian people in Syria.  Obama denounced Russia and the Syrian government—but not ISIL—as barbaric.  The message was clear: Washington still intends to overthrow Assad and turn Syria into another Libya and another Iraq, formerly stable and prosperous countries where war now rages continually.

ASSAD-SYRIE

Neocons Promote War on Syria: “Drone and Cruise Missile” Strikes to Take Out Assad

By Timothy Alexander Guzman, August 05 2016

In an opinion piece written by Andrew J. Tabler, a Martin J. Gross fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) along with Dennis B. Ross also a William Davidson Distinguished Fellow at the institute titled ‘The Case for (Finally) Bombing Assad’ calls for limited “drone and cruise missile strikes” against the government of Bashar al-Assad.

Al Qaeda Syrie

U.S. State Department Refused Entry to Jihadist It Employed for Overthrowing President Al-Assad

By Eric Zuesse, August 05 2016

A four-minute video that was posted to YouTube on April 29th documents that the US government has been lying about an organization, the White Helmets, the US government hires to assist Syria’s al-Qaeda, called «al-Nusra», to dispose of corpses of persons al-Nusra executes. Al-Nusra kills Syrian government soldiers; and, according to Seymour Hersh and other investigative journalists, has, throughout the Syrian war, been supplied guns and other weapons by the governments of the US, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey, for that purpose.

aleppo-24.4

John Kerry And Al-Qaeda Join Hands: “Very Different Track” Attack On Aleppo Fails

By Moon of Alabama, August 05 2016

Early May U.S. Secretary of State Kerry set a deadline for “voluntary” regime change in Syria: [He] said “the target date for the transition is 1st of August” in Syria or else the Assad government and its allies “are asking for a very different track.” Hoping that “something happens in these next few months,” he said the political transition would not include President Assad because “as long as Assad is there, the opposition is not going to stop fighting.”

Flag-map_of_Syria.svg

Ten Facts the Mainstream Media Won’t Tell You About the War in Syria

By Darius Shahtahmasebi, August 05 2016

Corporate media regularly attempts to present Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria as solely responsible for the ongoing conflict in the region. The media does report on events that contradict this narrative — albeit sparingly — but taken together, these underreported details shine a new light on the conflict.

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Il est important que ceux et celles qui tiennent à la paix et à la justice sociale prennent connaissance de cette poursuite civile historique contre un ancien président des États‑Unis et les principaux responsables de son administration.

Une mère irakienne poursuit le criminel de guerre présumé George W. Bush et coll.

Il s’agit d’une poursuite civile et la requérante demande réparation. Bien qu’une condamnation criminelle ne soit pas envisagée, il s’agit tout de même d’une initiative juridique ambitieuse menée par l’avocat spécialisé dans les droits de la personne Inder Comar (photo de droite). 

Ses ramifications politiques sont profondes.  

Oubliez la Cour pénale internationale et les tribunaux de La Haye, qui servent les intérêts des USA et de l’OTAN. Dans le système judiciaire des USA (p. ex., en Californie, dans l’État de New York, etc.), il est possible de déposer une plainte au civil contre G. W. Bush et al, Barack Obama et le criminel de guerre de votre choix (p. ex., Hillary Clinton) à l’échelle d’un État ou d’un district.

Nous invitons les lecteurs de Mondialisation.ca à passer le message.

Nous lançons aussi une campagne de collecte de dons en appui à la poursuite judiciaire Saleh c. Bush. Pour faire un don :

cliquez ici pour faire un paiement unique en indiquant que c’est pour la « poursuite judiciaire contre Bush ».

Mondialisation.ca va transférer votre don pour aider à payer les frais juridiques de Sundus Shaker Saleh.

Michel Chossudovsky, rédacteur en chef de Mondialisation.ca, 2 août 2016

*      *     *

Dans des documents judiciaires déposés le lundi 1er août 2016, le département de la Justice s’est opposé au dépôt du rapport Chilcot à la Cour d’appel des États‑Unis pour le neuvième circuit, dans le cadre de la poursuite en cours concernant la légalité de la guerre en Irak.

L’affaire en cause (Saleh c. Bush) se rapporte à la plainte d’une mère célibataire et réfugiée irakienne qui accuse six membres éminents de l’administration Bush — George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice et Paul Wolfowitz — d’avoir mené une guerre d’agression contre l’Irak en 2003, pour laquelle ils devraient être tenus responsables des conséquences de cette invasion illégale.

Les intimés Bush et Rumsfeld se serrant la main

La plaignante, Sundus Shaker Saleh, allègue que ces membres éminents de l’administration Bush ont leurré intentionnellement le peuple étasunien par leurs déclarations mensongères en disant que l’Irak était de connivence avec Al‑Qaeda et que l’Irak possédait des armes de destruction massive. Elle allègue aussi que certains des intimés, notamment Donald Rumsfeld et Paul Wolfowitz, ont publiquement soutenu une invasion dès 1998 et qu’ils se sont servi des attentats du 11 septembre comme excuse pour envahir l’Irak, sans égard aux conséquences.

Mme Saleh s’appuie sur les jugements rendus à l’issue du procès de Nuremberg contre les crimes de guerre en 1946, qui ont reconnu les dirigeants allemands coupables des guerres d’agression illégales menées contre les pays voisins de l’Allemagne. Le jugement de Nuremberg a établi que le fait de commettre une guerre d’agression constituait le « crime international suprême ».”

Les conclusions du rapport Chilcot ont été déposées au neuvième circuit comme une preuve de plus des actes répréhensibles commis par les six intimés dans cette affaire. Mme Saleh a aussi fourni des copies de notes et de lettres envoyées par l’ancien premier ministre Tony Blair à George W. Bush dont il est question dans le rapport Chilcot, qui montrent que M. Blair était prêt à se lancer dans une invasion avec M. Bush dès octobre 2001.

En décembre 2014, le district nord de la Californie avait rejeté la poursuite sous prétexte que les intimés bénéficiaient d’une immunité de poursuites en vertu de la loi Westfall (codifiée en partie dans 28 U.S.C. §§ 2671, 2674, 2679).

La loi Westfall dégage les anciens employés du gouvernement de toute responsabilité civile si le tribunal conclut qu’ils ont agi légitimement dans l’exercice de leurs fonctions.

Mme Saleh demande au neuvième circuit d’annuler la décision d’accorder l’immunité rendue par le tribunal de district et de permettre à sa poursuite d’aller de l’avant.

Me Inder Comar est un avocat chevronné spécialisé dans les droits de la personne basé à San Francisco (Californie). Il est le correspondant de Mondialisation.ca en matière de droit et de justice.

*       *      *

Nous invitons les lecteurs de Mondialisation.ca à passer le message. Nous lançons aussi une campagne de collecte de dons en appui à la poursuite judiciaire Saleh c. Bush.  

Pour faire un don :

cliquez ici pour faire un paiement unique en indiquant que c’est pour la « poursuite judiciaire contre Bush ».

Insérez une note si vous faites votre don au moyen de PayPal. Si vous le faites par carte de crédit, envoyez‑nous un courriel pour confirmer qu’il s’agit d’un don pour la « poursuite judiciaire contre Bush ».

Mondialisation.ca va transférer votre don pour aider à payer les frais judiciaires de Sundus Shaker Saleh. 

 

Article original en anglais :

bush_blair_0

California Civil Law Suit against George W. Bush Et Al: DOJ Blocks Submission of Chilcot Report

Traduit par Daniel pour Mondialisation.ca

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A new study by the RAND Corporation titled “War with China: Thinking Through the Unthinkable” is just the latest think tank paper devoted to assessing a US war against China. The study, commissioned by the US Army, provides further evidence that a war with China is being planned and prepared in the upper echelons of the American military-intelligence apparatus.

That the paper emerges from the RAND Corporation has a particular and sinister significance. Throughout the Cold War, RAND was the premier think tank for “thinking the unthinkable”—a phrase made notorious by RAND’s chief strategist in the 1950s, Herman Kahn. Kahn devoted his macabre book On Thermonuclear War to elaborating a strategy for a “winnable” nuclear war against the Soviet Union.

According to the preface of the new study, released last week, “This research was sponsored by the Office of the Undersecretary of the Army and conducted within the RAND Arroyo Center’s Strategy, Doctrine, and Resources Program. RAND Arroyo Center, part of the RAND Corporation, is a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the United States Army.”

The paper is a war-gaming exercise in the Kahn tradition: weighing the possible outcomes of a war between two nuclear powers with utter indifference to the catastrophic consequences for people in the United States, China and the rest of the world.

The study is based on a series of highly questionable assumptions: that a war between the United States and China would not involve other powers; that it would remain confined to the East Asian region; and that nuclear weapons would not be used. In reality, a war on China would from the outset involve US allies and would thus, in all likelihood, rapidly escalate out of control, spread beyond East Asia, and heighten the danger that nuclear weapons would be used.

As part of the Obama administration’s “pivot to Asia,” the US has been strengthening alliances throughout the region, establishing new basing arrangements and consolidating military “interoperability.” The US military could not wage war against China without the intelligence and military and basing resources of, at the very least, Japan, Australia, South Korea, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.

The RAND Corporation study considers four simplistic scenarios for a conflict defined by two variables: intensity (either mild or severe) and duration (from a few days to a year or more). It also notes that given the pace of advances in military technology—in what is already an undeclared arms race—the outcomes change over time. Thus, it studies the losses and costs for both sides of a war fought in 2015 and one in 2025.

The summary of findings pays far more attention to the outcomes of severe conflicts than for mild ones. In both cases—a brief, severe war and a long, severe war—the study estimates that the economic and military impact on China would be far greater than on the United States. At the same time, it concludes that the US would suffer greater losses and costs in 2025 than in 2015.

The paper states:

“As its military advantage declines, the United States will be less confident that a war with China will conform to its plans. China’s improved military capabilities, particularly for anti-access and area denial (A2AD), mean that the United States cannot count on gaining operational control, destroying China’s defences, and achieving decisive victory if a war occurred.”

The unstated conclusion, which underpins all of the Pentagon’s planning and preparations, is that a war with China must be fought sooner rather than later. The US military build-up envisages 60 percent of all air and naval assets in the Indo-Pacific region by 2020—now just over three years away. Moreover, Washington’s deliberate inflaming of dangerous flash points in Asia, especially in the South China Sea, is aimed at portraying Beijing as “aggressive” and “expansionist” and concocting the necessary casus belli.

Source Rand Report

The very premises of the study, however, underscore the aggressive, neo-colonial character of a war confined to a region thousands of kilometres from the United States. Washington’s aim is nothing less than the complete subjugation of China to the strategic and economic interests of US imperialism.

In advising the Pentagon and the White House, the RAND Corporation paper calls for “prudent preparations to be able to wage a long and intense war with China.” It continues: “Of no less importance is the ability of the United States to limit the scope, intensity, and duration of a war with China through its planning, its system of civilian control and its ability to communicate with China.”

The reference to the necessity of a “system of civilian control” in the United States is particularly sinister. Behind the backs of the American population, plans are being drawn up by think tanks like the RAND Corporation, by the military/police forces and by the broader state apparatus for police state measures to suppress anti-war opposition that go well beyond those employed in World War II.

The RAND Corporation paper is a chilling confirmation of the warnings made by the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) in its statement of February 18, 2016 titled “Social ism and the Fight Against War.” The statement notes that at a certain point, military fatalism becomes a significant contributing factor to the outbreak of war. It cites an international relations specialist who wrote: “Once war is assumed to be unavoidable, the calculations of leaders and militaries change. The question is no longer whether there will or should be a war, but when the war can be fought most advantageously.”

The new study indicates that such a shift in thinking is underway in Washington. And while the RAND Corporation study dismisses the possibility of nuclear war, other imperialist strategists are planning for such an eventuality.

Just two weeks ago, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), which has played a central role in the planning of the “pivot to Asia,” issued a report assessing the Chinese nuclear arsenal. The paper was titled “China’s nuclear forces and weapons of mass destruction.”

The CSIS also downplayed the likelihood of nuclear war, but did not reject it out of hand. “History is a grim warning,” it stated, “that deterrence sometimes fails, and escalation occurs in ways that are never properly planned or controlled.

Driven by the worsening economic and political breakdown of capitalism, another catastrophic war on a global scale is not only possible, but inevitable without the intervention of the international working class. However, the same capitalist crisis that is driving towards the insanity of world war is also creating the impulse for social revolution. This underscores the urgent necessity of the political fight being waged by the ICFI to build an international anti-war movement of the working class to put an end to capitalism and its outmoded nation-state system and reconstruct society on socialist foundations.

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I just listened to Obama give Washington’s account of the situation with ISIL in Iraq and Syria.

In Obama’s account, Washington is defeating ISIL in Iraq, but Russia and Assad are defeating the Syrian people in Syria.  Obama denounced Russia and the Syrian government—but not ISIL—as barbaric.  The message was clear: Washington still intends to overthrow Assad and turn Syria into another Libya and another Iraq, formerly stable and prosperous countries where war now rages continually.

It sickens me to hear the President of the United States lie and construct a false reality, so I turned off the broadcast.  I believe it was a press conference, and I am confident that no meaningful questions were asked.

If Helen Thomas were still there, she would ask the Liar-in-Chief what went wrong with Washington’s policy in Iraq.  We were promised that a low-cost “cakewalk” war of three or six weeks duration would bring “freedom and democracy” to Iraq.  Why is it that 13 years later Iraq is a hellhole of war and destruction?

What happened to the “freedom and democracy?”  And the “Cakewalk”?

You can bet your life that no presstitute asked Obama this question.

No one asked the Liar-in-Chief why the Russians and Syrians could clear ISIL out of most of Syria in a couple of months, but Washington has been struggling for several years to clear ISIL out of Iraq. Is it possible that Washington did not want to clear ISIL out of Iraq because Washington intended to use ISIL to clear Assad out of Syria?

No one asked the Liar-in-Chief why Washington sent ISIL to Syria and Iraq in the first place, or why the Syrians and Russians keep finding US weapons In ISIL’s military depots, or why Washington’s allies were funding ISIL by purchasing the oil ISIL is stealing from Iraq.

It seems to be the case that ISIL originated in the mercenaries that Washington organized to overthrow Gaddafi in Libya and were sent to Syria to overthrow Assad when the UK Parliament refused to participate in Washington’s invasion of Syria and the Russians put a stop to it.

All of the violence in the Middle East, violence that has consumed countless lives and produced millions of war refugees now overrunning Washington’s NATO vassals in Europe, is 100 percent the fault of Washington, not the fault of ISIL, or Assad, or Russia. Washington and only Washington is to blame.

Washington produced this violence.  Where is the question:  “Why, Mr. President, did Washington introduce 15 years of massive and ongoing violence into the Middle East and then expect us to believe that it was the fault of someone else?”

If Helen Thomas were there, she would ask the relevent questions.  But the pussies that comprise the American press corps are merely an audience that validates the false reality spun by Washington by accepting it without question.

Meanwhile, Moscow and Beijing have understood the message.  Washington intends war.  The purpose of Washington’s lies is to prepare the insouciant Western peoples for war against the two countries that Washington cannot subjugate except by victory in war.

By faithful vassalage to Washington, Europe is bringing death and destruction to the world.

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August 4th, 2016 began with successive announcements from the so-called ‘Army of Conquest,’ regarding the advent of a third and fourth stage in their effort to break the government siege of Aleppo. The Army of Conquest, or Jaish al-Fatah, is comprised of Islamist factions colluding together to undermine the rightful government of Syria. Bands of criminals, such as Faylaq al-Sham, Ahrar al-Sham, and other members of Jaish al-Fatah, reported up the chain of command within the Islamist forces—the ultimate goal to retake lost ground.

Prior to the assault on the 1070 Apartment Block within Aleppo, Syrian Arab Army (SAA) forces shelled rebel positions with 2S1 ‘Gvozdika’ self-propelled howitzers.  During the assault on 1070 itself, pro-government sources reported two T-72 main battle tanks and three BMP-series infantry fighting vehicles destroyed. Nine government soldiers were listed as dead.

However, the only corroborating evidence from the Islamist factions regarding casualties would indicate that a single rebel T-72 tank and IFV were destroyed in fighting around Aleppo. In eastern Ghouta, Jaish al-Islam reported the destruction of a single government T-72 tank.

Near the government artillery base on the southern Aleppo Front, Faylaq al-Sham destroyed a 14.5 mm gun with an Anti-Tank Guided Missile. Across southern Aleppo, the forces of Faylaq al-Sham faltered against government positions.

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Predictably, the tightly connected Western media, whose Southeast Asian correspondents often converge at the swank Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand (FCCT) in downtown Bangkok to align and coordinate their often politically-motivated narratives, has begun an information war on Thailand ahead of Sunday’s referendum on the nation’s new charter.

This includes leveraging other Western-backed news organisations and political fronts in the region, including the recently installed client regime of Aung San Suu Kyi in neighbouring Myanmar.

Reuters in its report, « Myanmar paper: Thailand risks ‘substandard democracy’, » would report:

A state-run newspaper in Myanmar says Thailand risks « substandard » democracy if a military-backed draft constitution is approved in a referendum on Sunday.

The irony of the comment is hardly lost on voters and political observers alike across the region. For decades Myanmar suffered economic stagnation under harsh military rule while Thailand was seen as an Asian « tiger » economy with extensive freedoms and a developing democracy.

But the tables have turned recently, at least to some extent, with Myanmar democracy champion Aung San Suu Kyi winning a landmark election last year while Thailand has been ruled by a military government tough on dissent since a 2014 coup.

Image: Some might wonder what say a room full of white American and European men have in Thailand’s internal affairs, yet the disproportionate influence the FCCT wields in Thailand and across wider Southeast Asia is nonetheless very real.

What Reuters conveniently omits is the fact that Suu Kyi’s political front campaigned heavily before Myanmar’s elections to disenfranchise the votes of tens of thousands of Rohingya. This means Suu Kyi’s current regime is as much « substandard » in terms of democracy in reality as Myanmar’s Information Ministry-run newpaper has claimed of Thailand.

Australia’s ABC News would report in its February 2015 article, « Myanmar scraps temporary ID cards amid protests targeting ethnic minorities without citizenship, » that:

Myanmar’s government says identity cards for people without full citizenship, including Muslim Rohingya, will expire within weeks. The scrapping of ID cards snatches away voting rights handed to them just a day earlier (Tuesday), after Myanmar nationalists protested against the move.

The Rohingya, along with hundreds of thousands of people in mainly ethnic minority border areas, who hold the documents ostensibly as part of a process of applying for citizenship, will see their ID cards expire at the end of March, according to a statement from the office of president Thein Sein.

The dramatic about-face comes after protesters gathered in the commercial hub Yangon to call on the government not to allow people without full citizenship to vote in the proposed referendum.

The protests, it would be revealed, were led by Suu Kyi’s political supporters.

And since coming to power, Suu Kyi has systematically tightened pressure on the nation’s Rohingya population even further, often under-reported by news organisations like Reuters.

In fact, the same Information Ministry connected with recent anti-Thai comments, would be implicated in further targeting the Rohingya after Suu Kyi’s party took power. Australia’s ABC News in an article titled, « Burma leader Aung San Suu Kyi bans use of Rohingya name for oppressed Muslims, » would report:

In an Orwellian move, Burma’s Information Ministry has instead instructed officials to call Rohingyas « people who believe in Islam in Rakhine state ».

Ms Suu Kyi said: « All we are asking is that people should be aware of the difficulties that we are facing. »

It is not clear how eliminating a name reference will ease tensions or solve long-running differences.

But the decision has cast Ms Suu Kyi in the role of villain for the first time since she took effective control of the country in March.

It should also be noted, that Suu Kyi is not even the legal head of the Myanmar government, though she has vowed to « rule above » the government in what can be categorised as the absolute contravention of democracy.

Public Relations and Lobbying, or Journalism? 

For Reuters and others engaged in the current media assault on Thailand, eager to undermine the legitimacy of Thailand’s current government and pave the way for yet another US-backed government to come to power in the region, Suu Kyi’s human rights abuses against the Rohingya constitute an inconvenient truth that would blunt the sort of public relations stunts Reuters is now engaged in with its so-called news coverage.

And while Reuters covers up the realities of Suu Kyi’s government in an attempt to portray it as an emerging democracy, it is also covering up the realities of Thailand’s current political crisis, consistently failing to inform readers of the violence, abuse of power and human rights abuses that were ongoing, including state-sponsored terrorism, just before the military took power in 2014.

Before the military seized power, the government they were to oust had deployed armed terrorists in the streets who attacked anti-government protesters almost nightly, killing and maiming many, including on the very eve of the 2014 coup.

Should Western news organisations like Reuters truthfully report on Thailand’s current political crisis, in context with the events that led up to it, the fact that the military by necessity took power would not seem all that unreasonable. Nor would the fact that the new charter seeks to prevent such political forces from taking power in the country again.

The Reuters article is just one of many penned recently echoing the same coordinated distortions, constituting what appears more like public relations campaigning and lobbying than objective journalism.

The New Atlas is a media platform providing geopolitical analysis and op-eds. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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The campaign of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has taken a further turn to the right, with open appeals to Republican Party loyalists to break with their nominee Donald Trump on the grounds that he is disrespectful of the military and opposed to confronting Russia and other countries targeted by Washington for attack.

Three incumbent Republican congressmen, other prominent Republican officials and ex-officials, and numerous Republican fundraisers have announced their support for Clinton, or at least their opposition to Trump.

Tuesday’s endorsement of Clinton by Representative Richard Hanna, an upstate New York Republican, was followed by statements Wednesday from Representative Adam Kinzinger, whose district is in the Chicago suburbs; Representative Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania; and former Montana Governor Marc Racicot, an ex-chairman of the Republican National Committee. These three declared they could not support Trump, while stopping short of saying they would vote for Clinton.

A bipartisan group of 37 foreign policy and national security officials, including several former military officers, issued an open letter Thursday condemning Trump’s comments downgrading the significance of the NATO alliance. The letter declared:

“Trump’s ill-considered statements have already sown doubt in the minds of our European partners as to whether they can count on American resolve, commitment, and strength in the future. Those statements also threaten to weaken our collective deterrence against Vladimir Putin from further territorial aggression in Europe after his invasions of Ukraine and Georgia. If Trump’s policy was implemented, it would undermine the essential credibility of the United States in Europe and around the world.”

Among those signing were Thomas Pickering, UN ambassador under the first President Bush; Steven Pifer, a top-level State Department official in the second Bush administration, with responsibility for Russia and Ukraine; John Bellinger III, chief counsel for the National Security Council and later the State Department in the second Bush administration; and neo-conservatives Kori Schake and Randy Scheunemann, officials in the second Bush White House and advisers to the McCain-Palin Republican presidential campaign in 2008.

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that 45 prominent Republicans have so far come out publicly for Clinton, in an effort coordinated by campaign Chairman John Podesta and Leslie Dach, a former Wal-Mart executive and longtime Clinton crony. Clinton herself has participated in the wooing of top Republicans, phoning Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman, the Republican candidate for governor of California in 2010, last month. Whitman declared her support for Clinton Tuesday and pledged a six-figure donation to the campaign.

According to the Journal, “The effort, which largely targets national-security experts and business leaders, began several months ago but has ramped up in the wake of Mr. Trump’s recent troubles, including his spat with the parents of a Muslim US Army captain who died in Iraq, people familiar with the effort said. It is expected to culminate in a Republicans for Hillary group, whose members will endorse her candidacy.”

One Republican former Reagan and Bush administration official, Frank Lavin, told the Journal he had been reassured by the Democratic National Convention and Clinton’s selection of Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia as her running mate. “I have an increasing comfort level with Hillary Clinton,” he told the newspaper. “She’s not going to be bossed around by the Bernie Sanders wing of the party.”

The Washington Post carried a similar report Thursday night on Clinton’s “outreach to potential Republican converts, including donors, elected officials, and business and foreign policy leaders. The message is simple: Even if you have never before considered voting for a Democrat, and even if you don’t like Clinton, choosing her this year is a moral and patriotic imperative.” The informal slogan of the outreach effort, according to the newspaper, was “duty, honor, country,” an indication of the extremely right-wing posture being taken by the Clinton campaign.

Clinton aides told the newspaper that the patriotic campaign was aided by Trump’s comments on foreign policy, particularly his praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and by his public attacks on the father and mother of a Muslim US Army soldier, Captain Humayun Khan, who was killed by a suicide bomber in Iraq.

Clinton herself has begun to appeal publicly to Republicans to support her campaign as a “patriotic duty,” as the Associated Press put it Thursday. She told a union hall audience in Las Vegas, “I want to be the president for all Americans—Democrats, Republicans, independents. We’re going to pull America together again.’’

The shift to the right was unveiled at the Democratic National Convention, where an array of former generals paid tribute to Clinton as the best choice for “commander-in-chief,” and billionaire Michael Bloomberg, the former Republican mayor of New York City, was given a featured position as a Clinton endorser.

The choice of Bloomberg (net worth $48 billion) was a signal of the real social constituency to which Clinton is appealing. It was followed July 30 with the endorsement of Clinton at a Pittsburgh rally by

media billionaire Mark Cuban (net worth $3 billion), a right-wing libertarian and devotee of Ayn Rand.

August 1 found Clinton being introduced to an Omaha, Nebraska campaign event by investor Warren Buffett, whose personal net worth of $63.3 billion, derived entirely from financial speculation, makes him one of the richest men on Earth. On August 3 came the endorsement by Meg Whitman (net worth $2.1 billion), and on August 3, backing from hedge fund mogul Seth Klarman (net worth $1.35 billion), who has generally donated to Republican candidates in the past.

Several groups have been formed to harness the support of wealthy Republicans behind the Democratic nominee. These include Republicans for Her 2016, led by Republican lobbyist Craig Snyder; R4C16, led by officials from President George W. Bush’s administration; and the Republican Women for Hillary, which is led by US Chamber of Commerce official Jennifer Pierotti Lim.

Other prominent billionaires (Democrats and Republicans) supporting Clinton include Walmart heiress Ann Walton (net worth $5 billion); LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman ($3.8 billion); Univision television network owner Haim Saban ($3.6 billion); Hyatt Hotel chain heir J.B. Pritzker ($3.4 billion); Slim-Fast founder Daniel Abraham ($2 billion); Marc Benioff of Salesforce.com ($4 billion); Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg ($1.4 billion); medical industry heirs Jon and Pat Stryker ($2.3 billion); television personality Oprah Winfrey ($3.1 billion); and Hollywood producers Steven Spielberg ($3.6 billion) and Jeffrey Katzenberg ($1 billion).

Especially noteworthy is the large number of Wall Street financiers backing Clinton. These include speculator George Soros ($24.9 billion), hedge fund managers James Simons ($14 billion), David E. Shaw ($4.7 billion) and Tom Steyer ($1.6 billion); venture capitalist John Doerr ($4.7 billion); and banker Herbert Sandler ($1.2 billion).

The combined wealth of the aforementioned billionaires openly backing Clinton is roughly $200 billion—divided among 21 individuals. This is roughly the same amount that the Obama administration proposes for education, housing, transportation and science in its 2016 budget.

This line-up demonstrates the worthlessness of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’s claims, as he ended his campaign and endorsed Clinton, that the Democratic Party had been fundamentally changed by his “political revolution.” Sanders denounced “the billionaire class” throughout his campaign, rallying the support of millions, including large numbers of young people and students. But he delivered his supporters to the tender mercies of a candidate who is a trusted servant of that billionaire class.

At his speech to the Democratic convention, Sanders claimed that Clinton’s campaign had “the most progressive platform” in history. Within days, America’s financial aristocracy has reminded everyone just who owns Clinton and the entire Democratic Party.

Sanders did not create the mass opposition of working class and youth that found brief expression in his campaign. His aim, as he repeatedly stated, was to absorb that opposition within the Democratic Party, which, he argued, could be made a vehicle of social reform.

In conceding to Clinton, Sanders fulfilled his campaign’s mission. Her subsequent sharp turn to the right—which includes not just fulsome support from billionaires, but from the military-intelligence apparatus based largely on warmongering against Russia—has very rapidly exposed the reactionary character of Sanders’ politics, and the bankruptcy of any perspective that claims that working people and youth can achieve progressive change through the Democratic Party.

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U.S. Bombing Mission In Libya, Special Forces Included

août 5th, 2016 by Brandon Turbeville

In an effort to bolster a weak and largely impotent U.N.-backed government in Libya, the United States has launched a bombing campaign against ISIS fighters in the city of Sirte. After having destroyed Libya and rendered what was once the country with the highest living standards in Africa to a desert of chaos and barbarism, the United States is now once again bombing the embattled nation. This time, however, the bombing is under the guise of “defeating ISIS” so that the limp GNA (Government of National Accord) can establish control over the country and, obviously, so that it might be able to translate and enforce the decisions made by the West into real results inside Libya.

Unlike in Syria, where U.S. bombing strikes are carried out mainly against Syrian military positionscivilians, or simply wasted in the desert (although sometimes ISIS targets are indeed bombed in order to encourage and force the fighters into moving from or ceding territory – terrorist herding), the bombing in Libya appears to actually be directed at ISIS targets. This is because the anti-imperialist figure of Ghaddafi is now gone and, in his place, is a puppet government more amenable to Western dictates. Thus, there is no more need, at least for now, of Islamic radicals to be used as a proxy force against the Libyan government.

Thus, after a request from the GNA, the United States began bombing targets in Sirte on Monday.

Prime Minister Fayez Seraj said on state TV that “The first air strikes were carried out at specific locations in Sirte today causing severe losses to enemy ranks.” Pentagon Spokesman Peter Cook stated that the airstrikes did not have “an end point” at this time, suggesting the possibility that U.S. involvement will become even greater as time progresses as well as the potential for a much longer duration of operations.

Seraj stated that the Presidential Council of the GNA has “activated” its involvement in the “international coalition against the Islamic State” and “request[ed] the United States to carry out targeted air strikes on Daesh (Islamic State).”

Sirte, Ghaddaffi’s home town, is considered to be a strategically significant area of operation outside of Iraq and Syria as the city sits along the Meditteranean coast. ISIS fighters are now relegated to a “few square kilometers” of the city center where they hold a few important sites.

The Monday strikes were the third round of airstrikes by the United States inside Libya after the original destruction of Libya. In February, the U.S. launched strikes against Sabratha.

The air campaign apparently also involves the deployment of a small number of Special Forces squads who are to be rotated in and out of Libya as well as drone surveillance.

According to a Reuters report,

Although it does not include the use of ground troops beyond small special forces squads rotating in and out of Libya and drones collecting intelligence, the air campaign opens a new front in the war against IS and what American officials consider its most dangerous component outside Syria and Iraq. [emphasis added]
. . . . .

Small teams of Western countries’ special forces have been on the ground in eastern and western Libya for months. Last month France said three of its soldiers had been killed south of the eastern city of Benghazi, where they had been conducting intelligence operations. [emphasis added]

Deployment of U.S. Special Forces to Libya was known in May, 2016.

While the bombing mission in Libya is without a doubt an escalation in the U.S. involvement in Libya, it is also not unexpected as both the United States and the French move toward an increase their presence in the country, strengthening the puppet GNA government and solidifying a return to Western imperialism in Africa.

Brandon Turbeville is the author of seven books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom7 Real ConspiraciesFive Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 andvolume 2The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria, and The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President. Turbeville has published over 650 articles on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s radio show Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. His website is BrandonTurbeville.com He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.

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Anti-Assad luminaries in the United States suddenly play surprised that their beloved « moderate » insurgents are a bunch of racist and sectarian head choppers. But this was obvious as even the very first demonstration against the Syrian government in March/April 2011 were driven by sectarianism. Countless members of minorities in Syria have since been murdered by « western » and Gulf supported « moderate rebels ».

Why do these anti-Syrian « experts », who supported the genocidal insurgents, suddenly find that abhorrent?

The « moderate rebels » and al-Qaeda in Syria currently attack the government held parts of the city of Aleppo. Part of their attack plan is the storming of the Artillery Academy in Ramouseh district. The academy was the scene of mass murder in the 1979-1982 Muslim Brotherhood uprising against the government. The name they chose for the battle make their intentions clear.

3:07pm · 4 Aug 2016 – Hassan Ridha @sayed_ridhaBattle is named after « Ibrahim Yusuf », an Ikhwani who murdered ~80 Alawite cadets in Ramouseh Artillery Base in 1979 pic.twitter.com/7TVYiZNeBP

London Times reporter Hala Jabar explains:

2:00am · 5 Aug 2016 – Hala Jaber @HalaJaberRecap: Former #AQ#Nusra now moderate #Jabhat_Fath_alSham, name 3rd phase of liberating Aleppo after Ibrahim_al_Yussuf, who they deem a hero.

.2/ They deem #Ibrahim_al_Yussuf, a hero, for separating Sunnis 4rm #Alawites & apostates & executing 80 Alawites of them, in 1979.

.3/ That incident took place in Aleppo’s artillery school then. Now JFS/JAS is promising 2 « conquer » same artillery school & kill Alawites.

.4/ So now they– his « grandsons » — pledge to do same « blessed » thing. Kill all #Alawites & desecrate their bodies. https://www.youtube.com/embed/LqEw_6_Dzpo

.5/ This all in the name of phase three of the « blessed battle »to conquer » #Aleppo.

The bloody sectarian name for the battle is promoted not only by al-Qaeda under its sham new name but by all U.S. supported « moderates » who take part in it. The political leader of the U.S. supported Zinki group, members of which recently beheaded a sick child, is a near relative of Ibrahim al Yussuf.

The Muslim Brotherhood insurgency in Syria between 1979 and 1982, of which al Yussuf was part, was a series of bloody guerilla attacks and mass murder incidents against the state and minorities. It finally ended when the government trapped the leadership and many militants in the city of Hama and fought them down in a bloody urban battle. Many members of the militant cadre of the movement fled to foreign countries. Some came back to reignite their killing spree when the protests in Syria started in 2011.

For those who have been watching the developments in Syria the sectarian motive of the insurgents is certainly no surprise at all. But here are two U.S. « experts » who suddenly find them « extraordinary ».

Robert Ford was U.S. ambassador to Syria from 2011 to 2014 and one of instigators of the protests against the Syrian government. He has since feverishly argued for more weapons for the insurgents and for U.S. bombing to destroy the Syrian government and the country.

1:27 PM – 4 Aug 2016 – Robert Ford @fordrs58If oppo fighters’ goal n #Syria now 2 separate Alawi citizens &kill them, then the fighters don’t merit outside help. Up to them 2 clarify.

Joshua Landis is professor for Middle East studies. In his blogposts and public comments he has been mealy-mouthed about condemning the insurgents whatever they did, but was always negative about the government. He thinks that a new President Clinton:

has to re-escalate but w/o major costs. Trick will be to bomb w/o making many commitments or getting sucked in

Tricky indeed, but she « has to » do it. Right?

About the Aleppo battle announcement:

7:50pm · 4 Aug 2016 – Joshua Landis @joshua_landisExtraordinary statement by Jabhat Fatah al-Sham declaring intent to separate Sunnis fr Nusairis (Alawis) & kill them https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqEw_6_Dzpo

« Extraordinary » in this is only that these « experts » suddenly find something surprising that has been central to the insurgency from its very beginning.

Consider:

Analysis of Syrian Protest Movement – Mazda Majidi, April 2011
[The opposition movement] undoubtedly includes many thousands who simply a desire a society free of poverty and state repression. But it has also included sectarian religious forces who want to overthrow the country’s secular orientation, and have chanted “Alawis to the coffins, Christians to Beirut.”

Syria’s Minorities & Split Loyalties: Through the Sectarian Lens Albawaba – Feb 1 2012
Chants heard at revolution rallies have been to the tune of: « Alawis to the coffins and Christians to Beirut. »

The World’s Next Genocide – NYT Nov 2012
[I]nside Syria those chanting “Christians to Beirut, Alawites to their graves!” have become more than a fringe element. Human Rights Watch and other groups have documented cases of rebels executing Syrian soldiers and Alawites regarded as government collaborators.

Here is video from the early March 2011 protests in Syria. They were clearly sectarian with the protesters loudly threatening to kill minorities.

What was so difficult to understand with « Alawis to the coffins » and other genocidal « revolutionary » slogans and deeds that Ford and Landis did not comprehend them throughout the last years?

What has changed that Landis and Ford now act surprised about the « extraordinary » sectarianism of the insurgencies they supported and still support?

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On his visit to Hiroshima last May, Obama did not, as some had vainly hoped he might, apologize for the August 6, 1945 atomic bombing of the city. Instead he gave a high-sounding speech against war. He did this as he was waging ongoing drone war against defenseless enemies in faraway countries and approving plans to spend a trillion dollarsupgrading the US nuclear arsenal.

An apology would have been as useless as his speech. Empty words don’t change anything. But here was one thing that Obama could have said that would have had a real impact: he could have told the truth.

He could have said:

“The atom bombs were not dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki ‘to save lives by ending the war’. That was an official lie. The bombs were dropped to see how they worked and to show the world that the United States possessed unlimited destructive power.”

There was no chance that Obama would say that. Officially, the bombing “saved lives” and therefore, it was worth it. Like the Vietnamese villages we destroyed in order to save them, like the countless Iraqi children who died as a result of US sanctions, the hundreds of thousands of agonizing women and children in two Japanese cities remain on the debit side of the United States accounts with humanity, unpaid and unpunished.

“It Was Worth It”

The decision to destroy Hiroshima and Nagasaki was a political not a military decision. The targets were not military, the effects were not military. The attacks were carried out against the wishes of all major military leaders.

Admiral William Leahy, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote in his memoirs that “the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender…” General Eisenhower, General MacArthur, even General Hap Arnold, commander of the Air Force, were opposed. Japan was already devastated by fire bombing, facing mass hunger from the US naval blockade, demoralized by the surrender of its German ally, and fearful of an imminent Russian attack. In reality, the war was over. All top U.S. leaders knew that Japan was defeated and was seeking to surrender.

The decision to use the atom bombs was a purely political decision taken almost solely by two politicians alone: the poker-playing novice President and his mentor, Secretary of State James F. Byrnes.[1]

President Harry S. Truman was meeting with Churchill and Stalin in the Berlin suburbJohnstone-Queen-Cover-ak800--291x450 of Potsdam when secret news came that the New Mexico test of the atomic bomb was a success. Observers recall that Truman was “a changed man”, euphoric with the possession of such power. While more profound men shuddered at the implications of this destructive force, to Truman and his “conniving” Secretary of State, James Byrnes, the message was: “Now we can get away with everything.”

They proceeded to act on that assumption – first of all in their relations with Moscow.

In response to months of U.S. urging, Stalin promised to enter the Asian war three months after the defeat of Nazi Germany, which occurred in early May 1945. It was well known that the Japanese occupation forces in China and Manchuria could not resist the Red Army. It was understood that two things could bring about Japan’s immediate surrender: Russia’s entrance into the war and U.S. assurance that the royal family would not be treated as war criminals.

Both these things happened in the days right after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

But they were overshadowed by the atom bomb.

And that was the point.

That way, the U.S. atom bombs got full credit for ending the war.

But that is not all.

The demonstrated possession of such a weapon gave Truman and Byrnes such a sense of power that they could abandon previous promises to the Russians and attempt to bully Moscow in Europe. In that sense, the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki not only gratuitously killed hundreds of thousands of civilians. They also started the Cold War.

Hiroshima and the Cold War

A most significant observation on the effects of the atomic bomb is attributed to General Dwight D. Eisenhower. As his son recounted, he was deeply depressed on learning at the last minute of plans to use the bomb. Shortly after Hiroshima, Eisenhower is reported to have said privately:

“Before the bomb was used, I would have said yes, I was sure we could keep the peace with Russia. Now, I don’t know. Until now I would have said that we three, Britain with her mighty fleet, America with the strongest air force, and Russia with the strongest land force on the continent, we three could have guaranteed the peace of the world for a long, long time to come. But now, I don’t know. People are frightened and disturbed all over. Everyone feels insecure again.”[2]

As supreme allied commander in Europe, Eisenhower had learned that it was possible to work with the Russians. US and USSR domestic economic and political systems were totally different, but on the world stage they could cooperate. As allies, the differences between them were mostly a matter of mistrust, matters that could be patched up.

The victorious Soviet Union was devastated from the war: cities in ruins, some twenty million dead. The Russians wanted help to rebuild. Previously, under Roosevelt, it had been agreed that the Soviet Union would get reparations from Germany, as well as credits from the United States. Suddenly, this was off the agenda. As news came in of the successful New Mexico test, Truman exclaimed: “This will keep the Russians straight.” Because they suddenly felt all-powerful, Truman and Byrnes decided to get tough with the Russians.

Stalin was told that Russia could take reparations only from the largely agricultural eastern part of Germany under Red Army occupation. This was the first step in the division of Germany, which Moscow actually opposed.

Since several of the Eastern European countries had been allied to Nazi Germany, and contained strong anti-Russian elements, Stalin’s only condition for those countries (then occupied by the Red Army) was that their governments should not be actively hostile to the USSR. For that, Moscow favored the formula “People’s Democracies” meaning coalitions excluding extreme right parties.

Feeling all-powerful, the United States sharpened its demands for “free elections” in hope of installing anti-communist governments. This backfired. Instead of giving in to the implicit atomic threat, the Soviet Union dug in its heels. Instead of loosening political control of Eastern Europe, Moscow imposed Communist Party regimes – and accelerated its own atomic bomb program. The nuclear arms race was on.

“Have Our Cake and Eat It”

John J. McCloy, labeled by his biographer Kai Bird as the informal “chairman of the U.S. establishment”, told Secretary of War Henry Stimson at the time that: “I’ve been taking the position that we ought to have our cake and eat it too; that we ought to be free to operate under this regional arrangement in South America, at the same time intervene promptly in Europe; that we oughtn’t to give away either asset…”[3] Stimson replied, “I think so, decidedly.”

In short, the United States was to retain its sphere of influence in the Western Hemisphere, claimed by the Monroe Doctrine, while depriving Russia of its own buffer zone.

It is necessary to recognize the sharp distinction between domestic policy and foreign policy. The nature of the Soviet internal regime may have been as bad as it is portrayed, but when it came to foreign policy, Stalin scrupulously respected deals made with the Western allies – abandoning, for instance, the Greek Communists as they were crushed by the Anglo-Americans after the war. It was the United States that reneged on the deals made at Yalta, which were then stigmatized as sellouts to “communist aggression”. Stalin had absolutely no desire to promote communist revolution in Western Europe, much less to invade those countries. In fact his failure to promote world revolution was precisely the basis of the campaign against “Stalinism” by Trotskyists – including Trotskyists whose devotion to world revolution has now shifted to promotion of US “regime change” wars.

There is a prevailing Western doctrine that dictatorships make war, and democracies make peace. There is no proof of that whatsoever. Dictatorships (think of Franco Spain) may be conservative and inward-looking. The major imperialist powers, Britain and France, were democracies. Democratic America is far from peaceful.

As the Soviet Union developed its own nuclear arsenal, the United States was unable to interfere effectively in Eastern Europe and fell back on lesser enemies, overthrowing governments in Iran and Guatemala, getting bogged down in Vietnam, on the theory that these were surrogates for the Soviet communist enemy. But now that the Soviet Union has collapsed, abandoning Russia’s buffer zone in Eastern Europe, there appears to be a resurge of the sort of confidence that overcame Truman: a euphoria of limitless power. Why else would the Pentagon undertake a trillion dollar program to renew America’s nuclear arsenal, while stationing troops and aggressive military equipment as close as possible to the Russian border?

In his 1974 book about his relations with his brother Dwight, The President Is Calling, Milton Eisenhower wrote: “Our employment of this new force at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was a supreme provocation to other nations, especially the Soviet Union.” And he added, “Certainly what happened at Hiroshima and Nagasaki will forever be on the conscience of the American people.”

Alas, the evidence so far is all to the contrary. Concerned critics have been marginalized. Systematic official lies about the “necessity to save American lives” have left the collective American conscience perfectly clear, while the power of the Bomb has created a lasting sense of self-righteous “exceptionalism” in the nation’s leaders. We Americans alone can do what others cannot, because we are “free” and “democratic” and they – if we so decide – are not. Other countries, not being “democracies”, can be destroyed in order to liberate them. Or simply destroyed. This is the bottom line of the “exceptionalism” that substitutes in Washington for the “conscience of the American people” which was not aroused by Hiroshima, but asphyxiated.

The Moral Sleep

As a guest in Hiroshima, Obama pontificated skillfully:

“The wars of the modern age teach us this truth. Hiroshima teaches this truth. Technological progress without an equivalent progress in human institutions can doom us. The scientific revolution that led to the splitting of an atom requires a moral revolution as well.”

Well yes, but no such moral revolution has taken place.

“…the memory of the morning of Aug. 6, 1945, must never fade. That memory allows us to fight complacency. It fuels our moral imagination. It allows us to change.”

“Change” is an Obama specialty. But he did nothing to change our nuclear arms policy, except to beef it up. No sign of a “moral imagination” imagining the devastation that this policy is leading us toward. No imaginative ideas to bring about nuclear disarmament. Just promises not to let the bad guys get ahold of them. They belong to us.

“And since that fateful day,” Obama continued, “we have made choices that give us hope. The United States and Japan have forged not only an alliance but a friendship that has won far more for our people than we could ever claim through war.”

This is sinister. As a matter of fact, it was precisely through war that the U.S. forged this alliance and this friendship – which the United States is now trying to militarize in its “Asian pivot”. It means that we can wipe out two of a country’s cities with nuclear weapons and end up with “not only an alliance but a friendship”. So why stop now? Why not make more such “friends” in the same way, for instance in Iran, which Hillary Clinton has expressed willingness to “obliterate” if the circumstances are right.

“That is a future we can choose,” said Obama, “a future in which Hiroshima and Nagasaki are known not as the dawn of atomic warfare but as the start of our own moral awakening.”

But so far, Hiroshima and Nagasaki are very far from marking the “start of our own moral awakening”. On the contrary. The illusion of possessing limitless power removed any need for critical self-examination, any need to make a real effort to understand others who are not like us and don’t want to be like us, but could share the planet peacefully if we would leave them alone.

Since we are all-powerful, we must be a force for good. In reality, we are neither. But we seem incapable of recognizing the limits of our “exceptionalism”.

The bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki plunged the United States leadership into a moral sleep from which it has yet to awaken.

Notes.

[1] All of that is known to experts. The documentary proofs were all laid out by Gar Alperovitz in the 800 pages of his 1995 book, The Decision to Use the Atom Bomb. However, official lies outlive documented refutation.

[2] Alperovitz pp 352-3.

[3] Ibid p.254.

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Late last month, Jabhat al-Nusra (the Nusra Front), al-Qaida’s Syrian arm, announced that it was severing ties with al-Qaida and renaming itself Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (the Front for the Conquest of Syria).

In a video, the group’s leader, Abu Mohamed al-Jolani, explained that the group’s association with al-Qaida permitted the outside powers intervening in the Syrian conflict to label it as an Islamic terrorist group.

The Guardian quoted al-Jolani as saying that the name change is intended “to remove the excuse used by the international community – spearheaded by America and Russia – to bombard and displace Muslims in the Levant: that they are targeting al-Nusra Front, which is associated with al-Qaida.”

He further explained that the new policy was an attempt to have the group removed from international terror lists and to allow it to be perceived as a more acceptable alternative to its main competitor, Daesh (an Arabic acronym for the terrorist group known as ISIS or ISIL in the West).

Al-Nusra shares certain common goals with Daesh in seeking to overthrow the secular government of Syrian President Bashar Assad and replace it with a more traditional form of Islamic rule. It has also expressed hatred for the United States and other Western governments. Writing for the National Interest in November, geopolitical analyst Daniel R. DePetris explained:

“Like its jihadist competitors in the Islamic State, al-Nusra is composed of highly motivated individuals and commanders who would like nothing more than to strike at the United States or at targets in Europe. Jabhat al-Nusra shares the same, minority-within-a-minority Salafi-Jihadist interpretation of Islam as ISIL, despises any and all sectarian groups outside of Syria’s majority Sunni community and has engaged in the same kind of atrocities that have made ISIL’s Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi the most wanted international terrorist alive.”

Though it has focused its attacks more directly on Syrian government forces and their symbolic and physical centers of power, it maintains a similar ruthlessness to that of Daesh. In its World Report 2016, Human Rights Watch noted that both groups were “were responsible for systematic and widespread violations, including targeting civilians, kidnappings, and executions” in Syria. Daesh and al-Nusra both impose strict and discriminatory rules on women and girls, and have actively recruited child soldiers, according to the report.

Smokescreen or strategy?

In its recent rebranding, Al-Nusra also seems to be evaluating the political calculus of the Syrian civil war and acknowledging the recent gains by Syrian forces and their allies — Iran, Hezbollah and Russia. With Assad strengthening his position and the rebel forces in disarray, al-Jolani may be making a bid to unify the opposition by projecting a less militant image to the outside world.

Nusra Front leader Mohammed al-Jolani undated photo released online on Thursday, July 28, 2016 to announce a video message that the militant group is changing name, and claims it will have no more ties with al-Qaida.
Nusra Front leader Mohammed al-Jolani undated photo released online on Thursday, July 28, 2016 to announce a video message that the militant group is changing name, and claims it will have no more ties with al-Qaida.

Still, it’s unclear what this apparent break with al-Qaida actually means. At the announcement of the group’s new name, al-Jolani was joined by a high level associate of Ayman al-Zawahiri, the current leader of al-Qaida, creating the impression that the changes are more tactical than strategic.

Ayman al-Zawahri, head of al-Qaida, delivers a statement in a video which was seen online by the SITE monitoring group.
Ayman al-Zawahri, head of al-Qaida, delivers a statement in a video which was seen online by the SITE monitoring group.

Smadar Perry, an Israeli journalist known to have close ties to Israeli intelligence sources, even hinted that Israel’s Mossad urged this new path on al-Nusra. In an opinion piece posted by YNet on Monday, Perry wrote:

“It may be that this separation is just a smokescreen, and that al-Julani will keep in touch with al-Qaeda in secret. It may also be that Jabhat al-Nusra have received an intelligence analysis from a very certain organization that told it to prepare for the day after Assad leaves power.

The White House has a hard time buying this turnover. They’re in a test period with us, said an official spokesperson, not dismissing outright the possibility of local fighters joining the American-led coalition against ISIS.

If they make a show of force in the field, and Jabhat al-Nusra’s dissociation leads to al-Qaeda’s further weakening in Afghanistan, and if Israel provides its supposed intelligence about al-Julani – Hezbollah and Assad swear he’s a Mossad agent – al-Nusra may become another piece of the puzzle that is the new Syria.”

In the original Hebrew version of the same analysis, Perry noted the likelihood that Syria will be divided in “three or four cantons.” This has always been the goal for Tel Aviv, which sees Syria as one of the few remaining Arab states that can threaten its interests and security.

Israeli soldiers secure an area where a mortar which was fired during clashes between Syrian rebels and President Bashar Assad’s forces in the Quneitra province hit in a community in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights. For the first time in the Syrian civil war, militants linked to al-Qaida are positioned on Israel's doorstep, Aug. 27, 2014.
Israeli soldiers secure an area where a mortar which was fired during clashes between Syrian rebels and President Bashar Assad’s forces in the Quneitra province hit in a community in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights. For the first time in the Syrian civil war, militants linked to al-Qaida are positioned on Israel’s doorstep, Aug. 27, 2014.

In Israel’s view, peace on its northern border would be guaranteed if Syria can be splintered into warring factions. It’s an approach championed at the onset of the civil war in 2012 by Daniel Pipes, a pro-Israel neocon who serves as president of Middle East Forum, a conservative think tank. Arguing that “the continuing Syrian conflict offers benefits to the West,” he explained:

“As Sunni Islamists fight Shiite Islamists, both sides are weakened and their lethal rivalry lessens their capabilities to trouble the outside world. By inspiring restive minorities (Sunnis in Iran, Kurds and Shiites in Turkey), continued fighting in Syria could also weaken Islamist governments.”

He further noted:

“Nothing in the constitutions of Western states requires them to get involved in every foreign conflict; sitting this one out will prove to be a smart move. In addition to the moral benefit of not being accountable for horrors yet to come, staying away permits the West eventually to help its only true friends in Syria, the country’s liberals.”

In a 2012 email released by WikiLeaks, Hillary Clinton offered an Iran-focused variant of this approach:

“The best way to help Israel deal with Iran’s growing nuclear capability is to help the people of Syria overthrow the regime of Bashar Assad.”

The al-Nusra-Israel bond

Ultimately, Israel doesn’t care much about what happens in Syria as long as it can maintain a puppet protectorate along its Golan border. Israel began occupying and administering the region in the Six-Day War of 1967, and it officially annexing the Golan in 1981. Israel continues to refuse to return the territory to Syria despite near universal consensus that the occupation is illegal under international law. Further, the discovery of potential gas deposits there has coincided with a rise in Israeli settlement expansion in recent years.

Examining the al-Nusra-Israeli alliance in the region, it’s clear that the bonds between the two parties have been exceedingly close. Israel maintains a border camp for the families of Syrian fighters. Reporters have documented Israeli Defense Forces commandos entering Syrian territory to rendezvous with Syrian rebels. Others have photographed meetings between Israeli military personnel and al-Nusra commanders at the Quneitra Crossing, the ceasefire line that separates the Syrian-controlled territory and the Israeli-occupied territory in the Golan Heights.

A photo from the Israel, Syrian border along the Golan Heights showing IDF soldiers conversing with Jabhat al Nusra fighters.
A photo from the Israel, Syrian border along the Golan Heights showing IDF soldiers conversing with Jabhat al Nusra fighters.

U.N. personnel also documented Syrian rebel vehicles picking up supplies from the Israeli side:

“Quarterly UNDOF [United Nations Disengagement Observer Force] reports since the pullback reveal an ongoing pattern of Israeli coordination with those [al-Nusra] armed groups.

According to the December 2014 report, UNDOF observed two Israeli soldiers ‘opening the technical fence gate and letting two individuals pass from the [Syrian] to the [Israeli] side’ on 27 October. Unlike most fighters seen entering the Israeli side, these individuals were not wounded and the purpose of their visit remains a mystery.

UNDOF ‘sporadically observed armed members of the opposition interacting’ with the Israeli military across the ceasefire line, the report states.

The next UNDOF report, released in March, notes that UN forces witnessed Israeli soldiers delivering material aid to armed Syrian opposition groups.”

These were presumably supplies and equipment designed either to help the rebels in their fight against Assad or to improve communications between Israeli and rebel forces.

Israel’s divide-and-conquer approach

Israel’s support for radical terror groups is a long-term strategy it’s exploited in multiple theaters. Its ultimate purpose is to weaken a strong foe.

In terms of Hezbollah, Israel hadn’t anticipated that the Lebanese militant group would grow to become a much more powerful and dangerous foe than the PLO had ever been in Lebanon.

Israeli soldiers walks near the border with Syria near the site of a Sunday Israeli airstrike, in the Israeli controlled Golan Heights, Monday, April 27, 2015
Israeli soldiers walks near the border with Syria near the site of a Sunday Israeli airstrike, in the Israeli controlled Golan Heights, Monday, April 27, 2015

The strategy worked better regarding Hamas because it has never been able to dominate Fatah. The two have maintained a wary and draining battle of wills over the decades, with neither being able to oust the other. This has created a rift that has substantially weakened the Palestinians and their cause. Still, Hamas has trained its sights on Israel as well and become an even more militant foe than Fatah ever was.

Thus, Israel’s strategy of forging an alliance with al-Nusra and strengthening it so that it can wage a formidable fight against Assad, is part and parcel of a longstanding goal of dividing the enemy. Israel hopes the militant extremist group will dominate the Golan region and maintain stability and security there. However, Israel neglects what almost always happens to these golems: Once they are created they take on a life of their own. The creator loses control of his creation, which wreaks havoc and even turns against him.

Just as it happened to Rabbi Judah Loew of Prague, and Mary Shelley’s Dr. Frankenstein, so it happened with the U.S. alliance with the Afghan mujahadeen, and the Israeli alliances with their own Arab proxies.

Israel’s alliance with al-Nusra also points to the utter cynicism of its approach. While the rest of the world labels the group terrorists, and fights to prevent their terror attacks on Western soil, Israel looks only for its own advantage. There’s the old saying that “The enemy of my enemy is my friend,” but in Israel’s playbook, the saying goes: “The enemy of my friend may certainly be my friend.” This rings especially true when Israeli leaders warn the world about the threat of global jihad, while also cozying up to jihadis in their own corner of the world.

Netanyahu looks at Syrian patient IDF field hospital. (photo credit:KOBI GIDEON/GPO)
Benjamin Netanyahu looks at Syrian ‘patient’ being treated in an IDF field hospital. (photo credit:KOBI GIDEON/GPO)

The U.S. and European countries seem to either not notice or deliberately ignore Israel’s tactical embrace of the jihadi movement. The Obama administration is even preparing to ink a new record-breaking military spending agreement with Israel that will up U.S. aid from the current $3 billion a year. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demanded $5 billion per year over the life of the 10-year deal, and the final amount will likely settle somewhere in the middle.

Only Israel gets away with such a level of cognitive dissonance in its alliance with the U.S. Any other ally which depended so profoundly on Washington for its security and existence wouldn’t dare risk endangering that relationship to forge an alliance with an enemy of the U.S. But not Israel. It forges its own path without regard for the interests of others, even its best friends.

Richard Silverstein is a MintPress analyst who has written the Tikun Olam blog since 2003, specializing in Israeli politics and US foreign affairs. He earned a BA from Columbia University, a BHL from the Jewish Theological Seminary, and MA in Comparative Literature from UCLA. Follow Richard on Twitter: @Richards1052

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The US media is nearly foaming at the mouth with unsubstantiated allegations that Russia is attempting to influence US elections. The words of commentators on mainstream US media are, “How dare Russia try to influence our elections!” and “How dare Putin meddle in the affairs of other countries!”

Beyond the lack of actual evidence to back up these claims, there is a layer of absolute hypocrisy. For decades leaders of the United States have been actively trying to influence the elections of other countries in a way that is favorable to the centers of American economic power. Often, this meddling is also done to prevent the election of governments who are sympathetic to Russia or China.

The stated purpose of the “Marshall Plan” enacted by the United States after the Second World War was to weaken Moscow-aligned political forces across the world. US leaders put pressure on various governments to suppress Communist parties, even when they were wildly popular and won at the polls. In 1947, when Communists pushed out of the cabinet, the World Bank rewarded France with a loan, just hours afterward.

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In China the United States supported the Nationalist government in barring the Communist Party from participating in the post-war elections. In response to being barred from the ballot, the Communists took up arms and eventually created the People’s Republic of China in 1949.

In Korea, the United States coopered with forces who made sure that the post-war elections, which would likely have elected Soviet- aligned forces, never took place. Instead of the planned national election for the entire Korean Peninsula, the US supported General Sygman Rhee in establishing a military dictatorship in the south. With full US support Rhee slaughtered tens of thousands of leftists at Jeju Island and elsewhere.

In Italy and other countries throughout Europe, the United States cooperated with NATO countries to conduct “Operation Gladio” in order to prevent the often wildly popular Communist parties from winning the elections. In Italy, the CIA not only facilitated a campaign of media smears and demonization, but also conducted election fraud and staged armed acts of violence, successfully preventing the Italian public from electing a Russian-aligned government. Since the end of the Cold War, it has been revealed that US and other NATO intelligence services were involved in terrorist attacks in which civilians were killed. These acts of terrorism were done with the intention of weakening the Communists at the polls.

These kinds of schemes were conducted by US intelligence agencies throughout the Cold War. In Indonesia, the United States did everything possible to sabotage and discredit the China aligned government of Sukarno. When well-funded attempts to defeat the pro-Chinese coalition government were unsuccessful, the United States backed a military in coup d’etat in 1965. In the aftermath of the military seizing power in Indonesia and toppling Sukarno, hundreds of thousands of people were killed. Some say the mass slaughtered that followed the 1965 escalated beyond political violence and became a genocide against ethnic Chinese people in Indonesia.

In the early 1970s, the United States intentionally worked to sabotage the economy Chile, openly hoping to destabilize the country and discredit the socialist coalition which had been democratically elected. Richard Nixon directly ordered the CIA to “make the economy scream” in order to weaken the popularity of the Socialists, who were friendly to the Soviet Union. When efforts to influence the elections failed, the United States supported a military coup d’etat in which Augusto Pinochet seized power, killing thousands of leftists and dissidents.

In 1990, the Sandinista government of Nicaragua held elections. The United States had been funding armed groups known as Contras for over a decade hoping to topple the government. As the elections drew near, the allies of the United States, with millions of dollars to fund their campaign at the ballot box, assured the public that if the Sandinistas were voted out of power, the campaign of terrorism would end. The people of Nicaragua, scarred by years of war, voted for the opposition.

Clinton’s Meddling in Elections Across The Planet

Since the rise of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela in 1999, the United States has been actively working to influence the elections in a number of Latin American countries. The US openly cooperates with opposition forces in Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Cuba.

The leaked e-mails of Hillary Rodham Clinton reveal that as Secretary of State she worked very hard to influence elections in Latin America and to defeat of Bolivarian socialists at the ballot box.

Clinton and other US leaders have actively tried to influence elections and secure the defeat of the elected government of Belarus, led by Alexander Lukashenko. On several occasions when the pro-western minority in Belarus has been defeated at the polls, the streets of the country have experience a wave of violence from US-backed “oppositionists.”

Despite Vladimir Putin being one of the most popular heads of state on earth, Clinton has publicly aligned herself with the widely unpopular, pro-western Russian opposition. The US State Department most certainly has a relationship with such forces as well.

The allegation currently plastered across US media is that somehow Russia was involved in making public some e-mails revealing dishonesty and malpractice by the Democratic National Committee. The allegation is that Russia would prefer that Trump rather than Clinton be elected in November, and that making the dishonest activities of Debbie Wasserman Shultz and others public will hurt Clinton’s image.

The actions that the Clinton campaign is currently accusing Russia of engaging in are very mild in comparison to what has been actively done by US leaders to influence the elections of other countries. Across the planet, when it was feared that elections may go differently than they preferred, US intelligence agencies have funded terrorist groups, supported people engaged in electoral fraud, and done everything possible to secure the results they want. Often, when countries elect governments they disfavor, the United States has supported military coups that overturned the elected governments.

In allegations surrounding the US elections, Russia is not being accused of anything remotely close to what US leaders have done to influence the elections of other countries. However, the history of US meddling with elections across the planet is unfortunately absent from mainstream media discourse, allowing a hostile climate of Russophobia to escalate.

Caleb Maupin is a political analyst and activist based in New York. He studied political science at Baldwin-Wallace College and was inspired and involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

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Long-time anti-war activist and political commentator, Ken Stone, will launch his new e-booklet, “Defiant Syria”, at a workshop at the World Social Forum (WSF) on Wednesday, August 10 at 1 pm. The venue will be Cégep du Vieux Montréal (Local 884), 255, Rue Ontario E., Montreal.

Mr. Stone participated in the Second International Tour of Peace to Syria in mid-April, 2016, during which the group observed the Syrian parliamentary elections of April 13, visited Homs to witness the destruction and reconstruction, and were the very first tourists to be allowed on the site of the ancient Roman city of Palmyra, just liberated from ISIS by the Syrian Arab Army with Russian air support, just two weeks earlier.

Mr. Stone will give an eye-witness report from Syria and afterwards will be available for a Q&A and the signing and selling of print copies of his pamphlet at $5 apiece. His talk will focus, in part, on the propaganda war against Syria mounted in the West to coincide with its illegal aggression against that country using terrorist mercenary armies as foot soldiers.

The e-booklet is now available on all major internet bookselling platforms, including Amazon, Kobo, and iTunes.

The e-booklet launch at the WSF is sponsored by the Syria Solidarity Movement (SSM) of which Ken Stone is a founding, executive member. Mr. Stone will also participate in two other SSM-sponsored workshops at the WSF, led by Professor Nour El-Kadri:

– “Syria and International Law”, Thursday, August 11, 1300 – 15:30

Université McGill – Pavillon Rutherford (Local 112), 3600, rue University

– “Syria & Palestine”, Friday, August 12, 13:00-15-30

Cégep du Vieux Montréal (Local 982), 255, Rue Ontario E

For further info, please contact Ken at 905-383-7693 at home or [email protected]. You may also text him, starting on Monday, August 8, at 289-339-7023.

Please see below a review of “Defiant Syria” by Stephen Gowans

Defiant Syria: On A Journey Through Syria, A Canadian Anti-War Activist Discovers The Country’s Resilient Spirit

July 8, 2016

By Stephen Gowans

Last April, veteran anti-war activist Ken Stone travelled to Syria as part of a seven person solidarity mission with the people of Syria, becoming one of the first tourists to visit liberated Palmyra. Stone recounts his trip in Defiant Syria: Dispatches from the Second International Tour of Peace to Syria.

The short book is part travelogue, part diatribe against those sections of the political left which reliably support US-led interventions in formerly colonized countries, and part trenchant critique of Canadian foreign policy in connection with Syria.

Stone’s journey through Syria left him struck by the defiance of Syrians in the face of the immense challenges they’ve confronted and the struggles they’ve endured.

“I was surprised,” he writes, “at the resilience of the Syrian spirit. I expected to find Syrians depressed, exhausted, and pessimistic after five long years of war. Instead, they were full of life and defiance.”

Part of that defiance was expressed in the Syrian government insisting, over the objections of Western powers, on holding parliamentary elections in April, as mandated by Syria’s 2012 constitution, which was drafted and popularly ratified in response to the demands of the opposition in 2011.

Stone was in Damascus on the day of the election, and devotes a chapter of his book to the mechanics of parliamentary democracy in Syria and what he observed as Syrians went to the polls. He draws a contrast between the government controlled capital, where calm prevailed and residents were determined to cast their ballots, and nearby Ghouta, where “all kinds of foreign mercenaries hold the population hostage and in terror.”

I was struck, reading this, by another contrast. On top of parliamentary elections, Syrians elect their president, and the last presidential election in 2012 was open to multiple candidates. In contrast, there are no elections held in jihadist-controlled territories. The jihadists, not only ISIS and al Nusra, but many of the mislabelled “moderate rebels,” doted on by Western countries, and who are enmeshed with al-Nusra, view democracy as idolatry, and don’t favor it for the successor state they envision.

None of this has stopped the former NATO colonial powers from backing the democracy-adverse jihadists. Nor has it stopped Washington and its NATO allies from working with democracy-abominating Arab monarchies—which, by the way, were installed by the colonial powers—to bring down an elected government in Damascus whose guiding political philosophy is anti-colonialism and freedom from foreign interference.

Framed this way, it’s not difficult to see who the villains are in this piece, and what lies at the root of the war—not a revolutionary eruption of civil society for democracy but a reactionary eruption of former colonial powers, in alliance with Wahhabi-inspired Islam, for renewed domination of Syria.

If the claim about the United States and its allies forging an alliance with Sunni sectarian Islamists seems extreme, consider this: In March, the Wall Street Journal quoted Michael Oren, former Israeli ambassador to the United States, and now a member of the Israeli parliament, declaring that “If we had to choose between ISIS and Assad, we’ll take ISIS.”

Mainstream commentators, from journalists Robert Fisk and Patrick Cockburn of the Independent to Anne Barnard and Hwaida Saad of the New York Times, along with the United States’ own Congressional Research Service, have either described the US-led coalition’s fight against ISIS in Syria as largely symbolic or standing down when Islamic State attacks Syrian government forces. Washington is reluctant to stop ISIS from doing as much damage as it can in Syria, a form of collusion with the Wahhabi-inspired Sunni sectarians, in pursuit of a shared goal of ousting Assad, whose crime appears to be adherence to secular Arab nationalist goals of freedom from foreign interference, Arab unity, and socialism.

In a similar manner, British foreign secretary Philip Hammond, with an imperial arrogance befitting an official of the empire, told the New York Times last November that if al-Qaeda accepts the West’s conditions, it should be allowed to contribute to shaping Syria’s future, but not Assad, the elected president.

As for al Nusra, whose fighters are regularly patched up in Israeli hospitals and then sent back across the border to continue their fight against secularism and non-sectarianism, the New York Times and Wall Street Journal have run article after article noting that US-trained rebels are enmeshed with, cooperating with, ideologically similar to, sharing arms with, and embedded with the al Qaeda affiliate in Syria.

None of this is lost on Stone, who blames Washington, and its military alliance NATO, for Syria’s tribulations. A “cabal of mainly western NATO countries with the help of various Arab monarchs” has “recruited, trained, and coordinated” the insurgents, he writes. NATO’s sponsorship of jihadists—whom Stone calls terrorist mercenaries—is the root cause, in his view, of the chaos that plagues the country.

Stone argues that a direct line of causation can be traced from another aspect of the chaos of Syria to the West’s interventionist policies in the Middle East, namely, the refugee crisis in Europe. “It’s no accident,” he writes, “that the wave of refugees that has literally washed ashore on the coastlines of Southern Europe, dead and alive, is composed mostly of Syrians, Libyans, and Afghanis, precisely the victims of NATO military interventions in those three countries.”

The implications for how to resolve the refugee crisis are clear, says Stone. The “lesson is that, if you don’t want to turn millions of innocent civilians into refugees and subsequently find them at your frontiers, you should oppose military interventions in other countries.”

This should resonate with Canadians, whose government has agreed to settle 25,000 refugees from the war-torn country. It is “a fine humanitarian gesture,” Stone notes, but is “treating the symptom rather than the disease.” The “war could end in months,” he predicts, “if the predominantly NATO countries, who have organized the aggression against Syria” brought an end to “their support of the foreign mercenaries operating in that country and leaned on Turkey and Jordan to close their borders to them.”

Stone fulminates against “otherwise intelligent people” who’ve fallen for the myth that the Syrian insurgency is a democratic uprising of civil society against a brutal dictator, rather than a regime change operation sponsored by Washington and its satellites, in the pattern of Afghanistan, Iraq, Haiti, Honduras, Libya, and Somalia.

“It’s not as if Syria is the very first government targeted for regime change by the USA,” he writes. Still, “there is never a shortage of ‘leftists’ in the West who can be either bought or convinced through their incredible naïveté, warped political outlook, or Eurocentric arrogance, that the motives of the Empire are good,” he observes.

Stone reserves particular venom for an article that appeared in the September 2015 issue of The New Internationalist. A retired teacher colleague of Stone’s went out of his way to place a copy of the magazine, featuring the article “The forgotten revolution of Syria,” in Stone’s hands so he could read it in advance of his trip to Syria. Stone dismissed it as “shit.”

The Hamilton-based activist bids us to contrast “the hostile treatment with which the Canadian government unfairly treats the secular and pluralist Syrian government to the friendly treatment (including arms sales and an open invitation to fund mosques across Canada) it offers to the despotic and sectarian Saudi Arabian monarchy, the fountainhead of Wahhabi terrorism around the world.”

Stone also takes Ottawa to task for provide refuelling, reconnaissance, and transport aircraft services to the US-led Coalition, which violates Syria’s sovereignty by carrying out military operations in the country without the slightest regard for the wishes of Syrians or their elected government. This makes Canada “an accomplice, not directly involved in bombing Syria, but doing something akin to driving the getaway car rather than actually robbing the bank,” Stone observes.

The veteran leftist also faults the Canadian government for sending 800 Canadian military trainers to reinforce Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq. He argues that this is part of an effort to detach the pro-West Kurdish north completely from Iraq by making it militarily independent of Baghdad.

Stone left Syria sanguine about its future. Restaurants and nightclubs filled with people at night, Syrians singing patriotic songs, dancing, and making ambitious plans to reconstruct their lives—all of this imbued him with a spirit of optimism about a country whose people continue to defy Western machinations to undermine their right to choose their own government, guide their economy in their own way, and choose their own future.

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As the battle for Aleppo gathers momentum and the encircled terrorist factions respond violently to the strangulation of their supply lines and diminishment of their territory in eastern Aleppo, CNN  goes to extraordinary lengths to obfuscate US connections to these terror gangs, romanticise the role of terror in Syria and even more astonishingly “normalise” suicide bombers and promote the re-branded Al Nusra as the new “moderates”. 

Al Nusra Front (aka Al Qaeda in Syria) under new nomenclature suddenly become ‘freedom fighters’ (sounds familiar) and the new ‘reasonable option’ in the US mainstream media and the US voting public barely seem to notice?

On August 2nd 2016, as the Syrian Arab Army made serious advances on the ground against the NATO and GCC-backed terrorist factions occupying the eastern sectors of Aleppo, the Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria, Jabhat Al Nusra made the announcement that it was changing the name of the group.  Naturally, CNN ran with this story almost immediately.

This re-branding also coincides with the agreement between Russia and the US to finally combine forces in combating Al Qaeda/Al Nusra fighting inside Syria. Here we can see the true function of CNN in the conflict theatre – to help sculpt the US government narrative – and to carefully nudgethe public perception along those lines.

CNN’s crack journalist, Clarissa Ward, who has visited terrorist held areas inside Syria 14 timessince the NATO dirty war on Syria began 5 years ago, even donning the full veil and chador, or niqab, presumably to “respect” the ‘moderate rebel’ jihadi extremist demands, has played the staring role in the CNN team producing these sensational reports.

CW Collage
Clarissa Ward. Photo collage created from CNN reports

Clarissa Ward who professes Syria is a place “close to her heart” wrote that Al Nusra had taken the decision to split from Al Qaeda and re-brand as Jabhat Fatah al Sham.

Mostafa Mahamed, one of the group’s leaders, says that prior to the split al-Nusra “was an official branch of al Qaeda. We reported to their central command and we worked within their framework, we adhered to their policies.With the formation of JFS, or Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham, we are completely independent. That means we don’t report to anyone, we don’t receive our directives from any external entity. ~ CNN Report

CNN then go on to draw on comments from Charles Lister, known propagandist and executive producer of the “moderate rebel” promotional literature. Scholar at the the Washington based and Qatari funded Middle East Institute., Charles Lister of course celebrates this name change, claiming it is a natural progression for the group to protect it from Russian and Syrian Airforce strikes.

Qatar itself is also heavily invested in “regime change” in Syria.  Besides funding the terrorist factions directly, Qatar is also involved in the more subtle building of a shadow state inside Syria via the myriad of NATO and EU funded NGOs who serve as a fifth column for the governments hostile to Syria and enable these governments to work on infiltrating local services and councils. This operation has been discussed in a previous 21st Century Wire article ~ #AleppoIsBurning Campaign Created by NATO to Facilitate a “No Bomb Zone”

So, this group that receives weapons, equipment and “directives” from NATO, in particular the US, has rebranded to prevent Russia targeting them as an internationally designated terrorist group? According to Charles Lister, there are perfectly logical explanations for this re-brand that defy suchspurious speculation:

Al Qaeda as an international organization has been changing,” says Lister. “It is becoming more of an idea than an organization. It is looking to decentralize jihad, to give more autonomy to individual affiliates with the aim of making jihadi rule more likely. “Jabhat al-Nusra has demonstrated the value of that,” he says, distancing itself from some of the more bloodthirsty Islamist groups. “It has an explicit ban on tough punishments: It doesn’t chop hand off for thievery, it doesn’t execute for murder. ~ CNN Report

Has nobody watching or reading CNN realised how twisted this statement is?

Al Nusra does not “chop hands off for thievery, it doesnt execute for murder“. There is some logic to this however… when the murderers absolve themselves of their own crimes it makes sense that they will abolish the execution policy when they are the primary perpetrators of the crime inside Syria. They don’t chop hands off, what is the point when a head can be chopped off instead?

Why punish murder when they are massacring the Syrian people on a daily basis?

The Al Nusra Invasion of Maaloula Whitewashed by CNN

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Maaloula. Photo: Vanessa Beeley

Yesterday Vanessa Beeley [the author] met with Father Talal Taalab, a Christian priest from the historic Christian village of Maaloula perched 15oo metres high on the mountainside of the Rif Dimashq governorate, 56 km north-east of Damascus and close to the border with Lebanon. This beautiful Christian village has been in existence for more than 7000 years and has proudly preserved its culture and heritage including the Aramaic language.

In the 1920s, according to Father Taalab,  Turkey introduced Muslim Brotherhood factions into Maaloula “planting strangers in our land

The Christian communities welcomed these “strangers” and provided them with housing and land, even building a mosque for them inside Maaloula.

From 2011 onwards, Father Taalab sensed a growing threat from members of this Muslim community, he noticed that many of them were joining the flourishing groups of insurgents and extremists.  Even those living inside Maaloula were being enticed into joining the ranks of those terrorists who wished only to cleanse the area of those who did not adhere to their extreme view of Islam and intolerance towards “apsotates” and infidels.

On the 4th September 2013, these terrorists that CNN are trying to present as reformed criminals, suicide bombed the southern SAA checkpoint that was the only defence for the crypto-occupied Christian residents.  A Jordanian suicide bomber drove a truck up to the checkpoint that was blocking the southern entrance to the village and detonated it, giving the signal for the attack to begin.

During this attack, 8 Syrian Army soldiers were murdered by the insurgents and two tanks were disabled.  The terrorists then went on to capture the Safir Hotel which gave them a vantage point from which they could snipe the village residents. Father Taalab describes how many of the Muslim Brotherhood residents who had been their neighbours for years, turned on their Christian hosts and began chanting in support of the Al Nusra insurgents while they were attacking Christian homes and looting or torching their churches.

On the 7th September 2013, Black saturday in the Maalouli calendar, Al Nusra extremists entered a house in Maaloula.  They rounded up three young men, [left to right] Sarkis, Mikhael and Anton. Their photos are pinned to the wall of Father Taalab’s office.

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Al Nusra demanded that each man convert to Islam, each man in turn refused to renounce their faith and were shot in the head one by one. The second and third were forced to watch their lifelong friends and brothers murdered before being shot themselves for their refusal to abandon their beliefs.

The Al Nusra operatives then went on to shoot an 80 year old man, Lawandeus, who was Anton’s father.  Lawandeus was blind and deaf but this did not prevent Al Nusra’s attempted murder of this defenceless elder citizen whose son’s blood was already staining the floor.

On entering the house, these Al Nusra NATO agents had also shot Anton’s sister, Antoinette, in the back.  Presuming she was dead they then proceeded to shoot her brother and his two comrades in the head while Antoinette, half conscious, a bullet in her spine, was forced to witness the cold-blooded murders.  Her brother Anton was a shoemaker, the only son of their parents and someone who served his church and the community faithfully and compassionately.

Mikhael was the town baker and Sarkis was an engineering student with a promising future, cut short by the Al Nusra bloodletters whose purpose was to ethnically cleanse the Christian community from its ancestral home.

On the same day, Al Nusra kidnapped six young men from the village including Father Taalab’s brother and two other family members. Father Taalab maintains that Al Nusra deliberately targeted the families of the village clergy which further supports the claim that Al Nusra were intent upon the ethnic cleansing of this ancient community.

These six young men are still missing.  For the first six months, Father Taalab was in contact with them via phone. After that initial six months nothing has been heard from them.  The pain of this “not knowing” was visible in Father Taalab eyes and expression as he talked of efforts ongoing to try and locate the boys and to return them to their families in Maaloula.

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Father Talal Taalab. Photo: Vanessa Beeley

We are hopeful that all our belongings will be returned to us including the icons and artefacts but most importantly the human souls that were torn  from our midst and from their mothers’ side. ~ Father Taalab

We would expect a media outlet as prominent as CNN to report on these atrocities in detail but when we look at their accounts of Al Nusra’s invasion and occupation of Maaloula we find that they have, to a large extent, whitewashed the extremism and murderous intent.

In fact, according to CNN“Maaloua was spared the atrocities endured elsewhere across Syria”  In a May 2016 report, CNN barely mentions the Al Nusra savagery, with only a fleeting reference to the 2013 crimes: “The convent was badly damaged in 2013 and 12 nuns were taken hostage and held by Islamist fighters for months before being released unharmed”

This glib reformulation of the truth acts as a criminal gatekeeper as to the true evil of Al Nusra and the barbarity of their acts against the Maalouli people.  CNN is fundamentally entering into the arena of terror apologism and perhaps even endorsement of their heinous crimes against an unprotected and unprepared Christian minority community that had peacefully co-existed with its eventual attackers for almost a full century.

CNN also marginalise the desecration of ancient cultural heritage sites, the burning of medieval Icons, the torching of sacred places of worship, the shooting of the crosses, the theft of the ancient statues and artefacts. These NATO terrorsts cut a violent and bloody swathe through this steadfast civilisation that had evolved over seven thousand years into a humble and hospitable community that opened its doors to all faiths and sects.

Remember, according to Charles Lister, these murderers are “moderates:  “it [Al Nusra] doesn’t chop hand off for thievery, it doesn’t execute for murder.”

This short video was taken on the 29th July 2016, almost three years after these horrific crimes were committed by the CNN poster boys for “moderate” terrorism inside Syria.  It shows the US Peace Council delegation entering Maaloula. As you can hear from the comments, the scars of the Al Nusra butchery still remain in the bullet holes that pepper the walls and buildings and deep in the hearts of this simple community that has suffered inestimable loss and endured a savagery they never imagined could exist among them.

Are CNN Embedded with Al Qaeda inside Syria?

Now we have established evidence of just one of the many areas of Syria where Al Nusra have committed atrocities against the Syrian people we should return and examine more closely, the role of CNN as US State media purveyor of the “moderate rebel” myth and normaliser of terrorist acts “moderately” conducted daily and justified by any means possible.

Clarissa Ward stated that she has visited Syria 14 times since the NATO dirty operation to secure “regime change” began to tear Syria apart over five years ago. Ward has extensively embedded herself in the Al Nusra/Al Qaeda held areas of Aleppo and along the corridor that leads from the Turkish border to the terrorist occupied city.  As explained previously, Al Nusra and other NATO backed gangs such as Nour al Din Jenki occupy the eastern sectors of Aleppo city with ISISintermingling in the northern regions.

Nour al Din Jenki, another US supported terrorist faction were responsible for the recent horrific beheading of a young Palestinian child, the footage of which has shocked audiences across the world but which the US State Department still balks at condemning.  The life of a child, beaten, tortured and finally publically decapitated seems less important than the protection of their assets inside Syria.

In March 2016 Ward and CNN with the assistance of Bilal Abdul Kareem of On the Ground News [OGN] executed a plan to film deep inside the “rebel” territories of [eastern] Aleppo, Idlib city and Maarat al Numan.  It must be clarified that the areas infiltrated by this media team are in fact stongholds of terrorism, ISIS, Al Nusra/Al Qaeda and Ahrar al Sham the other half of the erstwhile Jaish al Fatah [Army of Conquest] alliance that Al Nusra has now publicly disassociated from with its convenient name change.

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Bilal Abdul Kareem interviewing Muhaysini. Photo: Screenshot

Bilal Abdul Kareem is no stranger to these terrorist areas, he has been the long-time petinterviewer of Sheikh Abdullah Muhaysini, head of Jaish al Fatah and Riyadh educated and funded child suicide bomber trainer, executioner, judge of apostates and all round mass murderer who has very recently been calling upon terrorist suicide bombers in and around Aleppo to massacre Syrian Arab Army soliders and allies to gain their virgin prizes in Jannah [Paradise]:

Ward wears the niqab on this mission succumbing to the most extreme demands of fundamental Wahhabi Islam being imposed by ISIS, Ahrar al Sham and Al Nusra in Idlib, eastern Aleppo and Maarat al Numan.

Ward crossed into Syria illegally via the Turkish border without permission from the Syrian government and fraternized with the same terrorists that are massacring and sadistically brutalizing the Syrian people in these regions.

Had Ward entered legally, she would have had the protection of the Syrian Government and Armed forces.  She would not have had to wear the Niqab as the majority of Government held areas that house the majority of the Syrian people from all religious sects and walks of life do not enforce any sort of dress code.

Had Ward officially and respectfully asked if she could interview the “armed opposition” she would have been told by Dr Bashar Al Jaafari [Syrian Representative to the UN] that:

If you wish to talk to the armed opposition, I suggest you go to Saudi Arabia”

What is Ward’s role in this war? It is certainly not to bring the truth to the outside world. 

Ward collectively re-brands these NATO funded mass murderers, activists and rebels.

Ward sits with these terrorist criminals and sympathises with their plight as they are bombed by the Syrian and Russian airforce trying to drive this cancer from a sovereign nation that has been invaded by a NATO proxy army comprising rapists, child abusers, smugglers, drug addicts and escaped convicts.

Ward romanticizes these felons and killers, she allies herself and CNN with their “cause” although an explanation of that cause is not forthcoming other than, naturally, the deposing of President Assad, his “brutal regime” and the destruction of the Syrian National Army.

Almost every family in Syria has a relative in the Syrian Army, Ward is advocating their murder and denying the universal grief and sorrow felt by every single Syrian man, woman and child that has lost their father, son, brother or uncle at the hands of the criminals that Ward portrays as heroic “rebels”.

They were the ones under the relentless bombardment from the Assad regime. The vast majority of people living there are good people who are suffering enormously. ~ Clarissa Ward: What its like being a Journalist in one of the Worlds most Dangerous Countries

What Ward fails to mention is that yes, the good people, the Syrian people are suffering enormously but from terrorist occupation.  In Syrian reality, the Syrian Arab Army is their liberator not their prison warden as so often described by Ward and the CNN team.

Ward does not mention Kafarya and Foua, the Ahrar al Sham besieged Shia Muslim villages in Idlib.  Kafarya and Foua are being starved to death.  Kafarya and Foua are being gradually and viciously ethnically cleansed by those Ward describes as “activists”.

This protracted war crime in Kafarya and Foua, endorsed and facilitated by the UN and NATOdoes not even warrant a mention from Ward and her CNN/OGN entourage.

The following video made again by Bilal Abdul Kareem of OGN demonstrates quite clearly that these terrorist factions and their supporters are not starving, they are not besieged, they are only hungry for bigger and better weapons with which they can continue their bloodletting inside Syria  on behalf of the Gulf States, Turkey, Israel and NATO.

In one interview, Clarissa Ward calculatingly says:

“Syria grabbed my heart and never let go”

Does Clarissa Ward ever mention the heart eating exploits of the CNN poster boys and their allies? No of course not.  That would muddy the filthy vermin infested water that CNN are trying to sell us as beneficial for the Syrian people who are in reality poisoned by CNN’s toxic propaganda and support of the terrorist entities that are destroying entire communities, uprooting many others and torturing or violating those that remain behind.

CNN Normalizes Al Nusra Suicide Bombers – “Inside the Mind of a Suicide Bomber”

Two nights ago, CNN aired a chilling and shocking programme where they actively normalised the use of suicide bombers as a natural act of war.

In a ten minute interview with CNN, who yet again give a platform to these pro-terrorist talking heads, Norwegian filmaker Paul Refsdal explains how he had to provide a CV and two references in order to be able to film and interview Al Nusra suicide bombers inside Syria.

In this hallucinatory interview, CNN allow Refsdal to reduce the massacres carried out by these suicide bombers down to the “absurd” and to justify the use of suicide bombers as a legitimate act of war against the Syrian Arab Army.

It is interesting to note that duirng the US Peace Council delegation meeting with President Bashar al Assad on the 28th July 2016, Assad mentioned that according to his government data, the majority of ISIS leaders fighting in Syria, originate from Norway. Perhaps Paul Refsdal is a potential candidate.  Surely we should at least be asking who provided his references.

There is barely a whisper of condemnation for these mass murderers and ideologically deluded criminals.  Once more CNN serves as the platform to lionize terrorism and to elevate it to normalcy in the minds of viewers and readers.

This is a very dangerous path to walk down and one from which return is not easy. Where are CNN leading us and why?

Should we expect CNN to now suddenly approve of the Palestinian resistance tactics and their use of suicide bombers in response to the disproportionate force deployed against them by the Israeli Occupation Forces? That is the logical  conclusion surely?

Al Nusra/Al Qaeda name-change given a platform by CNN

CNN went one step beyond most other media channels who reported on the timely re-branding by Al Nusra/Al Qaeda. CNN televised the announcement by Mohammed Joulani, flanked by two unsavoury members of the terrorist group.  Once again CNN gave the platform to an internationally designated terrorist group and endorsed their attempt to distance themselves from the damaging Al Qaeda brand.

This cynical ploy to alter public perception and open the door to future protection of and collaboration with this NATO terrorist asset must be highlighted.  The consequences of this operation being successful are too dreadful to conceive or entertain particularly for the already bloodied and ravaged Syrian nation and its wounded people.

Video: @Walid970721

CNN Working in Lock-step with the US State Department

CNN is not the only State operative to be working hard at distancing Al Nusra from Al Qaeda and creating smoke screens to disassociate the US government from its terrorist connections in Syria.

John Kirby of the US State Department manages to twist his response to a question regarding the Al Nusra re-branding into an unintelligible concoction of double-speak, ultimately avoiding the question altogether as only the US State Department can.

Where is the categorical response that should have been forthcoming – “under any name they are a gang of mass murderers illegally on Syrian soil and as such are legitimate targets for the Syrian National Army and their allies”. Hell might freeze over long before we hear that from the US State Department or any of their related agencies in the media or predatory humanitarian complex.

The Deadly Implications of the Al Qaeda name change game

Wikipedia has already edited its entry for Mohammed Joulani, Emir of Jabhat al Nusra to incorporate the product re-branding:

Ahmed Hussein al-Shar’a[3] (Arabic: أحمد حسين الشرع‎‎), known by the nom de guerre Abu Mohammad al-Julani[4] (Arabic: أبو محمد الجولاني‎‎), is the emir of the Syrian militant group Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, he also led its predecessor organisation Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda.[5] Al-Julani was listed by the US State Department as a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” on 16 May 2013

The name change has significance and this should not be overlooked.

It is interesting that CNN translates “Sham” to Levant which includes Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Jordan, Turkey and Cyprus.  The British would also add Libya and Egypt to the Levant.

The world “Sham” should actually only include Lebanon, Syria, Palestine and Jordan.

The Islamic definition of “Fateh” is conquest which means quite simply the introduction of the rule of Allah according to the armies of “Fateh”that are predominantly driven by the extremist ideologies of Wahhabism and Al Qaeda so ISIS, Al Nusra, Ahrar al Sham etc. Conquest in this context means the displacement and destruction of all those who do not adhere to this extremist ideology. ~ Abdo Hadad, Maaloula

The CNN expansion of the territory to include the whole of the Levant as opposed to the Sham is perhaps an indication of where this latest turn of events may lead.

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Political map of Syria: Ezilon

Are we about to see the normalization of Al Qaeda and their deployment into Idlib to present the “moderate” face of extremism to the outside world.  An extremism that intends to impose its Islamic state upon a specific area of Syria that is already heavily occupied by its forces, controlled by Turkey acting as middle man for Saudi Arabia and NATO.

Aleppo is slipping from NATO’s grasp and will be a huge loss.  Is Idlib the new target and is Jabhat Fateh al Sham the new “moderate” Al Qaeda primed to occupy this belt of territory bordering Turkey which will give Erdogan an even greater role inside Syria without having to deploy his own armed forces.

Once again, CNN provide the clues by publishing Charles Lister’s view on the Al Qaeda re-brand:

“Their long term aim is to establish an Islamic emirate in Syria”

Author Vanessa Beeley is a contributor to 21WIRE, and since 2011, she has spent most of her time in the Middle East reporting on events there – as a independent researcher, writer, photographer and peace activist. She is a volunteer with the Global Campaign to Return to Palestine. See more of her work at her blog The Wall Will Fall.

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four-minute video that was posted to YouTube on April 29th documents that the US government has been lying about an organization, the White Helmets, the US government hires to assist Syria’s al-Qaeda, called «al-Nusra», to dispose of corpses of persons al-Nusra executes. Al-Nusra kills Syrian government soldiers; and, according to Seymour Hersh and other investigative journalists, has, throughout the Syrian war, been supplied guns and other weapons by the governments of the US, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey, for that purpose. This is part of America’s operation to overthrow Bashar al-Assad, whom even Western polling shows to be popular amongst the Syrian general population. That same polling shows Nusra and other jihadist organizations (and the US government, which arms them) to be extremely unpopular in Syria.

On April 19th, the US State Department had blocked entrance into the United States by Raed Saleh, the head of the White Helmets, and refused to say why. Saleh had been invited to receive in NYC an award by USAID and NGOs that the US government finances, but he was barred at the airport, apparently because the FBI had placed him onto its no-fly list as a known terrorist.

The White Helmets claim to receive no funds from any government, but the four-minute video shows a State Department official admitting «we supply through USAID about twenty-three million dollars in assistance to them» (which might be annually, but that question wasn’t addressed in the video). The White Helmets’ founder, James Le Mesurier, is himself funded by the governments of the UK, Japan, Denmark and the Netherlands, all of which are likewise trying to overthrow Assad.

US Gov’t Refused US Entry to Jihadist It Employs for Overthrowing Assad

 

Thus, US and other Western taxpayers are funding this allegedly ‘non-partisan’ and ‘humanitarian’ but actually jihadist, organization, whose leader was, on April 19th, prevented from receiving in the US, a ‘humanitarian’ award, for processing corpses that Nusra – which the US government also supports – is producing. The White Helmets also rescue jihadists (and their inevitable civilian hostages), who have been injured by Syrian government forces. That’s their ‘humanitarian’ work. This video shows jihadists cheering White Helmets. The anti-Assad ‘charities’ that were wanting to award Raed Saleh in the US, have said they’ll instead do it in Turkey, which is a US ally – even a member of NATO.

As regards what the Syrian people think, it’s highly favorable toward Assad and highly unfavorable toward the jihadist organizations that now infest their country from abroad, and also against the United States, which they view as being the main source of this ‘civil war’ (which is instead actually a foreign invasion of their country).

The video also shows the British agent (and Britain is yet another US ally) who founded and organized the ‘non-partisan humanitarian organization’, White Helmets, Mr Le Mesurier.

The Syrian government is an ally of Russia, and America’s policy is to overthrow and replace the leader of any nation who is friendly toward Russia, such as Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi, Manuel ZelayaViktor Yanukovych, or Bashar al-Assad.

These governments then become failed states. When Zelaya was replaced in 2009, the country he led, Honduras, became a narco-state and has since had the world’s highest murder-rate. Jihadists weren’t even needed in the Honduran case. The US government didn’t perpetrate that particular coup, but only helped it succeed and enabled the installed new regime to remain in power.

The Honduran coup was actually perpetrated by agents of that country’s twelve aristocratic families, who own almost all of the country. However, normally, the US government itself overthrows the leaders it doesn’t like, and doesn’t merely aid the regimes that a coup by the local aristocracy has already installed. Hillary Clinton, the US Presidential candidate, was the key person in the Obama Administration who worked, behind the scenes, to keep in power the coup regime that took over in Honduras on 28 June 2009. Without her assistance to the Honduran coup-regime, Zelaya, whom virtually all other governments supported as being still the legal leader of Honduras, would have been restored to power; the coup-regime would have had to bow out. By contrast, her – and President Obama’s – efforts to replace Syria’s secular but nominally Shiite President Assad, by using Saudi-funded foreign-imported Sunni jihadists, haven’t been nearly so successful, unless creating the highest degree of misery among the residents in any country in the world, is viewed by Obama and Clinton as ‘success’.

As I had reported on April 16th, headlining, «Why Obama Prioritizes Ousting Assad Over Defeating Syria’s Jihadists»: «The 2016 Global Emotions Report by Gallup, surveying over a thousand people in each one of 140 different nations, found that, by far, the people in Syria had ‘the lowest positive experiences worldwide,’ the people there were far more miserable than in any other nation. The score was 36 (on a scale to 100). Second and third worst were tied at 51: Turkey because of the tightening dictatorship there as Turkey has become one of Obama’s key allies in toppling Assad; Nepal, on account of the earthquake».

So, America certainly doesn’t give a damn about the sufferings of the Syrians, and of the Iraqis, sufferings that the US itself caused and which invasions by us (and by the jihadists we and our Saudi and other ‘friends’ have armed and assisted to get into Syria through our ‘friend’ Turkey) have produced the two nations with the most misery on this planet. Our Presidents mouth platitudes of ‘caring’, but, to judge by their actions, are merely lying psychopaths. But whatever they are, they’re causing the most misery of anyone. How much coverage of that fact is there in the American press? Hasn’t America’s press actually been complicit in this, all along?

So, this is the reason why the US government refuses entry to a terrorist it hires to create hell for the people in Syria: it doesn’t want individuals such as Raed Saleh inside the United States. America’s leaders know that, if something like this happens, and if word of it becomes well known, the American public could become even less supportive of their leaders than they already are. It’s not what America’s aristocracy want. They might not care about the American public, but they care very much about staying in power, regardless whether under the «Democratic» or under the «Republican» label.

Back on 26 June 2015, Raed Saleh had somehow been allowed into the United States, to address an «Arria» briefing (named after the far-right aristocratic military Venezuelan diplomat and member of the US aristocratic Council on Foreign Relations, Diego Arria) to the UN Security Council, where Saleh announced in his opening paragraph that his focus would be «to convey the message of the search and rescue teams in Syria about the suffering of the Syrian people due to the regime’s bombing with indiscriminate weapons, particularly barrel bombs».

Those were the cheap, even amateurish, improvised bombs that the Syrian Army were using to kill as many of the jihadists as they could, but which also inevitably killed and maimed also many Syrian civilians in the occupied areas of the country – there’s no way to avoid it. Saleh’s speech didn’t mention any of the many foreign jihadist groups such as Nusra and ISIS that were and are killing far more of everybody than Assad’s forces were. His focus was instead totally against Assad and the government’s forces, not at all against the jihadist mercenaries who had entered the country and made hell there; and, Saleh said, «The Syrian people who are being killed every day, Ladies and Gentlemen, hold you responsible» for not helping those jihadists eliminate the existing Syrian government.

He said this without at all referring to what even Western polling of Syrians had consistently shown to be the case, which was the exact opposite: they hold the US to blame and they loathe the jihadists and support the government. So, clearly, the United States did the correct thing when finally placing this jihadist of theirs onto America’s no-fly list. To the exact contrary of the US government’s propaganda which says that he’s a hero and that he and his organization are ‘nonpartisan’ and that he is, as he calls himself, «the head of Syrian Civil Defense», that appellation for him is like calling Hitler’s medics during his invasion of, say, France, «French Civil Defense». George Orwell’s allegorical novel 1984 has clearly been surpassed in today’s reality. The extent to which Western publics accept the arrant lies they’re fed is exceeding, perhaps, even Orwell’s expectations.

So: one typical piece of Republican propaganda about the White Helmets is the May 1st article in the Wall Street Journal,  «White Helmets Are White Knights for Desperate Syrians», while a typical piece of Democratic propaganda about them is the New York Times eleven days earlier, on April 20th, which headlined «Leader of Syria Rescue Group, Arriving in US for Award, Is Refused Entry», and it reported there that «Joshua Landis, a Syria expert at the University of Oklahoma at Norman, called the denial of entry ‘a scandal’. ‘The White Helmets are one of the few organizations in Syria that have been above reproach,’ he said. ‘They have tried to observe strict neutrality in order to facilitate their humanitarian work and save lives. To do this they have worked alongside all sorts of militias in order to get to victims of the fighting’». He didn’t say that the «militias» are overwhelmingly foreign jihadist groups paid by America’s fundamentalist-Sunni allies the Sauds, and Qatar’s royal family the Thanis, to overthrow the secular Shiite Assad. But, after all, it’s only propaganda, anyway. Right?

Furthermore, the Syrian public might view that conception of ‘strict neutrality’ much the way Jews in Nazi concentration camps viewed the conception of ‘strict neutrality’ as between themselves and their oppressors, or the way Chinese in the Nanjing Massacre viewed that ‘strict neutrality’ between themselves and the Japanese invaders. And, polls in Syria do show they view the US and its allies as the invaders. Instead of ‘strict neutrality,’ the US and its allies are the foreign invaders, and not at all ‘neutral’. And, to state this documented fact (documented here by the links) isn’t propaganda at all; it’s news-reporting, in an entirely verified historical context (which is very different from propaganda).

What that four-minute video shows is news-reporting, in exactly this sense. That’s why it’s presented here: it brings all of this together, succinctly; and what I’ve done here is to document some of its important historical context, to help people who are skeptical of it (and, in such a lying world, everything should be viewed with a scientist’s skepticism) understand and evaluate it, at a deeper level than a mere four minutes can possibly present, even in a video.

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 In an opinion piece written by Andrew J. Tabler, a Martin J. Gross fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) along with Dennis B. Ross also a William Davidson Distinguished Fellow at the institute titled ‘The Case for (Finally) Bombing Assad’ calls for limited “drone and cruise missile strikes” against the government of Bashar al-Assad.

Dennis B. Ross served as the Director of Policy Planning in the State Department under President George H. W. Bush and a special Middle East coordinator under President Bill Clinton then under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as a special adviser for the Persian Gulf (Iran)and Southwest Asia. Ross is also part of the “Israeli Lobby” in Washington so it is no surprise with the content of the article coming from The New York Times is advocating that the Obama administration or the next elected president come this January 1st “bomb” Syrian government forces and President Bashar al-Assad. Israel would accept Ross and Tabler’s assessment since Syria is allied with Iran and Hezbollah.

They claim that limited drone and cruise missile strikes against the Syrian government would “make Mr. Assad behave.“ According to TheNew York Times Op-Ed article:

Wiping out terrorist groups in Syria is an important goal and, after years of death and destruction, any agreement among the country’s warring parties or their patrons may seem welcome. But the Obama administration’s plan, opposed by many within the C.I.A., the State Department and the Pentagon, is flawed. Not only would it cement the Assad government’s siege of the opposition-held city Aleppo, it would push terrorist groups and refugees into neighboring Turkey. Instead, the United States must use this opportunity to take a harder line against Mr. Assad and his allies

Ross and Tabler claim that ‘the Nusra Front’ were targeted for attacks by Russia, Iran (no surprise Ross mentions Iran as a danger every chance he gets, besides he is a lobbyist for Israel) and even the U.S. where there were opposition groups stationed with “some possible Nusra presence” in the same areas. Ross wants all parties to stop targeting“opposition groups” (who in reality are associated with various terrorist organizations) and focus on the Syrian government forces instead:

Secretary of State John Kerry hopes that this understanding with Russia will help lead to progress on other issues, including restoring the “cessation of hostilities,” a partial truce that began in February and broke down in May, and returning to negotiations on a political transition. These are reasonable goals, which are also embodied in a United Nations Security Council resolution adopted last December.

But a leaked text of the proposed agreement with Russia shows that it is riddled with dangerous loopholes. American and Russian representatives are now delineating areas where the Nusra Front is “concentrated” or “significant” and areas where other opposition groups dominate but “some possible Nusra presence” exists. This will still allow Mr. Assad and his Iranian and Russian backers to attack the non-Nusra opposition in those areas, as well as solidify the Syrian government’s hold on power

What is absurd about the article is that it claims that the Syrian government and Hezbollah will force al-Nusrah and other terror groups to flee into neighboring Turkey and eventually the West:

More worrying is that the Assad government lacks the manpower to hold rural Sunni areas and so will rely on Hezbollah and other Shiite militias to do so. These brutal sectarian groups will most likely force the Nusra Front and other Sunni rebels to decamp to Turkey, bringing them, and the threat of militant violence, closer to the West

The U.S. war against Syria along with its clear support of various Terrorists groups has already led to terrorist attacks in Turkey and Western Europe. The partial truce that began in February and ended in May, Ross and Tabler claim that Russia took advantage and bombed “Syrian rebel forces” instead of ISIS and al-Nusra terrorists and even called it a violation:

During the partial truce, Russia took advantage of similar loopholes that permitted it and the Assad government to keep fighting the non-Nusra and non-Islamic State opposition. Such violations have allowed Mr. Assad and his allies to gain territory and besiege Aleppo

In fact, on May 24th, RT News reported that Russia and Syrian government forces has eliminated more than 35% of the Islamic state fighters according to the deputy head of Russia’s top security body, Evgeny Lukyanov at the VII international security summit:

We estimate that at the beginning of our operation Al-Nusra Front and Islamic State [IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL] possessed about 80,000 fighters, of whom 28,000 (35 percent) have already been eliminated. This is [the result of] our actions together with the Syrian Army

Ross and Tabler do have a solution thThere is an alternative: Punish the Syrian government for violating the truce by using drones and cruise missiles to hit the Syrian military’s airfields, bases and artillery positions where no Russian troops are present

The military solution promoted by the New York Times to target the Syrian government and its military forces and avoid Russian troops will be a disaster for Washington. First, Syrian and Russian forces are fighting together which would lead to casualties on both sides if the U.S. were to conduct drone or cruise missile strikes within Syrian government–held territories. Second, without the Assad government in power that holds Syria together would result in the“break-up” of Syria into several areas which would then be controlled by terrorist organizations including the Islamic state. Currently, a battle between the Syrian government forces that is surrounding the city of Aleppo in an attempt to defeat the Western-backed rebels who continue their attacks on government –controlled areas in and around Aleppo.at will not allow ISIS and al-Nusrah to expand into neighboring countries and that is by attacking the Syrian government:

Ross and Tabler’s assessment on what Washington should do in Syria has imperial motives to destroy, destabilize and then control Syria and then target Hezbollah and eventually Iran. Israel would be the dominant power in the Middle East. One of Hillary Clinton’s e-mails from December 31st, 2012 was released earlier this year by Wikileaks proved that the then-Secretary of State under the Obama administration wanted to use military force to overthrow the Assad government from the start of the civil war and strengthen Israel’s security apparatus:

Bringing down Assad would not only be a massive boon to Israel’s security, it would also ease Israel’s understandable fear of losing its nuclear monopoly. Then, Israel and the United States might be able to develop a common view of when the Iranian program is so dangerous that military action could be warranted. Right now, it is the combination of Iran’s strategic alliance with Syria and the steady progress in Iran’s nuclear enrichment program that has led Israeli leaders to contemplate a surprise attack-if necessary over the objections of Washington. With Assad gone, and Iran no longer able to threaten Israel with its proxies, it is possible that the United States and Israel can agree on red lines for when Iran’s program has crossed an unaccepted threshold. In short, the White House can ease the tension that has developed with Israel over Iran by doing the right thing in Syria

Hillary Clinton’s email not only confirms that the Whitehouse sought to remove Assad by force; it also confirms (although the world already knew thanks to the nuclear weapons whistleblower, Mordechai Vanunu) that Israel has a nuclear monopoly? Or rather, a nuclear weapons monopoly?

Dennis B. Ross, Andrew J. Tabler and the New York Times is providing the necessary propaganda for a future Hillary Rodham Clinton presidency (if she either wins or steals the election) to declare war on the Syrian government the minute she gets into the Whitehouse. Ross supported the Iraq war which has destroyed the country. The war on Iraq has led to the foundation of terrorism and to the creation of various terrorist groups in the Middle East and now Ross and company is advocating that Washington order drone and cruise missile strikes against the Syrian government. This is advice from a man who supported the 2003 war on Iraq and signed on the “Neocon” Project for the New American Century (PNAC) that promoted the idea that the U.S. should play a leading role in the world as an Imperial power. The New York Times is already guilty of promoting war in the past; remember the name, Judith Miller?

 

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