A Suffolk University/USA Today poll released Friday found that 75.9% of Americans believe the mainstream media “would like to see [Hillary Clinton] elected president.”

The poll also found that only 10% of Americans believe that “foreign interests such as Russian hackers” are “the primary threat that might try to change the election results”. In contrast, 45.53% believe “the news media” is the primary threat to the election:

media-election

Indeed, the New York TimesBoston Globe,  Los Angeles TimesCNN and other mainstream media admitted to us they were going to try to throw the election for Hillary.  (And leaked emails show widespread collusion between the media and the Clinton campaign.)

Americans widely distrust the mainstream media. With good reason …

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While thousands of humanitarian organisations around the world are struggling fiercely with diminishing support from governments and the public, one has achieved a surprising amount of support from Western governments in a surprisingly short period of time and gained a surprising attention from mainstream media and ditto political elites: The Syrian Civil Defence or White Helmets.

Their name of course makes you think of the UN’s Blue Helmet and white is the colour of those who should be protected in harm’s way – and the colour of innocence. However, for many years there has been an Argentinian relief organisation with the same name.

The SCD or White Helmets counts nearly 3.000 rescue workers who operate in very dangerous areas in rebel-held territories in Syria and claims that it has, in three years, rescued about 70.000 lives according to its Twitter account (or 65 per day).

Contrary to what you might think, it isn’t a Syrian organisation because Syria has its own organisation, incidentally also called Syria Civil Defence, which was established in 1953 and is registered with ICDO, the International Civil Defence Organisation, since 1972.

The White Helmets seems to have an annual budget of US$ 30 million and has raised a total support of well over US$ 100 million. And it seems that they operate exclusively in war zones in which the fighting against the Syrian government and the Syrian Arab Army takes place, i.e. in ‘liberated’ areas where hundreds of groups and some 80 countries, mainly NATO members, Gulf states and Saudi-Arabia, operate.

On the White Helmets’ briefing page it is stated that “funding for their humanitarian relief work is received from the aid budgets of Japan, Denmark, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States.”

Here is how the Foreign Ministry in Copenhagen explains the roughly US$ 9 million to the White helmets from Denmark, a country that bombs in both Iraq and Syria.

Other civil society and humanitarian organisations inside Syria have not been so fortunate. You’ve probably not heard that much about the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and its work? How much/little support have they received from Western humanitarian-concerned governments? And in general, civil society organisations in Syria – women, peace, human rights, culture, etc. – have received nothing like US$ 100 million in a few years and no one has such a flashy media appearance as the White Helmets.

Photo from the White Helmets’ homepage

The White Helmets was started in 2013 by James Le Mesurier who seems to have tried a little of everything everywhere, including the grey zones of special forces and intelligence in virtually all NATO wars, Yugoslavia in particular. He later set up a foundation in Holland to gather the funds. Here is a recent account by Scott Ritter, former US Marine Corps intelligence officer and weapons inspector in Iraq with tremendous knowledge of things Middle East:

“The organizational underpinnings of the White Helmets can be sourced to a March 2013 meeting in Istanbul between a retired British military officer, James Le Mesurier—who had experience in the murky world of private security companies and the shadowy confluence between national security and intelligence operations and international organizations—and representatives of the Syrian National Council (SNC) and the Qatari Red Crescent Society. Earlier that month, the SNC was given Syria’s seat in the Arab League at a meeting of the league held in Qatar.

At that meeting, the SNC assumed Syria’s seat, and the Arab League authorized member states to actively provide support, including arms and ammunition, to the Syrian rebels. The Qataris, working through the SNC, helped assemble for Le Mesurier $300,000 in seed money from Japan, the United States and the United Kingdom for a seven-day course designed to train and equip a 25-person rescue team, recruited by the SNC, for duty in so-called “liberated areas” of Syria. The SNC made available a pair of Syrian activists—Raed Saleh and Farouq Habib—to assist Le Mesurier in this work.

The group is – as will be seen below – treated as uncontroversial in virtually all Western mainstream media. However, there is enough material with documentation to merit caution.

If you read media reports about the White Helmets and do not see the author mention that this group’s real identity is disputed and functions controversial you can be sure that you are wasting your time with somebody who is politically incredibly naive, or gullible; someone who has not done his or her research or is knowingly part of a deceptive effort serving a one-sided political agenda.

The White Helmets definitely is an controversial NGO – at the same time as it is (made) difficult to understand clearly what it really is.

And until the whole picture has been developed, anyone ought to be cautious with taking information about them at face value. So much must be clear given the links below.

Dual purpose?

That said, this author has not been on the ground but has studied both the pro- et contra links provided below.

Some observers draw the conclusion that the White Helmets – Syrian Civil Defence – is purely good guys rescuing lots of people, children in particular. The opposite advocacy claims that, all told, they are part of the terrorist groups, serve Western governments with intelligence and that their backers run political propaganda in their name and that they are simply executioners – murderers with a human face.

But does it have to be either/or?

An alternative hypothesis could be that the White Helmets is a dual-purposeorganisation. They claim to be ordinary Syrian volunteers who came together around the idea of saving lives and are truly altruistic “bakers, tailors, engineers, pharmacists, painters, carpenters, students and many more, the White Helmets are volunteers from all walks of life.” It could well be that some of them actually are, even a majority.

That doesn’t preclude that other elements – not the least those operating outside Syria such as foundations, PR and marketing firms, change organisations, NATO government and NGOs are in it with less noble, war-promoting purposes.

Link collection pro et contra

Find below a link collection – long but fascinating in its wealth of information. We bring it as a help to those seriously interested in Syria’s fate and in studying how opinions are being built by means of connected actors in a rather opaque networking structure, in how NGOs have increasingly become Near-governmental organisations and for those who do not want to sound foolish when they discuss these matters.

First some links to how the the White Helmets presents themselves. Second, some mainstream media articles in their favour of and praising it – including some that argue that the White Helmets ought to receive the Nobel Peace Prize (which happens to be nonsense, since they don’t even remotely qualify according to the criteria in Alfred Nobel’s very clear will and the prize is not a general do-good-prize. In addition, it must be doubted that the Nobel Committee will get more persuaded by the White Helmets’ – quite immodest – campaign in favour of their own candidacy).

Third some links to the comprehensive network of organisations, including governments, that the White Helmets seem to be part of – and it is quite a confusing lot with absolutely no transparency – but quite a few investigations have been carried out.

And fourth and final – the main links to investigative reports and other stuff that are sceptical in various degrees to the first three.

1. The White Helmets present themselves

The Syrian Civil Defence – The White Helmets

The White Helmet Homepage 
On the front page you are asked to sign an appeal for establishing a No-Fly Zone (which would be a violation of international law).

Wikipedia’s entry about the White Helmets

The White Helmets’ media FAQs

Syria Civil Defence on Facebook

The White Helmets on Twitter

Netflix
Official Trailer about White Helmets

The Atlantic
The makers of the Netflix movie give their background

Mayday Rescue
Dutch foundation supporting the White Helmets
According to its website it channels government funds to the White Helmets: “Syria Civil Defence receives funding (through Mayday Rescue and Chemonics) from the governments of the UK, Holland, Denmark, Germany, Japan, and the USA.”

Chemonics
A US global development corporation through which government funds for the White Helmets are channelled (according to Mayday Rescue).

White Helmets themselves campaigning for the 2016 or 2017 Nobel Peace Prize

2. Sources that promote the White Helmets without questioning

Time
How the White Helmets are being hunted in a devastated Aleppo

Time
The White Helmets of Syria

The Economist
The rise of Syria’s White Helmets

Syria’s White Helmets
A film by Danish journalist Nagieb Khaja shown on Al-Jazeera (30 secs into the film one learns that they have saved more than 56.000 lives “since the war began in 2011″ although the White Helmets were formed in 2013).

Nominated for an Oscar

The Nobel Peace Prize must go to the White Helmets

The Guardian view on the Nobel peace prize: give it to Syria’s White Helmets – Editorial

Syria’s White Helmets nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

The White Helmets get the Right Livelihood Award

The Right Livelihood’s motivation – almost a copy of the White Helmets’ own story

3. Organisations in the network around the White Helmets

Purpose
A social movement creation and PR company that allegedly wants to change the world, co-founded by Jeremy Heimans – whose mainstream, politically correct background you see here. Jeremy – of course – began his career with the strategy consultants McKinsey & Company. He also happens to be a co-founder of

Avaaz
Avaaz means voice or song in several languages and the organisation is known by millions as a petition platform for many good/progressive causes. Avaaz has some 43 million members around the world and is thus easily the largest NGO in the world.

Avaaz has also created Purpose.com. Here Jeremy Heimans, co-founder of Avaaz too, speaks to Forbes about his background and what the two companies do.

Avaaz is very active in promoting a No-Fly Zone in Syria which it explains in a petition text with these words: “Let’s build a resounding global call to Obama and other leaders to stand up to Putin and Assad’s terror. This might be our last, best chance to help end this mass murder of defenceless children. Add your name.”

The sad thing is that it has learnt nothing from its own campaign for a No-Fly Zone in Libya. John Hanrahan is a former executive director of The Fund for Investigative Journalism and reporter for The Washington Post, The Washington Star, UPI and other news organisations has made this extremely interesting analysis about how odd it is that Avaaz maintains an interventionist war-agenda in spite of earlier experiences and resistance even by high-ranking militaries.

Hanrahan quotes Avaaz’s campaign director, former State Department official John Tye, “that Avaaz shows 54,000 members in Syria in a population of 23 million – which means that even if every Avaaz member supported a no-fly zone, this would still mean that only one of every 426 Syrians had “voted” for one.

Avaaz spearheads – at least in this matter – an extreme militarist policy while “Avaaz is a global web movement to bring people-powered politics to decision-making everywhere”. Which people want a No-Fly Zone in Syria? Do they know it’s a violation of a sovereign state’s airspace, of international law? That it would embolden every terrorist on Syrian soil because they would get rid of the Syrian Airforce as their enemy? That it continued into regime change in both Iraq and Libya?
Many questions unanswered by this peculiar “people power” organisation, more militarist than governments!

But back to Purpose.com and one of its important clients:

The Syria Campaign – home
They maintain on their website that “The Syria Campaign is fiercely independent and has accepted no money from governments, corporations or anyone directly involved in the Syrian conflict. This allows us full autonomy to advocate for whatever is needed to save lives.” But they also say that they have accepted funds from the Asfari Foundation and the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation and other anonymous donors.
The Syria Campaign also states that it is only pro-human rights and pro-freedom and takes no side. But they explain the conflict in these words:
“The regime of Bashar al-Assad is responsible for crushing a peaceful uprising that has led to the deaths of over 450,000 people, the displacement of over 12 million – half the country – and the emergence of violent, extremist groups like Isis.
Today the fighting in Syria has given way to a world war with more than eighty countries involved on all sides.
The majority of Syrians want neither Assad nor Isis. They want an end to the violence and a democratic Syria.
What is happening in Syria could be happening to any of us. No one is free until we’re all free.”

I would characterise such a presentation as side-taking wrapped in substance-free marketing jargon; a very politicised statement wearing only black-and-white.

About the Syria Campaign

What the Syria Campaign is proud of: Impact page

The Syria Campaign seeks all-stars senior campaigner and “You don’t need to know anything about Syria”

The Syria Campaign on Facebook

The Syria Campaign on Twitter

Analysis, Research and Knowledge (Ark)
A private company, headquartered in Dubai, that describes itself as “a research, conflict transformation and stabilisation consultancy”.
In Syria “Ark has been at the forefront of the response to the conflict … for the past five years”. One of its two team members, Alistair Harris is described here advocating two years ago that “moderates” should be armed to fight ISIS and not only in Iraq but also in Syria.

The British-based Asfari Foundation for change
White Helmets, according to their website, received seed funding came from the Asfari Foundation – trustees of which are heavily related to the oil industry and corporate finance. The Asfari Foundation’s bonds with the Syria Campaign is dealt with here.

4. Sources raising investigation-based questions about the White Helmets

Vanessa Beeley
Syria’s White Helmets: War by Way of Deception – Part I

Scott Ritter at TruthDig
The ‘White Helmets’ and the Inherent Contradiction of America’s Syria Policy

Hands off Syria
The White Helmets – al-Qaeda with a facelift (video)

Rick Sterling
The “White Helmets” Controversy

Vanessa Beeley
Who are Syria’s White Helmets?
The article contains this diagram:

Vanessa Beeley
The real Syrian Civil Defence

Christina Lin, Asia Times
White Helmets: Instrument of regime change in Syria?

Jonathan Gornell
Newsmaker: The White Helmets

Syria Solidarity Movement
Its list of humanitarian/human rights organisation that are pushing for war on Syria and its government

Open Letter from The Hamilton Coalition To Stop War
White Helmets should NOT be Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

Max Blumenthal
Inside the shadowy public relation firm that is lobbying for regime change in Syria (I)

Max Blumenthal
How the White Helmets Became International Heroes While Pushing U.S. Military Intervention and Regime Change in Syria (II)

Rick Sterling
Seven steps of highly effective manipulators
The article contains this diagram:

21st Century Wire
CrossTalk: ‘White Helmets, Really?’ with Vanessa Beeley, Eva Bartlett & Patrick Henningsen (video)

Russia Today
Multi-million funded – can’t be independent

General reasons for concern about the real identity of the White Helmets

Here are some of the reasons – numbers not indicative of priority:

1. Huge funding by NATO/EU countries which are militarily involved.

2. A degree of political lobbying – a very specific explanation of the conflict and how it started which points to a no-fly zone, weaponization of human rights issues and speaks strongly against the Syrian government and Russia and very critically of the UN – that is extremely unusual for a purely humanitarian organisation.

3. Incredibly advanced public relation in terms of very professional websites, videos and PR strategy dropping the right stories and images at the right time – quite unique for a group of “bakers, tailors and students” etc..

“Omram rescued from a Russian airstrike” – From the White Helmets’ homepage.

4. Too professional wordings and images, too much playing to (exploitation of) emotions, too catchy smart formulations again and again; in short, lacking every sense of genuine local quality. Too many children – and cats – in the images speaking to an audience with little politically consciousness but surely a good heart. In short, populist marketing also in the sense of conveying the message: Look how good we are and how evil everybody else are.

5. Guilt by association: If the White Helmets is a 100% humanitarian first responder organisation it must be extremely naive in ignoring that its integrity, credibility and noble purposes is put at risk with the specific network of organisations and governments that it has chosen to seek support from.

6. Substance versus public relation: how does a humanitarian organisation justify that millions of dollars are spent on self-promoting public relation rather than on saving more lives in such a horrific war? And taking so many photos and shoot films of its own work in the midst of massacres and bombing raids?

7. It’s very difficult to discern who actually manages the White Helmets in general and in terms of day-to-day operations. One looks in vain for something like an organisational chart secretary-general, board, executive director (although one is mentioned, Raed Saleh, whom the US has on one occasion actually denied entry into the US).

8. How come that such an innovative organisation seems to have been started in circles that have to do with oil interests, British intelligence, mercenary/military operations and interventionist/bombing countries?

9. How come it works only in rebel/terrorist/liberated areas? Could it do that without co-operation or co-ordination with some of these groups? It has been stated – naively – by the Right Livelihood Award Foundation that their vision is to operate also on government-controlled territory and later be a leader in re-building a new democratic post-war Syria. However, why should the sovereign state of Syria’s legitimate government accept a foreign-based and -financed civil defence territory there when it has had its own since 1953?

Perhaps we should not be that surprised?

Should we be surprised that humanitarian workers are involved in “something else” and are not exclusively devoted to doing no harm and doing good for humanity?

Not really. I’ve met that sort of people and organisations during the dissolution of Yugoslavia in the 1990s, among other places at the US Embassy in Zagreb where the humanitarian section people, most likely CIA operatives, after some talk with me about helping the people switched to talk about how good it would be if president Milosevic was killed.

Are humanitarian organisations – like most other NGOs today – highly or completely dependent on governments? Yes, most are. And they should therefore always be checked for possible moral corruption and co-optation. Many are no longer Non- but Near-governmental and behave, at minimum, politically correct or serve/promote the interests of their governments one way or the other.

Wasn’t Doctors Without Borders started by Bernard Kouchner who advocated military humanitarian intervention as an idea, did the dirty job for NATO in Kosovo and morally advocated the bombing of Libya as a “peace guarantee”? Here an interesting video debate with him at Oxford by Mehdi Hasan.

Should it be so surprising that – even liberal, democratic – governments propagandise, construct concrete stories to appeal to the human heart in us all (for a good cause) and that they regularly lie, do fear-mongering, use stereotyping and demonisation, present black-and-white narratives – all of which serve their elites’ interests and may not always be that noble in reality?

Think of the ugly shadow world of the global arms trade in which virtually all governments take part in?

Of course not. No wars would be possible without one of more of these ingredients.

Think of the – invented – story about the Iraqi soldiers who kicked out babies of incubators in Kuwait city – all invented as part of the Citizens for a Free Kuwait public relations campaign which was run by American Hill & Knowlton for the Kuwaiti government.

Or, remember James Harf of the US public relations firm, Ruder and Finn, who in 1991 was hired by the Croatian and Bosnian governments as well as by the Kosovo-Albanians to create and promote an anti-Serb attitude in the Western media?

Says Harf “We were able to equate Serbs to Nazis in public opinion…” Some kind of balance or truth didn’t interest him: “We are professionals. We have got a job to do and we do it.”

If there is anything new in this field since the early 1990s it is the spectrum, the depth, the money and the intensity with which public opinion is being deceived about war and peace – that war today is peace and peace is preserved by violence. And the de facto replacement of knowledge and texts by purpose-driven, mediatized and emotionalised “narratives” and images and films – right down on you phone and into your mind.

In summary: Illusions about our goodness that feed social narcissism and the MIMAC 

I do not believe that I know exactly what the whole story and the truth is about the White Helmets. But I know that quite a few things don’t feel right.

As a sociologist and peace researcher with four decades of academic and practical experience of global affairs and work in conflict zones, the word spoken by the guard Marcellus in Shakespeare’s Hamlet at Kronborg Castle in my native Denmark come to mind: “There is something rotten in the state…” not only in the bombing state of Denmark (that supports the White Helmets) but also in the state of the – free – media coverage of conflicts and wars.

If, thus, you are generally sceptical of Western media coverage of wars fought by the West and specifically of the story of the White Helmets as a purely brave humanitarian organisation – are you then automatically pro-Assad, pro-Russia or pro-bombing? If you are critical to A, must you automatically endorse everything B or C does?

Given the “Zeitgeist” of these times, my hunch is that the anti-intellectual’s, the propagandist’s and the blamegamer’s answer is a roaring “Yes!” Personally, I couldn’t care less but there is reason to worry about the fact that our media are not free to take up the issues dealt with here.

Pulitzer prize winner, Chris Hedges, talks about “the incessant manufacturing of illusions that feed social narcissism.” The – unwinnable – wars the West fights with the illusory ideology of spreading goodness, democracy, freedom and peace as well as the alleged good role of the White Helmets in it is little else but an expression of such an incessant manufacturing of illusions that feed social narcissism of the many while filling the pockets of the few in the Military-Industrial-Media-Academic Complex (MIMAC).

It’s time to give reality show politics and media a reality check. But who can and who will? And who dares now everything will get worse after November 8?

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Militants led by designated terrorist organisation, Jabhat Al Nusra, now obliquely referred to by the Western media as “Jabhat Fateh al-Sham,” has spearheaded another attempt to disrupt security operations against militants trapped in Syria’s norther city of Aleppo.

Despite what is clearly a terrorist assault employing indiscriminate artillery fire provided by Grad rocket systems on an urban center and the use of suicide bombings employing vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIED), Western media organisations are attempting to depict the assault as a “rebel counter-attack” meant to “break” what it is depicting as a “siege” by Syria’s own military forces.

Reuters in their article, “Syrian rebels launch Aleppo counter-attack to break siege,” would claim:

It is particularly interesting to see Reuters attempt to depict the assault as a “rebel” operation, despite being unable to name a single “rebel” group, and admitting the leading role designated foreign terrorist organisation Jabhat Al Nusra is playing as well as the use of clearly terrorist tactics being employed.

Reuters continues by admitting much further down in its article that:

Fateh al-Sham played a big part in a rebel attack in July that managed to break the government siege on eastern Aleppo for several weeks before it was reimposed.

Abu Youssef al-Mouhajir, an official from the powerful Ahrar al-Sham Islamist group, said the extent of cooperation between the different rebel factions was unusual, and that the largest axis of attack was on the western edge of the city.

Reuters is all but admitting that even the so-called “rebels” it attempts to credit the assault with are operating not under the banner of the “Free Syrian Army,” but ultimately under the banner of Jabhat Al Nusra, quite literally Al Qaeda in Syria.

Reuters concedes that this “complicates” US foreign policy in Syria, claiming that heavier weapons cannot be passed on to “rebels” in fear that they would immediately fall into the hands of terrorist groups “rebels” are clearly operating under. Reuters, however, never explains why any weapons at all would be provided to “rebel” groups so clearly and transparently in league with Jabhat Al Nusra in the first place.

Finally, Reuters claims:

Grad rockets were launched at Aleppo’s Nairab air base before the assault began said Zakaria Malahiji, head of the political office of the Aleppo-based Fastaqim rebel group, adding that it was going to be “a big battle”.

The Observatory also said that Grad surface-to-surface rockets had struck locations around the Hmeimim air base, near Latakia.

Grad rockets are an effective weapon in combat on open terrain. In the confined urban environment of Aleppo, they are an indiscriminate weapon the West, its media and its human rights advocates have little trouble pointing out their use constitutes a war crime, but only when used by forces of nations the West seeks to undermine and ultimately overthrow. No mention of their indiscriminate, inappropriate nature when used in urban environments is made when used by forces backed by Western interests.

Also, Reuters’ inadvertently mentions the “rebel” group Fastaqim in the closing paragraphs of its report, a faction operating under the Aleppo-based Fatah Halab (Aleppo Conquest) coalition. It was revealed by the West’s own rights advocacy group, Amnesty International, in a post titled, “Syria: armed opposition group committing war crimes in Aleppo – new evidence,” that:

The Aleppo Conquest armed groups may have used chemical weapons, as well as ‘hell cannon’ gas canister munitions.

Armed groups surrounding the predominantly Kurdish Sheikh Maqsoud district of Aleppo city have repeatedly carried out indiscriminate attacks – possibly including with chemical weapons – that have struck civilian homes, markets and mosques, killing and injuring civilians, and have displayed a shameful disregard for human life, said Amnesty International today.

Indeed, even groups described as “rebels” by the Western media, are guilty of serial offences that clearly make them terrorists, not “rebels.” The fact that this information is omitted from Reuters’ reports and the nature of these groups’ relationship with Al Qaeda affiliates made as intentionally nebulous as possible, reveals a common theme that has run through Western coverage of the Syrian conflict since it began; a concerted effort to conceal the true terroristic nature of so-called “rebels” in a bid to legitimize the illegitimate, and defend the indefensible.

Ulson Gunnar, a New York-based geopolitical analyst and writer especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

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Days before the US countrywide election (not only for the Oval Office) our democracy is leaning on what are called ‘down ballot’ races. Finally!

While national media indulge in the vicissitudes of the sleazy behavior and financial machinations of our two presidential candidates, local papers and broadcasters are making some last minute effort to help lowly citizens understand what choices we have in our own congressional and state races.

The very term ‘down ballot’ I find disturbing, implying as it does things less important, less worthy –like ‘going south’, a common trope for ‘failure’.

This belated attention to ‘down-ballot’ sums up the low priority given to hundreds of (non-presidential) races. Yet they are not insignificant. They include thousands of candidates running for the two houses of congress, the House of Representatives and the Senate, and for senate and assembly seats in 50 state legislatures. It’s the winners of these contests who make laws, who formulate environmental, agricultural, health, judicial and educational policies, who draw up budgets, and who are the real checks and balances on higher leadership. It is their ideals and their decisions which shape Americans’ day-to-day lives and our children’s futures.

I’m not the first one to note that democracy here is dysfunctional. What’s wrong with the Democratic Party? (I plead, to blank stares.) The Republican Party too. First, together they ensure that other parties, worthy but smaller, never become a serious challenge to their co-control. Second, both these major players are equally committed to the success of capitalist philosophy and the dominance of US military might across the globe.

The Democratic Party for all its moralizing and its intellectual chauvinism is well known to be notoriously negligent when campaigning beyond (and below) the presidential ticket; it seems to hibernate during what are called ‘off season’ (non-presidential) election years. Thus the loss of the Democratic majority in the House in 2010 and the Senate in 2014, resulting in influential committee chairs taken over by Republicans who could (and did) proceed to advance or withhold legislation in their own party’s interest. Thus we find ourselves with a blocked and bickering US Congress that also stonewalls President Obama’s attempts to lead.)

The brilliant and tireless civics educator Ralph Nader details this unhappy history in a recent article. An outstanding intellectual and civic campaigner, Nader asks why we repeatedly let this happen.

Even in these last hours of this shameful demonstration of how our democracy has deteriorated, when some local candidates are desperately trying to wade through their parties’ muck to inform voters about their personal values and qualifications and to discuss local concerns, they too are obliged to devote resources to countering lies and half truths broadcast by opponents. Local candidates are also distracted by media’s relentless questioning about Trump’s personal character and Clinton’s emails and lecture fees.

Like hundreds of thousands, probably millions, of citizens, I am deluged with campaign messages; rather than speak about policies, partisan campaigners like Moveon.org, DailyKOS, turnoutpac, DSCC (dscc.org) Senators Pelosi, Warren, Schumer and Sanders, the Committee of Concerned Scientists and more, plead for money to stave off the specter of a Trump victory.

People I meet and radio commentators I listen to heartily engage in gossip around the latest presidential contenders to the neglect of what’s happening in their own backyard. One example is WAMC Radio in Albany which, whereas it does a fine job covering state affairs for New York, Massachusetts, Vermont and Connecticut, during this election cycle it seems to ignore local elections while devoting excessive air time to the scandals (or potential scandals) related to presidential candidates.

Media, a major culprit in the deterioration of our democracy, focuses where the drama and dirt are, tapping into the abundant whistle blowers and cynics who feed this sleaze-hungry machine. For months media has gleefully joined the fray. With vigor and expectations of profit, it may have entertained us with this indisputably colorful circus. But with what aim, except to suck up our energy and crush our ideals.

Citizens are irresistibly drawn into the drama. As dismayed and despondent and exhausted as they are, they still feed off the daily revelations, caught in the whirl of twitter and facebook posts.

We may join the gossip but I suspect many are less and less inclined to vote. Come actual election day balloting at local stations may be meager.

Starting Friday one congressional campaign I ‘m familiar with is putting all its energy into what’s called GOTV—GetOutTheVote. In other words, just get people to the polls next Tuesday!

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Vladimir Putin in particular, and Russia in general, have been the focus of an intensive high-drama propaganda campaign of late. Are you buying it? For the time being, Russophobia has replaced Islamophobia as the driving force behind the lies. Various US officials have been frantically warning Americans that the Russians are behind everything: hacking the DNC, controlling Trump, influencing the election and breaking the Syrian ceasefire agreement. They might as well add making your girlfriend break up with you, making your toast get burnt and making your car run out of fuel for all the evidence they have presented. 

Many of these totally unfounded allegations stem from (naturally) the Clinton campaign, home to career criminals Bill and Hillary Clinton, who are desperately seeking to find something to gain some sort of shred of popularity or advantage over Trump, who fills up arenas with 1000s of people more easily than Clinton can fill a high school gym with 50. Many US officials and war hawks are trying to get in on the action; CIA man Mike Morell indicated it would be a good idea to covertly kill Russians to make them “pay a price”; Hillary Clinton called Vladimir Putin the “grand godfather of extreme nationalism” and blamed him for the rising popularity of right-wing leaders; and even standing VP Joe Biden came out and said that, “We’re sending a message to Putin … it will be at the time of our choosing and under the circumstances that have the greatest impact”.

It seems there is no depth to which some US leaders won’t stoop in order to gain some political advantage, even it means lying, demonizing and destroying geopolitical partnerships in order to garner a few brownie points.

russophobia

Russophobia is in full swing before the US Presidential Election to distract American voters.

Vladimir Putin: It’s All About Distraction During Election Season

You would think Russian President Vladimir President would be agitated by all of this mud-slinging. At times he has been, for instance when he issued a warning a few months ago about an impending WW3 due to NATO’s constant aggression and advancement towards Russian borders. However, judging by his own words and mostly calm demeanor, he has seen through the agenda and understands what is going on. Putin spells out how it’s all inflamed rhetoric before an election season, an old trick used by politicians to distract when they have no meaningful solutions for internal and domestic problems.

Here is Vladimir Putin in his own words:

“You can expect anything from our American friends … the only novelty is that for the first time, on the highest level, the United States has admitted involvement in these activities, and to some extent threatened [us] – which of course does not meet the standards of international communication. As if we didn’t know that US Government bodies snoop on and wiretap anyone? Everyone knows this …

Apparently, they are nervous. The question is why. I think there is a reason. You know, in an election campaign, the current government carefully crafts a pre-election strategy, and any government, especially when seeking re-election, always has unresolved issues. They need to show, to explain to the voters why they remain unresolved. In the US, there are many such problems … for example, the massive public debt is a time bomb for the US economy and global financial system … more examples can be cited in foreign policy … in these conditions, many choose to resort to the usual tactics of distracting voters from their problems … try to create an enemy and rally the nation against that enemy …

Iran and the Iranian threat did not work well for that. Russia is a more interesting story.”

And that’s exactly what this whole thing is: a giant story. However, as Voltaire once said, if you can make someone believe absurdities, you can make them commit atrocities. Let’s see what else Vladimir Putin has to say on other topics of interest.

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Blame everything on the Russians.

Russian Hacking: A Laughable Claim so the Clintons and DNC Can Try to Avoid Culpability

Let’s face it: the whole Russophobia affair is about avoiding blame, dodging responsibility and evading liability. Thanks to WikiLeaks, Project Veritas and many other sources, we know the entire Hillary Clinton campaign has been rigged beyond belief. Fake primaries, fake speeches, fake images, fake videos, fake crowds, fake supporters and fake debates.

There is seemingly no depth of criminality to which that woman won’t sink. She’s selling out the presidency before she even gets there, such as the stunt of trying to promise future presidential executive orders to mega donors. There is not a shred of evidence that Russia is affiliated with WikiLeaks or behind any of the DNC hacks. As this Zero Hedge article NSA Whistleblower: US Intelligence Worker Likely Behind DNC Leaks, Not Russia states:

“On “Judge Napolitano Chambers,” the Judge said that while the DNC, government officials, and the Clinton campaign all accuse the Russians of hacking into the DNC servers, “the Russians had nothing to do with it.” Napolitano then mentioned Binney, arguing the NSA veteran and whistleblower who “developed the software that the NSA now uses, which allows it to capture not just metadata but content of every telephone call, text message, email in the United States of every person in [the country]” knew the NSA had hacked the DNC — not the Russians.

If Judge Napolitano and Binney are right and the NSA did hack the DNC, what was the motive?

According to the Judge, “members of the intelligence community simply do not want [Clinton] to be president of the United States.”

“She doesn’t know how to handle state secrets,” Napolitano continued. And since “some of the state secrets that she revealed used the proper true names of American intelligence agents operating undercover in the Middle East,” some of these agents were allegedly captured and killed, prompting NSA agents to feel compelled to act. Whether NSA agents hacked the DNC or not, one thing is clear: there’s no real evidence linking the DNC and Arizona and Illinois voting system hacks to the Russian government.”

Vladimir Putin sticks it to US

Vladimir Putin: sticking it to the US.

The Mythical “Russian Threat”

Vladimir Putin directly addressed another mythical story, that of the so-called Russian threat and Russian aggression, at the recent Valdai forum in Sochi from October 24-27, 2016:

“There is another mechanism to ensure the transatlantic security, European security, the OC security and their attempt at turning this organization (NATO) into an instrument of someone’s political interests. So what the OC is doing is simply void. Mythical threats are devised like the so-called Russian military threat. Certainly this can be (used to) gain some advantage, get new budgets, make your allies comply with your demands, make NATO deploy the equipment and troops closer to our border … Russia is not trying to attack anyone. That would be ridiculous … The population of Europe is 300 million … and the population of the US is 300 million, while the population of Russia is 140 million, yet such menaces are served as a pretext. Hysteria has been fueled in the US with regard to Russia’s alleged influence with the current presidential election.

Is there anyone who seriously thinks that Russia can influence the choice of the American people? Is the US a banana republic? The US is a great power. If I’m wrong please correct me.”

Here’s what he had to say about who the real aggressor is when it comes to the US (around  and Russia:

“Is it known to you that Russia, in the 90s, completely halted (as did the USSR) any strategic aviation in the further afield regions of patrol, i.e. not in the closer abroad. We halted such activity completely. US geostrategic aviation however, with nuclear weapons on board. They continued to encircle us! What for? Who are you concerned about? Or why are you threatening us? We continued with the non-patrol year after year. It is only since about 3 years ago that we restarted aviation patrol further abroad.

Which party is the provocateur here? Is it us?

We have only 2 military bases abroad. They are known areas of terrorism dangers … US bases on the other hand are all over the world. And you are telling me that I am the aggressor? Have you any common sense?

What are US forces doing in Europe, including nuclear weaponry? What business have they got there? Listen to me. Our military budget, while increased slightly from last year, in the dollar equivalent, is about US$50 billion. The military budget of the Pentagon is almost 10 times that amount. $575 billion, I think Congress singed off on. And you’re telling me I’m the aggressor here? Have you no common sense at all? Is it us putting our forces on the border of the US? Or other states? Is it NATo, or who, that is moving their bases closer to us? Military infrastructure! It’s not us. Does anyone even listen to us? Or try to have some kind of dialogue with us? The repeated answer we get is ‘mind your own business’ and ‘each country can choose its own security measures’. Very well, so will we …

And finally, on the antiballistic missile defense system, who was it that exited from the treaty which was vital to the entire system of international security? Was it us? No. It was the States. In a one-sided way, they simply withdrew from the treaty. Now they are threatening us, turning their missiles towards us, not only from Alaska, but also from Europe too …

We want to develop normal relations in the sphere of security, in the fight against terrorism, in the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. We want to work together with you … so long as you want that too.”

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More David Icke humor: right now everything is the fault of Vladimir Putin and the Russians.

US Repeatedly Broke Its Promises to Russia and Destroyed Trust

The Western MSM is so one-sided in its coverage of geopolitical events like Ukraine and Syria. Anyone not toeing the line with US-UK-NATO interests is painted in a bad light. In point of fact, it has actually been the US who has been breaking agreements with Russia since the end of the Cold War. US leaders lied to Russian leaders at the time, by promising that NATO would not extend any further eastward, and possibly even hinting that Russia could join NATO. As Eric Zuesse explains in his article America Trashes NATO Founding Act; Rushes Weapons to Russia’s Borders:

“The NATO Founding Act was agreed to between the US and Russia in 1997 in order to provide to Russia’s leader Boris Yeltsin some modicum of assurance that America wouldn’t invade his country. When his predecessor Mikhail Gorbachev had ended the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact military alliance in 1991, the representatives of US President GHW Bush told him that NATO wouldn’t move «one inch to the east» (toward Russia), but as soon as Gorbachev committed himself to end the Cold War, Bush told his agents, regarding what they had all promised to Gorbachev (Bush’s promise which had been conveyed through them), «To hell with that! We prevailed, they didn’t». In other words: Bush’s prior instructions to them were merely his lies to Gorbachev, his lies to say that the US wouldn’t try to conquer Russia (move its forces eastward to Russia’s borders); but, now, since Gorbachev was committed and had already agreed that East Germany was to be reunited with and an extension of West Germany (and the process for doing that had begun), Bush pulled that rug of lies out from under the end of the Cold War …”

Bill Clinton carried on the great American legacy of exceptionalism (that is, excepting themselves from obeying international law) spearheaded by Daddy Bush of surrounding and dominating Russia by allowing NATO into the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland. Russia got shafted by trusting the US numerous times after the fall of the Soviet Union. Here’s Vladimir Putin once again on America’s broken promises (in April 2016):

“In the early 2000s, we agreed with the Americans to destroy weapons-grade plutonium, on both sides. We were talking about the excessive amounts that were manufactured by both the US and Russia. This is the enriched uranium from which nuclear weapons are made. 34000 tonnes, from both sides. We signed an agreement, and decided that this material would be destroyed in a specific manner. It would be destroyed in an industrial way – for which special plants needed to be built. We fulfilled our obligations – we built the necessary plant. Our American partners did not. Moreover, recently they announced that rather than destroy the enriched material in the manner that we agreed, and signed an international agreement on, that they would dilute it and store it in a holding capacity. This means they retain the potential to bring it back …

Surely our American partners must understand that, jokes are one thing, such as creating smear campaigns against Russia, but questions of nuclear security are another thing entirely … they must learn to fulfill their promises.

They once said they would close down Guantanamo. And? Is it closed? No.”

Incidentally, this is the exact same plutonium agreement which made the news last month, when as reported on October 3rd, 216, Russia suspended their deal with the US on disposal of plutonium from decommissioned nuclear warheads. A decree signed by Vladimir Putin lists “the radical change in the environment, a threat to strategic stability posed by the hostile actions of the US against Russia, and the inability of the US to deliver on the obligation to dispose of excessive weapons plutonium under international treaties, as well as the need to take swift action to defend Russian security” as the reasons for why Russia chose to suspend the deal.

Conclusion: Wake up and Smell the Russophobia

Expect Vladimir Putin and Russia to keep being demonized by the Clintons – and more importantly the NWO manipulators who so desperately want them in power. Although the Clintons are a powerful modern American mafia family, replete with a long body count behind them, it’s important to remember they are lackeys for far greater and more pervasive powers (check out some of Hillary’s lovey-dovey letters to Lynn Forester de Rothschild here). There’s a lot at stake here. Right now, Vladimir Putin and Russia are being used with the sole purpose of getting Clinton elected. Although Putin is not perfect and has his own dark side, he deserves respect for standing his ground and refusing to become another US puppet. If we are to believe his own words, he has no qualm with Americans or even America itself, but rather the selfish, imperialistic and murderous agenda of the NWO agents running the USA:

“We have a great deal of respect and love for the United States, and especially for the American people … [however] the expansion of jurisdiction by one nation beyond the territory of its borders, to the rest of the world, is unacceptable and destructive for international relations.”

It’s up to the American public to switch off CNN (Clinton News Network) and all the other duplicitous MSM channels and get truly informed. Vladimir Putin is reaching out his hand to America, in the hope that enough Americans can reclaim their country and work together with other nations in peace. On the issue of Vladimir Putin and Russia, the MSM is not just one-sided, it’s outright lying.

Makia Freeman is the editor of alternative news / independent media site The Freedom Articles and senior researcher at ToolsForFreedom.com (FaceBook here), writing on many aspects of truth and freedom, from exposing aspects of the worldwide conspiracy to suggesting solutions for how humanity can create a new system of peace and abundance.

Sources:

*http://freedom-articles.toolsforfreedom.com/islamophobia-in-alternative-media/
*http://freedom-articles.toolsforfreedom.com/billary-clinton-rapist-coverup-team/
*http://freedom-articles.toolsforfreedom.com/real-hillary-clinton/
*https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJ3fTFHQ0KA
*https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9sRaE69HBso
*https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PAnGdBVC0Q
*http://freedom-articles.toolsforfreedom.com/putin-ww3-warning-irreversible-direction/
*https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHGCJXmzIdY
*http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-10-22/nsa-whistleblower-us-intelligence-worker-likely-behind-dnc-leaks-not-russia
*http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/official_texts_25468.htm
*https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y97G4PoifBo
*https://www.rt.com/news/361411-russia-suspend-plutonium-deal/
*http://thefreethoughtproject.com/searched-hillarys-emails-indicted-win-presidency/

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Hillary Clinton: Wall Street’s Losing Horse? Constitutional Crisis? What’s the End Game?

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky, November 01 2016

The trigger mechanism did not originate from FBI Director James Comey’s letter per se. It was the Wall Street Journal, mouthpiece of the US financial establishment, which revealed the fraud and bribery scheme: The wife of the Number Two Man at the FBI Andrew McCabe had received a large sum of money from Hillary Clinton, via the Governor of Virginia.

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Unprecedented Crisis, Collapse of the Clinton Apparatus? Hacker Whistleblowers, Trump, and the FBI Converge

By Larry Chin, November 01 2016

With one week left in the most chaotic and dangerous presidential contest in American history, the Hillary Rodham Clinton campaign is damaged and sinking. Even the propaganda protection of the Clinton-controlled mainstream corporate media is starting to buckle.

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The Toxic Science of Flu Vaccines

By Richard Gale and Dr. Gary Null, November 01 2016

Joshua Hadfield was a normal, healthy developing child as a toddler. In the midst of the 2010 H1N1 swine flu frenzy and fear mongering about the horrible consequences children face if left unvaccinated, the Hadfield’s had Joshua vaccinated with Glaxo’s Pandermrix influenza vaccine.  Within weeks, Joshua could barely wake up, sleeping up to nineteen hours a day.  Laughter would trigger seizures.

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Nuclear Winter: Turning a Blind Eye towards Armageddon. Scientists Warn of the Existential Danger of Nuclear War…

By Steven Starr, November 01 2016

Ten years ago, the world’s leading climatologists chose to reinvestigate the long-term environmental impacts of nuclear war. The peer-reviewed studies they produced are considered to be the most authoritative type of scientific research, which is subjected to criticism by the international scientific community before its final publication in scholarly journals. No serious errors were found in their studies.

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U.S. Imperial Wars: Militarism in West Asia and the Horn of Africa: The Need for Antiwar Solidarity

By Abayomi Azikiwe, November 01 2016

Many of the wars waged by United States imperialism around the world remain largely hidden from people inside the country. This represents a challenge for the antiwar and anti-imperialist movements in North America which are grappling with how to move forward amid a national presidential and congressional election which has failed to address any substantial issues domestic and international.

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China’s Economic Relations with Latin America

By Ulises Noyola Rodriguez, November 01 2016

The fall in commodity prices indicates the fragility of the economic relation between China and Latin America that at the present time registers an important deceleration in commercial transactions, a situation that the United States seeks to take advantage of in order to reposition itself in the region. The Chinese government had decided to support the construction of large works of infrastructure in Latin America that would doubtless be built with material coming from China through the creation of various infrastructural funds with Latin American governments that reached a total of 45 billion dollars in 2015.

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US Hypocrisy’s Face at the UN – Samantha Power

novembre 1st, 2016 by William Boardman

« What is so remarkable and troubling about the presentation we’ve heard today is that what Russia really wants from the U.N. is credit. Congratulations, Russia, you’ve stopped, for a couple days, from using incendiary weapons. Thank you for not using cluster bombs in civilian areas. Thank you for staying the hand of brutality with regard to bunker buster weapons. You don’t get congratulations and get credit for not committing war crimes for a day or a week. » – Samantha Power, US ambassador to the UN, October 26, 2016

Samantha Power is the face of American diplomacy at the UN, where she gives ardent voice to American hypocrisy, deceit, intellectual dishonesty, and mockery of the rest of the world. Appalling as her performance has been, her portrayal is accurate, right down to her denial-laden confidence in American exceptionalism.

International School in Even Yehuda, Israel, on February 15, 2016. (photo: YouTube)

Power’s comment above came in the midst of a discussion of the carnage in Syria, a discussion without substance or pity, without a care for ending the killing. Her tone and content were in sharp, ugly contrast to the report of UN aid chief Stephen O’Brien addressing the Security Council about the layered wars in Syria that began with peaceful protests early in 2011:

Each month, I have come before you and presented an ever-worsening record of destruction and atrocity, grimly cataloguing the systematic destruction of a country and its people. While my job is to relay to you the facts, I cannot help but be incandescent with rage. Month after month, worse and worse, and nothing is actually happening to stop the war, stop the suffering.

Stephen O’Brien is “incandescent with rage” at the outrage that is Syria, and the perhaps greater outrage of inaction by the Security Council as a body as well as its individual states. O’Brien bears witness to destruction and atrocity that the council cannot stop and to which its member states contribute. They do not express rage, incandescent or otherwise; they express the snide posturing of politics and tactical advantage.

Vitaly Churkin, the Russian Federation’s ambassador to the UN, said O’Brien had delivered a sermon, not an objective report. Churkin said that the Russian Federation continued to negotiate with armed groups, continued to deliver humanitarian aid by the ton, and continued the eight-day-old bombing pause. Churkin said Aleppo was worse because the Al Nusra Front had not yet fulfilled its promise to separate from more moderate opposition forces. Churkin said that negotiation demands were constantly changing, that fighters used civilians as human shields, that a political solution should remain the first priority, and that New Zealand should be thanked for working to build a consensus among the members to end the fighting.

The American response is as heartbreaking as ever:

What is so remarkable and troubling about the presentation we’ve heard today is that what Russia really wants from the U.N. is credit.

Samantha Power responded to the Russian assertion of facts not with rebuttal, but with sarcasm, mockery, and pettiness. Hers is an essentially ad hominem response that allows no credit for a bombing halt of any duration. And no wonder. Power speaks for a country that bombs others more or less at will for as long as it likes. The US has bombed Afghanistan without serious surcease since 2001, and Iraq almost as long. The US continues to participate in the Saudi Arabian coalition’s relentless bombing of Yemen’s hospitals, schools, and funerals, taking part in war crimes as part of a criminal war.

Congratulations, Russia, you’ve stopped, for a couple days, from using incendiary weapons.

Mockingly, the ambassador from the country of military shock and awe acts as if her hands are clean from decades of devastation visited upon the region. Power acts as if the US aerial destruction brought to bear on defenseless tribes in Afghanistan and Pakistan or defenseless urban civilians in Syria, Iraq and Yemen had never happened. Power has nothing to say about American use of depleted uranium weapons that leave their targets – both people and the land – as radioactive threats to human health for generations.

Thank you for not using cluster bombs in civilian areas. Thank you for staying the hand of brutality with regard to bunker buster weapons.

The US/Saudi assault on Yemen uses cluster bombs in civilian areas, but Samantha Power has no sarcastic objection to that. The US manufactures cluster bombs – banned by most of the rest of the world – to sell to the Saudis to use in civilian areas in Yemen. The US had no hesitation using bunker-busting bombs in laying waste to Iraq.

You don’t get congratulations and get credit for not committing war crimes for a day or a week.

Beyond her heavy-handed mockery, Power offered nothing useful. She might have admitted the constant pattern of American war crimes, especially since 2001, whether torture, kidnapping, imprisonment at dark sites, drone strikes, or any of the other horrific acts of American policy throughout the Middle East since World War II. Being the United States means never having to say you’re sorry, no matter how sorry your human rights record, no matter how sorry your fidelity to international law, and worst of all in the world of power politics, no matter how sorry your actual accomplishments are. No matter how monstrous American behavior becomes, Samantha Power is paid to praise it as the necessary actions of the world’s indispensible nation.

In 2008, when Samantha Power was part of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, she famouslycalled Hillary Clinton a “monster.” So does it take one to know one?

William M. Boardman has over 40 years experience in theatre, radio, TV, print journalism, and non-fiction, including 20 years in the Vermont judiciary. He has received honors from Writers Guild of America, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Vermont Life magazine, and an Emmy Award nomination from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

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FBI Director James Comey « to Be Investigated »?

novembre 1st, 2016 by Stephen Lendman

The disturbing truth about democracy in America: There is none – not from inception, not now, FBI Director James Comey’s investigation of Hillary’s mishandling of classified State Department documents one of countless examples.

In July, he whitewashed her clear criminality, serious enough to send ordinary people to prison – compromising national security by maintaining classified State Department documents on her private email server, along with lying to the FBI and Congress, a perjurious offense.

At the time, Comey said “(i)n looking back at our investigations into the mishandling or removal of classified information, we cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts” – despite clear indictable evidence discovered.

Democrats and supportive media scoundrels praised his action – Hillary’s campaign spokesman Brian Fallon saying:

“We are pleased that the career officials handling this case have determined that no further action by the department is appropriate. As the secretary has long said, it was a mistake to use her personal email and she would not do it again. We are glad that this matter is now resolved.”

After Comey’s October surprise, London’s Guardian said it learned “he placed himself in the crosshairs of a federal inquiry into whether he has interfered in an election…”

The federal Office of the Special Council (OSC) neither confirmed nor denied if it intends investigating Comey for possible Hatch Act violations – prohibiting pernicious political activities.

Law Professor Richard Painter filed a complaint with the office. Its spokesman Nick Schwellenbach said “(i)n general, OSC opens a case after receiving a complaint,” investigations taking from days to months, depending on the nature of the issue and its complexity.

If the OSC finds Comey in violation of Hatch Act provisions, it’s up to the president to decide what, if any, action should be taken.

On Monday, House House press secretary Josh Earnest said Obama considers him “a man of integrity, a man of principle, and he’s a man of good character” – while admitting “(h)e’s in a tough spot, and (he’ll have to) defend his actions in the face of significant criticism…”

“But I’ll neither defend nor criticize what director Comey decided to communicate to the public about this investigation,” Earnest added.

If Hillary succeeds Obama, she’ll likely want Comey replaced, despite his 10-year appointment running until September 2023. Charging him with wrongdoing under the Hatch Act seems unlikely. Proof of intent to interfere in electoral politics is required to hold someone culpable under the law, a hard case to make against Comey based on what’s known so far.

Former FBI official Ed Shaw said he’s in “a no-win situation. He’s made everybody mad at him.” According to his allies, “stay(ing) silent before an election in the face of potentially significant developments in the Clinton case would invite a torrent of Republican congressional hearings,” the Guardian explained.

“To speak publicly of an explosive investigation, particularly before establishing relevance, is to insert the FBI into the election days before the vote.”

A Final Comment

Hillary’s email scandal is a gift that keeps on giving for political opponents. On October 31, Judicial Watch (JW) released new State Department documents – revealing email exchanges of classified information between her and top aide Huma Abedin on an unsecure server, saying:

“Judicial Watch today released 323 pages of new Department of State documents, including previously unreleased email exchanges in which Clinton and top aide Huma Abedin sent classified information over Clinton’s clintonemail.com unsecure email system.”

“According to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) exemptions cited in the documents obtained by Judicial Watch, three of the Clinton-Abedin email exchanges contained material ‘classified to protect national security.’ “

“Also included in the newly obtained documents is an additional instance of the State Department doing special favors for a high-dollar Clinton Foundation donor.”

“And the documents include instances of the distribution by State Department officials of Clinton’s government schedule to members of the Clinton Foundation staff.”

“The documents contain not previously turned over to the State Department, bringing the known total to date of such emails uncovered by Judicial Watch to 238 new Clinton emails (not part of the 55,000 pages of emails that Clinton turned over to the State Department).”

“These records further appear to contradict statements by Clinton that, ‘as far as she knew,’ all of her government emails were turned over to the State Department.”

“The new records include three separate Clinton-Abedin email exchanges withheld in part from Judicial Watch under the State Department’s ‘B1’ FOIA exemption, applying to ‘Information that is classified to protect national security.’ “

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] His new book as editor and contributor is titled « Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III. » http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

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The statement of the Prime Minister of Montenegro Milo Djukanovic concerning his resignation and the transfer of powers including the formation of a new parliament is actively discussed In Montenegro. Despite a positive outcome for the opposition forces the situation has not changed. Djukanovic explained his resignation by an anti-governmental conspiracy involving foreign intelligence services and the Serbian minority. Under the pretext of dealing with “conspirators” arrests of opposition leaders and activists are being continued in the country.

The story about the arrest of “terrorists” who were planning to capture state institutions of Montenegro on the night of 17 October is still discussed in media. Special public prosecutor of Montenegro Milivoje Katnich declared the disclosure of this crime’s plan. However, after a few days weapons seized from the militants were not found in the stock where they were delivered. According to workers of the Prosecutor’s office the weapons were destroyed according to the order of Katnich. The elimination of the main evidence is at least a strange decision.

A few days after the elections opposition activists Željko Šćepanović and Gordan Konatar were detained on suspicion of financial fraud. According to law enforcement they had a large amount of money with them. Šćepanović is s member of the party “Movement for Change” and is a relative of Nebojsa Medojevic who is one of the leaders of the DF.

The persecution affected not only active participants in the political process but also Aron Shaviv who is the adviser of the DF. Pro-government media ganged up on him with “accusatory” articles. Representatives of law enforcement agencies staged a covert persecution.

Anonymous letters are being sent via email and SMS to regular citizens who support the political initiatives of the “Key” and the “Democratic Front” and other parties.

Montenegrins are forced to hide their political commitment to the opposition. Activists objectionable to Djukanovic’s regime are under strict ideological pressure from the authorities and law enforcement agencies. Montenegro has long been a police state where it is dangerous to tell the truth, where political changes in the management team does not improve the situation.

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Many of the wars waged by United States imperialism around the world remain largely hidden from people inside the country.

This represents a challenge for the antiwar and anti-imperialist movements in North America which are grappling with how to move forward amid a national presidential and congressional election which has failed to address any substantial issues domestic and international.

Politics in the U.S. has always been infused with efforts to project the virtue or lack thereof of people seeking public office. This has been true more so in regard to the competitions for the White House. As it relates to Congress during 2016 there is almost no focus on the race for these political positions which can also determine the character of the debate and policy decisions over the next two to four years.

A recent article published in the New York Times on Monday October 24, went almost unnoticed by those involved in campaigning for Hillary Clinton. Two leading African American congresspersons were criticizing the Democratic Party for not providing any real assistance in important congressional elections. The outcome of these contests could be critical in the tenure of a potential Clinton presidency.

This article by Jonathan Martin says in the October 24 edition,

“At issue is a strategic choice with profound implications: Should Mrs. Clinton reach to defeat Mr. Trump in more states like Utah? Or should she instead divert some of her resources to Democrats who are battling in tight races in liberal states like New York and centrist states like Colorado, where she is assured of victory or in Republican-leaning states like Indiana and Missouri that she has effectively written off? As Mrs. Clinton confidently expands her campaign into conservative-leaning states, she should make the knife’s-edge fight for the Senate and the Democratic effort to cut into the Republicans’ House majority a priority, said the lawmakers, Representatives James E. Clyburn of South Carolina and G. K. Butterfield of North Carolina.”

This same report continues noting that “She may be in a good place, but I don’t think the party is in a good place yet,’ said Mr. Clyburn, the third-ranking House Democrat. Mr. Butterfield, noting that the party’s ‘down-ballot races are not as comfortable as the presidential race,” added:

“I’m concerned about the African-American vote. We’ve got to get a turnout in the African-American community that equals or surpasses the white turnout.’ Mr. Clyburn and Mr. Butterfield, the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said they had taken their pleas in recent days to senior officials in Mrs. Clinton’s campaign and received respectful hearings but no firm commitments.”

As the domestic race for presidential and congressional offices remains obscured and distorted in personality conflicts and allegations of scandal, so is the burning international questions from the Caribbean and Latin America through the turmoil now prevalent in Europe surrounding the migration issue, to the African continent where the imperialists are intensifying their presence through the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), into Palestine where the people still are not free, and into West Asia and the Asia-Pacific where the Pentagon has pivoted over the last several years.

The Situation in Yemen, Syria and Western Asia 

Over the last 19 months there has been a war raging in the Middle Eastern state of Yemen. The Pentagon through the Saudi Arabian and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has been bombing daily the poorest state in the region, Yemen. Approximately 10,000 people have been killed, mainly civilians.

The Saudi-GCC Coalition utilizes U.S.-made fighter jets, bombs, refueling technology and shared intelligence. Diplomatic cover provided by the State Department serves to justify the bombing saying that the source of the problem is the Ansurallah Movement (Houthis) who are aligned with the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Ansurallah is a Shite-based group and represents the anti-imperialist character of the movement across several countries including Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and other states. U.S. foreign policy at present is faced with a dilemma of not only targeting the popular Shite-led organizations but to also seek to control the destabilization that their intervention over the last twenty-five years has engendered.

Syria represents an independent anti-imperialist state which supports the national liberation struggle of the Palestinian and Lebanese peoples. The Syrian state is a multi-national, multi-ethnic and pluralist religious society. It appears that such a political orientation does not fit into the program of dominance and exploitation which the forces in Washington and Wall Street desire.

The overthrow of the governments of Afghanistan during the 1980s, Iraq in the early 2000s, and Libya in 2011, has brought about social chaos not only in Tripoli and Benghazi and other regions of the North African state but also throughout this region and West Africa. Any state where the military has intervened in national politics they have been trained by the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

In Mali during 2012, an officer who staged a military coup was trained in several defense academies in the U.S. The overthrow of the civilian government in Mali only enhanced the instability providing a rationale for French intervention which has been aided by the Pentagon since early 2013.

The anti-imperialist movement in the U.S. must rally to the defense of the people of Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Iran and Libya. Anything less than maximum solidarity in this period where both political parties are dominated by the theory of “American Exceptionalism” would be irresponsible based upon what is demanded of the period.

The Horn of Africa: Destabilized and Militarized by Imperialism

At present in several Horn of Africa states the political situation is growing tense. All of these countries have experienced Pentagon, State Department and CIA involvement over the last three decades.

In Somalia, the country is being bombed on a weekly basis under the guise of fighting “Islamic terrorism.” Yet despite the billions of dollars in western military assistance that have been utilized over the last decade, the country is still not stable. A U.S.-EU funded African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM), 22,000 strong, has been inside Somalia since 2007 having failed to win the hearts and minds of the people.

Neighboring Ethiopia is undergoing mass demonstrations by disaffected national groups such as the Oromo and Amharic who feel they have been disenfranchised since the collapse of the socialist-oriented government of Mengistu Haile Mariam in 1991. Over the last quarter-century, the U.S. State Department has welded tremendous influence in Ethiopian foreign policy. This has been reflected as well in the domestic investment policy which has been a focus of attacks over the last several weeks prompting the declaration of a “state of emergency.”

In neighboring Djibouti, the Pentagon maintains a growing military base at Camp Lemoneir which is serving as a staging ground for operations in both Africa and West Asia. AFRICOM is building air strips and impromptu bases in numerous regions throughout the continent.

These are some of the issues that we will have to work on before and after the November 8 elections. The capitalist system is not being debated in the upcoming poll. What is being discussed is the maintenance of the status-quo meaning that the fundamental situation will not be altered without the intervention of the workers and nationally oppressed.

This is the task before us and we are committed to making our contribution to the peoples’ struggle against global dominance and exploitation by the imperialist system.

The above comments were made on Saturday October 29, 2016 at a Workers World Party campaign rally held in Detroit. Other speakers included Martha Grevatt of the UAW; Randi Nord, a youth activist from Oakland County; and Lamont Lilly, WWP Vice-Presidential candidate from North Carolina. The meeting was chaired by Joe Mshahwar of the youth organization Detroit Fight Imperialism Stand Together (FIST). 

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This article was first published by WhoWhatWhy

Since the “Help America Vote Act” in 2002, tallying votes in our elections has become dependent on machines that sometimes  leave no paper trail. Manufacturers have “proprietary” programs and will not let any public officials or independent experts examine them.

On a cold winter day in 2007, Andrew Appel, a Princeton computer professor and election specialist, changed the outcome on one of these machines in seven minutes. He proved something that should alarm everyone: in effect, it took seven minutes per machine to steal an election.

Andrew Appel and a Sequoia AVC Advantage voting machine. Photo credit: Andrew Appel / Princeton

Andrew Appel and a Sequoia AVC Advantage voting machine. Photo credit: Andrew Appel / Princeton

In testimony to a House of Representatives Technology Committee on September 28, 2016, which is now suddenly paying attention because of the fear of “Russian” hacking, Appel noted:

Installing new software in a voting machine is not really much different from installing new software in any other kind of computer. Installing new software is how you hack a voting machine to cheat. In 2009, in the courtroom of the Superior Court of New Jersey, I demonstrated how to hack a voting machine. I wrote a vote-stealing computer program that shifts votes from one candidate to another.Installing that vote-stealing program in a voting machine takes seven minutes, per machine, with a screwdriver.

Machines were initially adopted for vote counting over a century ago,because they promised speed and convenience. They can tally results more quickly than a more reliable and re-checkable hand count.

From the beginning, there were ways to corrupt non-computerized machines, Appel said. One such ploy was the “pencil shaving trick.” Putting shavings on the lever of an opposition party would choke off counting ballots until the shavings came loose and fell free.

While this left a tell-tale discrepancy between the counted results and the number of voters who signed in at that polling place to vote, the scam worked if no one checked.

Latest Computers Easier to Hack

You might think the advent of computerized voting machines, starting around 2002, would have made it harder to corrupt vote counting. In fact, even the latest generation of such machines are much easier to hack without leaving a trace.

These machines are big money-makers for private corporations, which lobbied legislators about their supposed advantages. But they also pose a serious threat to the integrity of our elections.

DRE Direct-Recording Electronic or “touchscreen” voting machines that leave no paper trail will be mainly used by voters in 14 states, according to the Brennan Center,. Those states include Georgia, and Pennsylvania  —  which are in play this year. Even large regions of Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina and many other states still use them. Among the brand names are ShouptronicAVC AdvantageAccuVote OSOptech-III Eagle.

Most of these machines are over 10 years old, and the local authorities have no  manuals for maintenance and repair. Claiming a lack of funds, state legislatures have refused to replace them.

In 14 states, either computer error or Appel-like reprogramming  could distort results. Without a paper trail, the only way to check the tally is through “initial” exit polling conducted throughout the full span of voting hours and ending when the polls close.

Voting machines: Danaher Shouptronic 1242, Sequoia (Dominion) AVC Advantage, Premier/Diebold (Dominion) AccuVote OS and Optech IIIP-Eagle Photo credit: Verified Voting

Voting machines: Danaher Shouptronic 1242, Sequoia (Dominion) AVC Advantage, Premier/Diebold (Dominion)
AccuVote OS and Optech IIIP-Eagle. Photo credit: Verified Voting

Touchscreen machines were widely used in Ohio in the 2004 Kerry-Bush election, the only one of 154 American contests that year in which initial exit polling, which is ordinarily reliable, was markedly out of sync with the officially announced total. Those who know about computers have long been skeptical of this result.

As Appel has demonstrated, tt takes no super-hacking skills to alter voting counts: “I did this in a secure facility and I’m confident my program has not leaked out to affect real elections, but really the software I built was not rocket science — any computer programmer could write the same code. Once it’s installed, it could steal elections without detection for years to come.”

But if computer experts can hack every variety of touchscreen machine, what about foreign governments or domestic organizations?

“Other computer scientists have demonstrated similar hacks on many models of machine,” Appel added. “This is not just one glitch in one manufacturer’s machine, it’s the very nature of computers.”

In late July and early August, columns by Hiawatha Bray in the Boston Globe, and Zeynep Tufekci of The New York Times questioned for the first time whether voting in American elections is secure from such hacking — with suspicion directed, though without evidence, primarily at Russia. Suddenly, the disorganization and lack of transparency of American vote counting had become a National Security Issue.

In late September, the US House of Representatives Subcommittee on Information Technology held hearings on “Cybersecurity: Ensuring the Integrity of the Ballot Box.”

Weighing in on the issue, President Barack Obama pointed out that most American elections are local or state, done under diverse procedures and laws, and involving a large number of voters. Even if particular computers, or a system of computers connected to the Internet, could be hacked from the outside, it would be hard for a foreign or domestic outlaw to falsify the results of a national election.

On the surface, this is a heartening thought. But consider a close election like 2004.  A targeted hack — say, altering one candidate’s vote by an algorithm that kicks in as precincts increase in size — might alter the outcome in certain key counties in a swing state

In addition, voter registration lists are centralized and kept on the Internet. During the Arizona and New York primaries, many Democrats, often younger ones, reported that their registration was changed without their knowledge. They were listed as a Republican or Independent or with no year of registration indicated; as a result, they couldn’t vote in their party’s primary.

This turned out to have been done by election officials “by accident,” and perhaps also by hackers via Internet access.

Bones to Pick with Bipartisan Watchdogs

Now elections are watched over by bipartisan committees in which Appel has some confidence. At least, he points out, such supervision does not depend on a single powerful party or leader:

When we elect our government officials, sometimes we are voting for or against the very person or political party who is in office right now, running that very election! How can we trust that this person is running the election fairly? The answer is, we organize our elections so we don’t have to trust any single person or party.

That’s why, when you go to the polls in most places, there are typically two poll-workers there, often (by law) from different political parties; and there are poll-watchers, representing the parties to make sure everything is done right. That’s why recounts are done in the presence of witnesses from both parties. We run our elections transparently so the parties can watch each other, and the result is that even the losing candidate can trust that the election was run fairly.

But there are two problems here. So-called bipartisanship means that third parties, such as the Green Party and the Libertarian Party, are by definition excluded.

In addition, many aspects of the process end up in the hands of a single individual. Chief Clerk of Elections Diane Haslett-Rudiano arbitrarily stripped 123,000 people from the Brooklyn voter rolls in this year’s New York Democratic primary. She  was later fired by the Board of Elections — after the.election was over.

Systemic Weak Points

But Appel is even more worried about a systemic weak point in the electoral process.

Voting machines are often delivered to polling places several days before the election — to elementary schools, churches, firehouses. In these locations anyone could gain access to a voting machine for 10 minutes. Between elections the machines are routinely opened up for maintenance by county employees or private contractors. Let’s assume they have the utmost integrity, but still, in the US we try to run our elections so that we can trust the election results without relying on any one individual.

The Necessity of Recountable Paper Ballots

The only sure way to run a fair election, Appel says, is to use and keep paper ballots. In 2009, Germany adopted a system in which an initial exit poll is announced immediately after voting closes — this determines a range of plausible results within a margin of error — and then paper ballots are counted by hand. They have, since that time, had no major controversies about electoral fairness.

Appel testified that newer, optical screen voting machines can be equally secure if paper ballots are kept and checked. Premier Optical Scan with Automark is used, in parts of California, Colorado, and since 2008, under Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, in parts of Ohio. Often, these involve entering your vote, and leaving a record, which you see in the machine, on a paper tape, of how your ballot was cast.

But there are two striking problems with even these somewhat better machines. First, in 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency discovered that Volkswagens had an internal computer program which had long passed US emission tests, but polluted forty times more on the roadThe cars were able to recognize when they were being tested (and had to keep the emission controls switched on) and when they were on the road and could pollute at will without fear of being caught.  As Barbara Simons of Verified Voting aptly put it, we do not want “VW-style elections.”

Appel’s mantra is: “any computer can be hacked.”

Separating paper ballots physically from a computerized tape and keeping them in a different location, many computer experts believe, would provide further insurance against hacking even on optical scan machines.

Second, challenging the results, particularly in a presidential election and even starting from an automatic recount, as Al Gore did in Florida in 2000, is very difficult. It would take a long time to recount the votes, even if the party in power were not trying to sabotage it…

So the most important thing, as in Germany, is to get each election right in the first place. Why, we might ask, have officials sold public elections and the equal right to vote — again, the most important public feature of our democracy — to private, profit-making corporations? Once again, these corporations, claiming their programs are “proprietary” secrets, do not allow any independent check of how they operate.

A few states like New Mexico have adopted, Appel says, a model procedure for close or controversial elections:

*Immediately conduct a random recount of part of the paper ballots.

*If there is an error, do a full recount.

*Do not certify an election until both are done.”

Appel and nine other experts, including Lawrence Norden from the Democracy Program of the Brennan Center at the New York University Law School and John McCarthy of the Verified Voting Foundation, offered 10 suggestions for securing existing machines and registration lists. For instance, they underline that “without voter-verified paper ballots, effective audits are impossible; they recommend checking samples from the voting system with hand counts of matched sets of paper ballots, recruiting technical experts to help with such tests, and publicizing the results, before certification of the election.

They also recommend a new, detailed ballot accounting by each polling center and reconciliation with the number of those who signed in to vote there. Still, to put these procedures into practice would probably require sustained pressure from the voting public.

Moreover, anyone familiar with vote counting in precincts across the country knows that many computer checking and security measures these experts recommend are far too sophisticated for most poll-watchers to implement before the November 8 election. Further, all Secretaries of State, who are often unabashed political partisans, would have to have good intentions — an assumption hard to reconcile with the actions ofKenneth Blackwell in Ohio in 2004 or Katherine Harris in Florida in 2000.

In contrast, consider the record of  Dana Debeauvoir, election clerk in Travis County which includes the University of Texas (Austin).  She has worked with critics and computer experts, to propose a new type of encryption plus a paper record (it will not be ready, unfortunately, until the 2020 election).

A federal law requiring oversight of elections by politically independent or neutral state officials would vastly improve the security of the American electoral process. But Appel is not optimistic about the prospect of Congressionally mandated  reforms. For the upcoming election, some of the recommended measures will be in place in some jurisdictions across the country.

After this election, however, with a strong democratic push from below, it might be possible to outlaw the highly insecure DREs (touch-screen machines), provide adequate funding as well as training for election officials nationwide, and ensure an independent paper trail on optical scan machines.

In fact, it might even be possible to go to a paper ballot backed up by an initial exit poll. In contrast to this November 8 — when, at best, only the large scale of the election makes likely a trustworthy result — such reforms would ensure that our elections are, both in appearance and in reality, fair.

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Current and former FBI officials have launched a media counter-offensive to engage head to head with the Clinton media machine and to throw off the shackles the Loretta Lynch Justice Department has used to stymie their multiple investigations into the Clinton pay-to-play network.

Over the past weekend, former FBI Assistant Director and current CNN Senior Law Enforcement Analyst Tom Fuentes told viewers that “the FBI has an intensive investigation ongoing into the Clinton Foundation.” He said he had received this information from “senior officials” at the FBI, “several of them, in and out of the Bureau.”

Disgraced Former Congressman Anthony Weiner and His Wife, Longtime Hillary Clinton Aide, Huma Abedin

That information was further supported by an in-depth article last evening in the Wall Street Journal by Devlin Barrett. According to Barrett, the “probe of the foundation began more than a year ago to determine whether financial crimes or influence peddling occurred related to the charity.” Barrett’s article suggests that the Justice Department, which oversees the FBI, has attempted to circumvent the investigation.

The new revelations lead to the appearance of wrongdoing on the part of U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch for secretly meeting with Bill Clinton on her plane on the tarmac of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport on the evening of June 28 of this year. Not only was Bill Clinton’s wife under an FBI investigation at the time over her use of a private email server in the basement of her New York home over which Top Secret material was transmitted while she was Secretary of State but his own charitable foundation was also under investigation, a fact that was unknown at the time to the public and the media.

The reports leaking out of the FBI over the weekend came on the heels of FBI Director James Comey sending a letter to members of Congress on Friday acknowledging that the investigation into the Hillary Clinton email server was not closed as he had previously testified to Congress, but had been reopened as a result of “pertinent” emails turning up. According to multiple media sources, those emails were found on the laptop of Anthony Weiner, estranged husband of Hillary Clinton’s longtime aide, Huma Abedin.

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Having a Flutter: The Melbourne Cup and the Australian Gambler

novembre 1st, 2016 by Dr. Binoy Kampmark

“In terms of prize money, the Melbourne Cup is worth more than the Grand National or any race in America, and it is far more popular in terms of national identity.” — Richard Waterhouse, ABC Radio, Nov 3, 2015.

An inspection of the hungry, jostling crowds gathering at the gates of the Flemington Race Course, Melbourne, gives a false sense of colour, order and, dare one venture it, glamour. It is another first Tuesday of the week of November, and the State is celebrating a holiday.

Few countries in the world could boast honouring a holiday in the name of a horse race that takes place over 3.2 kilometres. Since November 7, 1861, Melbourne has been the place for this spectacle of humankind and beast, in which the horses tend to behave far more impeccably than the indecorous spectators.

As Professor Emeritus Richard Waterhouse explained to ABC Radio last year, horseracing was English in inspiration, the “cultural baggage” that kept the colonists busy in entertainment and distraction.[1]  Wealthy colonists eventually got serious about thoroughbred racing, which ranks as the third most patronised sport in Australia.

To encourage the element of chance, the horse race is also run in a handicap format, in which each horse is allocated a different weight depending on age and past form. As the National Museum of Victoria suggests, “This presents punters with the challenge of guessing which horse will overcome its handicap.”[2]

Mark Twain, when visiting Melbourne, noted something no less than a cult in practice in account “Following the Equator”.  The Cup “is the mitred Metropolitan of the Horse-Racing Cult.  Its race ground is the Mecca of Australasia.”  In scribbling these words, he claimed to have seen nothing to rival such worship.  “I can call to mind no specialized annual day, in any country, whose approach fires the whole land with a conflation of conversation and anticipation and jubilation.  No day save this; but this one does it.”

The singular nature of the event in the Australian calendar is exemplified by the fashion.  Why, the question might well be asked, would that matter at such a gathering?  Much of this was put down to racing executives keen to keep the women interested, even as other entertainment options grew. In time, what mattered off the racing track was as important, if not more so, than what took place on it.

This has, in turn, spawned an industry of critics and advisors, generating fictional protocols about what should be embraced, or avoided, as the horses gather for the ultimate battle.

A list of the permitted points is offered in a Spring Racing Carnival segment.[3]  Make sure you wear something neither too small nor big. “Practice wearing shoes that you can walk in all day long.”  Keep an eye on what skin is exposed. “If you prefer a low cut top, drop the hemline down.”

This laundry list of items starts resembling equine grooming.  We are, after all, beasts as well, in need of care. “Be polished – don’t forget your nails, scrub your heels and brush your hair.”  This being Australia, it was important to remember sunscreen.

The dignity police, cutting their teeth on breakfast shows and the fashion segment of magazines, are also ever present, though carefully considered advice tends to go out the window the longer the sun, and the booze, start ravaging the punters.

Nonetheless, the Racing.com aficionados insist on the following injunctions: Avoid denim; avoid joggers, slippers and gumboots; do not expose your midriff, wear a miniskirt, or reveal tanned skin that resembles an overenthusiastic roast.

The matter is even stricter for those wishing to linger and twitter in the birdcage reserved for celebrities. Plumage, coming in the form of exotic, sometimes plainly idiosyncratic fascinators, is encouraged.

It can be painful to go through some of the academic churners who venture to see in the Melbourne Cup something markedly special, infused with pseudo-religious worth.  Carole M. Cusack and Justine Digance attempt to see the Cup in terms of a “sociology of religion”, in which the sacred, having “collapsed into the secular”, left the way open for a rampant consumerism.[4]

Critics and commentators should not read too much into an event that ultimately worships a counterfeit decency in order to liberate inner desire.  King Dollar, the bottle, and libido, ultimately come together in an extravaganza that exhausts itself by the day’s end.

What matters is how the Melbourne Cup permits a communing of beasts, where ample drink flows, and the flutter with a bet is made, often with friends or work colleagues. This is gambling as a collective effort, the one time in the year when many Australians become punters, and the lone addict can keep company.

Over the course of the day, the relevant spectacle is not that of dashing horses and their desperate jockeys dashing to the finishing line, but of collapsing punters, their fascinators and suits crumpled and soaked, flailing in mud and excreta.

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

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With one week left in the most chaotic and dangerous presidential contest in American history, the Hillary Rodham Clinton campaign is damaged and sinking. Even the propaganda protection of the Clinton-controlled mainstream corporate media is starting to buckle.  

Hillary Clinton is being bombshelled on a daily basis by hacker whistleblowers led by Wikileaks.

Companion sites such as Most Damning Wikileaks, which sorts the raw data and provides analysis, have also been in overdrive.

Countless Web/social media-based investigators, journalists and activists (Anonymous, DC Leaks, Guccifer 2.0, Michael Trimm, H.A. Goodman, Styxhexenhammer666, and anonymous posters at 4Chan, to name just a few), Project Veritas, Judicial Watch, and surging populist forces behind Donald Trump, are exposing the Clinton machine from every angle. There are still more bombshells to come.

Now the FBI has opened two new investigations into Hillary Clinton’s emails.

The most recent Wikileaks exposures provide clear evidence that Hillary Clinton and her team of aides and operatives knowingly used unencrypted private computers to conduct secret business (including exchanging classified information), knowingly tried to hide and destroy evidence of this activity, and were involved in an active cover-up.

Emails of Clinton associate Cheryl Mills also implicate President Barack Obama. Obama not only knew about Clinton’s private server, he knowingly communicated with Clinton via this private server.

It is believed that the overwhelming amount of significant evidence compelled the FBI to act.

At the center of it all is top Clinton aide Huma Abedin. The FBI has found some 650,000 emails on the computers and devices of Abedin and her estranged husband, former congressman Anthony Weiner.  The classified Clinton-related emails were a surprise discovery made in the course of FBI’s investigation into Weiner’s pedophilia case. The Department of Justice has obtained warrant to search multiple Abedin/Weiner computers.

What the new stash contains is being sorted out and catalogued by the FBI. The sheer number of surprise new emails raises questions all by itself.

What exactly were Hillary and her team trying to hide? Was Clinton running secret operations, with Obama’s knowledge and participation, via private devices? If so, what were these secret operations? Was it to hide “shadow government” foreign policy, and “off the books” activities?

Or was it about hiding the criminal activities of the Clinton Foundation, which has already been exposed by Wikileaks as a (very Iran-Contra) front for the covert funding of terrorists (including ISIS, via Saudi Arabia and Qatar), influence peddling, pay-for-play schemes, money laundering, fraud, weapons deals, and other crimes?

Was it to hide personal depravity along the lines of pedophilia and connections to a larger Washington pedophilia ring?

Will the new investigation go beyond the violation of security procedures, to the issue of criminal intent, as well as the evidence of crimes contained in the emails themselves?

Indictments are being prepared.

The FBI decision in context

Both FBI Director James Comey and Attorney General Loretta Lynch (right) are compromised individuals with deep ties to the Clintons. Why did Comey take action at this time? Lynch was pressured or blackmailed by Bill Clinton to stop the initial investigation of Hillary, but did not, or could not, stand in the way of this round.

President Obama has adopted a “neutral” stance.  Obama has also stopped campaigning for or with Hillary.

The fact that these Clinton surrogates and Obama (an important Hillary cheerleader), are now “turning against Hillary” speaks volumes:

  1. There is so much damning evidence that new probes had to be opened, according to the Hatch Act, which would make it a crime for Comey not to take action. So much that not even Comey/Lynch/Obama can cover for Hillary any longer.
  2. Serious internal pressure within the FBI itself caused Comey to do his job, or face a mutiny. Many FBI agents were furious about how Comey let Clinton off the hook the first time. Comey is now “covering his rear end”.
  3. Clinton’s campaign is damaged, possibly beyond repair. “Rats are jumping off the sinking ship”. The Democratic establishment may be forced to consider a backup plan to replace Clinton (with Tim Kaine) or cancel the election by some other means.
  4. Now that his own security-breaching communications with Clinton via her private server have been exposed by Wikileaks, Obama is distancing himself from Clinton, a major blow to Hillary’s campaign.
  5. Some skeptical observers have proposed that the FBI investigation could be a smokescreen diversion, a distraction from more potentially damaging, game-ending material expected to be released by Wikileaks and other sources in the coming week. However, it does appear that the actual “smoking guns” are so numerous and blatant, that the Clintons are in real trouble.

The Democratic Party establishment is in panic mode. They have resorted again to blaming Russia. Comey is being attacked as a Russian agent.  Comey (left) has now become as much of a target as Trump, who continues to be accused of being a Russian spy.

The weak and empty response by an already weakened Hillary and the Democratic Party leadership is a sure sign that the election could very well be lost.

All the queen’s women and men

In the Watergate scandal, Nixon’s surrogates took the fall, and Gerald Ford pardoned him.  In Iran-Contra, numerous operatives “fell on the sword” to protect the Bushes and the CIA.

What fate awaits Hillary Clinton?

Will Hillary’s operatives (Huma Abedin, Cheryl Mills, Neara Tanden, John Podesta, Bob Creamer, etc.) protect her, or turn on her? Who will be left to protect her?

Democratic National Committee chair Donna Brazile, a faithful Clinton surrogate, has been forced to resign, after Wikileaks exposed the fact that she helped Hillary cheat in two debates. (Brazile was abused by Hillary in meltdown mode after she had failed to effectively help Hillary cheat her way through a panel with NBC’s Matt Lauer.  She will no longer have to put up with being called a “cow” by Clinton.)

Saudi-born (Muslim Brotherhood-connected) Huma Abedin, perhaps the key figure in the case, has asked for immunity. If Abedin tells the truth, she could destroy the Clintons, and be in danger for the rest of her life.  Abedin, Hillary Clinton’s most personal aide, has been missing, not been seen with Hillary or the campaign in days.

On the other hand, it would not be surprising if Abedin resorts to pleading the Fifth, or the favorite technique used by the guilty: repeatedly saying “I don’t recall”.  Huma has already suggested she had “no idea” how the emails wound up on her computer.

It seems that some of the incriminating documents are contained in a file titled “Life Insurance”. This suggests that Abedin stashed incriminating material for insurance in the event that the Clintons threatened her life.

Weiner, however, is a different matter. He is not beholden to the Clintons, and could be more inclined to “sing”.

The first of a new kind of information war

The incendiary warfare for this election, and the control of the US government is all happening without the knowledge of the large segment of the ambivalent/ignorant population that relies exclusively on mainstream (Clinton-dominated) corporate media.

The war for information is being fought entirely on the Web and, as exemplified by the Clinton scandals, the battle is over the contents of computer data. Corporate broadcast and print media has not covered much of the action at all.  Within the corporate media bubble, Hillary still retains a lead, Trump is still a pervert and a madman, and the FBI is on a puzzling witch hunt. But even this bubble is beginning to burst. Hillary is in so much trouble, that even the corporate media is starting to be forced to report.

There is a strong possibility that this election will be fought and decided without the participation of this left-out segment.

These people will be shocked, surprised and baffled by it all. There is not much time left to get them to begin to understand.

Unprecedented crisis

Hillary Clinton and her campaign have been severely damaged by resistance from all sides. According to conditions on the ground, and according to a growing number of the more accurate national polls, Trump is surging. He may even have a significant lead.

However, the election has already been rigged and stolen for a Clinton victory. They have the means, the technology, and it is already happening. The question now is whether the FBI investigation, and last minute bombshells from Wikileaks, completely changes the landscape in the remaining days.

This conflict will last well beyond the election and its result.

Nixon won the presidential election in 1972 in a landslide, but was forced to leave office because of Watergate.

Even if Clinton gets her way, she will be also be scandalized and investigated a la Nixon.  A constitutional crisis is virtually guaranteed. She could be indicted before or after taking office.  She could be pardoned by Obama. She could be impeached. In the unlikely event that she survives all of that, resistance to her will be never-ending. She is so corrupt, and has antagonized so many people and nations, that will not be able to govern or conduct diplomacy in any case.

In the short term, the possibility of a major false flag event to distract from, and cancel election, remains the biggest and most terrifying scenario. And/or a martial law crackdown on the US in the event of civil unrest caused by a contested election.

More bombshells, possibly the biggest ones yet, have been promised for the final weeks and days, including more Wikileaks, more from Project Veritas, more from Anonymous.

It is far from over. Expect October Surprises, November Surprises, and the unprecedented.

 

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China’s Economic Relations with Latin America

novembre 1st, 2016 by Ulises Noyola Rodríguez

The fall in commodity prices indicates the fragility of the economic relation between China and Latin America that at the present time registers an important deceleration in commercial transactions, a situation that the United States seeks to take advantage of in order to reposition itself in the region. The Chinese government had decided to support the construction of large works of infrastructure in Latin America that would doubtless be built with material coming from China through the creation of various infrastructural funds with Latin American governments that reached a total of 45 billion dollars in 2015.

Thus the interest that China maintains toward Latin America is basically focused on the financing of works of infrastructure that guarantee the provision of commodities. The establishment of ambitious initiatives of a continental scope to transport these natural resources of the region to the Pacific is evidence of this. The building of the Nicaraguan canal will change the geopolitical relation of China with Latin America, since the shipment of merchandise will be realized with the support of the security provided by the Nicaraguan government, with means Washington will have no kind of military control in this zone after 2020 [1].

However, the construction of infrastructure in Latin America with Chinese investments will not lead to a substantial increase in the value added of Latin American exports since these investment projects will only ensure high profits in the short term. This situation will not modify the primary-export structure of the Latin American countries [2]. In addition, the new strategic relations that China has managed to consolidate with various countries of Asia and the Middle East (Russia, Saudi Arabia and Iran) in order to diversify their sources of strategic natural resources, will intensify the competition with the Latin American countries for the Chinese market.

In this sense, the over-production of petroleum driven by international competition continues to contribute to low oil prices, now quoted at 50.35 dollars a barrel in international markets, which has led to further diminishing the rhythm of growth of the Latin American economies. The efforts of the members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting countries (OPEP) to stabilize the price of oil were insufficient. The petroleum cartel and Russia agreed a reduction of some 700,000 barrels per day, a figure that represents only 1% of world oil production [3].

In addition, the labour-intensive Chinese export companies facing problems of overcapacity register a deceleration of their demand of commodities coming from Latin America, which will make it difficult to relaunch trade relations with China. Pressure from Washington on Beijing provoked a compromise of the Chinese government to reduce excess productive capacity by 13% during the period 2014-2020 in the recent G-20 summit. Hence, there is unlikely to be a substantial increase in the demand of commodities on the part of export companies [4].

On the other hand, Chinese export companies also accentuate the deflationary tendency in the world economy, given the reduced price of their merchandise traded in international markets, in productive sectors that operate with overcapacity. The reduced price of merchandise produced by Chinese export companies in labor-intensive sectors have a strong penetration in Latin American countries, which affects the profits of Latin American enterprises, since it diminishes national production, private investment and the generation of jobs.

In this way Latin American companies have initiated anti-dumping demands due to practices of trade competition on the part of Chinese corporations, since these receive support from their government through state assistance under the form of public subsidies and bank credits [5]. The consequences could be serious for Chinese corporations with the lessening of imports from China to Latin American countries that already has trade restrictions from the United States and even more deceleration of commercial relations between China and Latin America.

The response of the Chinese government was to lessen the regressive effects of overcapacity of labor-intensive sectors through an increase of consumption via increased wages, social assistance and public services, in order to create a middle class favouring the demand for food coming from Latin America. Nevertheless, the productive dislocation of Chinese enterprises in Asian countries with lower wages threatens to destroy the efforts of the Chinese government to change the structure of the new productive model based on internal demand, which will limit the wage increases and the demand for food in China [6].

The economic difficulties of Latin American countries to support exports to China provoked the biggest economies of the region such as Brazil and Argentina to seek closer trade relations with the United States. This trade rapprochement with the United States could be the first step towards opening negotiations on the incorporation of Latin American countries with the largest economies greater into the integration projects promoted by Washington (TPP and Pacific Alliance).

The consolidation of projects of integration supported by the United States would allow for a recovery in the participation of Latin American exports that had dropped from 60 to 40% during the period 2000 to 2014, with the ascent of China as the first trade partner of various Latin American countries, particularly in the Southern Cone [7]. Nevertheless, the delay of approval of the TPP in the US congress due to the pernicious consequences for local industry, wage levels and unemployment, questions the capacity of Washington to overcome the blow dealt by China in Latin America.

In addition, the Chinese government wants to maintain its economic influence in Latin America with the incorporation of Brazil and the candidacy of various Latin American countries (Venezuela, Chile, Colombia) in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), announced at the beginning of 2016 [8]. In this way, the participation of Latin American countries in the value chains of Asia will strengthen economic relations with China and would increase transactions in intra-regional trade with the financing of projects that support productive integration in the Asian continent.

Nevertheless the investment projects financed by AIIB are moving slowly, given that they involve only the financing of four small projects in the Asian continent, so that they do not contemplate large investment projects in Latin America in 2016. In addition, the projects for investment financed by AIIB were co-financed by the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the Department of International Development of the United Kingdom, institutions that are strongly influenced by the United States, which limits the autonomy of China in the investment in projects in Latin America.

Similarly, the New Bank of Development of BRICS financed projects of investment for barely 811 million dollars in member countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and signed a memorandum of intent with the World Bank to finance common projects in the upcoming operations of the financial entity [9]. Hence the will of Beijing moves to strengthen relations with financial institutions dominated by Washington that still have an important role in Latin America, which weakens the possibilities of China to establish relations in Latin America that are autonomous with respect to the United States.

Finally, the role of China as an exporter of capital continues to increase its presence in Latin America, where the state banks of China made loans to Latin American countries for an amount equivalent to 29 billion dollars in 2015, a quantity that was larger than the loans provided by the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank [10]. But the new phase of the world economic crisis characterized by falling commodity prices has modified the operations of Chinese state banks in Latin America, since the loans are supported by commodities, a situation that previously had benefited Latin American countries due to the high prices of commodities.

For this reason, the repayment of the loans has required the increased exploitation of natural resources of Latin American countries, which are seriously exposed to Chinese state banks, with the case of Venezuela being representative because of the fall of commodity prices, which faces the opposition of the popular classes. In addition, the ambition of China to incorporate the yuan in the basket of currencies of the Special Withdrawal Rights was accompanied by an increase in the participation in the financing of the International Monetary Fund that came almost to duplicate its financial resources to 659 billion dollars at the end of 2015, and which gave Washington renewed power to intervene in Latin American countries in the future [11].

In conclusion, the global economic turbulence maintained the close cohesion of China with the United States that resulted in a common approach in the new financial architecture at a global level, and which has posed the question of the role that will be assumed by both powers in Latin America.

Translation: Jordan Bishop

Notes

[1] Asia Times. Nicaragua canal boosts China power. Publication date: 22/11/2013.

[2] Xinhua Investment Fund for Cooperation in Productive Capacity China- Latin America points out sustainability and control of risks. Publication date: 6/06/2016.

[3] The New York Times. OPEC Agrees to Cut Production, Sending Oil Prices Soaring. Publication date: 28/9/2016. 

[4] Bloomberg. Global Steel Glut Concerns Raised in G-20 Draft Statement. Publication date: 3/09/2016.

[5] Alacero. Anti-dumping investigations against China: Advances toward  a just competition in the steel industry of Latin America. Publication date: 22/06/2015.

[6] Wall Street Journal. China struggles to avoid that their factories change. Publication date: 13/06/2016.

[7] Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. Latin America and the Caribbean and China: toward a new era of economic cooperation. Publication date: 22/05/2015.

[8] Financial Times. AIIB gathers for inaugural annual meeting. Publication date: 24/06/2016.

[9] Xinhua. World Bank, BRICS bank to enhance co-op in infrastructure development. Publication date: 10/09/2016.

[10] Financial Times. China doubles bets on ailing Latin America economies. Publication date: 12/02/2016.

[11] International Monetary Fund. Historical Reforms that duplicate resources of their quotas and will reinforce the representation of emerging and developing economies. Publication date: 27/01/2016.

Ulises Noyola Rodríguez, collaborator of the postgraduate division of economics at UNAM in Mexico.

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Senior-level Justice Department officials pushed back heavily on an ongoing FBI investigation of the Clinton Foundation, according to a bombshell report from The Wall Street Journal.

The newspaper laid out numerous examples, based on law enforcement sources, of senior DOJ officials intervening to quash the probe.

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Prosecutors with the U.S. attorneys office in the Eastern District of New York — which Loretta Lynch led before taking over as attorney general last year — refused to allow FBI investigators probing the Clinton family charity to review emails found on devices turned over this year by two of Clinton’s lawyers during the separate investigation into the mishandling of classified information on Clinton’s private email system.

The rationale, according to The Journal, was that the devices were covered by partial immunity and limited-use agreements that the Clinton lawyers — Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson — agreed to with the DOJ. Information recovered from the laptops could only be used in the email investigation and not in others.

FBI Director James Comey testifies before a House Homeland Security Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. on July 14, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

FBI Director James Comey testifies before a House Homeland Security Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. on July 14, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

As part of the immunity agreement, the FBI and Justice Department agreed to destroy Mills’ and Samuelson’s devices, a revelation that sparked outrage from congressional Republicans when it was announced earlier this month.

The Journal’s report largely confirms reporting in August from The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Richard Pollock that the FBI and several U.S. attorneys offices were conducting an unorthodox, joint investigation into the Clinton Foundation. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: FBI-US Attorneys Conducting Joint Probe Of Clinton Foundation)

CNN reported at around the same time that a Clinton Foundation probe was tabled by the Justice Department. Pollock’s report and the new piece from The Journal undermine CNN’s reporting.

While the investigation has gone forward, the Justice Department has stymied the investigation at several turns, according to The Journal.

The DOJ refused to grant the FBI the power to issue subpoenas or conduct formal interviews. It also refused to convene a grand jury to weigh evidence in the case.

More pushback occurred in August, when a senior DOJ official contacted the FBI’s deputy director, Andrew McCabe, to voice his displeasure that New York field office agents were continuing the investigation even though the DOJ had declined to provide investigative support.

The official was “very pissed off” that the FBI was continuing its efforts, according to The Journal.

The call occurred on Aug. 12, a day after CNN reported details of FBI-DOJ discord over whether to investigate the Clinton Foundation. It was also a day after Pollock reported that an investigation was underway.

McCabe figures prominently in The Journal’s reporting and in the overlapping Clintonworld investigations.

It was revealed last week that McCabe’s wife, Jill, received nearly $470,000 in contributions to a Virginia state senate campaign last year from Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s super PAC.

McAuliffe is a close Clinton ally and is the subject of a separate FBI investigation.

According to The Journal, McCabe refocused the Clinton Foundation investigation a week after FBI director James Comey announced in early July that he would recommend to the Justice Department that charges not be filed against Clinton for mishandling classified information in her emails.

The charity probe would be led by the FBI’s New York office with help from the Little Rock office, according to The Journal. FBI field offices in Los Angeles and Washington were also involved in the Clinton Foundation investigation.

The Los Angeles office subpoenaed bank records related to the Clinton Foundation after obtaining information during a separate public corruption case. The office in Washington was investigating McAuliffe’s financial relationships from before he joined the Clinton Foundation as a board member.

After Comey’s announcement on the Clinton email investigation in July, McCabe decided that the Washington FBI office would focus on the separate McAuliffe matter. He recused himself from that investigation because of the donations his wife received from McAuliffe’s super PAC in 2015.

While the FBI has insisted that McCabe is not compromised in any of the investigations — the email probe, the Clinton Foundation, or the McAuliffe matter — The Journal reports that some agents believe he has issued “stand down” orders in the Clinton Foundation inquiry.

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch looks on after announcing federal action related to North Carolina, at the U.S. Department of Justice (Getty Images)

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch looks on after announcing federal action related to North Carolina, at the U.S. Department of Justice (Getty Images)

That claim came from FBI agents lower on the chain of command from senior-level officials. Still other sources denied that McCabe issued a “stand down” order. They asserted that McCabe ordered investigators to continue on their investigative path.

McCabe’s Aug. 12 phone conversation with the senior DOJ official would seem to suggest that he supported the investigation.

“Are you telling me that I need to shut down a validly predicated investigation?” McCabe asked the DOJ official, according to a Journal source who was familiar with the conversation.

“Of course not,” the official reportedly said, after a brief pause.

The new report also details a presentation that FBI officials made to the Justice Department in February to lay out the case against the Clinton Foundation.

Some of the Journal’s sources said that the DOJ’s career public integrity prosecutors did not believe that the case was strong.

“Others said that from the start, the Justice Department officials were stern, icy and dismissive of the case,” The Journal reported.

DOJ officials told the FBI at the meeting additional investigative tools — subpoenas, interviews or a grand jury — would not be authorized.

 

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Ten years ago, the world’s leading climatologists chose to reinvestigate the long-term environmental impacts of nuclear war. The peer-reviewed studies they produced are considered to be the most authoritative type of scientific research, which is subjected to criticism by the international scientific community before its final publication in scholarly journals. No serious errors were found in their studies.

Working at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado, the Department of Environmental Sciences at Rutgers, and the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at UCLA, these scientists used state-of-the-art computer modeling to evaluate the consequences of a range of possible nuclear conflicts. They began with a hypothetical war in Southeast Asia, in which a total of 100 Hiroshima-size atomic bombs were exploded in the cities of India Pakistan. In order to give you a clear idea of what an atomic bomb can do, please consider these images of Hiroshima, before and after the bomb, which had an explosive power of 15,000 tons of TNT.

The detonation of such an atomic bomb will instantly ignite fires over a surface area of 3 to 5 square miles. The scientists calculated that the blast, fire, and radiation from a war fought with 100 atomic bombs could produce as many fatalities as World War II. However, the long-term environmental effects of the war could significantly disrupt the global weather for at least a decade, which would likely result in a vast global famine.

Cloudless sky
obscured by 150 million tons of smoke in the stratosphereafter a US-Russian nuclear war

adapted from Scientific American, (2010) “Local Nuclear War, Global Suffering”, Robock & Toon

The scientists predicted that nuclear firestorms in the burning cities would cause 3 to 4 million tons of black carbon smoke to quickly rise above cloud level into the stratosphere, where it could not be rained out. The smoke would circle the Earth in less than 2 weeks and would form a global stratospheric smoke layer that would remain for more than a decade. The smoke would absorb warming sunlight, which would heat the smoke to temperatures near the boiling point of water, producing ozone losses of 20% to 50% over populated areas. This would almost double the amount of UV-B reaching the some regions, and it would create UV-B indices unprecedented in human history. In North America and central Europe, the time required to get a painful sunburn at mid-day in June could decrease to as little as six minutes for fair-skinned individuals.

As the smoke layer blocked warming sunlight from reaching the Earth’s surface, it would produce the coldest average surface temperatures in the last 1000 years Medical experts have predicted that the shortening of growing seasons and corresponding decreases in agricultural production could cause up to 2 billion people to perish from famine.

The climatologists also investigated the effects of a nuclear war fought with the vastly more powerful modern thermonuclear weapons possessed by the US, Russia, China, France, and England. Some of the thermonuclear weapons constructed during 1950s and 1960s were 1000 times more powerful than an atomic bomb.

During the last 30 years, the average size of thermonuclear or “strategic” nuclear weapons has decreased. Yet today, each of the approximately 3540 strategic weapons deployed by the US and Russia is 7 to 80 times more powerful than the atomic bombs modeled in the India-Pakistan study. The smallest strategic nuclear weapon has an explosive power of 100,000 tons of TNT, compared to an atomic bomb with an average explosive power of 15,000 tons of TNT.

Strategic nuclear weapons produce much larger nuclear firestorms than do atomic bombs.  For example, a standard Russian 800 kiloton warhead, on an average day, will ignite fires covering a surface area of 90 to 152 square miles].

A war fought with hundreds or thousands of US and Russian strategic nuclear weapons would ignite immense nuclear firestorms covering land surface areas of many thousands or tens of thousands of square miles. The scientists calculated that these fires would produce up to 180 million tons of black carbon soot and smoke, which would form a dense, global stratospheric smoke layer.  The smoke would remain in the stratosphere for ten to twenty years, and it would block as much as 70% of sunlight from reaching the surface of the Northern Hemisphere and 35% from the Southern Hemisphere. So much sunlight would be blocked by the smoke that the noonday sun would resemble a full moon at midnight.

Under such conditions, it would only require a matter of days or weeks for daily minimum temperatures to fall below freezing in the largest agricultural areas of the Northern Hemisphere. Freezing temperatures would occur every day for a period of between one to three years. Average surface temperatures would become colder than those experienced 18,000 years ago at the height of the last Ice Age, and the prolonged cold would cause average rainfall to decrease by up to 90%. Growing seasons would be completely eliminated for more than a decade; it would be too cold and dark to grow food crops, which would doom the majority of the human population.

A brief history of nuclear winter

The profound cold and the dark following nuclear war became known as nuclear winter and it was first predicted in 1983 by a group of NASA scientists. During the mid-1980s, a large body of research was done by such groups as the Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE), the World Meteorological Organization, and the U.S. National Research Council of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences; their work essentially supported the initial findings of the 1983 studies.

The idea of nuclear winter, published and supported by prominent scientists, generated extensive public alarm and put political pressure on the US and the Soviet Union to reverse a runaway nuclear arms race which, by 1986, had created a global nuclear arsenal of more than 65,000 nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, this created a backlash among many powerful military and industrial interests, who undertook an extensive media campaign to brand nuclear winter as “bad science” and the scientists who discovered it as “irresponsible.”

Critics used various uncertainties in the studies and the first climate models (which are primitive by today’s standards) as a basis to criticize and reject the concept of nuclear winter. In 1986, the Council on Foreign Relations published an article by scientists from the National Center for Atmospheric Research, who predicted drops in global cooling about half as large as those first predicted by the 1983 studies and described this as a ‘nuclear autumn.’ The nuclear autumn studies were later shown to be deeply flawed, but it didn’t matter.

Nuclear winter was subject to criticism and damning articles in the Wall Street Journal and Time Magazine. In 1987, the National Review called nuclear winter a “fraud.” In 2000, Discover Magazine published an article which described nuclear winter as one of “The Twenty Greatest Scientific Blunders in History.” The endless smear campaign was successful; the general public, and even most anti-nuclear activists, were left with the idea that nuclear winter had been discredited.

The rejection of nuclear winter by today’s US military and political leaders

Yet the scientists did not give up. In 2006, they returned to their labs to perform the research I have previously described. Their new research not only upheld the previous findings, it found that the earlier studies actually underestimated the environmental effects of nuclear war.

After the initial series of studies were published in 2007 and 2008, the scientist from Rutgers, Dr. Robock, and Dr. Toon of the University of Colorado, made a series of requests to meet with members of the Obama administration. The scientists offered to brief the White House about their findings, which they assumed would have a great impact upon nuclear weapons policy. Their offers were met with indifference.

Finally, after a number of years of trying, I have been told that Drs. Robock and Toon were allowed an audience with John Holdren, the Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama on Science and Technology. Dr. Robock also has met with Rose Gottemoeller, the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security. Dr. Robock has the impression that neither Holdren nor Gottemoeller think the nuclear winter research is correct.

But it is not only Holdren and Gottemoeller who reject the nuclear winter research. According to sources cited by Greg Mello of the Los Alamos Study Group, the US Nuclear Weapons Council – the group that determines the size and composition of US nuclear weapons, as well as the policies for their use – has stated that “the predictions of nuclear winter were disproved years ago.”

The members of the US Nuclear Weapons Council include: 

  • The Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics
  • The Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • The Under Secretary for Nuclear Security of the Department of Energy
  • The Under Secretary of Defense for Policy
  • The Commander of the United States Strategic Command

It may be that General John Hyten, the Head of the Strategic Command, who is in charge of the US nuclear triad, and General Paul Selva, the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the second highest ranking officer in the US, have never seen or heard of the 21st century nuclear winter studies. Perhaps when they hear a question about “nuclear winter”, they only remember the smear campaigns done against the early studies.  Or maybe they just choose not to accept the new scientific research on nuclear winter, despite the fact that it has withstood the criticism of the global scientific community.

Regardless, the rejection of nuclear winter research by the top military and political leaders of the United States raises some profoundly important questions: Do they fully understand the consequences of nuclear war? Do they realize that the launch-ready nuclear weapons they control constitute a self-destruct mechanism for the human race?

Renewed Cold War and the possibility of war with Russia and China

Meanwhile, US political leaders generally support the ongoing US confrontation with nuclear-armed Russia and China. Mainstream corporate media, including the editorial boards of the New York Times and Washington Post, engage in anti-Russian, anti-Putin rhetoric that surpasses the hate speech of the McCarthy era. The US has renewed the Cold War with Russia, with no debate or protest, and has subsequently engaged in proxy wars with Russia in Ukraine and Syria, as well as threatening military action against China in the South China Sea.

Hillary Clinton, who appears likely to become the next president of the United States, has repeatedly called for a US-imposed “no-fly zone” over Syria, where Russian planes are now flying in support of the Syrian Armed Forces. Marine General Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Congress in September that should the US attempt to set up such a no-fly zone, it surely result in war with Russia.

Apparently there is now some debate about this, however, Russia has responded by moving its latest air defense systems to Syria, and it stated it would shoot down any US or NATO planes that attempted to attack the Syrian Armed Forces.

Russia has also sent its only aircraft carrier, along with all of its Northern fleet and much of the Baltic fleet to the Mediterranean, in its largest surface deployment of naval vessels since the end of the Cold War. In response to what NATO leaders describe as Russia’s “dangerous and aggressive actions”, NATO has built up a “rapid-response force” of 40,000 troops on the Russian border, in the Baltic States and Poland. This force includes hundreds of tanks, armored vehicles, and heavy artillery. NATO troops stationed in Estonia are within artillery range of St. Petersburg, the second largest city of Russia.

The US has deployed its Aegis Ashore Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) system in Romania and is constructing another such BMD system in Poland. The Mark 41 launch system used in the Aegis Ashore systems can be used to launch a variety of missiles, including long-range nuclear-armed cruise missiles.

In other words, the US has built and is building launch sites for nuclear missiles on the Russian border. This fact has been widely reported on Russian TV and has infuriated the Russian public.  In June, Russian President Putin specifically warned that Russia would be forced to retaliate against this threat.

While Russian officials maintain that its actions are normal and routine, Russia now appears to be preparing for war. On October 5, Russia conducted a nation-wide civil defense drill that included 40 million of its people being directed to fallout shelters.  Reuters reported that on October 7, Russia had moved its Iskander nuclear-capable missiles to Kaliningrad, which borders Poland.

While the US ignores the danger of nuclear war, Russian scholar Stephen Cohen reports that the danger of war with the US is the leading news story in Russia. Cohen states:

 Just as there is no discussion of the most existential question of our time, in the American political class – the possibility of war with Russia – it is the only thing being discussed in the Russian political class . . . These are two different political universes.  In Russia, all the discussion in the newspapers, and there is plenty of free discussion on talk show TV, which echoes what the Kremlin is thinking, online,  in the elite newspapers, and in the popular broadcasts, the number 1, 2, 3, and 4 topics of the day are the possibility of war with the United States.

Cohen goes on to say:

I conclude from this that the leadership of Russia actually believes now, in reaction to what the United States and NATO have said and done over the last two years, and particularly in reaction to the breakdown of the proposed cooperation in Syria, and the rhetoric coming out of Washington, that war is a real possibility. I can’t remember when, since the Cuban Missile Crisis, that the Moscow leadership came to this conclusion in its collective head.

My own personal assessment of the state of the nuclear danger today is that it is profound. The United States is sleepwalking towards nuclear war. Our leaders have turned a blind eye to the scientifically predicted consequences of nuclear war, and appear to be intent in making “Russia back down”. This is a recipe for unlimited human disaster.

It is still not too late to seek dialogue, diplomacy, and détente with Russia and China, and to create a global dialogue about the existential dangers of nuclear war.  We must return to the understanding that nuclear war cannot be won, and must not be fought. This can be achieved if we listen to the warnings from the scientific community about the omnicidal consequences of nuclear war.

Peer-reviewed scientific studies of the consequences of nuclear war

A. Robock, L. Oman, G. Stenchikov, (2007). “Nuclear winter revisited with a modern climate model and current nuclear arsenals: Still catastrophic consequences”, Journal of Geophysical Research –Atmospheres, Vol. 112

O. B. Toon, R. Turco, A. Robock, C. Bardeen, L. Oman, G. Stenchikov, (2007). “Atmospheric effects and societal consequences of regional scale nuclear conflicts and acts of individual nuclear terrorism”, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Vol. 7

M. Mills, O. B. Toon, R. Turco, D. Kinnison, R. Garcia. (2008). “Massive global ozone loss predicted following regional nuclear conflict”, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA), vol. 105

M. Mills, O.B. Toon, J. Lee-Taylor, A. Robock. (2014). “Multidecadal global cooling and unprecedented ozone loss following a regional nuclear conflict” .American Geophysical Union, DOI: 10.1002/2013EF000205

A. Robock, L. Oman, G. Stenchikov, O.B. Toon, C. Bardeen, R Turco. (2007). “Climatic consequences of regional nuclear conflicts”. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Vol. 7

 

 

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 « Il n’est pas nécessaire d’espérer pour entreprendre ni de réussir pour persévérer »

Guillaume d’orange

 

Nous sommes à la veille du premier novembre et on peut parier que le rituel bien rodé  et atemporel sera servi à une société algérienne  indifférente. Pourtant cette épopée devrait de mon point de vue – au vue de l’immense tâche accomplie par nos ainés- être réactualisée chaque année et le moins que l’on puisse faire est de faire un bilan de nos réalisations dans le  tous les domaines  notamment le savoir, l’élévation du niveau de vie , bref la quête d’objectifs toujours ambitieux. Or que constatons nous ?  des autorités qui sacrifient à la levée des couleurs à minuit, et par la même des actions qui excluent d’emblée les jeunes.

Le Premier Novembre fut vraiment une aventure humaine portée par tout un peuple et pas par quelques clans regroupés sous le vocable de famille révolutionnaire  dont  on peut douter de sa valeur ajoutée quand des enfants de moudjahid s’organisent  alors qu’ils sont pour la plupart cinquantenaires pères et grands pères mais toujours de grands enfants-, en organisation pourquoi faire et quel est leur apport ? Quel est l’apport  d’un ministère  des moudjahidine dont le budget est équivalent à celui de l’enseignement supérieur et plus de 5 fois celui de la formation professionnelle ?. D’un côté des citoyens qui ont fait leur travail en s’étant battu  pour la Révolution il y a plus d’un demi siècle . De l’autre la formation supérieur de centaines de milliers de jeunes qui représentent l’avenir  Il n’est pas question ici de nier les droits des descendants de chahids mais leurs enfants sont des citoyens comme les autres l’Etat a le devoir d’en faire des hommes en les formant mais ils doivent à un moment ou un autre montrer ce qu’ils apportent eux-mêmes comparés à l’immense apport des chahids de la révolution.

Hassiba Ben Bouali

Quand des icones comme Petit Omar ( 11 ans) Hassiba Ben Bouali ( 19 ans)  Ali La pointe ( 24 ans) meurent les armes à la main et refusent de se rendre,  en face d’une armée de tortionnaire prête à tout pour perpétuer un ordre raciste au nom de la conviction d’appartenir à la race supérieure, c’est pour nous un message , nous ne devons pas nous rendre à la fatalité nous devons nous battre pour un autre premier novembre sans cesse renouvelé. Nous avons plusieurs fois échappé à des tsunamis exogènes est ce de la baraka ? est ce modestement notre génie et que dans les épreuves existentielles le peuple sait  se dresser contre l’aventure comme celle qui a emporté les pays arabes dans une tourmente  sans fin baptisée par l’Occident seul détenteur du sens  – printemps arabes- Mais  les slogans  telle que la chance la baraka ou le génie du peuple ne doivent pas être convoqués à chaque fois  tout le temps, il faut bien  à un moment ou un autre les remplacer par la rigueur le travail.

En haut à droite, le Petit Omar, ci-dessus Ali La pointe

Ce que furent les Printemps arabes

Il vient que le Premier novembre de cette année se déroule dans un environnement de plus en plus critique. Les nuages s’accumulent sur les pays vulnérables car les  ressources planétaires sont insuffisantes, les changements climatiques sont là avec le cortège de malheurs, famines et sécheresses De ce fait l’hégémonie des grands n’a jamais été aussi évidente et les petits pays ont du mouron à se faire. Dans cet ordre il m’a été donné d’assister justement à la présentation du professeur Ahmed Bensaada  -qui  nous vient de Montréal où il est enseignant- de son dernier ouvrage «  Arabesque$ » à l’Ecole Supérieure  de Journalisme. Ce fut un exposé magistral sur ce que furent les printemps arabes.  Le professeur  Bensaada  en horloger minutieux a déconstruit  la mécanique horlogère de ce plan diabolique  de l’Empire et de ses vassaux européens  ( Angleterre,  France) et à un degré moindre  l’Allemagne  et l’Italie , qui consiste  avec toujours le même objectif  celui de l’accaparement des ressources planétaires principalement énergétiques , adossé à un néolibéralisme sans état d’âme et à une mondialisation –laminoir des plus faibles

Après avoir essayé la Démocratie aéroportée  en Irak et en Afghanistan l’Empire a compris qu’il fallait susciter des révolutions endogènes.  C’est  autre tactique qui consiste à miner le Monde arabe de l’intérieur. il faut dire qu’ils ont la partie facile tant les gouvernants qui cultivent le culte de la personnalité voire du sauveur « El Mahdi » ont tout fait pour installer leur peuple dans les temps morts, chacun utilisant une légitimité soit révolutionnaire, soit religieuse, soit divine…L’essentiel est de garder le pouvoir même au prix du désespoir de chacun (harraga, kamikaze…). Selon une étude de la Rand Corporation de 2005 on apprend que l’Amérique essaie de subdiviser l’Oumma musulmane en divers camps. Elle donne la recette à adopter ou adapter selon qu’elle a affaire aux fondamentalistes, aux traditionalistes, aux modernistes, et carrément aux séculiers.  (1)  (2)

Les Printemps arabes ont « surpris » tout le monde  d’après la doxa occidentale

Tout a commencé avec Sidi Bouzid en Tunisie Une nouvelle page de l’histoire dit-on  est en train de s’écrire dans le Monde arabe. Hypocritement on parle  d’un événement imprévsible  C’est en tout cas La thèse occidentale de Gilles Kepel, et de tant d’autres est que le «printemps arabe  a surpris tout le monde». C’est aussi celle de  Jean Daniel qui au passage encense le triste BHL:

«Il était inévitable, avec la progression des ondes de choc venues de Tunis et du Caire, que l’émergence du Printemps arabe suscite des polémiques et des affrontements. Nous n’avions qu’à applaudir, qu’à nous solidariser et à décider de faire l’impossible pour que personne ne confisque aux peuples qui s’étaient libérés, leur révolution. C’est alors que s’est posé le problème du devoir d’assistance et du droit d’ingérence. A la réflexion, et tout compte fait, j’ai décidé de préférer le comportement ostentatoire d’un BHL à l’indifférence dédaigneuse et frileuse de ses rivaux. BHL d’autre part, à force de vouloir être Malraux, il va peut-être finir un jour par lui ressembler».

Le même  Malraux que nous avons connu plus inspiré dans la « la condition humaine » ou le « le petit prince »  fut  pris à partie en Amérique Latine quand il est allé « vendre »  en tant que ministre de de Gaulle la position de ce dernier  concernant la guerre d’Algérie en 1960, il trouva en face de lui l’abbé Berenguer ambassadeur du GPRA en Amérique Latine   qui a déconstruit minutieusement son discours et restituer la vérité à savoir que le peuple algérien se battait pour son indépendance et sa dignité.  Cela prouve au passage que la Révolution algérienne fut portée par tout un peuple sans exclusif pas seulement des maquisards, mais aussi des moussebels, des médecins, l’équipe de football du FLN La troupe théâtrale et aussi, nous ne devons pas l’oublier par beaucoup d’Européens français de souche mais en Algérie à l’instar des Yveton, Chaulet Timsit, Maillot Leban et tant d’autres sans compter les européens à l’image de Jeanson, Sartre, et les hommes d’Eglise notamment monseigneur Duval  et le Père Daviezies  et de tant d’autres

Ce clin d’œil étant fait à la glorieuse Révolution de novembre ; Il n’y avait pas de surprise concernant ces révolutions arabes qui ont suivi les révolutions colorées. Nous sommes d’accord avec le professeur Bensaada quand il  prouve par une étude fine – il faut savoir qu’il y a plus de six cents références dans son ouvrage –  que tout à été minutieusement préparé. Cela nous rappelle la boutade de Franklin Delanoë Roosevelt  quand il déclarait : «  Quand un  évènement vous parait advenir par hasard, vous pourrez être sûr qu’il a été minutieusement préparé »

Le soubassement de ces révoltes  n’a pas les fondements classiques imputables à un hypothétique choc des civilisations.  Le ras-le-bol arabe n’a pas commencé en décembre 2010 mais en octobre 1988 en Algérie. Le tribut fut très lourd. La jeunesse algérienne a été la première, triste privilège, à mourir pour s’être battue pour la démocratie, la liberté. Sauf que ça n’intéressait personne. L’Algérie a payé le prix de la démocratie avec une décennie rouge et dit-on 200.000 morts, 10.000 disparus et 30 milliards de dollars de dégâts, sans compter les traumatismes que nous allons encore trainer pendant longtemps. Il a fallu attendre l’après 11 septembre 2001 pour que la voix de l’Algérie soit audible concernant le terrorisme mais nous ne sommes pas pour autant vaccinés , nous sommes visés  Comme par hasard, les monarchies arabes dociles aux Etats-Unis et à Israël ont survécu à la «tempête du Printemps arabe».

Le démontage de la mécanique des révoltes

Nous aurions voulu que l’on démonte la mécanique de ces révoltes pour y voir une manipulation de grande ampleur et la «spontanéité» des révoltes est un paramètre qui a été mis en équation pour susciter le chaos pour le plus grand bien de l’Empire et de ses vassaux. Tout le monde se souvient des bloggeurs qui ont catalysé les révoltes en Egypte, en Syrie…   On attribue à Machiavel la sentence suivante : «Le meilleur moyen de contrer une révolution c’est de la faire soi-même». Ceci s’applique croyons-nous comme un gant, à ce qui se déroule sous nos yeux. En un mot tout est programmé pour se dérouler ainsi. Il suffit de lire, mais le veut-on ? L’ouvrage de Gene Sharp qui décrit par le menu comment faire une révolution non violente et la réussir… Nous y trouverons tous les symptômes constatées dans les révoltes légitimes tunisiennes et égyptiennes, libyennes  qui, ont été prises en charge par l’empire

Ahmed Bensaada nous présente  l’ouvrage de Gene Sharp : «De la dictature à la démocratie », livre de chevet depuis près de deux décennies de tous les activistes du monde non occidental rêvant de renverser des régimes jugés autocratiques. Dans cet ouvrage, Gene Sharp décrit les 198 méthodes d’actions non violentes susceptibles d’être utilisées dans les conflits en vue de renverser les régimes en place. Parmi elles, notons la fraternisation avec les forces de l’ordre, les défilés, les funérailles massives en signe de protestation, les messages électroniques de masse, les supports audiovisuels, les actes de prière et les cérémonies religieuses, l’implication dans le nettoyage des places publiques et des endroits qui ont été la scène de manifestations, l’utilisation de slogans forts (comme le «Dégage» ou «Irhal»), des logos (comme le poing fermé), des posters avec les photographies des personnes décédées lors des manifestations et une certaine maîtrise de l’organisation logistique :

«Cette brillante application des théories de Gene Sharp fut suivie par d’autres succès retentissants : Géorgie (2003), Ukraine (2004) et Kirghizistan (2005). Voici ce que dit, en 2010, Pierre Piccinin, professeur d’histoire et de sciences politiques : « Les révolutions colorées ont toutes mis en œuvre la même recette : un groupuscule organisateur est financé par l’étranger et soutenu logistiquement (ordinateurs, abonnements à Internet, téléphones portables…). Formé par des professionnels de la révolution, sous le couvert d’ONG censées promouvoir la démocratie, telle la célèbre Freedom House, il arbore une couleur et un slogan simple. Le but : se débarrasser d’un gouvernement hostile et le remplacer par des leaders amis».  (3)

Le rapport Lugano  de Susan George

L’ouvrage du professeur  Ahmed Bensaada est édifiant car il permet d’ouvrir les yeux sur la réalité du monde et comme il l’a affirmé lors de la conférence  ces révolutions simulées de l’extérieur n’ont pu se développer que parce que le terreau était favorable, celui de la malvie de la hogra des passe droits des mounafeks dirions nous, des tricheurs bref de tout ceux qui n’ont aucune valeur ajoutée mais une grande capacité de nuisance basée notamment sur la « acabbya..

Cependant je pense que ces révolutions ont eu un précédent à savoir une politique d’effritement identitaire mise  en œuvre par l’Empire il s’agit du Rapport Lugano ; L’Empire et ses vassaux sont encore pour un temps les maîtres du monde. Les  médias  man  stream  sont à leurs ordres et pourtant ils sont  inquiets. Le capitalisme restera-t-il incontournable dans les décennies à venir? La mondialisation continuera-t-elle à accroître leur  richesse et leur  puissance?      Ce Rapport  montre  les mécanismes pervers du capitalisme ultra-libéral et l’horreur écologique, sociale et économique qu’il engendre notamment en problématisant les identités des peuples

La militante pour un monde plus juste  Susan Georges  en parle dans son ouvrage que présente Philippe Fremeaux   Nous l’écoutons :

« Depuis trois décennies, Susan George est de tous les combats en faveur des peuples du Sud et contre les effets destructeurs de la mondialisation libérale. Le rapport Lugano, se présente comme un rapport écrit à la demande des « maîtres du monde », qu’on devine être les élites qui se retrouvent chaque année à Davos. Objectif du rapport: apprécier les menaces qui pèsent sur le capitalisme libéral et trouver les moyens d’assurer sa pérennité. L’ouvrage brosse un tableau inquiétant mais réaliste de l’état du monde: croissance productiviste, risques écologiques, inégalités explosives. (…) Il y a, certes, des gagnants et des perdants, des profiteurs et des laissés-pour-compte, et les premiers cherchent à défendre leurs privilèges. Mais leur stratégie consiste surtout à s’adapter à des circonstances dont la dynamique leur échappe. » (4) (5)

On le devine, le sacerdoce du néolibéralisme est de créer le consommateur mondial: homo economicus: le moi universel. On dit qu’il y a sept commandements :

1)Promouvoir le pluriculturalisme.

2) Valoriser le multiculturalisme. Encourager les immigrants à conserver leurs cultures. Les sociétés multiraciales et multiculturelles doivent consacrer toute leur énergie à maintenir la paix entre les divers groupes qui les composent.

3) Faire l’éloge de la diversité plutôt que de l’unité.

4) Maintenir le groupe dont la démographie est la plus forte dans l’illettrisme. Une sous-classe en expansion, non-assimilée, sous-éduquée, hostile à la majorité,

5) Amener le monde des affaires à soutenir financièrement le multiculturalisme.

6) Rendre tabou tout propos allant à l’encontre de la diversité.

7) Rendre impossible l’application des lois sur l’immigration. L’immigration massive est normal elle ne peut être arrêté, et qui serait un bienfait pour la société. (6)

En cette veille de premier novembre l’ouvrage du professeur Bensaada est pour nous une mise en garde devant les dangers du monde.  Il  nous arme pour déconstruire la doxa occidentale . L’Algérie est visée c’est une  certitude il n’y aura pas d’avenir sans un engagement clair et net pour mobiliser la jeunesse pour cela il faut l’armer idéologiquement conte les tentations extrêmes en donnant l’exemple  Le nouveau premier novembre symbole d’une engagement révolutionnaire est à créer au quotidien. Rien ne peut se faire sans une société apaisée. Pour cela il nous faut arriver à un projet de société  pour ce XXIe siècle en listant les défis  et les dangers qui nous guettent.

Une révolution  est vouée à l’échec si elle n’est pas métabolisée par le peuple qui comme un seul homme réagira face à l’adversité. Les Printemps arabes concoctés dans les officines occidentales n’avaient aucune chance de réussir car le corps social considéré n’adhère pas. Ce ne sont  pas les scénarios  à la Place Tahrir ou autres qui feront que la greffe prenne ! Nous avons réussi notre révolution seuls et c’est tout un peuple, les maquisards mais aussi  chaque citoyen qui à chacun a apporté sa pierre à la réussite de cette révolution, notamment beaucoup d’européens nés en Algérie  qui la considèrent à juste titre comme leur patrie , qui ont compris le sens du combat , se sont engagés et pour beaucoup en sont morts ; notamment aussi les intellectuels français qui ont sauvé l’honneur de la France en étant convaincu que la décolonisation était consubstantielle des droits de l’homme.

Les Algériens ont pays  avec un énorme tribut . 1 million  de morts, 2,5 millions de citoyens dans les camps de concentration, plus de 10.000 villages brûlés au napalm, et des traumatismes qui ont duré des dizaines d’années. Nous nous sommes battus seuls et heureusement sans interférence externe  en ne comptant l’armement de l’Otan mis généreusement à la disposition du pouvoir colonial . Pour la petite histoire  il aurait été   « proposé » aux autorités françaises d’en finir avec une bombe atomique….

Cependant plus de soixante ans nous sépare de ce combat épique, la réalité actuelle est différente. Nous devons être très vigilants pour ne pas être le suivant dans la charrette des Printemps arabes. S’agissant de la Révolution de novembre de Papa , elle a vécu. C’est à nous d’oser de façonner le destin de nos enfants . Que voulons-nous pour nos enfants ? Quelle révolution devons-nous faire ?  En face de la réalité du monde il nous fait obligation en tant que pays toujours en développement depuis plus de cinquante ans  d’inventer de nouvelles révolutions de la connaissance   du savoir , mais des révolutions endogènes loin de toutes manipulations  pour cela tout est basé sur l’éducation.

Quelle école devons- nous promouvoir ? celle de la scolastique ou celle de la raison pour rendre autonome mentalement nos enfants pour qu’ils ne soient pas otages des sirènes de tout bord ?  Comment pouvons- nous vivre ensemble et faire ensemble ? C’est encore une fois un nouveau premier novembre à inventer celui du Web 2.0, de la lutte contre les changements climatiques de la transition énergétique c’est dire si les Jeunes  doivent être acteurs de leurs destins

Professeur Chems eddine Chitour

Ecole Polytechnique enp-edu.dz

 

1. Ahmed Bensaada : Arabesque$ ; Editions Anep Alger 2016

http://michelcollon.info/Nouveau-livre-d-Investig-Action/

2.http://www.legrandsoir.info/Le-chaos-arabe-un-printemps-ou-un-mirage.html

3.http://french.irib.ir/analyses/chroniques/item/222966-proche-orient-la-r%C3%A9alit%C3%A9-du-printemps-arabe,-par-chems-eddine-chitour

4.Susan George Le rapport Lugano,  Ed. Fayard, 355p.,

5.Http://www.alternatives-economiques.fr/le-rapport-lugano-susan-george_fr_art_137_14137.html

6.Chems Eddine Chitour http://www.mondialisation.ca/le-neoliberalisme-laminoir-le-fossoyeur-des-identites-et-du-vivre-ensemble/5367713

  • Posted in Francais @fr
  • Commentaires fermés sur Algérie : 62e anniversaire de la lutte de libération. L’obligation d’une nouvelle révolution en face de la réalité du monde.

How Israel Is Gradually Privatising Its Occupation of Palestine

novembre 1st, 2016 by Antony Loewenstein

Author’s Note: My investigation in US magazine The Nation (print and online) about Israel privatising its occupation of Palestinian land. It’s co-written with the great, London-based journalistMatt Kennard. This work continues my years-long research into disaster capitalism globally.

It’s 4:30 am with the moon still high in the sky, but Palestinians from across the West Bank are already disembarking from buses outside the Qalandia checkpoint near Jerusalem. They’re about to begin a day’s work on the other side of the separation wall, in Israel.

Qalandia is one of the busiest checkpoints through which Palestinians with the required work documents can travel from the occupied Palestinian territories to Israel. With unemployment around 26 percent in the West Bank (in zaza, it’s far worse—among the highest in the world, according to the United Nations), it’s always extremely busy at this early hour, because Palestinians need work, which is more readily available in Israel, especially in construction, manufacturing, and agriculture.

Roughly 63,000 Palestinians have Israeli work permits, though it’s estimated that 120,000 Palestinians work for Israelis; 27,000 of them are employed in illegal industrial zones in the West Bank that are operated and owned by Israeli companies, and 30,000 of them work illegally in Israel because they’re unable to obtain the necessary work permits. Permits to work in Israel are routinely revoked for spurious “security” reasons, and Palestinians are rarely given a reason for rejection. Since the so-called “knife intifada” last October, Israel revoked thousands of permits, citing fears of Palestinian terrorism, and the Israeli government is currently discussing a sizable reduction in the tax breaks granted to Palestinian laborers in Israel, which would make a significant dent in their already-meager wages.

In the early hours of the morning, Palestinian men (and only a handful of women) rush to beat the long lines and frequent Israeli closures at the checkpoint entrance. Such activity seems incongruous in the predawn hours, when the stark neon lights of the checkpoint are the only illumination for these harried workers. Many smoke cigarettes as they wait in line; one man wears a T-shirt with the words “Chicken Revolution” on the back.

The warehouse-like checkpoint looks like a cattle pen on the inside: Metal bars on either side and above form a narrow chute, enclosing and herding the workers—many of whom have traveled from villages more than an hour away—toward the point where their documents will be checked by Israeli officials. They then wait on the Israeli side for transport from their employers.

For years, these checkpoints were manned by personnel from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and the Israeli Border Police. But starting in January 2006, gun-toting private security guards joined the soldiers and police. Today, there are 12 checkpoints in the West Bank and two on the Gaza border that use such guards. Israel is slowly privatizing its occupation.

Many of the Palestinians we speak to are unaware of the changes. As far as they’re concerned, any Israeli with a gun and a badge is licensed to humiliate them. Day laborer Imad (like most Palestinians we interviewed, he didn’t want to give his last name) is standing in line at Qalandia and smoking a cigarette. He has slicked-back hair and wears a gray T-shirt. “If they are supposed to help, they don’t,” he says of the private security guards. “They are no different from the army.”

Just after 6 am, armed figures who initially look like Israeli soldiers start turning up; they’re wearing uniforms darker than the traditional olive green of the IDF, with a badge that reads “Ezrachi.” The company Modi’in Ezrachi is the largest security contractor currently employed by the Israeli government, and its personnel were among the first private guards the government used to staff its checkpoints. They can also be seen checking public buses in Jerusalem, protecting Jewish compounds in mostly Arab East Jerusalem (with the guards accused of terrorizing Palestinians and enabling settler violence), and standing watch at the city’s Western Wall plaza. Modi’in Ezrachi has repeatedly breached Israeli labor laws by underpaying its workers, along with other violations, but this has had no effect on its ability to get government contracts. This is a trend we’ve witnessed in many other nations, including Australia, Britain, the United States, and Greece, where governments and private security firms collude to avoid responsibility. (Modi’in Ezrachi did not respond to multiple requests for comment on its activities.)

When it comes to private security, the IDF, and the police, “we can’t differentiate between them,” says Reham, a 22-year-old medical and psychology student at An-Najah University in Nablus. Reham, who hails from Jerusalem, has six more years of study before she’s qualified to become a doctor. We speak to her and her friends just outside the chaotic Qalandia terminal.

“It’s miserable,” Reham continues. “Sometimes there are many people there, and you have to wait a long time. Sometimes you have to wait for an hour.” She was unaware that the checkpoints were being gradually privatized. “I haven’t noticed it. People take it [security] as a job.”

There’s a long history of humiliation inflicted on Palestinians at checkpoints. The Israeli human-rights group B’Tselem has released countless reports over the years documenting the abuse. The Israeli women’s organization Machsom Watch has been monitoring the checkpoints since 2001 and advocating on behalf of Palestinians whose work-permit applications are unfairly rejected.

Reham explains her own experience. “It depends on the individual soldier or policeman,” she says. “Sometimes they let you go; they don’t talk to you. Generally, girls are more mean than boys—I don’t know why that is.”

The Israeli NGO Who Profits, which tracks the private-­sector companies cashing in on the illegal occupation of the West Bank, released a reportearlier this year that lifted the lid on this trend. “In recent decades,” the report stated, “many military responsibilities were handed over to private civilian companies, turning the private security industry into one of the fastest growing industries in Israel.”

PRIVATE MUSCLE IN THE LAWLESS ZONE

As the sun rises on another hot August day, its rays hit the separation wall near the Qalandia checkpoint; on it, one can see ads for apartments in Palestine. Coffee sellers do a roaring business among those waiting in line. A wall near the checkpoint features a large painting of men—“martyrs” to locals—from Qalandia village who have been killed by Israeli security forces.

On one level, it’s a mystery why Israel feels it needs more muscle at these checkpoints. Palestinians passing through already face a maze of confusion, and another level of security bureaucracy hasn’t helped. But even if more muscle is needed, why not just send more soldiers? After all, Israel has a captive security labor force in its large conscript army, which requires three years’ service for men and two for women (and reserve duty is obligatory for men until age 51 and for women until age 24).

Iyad Haddad, a 53-year-old field researcher with B’Tselem for the past 15 years, has spent his whole career investigating Israeli human-rights abuses against Palestinians. “Before, the Israeli forces were clear, with a clear uniform,” he tells us in the Palestinian city of Ramallah. “Sometimes, before the second intifada [which began in fall of 2000], they used undercover units by using civilian dress. But in that period, I don’t remember that they used private groups. But after the second intifada, I started to notice that there is a different type of tactic: using private Israeli forces and companies at checkpoints, guarding the barrier, doing security on the barrier and in the jails. Also guarding the settlements.”

This move was part of a global trend, from Iraq to Colombia, in which private security and military companies increasingly began to assume state functions. Most companies started with more mundane operations but ended up carrying out those involving violence. In their 2016 report “The Invisible Force,” which compared private security in Colombia, Iraq, and the Palestinian territories, the International Institute for Nonviolent Action found: “Outsourcing began with the delegation of non-military services such as catering, transportation and other logistic services, then continued with the construction of military systems, including the separation Wall, and finally included the delegation of some of its functions of maintenance of public order and security in the [occupied Palestinian territories].”

It has become more confusing for Haddad to figure out who has committed violations, as many Palestinians aren’t aware that they’re dealing with private security forces. “Sometimes, Palestinians describe to me forces that I can’t recognize,” he says. He believes this is one of the main reasons Israel has turned to these companies. “They use them to escape accountability, especially because the people can’t recognize them, and it becomes easier for them to use force when they want [to do so] without accountability. Instructions regarding Israeli or international law are easier to escape via private forces.”

Haddad’s hunch seems to be correct. At the Qalandia checkpoint this past April, two Palestinians—Maram Saleh Abu Ismail, 23, and her brother Ibrahim Saleh Taha, 16—were shot dead by Modi’in Ezrachi guards. It was one of the first high-profile killings carried out by private security guards at a West Bank checkpoint. The siblings, who witnesses said didn’t seem to understand instructions in Hebrew, were branded “terrorists” by the Israeli police because one of them, Ismail, allegedly threw a knife at officers. Not long afterward, the justice ministry announced that it was dropping an investigation into the killings without charging anyone. The Israeli defense minister’s office, the IDF, and Modi’in Ezrachi all ignored our questions about the incident.

In theory, these private security guards could be prosecuted in Israeli courts since they’re not protected under Israeli law in the same way as police and soldiers. However, an Israeli court placed a gag order on the case (partially lifted in October), making it impossible to see footage of the shootings and prove the security guards were at fault. The family of the victims were given no recourse to justice. In this way, privatized occupation enforcement serves the interests of the Israeli state.

In its 2014 report “The Lawless Zone,” the Israeli nonprofit Yesh Din wrote that private security forces “are equipped with IDF weapons, undergo military training, and are empowered to undertake policing actions, such as searches and detentions, and to use force.”

At the Shuafat refugee camp in East Jerusalem, which is surrounded by Israel’s separation wall, we witnessed Ezrachi guards checking the documents of bus and car passengers, taking on many of the roles that used to be done solely by state security forces or police. When we approached the guards, they scowled at us and told us to leave. Black smoke from burning rubbish, collecting near the separation wall, wafted through the air.

When we contacted the Israeli Ministry of Defense for comment about its matrix of control across the West Bank, we were told that “some of the crossings receive assistance from companies specializing in security and protection.” The ministry advised us to speak to the IDF for further details, because “the crossing points around Jerusalem” are its responsibility. But the IDF told us, “The Ministry of Defense is the appropriate body to speak with on this subject.” It was a Kafkaesque dead end that gave us a small window into the impossibility facing Palestinians who seek justice for loved ones killed or injured by private security contractors.

THE ETHOS OF PRIVATIZATION

From its founding in 1948 until the Six-Day War in 1967, Israel was supported by much of the global left, which saw it as a socialist nation committed to social justice and equality. True, this was always a convenient myth that ignored the endemic and state-sponsored discrimination against the Arab minority (in fact, Israel’s Palestinian citizens lived under direct military rule from the end of the 1948 war until 1966). Until the mid-1970s, Israel had one of the smallest wealth gaps in the West (for Jews), with the welfare state providing decent support for its Jewish population. But by the mid-1990s, the gap between rich and poor had skyrocketed. Israeli academic Daniel Gutwein, who teaches at the University of Haifa, writesthat “Israel’s ethos of social solidarity has been replaced by an ethos of privatization.”

Of course, after Israel seized control of the West Bank and Gaza in 1967, the state never considered granting universal welfare coverage to Palestinians in the newly conquered territories. Palestinians under occupation were subject to military rule, a policy that continues to this day.

From the late 1970s, right-wing governments in Israel, led by the Likud Party, argued that dismantling the welfare state was the best way to liberalize the economy. Simha Erlich, Israel’s finance minister from 1977 until 1979, boasted that hardline economist and privatization zealot Milton Friedman was his economic adviser.

Shir Hever, author of The Political Economy of Israel’s Occupation (2010) and a graduate student at the Free University of Berlin who specializes in security privatization, says: “In 1985, as the World Bank and the IMF imposed ‘structural adjustment plans’ on developing countries struggling with debt, the Israeli government voluntarily adopted such a plan. The Israeli ‘Stabilization Plan’ of 1985 was a transformative moment in the country’s economy, marking the shift from a social-­democratic, planned market into a neoliberal one.”

Hever continues: “Actual privatization of large government-­owned companies started in the 1990s, and privatization in the defense sector followed later, first with the sale of factories out of government-owned arms companies, and later with massive outsourcing of security operations to private companies during the second intifada.” Israel was following the model set by Ronald Reagan’s America and Margaret Thatcher’s Britain. Indeed, the US military industry encouraged the Israelis to privatize their weapons industry.

Hever argues that privatization in Israel was driven by the same factors leading the charge internationally: “Private-­sector investors used neoliberal ideology to claim that the government was inefficient in running businesses and were able to buy Israel’s telecommunications giant, its largest airline, its giant shipping company, oil refineries, and all but one of its banks at fire-sale prices.”

Health, labor, and education were targeted, and it wasn’t long before Israel’s middle class began to suffer from the brutal discipline of market forces. A calamitous drop in union representation and reduced regulations corresponded with falling living conditions. By the 2000s, membership in the Histadrut labor organization had dropped by two-thirds, from a figure of 2 million in the early 1990s. (Over the past decade, however, Israel has a seen a steady increase in union membership, as the country’s population struggles to survive financially.)

Today, the results of outsourcing are clear. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is committed to selling off billions of dollars in state assets, a policy he’s proudly championed for years and one he started during his first term in office in the late 1990s. But the Israeli public is paying a high price. Israel now has the highest poverty level among the nations of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. According to UNICEF, in 2016 Israel showed the highest level of inequality among children in the world’s 41 most developed states, with one-third living below the poverty line. In 2015, Israel’s National Insurance Institute estimated that there were 1.7 million poor people in the country, out of a population of about 8 million. The pay gap has also widened, and increases in the cost of living and high rents led to massive protests in 2011.

But not everybody is suffering. The country’s military establishment is both privatizing the weapons sector and selling this technology abroad. Israeli writer and activist Jeff Halper argues in his book War Against the People: Israel, the Palestinians and the Global Pacification (2015) that the occupation isn’t a burden for Israel but a “resource,” because it gives the Jewish state the opportunity to test weapons and surveillance in the field on Palestinians, along with assisting other states in their military and intelligence needs. Growing numbers of European and US officials have been visiting Israel in recent years to learn about its security and defense systems.

Take the Israeli company Magal Security Systems, which surrounded Gaza with fencing, assisted construction of the barrier along the Egyptian and Jordanian frontiers in recent years, and is bidding to build a wall on the Kenya-Somalia border to protect Kenyans from Al-Shabaab terrorist attacks. The company’s head, Saar Koursh, recently told Bloomberg that “the border business was down, but then came ISIS and the Syrian conflict. The world is changing, and borders are coming back big-time.”

This is just one way that Israel’s vast expertise in occupation, from militarizing borders to surveilling unwanted populations, has become a huge financial boon for one sector of the Israeli economy. It isn’t helping most of the population—poverty is rife, after all—and according to economist Hever, it’s not enough to insulate Israel from potential economic headwinds from the growing BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) movement. “BDS is not about the size of exports but awareness of international law,” he says. “Recently, BDS activists have made some advances in regards to the arms industry itself, starting a debate in the EU about the funneling of research funds into Israel’s arms industry and convincing key Brazilian politicians to reconsider arm deals with Israeli weapons companies.” Indeed, Hever questions the viability of Israel’s defense industry. “The arms sector in Israel is larger compared to the size of the economy than in any other country in the world,” he tells us, “but its relative share of the Israeli export market is declining.” In 2015, Israeli military exports were relatively flat, at $5.7 billion.

OCCUPATION INC.

Private companies have been invest­­ing for years in the settlement project. But that involvement, as well as the amounts of money being made, have increased dramatically in the past decade. Earlier this year, Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a report, “Occupation Inc.,” that detailed how “Israeli and international businesses have helped to build, finance, service, and market settlement communities.” It added, “In many cases, businesses are ‘settlers’ themselves.”

For Israelis, the West Bank has become a kind of special economic zone, where settlements often provide more profitable business conditions—low rents, favorable tax rates, government subsidies, and access to cheap Palestinian labor—than in Israel proper. It’s a draw for Israeli companies, but also for the international market, and a lot of money is being made. Foreign direct investment in the West Bank and Gaza spiked from $9.5 million in 2002 to $300 million in 2009, before plateauing back to $120 million in 2015. The American computing behemoth Hewlett-Packard, for example, developed the biometric ID cards used by Israeli security forces at West Bank checkpoints.

HRW reports that there are 20 Israeli-administered industrial zones in the West Bank, covering about 1,365 hectares, with Israeli settlers overseeing the cultivation of 9,300 hectares of agricultural land. The researchers conclude that “by virtue of doing business in or with settlements or settlement businesses, [foreign] companies contribute to…violations of international humanitarian law and human rights abuses.” This knowledge is beginning to have an effect.

This is one of the contradictions of privatization. While Israeli state transgressions of international law are generally ignored by its biggest benefactor, the United States (President Obama just gave Israel its largest-ever military-aid package), the BDS movement has claimed some key victories in terms of pressuring the private sector over affiliations with human-rights abuses in Palestine. For example, the French infrastructure firm Veolia announced in April 2015 that it was leaving Israel, while the British mobile-phone company Orange said just a few months later that it would terminate contracts with its Israeli partner.

This poses the question of whether the privatization of the occupation is making Israel more susceptible to international opprobrium, including boycotts. The security company G4S, the biggest private-sector security employer in the world, announced in 2014 that it was leaving Israel within three years and terminating its contracts with the Israeli prison system. (BDS claimed a victory, but when contacted by The Nation, G4S said that while it still planned for a full pullout by June 2017, “the decision to not renew the contracts was taken for commercial reasons.”) That system now holds 6,295 Palestinians as prisoners and security detainees (including, at the end of 2015, 116 Palestinian children between the ages of 12 and 15). In 2009, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that plans for fully private prisons were unconstitutional. But many of the systems and products used in prison—from cameras to doors to alarm systems—are made or managed by private corporations.

With the Middle East aflame, and Israel selling itself as an island of stability amid a region in conflict, there are few compelling reasons why the Jewish state won’t continue to market itself as a model in how to manage unwanted populations, with private companies the beneficiaries of this policy. Next year will mark the 50th anniversary of Israel’s occupation of Palestine, and the colonization is increasing. Without massive inter­national pressure, it’s impossible to see how the outsourced occupation won’t become a permanent nightmare.

Antony Loewenstein, a Jerusalem-based independent journalist, is the author of Disaster Capitalism: Making a Killing Out of Catastrophe.

Matt Kennard is deputy director of the Centre for Investigative Journalism in London and the author of Irregular Army and The Racket.

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Hillary Emails, Gold Dinars and Arab Springs

novembre 1st, 2016 by F. William Engdahl

Buried amid tens of thousands of pages of former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s secret emails, now being made public by the US Government, is a devastating email exchange between Clinton and her confidential adviser, Sid Blumenthal. It’s about Qaddafi and the US-coordinated intervention in 2011 to topple the Libyan ruler. It’s about gold and a potentially existential threat to the future of the US dollar as world reserve currency. It’s about Qaddafi’s plans then for the gold-based Dinar for Africa and the Arab oil world.

Two paragraphs in a recently declassified email from the illegal private server used by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during the US-orchestrated war to destroy Libya’s Qaddafi in 2011 reveal a tightly-held secret agenda behind the Obama Administration’s war against Qaddafi, cynically named “Responsibility to Protect.”

Barack Obama, an indecisive and weak President, delegated all presidential responsibility for the Libya war to his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. Clinton, who was an early backer of an Arab “regime change,” using the secret Muslim Brotherhood, invoked the new, bizarre principle of “responsibility to protect” (R2P) to justify the Libyan war, which she quickly turned into a NATO-led war. Under R2P, a silly notion promoted by the networks of George Soros’ Open Society Foundations, Clinton claimed, with no verifiable proof, that Qaddafi was bombing innocent Libyan civilians in the Benghazi region.

According to a New York Times report at the time, citing Obama Administration senior sources, it was Hillary Clinton, backed by Samantha Power, then a senior aide at the National Security Council and today Obama’s UN Ambassador; and Susan Rice, then Obama’s ambassador to the United Nations, and now National Security Adviser. That triad pushed Obama into military action against Libya’s Qaddafi. Clinton, flanked by Powers and Rice, was so powerful that Clinton managed to overrule Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Tom Donilon, Obama’s national security adviser, and John Brennan, Obama’s counterterrorism chief, today CIA head.

Secretary of State Clinton was also knee-deep in the conspiracy to unleash what came to be dubbed the “Arab Spring,” the wave of US-financed regime changes across the Arab Middle East, part of the Greater Middle East project unveiled in 2003 by the Bush Administration after occupation of Iraq. The first three target countries of that 2011 US “Arab Spring”–an action in which Washington used its “human rights” NGOs such as Freedom House and National Endowment for Democracy, in cahoots as usual, with the Open Society Foundations of billionaire speculator, George Soros, along with US State Department and CIA operatives–were Ben Ali’s Tunisia, Mubarak’s Egypt and Qaddafi’s Libya.

Now the timing and targeting of Washington’s 2011 “Arab Spring” destabilizations of select Middle East states assume a new light in relation to just-released declassified Clinton emails to her private Libya “adviser” and friend, Sid Blumenthal. Blumenthal is the slick lawyer who defended then-President Bill Clinton in the Monika Lewinsky and other sex scandal affairs when Bill was President and facing impeachment.

Qaddafi’s gold dinar

For many it remains a mystery just why Washington decided that Qaddafi personally must be destroyed, murdered, not just sent into exile like Mubarak. Clinton, when informed of Qaddafi’s brutal murder by US-financed Al Qaeda “democratic opposition” terrorists, told CBS news, in a sick, joking paraphrase of Julius Caesar, “We came, we saw, he died,” words spoken by her with a hearty, macabre laugh.

Little is known in the West about what Muammar Qaddafi did in Libya or, for that matter, in Africa and in the Arab world. Now, release of a new portion of Hillary Clinton’s emails as Secretary of State, at the time she was running Obama Administration war on Qaddafi, sheds dramatic new light on the background.

It was not a personal decision of Hillary Clinton to eliminate Qaddafi and destroy his entire state infrastructure. The decision, it’s now clear, came from circles very high in the US money oligarchy. She was merely another Washington political tool implementing the mandate of those oligarchs. The intervention was about killing Qaddafi’s well-laid plans to create a gold-based African and Arabic currency to replace the dollar in oil trades. Since the US dollar abandoned gold exchange for dollars in 1971 the dollar in terms of gold has dramatically lost value. Arab and African OPEC oil states have long objected to the vanishing purchasing power of their oil sales, mandated since the 1970’s by Washington to be solely in US dollars, as dollar inflation soared more than 2000% to 2001.

In a newly declassified Clinton email from Sid Blumenthal to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton dated April 2, 2011, Blumenthal reveals the reason that Qaddafi must be eliminated. Using the pretext of citing an unidentified “high source” Blumenthal writes to Clinton, “According to sensitive information available to this source, Qaddafi’s government holds 143 tons of gold, and a similar amount in silver… This gold was accumulated prior to the current rebellion and was intended to be used to establish a pan-African currency based on the Libyan golden Dinar. This plan was designed to provide the Francophone African Countries with an alternative to the French franc (CFA).” That French aspect was only the tip of the Qaddafi gold dinar iceberg.

Golden Dinar and more

During the first decade of this century, Gulf Arab OPEC countries, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar and others, began seriously diverting a significant portion of the revenues from their vast oil and gas sales into state sovereign wealth funds, many based on the success of Norway’s Oil Fund.

Growing discontent with the US War on Terror, with the wars in Iraq and in Afghanistan, and with overall US Middle East policies after September 2001, led most OPEC Arab states to divert a growing share of oil revenues into state-controlled funds rather than trusting it to the sticky fingers of New York and London bankers as had been the custom since the 1970’s when oil prices went through the roof, creating what Henry Kissinger fondly called the “petro-dollar” to replace the gold-backed dollar Washington walked away from on August 15, 1971. The present Sunni-Shi’ite war or clash of civilizations is in fact a result of the US manipulations after 2003 in the region— “divide and rule.”

By 2008 the prospect of sovereign control by a growing number of African and Arab oil states of their state oil and gas revenues was causing serious concern in Wall Street as well as the City of London. It was huge liquidity, in the trillions, they potentially no longer controlled.

The timing of the Arab Spring, in retrospect, increasingly looks tied to Washington and Wall Street efforts to control not only the huge Arab Middle East oil flows. It is now clear it was equally aimed at controlling their money, their trillions of dollars accumulating in their new sovereign wealth funds.

However, as is now confirmed in the latest Clinton-Blumenthal April 2, 2011 email exchange, there was a qualitatively new threat emerging for Wall Street and the City of London “gods of money,” from the African and Arab oil world. Libya’s Qaddafi, Tunisia’s Ben Ali and Mubarak’s Egypt were about to launch a gold-backed Islamic currency independent of the US dollar. I was first told of this plan in early 2012, at a Swiss financial and geopolitical conference, by an Algerian with extensive knowledge of the project. Documentation was scarce at the time and the story remained in my mental back-burner. Now a far more interesting picture emerges that puts the ferocity of Washington’s Arab Spring and its urgency in the case of Libya into perspective.

‘United States of Africa’

In 2009, Qaddafi, who was at the time the President of the African Union, had proposed that the economically depressed continent adopt the “Gold Dinar.”

In the months prior to the US decision, with British and French backing, to get a UN Security Council resolution that would give them the legal fig-leaf for a NATO destruction of the Qaddafi regime, Muammar Qaddafi had been organizing the creation of a gold-backed dinar that would be used by African oil states as well as Arab OPEC countries in their sales of oil on the world market.

Had that happened at the time Wall Street and the City of London were deep into the financial crisis of 2007-2008, the challenge to the reserve currency role of the dollar would have been more than serious. It would be a death knell to American financial hegemony, and to the Dollar System. Africa is one of the world’s richest continents, with vast unexplored gold and mineral wealth, had been intentionally kept for centuries underdeveloped or in wars to prevent their development. The International Monetary Fund and World Bank for the recent decades have been the Washington instruments to suppress African real development.

Gaddafi had called upon African oil producers in the African Union and in Muslim nations to join an alliance that would make the gold dinar their primary form of money and foreign exchange. They would sell oil and other resources to the US and the rest of the world only for gold dinars. As President of the African Union in 2009, Qaddafi introduced for discussion to African Union member states Qaddafi’s proposal to use the Libyan dinar and the silver dirham as the only possible money for the rest of the world to buy African oil.

Along with the Arab OPEC sovereign wealth funds for their oil, other African oil nations, specifically Angola and Nigeria, were moving to create their own national oil wealth funds at the time of the 2011 NATO bombing of Libya. Those sovereign national wealth funds, tied to Qaddafi’s concept of the gold dinar, would make Africa’s long-held dream of independence from colonial monetary control, whether of the British Pound, the French Franc, the euro or the US dollar, a reality.

Qaddafi was moving forward, as head of the African Union, at the time of his assassination, with a plan to unify the sovereign States of Africa with one gold currency, a United States of Africa. In 2004, a Pan-African Parliament of 53 nations had laid plans for an African Economic Community – with a single gold currency by 2023.

African oil-producing nations were planning to abandon the petro-dollar, and demand gold payment for their oil and gas. The list included Egypt, Sudan, South Sudan, Equatorial Guinea, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tunisia, Gabon, South Africa, Uganda, Chad, Suriname, Cameroon, Mauritania, Morocco, Zambia, Somalia, Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Cote d’Ivoire, plus Yemen which had just made significant new oil discoveries. The four African member-states of OPEC–Algeria, Angola, Nigeria, a giant oil producer and the largest natural gas producer in Africa with huge natural gas reserves, and Libya with the largest reserves–would be in the new gold dinar system.

Little wonder that French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who was given the up-front role in the war on Qaddafi by Washington, went so far as to call Libya a “threat” to the financial security of the world.

Hillary’s ‘rebels’ create a central bank

One of the most bizarre features of Hillary Clinton’s war to destroy Qaddafi was the fact that the US-backed “rebels” in Benghazi, in the oil-rich eastern part of Libya, in the midst of battle, well before it was at all clear if they would topple the Qaddafi regime, declared they had created a Western-style central bank, “in exile.”

In the very first weeks of the rebellion, the rebel leaders declared that they had created a central bank to replace Gadhafi’s state-owned monetary authority. The rebel council, in addition to creating their own oil company to sell the oil they captured announced: “Designation of the Central Bank of Benghazi as a monetary authority competent in monetary policies in Libya and appointment of a Governor to the Central Bank of Libya, with a temporary headquarters in Benghazi.”

Commenting on the odd decision, before the outcome of battle was even decided, to create a western-style central bank to replace Qaddafi’s sovereign national bank that was issuing gold-backed dinars, Robert Wenzel in the Economic Policy Journal, remarked, “I have never before heard of a central bank being created in just a matter of weeks out of a popular uprising. This suggests we have a bit more than a rag tag bunch of rebels running around and that there are some pretty sophisticatedinfluences.”

It becomes clear now in light of the Clinton-Blumenthal emails that those “pretty sophisticated influences” were tied to Wall Street and the City of London. The person brought in by Washington to lead the rebels in March 2011, Khalifa Hifter, had spent the previous twenty years of his life in suburban Virginia, not far from CIA headquarters, after a break with Libya as a leading military commander of Qaddafi.

The risk to the future of the US dollar as world reserve currency, if Qaddafi had been allowed to proceed–together with Egypt, Tunisia and other Arab OPEC and African Union members– to introduce oil sales for gold not dollars, would clearly have been the financial equivalent of a Tsunami.

New Gold Silk Road

The Qaddafi dream of an Arabic and African gold system independent of the dollar, unfortunately, died with him. Libya, after Hillary Clinton’s cynical “responsibility to protect” destruction of the country, today is a shambles, torn by tribal warfare, economic chaos, al-Qaeda and DAESH or ISIS terrorists. The monetary sovereignty held by Qaddafi’s 100% state-owned national monetary agency and its issuance of gold dinars is gone, replaced by an “independent” central bank tied to the dollar.

Despite that setback, it’s more than notable that now an entirely new grouping of nations is coming together to build a similar gold-backed monetary system. This is the group led by Russia and China, the world’s number three and number one gold producing countries, respectively.

This group is tied to the construction of China’s One Belt, One Road New Silk Road Eurasian infrastructure great project. It involves China’s $16 billion Gold Development Fund, and very firm steps by China to replace the City of London and New York as the center of world gold trade. The Eurasian gold system emerging now poses an entirely new quality of challenge to American financial hegemony. This Eurasian challenge, its success or failure, could well determine whether we allow our civilization to survive and prosper under entirely different conditions, or whether we decide to sink along with the bankrupt dollar system.

F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

 

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As SouthFront forecasted on October 28, the Jaish al-Fatah militant coalition, led by Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian Al-Qaeda branch) has not been able to deliver a devastating blow to the Syrian government forces and to break the siege of eastern Aleppo.

After the initial success based on massive usage of VBIEDs and a lack of support by the Russian Aerospace Forces (President Vladimir Putin declined the general staff’s request to deliver air strikes in Aleppo area), Jaish al-Fatah stalled in the trench warfare in non-populated urban areas. Fatah al-Sham-led attempt to cut off the Ithriyah-Aleppo Highway also failed.

The Syrian military also deployed reinforcements from the Syrian Army Tiger Forces and its commander, Major General Suheil Al Hassan, arrived the city to coordinate military operations against the joint terrorist forces. Hezbollah and Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba were set to assist to Al Hassan-led operations.

By October 31, Al Hassan–led forces, supported by the Syrian Air Force, have repelled attacks on the Minyan area and the 3000 Apartment Project, retaken the al-Assad Neighborhood and made a series of counter-attacks in the 1070 Apartment Project.

Since the start of Aleppo offensive, Jaish al-Fatah has lost about 120 fighters, 7 armored vehicles, 19 VBIEDs, 7 ‘technical’ vehicles, 2 battle tanks and 2 artillery pieces. The government forces have lost about 45 fighters, 3 battle tanks, 2 ‘technical’ vehicles, 1 Shilka vehicle.

Separately, the pro-government forces liberated Tal Qarah, Kafr Qaris, Tal Susin, Fafin, Babinnis, Tal Shair and the Infantry School from ISIS in northeastern Aleppo. The advance was synchronized with operations of the Kurdish YPG in the same area.

On October 30, the army and the NDF liberated the town of Tell Kurdi and the area of Tell Sawwan in Eastern Ghouta near the Syrian capital, Damascus. These areas had been controlled by the Jaish al-Islam militant group. The liberation of Tell Kurdi and Tell Sawwan decreases significantly the militant-controlled area near Damascus and sets a foothold for advance on Duma, the last major militant stronghold in the region.

On October 28, the government forces took control of the Air Defense Battalion hill between Deir Khabiyan and the 137th Regiment in Western Ghouta and splitted the militant-controlled area into two separate pockets. Next days the army and the NDF continued offensive operations in the direction of Khan Shih. On October 31, the government delegation arrived to the town to negotiate with members of the FSA, Jaish al-Islam and Jabhat Fatah al-Sham terms and conditions of their surrender.

Three Russian attack submarines armed Kalibr cruise missiles have joined a Russian naval taskforce heading towards Syria. The Royal Navy has been reportedly tracking two nuclear-powered Akula-class submarines and a diesel-powered Kilo-class submarine. The subs entered the North Atlantic from portsaround Murmansk and joined the Admiral Kuznetsov battle group as it sailed down the North Sea last week. The Kuznetsov and its battlegroup are now off the north African coast. The mainstream media speculates that the subs will deliver missile strikes on peaceful targets in Aleppo city.

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Clashes between the Syrian government forces (the Syrian army, including the Tiger Forces, the Desert Hawks Brigade, Hezbollah and others) and the Jaish al-Fatah militant coalition, led by Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian Al-Qaeda branch) have been ongoin in the western part of Aleppo city.

The pro-government forces on the battlefield are supported by the Syrian Arab Air Force. The Russian Aerospace Forces don’t provide a close air support to them, but provide intelligencce and coordination of the operation (recently, the Russian Tu-214R electronic surveillance aircraft was observed in the area).

The 1070 Apartment Project, the Al-Assad Neighborhood (its length is about 1,4 km), the areas west of the 3000 Apartment Project and Minyan remain the main scenes of clashes.

Experts note that the jihadists have concentrated a high number of experienced troops, artillery, rocket launchers and military equipment at a restricted front in western Aleppo. To do this, they had been pushed to use almost all their resources from the rear bases in Idlib province. If Jabhat al-Nusra is not able to achieve a decided success in clashes with the government forces soon, this will lead to its total collapse as a powerbroker in the war. The group’s material and technical base will be destroyed and experienced troops and field commanders killed in the clashes. We’ve been already able to observe signs of this tendency since the failed al-Nusra attempt to dig in the Ramouseh Artillery Acandemy in southern Aleppo.

The video filmed on October 31 shows clashes in Minyan:

On October 31, the video also appeared on Youtube, showing the advanced Russian-made T-90 main battle tank (MBT) involved in clashes with militants in the Minyan area in western Aleppo.

Click to see the full-size map

Click to see the full-size map

Last weekend, elite units of the Syrian Army’s Tiger Forces and the Desert Hawks Brigade were deployed in Aleppo to counter the militants’ offensive operation to capture the al-Assad Military Academy and the nearby areas. Both formations operate T-90 MBTs supplied by Moscow over the last year.

The T-90 MBT in action at 1:48:

The Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the Ankara-led forces (Turkish-backed militant groups and the Turkish Armed Forces) have been competing in the northeastern countryside of Aleppo city. Both forces are seeking to set a foothold to capture the strategic town of Al-Bab.

  • The Ankara-led forces seek to do this to prevent the YPG from linking up the Kurdish-controlled areas in Syria;
  • The YPG seeks to do this to set a foothold for linking up the Kurdish-controlled areas in Syria.

In this military situation, the coordination between the Syrian government forces and the YPG has once again become reality on the ground. The recent Kurdish operations in northeastern Aleppo were coordinated with the Syrian army and military sources say that Moscow increased military supplies to the YPG in the area.

Click to see the full-size map

Click to see the full-size map

Moscow and Domascus uses the Kurds to build up a buffer zone to prevent the coalition of Turkish-backed militant group from attacking the Syrian army and its allies in Aleppo city. In mid-October Harakat Nour al-Din al-Zenki officially announced that the next stage of Turkey’s Operation Euphrates Shield will include an advance on the ‘regime forces’ in Aleppo.

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megalomaniac is a pathological egotist, someone with a psychological disorder who exhibits symptoms like delusions of grandeur and an obsession with greatness, power or wealth.

A sociopath is a person whose behavior is antisocial, often criminally greedy, and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility, empathy or social conscience. Sociopaths never sincerely apologize nor are they capable of exhibiting remorse for wrongs that they have committed.

A narcissist is person who has an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration, sexual gratification, applause and a lack of empathy for others.

A paranoid person or group exhibits excessive or irrational suspiciousness and distrustfulness of other individuals or groups.

A xenophobe is a person who is fearful or contemptuous of that which is foreign, especially of strangers or of people from different countries or cultures.

A demagogue is a political leader who seeks support by appealing to popular desires and prejudices rather than by using rational argument.

Once upon a time, there was a megalomaniacal, sociopathic, narcissistic and paranoid national leader who was attempting to rise to political power in his politically-divided, post-war nation. This deeply flawed demagogue, who was worshipped by millions of rabble-rousing, beer-drinking, racist, sexist, gun-toting, anti-Semitic, flag-waving, uber-nationalist, xenophobic white supremacists, professed that his goal in running for national office was only to make his supposedly-weak, supposedly under-militarized country great again.

This sometimes charismatic political leader was one of the richest persons in the country but was often joked about by courageous comedians of the time. He was sometimes regarded as a buffoon, but he impressed his followers at his frequent campaign stops by dramatically flying in to his political rallies on a private airplane.

This leader often used inflammatory and hate-filled language in his speeches, actually inciting violence among his listeners, and was thus widely covered by the press as an aberration in the struggling, once-civilized, democratic nation. He amassed a devoted coalition of angry, under-employed, xenophobic white supremacists, especially among the millions of psychologically-wounded combat veterans from the last war who were easily recruited to participate in street-fighting for the cause – indeed, even a violent revolution. His followers revered and exuberantly pledged allegiance to the flag.

His nation had suffered the loss of a recent war that had essentially bankrupted the nation – both economically and morally. The lost war had resulted in serious economic challenges. The war had been stupidly started by an out-of-touch, over-privileged, ultra-wealthy, right-wing, all-male leadership that was controlled by the nation’s bankers, industrialists and militarists, all of whom had urged on the war because they sought military glory and potentially huge economic benefits by pillaging the wealth of other nations, especially their oil wealth.

The nations targeted by the nation’s banks and assorted corporations were actually not military threats. In fact, in order to start the war, the political and military leaders of the nation secretly conspired to orchestrate a false flag operation that falsely alarmed the nation into war-readiness. After the Big Lie operation had been accepted as truthful by the masses (thanks to the corporate-controlled media that never questioned the deception) the soon-to-be-unjustly-invaded nation was accused of provoking a war and the brain-washed, duped electorate endorsed the invasion.

This particular megalomaniacal political leader had successfully purged from his adopted right-wing party many of the old establishment leaders that had originally been somewhat centrist. He had seemingly come out of nowhere and gained notoriety and political momentum after a sudden, world-wide economic collapse and recession that had been created by powerful Wall Street speculators and predatory investors. The leader chose to blame the disastrous war that ruined everything not on the 1% uber-wealthy corporate war-hawks and traitors – including himself – that had actually been behind the loss of jobs and lack of economic opportunity. Instead, he blamed the disastrous situation on liberal democratic party members who had taken on the impossible situation of economic depression and massive unemployment that they had not been responsible for in the first place.

The US stock market crash that tanked the world economy and led to planetary chaos had been ignited by the reckless actions of uber-wealthy, manipulative, predatory,  multimillionaire financiers, who escaped the punishment they deserved because they were too big to criticize, too big to fail and too important to have their reputations tarnished.

This megalomaniac and his followers were citizens of one of the most advanced, cultured, literate and highly Christianized nations the world had ever known. Sadly, the religion professed a belief in a god was a punitive, vengeful and angry god rather than a merciful, all-loving, nonviolent one as had been the belief of the religion’s founders.

The nation was also highly militarized. It had had a long military tradition that was universally revered by most sectors of the society, even though the military’s officers and soldiers were frequently guilty of actions that were considered international war crimes and crimes against humanity. The nation’s police and military had possessed the best military intelligence, the best spyware and the most lethal weapons systems that the world had ever known – all at crippling cost and little or no return on investment – to the tax-paying population. The nation’s child-rearing tactics were often punitive (the spare the rod/spoil the child doctrine) which resulted in very obedient children and obedient future soldiers who did not question the orders of their superiors – even if ordered to torture enemy non-combatants, for example. Thus the nation’s soldiers quite easily became willing executioners.

The leader and his followers thought that their nation – albeit “weak” at the time, had been and would soon again be exceptional among all the nations of the world, even being ordained by their punitive god to have dominion over all the others nations of the world.

Because the nation was regarded as blessed by god, the citizens naturally thought that aggressive action against any dissenters among them was needed, even to the point of banishment, imprisonment, deportation, execution and torture.  In other words, the followers of this sociopathic demagogue – who had a history of being a serial liar and wanted to increase his already significant wealth and power – abandoned all logic and truly believed that the leader could actually – mostly by himself – make his country great again.

In order to convince a plurality of voters to support and vote for him, this leader instilled a paranoia among them to irrationally fear non-whites, non-Christians, people whose first language was not English, immigrants yearning to be free, war refugees (from chaos and war that his nation had caused in the first place) and economic refugees (rom economic crashes that his nation’s giant multinational corporations had caused in the first place). But what seemed to work best was the paranoia that was created against a small, weak religious minority that constituted only 1% of the total population. That unjustly targeted minority was soon to have its sacred places of worship defaced (and then burned down), and the members themselves imprisoned as suspected terrorists, deported as illegal aliens and ultimately “disappeared”.

The megalomaniacal, sociopathic, narcissistic and paranoid national leader/fuehrer described above was, of course, Adolf Hitler – not Donald Trump. The militarized nation was Germany – not America; the war that economically and morally bankrupted Germany was the First World War (1914-1918) – not America’s Gulf War; the flag was the swastika – not the Stars and Stripes; the right-wing political party that hated liberals, progressives and socialists with a lethal passion was the Nazi Party – not the Republican Party; the targeted 1% minority were Jews – not Muslims; and the false flag operation that gave Hitler a reason to start World War II by invading Poland was Operation Himmler (Google it)  – not 9/11.

But the historical similarities between what seems to me to be an American friendly fascism and a distinctly unfriendly German fascism do indeed exist and it is not just the fault of Donald Trump. Indeed, Donald Trump probably has never taken the time to study ANY history books at all, so one cannot claim that he is following the historical playbook of fascist dictators. What he is doing is just the nature of demagogues.

And the historical similarities between the psychological aberrations of the fascist fuehrer Hitler and the various leaders behind what is becoming a reality in America do exist. Therefore, in the interest of educating those who are open-minded enough to sit still for some historical enlightenment, the remainder of this essay will try to make some of the connections between what has been said in this political season and what might be in store for America. The commentary below is mine but the criteria are from established documents that are easily available in the literature. I invite readers to do their own psychological evaluations. Recall that both sociopaths and fascists are not to be trusted with political power, military power or economic power. They both consistently lie and deceive and may not even realize that they are doing it. It is also important to understand that, for all intents and purposes, sociopaths are incurable and need to be isolated from society.

1) Donald Trump (along with some of his followers) Scores 7 out of the 7 Criteria on the DSM Sociopathic Personality Disorder Criteria (301.7) 

Hillary Clinton Scores 2 or 3

Stein and Sanders score zero

The official Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM) criteria for Antisocial Personality Disorder (aka Sociopathic Personality Disorder) is listed below in bold letters. In each of the seven categories I have added, in red, a few examples from the life and times of Donald Trump that supports his qualifications for being diagnosed a sociopath. Readers should make their own determinations and the implications for becoming president.

The disorder is characterized by a lack of regard for – and a marked inability to abide by – societal rules. Individuals with this disorder are sometimes called psychopaths or sociopaths.

According to the DSM, only three of the seven are required to qualify for the diagnosis.

1.  Repeated acts that could lead to arrest. (Recall the multitude of highly believable charges of sexual assault or sexually-inappropriate behavior that have come from some of the women from Trump’s past. What happened could easily have resulted in Trump’s being charged with criminal sexual assault. On one of his many appearances on the Howard Stern Show, Trump actually laughingly admitted to being a sexual predator – in the presence of his approving daughter Ivanka and son Donald, Jr.) 

(Clinton – as has been true of a multitude of other high-profile politicians in both major political parties – has been accused of financial irregularities and email irregularities.)

2.  Repeated lying, conning others for profit or pleasure, or the use of aliases. (Recall Trump’s lying about knowing Russian President Putin; his refusing to pay creditors for work done on his projects; and his infamous acts of self-promotion on radio programs by pretending to be somebody else.) 

(Clinton has been accused selective lying, but a recent evaluation of her speeches showed that only 6% of her statements were false)

3.  Being impulsive or failing to plan ahead. (Recall Trump’s stupid investments in THREE Atlantic City casinos in the 1990s, including Trump Plaza, Trump Castle and the Trump Taj Mahal in the already over-built casino sector. Analysts knew, but Trump didn’t realize that the three casinos were certain to cannibalize each other and that debt-service of the high-interest loans would be impossible. Within two years all three casinos had to declare bankruptcy.)

4.  Repeated assaults on others. (Recall his numerous sexual assaults, his infamous attack on the owner of a professional wrestling association during a match and his verbal assaults on foreigners, Muslims, Mexicans, protestors, assorted minorities, the disabled and the media.)

5.  Reckless disregard for the safety of others. (Recall Trump’s reckless disregard for the victims of his sexual assaults, his numerous frivolous lawsuits and his many bankruptcy filings.)

6.  Failure to honor financial obligations. (Recall his numerous bankruptcy filings that stiffed a multitude of creditors and workers that then resulted in dozens of downstream bankruptcies of smaller businesses.)

7.  Rationalizing the pain he or she has inflicted on others. (Recall Trump’s refusal to apologize to anybody that he has hurt, including President Obama, his sexual conquests and those he has victimized financially.)

(Clinton on one occasion expressed joy over the murder of Muamar Gadhafi.)

2) Donald Trump (and Some of his Followers) Scores 8 or 9 out of the 9 Criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder (DSM-IV 301.81)

Clinton scores 2 or 3

Stein and Sanders score zero

This disorder is characterized by a behavior or fantasy of grandiosity, a lack of empathy and a need to be admired by others. A useful definition is “pathological self-love”. Narcissistic individuals have an unrealistic or inflated sense of self-importance, an inability to see the viewpoints of others, and are hypersensitive to the opinions of others as indicated by five or more of the following nine traits:

  1. A grandiose sense of self-importance, superiority and talent and expects to be recognized as superior.
  2. A preoccupation with unlimited success, beauty, brilliance, ideal love, power, or wealth.
  3. A belief in being special and unique and can only be understood or should only be associated with people of high status.
  4. Requires excessive admiration (especially applause).
  5. An unreasonable sense of entitlement and an expectation of being treated with favor or expecting an automatic compliance to his or her wishes.
  6. Is interpersonally exploitive, taking advantage of others to achieve his or her goals.
  7. Lacks empathy.
  8. Believes that others are envious of him (or is envious of others).
  9. Exhibits arrogant or haughty attitudes or behaviors.

3) Donald Trump (and Some of his Followers) Scores 6 or 7 of the 7 Criteria for Paranoid Personality Disorder (301.0)

Clinton scores 2 or 3

Stein and Sanders score zero

Paranoid Personality Disorder is summarized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as a “pervasive distrust and suspiciousness of the motives of others that are interpreted as malevolent”.

Documentation is best determined during a thorough psychiatric examination, but, in the highly competitive culture of America’s “dog-eat-dog” capitalism, paranoia must be the norm, especially among the “take-no-prisoners”, “fight-to-the-death” multimillionaires or multibillionaires at the top – like Donald Trump.

Four or more of the following seven criteria are needed to make the diagnosis:

  1. Suspects without reason that others are exploiting, harming, or trying to deceive him.
  2. Has unjustified doubts about the loyalty or trustworthiness of friends or associates.
  3. Believes without reason that if he confides in others, the information may be used against him.
  4. Finds hidden or threatening meanings in harmless remarks or events.
  5. Persistently bears grudges and is unforgiving of insults or slights.
  6. Is quick to react with anger or to counterattack when he perceives that people are out to attack his character or reputation.
  7. Is suspicious of the fidelity of his spouse or sexual partner.

4) The Political Views of Donald Trump (and Some of his Followers) are compatible with 14 out of the following 14 Characteristics of Fascism (google Fascism – the 14 points)

Clinton and her followers score 6 out of 14

Stein and Sanders score zero

  1. Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism.
  2. Disdain for the importance of human rights.
  3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause.
  4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism.
  5. Rampant sexism.
  6. A controlled mass media.
  7. Obsession with national security.
  8. Religion and ruling elite tied together.
  9. Power of corporations protected.
  10. Power of labor suppressed or eliminated.
  11. Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts.
  12. Obsession with crime and punishment.
  13. Rampant cronyism and corruption.
  14. Fraudulent elections.

Dr Kohls is a retired physician from Duluth, MN, USA. He writes a weekly column for the Duluth Reader, the area’s alternative newsweekly magazine. His columns deal with the dangers of American fascism, corporatism, militarism, racism, malnutrition, Big Pharma’s psychiatric drugging and over-vaccination regimens, and other movements that threaten the environment, health, democracy, civility and longevity of the populace. Many of his columns are archived at

http://duluthreader.com/articles/categories/200_Duty_to_Warn,

http://www.globalresearch.ca/authors?query=Gary+Kohls+articles&by=&p=&page_id= or at

https://www.transcend.org/tms/search/?q=gary+kohls+articles

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Harvard Undergrads for Hillary

novembre 1st, 2016 by Stephen Lendman

According to the student newspaper Harvard Crimson’s October survey, 87% of undergrads support Hillary. A scant 6% back Trump, 5.8% for Libertarian Gary (“what’s Aleppo”) Johnson, and less than 1% for Harvard College and Medical School graduate Jill Stein – the only people’s candidate running.

Around one-third of undergrads responded (2,128 out of a total 6,645 student body) – so the views of nonrespondents aren’t known. About 91% are eligible to vote in November. Eligibility begins at age 18. A surprising 96% of respondents intend voting, they said.

The national average is far lower. Whether this year’s contentious election encourages a larger than usual turnout remains to be seen.

The Crimson poll was conducted from October 10 – 20 – before FBI Director Comey’s October surprise (Comey, image right). Whether it would have changed the results is unknown.

Two-thirds of respondents said they support Democrat party candidates, 12% calling themselves Republicans, 19% saying they’re independents.

Trump and Hillary are the most widely reviled presidential aspirants in US history. Yet 70% of Crimson respondents view her favorably – showing little knowledge of her deplorable public record since the 1990s unless they support her war crimes, racketeering and perjury.

What to make of it? Undergrads enter Harvard (and other colleges) as teenagers, young and naive as I was when entering the college long ago.

After graduation, I discovered the meaning of the term “commencement.” Institutions like Harvard teach students to be good citizens, omitting the ugly stuff about US imperialism, officials advancing it, waging endless wars of aggression.

The so-called Korean War was ongoing when I was there, an incentive to maintain good grades, stay in school, avoid being drafted and sent to North Korea’s frozen Chosin, an expression used by members of my class.

The Paper Chase Hollywood film (1973) featured John Houseman as stern Harvard Law School Professor Charles Kingsfield.

His most memorable line on day one for first year students was saying “(y)ou teach yourselves the law, but I train your minds. You come here with a skull full of mush. You leave thinking like a lawyer.”

I began my freshman year “with a skull full of mush,” gradually extracting it. College and graduate school taught me to think. Learning and comprehension mostly came later. The older I get, the greater my understanding of world and national issues.

I’m long removed from campus life. Back then, students had none of the advantages available today – no computers, no Internet. Daily writing I dearly love now was a dreaded chore back then – requiring research by rolodex cards and library stacks, a time-consuming process.

Except for the type primary research I did for my master’s thesis, most everything needed today for compositions or articles like mine is available on our desktops.

It’s understandable why young minds haven’t achieved the wisdom of the ages. Still it’s disturbing to find Harvard undergrads uninformed and out-of-touch on Hillary’s deplorable public record – when it’s so easy to research it and know what she and husband Bill are all about.

Why hasn’t the Harvard student body done its homework for perhaps the most important election in our lifetime.

The stakes are huge – possible war on Russia with Hillary empowered or improved bilateral relations under Trump.

Nothing matters more than saving humanity from the scourge of catastrophic thermonuclear war able to kill us all.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]
His new book as editor and contributor is titled « Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III. » http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

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A real-time demo of the most devastating election theft mechanism yet found, with context and explanation. Demonstration uses a real voting system and real vote databases and takes place in seconds across multiple jurisdictions.

Over 5000 subcontractors and middlemen have the access to perform this for any or all clients. It can give contract signing authority to whoever the user chooses. All political power can be converted to the hands of a few anonymous subcontractors. It’s a product. It’s scaleable. It learns its environment and can adjust to any political environment, any demographic. It runs silently, invisibly, and can produce plausible results that really pass for the real thing.

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The Toxic Science of Flu Vaccines

novembre 1st, 2016 by Richard Gale

Joshua Hadfield was a normal, healthy developing child as a toddler. In the midst of the 2010 H1N1 swine flu frenzy and fear mongering about the horrible consequences children face if left unvaccinated, the Hadfield’s had Joshua vaccinated with Glaxo’s Pandermrix influenza vaccine.  Within weeks, Joshua could barely wake up, sleeping up to nineteen hours a day.  Laughter would trigger seizures.

Joshua was diagnosed with narcolepsy, “an incurable, debilitating condition” associated with acute brain damage.[1]  Today we can look back at Pandermrix as a horrible vaccine.  Research indicates that it was associated with a 1400% increase in narcolepsy risk. More recently, a team of Finnish scientists at Finland’s National Institute for Health and Welfare, recorded 800 cases of narcolepsy associated with this vaccine.  Vaccine ingredients other than the engineered viral antigen are most often believed to be the primary culprits to adverse vaccine reactions. The Finnish research, on the other hand, indicated that the vaccine’s altered viral nucleotide likely contributed to the sudden rise in sleeping sickness.[2]

Although Pandermrix was pulled from the market, it should never have been approved and released in the first place.  This is a classic case of regulatory negligence by health officials and the WHO which promulgates flu vaccines around the world.  Like all vaccines, which are now commonly fast tracked through government health regulatory bodies for rapid release upon the public, it should have been tested more thoroughly and more rigorously reviewed.

Since the time of Edward Jenner’s primitive inoculation experiments to combat smallpox, and its countless aftermath of deaths throughout the 19th century, modern vaccine science has failed to learn its lessons. The failure of proper regulatory oversight has resulted in Joshua and other British citizens becoming disabled for life. The British government has paid out over 63 million pounds to cover lawsuits to Pandermrix victims.  Glaxo has never admitted its flu vaccine caused brain damage. And this begs the question as to why it was withdrawn since it was the corporation’s single flagship vaccine against the swine flu.[3]

We shouldn’t become complacent by assuming flu vaccine risks only affect young children. Sarah Behie was 20 years old after receiving the flu shot.  Three weeks later her health deteriorated dramatically. Diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome, a not uncommon adverse effect of influenza vaccination, four years later Sarah remains paralyzed from the waist down, incapable of dressing and feeding herself, and rotting away in hospitals and nursing homes.[4]

Joshua’s and Sarah’s stories are by no means unique. Today tens of thousands of infants, toddlers, children and adults across the nation are increasingly becoming victims of vaccine injuries. No national debate is initiated because regulatory malfeasance within federal health agencies has aligned its self interests with pharmaceutical profits rather than serving the public health.

Flu vaccines are perhaps the most ineffective vaccine on the market.  Repeatedly we are told by health officials that the moral argument for its continued use is for “the greater good,” although this imaginary good has never been defined scientifically. For the present 2016 flu season, the CDC has removed Medimmune’s live attenuated flu vaccine (LAIV) FluMist from the market because it was found to be ineffective.  Or at least this is the rationale stated by the agency. According to the CDC, one third of children’s influenza vaccinations are with live nasal sprays. Yet regardless of how infective and useless FluMist has been, it has remained on the market since 2003, and in 2014 the CDC recommended it as its flu vaccine of choice for children.[5]

Although last year FluMist was only 3% effective, according to an NBC report, the real truth behind its withdrawal is likely more crucial. [6] There is no reason to doubt that the vaccine contributed to more cases of flu infection than it prevented.  And this is a fundamental flaw with all live vaccines, and even killed attenuated ones, that have been shown to “shed” and infect people in contact with the vaccinated persons, especially those with compromised immune systems.

In her investigative report, “The Emerging Risks of Live Virus and Virus Vectored Vaccines,” Barbara Lo Fisher notes that the attenuated virus in the flu vaccine can shed and infect others for months after vaccination.  Both the unvaccinated and the vaccinated are at risk.  The CDC acknowledges this risk and warns “Persons who care for severely immunosuppressed persons who require a protective environment should not receive LAIV, or should avoid contact with such persons for 7 days after receipt, given the theoretical risk for transmission of the live attenuated vaccine virus.”[7]

At their best, flu vaccines remain around 50-60% effective according to official health statements. However, the World Health Organization’s predictions for 2014-2015 flu strains were a bust. The match was such a failure that the CDC was forced to warn the American public that the vaccine was only 23% effective.[8]  Given that the 2012-2013 flu season was only 27% effective for the 65 years-plus age group, predictive methodologies to determine which flu strains emerge during any given influenza season have more in common with medieval divination than sound science.  For the 1992-1993 and 1997-1998 seasons, the vaccine concoction of flu strains was only 16% effective. Katherine Severyn, who monitors the actual WHO predictions and compares them with CDC claims has stated that, “depending upon the study cited, [flu] vaccine efficacy actually ranges from a low of 0%.” [9]

Dr. David Brownstein has noted that as far back as 1999, the Journal of the American Medical Association reported increased risks of febrile disorders greater than placebo associated with the live vaccine.[10]  According to the FDA’s literature on FluMist, the vaccine was not studied for immunocompromised individuals (yet was still administered to them), and has been associated with acute allergic reactions, asthma, Guillian-Barre, and a high rate of hospitalizations among children under 24 months – largely due to upper respiratory tract infections.  Other adverse effects include pericarditis, congenital and genetic disorders, mitochondrial encephalomyopathy or Leigh Syndrome, meningitis, and others.[11] Given this litany of vaccine dangers, it is highly unlikely the vaccine was removed simply for ineffectiveness. Yet when has the CDC ever been truthful with the public?

The development and promotion of the influenza vaccine was never completely about protecting the public. It has been the least popular vaccine in the US including among healthcare workers. Instead, similar to the mumps vaccine in the MMR, it has been the cash cow for vaccine makers.  Determining the actual severity of any given flu season is burdened by federal intentional confusion to mislead the public.  The CDC’s first line of propaganda defense to enforce flu vaccinations is to exaggerate flu infections as the cause of preventable deaths.   However, validating this claim is near impossible because the CDC does not differentiate deaths caused by influenza infection and deaths due to pneumonia.  On its website, the CDC lumps flu and pneumonia deaths together, currently estimated at 55,227. The large majority of these were pneumonia deaths of elderly patients. Yet in any given year, only 3-18% of suspected influenza infections actually test positive for a Type A or B influenza strain.[12]

Dr. Martin Meltzer, a CDC expert in health economics, has stated “almost nobody dies of the flu” and “deaths [are] associated with flu, but not necessarily caused by flu.”[13]

To date there is only one gold standard clinical trial with the flu vaccine that compares vaccinated vs. unvaccinated, and it is not good news for the CDC and the vaccine makers. This Hong Kong funded double-blind placebo controlled study following the health conditions of vaccinated and unvaccinated children between the ages of 6-15 years for 272 days. The trial concluded the flu vaccine holds no health benefits. In fact, those vaccinated with the flu virus were observed to have a 550% higher risk of contracting non-flu virus respiratory infections. Among the vaccinated children, there were 116 flu cases compared to 88 among the unvaccinated; there were 487 other non-influenza virus infections, including rhinovirus, coxsackie, echovirus and others, among the vaccinated versus 88 with the unvaccinated.  This single study alone poses a scientifically sound warning and rationale for avoiding the vaccine.[14]

It is worth noting that there are approximately 200 distinct viruses that are misdiagnosed as influenza and produce flu-like symptoms. These organisms don’t magically appear during fall and winter – they are always with us. Nevertheless we are more susceptible to flu-like infections during the colder months when there are less daylight hours.

In a later study by Dr. Danuta Skowronski in Canada, individuals with a history of receiving consecutive seasonal flu shots over several years had an increased risk of becoming infected with H1N1 swine flu.  Skowronski commented on his findings that “policy makers have not yet had a chance to fully digest them [the study’s conclusions] or understand the implications.”  He continued, “Who knows, frankly? The wise man knows he knows nothing when it comes to influenza, so you always have to be cautious in speculating.”[15]

There is strong evidence suggesting that all vaccine clinical trials carried out by manufacturers fall short of demonstrating vaccine efficacy accurately. And when they are shown to be efficacious, it is frequently in the short term and offer only partial or temporary protection. According to an article in the peer-reviewed Journal of Infectious Diseases, the only way to evaluate vaccines is to scrutinize the epidemiological data obtained from real-life conditions. In other words, researchers simply cannot — or will not — adequately test a vaccine’s effectiveness and immunogenicity prior to its release onto an unsuspecting public.[16]

The Cochrane Collaboration, the world’s foremost group of unbiased researchers, physicians and scientists, has performed a series of meta-analyses on the effectiveness of the influenza vaccine. In 2014 they found that vaccinating adults against influenza did not affect the number of people hospitalized nor decrease lost work.[17]Cochrane researchers stated that their results might be overly optimistic due to the fact that 24 out of 90 studies were funded by the vaccine manufacturers, which tend to produce results favorable to their product.[18]

According to Dr. Tom Jefferson at the Cochrane Collaboration, it makes little sense to keep vaccinating against seasonal influenza based on the evidence.[19] Jefferson has also endorsed more cost-effective and scientifically-proven means of minimizing the transmission of flu, including regular hand washing and wearing masks. There is also substantial peer-reviewed literature supporting the supplementation of Vitamin D.

Dr. Jefferson’s conclusions are backed by a 2013 article by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine scientist Peter Doshi, PhD, in the British Journal of Medicine. In his article Doshi questions the flu vaccine paradigm stating:

“Closer examination of influenza vaccine policies shows that although proponents employ the rhetoric of science, the studies underlying the policy are often of low quality, and do not substantiate officials’ claims. The vaccine might be less beneficial and less safe than has been claimed, and the threat of influenza appears overstated.”[20]

The CDC currently recommends that elderly Americans receive a flu shot, stating that “[v]accination is especially important for people 65 years and older because they are at high risk for complications from flu.”[21]  Unfortunately, this warning is grossly unfounded. A significant body of research proves that receiving the flu shot does not reduce mortality among seniors.[22] One particularly compelling 2005 study was carried out by scientists at the federal National Institutes of Health (NIH) and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Not only did the study indicate that the flu vaccine did nothing to prevent deaths from influenza among seniors, but that flu mortality rates increased as a greater percentage of seniors received the shot.[23]

After the release of the study, investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson covered the findings in a CBS News segment. Attkisson interviewed the only co-author of the study who was not affiliated with the NIH, Dr. Tom Reichert, who stated that the research team revisited the data several times, but that no matter how they analyzed the “incendiary material”, the conclusion was clear: flu shots don’t improve mortality rates in the elderly population.[24]

Dr. Sherri Tenpenny reviewed the Cochrane Database reviews on the flu vaccine’s efficacy. In a review of 51 studies involving over 294,000 children, there was “no evidence that injecting children 6-24 months of age with a flu shot was any more effective than placebo. In children over 2 years of age, flu vaccine effectiveness was 33 percent of the time preventing flu. In children with asthma, inactivated flu vaccine did not prevent influenza related hospitalizations in children. The database shows that children who received the flu vaccine were at a higher risk of hospitalization than children who did not receive the vaccine.[25]

In a separate study involving 400 children with asthma receiving a flu vaccine and 400 who were not immunized, there was no difference in the number of clinic and emergency room visits and hospitalizations between the two groups.[26]

In 64 studies involving 66,000 adults, “Vaccination of healthy adults only reduced risk of influenza by 6 percent and reduced the number of missed work days by less than one day. There was change in the number of hospitalizations compared to the non-vaccinated. In further studies of elderly adults residing in nursing homes over the course of several flu seasons, flu vaccinations were insignificant for preventing infection.[27]

During every annual quarter, the CDC’s Advisory Commission on Childhood Vaccines meets, and the Department of Justice releases its report on settlements made for vaccine injuries and deaths. In recent years, the flu vaccine has topped the charts.  During its most recent release in June 2016, 85 of the 116 cases, and 2 of the 3 deaths, settled by the “vaccine court” over a three month period were associated with the flu vaccine.[28] While this might appear to be a small and insignificant number compared to the millions of vaccines administered, it bears noting that the CDC itself admits that only 10% of vaccine adverse effects go reported. Independent analysis indicates it may be as small as 1-2% at best.

For almost a decade, the CDC has known influenza vaccines are ineffective and life-threatening for the elderly but continues to market them without hesitation. Hence in November 2014, five senior citizens at an assisted living facility in Dacula, Georgia, died within week after all residents were vaccinated.[29] During the previous year’s flu vaccine trials, Sanofi Pasteur’s  Fluzone killed 23 elderly participants during the vaccine trial. Nevertheless, the vaccine was approved and continues to be marketed towards senior citizens.[30]

Today, the most extreme wing of the pro-vaccine community, headed by Paul Offit at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, have been diligently pursuing mandatory vaccination and encouraging states to repeal personal religious and philosophical exemption from vaccinating.  During the flu season, the debate over mandatory vaccination becomes most heated as medical facilities and government departments attempt to threaten employees and schools who refuse vaccination. Although this is deeply worrisome to those who advocate their Constitutional rights to freedom of choice in their healthcare, there are respectable groups opposing mandatory flu shots.  Among them are the American Medical Association and the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.  According to the statement of the latter, the Association “objects strenuously to any coercion of healthcare personnel to receive influenza immunization. It is a fundamental human right not to be subjected to medical interventions without fully informed consent.”  The American Medical Association statement recognizes “philosophic reason” as a valid means for exemption.  In addition, many union organizations, such as National Nurses United, the American Federation of Teachers, and the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions now oppose mandatory flu shots. What these organizations recognize and is categorically denied by the Paul Offits in the pro-vaccine cabal, is the hard science raising serious questions over the flu vaccine’s efficacy and safety that doesn’t justify a national mandate.

The good news is that Americans are rapidly losing confidence in the CDC. According to National Consumers League poll, over two-thirds of Americans believe vaccines cause autism, which the CDC categorically denies.[31] Almost two months after the media reported on the revelations by a CDC whistleblower, Dr. William Thompson, who exposed the CDC cover up of a vaccine-autism connection with the MMR vaccine, a CBS News poll showed public approval of the CDC nosedived to 37%, down from 60% the previous year. Vaccine apologists and the major media claim this large decrease is due to the CDC’s dismal handling of the Ebola crisis; however, Thompson’s whistleblowing received over 750 million Twitter impressions indicating that the debate over vaccine efficacy and safety is far more on the public’s mind.[32] Positive endorsement of the CDC would plummet further if the public knew the full extent of CDC officials lying to Congress and their conspiracy to commit medical fraud for over a dozen years.

Imagine the tens of thousands of children and families who would have been saved from life-long neurological damage and immeasurable suffering if the CDC was not indebted to protecting the toxic products of the pharmaceutical industry and was serving the health and well-being of American children? And we can begin to further dismantle this citadel of despotic medical fascism by simply refusing the flu vaccine and protecting ourselves by adopting a healthier lifestyle during the flu season.

Richard Gale is the Executive Producer of the Progressive Radio Network and a former Senior Research Analyst in the biotechnology and genomic industries. Dr. Gary Null is the host of the nation’s longest running public radio program on nutrition and natural health and a multi-award-winning documentary film director, including Autism: Made in the USA, War on Health: The FDA’s Cult of Tyranny and Silent Epidemic: The Untold Story of Vaccination.

Notes 

[1] http://yournewswire.com/boy-awarded-174000-after-flu-vaccine-causes-permanent-brain-damage/

[2]  http://www.globalresearch.ca/finnish-scientists-identify-link-between-glaxosmithklines-swine-flu-vaccine-pandemrix-and-narcolepsy/5423154

[3]  http://www.globalresearch.ca/if-vaccines-dont-cause-brain-damage-why-is-glaxosmithkline-paying-out-63-million-to-vaccine-victims/5463716

[4] http://sharylattkisson.com/woman-paralyzed-after-flu-shot-receives-11-million-for-treatment/

[5]  Barbara Lo Fisher, The Emerging Risks of Live Virus and Virus Vectored Vaccines.  National Vaccine Information Center, 2014

[6] http://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/flumist-nose-spray-vaccine-doesn-t-work-experts-say-n597411

[7]  Barbara Lo Fisher, op cit.

[8]  http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/12/3/flu-vaccine-ineffective.html

[9]  Richard Gale and Gary Null, “Flu Vaccines: Are They Effective and Safe?”  Progressive Radio Network, September 28, 2009

[10] https://healthimpactnews.com/2016/cdc-admits-failure-of-flu-vaccine-vaccinated-people-die-of-influenza/

[11]  http://www.fda.gov/downloads/BiologicsBloodVaccines/Vaccines/ApprovedProducts/UCM294307.pdf

[12] Barbara Lo Fisher, “CDC Admits Flu Shots Fail Half the Time.”  NVIC, October 19, 2016

[13] Manning, Anita. “Study: Annual flu death toll could be overstated.” USA Today. December 11, 2005.

[14] http://gaia-health.com/gaia-blog/2013-06-02/flu-vax-causes-5-5-times-more-respiratory-infections/

[15]  http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/flu-shot-linked-to-higher-incidence-of-flu-in-pandemic-year-1.1287363

miachela rectenwald  NYU

[16]   Weinberg, Geoffrey A., and Peter G. Szilagyi. « Vaccine Epidemiology: Efficacy, Effectiveness, and the Translational Research Roadmap. » The Journal of Infectious Diseases J INFECT DIS 201.11 (2010): 1607-610. Web.

[17] Jefferson T et al.  Vaccines for Preventing Influenza in Healthy Adults. Cochrane Database of Systemic Review, 2010. Issue 7. Art No. CD001269

[18]  Ibid

[19]  ‘A Whole Industry Is Waiting For A Pandemic’, Der Spiegel, http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,637119-2,00.html, accessed December 4, 2011

[20] Doshi, P. « Influenza: Marketing Vaccine by Marketing Disease. » BMJ 346 (2013): F3037. Accessed November 30, 2015. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f3037.

[21] “What You Should Know and Do this Flu Season If You Are 65 Years and Older” http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/65over.htm

[22] Simonsen, Lone, Reichert, Thomas, et al. . « Impact of Influenza Vaccination on Seasonal Mortality in the US Elderly Population. » Arch Intern Med Archives of Internal Medicine 165, no. 3 (2005): 265. Accessed December 1, 2015. doi:10.1001/archinte.165.3.265. 

[23]  Glezen, W P., and Lone Simonsen. « Commentary: Benefits of Influenza Vaccine in US Elderly–new Studies Raise Questions. » International Journal of Epidemiology 35, no. 2 (2006): 352-53. Accessed December 1, 2015. doi:10.1093/ije/dyi293. 

[24] “Govt. Researchers: Flu Shots Not Effective in Elderly, After All” https://sharylattkisson.com/govt-researchers-flu-shots-not-effective-in-elderly-after-all/

[25] 105th International Conference of the American Thoracic Sociey, May 15-20, 2009 (quoted in , Sherri.  “The Truth about Flu Shots”.  Idaho Observer, June 1, 2009)

[26] ibid

[27] Tenpenny, Sherri.  “The Truth about Flu Shots”.  Idaho Observer, June 1, 2009.

[28]  http://www.nclnet.org/survey_one_third_of_american_parents_mistakenly_link_vaccines_to_autism

[29]  http://healthimpactnews.com/2014/6-seniors-die-after-flu-shot-at-assisted-care-center-in-georgia/

[30]  http://healthimpactnews.com/2013/23-seniors-died-after-receiving-this-years-flu-shot-sold-by-pharmacies/

[31]  https://vaccineimpact.com/2016/vaccines-injuries-and-deaths-increase-in-government-vaccine-court-june-2016-report/

[32]  http://naturalsociety.com/american-public-officially-loses-faith-cdc/

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Terrorist Groups in Aleppo Continue to Receive Foreign Weapons

novembre 1st, 2016 by Geopolitical Monitor

Terrorist groups in Aleppo are using newly supplied foreign weapons in their counter-offensive against the Syrian army and its allies.

Recently published online videos show Ahrar al-Sham, designated a terrorist organisation by multiple countries, carrying Turkish HAR-66 anti-tank rocket launchers – Turkey’s variant of the US made M72 LAW.

Ahrar al-Sham militant with the Turkish variant of the US-made M72 LAW – the HAR-66

On Thursday, militant groups including internationally-designated terrorist organisations, launched an offensive against the Syrian army an its allies in Aleppo. Mobile telecommunication and the internet connections stopped working since as militants gather in the south-west of the city.

Earlier this month, a Free Syrian Army militant confirmed to the Reuters news agency that it had received grad rocket artillery in “excellent quantities”. According to the report, foreign states at a Turkey-based, US-backed coordination center have approved and facilitated the transfer of the BM-21 missile systems. The 122mm unguided rockets are fitted with a high explosive fragmentation warhead, and have a range of between 22km and 40km.

Foreign-backed militant groups, including Ahrar Al-Sham which the United States supports, have increased shelling and rocket fire on the city in recent days. Special corridors designated for the safe passage of civilians and surrendering militants have also been targeted according to British, Russian and local reporters.

The LAW (Light Anti-Tank Weapon) is a portable, one-shot anti-tank launcher still being used by the US military. Its Turkish variant, the HAR-66, is a copy of the weapon with upgraded safety features.

Ahrar al-Sham Video: Militant carries Turkish-made HAR-66 anti-tank weapon

Syria, the United Arab Emirates, Russia, Iran and Egypt have all designated Ahrar al-Sham as a terrorist organisation – however, the United States, Britain and others have so far not considered designating the group as such. In May 2016, the U.S., Britain, France, and Ukraine blocked a Russian proposal to the United Nations to blacklist Ahrar al-Sham as a terrorist group.

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Who will be the winners and the losers in the coming U.S. presidential election? Trump or Clinton, Clinton or Trump? The mainstream media is consumed with personality politics. Who could hold their nerve in a time of crisis? Whose integrity is purer (or less damaged)? If you were forced to choose, who would you trust your house keys with? It’s entertainment for the masses.

There will only be one group of winners: the interlocking oligarchy of financial, oil, military, agribusiness and pharmaceuticals interests that run the U.S. Whether it’s Trump or Clinton, policy nuances aside, Washington’s empire will stumble on. And it will do so not because of its inherent dynamism but because of its lies, manipulations, militarism and ability to crush any tendencies that exist towards a multi-polar world.

The U.S. as a nation is bankrupt. It was in dire straits in the 1960s as a result of the Vietnam war and the emergence of economic rivals, such as France and Germany. Shifting off the gold standard and moving towards petrodollar recycling and treasury bond imperialism allowed the empire to remain on course and the dollar to remain as the world’s reserve currency. Oil, not gold, became the mainstay of the empire. As long as the (oil-backed) dollar remains the global currency, the U.S. can continue to secure a free lunch courtesy of the rest of the world.

Today, more than 60 per cent of all foreign currency reserves in the world are in U.S. dollars, and the U.S. will attempt to prevent countries moving off the dollar by any means possible, not least military.

Washington’s economic infrastructure is too weak to mount an economic recovery of note and U.S. corporate cartels will do anything to prevent policies that eat into their profits. They serve their own interests, not any notional ‘national interest’, and offshoring large parts of the US economy has served them well.

Indeed, Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary to the U.S. Treasury, notes that much of the most productive part of the economy has been moved offshore to increase corporate profits. By doing so, the U.S. has lost critical supply chains, industrial infrastructure and the knowledge of skilled workers. The U.S. could bring its corporations back home by taxing their profits abroad and could also resort to protective tariffs, but such moves would be contrary to the material interests of the ruling oligarchy of private interests, which hold sway over U.S. politics.

Void of a suitable industrial manufacturing base or the will to invest in productive infrastructure, the U.S. continues with its speculative finance-related bubbles, its non-productive rentier economy and its predatory hold over the institutions of global capitalism (WTO, IMF, World Bank), while its drags its European vassal states into imperialist wars to help maintain global hegemony and ensure allegiance to the U.S. dollar. And this is exactly what we are seeing today as the strategy for global supremacy is played out.

Over the past two decades, the U.S. has extended its influence throughout Eastern Europe and, among other places, in the Libya, Iraq, Yemen,  Afghanistan, Syria and  Pakistan (with Washington’s presence in neighbouring Afghanistan to all intents and purposes being a proxy war against Pakistan and Chinese influence there). With each passing year and each new conflict, the US has been drawing closer to direct confrontation with Russia and China.

Russia is holding firm over Syria, which is vital to wider U.S. geopolitical goals that involve the weakening of the Russian energy-dependent economy and ousting Russia from its only naval base outside of the former USSR. A global US strategy is already in force to undermine China’s growth and influence, part of which was the main reason for setting up AFRICOM: US Africa Command with responsibility for military operations and relations across Africa. But China is not without influence, and its actions are serving to weaken the hegemony of the U.S. dollar, thereby striking at a key nerve of U.S. power.

China has been implementing bilateral trade agreements with a number of countries, whereby trade is no longer conducted in dollars but in local currencies. Over the past few years, China and other powers such as Russia have been making agreements to move away from the U.S. dollar in international trade. The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) also plan to start using their own currencies when trading with each other. Russia and China have been using their own national currencies when trading with each other for more two years.

A report from Africa’s largest bank, Standard Bank, stated a few years back:

“We expect at least $100 billion in Sino-African trade – more than the total bilateral trade between China and Africa in 2010 – to be settled in the renminbi by 2015.”

Under Saddam, Iraq was not using the dollar as the base currency for oil transactions, neither is Iran. Libya’s Muammar Gadhaffi was talking about using a gold-backed dinar as the reserve currency for parts of Africa. U.S.-backed destabilisation and war followed. In 2000, Iraq converted all its oil transactions to euros. When U.S. invaded Iraq  in 2003, it returned oil sales from the euro to the dollar. Little surprise then that we have over the years seen on on-going saga by the U.S. to remove the Iranian regime via sanctions, destabilization, intimidation or the threat of all-out war.

Iran has looked east to China, Pakistan and central Asia to counteract the effects of U.S. sanctions and develop its economy and boost trade. To sustain its empire, the US has effectively pushed the world into different camps and a new cold war: one not based on competing/alternative political or economic systems but a simmering conflict based on competing capitalist elites or ruling oligarchies who require control over their regional spheres of influence.

Imperialism still reigns and neither side – whether the U.S., Russia or China – is particularly appealing, not least to those who believe that democratic (green) socialism is the best hope for humanity. In the absence of such a solution, a world not hurtling towards nuclear conflict would serve us well for the time being.

The U.S. economy appears to be in terminal decline. The only way to prop it up is by corrupt, secretive, lop-sided trade agreements or by waging war to plunder resources and to ensure the print-as-you-go dollar remains the world reserve currency. An empire in decline armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons and trapped in a cycle of endless war to stave off ruin is a frightening scenario. Even more alarming is the talk of pre-emptive nuclear strikes against other nuclear powers such as Russia and China.

This is the reality that faces the world. This is the reality that the corporate media will not inform the U.S. electorate about. The empire demands a sufficiently ignorant, misinformed public courtesy of a Fox News/CNN made-for-TV election stupor. An electorate that is sufficiently convinced to believe that millionaire-billionaire politicians who climb into bed with Wall Street banks and the rest of the ruling oligarchy have their interests at heart.

A public for whom the term ‘class consciousness’ or ‘class interest’ figures little if anywhere in their political lexicon. The class that appears to be highly conscious of its interests is the one in control: the one that does its level best in ensuring that any such consciousness emerging within the ruled over is shut down at birth – or suffocated within the mind-manipulating control mechanism that is the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign.

They sold your jobs to the lowest bidder abroad under the lie of ‘efficiency’ to make every greater profit, and they get you to blame your plight on immigrants. They use your taxes to kill and destroy countries under the lie of ‘humanitarianism/fighting terror’ to secure ever more mineral riches, and they get you to fear the latest bogeyman. And they sell you a vision of democracy that much of the rest of the world regards as shambolic. America, it’s time to wake up.

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Come votare No alle armi nucleari

novembre 1st, 2016 by Manlio Dinucci

«Grazie, presidente Obama. L’Italia proseguirà con grande determinazione l’impegno per la sicurezza nucleare»: così scriveva il premier Renzi in uno storico messaggio twitter. Sei mesi dopo, alle Nazioni Unite, Renzi ha votato Sì alle armi nucleari. Accodandosi agli Usa, il governo italiano si è schierato contro la Risoluzione, approvata a grande maggioranza nel primo comitato dell’Assemblea generale, che chiede la convocazione nel 2017 di una conferenza delle Nazioni Unite al fine di «negoziare uno strumento legalmente vincolante per proibire le armi nucleari, che porti verso la loro totale eliminazione».

Il governo italiano si è così rimangiato quanto promesso alla Conferenza di Vienna, due anni fa, ai movimenti antinucleari «esigenti», assicurandoli sulla sua volontà di operare per il disarmo nucleare svolgendo un «ruolo di mediazione con pazienza e diplomazia». Cade così nel vuoto l’appello «Esigiamo il disarmo nucleare totale», in cui si chiede al governo «la prosecuzione coerente dell’impegno e della lotta per la messa al bando delle armi nucleari», in un percorso «umanitario e giuridico verso il disarmo nucleare», nel quale l’Italia potrebbe svolgere «un ruolo più che attivo, possibilmente trainante».

Cadono di conseguenza nel vuoto anche le mozioni parlamentari dello stesso tenore. Gli appelli generici al disarmo nucleare sono facilmente strumentalizzabili: basti pensare che il presidente Usa, artefice di un riarmo nucleare da 1000 miliardi di dollari, è stato insignito del Premio Nobel per la Pace per «la sua visione di un mondo libero dalle armi nucleari».

Il modo concreto attraverso cui in Italia possiamo contribuire all’obiettivo del disarmo nucleare, enunciato nella Risoluzione delle Nazioni Unite, è quello di liberare il nostro paese dalle armi nucleari statunitensi. A tal fine occorre non appellarsi al governo, ma esigere che esso rispetti il Trattato di non-proliferazione (Tnp), firmato e ratificato dall’Italia, che all’Art. 2 stabilisce: «Ciascuno degli Stati militarmente non nucleari, che sia Parte del Trattato, si impegna a non ricevere da chicchessia armi nucleari o altri congegni nucleari esplosivi, né il controllo su tali armi e congegni esplosivi, direttamente o indirettamente». Si deve esigere che l’Italia cessi di violare il Tnp e chieda agli Stati uniti di rimuovere subito tutte le loro armi nucleari dal nostro territorio e di non installarvi le nuove bombe B61-12, punta di lancia della escalation nucleare Usa/Nato contro la Russia, né altre armi nucleari. Si deve esigere che piloti italiani non vengano più addestrati all’uso di armi nucleari sotto comando Usa.

È questo l’obiettivo della campagna lanciata dal Comitato No Guerra No Nato e altri soggetti (per documentarsi digitare su Google «Change Nato»). La campagna ha ottenuto un primo importante risultato: il 26 ottobre, al Consiglio Regionale della Toscana, è stata approvata a maggiornza una mozione del gruppo Sì Toscana a Sinistra che «impegna la Giunta a richiedere al Governo di rispettare il Trattato di non-proliferazione delle armi nucleari e far sì che gli Stati uniti rimuovano immediatamente qualsiasi arma nucleare dal territorio italiano e rinuncino a installarvi le nuove bombe B61-12 e altre armi nucleari». Attraverso queste e altre iniziative si può  creare un vasto fronte che, con una forte mobilitazione, imponga al governo il rispetto del Trattato di non-proliferazione.

Sei mesi fa chiedevamo dalle pagine del manifesto se ci fosse qualcuno in Parlamento disposto a esigere, in base al Tnp, l’immediata rimozione dall’Italia delle armi nucleari statunitensi. Siamo ancora in attesa di risposta.

Manlio Dinucci

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Since the release of FBI Director Comey’s Second letter to the US Congress, the presidential elections process has gone haywire, out of control. The bipartisan political apparatus is in crisis.

« I FBI director [James Comey] am writing to inform you that the investigative team briefed me on this yesterday, and I agreed that the FBI should take appropriate investigative steps designed to allow investigators to review these emails to determine whether they contain classified information, as well as to assess their importance to our investigation. » 

Two important questions:

WHO IS BEHIND WIKILEAKS WHICH RELEASED THE EMAILS?

WHO IS BEHIND FBI DIRECTOR JAMES COMEY? 

In both cases, we are dealing with powerful interest groups.  CUI-BONO?

Has there been a shift in the Corporate Elite’s unbending support for Hillary Clinton? Or are the Elites divided?  This is something to be carefully investigated.

FBI Director Comey (image right) did not take this decision on his own. While he was described as responding to pressures from within the FBI, the crucial question is: Who are the power brokers behind James Comey? What mechanism incited him to take that decision?

Does he have a relationship with Trump?  Several media have even intimated that Moscow could have been behind Comey’s second letter. An absurd proposition.

The Trigger Mechanism

The trigger mechanism which incited the FBI Director to send a Second Letter to Congress was a report by the Wall Street Journal published four days prior to his October 28 decision.

On October 24, the WSJ revealed that « Clinton friend [Virginia Governor] Terry McAuliffe donated money to a [senior] FBI investigator’s wife when she ran for office » .

Governor Terry McAuliffe transferred the money on behalf of Hillary Clinton:

“Last night’s revelation that close Clinton ally Terry McAuliffe authorized $675,000 to the wife of a top official at the FBI, who conveniently was promoted to deputy director, and helped oversee the investigation into Clinton’s secret server  is deeply disturbing…

The fact that this was allowed to occur shows either outright negligent behavior by the FBI or a level of corruption that is beyond belief. The FBI needs to fully address these issues as soon as possible,The Wall Street Journal broke the story  on Sunday. The FBI has been under fire for not recommending indictment against Hillary Clinton. »(Breibart October 24, 2016)

Comey’s decision to send a second letter on October 28 (October Surprise) was triggered by the contents of the WSJ report, pointing to bribery of a police officer by Clinton and corruption within the FBI.

The donation went to the 2015 Virginia state Senate election campaign of Dr. Jill McCabe, who just so happens to be the wife of FBI official Andrew McCabe who a few months later in January 2016–  was appointed deputy director of the FBI in charge of the Clinton Email investigation. How convenient (See WSJ, October 24, 2016).

Hillary Clinton had attempted to « buy legal immunity » by bribing a senior police official, a practice which has been widely applied by US organized crime. The only difference is that Clinton is a candidate to the presidency of the United States.  The Hillary « donation » received by Dr. Jill McCabe was not reported. According to official Virginia State records she declared a total of $256,000 dollars in campaign contributions.

Screenshot of FBI Press Release, January 29,2016

Andrew McCabe was Hillary’s Trojan Horse within the FBI.

Upon the release of the WSJ report, FBI Director Comey, responding to pressure from within the FBI, also with a view to protecting his authority and integrity, decided to release a second letter regarding the Clinton Emails.

His corrupt deputy director Andrew McCabe (image left) who was overseeing the Clinton investigation, sofar has not been fired.

« House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), who told The Washington Post this week that Hillary Clinton would face “years” of potential probes if she won the presidency, has asked FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe to provide documents about his wife’s 2015 campaign for Senate — a campaign that received financial support from Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), a close Clinton ally. Chaffetz also tweeted Friday that the FBI would examine new emails related to the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private server.(Washington Post, October 28, 2016)

The trigger mechanism did not originate from FBI Director James Comey’s letter per se. It was the Wall Street Journal, mouthpiece of the US financial establishment, which revealed the fraud and bribery scheme: The wife of the Number Two Man at the FBI Andrew McCabe had received a large sum of money from Hillary Clinton, via the Governor of Virginia.

The timing of this decision less than two weeks before the elections was  crucial. But it was ultimately the WSJ (and those behind the release of the report on the Clinton-McCabe fraud) who determined the course of events.

Who on Wall Street was behind the WSJ report on the Clinton-FBI McCabe « bribe », which served to trigger James Comey’s  letter?

The WSJ is owned by the News Corp conglomerate, one of the most powerful global media groups owned by the Murdoch Family Trust.

Rupert Murdoch is a firm supporter of Donald Trump. Murdoch and Trump met several times in course of last months:

The Murdoch-Trump alliance is the result of at least two private meetings between the billionaires this spring as well as phone calls from Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Murdoch’s view, according to those who’ve spoken with him, is that Trump is a winner whom the “elites” failed to take seriously. … In March, Murdoch tweeted that the GOP would “be mad not to unify” behind Trump. (Fox News)

In June, Trump meets up with Rupert Murdoch and his wife Jerry Hall in Scotland

Meeting in June in Scotland, source NewsMax.com

Until recently, the US mainstream media have largely been involved in camouflaging the crimes committed by Hillary Clinton. Are we dealing with an About Turn?

The corporate elites are not monolithic. Quite the opposite. There are major divisions and conflicts within the ruling corporate establishment. What seems to be unfolding is a division between competing media conglomerates, with Murdoch’s News Corp Group (which includes the WSJ and Fox News) supporting Trump and the Time Warner -CNN Group supporting Clinton. In turn, these media conglomerates are aligned with powerful and competing factions within the corporate establishment.

Those who triggered the release of the WSJ report were fully aware that this would lead to a response by FBI Director James Comey, which in turn would contribute to weakening and undermining Hillary Clinton.

According to Donald Trump, This « Is Bigger than Watergate ».

The Clinton Campaign has responded by accusing FBI Director James Comey of breaking the law.

The contents of the Huma Abedin Emails (released by the FBI) –which have been the object of extensive media coverage–  did not at the outset highlight the broader process of criminalization of the State system and party politics including bribery within the FBI. There is more than meets the eye. The Second letter pertaining to the Emails opens up a « Pandora’s box » of fraud, corruption, bribery and money laundering.

Sofar the mainstream media has concentrated on the Emails with a view to exonerating Clinton. The incriminating evidence of criminality contained in the WSJ report (i.e Clinton money paid to the wife of the Number 2 official in the FBI, who is investigating Hillary Clinton)  is not a media talking point, nor is the fraud underlying the Clinton Foundation’s money transactions.

The second letter by FBI Director Comey came as a Bombshell. Comey’s initiative points this time to the possibility that a candidate to the presidency of the United States be under criminal investigation by the FBI.

This does not solely pertain to the Email scandal, the FBI  « has an open investigation into the Clinton Foundation », which constitutes a hotbed of fraud and money laundering. Moreover, a class action lawsuit was launched against the Democratic National Committee (DNC) « alleging fraud and collusion with the Hillary Clinton campaign ». And a lot….(including mysterious deaths).

Act of Treason: Hillary Received Donations from the « State Sponsors of Terrorism » Who are Funding the Islamic State (ISIS-Daesh)

There is another important dimension.

While Clinton has acknowledged that Saudi Arabia and Qatar are providing money and support to ISIS-Daesh and other terrorists groups in Syria and Iraq, in an email, sent to John Podesta in 2014,

« she  conveniently fails to mention that these two terror-funding states are both mega-donors to the Clinton Foundation. Qatar has given between $1 million and $5 million to the Clinton Foundation and Saudi Arabia has donated upwards of $25 million dollars to the Foundation. » (See Baxter Dmitry, The Terrorists R Us, Global Research, October 29, 2016)

Saudi Arabia Qatar isis

A former Secretary of State (through here family’s Foundation) receives generous donations from the « State sponsors of terrorism » (Saudi Arabia and Qatar): This is an obvious act of treason by a senior US official and candidate to the presidency of the United States. 

Racketeering Charges under RICO

Moreover, according to Frank Huguenard (Global Research, May 30, 2016), the initial FBI investigation « has expanded well beyond violating State Department regulations to include questions about espionage, perjury and influence peddling ».

The Clinton Foundation as a crony money laundering entity is at the center of the FBI initiative, which could lead to a conviction under RICO racketeering charges:

Here’s what we do know.   Tens of millions of dollars donated to the Clinton Foundation was funneled to the organization through a Canadian shell company which has made tracing the donors nearly impossible.  Less than 10% of donations to the Foundation has actually been released to charitable organizations and $2M that has been traced back to long time Bill Clinton friend Julie McMahon (aka The Energizer).   When the official investigation into Hillary’s email server began, she instructed her IT professional to delete over 30,000 emails and cloud backups of her emails older than 30 days at both Platte River Networks and  Datto, Inc.  The FBI has subsequently recovered the majority, if not all, of Hillary’s deleted emails and are putting together a strong case against her for attempting to cover up her illegal and illicit activities.

A conviction under RICO comes when the Department of Justice proves that the defendant has engaged in two or more examples of racketeering and that the defendant maintained an interest in, participated in or invested in a criminal enterprise affecting interstate or foreign commerce.  There is ample evidence already in the public record that the Clinton Foundation qualifies as a criminal enterprise and there’s no doubt that the FBI is privy to significantly more evidence than has already been made public.

Under RICO, the sections most relevant in this case will be section 1503 (obstruction of justice), section 1510 (obstruction of criminal investigations) and section 1511 (obstruction of State or local law enforcement).  

As in the case with Richard Nixon after the Watergate Break-in, it’s the cover-up of a crime that will be the Clintons’ downfall.  Furthermore, under provisions of title 18, United States Code: Section 201, the Clinton Foundation can be held accountable for improprieties relating to bribery.  The FBI will be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that through the Clinton Foundation, international entities were able to commit bribery in exchange for help in securing business deals, such as the uranium-mining deal in Kazakhstan. (Frank Huguenard, Global Research, May 30, 2016),

Opposition to Hillary Clinton from within the Armed Forces

There is also evidence of resentment to Clinton from within the Armed Forces. The Joint Chiefs of Staff have expressed their opposition to the adoption of a « No Fly Zone » in Syria, which could lead to a war with Russia. Both the « No Fly Zone » as well as Hillary’s nuclear option « on the table » are the object of debate by America’s top brass. Referring to the use of nuclear weapons against Iran, Hillary said « we will obliterate them ».

What Happens if She is Elected? 

If elected president, Hillary’s criminal record would haunt her throughout her term in office, leading to the possibility of an impeachment. The presidency would become totally dysfunctional from the very outset, which her corporate sponsors including the defense contractors and Wall Street would prefer to avoid.

Inevitably Trump would launch one or more procedures pertaining to fraud at different stages of the election campaign, voting machines, etc. In the words of Donald Trump at a rally in New Hampshire:

« Hillary Clinton’s corruption is on a scale we’ve never seen before,…  We must not let her take her criminal scheme into the Oval Office. »

If Trump is elected president, there will also be attempts to unseat him, calling for his impeachment.

If both candidates are « dysfunctional ». Is there a Plan B?

National Emergency Measures, Martial Law? Continuity in Government (C.O.G.)

Unquestionably the entire US bipartisan political apparatus is in crisis including US foreign policy, marked by the breakdown of diplomacy, America’s military agenda and the unfolding confrontation with Russia.

While it is difficult to predict what might occur in the wake of the November 8 elections, the unfolding political impasse –coupled with rising geopolitical tensions in Syria, Iraq as well as Eastern Europe on Russia’s border– could potentially lead at some future date to the suspension of Constitutional government under the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) HR 1540, signed into law by president Obama on December 31, 2011. Most media have failed to analyze the far-reaching implications of this legislation.

The present impasse in the electoral process is a crisis of legitimacy characterized by the criminalization of the US State, its judicial and law enforcement apparatus. In turn, Washington is committed to a hegemonic US-NATO « war without borders » coupled with the formation of giant trading blocks under the TPP and TTIP proposals.  This neoliberal macro-economic agenda has since the early 1980s been conducive to the impoverishment of large sectors of the World population.

These developments coupled with a potential constitutional deadlock point in the direction of rising political and social tensions as well as mass protests throughout the US which could lead America at some future date into outright suppression of constitutional government and the imposition of « martial law ».

There are multiple  US « martial law » legislative procedures. The adoption of  the “National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), HR 1540) would be tantamount to a repeal of civil liberties, the surveillance state, the militarization of law enforcement, the repeal of the Posse Comitatus Act.

All the components of  Police State USA are currently in place. They go far beyond government snooping of emails and telephone conversations.  They also include:

  • Extrajudicial assassinations of  alleged terrorists including US citizens, in blatant violation of the Fifth amendment  “No person shall. .. be deprived of life. .. without due process of law.”
  • The indefinite detention of US citizens without trial, namely the repeal of Habeas Corpus.
  • The establishment of “Internment Camps” on US Military Bases under legislation adopted  in 2009 .

Under the National Emergency Centers Establishment Act (HR 645) the “Internment Camps” can be used to “meet other appropriate needs, as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security.”

The FEMA internment camps are part of the Continuity of Government (C.O.G), which would be put in place in the case of martial law.  The internment camps are intended to “protect the government” against its citizens, by locking up protesters as well as political activists who might challenge the legitimacy of the Administration’s national security, economic or military agenda.

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Comment voter Non aux armes nucléaires

novembre 1st, 2016 by Manlio Dinucci

« Merci, président Obama. L’Italie va continuer avec grande détermination son engagement pour la sécurité nucléaire » : c’est ce qu’écrivait le premier ministre Renzi dans un message tweeter historique. Six mois après, aux Nations Unies, Renzi a voté Oui aux armes nucléaires. Se mettant à la queue des USA, le gouvernement italien s’est rangé contre la Résolution, approuvée à grande majorité dans le premier comité de l’Assemblée générale, qui demande la convocation en 2017 d’une conférence des Nations Unies pour « négocier un outil légalement contraignant pour la prohibition des armes nucléaires, qui amène à leur élimination totale ».

Le gouvernement italien a ainsi mangé son chapeau sur ce qu’il avait promis à la Conférence de Vienne, il y a deux ans, aux mouvements antinucléaires « exigeants », en les assurant de sa volonté d’opérer pour le désarmement nucléaire en jouant un « rôle de médiation avec patience et diplomatie ». Ainsi tombe dans le vide l’appel « Exigeons le désarmement nucléaire total », dans lequel on demande au gouvernement « la poursuite cohérente de l’engagement et de la lutte pour la mise au ban des armes nucléaires », dans un parcours « humanitaire et juridique vers le désarmement nucléaire », dans lequel l’Italie pourrait jouer « un rôle plus qu’actif, possiblement de pointe».

Par conséquence tombent dans le vide aussi les motions parlementaires de la même teneur. Les appels génériques au désarmement nucléaire sont facilement instrumentalisables  : il suffit de penser que le président des USA, artisan d’un réarmement nucléaire de 1000 milliards de dollars, a été décoré du Prix Nobel de la Paix pour « sa vision d’un monde libéré des armes nucléaires ».

Le mode concret à travers lequel en Italie nous pouvons contribuer à l’objectif du désarmement nucléaire, énoncé dans la Résolution des Nations Unies, est celui de libérer notre pays des armes nucléaires étasuniennes. A cette fin il faut non pas en appeler au gouvernement, mais exiger qu’il respecte le Traité de non-prolifération (Tpn), signé et ratifié par l’Italie, qui à l’Article 2 stipule : « Chacun des Etats militairement non nucléaires, qui soit Partie au Traité, s’engage à ne pas recevoir de quiconque des armes nucléaires ou autres engins nucléaires explosifs, ni le contrôle sur de telles armes et engins explosifs, directement ou indirectement ». On doit exiger que l’Italie cesse de violer le Tnp et demande aux Etats-Unis de retirer immédiatement toutes leurs armes nucléaires de notre territoire et de ne pas y installer les nouvelles bombes B61-12, fer de lance de l’escalade nucléaire USA/Otan contre la Russie, ni d’autres armes nucléaires. Il faut exiger que des pilotes italiens ne soient plus entraînés à l’utilisation d’armes nucléaires sous commandement étasunien.

C’est l’objectif de la campagne lancée par le Comité No Guerra No Nato et d’autres sujets (pour la documentation écrire sur Google « Change Nato »). La campagne a obtenu un premier résultat important : le 26 octobre, au Conseil Régional de la Toscane, a été approuvée à la majorité une motion du groupe Sì Toscana a Sinistra (Oui Toscane à gauche) qui « engage la Junte à demander au Gouvernement de respecter le Traité de non-prolifération des armes nucléaires et faire que les Etat-Unis retirent immédiatement toute arme nucléaire du territoire italien et renoncent à y installer les nouvelles bombes B61-12 et autres armes nucléaires ». A travers ces initiatives et d’autres on peut créer un vaste front qui, avec une forte mobilisation, impose au gouvernement le respect du Traité de non-prolifération.

Il y a six mois nous demandions sur les pages du manifesto s’il y avait quelqu’un au Parlement disposé à exiger, sur la base du Tnp, le retrait immédiat de l’Italie des armes nucléaires étasuniennes. Nous sommes encore en attente de la réponse.

Manlio Dinucci

Edition de mardi 1er novembre 2016 de il manifesto

http://ilmanifesto.info/come-votare-no-alle-armi-nucleari/

expressions-quiles-terreur

Come votare No alle armi nucleariL’arte della guerra

Traduit de l’italien par Marie-Ange Patrizio

Illustration : « La terreur, même en équilibre, est encore de la terreur. » George Wald (prix Nobel de médecine, 1967). Source : Mouvement pour une alternative non-violente (MAN). 

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Since the release of FBI Director Comey’s Friday letter, the US presidential elections process has gone haywire, totally out of control. The entire bipartisan political apparatus is in crisis.

This article by distinguished film producer Frank Huguenard was first published by Global Research on May 30th 2016. We are reposting it (with the same title) in the light of recent developments following the controversy regarding the Second Letter to Congress of FBI director James Comey: 

« I FBI director [James Comey] am writing to inform you that the investigative team briefed me on this yesterday, and I agreed that the FBI should take appropriate investigative steps designed to allow investigators to review these emails to determine whether they contain classified information, as well as to assess their importance to our investigation. » 

Michel Chossudovsky,  Global Research, October 31, 2016 

*     *     *

The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) is a United States Federal Law passed in 1970 that was designed to provide a tool for law enforcement agencies to fight organized crime.  RICO allows prosecution and punishment for alleged racketeering activity that has been executed as part of an ongoing criminal enterprise. .

Activity considered to be racketeering may include bribery, counterfeiting, money laundering, embezzlement, illegal gambling, kidnapping, murder, drug trafficking, slavery, and a host of other nefarious business practices.

James Comey and The FBI will present a recommendation to Loretta Lynch, Attorney General of the Department of Justice, that includes a cogent argument that the Clinton Foundation is an ongoing criminal enterprise engaged in money laundering and soliciting bribes in exchange for political, policy and legislative favors to individuals, corporations and even governments both foreign and domestic.

                                                                                                   JAMES COMEY above

“The New York Times examined Bill Clinton’s relationship with a Canadian mining financier, Frank Giustra, who has donated millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation and sits on its board. Clinton, the story suggests, helped Giustra’s company secure a lucrative uranium-mining deal in Kazakhstan and in return received “a flow of cash” to the Clinton Foundation, including previously undisclosed donations from the company’s chairman totaling $2.35 million.” ( Bloomberg)

Initially, Comey had indicated that the investigation into Hillary’s home brewed email server was to be concluded by October of 2015.  However, as more and more evidence in the case has come to light, this initial date kept being pushed back as the criminal investigation has expanded well beyond violating State Department regulations to include questions about espionage, perjury and influence peddling.

Here’s what we do know.   Tens of millions of dollars donated to the Clinton Foundation was funneled to the organization through a Canadian shell company which has made tracing the donors nearly impossible.  Less than 10% of donations to the Foundation has actually been released to charitable organizations and $2M that has been traced back to long time Bill Clinton friend Julie McMahon (aka The Energizer).   When the official investigation into Hillary’s email server began, she instructed her IT professional to delete over 30,000 emails and cloud backups of her emails older than 30 days at both Platte River Networks and  Datto, Inc.  The FBI has subsequently recovered the majority, if not all, of Hillary’s deleted emails and are putting together a strong case against her for attempting to cover up her illegal and illicit activities.

A conviction under RICO comes when the Department of Justice proves that the defendant has engaged in two or more examples of racketeering and that the defendant maintained an interest in, participated in or invested in a criminal enterprise affecting interstate or foreign commerce.  There is ample evidence already in the public record that the Clinton Foundation qualifies as a criminal enterprise and there’s no doubt that the FBI is privy to significantly more evidence than has already been made public.

Under RICO, the sections most relevant in this case will be section 1503 (obstruction of justice), section 1510 (obstruction of criminal investigations) and section 1511 (obstruction of State or local law enforcement).  As in the case with Richard Nixon after the Watergate Break-in, it’s the cover-up of a crime that will be the Clintons’ downfall.  Furthermore, under provisions of title 18, United States Code: Section 201, the Clinton Foundation can be held accountable for improprieties relating to bribery.  The FBI will be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that through the Clinton Foundation, international entities were able to commit bribery in exchange for help in securing business deals, such as the uranium-mining deal in Kazakhstan.

It is a Federal Crime to negligently handle classified information under United States Code (USC) 18 section 1924.  It is a Federal Class A Felony under USC 18 section 798.  Hillary certified under oath to a federal judge that she had handed over to the state department all of her emails, which she clearly did not.  In spite of her repeated statements to the effect that everything that she did with her home brewed email server as Secretary of State was above-board and approved by the State Department,  the Inspector General Report vehemently refutes this claim.  Hillary refused to be interview by the Inspector General’s office in their investigation, claiming that her upcoming FBI interview took precedent but it seems more likely that Hillary is more concerned about committing perjury or admitting to anything that can be used against her in a court of law.

“Secretary Clinton should have preserved any Federal records she created and received on her personal account by printing and filing those records with the related files in the Office of the Secretary.  At a minimum, Secretary Clinton should have surrendered all emails dealing with Department business before leaving government service and, because she did not do so, she did not comply with the Department’s policies that were implemented in accordance with the Federal Records Act.” Inspector General Report

Hillary Clinton is guilty of exposing classified documents to foreign governments by placing them illegally on her server, of sending and receiving classified documents and conspiring with her staff to circumvent the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by avoiding the use of the State Department run servers.  Some of the documents were so highly classified the the investigators on the case weren’t even able to examine the material themselves until they got their own clearances raised to the highest levels.

While there is an excellent cast to be made the Hillary committed treasonous actions, the strongest case the FBI has is charging both Bill and Hillary Clinton as well as the Clinton Foundation of Racketeering.  There’s no wonder why it’s taken this long for the FBI to bring forward a recommendation.

The rabbit hole is so deep on this one that it has taking dozens of investigators to determine the full extent of the crimes that have been committed.   Perhaps the most interesting question here is whether or not the FBI’s investigation will be able to directly link The Clinton Foundation with The Hillary Victory Fund.  If this happens, the DNC itself may be in jeopardy of accusations of either being an accomplice or of being complicit in racketeering.

The article was initially published and then almost immediately removed by  The Huffington Post.

The author of the article is a distinguished  film producer Frank Huguenard

The Huffington Post link leads to an error message. The text below is the original post, which appears  on Frank Huguenard’s Facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=frank%20huguenard
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Had Comey recommended Hillary be held criminally responsible for mishandling classified State Department documents last July, along with perjury for lying to the FBI and Congress, a firestorm of criticism wouldn’t have followed his Friday announcement.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D. NV) accused him of “tarring Secretary Clinton with thin innuendo,” saying his action “appears to be a clear intent to aid one political party over another” – claiming he “may have broken the law,” citing the 1939 Hatch Act (An Act to Prevent Pernicious Political Activities).

It prohibits federal executive branch employees from engaging in certain forms of political activity – exempting the president, vice president and designated high-level administration officials. Proof of intent is required to hold someone culpable under the law.

According to the Wall Street Journal, within the FBI, there was “sharp internal disagreement over matters related to the Clintons, and how to handle those matters fairly and carefully in the middle of a national election campaign.”

In a prominently featured NYT op-ed, Law Professor Richard Painter said “(w)e cannot allow FBI or Justice Department officials to unnecessarily publicize pending investigations concerning candidates of either party while an election is underway. That is an abuse of power.”

Not according to former federal prosecutor Daniel Richman, saying “Comey’s critics cannot show his letter violated the Hatch Act unless they can prove that the FBI director was intending to influence the election rather than inform Congress, which was (his) stated aim.”

A Sunday released ABC News/Washington Post poll indicated about a third of likely voters are less likely to support Hillary following Comey’s October surprise.

The Washington Post said the Justice Department’s public integrity unit blocked the FBI from investigating the Clinton Foundation, claiming inadequate “evidence to move forward.”

The department is run by longtime Bill and Hillary ally, Attorney General Loretta Lynch. Last June, she met privately with the former president at Phoenix’s Sky Harbor airport while Hillary was under FBI investigation – a clear conflict of interest despite her disingenuously claiming “no discussion of any matter pending for the department or any matter pending for any other body” took place.

In a Washington Post op-ed, former attorney general Eric Holder expressed concern about Comey’s “vague letter to Congress about emails potentially connected to a matter of public, and political, interest” – claiming he “violated long-standing Justice Department policies and tradition.”

Holder disgraced the office he held. Law Professor Francis Boyle called him “a total disaster for the United States Constitution, the Bill of Rights, Human Rights and the Rule of Law.”

Speaking in Florida on Sunday, Hillary changed the subject, saying “there’s a lot of noise and distraction, but it really comes down to what kind of future we want, and what kind of president can help us get there. We won’t be distracted no matter what our opponents throw at us.”

Clearly, Comey’s bombshell changed the dynamic of the race, whether enough to derail her White House bid we’ll know in days.

Reports indicate the FBI will examine an astonishing 650,000 emails from former Congressman Anthony Weiner’s laptop – estranged husband of top Hillary aide Huma Abedin.

It could take months to review volume this immense, likely extending well beyond November 8 and January’s inauguration, to determine if any evidence warrants prosecuting Hillary, Abedin, Weiner or anyone else for mishandling classified government documents, perhaps compromising national security.

Having absolved Hillary in July, despite plenty of indictable evidence, it’s hard imagining a change of FBI policy now.

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

His new book as editor and contributor is titled « Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III. »

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

 Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.  

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

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Despite the fact that the Belgian Ministry of Defence has received documents from Moscow confirming the participation of Royal Air Force fighter aircraft in the bombings of the Syrian village of Hassadjek near Aleppo, Brussels continues denying its involvement in the air strike, claiming that Russia has fabricated the data.

The documents from the Russian Defence Ministry contain even the numbers of the aircraft that took part in the attack. In addition, the documents describe their itinerary minute by minute. However, the head of the Belgian Defence Ministry demanded Moscow should refuse from unfounded accusations.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry presented the evidence proving the involvement of the Belgian Air Force in the bombings to Belgian Ambassador to Moscow, Alex van Meuwen. Belgium’s persistent denial of the fact of the air raid near Aleppo is puzzling, Russia’s First Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Titov told the Belgian ambassador.

Pravda.Ru asked an expert opinion from Deputy Director of the Institute for CIS countries, Vladimir Yevseyev.

« In fact, Brussels lies accusing Russia of lies. How should Russia react to this? » 

« I think that Russia should react calmly. We are in a state of information war, when each side will try in every way to deny their involvement in various types of events and blame the other side instead. When the Malaysian Boeing was shot down over Ukraine, the United States did not even look into the problem, but blamed Russia immediately, without any investigation.

« In the situation around the bombing of Hassadjek, Russia presented real facts. We are very much concerned about the actions of the US-led coalition in Syria. For example, there are facts of the killings of civilians in air raids in the province of Deir ez-Zor.

« Belgium is being so nervous because the Royal Air Force in Syria does not implement its own interests – it serves the interests of the United States, thus indicating the absolute political weakness of European countries.

« When the United States announces its intention to achieve stabilisation in certain countries, I do not see confirmation to these words. It is clear that the United States is simply unable to resolve any armed conflict. As a result, the Americans conduct subversive activities against disloyal countries. It is impossible to regulate any crisis under such circumstances.

« Russia offers to act on both military and peaceful tracks. A significant part of militants have moved to Idlib, and this also indicates Russia’s success in the struggle against terrorists in Syria.

« Proceeding from all this, I think it makes no sense to take statements from Brussels seriously. They distort information in a striking way during the investigation of such a terrible disaster as the crash of the Malaysian Boeing over Ukraine. It appears that the purpose of their investigation is to make Russia responsible without investigating the details of the tragedy. The reaction from the Belgian Ministry of Defense is predictable, as Europe is walking in the footsteps of the US foreign policy. »

« Do you think that they will get away with it? »

« This is a typical position of the Americans – they are always sure that they never make mistakes, and they can always get away with it. They believe that since they control the world’s media, it makes them immune to everything. They can, for example, strike Syrian troops, like near Deir ez-Zor, or let Afghan Talibs escape. The USA believes that they have a right to attack civilians of Mosul.

« I think that the US will continue doing this, especially if Hillary Clinton takes office as president. Just remember how happy she was to find out about the death of Muammar Gaddafi. This is an episode of her psychic anomaly. I do not understand how this woman can become president. »

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Selected Articles: Will Hillary Make it to the White House?

octobre 31st, 2016 by Global Research News

Hillary e-mail

The Real Reasons Why FBI Director James Comey Reopened the Hillary Email Investigation

By Joachim Hagopian, October 30 2016

This year’s unending batches of Wiki-leaked DNC/Hillary emails and Project Veritas undercover campaign videos confirm that the entire US political as well as economic system is morally and financially bankrupt, irreparably broken and in need of complete overhaul. Voter fraud and election fraud are rampant. Soros funded electronic voting machines that are preprogrammed to vote for Hillary are operating in 16 key battleground states. America’s internal house now is in total disarray, badly in need of a deep cleaning purge like never before.

FBI clinton

Will She Make it to the White House? Waning Mainstream Media Support for Hillary Clinton.

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky, October 31 2016

What has been the response of the mainstream media which sofar has endorsed Hillary through a process of coverup of her criminal undertakings? Without mainstream media propaganda, Hillary’s political legitimacy would collapse like a deck of cards. The Second Letter by FBI Director James Comey opens up a “Pandora’s Box” of  fraud and corruption. Moreover, following the October Surprise release by FBI Director James Comey, the media narrative seems to have taken on a different slant.

hillary-clinton

Will FBI Director Comey’s October Surprise Derail Hillary’s White House Bid?

By Stephen Lendman, October 30 2016

Having closed his earlier investigation into Hillary’s use of her private email server for classified State Department documents without bringing charges, dismissing indictable evidence, it’s hard imagining a shift of agency policy now. So what’s going on? Is FBI Director Comey trying to save face, even at this late stage, having tarnished the reputation of the agency and himself. The fullness of time will show what he has in mind.

clinton

Dirty Election Tactics and the October Surprise

By Adeyinka Makinde, October 31 2016

The American presidential selection process with its debates and dirty election tactics including the ‘October Surprise’ enthralls an electorate that is severely divided by its ideological and identitarian positions and which continues to invest its hopes in the supposedly transformative powers invested in the office of president. But they are being ruthlessly played by a system in which ‘change’ is an illusion and will remain elusive if the system is not subject to root and branch reform.

clinton H

The FBI Intervenes: James Comey and Hillary Clinton’s Emails

By Dr. Binoy Kampmark, October 31 2016

On Friday, Director James B. Comey sent a letter to the US Congress noting that he was wishing, due to “recent developments” to “supplement” previous testimony on the previous and closed investigation into Clinton’s use of a private server. “In connection with an unrelated case, the FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation.”

Hillary-Clinton-6-septembre-2016

650,000 Emails Found On Anthony Weiner’s Laptop; DOJ Blocked Clinton Foundation Probe

By Tyler Durden, October 31 2016

Yesterday, we reported that the FBI has found “tens of thousands of emails” belonging to Huma Adein on Anthony Weiner’s computer, raising questions how practical it is that any conclusive finding will be available or made by the FBI in the few days left before the elections. Now, according to the WSJ, it appears that Federal agents are preparing to scour roughly 650,000 emails that, as we reported moments ago were discovered weeks ago on the laptop of Anthony Weiner.

FBI clinton

Constitutional Law Expert: FBI Director Comey Did NOT Violate Law By Announcing Email Investigation

By Washington’s Blog, October 31 2016

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid alleges that FBI Director Comey has violated the law by announcing the re-opened investigation into Clinton emails so close to the presidential election. Is he right?

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Video: Hillary Clinton, A Threat to All Humanity. World War III is “On the Table”. Her Candidacy Must be Opposed

By James Corbett, October 31 2016

The world looks on in horror as Hillary Clinton heads to Philadelphia to be nominated as the Democratic Party’s candidate for the presidency. Yet the leading lights of the “progressive” movement argue that it is the left’s duty to vote for this neocon warmonger. But the consequences may well lead directly to nuclear war.

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Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid alleges that FBI Director Comey has violated the law by announcing the re-opened investigation into Clinton emails so close to the presidential election.

Is he right?

According to one of the top constitutional law experts in the United States (and a liberal), Professor Jonathan Turley, the answer is no:

[Reid’s] allegation is in my view wildly misplaced. Reid is arguing that the actions of FBI Director James B. Comey violates the Hatch Act. I cannot see a plausible, let alone compelling, basis for such a charge against Comey.

In his letter to Comey, Reid raised the the Hatch Act, which prohibits partisan politicking by government employees.

5 U.S.C. § 7323(a)(1) prohibits a government employee from “us[ing] his official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election.”

Reid argued:

“Your actions in recent months have demonstrated a disturbing double standard for the treatment of sensitive information, with what appears to be a clear intent to aid one political party over another. I am writing to inform you that my office has determined that these actions may violate the Hatch Act, which bars FBI officials from using their official authority to influence an election. Through your partisan actions, you may have broken the law.”

The reference to “months” is curious. Comey has kept Congress informed in compliance with oversight functions of the congressional committees but has been circumspect in the extent of such disclosures. It is troubling to see Democrats (who historically favor both transparency and checks on executive powers) argue against such disclosure and cooperation with oversight committees. More importantly, the Hatch Act is simply a dog that will not hunt.

Richard W. Painter, a law professor at the University of Minnesota and the chief ethics lawyer in the George W. Bush White House from 2005 to 2007, has filed a Hatch Act complaint against Comey with the federal Office of Special Counsel and Office of Government Ethics. He argues that “We cannot allow F.B.I. or Justice Department officials to unnecessarily publicize pending investigations concerning candidates of either party while an election is underway.”

However, Comey was between the horns of a dilemma. He could be accused of acts of commission in making the disclosure or omission in withholding the disclosure in an election year. Quite frankly, I found Painter’s justification for his filing remarkably speculative. He admits that he has no evidence to suggest that Comey wants to influence the election or favors either candidate. Intent is key under the Hatch investigations.  You can disagree with the timing of Comey’s disclosure, but that is not a matter for the Hatch Act or even an ethical charge in my view.

Congress passed the Hatch Act in response to scandals during the 1938 congressional elections and intended the Act to bar federal employees from using “[their] official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election.” Comey is not doing that in communicating with Congress on a matter of oversight.

Such violations under the Hatch Act, even if proven, are not criminal matters. The Office of Special Counsel -can investigate such matters and seek discipline — a matter than can ultimately go before the Merit Systems Protection Board.

CNN confirms:

violators aren’t going to jail: the Hatch Act is not a criminal statute. Instead, it is an administrative constraint on government employees. The law is enforced by a special independent federal agency — the Office of Special Counsel — which is charged with investigating complaint allegations and, where found to be meritorious, either pursuing a settlement with the offending employee or prosecuting their case before the federal agency that oversees internal employment disputes — the Merit Systems Protection Board. And for presidential appointees like Comey, the Office of Special Counsel submits a report of its findings along with the employee’s response to the President, who makes a decision on whether discipline is warranted.

***

The Hatch Act provision most commonly invoked in discussions of Comey’s letter is 5 U.S.C. § 7323(a)(1), which prohibits a government employee from “us[ing] his official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election.”
The key text is the emphasized phrase — which conditions a violation of the statute on whether the employee’s purpose was to interfere with or affect the result of an election. Thus, the Hatch Act does not focus on the effect of the employee’s conduct, but the intent. To that end, if Comey did not intend to interfere with or affect the upcoming election through his letter to Congress, then he did not violate the letter of the Hatch Act.
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Patronat et dictature en Argentine, une histoire d’amour

octobre 31st, 2016 by Alejandro Jasinski

Ce titre est provocateur, mais nous pouvons l’élucider: nous faisons référence aux responsabilités des entreprises dans les crimes de lèse humanité commis durant les années du terrorisme d’État en Argentine. Un rapport récent établi après une enquête sérieuse fait le point sur 25 cas et laisse apparaître la méthode utilisée par un groupe de chefs d’entreprises pour peaufiner une stratégie de rentabilité maximum.  Celle-ci se concrétisa par une répression à l’encontre des travailleurs, illégale et sous la responsabilité de l’État. La polémique en question s’inscrit dans un débat plus large et tout à fait actuel sur le rapport entre les entreprises et les droits de l’Homme, débat qui se fait entendre jusqu’au sein des Nations Unies . Qui sont les patrons, comment et pourquoi ont-ils été impliqués dans ces crimes contre l’Humanité ? Ford, Fiat, Mercedes Benz… entre autres multinationales.

En mars 2016, dans le cadre des commémorations marquant le quarantième anniversaire du début de la dernière dictature militaire en Argentine (1976-1983), fut rendue publique une sentence du Tribunal qui, pour la première fois dans l’histoire de ce pays, établissait la responsabilité d’une entreprise pour des crimes de lèse humanité commis contre des travailleurs. Marcos Levín, ex patron de l’importante entreprise de transports La Veloz del Norte dont le siège social se situe dans la province de Salta, a été condamné à douze ans de détention pour avoir participé à l’enlèvement et à la torture d’un de ses salariés, délégué syndical dans son entreprise.

L’opportunité de cette sentence ne pouvait pas être plus favorable, du fait de la date dont on célébrait l’anniversaire et du fait des changements politiques qui marquaient la fin d’une époque, surtout en matière des droits de l’Homme. D’autres procès et enquêtes judiciaires attendent leur tour : Ford, Mercedes Benz, Techint, Fiat sont quelques-unes des entreprises dont la responsabilité dans des crimes de lèse humanité est l’objet d’une plainte suffisamment instruite désormais, même s’il est vrai que leur acheminement jusque devant un juge semble semé de bien trop d’obstacles dans le labyrinthe judiciaire.

Ce rapport étudie, dans leur ensemble et comparativement, 25 cas de répression patronale durant la période du terrorisme d’État. Sa remise au Procureur des Crimes contre l’Humanité du Ministère Public argentin se propose d’œuvrer à ce que les procès à venir, ouverts pour graves violations des droits de l’Homme dans le pays, intègrent — notion désormais largement acceptée dans le champ de la mémoire collective— la coresponsabilité des groupes de pouvoir de la société civile agissant de concert avec les forces de répression de l’État dans les événements de l’époque en question.

Rapport sur les crimes commis par les entreprises 

Le rapport ci-dessus a été clôturé et déposé en décembre 2015, après presque trois années de dur labeur de la part de 4 institutions argentines, deux civiles et deux publiques : le Centre d’Études Législatives et Sociales (CELS), le Département d’Économie et de Technologie de la Faculté Latino-américaine des Sciences Sociales (FLASCO), le Secrétariat aux Droits de l’Homme de la Nation et le Programme Vérité et Justice qui dépend du Ministère de la Justice et des Droits de l’Homme. Elles ont réuni une vingtaine de chercheurs (historiens, anthropologues, sociologues, avocats) pour régler un compte encore en attente dans l’histoire du terrorisme d’État : l’étude de la participation du patronat dans la répression à l’encontre des travailleurs.

C’est un but différent de celui qui vise à enquêter sur le rôle de certains patrons dans la manipulation de secteurs-clés de l’État en rapport avec l’économie, leurs délits économiques ou leur propre violence et répression à l’encontre d’autres patrons. C’est pourquoi, et il faut le préciser d’emblée : nous n’affirmons pas que « tous les patrons » ont pris part à la répression. S’il est vrai que tout le secteur dont font partie les personnes soumises à l’enquête en question tira profit de la répression en général, parler de responsabilité dans les crimes de lèse humanité et d’une stratégie particulière fondée sur la violence dictatoriale se réfère aux personnes ou aux entreprises spécifiquement mises en examen. C’est pourquoi il ne faut pas oublier le conflit qui exista au sein même de la classe patronale car le modèle économique mis en application absorba de nombreux petits capitaux durant cette période et plus d’une centaine de patrons furent enlevés et torturés pour permettre à d’autres de faire main basse sur leurs entreprises.  La dictature parlait alors de « patrons subversifs ».

Dans la présente étude, nous demandons qui, comment, pourquoi divers patrons ont pris part à cette répression exercée par le Terrorisme d’État. Ces questions ne sont pas nouvelles. Dès le tout début de la transition démocratique, à partir de 1984, de très nombreux témoignages avaient déjà signalé la responsabilité du patronat devant les commissions d’enquête (comme la CONADEP) et des tribunaux (certains sous juridiction militaire) y compris au cours du Procès des Juntes de 1985. En effet, des recherches universitaires et des enquêtes journalistiques avaient fait avancer le dossier. Diverses instances judiciaires encore, au cours des années 90, braquèrent le projecteur sur cette affaire et plus particulièrement le rapport remis, en 1998, au juge Baltasar Garçón, en Espagne,  par la Centrale des Travailleurs d’Argentine (CRA). La réouverture des procès pour lèse humanité au cours de la première décennie du XXIº siècle (après annulation des lois d’impunité promulguées durant les années 90) a permis de commencer à systématiser, en fonction du cas instruit, l’information déjà existante et à réunir de nouvelles informations.

Sur cette base, nous avons retenu 25 entreprises sur un total de plus de deux cents entreprises où il y avait eu des salariés victimes de répression et nous avons commencé à rechercher des documents  dans diverses archives en même temps que nous procédions à des entretiens avec des ex salariés victimes ou des parents de ces victimes. Parmi les entreprises retenues, certaines sont argentines, d’autres sont étrangères ; elles sont implantées en des lieux différents et leurs domaines d’activité sont divers (industrie automobile, construction navale, sidérurgie, céramique, industrie du sucre, industrie du maté, industrie de l’édition, cimenterie, textile, chaussures, frigorifique, services de transports, parmi d’autres). Toutes sont significatives en raison de leur importance économique  et/ou politique. L’une d’elles, les chantiers navals Río Santiago, était une entreprise publique propriété de la Marine. Parmi les autres entreprises nous trouvons : Ford Motor Argentine, Mercedes Benz, FIAT, Sucrerie Ledesma, sucrerie Fronterita y Concepción, les Forges Dálmine-Siderca et Propulsora Siderúrgica, Swift, Acindar, Grafa Grafanor et les Moulins Río de la Plata, les chantiers navals Mestrina y Astarsa, les Céramiques Cattáneo y Lozadur, la Pétrochimique  Sudamaricana, les Mines Aguklar, les transports La Veloz del Norte, Loma Negra, Las Marías, l’industrie de la chaussure Alpartagas et le multimedia La nueva Provincia.

Cette étude a été publiée en deux tomes de plus de mille pages (disponible sur  empresasydelitosdelesa.blogspot.com.ar). Elle met en lumière le fait que, dans les cas abordés par ce rapport, la suprématie militaire dans le champ de la répression allait de pair avec une active et décisive collaboration de divers cadres des entreprises elles-mêmes. L’existence d’un modèle de ce que nous appelons pratiques patronales répressives permet de conclure à la mise au point d’une stratégie visant une maximisation des profits et basée sur un terrorisme d’État pour assujettir et mobiliser militairement la force de travail. En ce qui concerne ces 25 entreprises, on dénombre 869 victimes: 354 personnes portées disparues, 65 assassinats et plus de 450 survivants.

Le modèle commun qui se dégage met en évidences des pratiques allant de diverses formes de militarisation des lieux de travail jusqu’à l’approvisionnement en fournitures essentielles pour rendre possible, plus aisée ou plus sévère la répression. Nous avons trouvé les patrons, les cadres supérieurs, moyens et subalternes, les actionnaires et propriétaires et jusqu’aux contremaîtres, en passant par des chefs des services du Personnel et de la Sécurité responsables de cette initiative répressive. Et, entre autres pratiques : des enlèvements opérés à l’intérieur des locaux industriels, des liens entre l’enlèvement et le renvoi, la supervision de la production exercée par des militaires, l’existence de dossiers sur les travailleurs visés avec photos, des militaires occupant des postes-clés au sein des entreprises, l’infiltration d’agents. La pratique la plus violente fut la création de centres clandestins de répression à l’intérieur-même des locaux de l’entreprise, comme dans le cas des entreprises La Fronteriza, Acindar ou Ford, par exemple. La majorité des victimes avaient une activité militante syndicale ou politique, mais pas nécessairement révolutionnaire ni en lien avec la lutte armée. Dans de nombreux cas, des travailleurs victimes d’enlèvement n’avaient aucun antécédent en tant que militants. C’est l’effet de peur recherché qui fut le plus efficacement obtenu car, même s’il y eut des niveaux de gravité différents, on ne faisait pas la distinction dans la répression.

Quelques exemples illustrent le propos. Marcos Levín, patron de La Veloz del Norte, employait un sous-commissaire de police avec lequel il mit au point une plainte pour escroquerie contre des chauffeurs et des hôtesses de son entreprise, ce qui lui permit de les arrêter et de les conduire au commissariat. Là, ils furent torturés et obligés de signer des aveux alors que Levín était présent sur les lieux-mêmes de ce centre de détention clandestin. Ce patron utilisa même des bus de sa propre entreprise pour transporter ses salariés mis en détention. Dans un autre dossier, José María Menéndez, colonel de Cavalerie en retraite, fut nommé en septembre 1976 directeur général de Grafa y de Grafanor, du groupe Bunge & Born. Quelques jours plus tard, 8 travailleurs de cette entreprise furent enlevés. Parmi ces victimes, la seule qui fut enlevée à la porte de l’entreprise n’avait pas remis quelques mois auparavant le formulaire exigé par l’entreprise et faisant mention de l’itinéraire exact parcouru par le salarié depuis son domicile jusqu’à l’entreprise. Toutes les autres victimes furent enlevées à leur domicile-même ou bien en sortant de chez elles. Aux Chantiers Navals Río Santiago, le jour-même du Coup d’État, fut mis en place un piquet militaire à l’entrée du chantier naval. Durant des semaines, les travailleurs durent se mettre en rangs pour être identifiés à l’embauche. Les retards causés par ces contrôles pouvaient atteindre plusieurs heures. Les travailleurs dont le nom figurait sur une liste particulière étaient mis à l’écart et arrêtés.

Nous avons cerné une vingtaine de pratiques différentes dans chacune des entreprises étudiées et dans de nombreux cas ces pratiques se répètent. Les exemples que nous pouvons citer et que nous retrouvons dans notre enquête sont innombrables. Il convient de signaler une des pratiques les plus fréquentes et qui prouve l’intérêt sordide de l’entreprise : le lien entre l’enlèvement et le renvoi. Ford a été une des entreprises qui a le plus ouvertement eu recours à la répression : il y avait un détachement militaire au sein de l’entreprise et le local réservé au repos des salariés a servi de bivouac militaire pour séquestrer et torturer des délégués syndicaux. Les cadres menaçaient les salariés de faire appel à l’Armée, prétendant connaître avec précision la situation des personnes enlevées.  Des Officiers de l’Armée ont reconnu devant des parents  de victimes que c’était bien l’entreprise qui désignait qui il fallait arrêter. Peu de temps après le Coup, des cadres de l’entreprise ont expliqué à des agents des services du renseignement militaire qu’ils avaient « un besoin urgent de mesures » pour « se passer des personnes qui (…) s’avèreraient préjudiciables pour l’entreprise ou susceptibles de nuire au déroulement normal du travail ». L’agent traduisait : « Faites confiance à la direction de l’entreprise pour qu’elle procède aux mises à pied qu’elle jugera nécessaires ». En moins de dix jours, une dizaine de délégués syndicaux furent enlevés. Ces salariés reçurent un télégramme de la Direction leur signifiant leur renvoi et, lorsque les parents répondirent que ces salariés avaient été enlevés, ils reçurent un second télégramme de l’entreprise leur intimant l’ordre impératif de se présenter sur leur lieu de travail.

Une lecture historique de la responsabilité du patronat

L’Argentine a une longue histoire de répressions contre les travailleurs, légales ou illégales, sous des gouvernements démocratiques ou dictatoriaux, et cette histoire compte — même sous un régime démocratique — de barbares massacres d’ouvriers, comme par exemple ceux des années 1919-1921 en Patagonie ou en La Forestal. Dans tous ces cas-là, des groupes de patrons furent notoirement responsables. Lors des périodes répressives de plus grande intensité, la situation conflictuelle dans le monde ouvrier provoquait des affrontements sociaux plus amples qui, au niveau économique, traduisaient de profondes transformations des processus de production et des modèles d’accumulation du capital.   Au niveau politique et idéologique, elle se traduisait par des phases de lutte intense entre forces sociales antagonistes. Les ouvriers, victimes de la répression entre les années 1919 et 1921, furent accusés par les patrons de vouloir mettre en place des « soviets » dans les usines et les champs. Les ouvriers, victimes de la répression des années 1970, furent accusés de « subversion », d’être des « guerrilleros », des « terroristes ». Durant les années soixante et soixante-dix au XXº siècle, les conflits dans le monde du travail étaient traversés par les processus mondiaux de la décolonisation et des luttes révolutionnaires qui suivirent, entre autres, l’exemple de la révolution cubaine.

En 1969,  les révoltes sociales dans les villes de Córdoba et de Rosario mirent en lumière, pour les entreprises, le danger que constituait le développement du militantisme et de l’organisation syndicale dans les entreprises en lien ou non avec les organisations révolutionnaires et armées. Les termes « absentéisme », « insubordination », « improductivité » structurèrent le discours des milieux patronaux qui s’appuyait sur leur horreur des mouvements de grève, des occupations d’usines et même des essais d’autogestion et de contrôle ouvrier sur la production. Le coût du travail et la perte d’autorité et de discipline patronale furent les signes annonciateurs de la crise du système. La répression la plus impitoyable ne se fit pas attendre.

De nombreuses lois répressives furent promulguées à partir des années 1974, avant le Coup d’État. Lorsque celui-ci survient, la capacité politique et militaire des organisations révolutionnaires était fortement entamée. Mais les mobilisations ouvrières de juin et juillet 1975 et de février et mars 1976 montrèrent que la « guerrilla des usines » — comme l’appelait la classe dominante — constituait encore un obstacle pour l’accumulation du capital. Le Coup du 24 mars 1976 marqua la fin d’une période historique.

Dès lors, et jusqu’en 1979, ce fut une période de répression sans précédents tant en termes qualitatifs que quantitatifs à l’encontre de la classe ouvrière et du mouvement syndical : des milliers de travailleurs, de dirigeants et de militants syndicaux furent assassinés ou arrêtés, disparurent, furent exilés, en même temps qu’avaient lieu diverses formes de violence sur les lieux de travail, que furent interdits les rassemblements et les réunions et que furent perfectionnées les équipes de filature, surveillance et contrôle avec les conséquences que cela entraînait pour les droits des travailleurs  et les rythmes de production. La modification du droit du travail, une batterie de lois répressives sur l’organisation et l’action syndicale et les transformations économiques qui modifièrent les bases  structurelles du pouvoir ouvrier complétèrent et constituèrent le monumental dispositif répressif.

Cette transformation n‘impliquait pas l’élimination de toute forme de syndicalisme, mais, en principe, de ce que le gouvernement de la dictature considéra comme des « excès » de pouvoir. Les objectifs généraux étaient de garantir le libre déroulement des activités industrielles et productives et « d’obtenir un fonctionnement efficient de l’appareil productif du pays ». Pour les patrons, il s’agissait d’éliminer le pouvoir ouvrier dans l’entreprise, de récupérer l’autorité sur les processus de production et de réduire les coûts. En dépit de leurs différences, la combinaison de l’action de l’Armée avec celle du patronat fut mortelle : les « forces amies » (comme les documents émanant des Forces Armées désignaient les patrons faisant corps avec la dictature — et ils ont également donné ce nom à certains dirigeants syndicaux) atteignirent immédiatement leurs objectifs.  C’est sur ce point que je reprends le concept de « stratégie de rentabilité » que proposent Robert Boyer et Michel Freyssenet dans Modèles productifs pour qualifier la voie empruntée par une entreprise et combiner différentes sources de profit. Davantage envisagée sous l’angle de stratégie d’affaires, la dernière des six stratégies qu’ils définissent est la « stratégie de réduction permanente des coûts pour maintenir une marge suffisante en toute circonstance ». La flexibilité conceptuelle peut être opportune.

Parler de stratégie patronale et de responsabilité du patronat dans les crimes de lèse humanité pose le problème dans une tout autre perspective. D’une part, le projecteur n’est pas exclusivement braqué sur la lutte entre les organisations révolutionnaires et l’Armée mais sur la formation de forces sociales organisées dans une large mesure par cet affrontement fondamental qui oppose le capital et le travail. En ce qui concerne strictement le rôle des patrons dans la répression contre les travailleurs on refuse d’attribuer à ces derniers un rôle secondaire ou subsidiaire (ce qu’implique le concept de complicité) : leur implication fut décisive. Répondre à la question « pourquoi ont-ils participé à ces massacres » peut s’avérer très complexe. À un certain niveau, on peut prendre en compte leurs motivations bassement intéressées. À un autre niveau, il faut souligner le fait que leur compromission rendit possible le fait que la répression atteignît un degré très élevé et détruisît jusqu’à la moelle le pouvoir ouvrier : corps de délégués syndicaux, commissions internes et militants des entreprises. Peu après le Coup, bien loin d’être horrifié par la bestiale répression qui se déroulait dans leurs usines, ce groupe de patrons s’adressait au Général Horacio Liendo, alors à la tête du Ministère du Travail, pour le féliciter de sa nomination, lui souhaiter plein succès et lui offrir leur « franche collaboration ». Ils se sentaient « honorés » d’établir « un lien permanent fondé sur un idéal patriotique commun. »

Alejandro Jasinski

Alejandro Jasinski : Historien et journaliste

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  • Commentaires fermés sur Patronat et dictature en Argentine, une histoire d’amour

L’année 2016 est la plus mortelle pour les réfugiés en détresse qui traversent la Méditerranée vers l’Europe pour échapper aux guerres au Moyen-Orient et en Afrique.

«Nous pouvons confirmer qu’au moins 3800 personnes sont décédées, ce qui fait de 2016 l’année avec le plus haut taux de mortalité», a déclaré William Spindler, un porte-parole du Haut-commissariat des Nations unies pour les réfugiés (HCR) mercredi. Le nombre record précédent de victimes, 3771, a été enregistré en 2015. Les décès augmentent considérablement malgré un déclin important dans le nombre de réfugiés qui fuient par la mer Méditerranée, de 1,01 million l’année dernière à 327.800 d’après les dernières données.

«Pour une mort par 269 arrivées l’année dernière, en 2016 la probabilité de mourir a augmenté à 1 pour 88», a déclaré Spindler lors d’une conférence de presse à Genève mardi dernier.

«Sur le trajet central méditerranéen entre la Libye et l’Italie, les chances de mourir sont encore plus élevées, soit une mort pour 47 arrivées», a dit Spindler. «C’est le pire que nous ayons vu jusqu’à présent», a-t-il ajouté.

L’Union européenne (UE) est la principale responsable politique de ces morts. Après son appui virulent pour la guerre au Moyen-Orient et en Afrique du Nord, notamment lors de la guerre de l’OTAN en Libye en 2011, elle a ensuite fermé ses frontières face à des centaines de milliers de personnes fuyant les conséquences catastrophiques de ces guerres.

L’UE a détruit des navires en état partiel de naviguer sous prétexte cynique que ceci avancerait la «lutte contre les trafiquants» et a engagé des mercenaires pour repousser les réfugiés, les mettant encore plus en danger et les forçant à trouver des trajets de moins en moins sûrs dans des embarcations inadéquates.

«Les trafiquants d’êtres humains utilisent aujourd’hui des navires de moindre qualité, de piètres pneumatiques qui souvent ne réussissent pas à faire le voyage. Plusieurs incidents semblent être associés à des tempêtes», a dit Spindler. Il a souligné que les réfugiés étaient forcés d’utiliser «des embarcations de milliers de personnes», ajoutant, «Ceci est probablement lié à des modifications aux pratiques des trafiquants ou viserait à réduire le risque de détection, ce qui rend le travail des sauveteurs plus difficile.»

Les flottes et forces armées des pays de l’OTAN interviennent, mais dans le but de détruire des bateaux de réfugiés ainsi que pour perpétrer et dissimuler des attaques contre les navires de réfugiés sans défense.

Un incident documenté à l’aide de photos et journal de bord par l’organisation d’assistance «Sea-Watch» mardi est représentatif. La nuit du 21 octobre, la garde côtière libyenne a attaqué un bateau de réfugiés, a frappé les occupants avec des matraques et a détruit leur canot pneumatique. Dans la panique, 30 personnes se sont noyées.

L’incident a eu lieu à environ 26 kilomètres de la côte libyenne sous les yeux de l’équipage du navire de sauvetage «Sea-Watch 2», qui avait été appelé par le centre de sauvetage italien pour venir en aide à un canot pneumatique en piètre état. La garde libyenne a forcé un bateau qui accompagnait «Sea-Wach 2» et distribuait des vestes de sauvetage aux réfugiés à s’écarter; elle a ensuite attaqué le canot. Après l’incident, «Sea-Watch 2» a sauvé 124 réfugiés et récupéré quatre corps. Il n’y avait plus de trace de 25 autres réfugiés.

L’Union européenne et la garde côtière libyenne – une force mise sur pied par l’OTAN sous son commandement militaire, qui continue à lancer des frappes aériennes en Libye contre les membres de l’État islamique (EI) – ont toutes deux minimisé l’incident.

Un porte-parole libyen a dit qu’une patrouille était embarquée sur le navire de sauvetage pour vérifier s’il était dans des eaux territoriales libyennes.

Les flottes italiennes et allemandes, qui sont sur place à cause de l’opération de l’UE Sophia, ont prétendu n’avoir eu aucune connaissance de l’incident.

Ce n’est pas la première fois qu’une garde côtière libyenne use de force brutale contre des réfugiés et des navires de sauvetage.

En août, le bateau «Bourbon Argos» de Médecins sans Frontières a été mitraillé par un navire de patrouille libyen. La flotte libyenne a déclaré alors qu’il s’agissait seulement de «tirs d’avertissement», sous la présomption que le «Bourbon Argos» était impliqué dans le trafic de réfugiés.

La garde côtière libyenne a également intercepté à plusieurs reprises des bateaux de réfugiés en dehors de ses eaux territoriales et les a forcés à amarrer en Libye, même s’il s’agit d’une pratique illégale selon la loi maritime internationale.

L’UE et l’OTAN prévoient néanmoins développer la garde côtière libyenne pour l’utiliser en tant que force mercenaire contre les réfugiés. Autour de 1,000 membres de la garde côtière doivent être entraînés et équipés en Libye dans le cadre de l’opération Sophia.

«Le but était de commencer l’entraînement cette semaine, et ça commencera cette semaine», a dit Antonello De Renzis Sonnino, le porte-parole de l’opération Sophia, à Reuters. D’après le gouvernement allemand, l’entraînement commencera sur deux navires, l’un italien, et l’autre hollandais. La formation et les armes seront fournies par l’Italie, l’Allemagne, la Grèce, la Belgique et la Grande-Bretagne.

D’après les forces armées allemandes, l’entraînement de la garde côtière libyenne concerne peu le sauvetage en mer, et sera concentré sur des questions de navigation et militaires. Un porte-parole de Sea Watch Ruben Neugebauer a dit à la radio publique allemande Deutschlandfunk: «Les responsables disent toujours qu’il s’agit de maintenir le contrôle de cette région de la mer afin de réduire le nombre de réfugiés. S’il s’agissait réellement d’une question d’entraîner une force de recherche et de sauvetage, alors on pourrait également entraîner des sauveteurs civils. Il serait inutile d’entraîner des forces militaires.»

Une énorme flotte de bateaux de guerre navigue depuis des mois le long du trajet méditerranéen entre la Libye et l’Italie. Au lieu d’augmenter la sécurité pour le passage maritime des réfugiés, la flotte n’a fait qu’augmenter les risques de noyades.

Depuis le mois de mai de cette année, l’opération Sophia de l’UE vise principalement des trafiquants qui fournissent des bateaux aux réfugiés. De plus, des avions et des navires de l’OTAN patrouillent dans la Méditerranée dans le cadre de l’opération Sea Guardian.

Les navires de patrouille d’opération Sophia ont détruit un grand nombre de bateaux de pêche, dont au moins une partie pouvait naviguer en haute mer. Conséquemment, les réfugiés tentent à présent la traversée sur des canots pneumatiques tout à fait inadéquats pour la navigation en mer. Ceux-ci sont beaucoup plus difficiles à détecter et ont souvent seulement assez de carburant pour se rendre dans les eaux internationales, sans atteindre la côte européenne. Les réfugiés doivent ensuite compter sur le sauvetage en haute mer.

Martin Kreickenbaum

Article paru d’abord en anglais, WSWS, le 27 octobre 2016

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Il s’agissait du temps fort d’une semaine internationale de mobilisation. Ce samedi 22 octobre 2016, 400 personnes ont défilé jusqu’au centre pénitentiaire de Lannemezan, dans les Pyrénées, pour exiger la libération de Georges Ibrahim Abdallah (1). Deux jours plus tard, le partisan communiste libanais y entamait sa 33e année de détention en France. Il est l’un des plus anciens prisonniers politiques d’Europe. Rencontre avec Suzanne Le Manceau du Collectif pour la libération de Georges Ibrahim Abdallah (CLGIA) basé en région parisienne.

Quand est le né le CLGIA et dans quels buts ?

Il s’est formé en juin 2004. Il regroupe des militants de divers horizons politiques, conscients que seule la lutte organisée et conséquente peut arracher les militants révolutionnaires des prisons. Le Collectif impulse et organise des actions dans le but de populariser et de mobiliser autour de la cause de Georges Abdallah, en respectant son identité politique tout en mettant en avant son combat communiste, anti-impérialiste et antisioniste. Auparavant, il existait un groupe de soutien au sein du Secours rouge belge. A présent de nombreux groupes en France et dans le monde militent pour la libération de Georges Abdallah.

Vous avez, dans le cadre de la « campagne unitaire », appelé à un rassemblement à Lannemezan ce samedi 22 octobre 2016. Quel bilan en tirez-vous ?

La « campagne unitaire », lancée à la suite de la manifestation à Lannemezan l’an dernier, avait pour but de coordonner toutes les initiatives locales et d’intensifier les luttes pour exiger la libération de notre camarade. Dans ce sens nous sommes satisfaits de l’importance de ce rassemblement. Il reflète le travail militant des groupes locaux. En témoigne la présence pour la première fois d’un cortège de jeunes de Saint-Denis et de gens qui ne connaissaient pas Georges Abdallah auparavant.

Dans le cadre de cette « campagne unitaire, », une semaine internationale d’actions avait été imaginée. Elle a vu naître beaucoup d’initiatives en France (Île de France, Lyon, Marseille, Grenay, Bordeaux) mais aussi en Italie, en Espagne, au Liban, en Allemagne, aux Etats-Unis d’Amérique, en Palestine occupée, en Turquie, en Tunisie, en Grèce, en Autriche, en Irlande…

L’exigence de libération de notre camarade s’enrichit de la multiplicité de la mobilisation et de la diversité de son expression (2).

suzanne-le-manceau-clgia-andre-delcour-et-jacques-verges

Suzanne Le Manceau (CLGIA), André Delcour et Jacques Vergès

 

Vous avez donc le sentiment que cette exigence grandit en France et dans le monde ?

Oui. Georges Abdallah est de plus en plus connu et reconnu. Il a été nommé citoyen d’honneur de trois villes : Calonne Ricouart, Grenay, dans le Pas-de-Calais, et Bagnolet, dans la banlieue parisienne, en 2012 et 2013. Il a reçu le prix « Frantz Fanon » en 2014 et il est président d’honneur des Rouges Vifs et du Front uni des immigrations et des quartiers populaires (FUIQP).

Mais l’acharnement militant n’est pas la seule raison à ce succès. Le lien indispensable entre le combat de Georges – sa résistance à l’oppression carcérale et à l’acharnement judiciaire, son combat pour la libération de la Palestine, sa solidarité exprimée avec tous les peuples en lutte – et l’engagement dans nos luttes actuelles contre la répression policière, contre la régression organisée des droits des travailleurs, contre toutes formes de colonisation, contre le racisme, contre les guerres qui jettent à la mer des milliers de migrants, contre la politique impérialiste de nos gouvernements qui n’engendre que guerre, misère et pauvreté, ce lien se fait de plus en plus sentir autour de nous en France mais aussi de par le monde.

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Sur le balcon de la mairie de Grenay

 

Georges Ibrahim Abdallah a fait appel de la décision de la Justice de ne pas le libérer. Qu’en est-il ?

La cour de cassation s’est prononcée en septembre dernier. Elle a rejeté le pourvoi formé par Georges Abdallah en février 2015. Sa dernière demande de libération déposée en mars 2014 avait été rejetée en novembre par le tribunal d’application des peines. Puis un appel rejeté également.

Les raisons invoquées sont toujours les mêmes. A celles-ci s’ajoutent que le statut de prisonnier politique n’existant pas en France, il est exigé de Georges Abdallah de suivre la procédure habituelle réservée à tout détenu demandeur d’une libération conditionnelle. Soit une semi-liberté d’un an minimum avec un emploi et rentrer en prison tous les soirs, soit le port d’un bracelet électronique. Or il était question d’une libération-expulsion vers le Liban dont il est originaire.

Un décret d’expulsion que Monsieur Valls, alors ministre de l’Intérieur, n’a pas voulu signer en 2013. Et pourtant Georges Abdallah s’est engagé à quitter le territoire français et à ne plus y revenir. Les autorités consulaires du Liban se sont elles engagées à le prendre en charge dès sa sortie jusqu’à son arrivée au Liban.

lannemzan-22-octobre-2016

Lannemzan, le 22 octobre 2016

 

Comment expliquez cet acharnement des gouvernements français successifs de le maintenir en détention ?

Les gouvernements français successifs, qu’ils soient de droite comme de gauche, ont une justice de classe que l’on veut nous faire croire indépendante. Au regard des interventions connues et dénoncées des élus étasuniens auprès de nos ministres en 2003 et en 2012, qui n’acceptaient pas la libération de Georges Abdallah prononcée ces deux années-là par les tribunaux, nous n’avons aucune illusion à ce sujet. Dernièrement, Monsieur Urvoas, actuel ministre de la Justice, a donné publiquement Georges Abdallah comme exemple de perpétuité réelle (qui n’existe pas normalement en France…).

Mais voilà, Georges Abdallah ne se renie pas depuis plus de 32 ans. Et le but des démarches judiciaires, est de substituer au prisonnier politique, un docile criminel repentant. Il ne suffit pas que leurs organisations combattantes n’existent plus, ils leur faut gommer de la mémoire collective toute trace qui pourrait faire lien avec une contestation légitime contemporaine. Tant que le prisonnier se comporte en militant révolutionnaire, la justice bourgeoise lui déniera tout aménagement de peine. Et en plus… son principal combat ayant toujours été, jusqu’à nos jours, la libération de la Palestine, on comprend bien pourquoi on le maintient en prison…

Vous lui rendez visite régulièrement à Lannemezan. Dans quel état d’esprit est-il ?

Depuis 8 ans je le visite régulièrement. J’ai toujours vu un homme debout, un résistant communiste acharné et courageux, intelligent, cultivé, chaleureux, très respecté des surveillants et de ses codétenus, très au fait de l’actualité politique de notre pays, du sien mais aussi du reste du monde, particulièrement là où se déroulent des luttes d’émancipation.

Quelles sont désormais les perspectives de mobilisation pour sa libération ?

Puisqu’il est vain de penser désormais à une issue judiciaire, la mobilisation à venir doit s’élargir, se renforcer en s’appuyant toujours plus sur un contexte de lutte global. Pour ce faire, il faut unir nos forces et multiplier les actions (3) de façon à renverser le rapport de force et faire en sorte que Georges Abdallah soit, pour ses geôliers à la tête des États, plus encombrant prisonnier que libre. Et nous nous y emploierons.

Jacques Kmieciak

 

 

Notes:

1.Arrêté en 1984, ce militant des Forces armées révolutionnaires libanaises (FARL) a ensuite été condamné à perpétuité pour complicité dans les assassinats, en 1982, de deux diplomates, agents de la CIA et du Mossad, les services secrets israéliens, l’Américain Charles Robert Ray et l’Israélien Yacov Barsimantov. Georges Ibrahim Abdallah est libérable depuis 1999.

2.Sur la mobilisation, voir aussi le site du CGLIA : http://liberonsgeorges.over-blog.com

3.A l’invitation du Collectif de soutien à la résistance palestinienne (CSRP 59), Suzanne Le Manceau et Jean-Louis Chalenset, son avocat, seront au théâtre de la Verrière (28, rue Alphonse Mercier) à Lille, le mardi 8 novembre 2016 de 18 à 22h 30 dans le cadre d’une soirée de soutien à Georges Ibrahim Abdallah. La chanteuse engagée Dominique Grange donnera un concert pour l’occasion.

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UN Votes To Outlaw Nuclear Weapons In 2017

octobre 31st, 2016 by International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

The United Nations adopted a landmark resolution to launch negotiations in 2017  on a treaty outlawing nuclear weapons. This historic decision heralds an end to two decades of paralysis in multilateral nuclear disarmament efforts.

At a meeting of the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, which deals with disarmament and international security matters, 123 nations voted in favour of the resolution, with 38 against and 16 abstaining.

The resolution will set up a UN conference beginning in March next year, open to all member states, to negotiate a “legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination”. The negotiations will continue in June and July.

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), a civil society coalition active in 100 countries, hailed the adoption of the resolution as a major step forward, marking a fundamental shift in the way that the world tackles this paramount threat.

“For seven decades, the UN has warned of the dangers of nuclear weapons, and people globally have campaigned for their abolition. Today the majority of states finally resolved to outlaw these weapons,” said Beatrice Fihn, executive director of ICAN.

Despite arm-twisting by a number of nuclear-armed states, the resolution was adopted in a landslide. A total of 57 nations were co-sponsors, with Austria, Brazil, Ireland, Mexico, Nigeria and South Africa taking the lead in drafting the resolution.

The UN vote came just hours after the European Parliament adopted its own resolution on this subject – 415 in favour and 124 against, with 74 abstentions – inviting European Union member states to “participate constructively” in next year’s negotiations.

Nuclear weapons remain the only weapons of mass destruction not yet outlawed in a comprehensive and universal manner, despite their well-documented catastrophic humanitarian and environmental impacts.

“A treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons would strengthen the global norm against the use and possession of these weapons, closing major loopholes in the existing international legal regime and spurring long-overdue action on disarmament,” said Fihn.

“Today’s vote demonstrates very clearly that a majority of the world’s nations consider the prohibition of nuclear weapons to be necessary, feasible and urgent. They view it as the most viable option for achieving real progress on disarmament,” she said.

Biological weapons, chemical weapons, anti-personnel landmines and cluster munitions are all explicitly prohibited under international law. But only partial prohibitions currently exist for nuclear weapons.

Nuclear disarmament has been high on the UN agenda since the organization’s formation in 1945. Efforts to advance this goal have stalled in recent years, with nuclear-armed nations investing heavily in the modernization of their nuclear forces.

Twenty years have passed since a multilateral nuclear disarmament instrument was last negotiated: the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, which has yet to enter into legal force due to the opposition of a handful of nations.

Today’s resolution, known as L.41, acts upon the key recommendation of a UN working group on nuclear disarmament that met in Geneva this year to assess the merits of various proposals for achieving a nuclear-weapon-free world.

It also follows three major intergovernmental conferences examining the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons, held in Norway, Mexico and Austria in 2013 and 2014. These gatherings helped reframe the nuclear weapons debate to focus on the harm that such weapons inflict on people.

The conferences also enabled non-nuclear-armed nations to play a more assertive role in the disarmament arena. By the third and final conference, which took place in Vienna in December 2014, most governments had signalled their desire to outlaw nuclear weapons.

Following the Vienna conference, ICAN was instrumental in garnering support for a 127-nation diplomatic pledge, known as the humanitarian pledge, committing governments to cooperate in efforts “to stigmatize, prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons”.

Throughout this process, victims and survivors of nuclear weapon detonations, including nuclear testing, have contributed actively. Setsuko Thurlow, a survivor of the Hiroshima bombing and an ICAN supporter, has been a leading proponent of a ban.

“This is a truly historic moment for the entire world,” she said following today’s vote. “For those of us who survived the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it is a very joyous occasion. We have been waiting so long for this day to come.”

“Nuclear weapons are absolutely abhorrent. All nations should participate in the negotiations next year to outlaw them. I hope to be there myself to remind delegates of the unspeakable suffering that nuclear weapons cause. It is all of our responsibility to make sure that such suffering never happens again.”

There are still more than 15,000 nuclear weapons in the world today, mostly in the arsenals of just two nations: the United States and Russia. Seven other nations possess nuclear weapons: Britain, France, China, Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea.

Most of the nine nuclear-armed nations voted against the UN resolution. Many of their allies, including those in Europe that host nuclear weapons on their territory as part of a NATO arrangement, also failed to support the resolution.

But the nations of Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, Southeast Asia and the Pacific voted overwhelmingly in favour of the resolution, and are likely to be key players at the negotiating conference in New York next year.

On Monday, 15 Nobel Peace Prize winners urged nations to support the negotiations and to bring them “to a timely and successful conclusion so that we can proceed rapidly toward the final elimination of this existential threat to humanity”.

The International Committee of the Red Cross has also appealed to governments to support this process, stating on 12 October that the international community has a “unique opportunity” to achieve a ban on the “most destructive weapon ever invented”.

“This treaty won’t eliminate nuclear weapons overnight,” concluded Fihn. “But it will establish a powerful new international legal standard, stigmatizing nuclear weapons and compelling nations to take urgent action on disarmament.”

In particular, the treaty will place great pressure on nations that claim protection from an ally’s nuclear weapons to end this practice, which in turn will create pressure for disarmament action by the nuclear-armed nations.

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What has been the response of the mainstream media which sofar has endorsed Hillary through a process of coverup of her criminal undertakings?

Without mainstream media propaganda, Hillary’s political legitimacy would collapse like a deck of cards. The Second Letter by FBI Director James Comey opens up a « Pandora’s Box » of  fraud and corruption.

Moreover, following the October Surprise release by FBI Director James Comey, the media narrative seems to have taken on a different slant.

The media is controlled by powerful economic interest groups. Are the power brokers behind Hillary having second thoughts? Does it serve their interests in supporting a candidate who has an extensive criminal record? Do they want a dysfunctional presidency?

Has the Mainstream media dumped Hillary? Sofar, Not Yet. With some exceptions the MSM continues to support Hillary candidacy, without applause.

A report by the Chicago Tribune  (October 29, 2016) entitled « Democrats should ask Clinton to step aside » is nonetheless revealing. does it point to shift in direction?  

John Kass (Chicago Tribune), begs the question in no uncertain terms:

Has America become so numb by the decades of lies and cynicism oozing from Clinton Inc. that it could elect Hillary Clinton as president, even after Friday’s FBI announcement that it had reopened an investigation of her emails while secretary of state?

We’ll find out soon enough.

It’s obvious the American political system is breaking down. It’s been crumbling for some time now, and the establishment elite know it and they’re properly frightened. Donald Trump, the vulgarian at their gates, is a symptom, not a cause. Hillary Clinton and husband Bill are both cause and effect.

FBI director James Comey‘s announcement about the renewed Clinton email investigation is the bombshell in the presidential campaign. That he announced this so close to Election Day should tell every thinking person that what the FBI is looking at is extremely serious.

This can’t be about pervert Anthony Weiner and his reported desire for a teenage girl. But it can be about the laptop of Weiner’s wife, Clinton aide Huma Abedin, and emails between her and Hillary. It comes after the FBI investigation in which Comey concluded Clinton had lied and been « reckless » with national secrets, but said he could not recommend prosecution.

So what should the Democrats do now?

They would demand that Mrs. Clinton step down, immediately, and let her vice presidential nominee, Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, stand in her place.

Democrats should say, honestly, that with a new criminal investigation going on into events around her home-brew email server from the time she was secretary of state, having Clinton anywhere near the White House is just not a good idea.

Since Oct. 7, WikiLeaks has released 35,000 emails hacked from Clinton campaign boss John Podesta. Now WikiLeaks, no longer a neutral player but an active anti-Clinton agency, plans to release another 15,000 emails.

What if she is elected? Think of a nation suffering a bad economy and continuing chaos in the Middle East, and now also facing a criminal investigation of a president. Add to that congressional investigations and a public vision of Clinton as a Nixonian figure wandering the halls, wringing her hands.

The best thing would be for Democrats to ask her to step down now. It would be the most responsible thing to do, if the nation were more important to them than power. And the American news media — fairly or not firmly identified in the public mind as Mrs. Clinton’s political action committee — should begin demanding it.

But what will Hillary do?

She’ll stick and ride this out and turn her anger toward Comey. For Hillary and Bill Clinton, it has always been about power, about the Clinton Restoration and protecting fortunes already made by selling nothing but political influence.

She’ll remind the nation that she’s a woman and that Donald Trump said terrible things about women. If there is another notorious Trump video to be leaked, the Clintons should probably leak it now. Then her allies in media can talk about misogyny and sexual politics and the headlines can be all about Trump as the boor he is and Hillary as champion of female victims, which she has never been.

Remember that Bill Clinton leveraged the « Year of the Woman. » Then he preyed on women in the White House and Hillary protected him. But the political left — most particularly the women of the left — defended him because he promised to protect abortion rights and their other agendas.

If you take a step back from tribal politics, you’ll see that Mrs. Clinton has clearly disqualified herself from ever coming near classified information again. If she were a young person straight out of grad school hoping to land a government job, Hillary Clinton would be laughed out of Washington with her record. She’d never be hired.

As secretary of state she kept classified documents on the home-brew server in her basement, which is against the law. She lied about it to the American people. She couldn’t remember details dozens of times when questioned by the FBI. Her aides destroyed evidence by BleachBit and hammers. Her husband, Bill, met secretly on an airport tarmac with Attorney General Loretta Lynch for about a half-hour, and all they said they talked about was golf and the grandkids.

Is the Chicago Tribune alone in pulling the plug on Hillary?

Washington Post Headlines, October 28, 2016

While most MSM continue to endorse Hillary’s candidacy, the reports suggest that, despite her lead in the polls, she will not make it to the White House. This shift is fundamental. Without media disinformation in support of her candidacy, Hillary is doomed. « How badly is Clinton hurt by all of this? » asks the Washington Post:

« It depends on what we learn and when we learn it. But there’s no way this is anything but bad news for Clinton with just 11 days left before Americans go to the polls. »

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Image: FBI Director James Comey

Washington’s Blog asked the NSA executive who created the agency’s mass surveillance program for digital information, who served as the senior technical director within the agency, who managed six thousand NSA employees, the 36-year NSA veteran widely regarded as a “legend” within the agency and the NSA’s best-ever analyst and code-breaker, who mapped out the Soviet command-and-control structure before anyone else knew how, and so predicted Soviet invasions before they happened (“in the 1970s, he decrypted the Soviet Union’s command system, which provided the US and its allies with real-time surveillance of all Soviet troop movements and Russian atomic weapons”), Bill Binney:

– what he thought about the FBI’s announcement that it was re-opening the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails.

He told us:

They must have something significant for the FBI to reopen the investigation. Plus I think [FBI Director] Comey had to inform congress of his incomplete testimony to them or else he could be charged with perjury to congress and impeached.

***

Any way you look at it, FBI has a black black eye over this.  I have been saying for a long time that when you couple secret intelligence agencies with the police, you get a secret police.  In German, that’s a GESTAPO (meaning “State Secret Police”).  Plus, when you add to that what the DOJ has been doing relative to this, you have a Department of “Just Us.”  Not good for the citizens of this or any other country.

Similarly, one of the two reporters who broke the Watergate story which led to the resignation of Richard Nixon (Carl Bernstein)  says:

We don’t know what this means yet except that it’s a real bombshellAnd it is unthinkable that the Director of the FBI would take this action lightly, that he would put this letter forth to the Congress of the United States saying there is more information out there about classified e-mails and call it to the attention of congress unless it was something requiring serious investigation.

 

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Dirty Election Tactics and the October Surprise

octobre 31st, 2016 by Adeyinka Makinde

The American presidential selection process with its debates and dirty election tactics including the ‘October Surprise’ enthralls an electorate that is severely divided by its ideological and identitarian positions and which continues to invest its hopes in the supposedly transformative powers invested in the office of president. But they are being ruthlessly played by a system in which ‘change’ is an illusion and will remain elusive if the system is not subject to root and branch reform.

Well it is October, and the idea of springing an ‘October Surprise’ in the presidential election season in order to alternatively damage and boost the prospects of a presidential candidate has become something of an election pastime.

Quite a few alleged ‘October Surprises’ are still subject to heated debate and have defied resolution so far as the issue of origin and intent are concerned. These include the allegation that Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon sabotaged peace talks with the Viet Cong to do down Hubert Humphrey’s prospects in 1968, and that Ronald Reagan’s team made a deal with the Iranian mullahs not to release the US hostages until after the 1980 election.

In more recent times, the Benghazi incident of September 2012 is suspected by some to have been triggered by an internecine struggle within the US intelligence community. A ‘Mormon’ faction of the CIA is claimed to have orchestrated events so as to favour the Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney while he campaigned against the incumbent Barack Obama.

So is FBI director James Comey’s decision to reopen the inquiry into the Hillary Clinton e-mail scandal one in a long line of October surprises? It certainly bears the hallmarks of one.

But for what ultimate reason?

It could be because Comey himself may have Republican Party sympathies and has done it solely for partisan reasons. Alternatively, it could be because a faction of the American ruling elite have decided at the last minute to ditch Hillary Clinton in favour of Donald Trump because they see Trump as someone who will nonetheless enable them to fulfill their goals.

For instance, even if Trump wants rapprochement with Russia, the US oligarchs can still have a war with Iran. And if they are crazy enough to risk war with Russia, they can risk one against China. Trump’s bellicose comments regarding Iran and China make these goals attainable.

The American empire continually seeks to assert control over the monetary and natural resources of other nations. Preserving the precedence of the dollar as the global reserve currency as well as initiating the destruction or marginalisation of recalcitrant nations remains a priority if its post-World War economic domination and its hegemony in the post-Cold War unipolar system are both to be sustained.

There is an indubitable logic behind the argument that a victory by either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, two of the most unattractive candidates in recent history,  cannot substantively alter the course of the United States. The political system will remain corrupt if there is no reform of electoral rules enabling politicians to be bought by the highest bidder.

Added to the malady of ‘pork barrel’ politicians is the fact that economic markets are rigged by the Federal reserve and by the U.S. Treasury. The financial sector of the United States is geared towards extracting economic surplus and capitalizing on debt obligations paying interest to that sector.

The governance of America is effectively one which is structured to serve the interests of an oligarchy. And while some have poured scorn on making an analogy between the resultant hierarchy of class relationships to that of a feudal order, surveys back up the claim that government policies do not often reflect the needs of the mass of people. Surveys, such as that conducted by political scientists Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page, show that the majority of the American public have little influence over the policies adopted by incumbent administrations. The views of rich people have a much greater impact on policy decisions than those of middle-income and poor Americans.

The presidents and prime ministers of the Western democracies effectively work for the mega-banks and powerful corporations. While a President Donald Trump may set a different tone in the White House, he will not be able to overcome the fundamental workings of the system. While Hillary Clinton is correctly seen as a career politician immersed in the system, Trump, it should be reminded, is a product of the same system.

It is not difficult to work out the control exercised by banks and corporations on those in political office because they ensure that politicians are effectively on their payroll through campaign donations and remunerations paid for speaking engagements. This ensures that the holder of the office of president and those who sit on congressional committees will do their bidding. As Huey Long, the one time Louisiana state governor and senator once put it, officeholders are “dime a dozen punks.”

The Mega-banks such as Goldman Sachs, the large corporations such as those attached to the military industrial complex such as Lockheed Martin, the extractive industries as illustrated by the activities of the Koch brothers, and powerful interest lobbies such as those concerned with Israel, are all complicit in influencing government legislation and policies which may often run counter to the public interest.

These include the formulating of international trade agreements that are detrimental to American workers and consumers, the approval of projects which are not environmentally sound, adherence to ‘too-big-to-fail’ policies involving public-funded bailouts, the failure to prosecute criminally culpable bankers and the promotion of American interventions in foreign countries in the form of fomenting internal insurrections and the use of the United States armed forces in wars.

The notion that government works on behalf of big business is not a new one. Indeed, American history is replete with examples of where its intelligence agencies have been deployed or its military has been used to enforce the interests of corporations. Aside from the Cold War interpretations given to the machinations of the Dulles Brothers during the Eisenhower years, both were behind the overthrow of the governments of Iran and Guatemala, respectively in 1953 and 1954, for the benefit of American corporations. Their association with the powerful law firm Sullivan and Cromwell provides an example of the link between big business and government policymaking. Both had been corporate lawyers and the companies they worked for benefited from regime change.

American oil firms were well represented among a consortium of businesses in a renegotiated oil deal with the American-backed regime in Iran while the United Fruit Company reclaimed its fiefdom in Guatemala. The intention of restoring American corporate interests was crucial to the attempt to invade Cuba and destroy the Castro government as it was in the case of the successful violent overthrow of the government of Salvatore Allende in Chile in 1973.

The use of the US military as enforcers of America’s corporate interests is also nothing new. General Smedley Butler, in ‘War is a Racket’, plainly admitted that he was a « gangster for capitalism »; a racketeer for big business as represented by Wall Street and the mega-banks. This has been an important factor in the United States reinforcing its dominance both hemispherically and globally.

Today, the animosity towards Russia and the resulting dangerously confrontational policy towards this nuclear armed power via the fomenting of conflicts on its borders as well as resistance to Russian anti-Jihadist action is Syria is rooted in Russia having broken away from the economic stranglehold held by United States corporate interests during the tenure of Boris Yeltsin. It is an animosity set to endure so long as the United States cannot control Russia’s oil, natural resources and public utilities.

Notwithstanding Trump’s conciliatory approach towards Russia, the war agenda, which has markedly contributed to the national debt, will continue regardless of who is elected in November. The Turkish invasion and increased American activity in parts of Syria have been designed to effectively partition the country and keep the conflict going, making it difficult for a President Trump to reach an accommodation with Russia. Any appointments made by Trump would have to be approved by the lobby-controlled Congress and he would have to rely on many civil servants in the mould of Victoria Nuland, the arch-neoconservative behind the 2014 coup in Ukraine, who has served both Republican and Democrat administrations

The present election campaign has brought into sharp focus the subversion of the democratic process in the interests of those who make major contributions to aspirants for political office. It demonstrates how the party political system, a duopoly of Democrat and Republican parties, both beholden to Wall Street interests, does not serve the needs of the overwhelming majority of the population.

Neither candidate has specifically advocated a concrete course of action that would negate the effect of the Supreme Court decision in the case of Citizens United of 2010 which allowed unlimited money in the electoral process, including that of a constitutional amendment. Although Trump once mentioned that the Federal Reserve should be audited, neither he nor Clinton have made any proposals in relation to constricting the modus operandi of the financial markets.

In the meantime, the American electorate continues to bicker over ideological and identitarian positions and invest their hopes and energies in the supposedly transformative powers invested in the presidency.

Americans need to wise up on the fact that they are being played by a ruthless system. ‘Change’ is an illusion and will remain elusive if the system is not subject to root and branch reform. Election debates, fomented scandals and October surprises notwithstanding, nothing will change in America until there is a fundamental rewiring of the existing political and economic structures.

Anything short of this means they are acting merely as cheerleaders within an elaborate dupe posing as democracy.

Adeyinka Makinde is a writer based in London, England

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Yesterday, we reported that the FBI has found « tens of thousands of emails » belonging to Huma Adein on Anthony Weiner’s computer, raising questions how practical it is that any conclusive finding will be available or made by the FBI in the few days left before the elections

Now, according to the WSJ, it appears that Federal agents are preparing to scour roughly 650,000 emails that, as we reported moments ago were discovered weeks ago on the laptop of Anthony Weiner, to see how many relate to a prior probe of Hillary Clinton’s email use, as metadata on the device suggests there may be thousands sent to or from the private server that the Democratic nominee used while she was secretary of state, according to people familiar with the matter.

As the WSJ adds, the review will take weeks at a minimum to determine whether those messages are work-related emails between Huma Abedin, a close Clinton aide and the estranged wife of Mr. Weiner, and State Department officials; how many are duplicates of emails already reviewed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and whether they include either classified information or important new evidence in the Clinton email probe, which FBI officials call “Midyear.”

And, as we further reported earlier today, the FBI has had to await a court order to begin reviewing the emails, because they were uncovered in an unrelated probe of Mr. Weiner, and that order was delayed for reasons that remain unclear.

More stunning is just how many emails were found on Weiner’s computer. And while one can only imagine the content of some of the more persona ones, the WSJ writes that the latest development began in early October when New York-based FBI officials notified Andrew McCabe, the bureau’s second-in-command, that while investigating Mr. Weiner for possibly sending sexually charged messages to a minor, they had recovered a laptop with 650,000 emails. Many, they said, were from the accounts of Ms. Abedin, according to people familiar with the matter.

Those emails stretched back years, these people said, and were on a laptop that both Mr. Weiner and Ms. Abedin used and that hadn’t previously come up in the Clinton email probe. Ms. Abedin said in late August that the couple were separating.

The FBI had searched the computer while looking for child pornography, people familiar with the matter said, but the warrant they used didn’t give them authority to search for matters related to Mrs. Clinton’s email arrangement at the State Department. Mr. Weiner has denied sending explicit or indecent messages to the teenager.

As reported yesterday, it appears that there are potentially tens of thousands of Abedin linked emails on Weiner’s computer:

 In their initial review of the laptop, the metadata showed many messages, apparently in the thousands, that were either sent to or from the private email server at Mrs. Clinton’s home that had been the focus of so much investigative effort for the FBI. Senior FBI officials decided to let the Weiner investigators proceed with a closer examination of the metadata on the computer, and report back to them.

The WSJ then connects the dots between how the Weiner emails were linked to the Clinton reopening of the Clinton probe, despite Loretta Lynch’s and the DOJ’s vocal urges not to do so:

At a meeting early last week of senior Justice Department and FBI officials, a member of the department’s senior national-security staff asked for an update on the Weiner laptop, the people familiar with the matter said. At that point, officials realized that no one had acted to obtain a warrant, these people said. 

Mr. McCabe then instructed the email investigators to talk to the Weiner investigators and see whether the laptop’s contents could be relevant to the Clinton email probe, these people said. After the investigators spoke, the agents agreed it was potentially relevant. 

Mr. Comey was given an update, decided to go forward with the case and notified Congress on Friday, with explosive results. Senior Justice Department officials had warned Mr. Comey that telling Congress would violate well-established policies against overt actions that could affect an election, and some within the FBI have been unhappy at Mr. Comey’s repeated public statements on the probe, going back to his first press conference on the subject in July.

But wait it gets better.

Recall that this is the same Andrew Mcabe whose wife the Wall Street Journal reported last week received $467,500 in campaign funds in late 2015 from the political action committee of Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a longtime ally of the Clintons and, until he was elected governor in November 2013, a Clinton Foundation board member.

 Mr. McAuliffe had supported Dr. McCabe in the hopes she and a handful of other Democrats might help win a majority in the state Senate, giving Mr. McAuliffe more sway in the state capitol. Dr. McCabe lost her race last November, and Democrats failed to win their majority.

FBI officials have said Mr. McCabe had no role in the Clinton email probe until he became deputy director, and there was no conflict of interest because by then his wife’s campaign was over.

Which brings us to the second big topic: the Clinton Foundation, and how the DOJ made sure that particular probe never made the light of day. At the same time as the Clinton server was being investigated, other Clinton-related investigations were under way within the FBI, and they have been the subject of internal debate for months.

 Early this year, four FBI field offices—New York, Los Angeles, Washington and Little Rock, Ark.—were collecting information about the Clinton Foundation to see if there was evidence of financial crimes or influence-peddling, according to people familiar with the matter.

The WSJ touches on something fasctinating: Los Angeles agents had picked up information about the Clinton Foundation from an unrelated public corruption case and had issued some subpoenas for bank records related to the foundation, these people said. So where did that trail go? Apparently nowhere.

 The Washington field office was probing financial relationships involving Mr. McAuliffe before he became a Clinton Foundation board member, these people said. Mr. McAuliffe has denied any wrongdoing, and his lawyer has said the probe is focused on whether he failed to register as an agent of a foreign entity. The FBI field office in New York had done the most work on the Clinton  Foundation case and received help from the FBI field office in Little Rock, the people familiar with the matter said.

In February, FBI officials made a presentation to the Justice Department, according to these people. By all accounts, the meeting didn’t go well.

Some said that is because the FBI didn’t present compelling evidence to justify more aggressive pursuit of the Clinton Foundation, and that the career public integrity prosecutors in the room simply believed it wasn’t a very strong case. Others said that from the start, the Justice Department officials were stern, icy and dismissive of the case. 

“That was one of the weirdest meetings I’ve ever been to,” one participant told others afterward, according to people familiar with the matter.

Needless to say, the probe into the Foundation faded.

But back to the Clinton probe, according to a person familiar with the probes, on Aug. 12, a senior Justice Department official called Mr. McCabe to voice his displeasure at finding that New York FBI agents were still openly pursuing the Clinton Foundation probe, despite the department’s refusal to allow more aggressive investigative methods in the case. Mr. McCabe said agents still had the authority to pursue the issue as long as they didn’t use those methods.

At this point a question emerges: did McCabe seek to defend or press on with a Clinton probe:

Mr. McCabe’s defenders in the agency said that following the call, he repeated the instruction that he had given earlier in the Clinton Foundation investigation: Agents were to keep pursuing the work within the authority they had.

Others further down the FBI chain of command, however, said agents were given a much starker instruction on the case: “Stand down.” When agents questioned why they weren’t allowed to take more aggressive steps, they said they were told the order had come from the deputy director—Mr. McCabe. Others familiar with the matter deny Mr. McCabe or any other senior FBI official gave such a stand-down instruction.

At this point the two probes, into Hillary’s email and the Clinton Foundation converged:

For agents who already felt uneasy about FBI leadership’s handling of the Clinton Foundation case, the moment only deepened their concerns, these people said. For those who felt the probe hadn’t yet found significant evidence of criminal conduct, the leadership’s approach was the right response to the facts on the ground.

Things accelerated over the past two months, when in September, agents on the foundation case asked to see the emails contained on nongovernment laptops that had been searched as part of the Clinton email case, but that request was rejected by prosecutors at the Eastern District of New York, in Brooklyn. Those emails were given to the FBI based on grants of partial immunity and limited-use agreements, meaning agents could only use them for the purpose of investigating possible mishandling of classified information.

Some FBI agents were dissatisfied with that answer, and asked for permission to make a similar request to federal prosecutors in Manhattan, according to people familiar with the matter. Mr. McCabe, these people said, told them no and added that they could not “go prosecutor-shopping.”

Not long after that discussion, FBI agents informed the bureau’s leaders about the Weiner laptop, prompting Mr. Comey’s disclosure to Congress and setting of the furor that promises to consume the final days of a tumultuous campaign

While much of the latest developments are known, or could have been inferred assuming more corruption within government agencies, the punchline is that the weeks if not months of upcoming work means that if Clinton wins the White House, she will likely do so amid at least one ongoing investigation into her inner circle being handled by law-enforcement officials who are deeply divided over how to manage such cases. It also means that Trump will be hounding Hilllary for the remainder of the campaign as being the only presidential candidate to seek election with a recently reopened criminal probe hanging over her head.

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A curious aspect of the Syrian conflict – a rebellion sponsored largely by the United States and its Gulf state allies – is the disappearance in much of the American mainstream news media of references to the prominent role played by Al Qaeda in seeking to overthrow the secular Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad.

There’s much said in the U.S. press about ISIS, the former “Al Qaeda in Iraq” which splintered off several years ago, but Al Qaeda’s central role in commanding Syria’s “moderate” rebels in Aleppo and elsewhere is the almost unspoken reality of the Syrian war. Even in the U.S. presidential debates, the arguing between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton has been almost exclusively about ISIS, not Al Qaeda.

The World Trade Center’s Twin Towers burning on 9/11. (Photo credit: National Park Service)

Though Al Qaeda got the ball rolling on America’s revenge wars in the Middle East 15 years ago by killing several thousand Americans and others in the 9/11 attacks, the terrorist group has faded into the background of U.S. attention, most likely because it messes up the preferred “good guy/bad guy” narrative regarding the Syrian war.

For instance, the conflict in Aleppo between Syrian government forces and rebels operating primarily under Al Qaeda’s command is treated in the Western media as simply a case of the barbaric Assad and his evil Russian ally Vladimir Putin mercilessly bombing what is portrayed as the east Aleppo equivalent of Disney World, a place where innocent children and their families peacefully congregate until they are targeted for death by the Assad-Putin war-crime family.

The photos sent out to the world by skillful rebel propagandists are almost always of wounded children being cared for by the “White Helmet” rebel civil defense corps, which has come under growing criticism for serving as a public-relations arm of Al Qaeda and other insurgents. (There also are allegations that some of the most notable images have been staged, like a fake war scene from the 1997 dark comedy, “Wag the Dog.”)

Rare Glimpse of Truth

Yet, occasionally, the reality of Al Qaeda’s importance in the rebellion breaks through, even in the mainstream U.S. media, although usually downplayed and deep inside the news pages, such as the A9 article in Saturday’s New York Times by Hwaida Saad and Anne Barnard describing a rebel offensive in Aleppo. It acknowledges:

A fake war scene in the dark 1997 comedy “Wag the Dog,” which showed a girl and her cat fleeing a bombardment in Albania.

“The new offensive was a strong sign that rebel groups vetted by the United States were continuing their tactical alliances with groups linked to Al Qaeda, rather than distancing themselves as Russia has demanded and the Americans have urged. … The rebels argue that they cannot afford to shun any potential allies while they are under fire, including well-armed and motivated jihadists, without more robust aid from their international backers.” (You might note how the article subtly blames the rebel dependence on Al Qaeda on the lack of “robust aid” from the Obama administration and other outside countries – even though such arms shipments violate international law.)

What the article also makes clear in a hazy kind of way is that Al Qaeda’s affiliate, the recently renamed Nusra Front, and its jihadist allies, such as Ahrar al-Sham, are waging the brunt of the fighting while the CIA-vetted “moderates” are serving in mostly support roles. The Times reported:

“The insurgents have a diverse range of objectives and backers, but they issued statements of unity on Friday. Those taking part in the offensive include the Levant Conquest Front, a militant group formerly known as the Nusra Front that grew out of Al Qaeda; another hard-line Islamist faction, Ahrar al-Sham; and other rebel factions fighting Mr. Assad that have been vetted by the United States and its allies.”

The article cites Charles Lister, a senior fellow and Syria specialist at the Middle East Institute in Washington, and other analysts noting that “the vast majority of the American-vetted rebel factions in Aleppo were fighting inside the city itself and conducting significant bombardments against Syrian government troops in support of the Qaeda-affiliated fighters carrying out the brunt of front-line fighting.”

Lister noted that 11 of the 20 or so rebel groups conducting the Aleppo “offensive have been vetted by the C.I.A. and have received arms from the agency, including anti-tank missiles. …

“In addition to arms provided by the United States, much of the rebels’ weaponry comes from regional states, like Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, Mr. Lister said, including truck-borne multiple-rocket launcher systems and Czech-made Grad rockets with extended ranges.”

The U.S./Al Qaeda Alliance

In other words, the U.S. government and its allies have smuggled sophisticated weapons into Syria to arm rebels who are operating in support of Al Qaeda’s new military offensive against Syrian government forces in Aleppo. By any logical analysis, that makes the United States an ally of Al Qaeda.

A heart-rending propaganda image designed to justify a major U.S. military operation inside Syria against the Syrian military.

The Times article also includes a quote from Genevieve Casagrande, a Syria research analyst from the Institute for the Study of War, a neoconservative “think tank” that has supported more aggressive U.S. military involvement in Syria and the Middle East.

“The unfortunate truth, however, is that these U.S.-backed groups remain somewhat dependent upon the Al Qaeda linked groups for organization and firepower in these operations,” Casagrande said.

The other unfortunate truth is that the U.S.-supplied rebels have served, either directly or indirectly, as conduits to funnel U.S. military equipment and ordnance to Al Qaeda.

One might think that the editors of The New York Times – if they were operating with old-fashioned news judgment rather than with propagandistic blinders on – would have recast the article to highlight the tacit U.S. alliance with Al Qaeda and put that at the top of the front page.

Still, the admissions are significant, confirming what we have reported at Consortiumnews.com for many months, including Gareth Porter’s article last February saying: “Information from a wide range of sources, including some of those the United States has been explicitly supporting, makes it clear that every armed anti-Assad organization unit in those provinces [of Idlib and Aleppo] is engaged in a military structure controlled by [Al Qaeda’s] Nusra militants. All of these rebel groups fight alongside the Nusra Front and coordinate their military activities with it. …

“At least since 2014 the Obama administration has armed a number of Syrian rebel groups even though it knew the groups were coordinating closely with the Nusra Front, which was simultaneously getting arms from Turkey and Qatar.”

Double Standards

The Times article on page A9 also deviated from the normal propaganda themes by allowing a statement by Syrian officials and the Russians regarding their suspension of airstrikes over the past week to permit the evacuation of civilians from east Aleppo and the rebels’ refusal to let people leave, even to the point of firing on the humanitarian corridors:

An Israeli strike caused a huge explosion in a residential area in Gaza during the Israeli assault on Gaza in 2008-2009. (Photo credit: Al Jazeera)

“The [Syrian] government and its [Russian] allies accused the rebels of forcing Aleppo residents to stay, and of using them as human shields.”

The “human shields” argument is one that is common when the United States or its allies are pummeling some city controlled by “enemy” forces whether Israel’s bombardment of Gaza or the U.S. Marines’ leveling of Fallujah in Iraq or the current campaign against ISIS in the Iraqi city of Mosul. In those cases, the horrific civilian bloodshed, including the killing of children by U.S. or allied forces, is blamed on Hamas or Sunni insurgents or ISIS but never on the people dropping the bombs.

An entirely opposite narrative is applied when U.S. adversaries, such as Syria or Russia, are trying to drive terrorists and insurgents out of an urban area. Then, there is usually no reference to “human shields” and all the carnage is blamed on “war crimes” by the U.S. adversaries. That propaganda imperative helps explain why Al Qaeda and its jihadist comrades have been largely whited out of the conflict in Aleppo.

Over the past few years, U.S. regional allies, such as Israel and Saudi Arabia, also have shifted their public attitudes toward Al Qaeda, seeing it as a blunt instrument to smash the so-called “Shiite crescent” reaching from Iran through Syria to Lebanon. For instance, in September 2013, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren, then a close adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told the Jerusalem Post that Israel favored Syria’s Sunni extremists over President Assad.

“The greatest danger to Israel is by the strategic arc that extends from Tehran, to Damascus to Beirut. And we saw the Assad regime as the keystone in that arc,” Oren told the Jerusalem Post in an interview. “We always wanted Bashar Assad to go, we always preferred the bad guys who weren’t backed by Iran to the bad guys who were backed by Iran.” He said this was the case even if the “bad guys” were with Al Qaeda.

And, in June 2014, speaking as a former ambassador at an Aspen Institute conference, Oren expanded on his position, saying Israel would even prefer a victory by the brutal Islamic State over continuation of the Iranian-backed Assad in Syria. “From Israel’s perspective, if there’s got to be an evil that’s got to prevail, let the Sunni evil prevail,” Oren said.

Warming to Al Qaeda

As Israeli officials shifted toward viewing Al Qaeda and even ISIS as the lesser evils and built a behind-the-scenes alliance with Saudi Arabia and the Sunni states, American neoconservatives also began softening their tone regarding the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks.

Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to the United States.

Across the U.S. foreign policy establishment, pressure built for “regime change” in Damascus even if that risked handing Syria to Sunni jihadists. That strategy hit a road bump in 2014 when ISIS began chopping off the heads of Western hostages in Syria and capturing swathes of territory in Iraq, including Mosul.

That bloody development forced President Barack Obama to begin targeting ISIS militants in both Iraq and Syria, but the neocon-dominated Washington establishment still favored the Israeli-Saudi objective of “regime change” in Syria regardless of how that might help Al Qaeda.

Thus, Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front and its jihadist ally, Ahrar al-Sham, faded into the background under the fiction that the anti-Assad forces were primarily noble “moderates” trying to save the children from the bloodthirsty fiends, Assad and Putin.

Grudgingly, The New York Times, deep inside Saturday’s newspaper, acknowledged at least part of the troubling reality, that the U.S. government has, in effect, allied itself with Al Qaeda terrorists.

[For more background on this issue, see Consortiumnews.com’s “New Group Think for War with Syria/Russia.”]

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

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The FBI Intervenes: James Comey and Hillary Clinton’s Emails

octobre 31st, 2016 by Dr. Binoy Kampmark

All is fair in love and war, and this particular electoral battle in US politics has assumed more belligerent proportions than most. Neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton genuinely deserve to be in the White House, but elections are rarely fought, let alone won, on the issue of the deserving.

As the election moves into it’s the cracker phase, Trump is scrapping his way back in the polls, ever the immeasurable factor in this election.  For the establishment, the battle is already won, creating a dangerous sense of entitlement for the Democratic nominee.

That sense of entitlement shone through in the latest fury from the Clinton campaign, nervous about the FBI’s foray into the last days of this election.  As ever, it was that seedy matter of emails sent on a private server when she was Secretary of State that came bobbing back up.

On Friday, Director James B. Comey sent a letter to the US Congress noting that he was wishing, due to “recent developments” to “supplement” previous testimony on the previous and closed investigation into Clinton’s use of a private server. “In connection with an unrelated case, the FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation.”[1]

That unrelated case involved emails discovered on the laptop of disgraced former congressman Anthony D. Weiner, and a Clinton aide and Weiner’s estranged wife, Huma Abedin.  Clinton found herself back in the frame.

Imaginations started to gallop, notably at the open nature of the remarks.  The investigation would involve the old issue of whether classified information had been involved, and whether relevant emails would be pertinent to the investigation.

No sense of scope, length or frame of the investigation was given: “Although the FBI cannot yet assess whether or not this material may be significant, and I cannot predict how long it will take us to complete this additional work, I believe it is important to update your Committees about our efforts in light of my previous testimony.”

Previously, Comey railroaded efforts to bring charges against Clinton’s misuse of classified material despite noting “evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of information.”  In so doing, he did acknowledge that prosecutors ponder a “number of factors before bringing charges.” These include “the context of a person’s actions, and how similar situations have been handled in the past” and “the strength of the evidence, especially regarding intent.”

While his then recommendation for non-prosecution was hardly binding on the Attorney-General, it would have been irregular to expect a prosecution in absence of hearty approval from the FBI.  The result, or so thought those manning the barricades of the Clinton campaign, was permitted to rest.

This naturally unleashed a hailstorm of speculation from such figures as Rush Limbaugh, who pondered whether there had been an element of connivance between the Obama administration, Comey and Clinton.  Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch saw “a disconnect between Comey’s devastating findings and his weak recommendation not to prosecute Hillary Clinton.”[2]

This “disconnect” has been a feature of the entire discussion about Email Gate.  For one, President Barack Obama, despite being an enthusiast for prosecuting whistleblowers who disclose classified information for a perceived higher ideal for information transparency, did not see a legal problem with Clinton’s use of a personal email server.

It was “not a situation in which America’s national security was endangered” even if it was imprudent.[3]  Rather confidently, and in a manner befitting premature judgement, Obama insisted in April this year that Clinton “would never intentionally put America in any kind of jeopardy.”

Certain outlets of legal commentary, notably Lawfare, have taken note about the entire background surrounding Comey’s moves as murky and compromising for a range of parties. Attorney-General Loretta Lynch, for one, had been compromised by the President’s certitude on the subject of Clinton’s behaviour, a point made even more complicated by a promise – albeit one made by Clinton – that Lynch would continue to remain AG in her administration.[4]

In then testifying before Congress about his own decision not to prosecute, an investigation was essentially being given dramatic air time.  Truly, we were bearing witness to another Clinton saga, the legal equivalent of constipation in an ailing Republic.  “As a general matter,” lamented Benjamin Wittes of the Brookings Institution, “when prosecutors and investigators decline to indict someone, we don’t want a report, much less congressional oversight of the unindicted conduct.  We want them to shut the heck up.”[5]

There was, however, no shutting up Comey, who is making more electoral history than is customary for a law enforcement organisation. It baffled Clinton, who has persistently wished the email matter to disappear in a confusing haze.  Nor did Comey listen to senior Justice Department officials, who attempted to dissuade the move to send the letter.[6]  “Never in recent history,” claimed the New York Times, “has the FBI been so enmeshed in a presidential race.”[7]

The FBI director’s intervention has already inflicted range of shocks, though it is imprecise to what extent his own announcement will alter set minds or convince the confused.  Trump, most certainly, was emboldened, and the unpopularity contest is set for a few more hiccups prior to the November 8 poll.

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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Le FBI intervient dans les élections américaines

octobre 31st, 2016 by Patrick Martin

Dans un geste extraordinaire et sans précédent, le Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) a fait son entrée dans la campagne présidentielle de 2016, seulement 11 jours avant les élections, en envoyant une lettre au Congrès qui annonce de nouvelles «mesures d’enquête» liées à l’utilisation par Hillary Clinton d’un serveur privé pour ses courriels.

La lettre, qui fait trois paragraphes, envoyée par le chef du FBI, James Comey, à huit comités du Congrès vendredi est remarquablement vague. Elle mentionne qu’«en lien avec un dossier qui n’est pas relié, le FBI a appris l’existence de ces courriels qui semblent être pertinents pour l’enquête» du serveur privé de courriels de Clinton. Comey note lui-même qu’il avait auparavant dit au Congrès que l’enquête était «terminée».

Il déclare qu’il a accepté de «permettre aux enquêteurs de vérifier ces courriels afin de déterminer s’ils contiennent de l’information classée secrète et évaluer leur importance en lien avec notre enquête». Il reconnaît que le FBI «ne peut dire maintenant si, oui ou non, ce matériel est significatif».

La question évidente qui émerge est, pourquoi, étant donné le fait que le FBI ne sait même pas si ces courriels additionnels contiennent de l’information significative liée à l’affaire des courriels de Clinton, l’agence doit en faire une question publique, à quelques jours de l’élection. Des commentateurs dans les médias ont indiqué que la lettre viole une interdiction informelle, en place depuis longtemps, selon laquelle le FBI ne peut faire des annonces politiquement sensibles à moins de 60 jours des élections.

Suite aux reportages sur la lettre de Comey, les médias, citant des responsables anonymes liés à des agences policières fédérales, ont dit que les courriels en question ont été trouvés sur un ordinateur portable partagé par la conseillère de Clinton, Huma Abedin et son mari, l’ancien membre de la Chambre des représentants, Anthony Weiner.

Weiner fait l’objet d’une enquête du FBI parce qu’il aurait envoyé des messages textes sexuellement explicites à une mineure. Abedin a annoncé sa séparation de Weiner plus tôt cette année après que le dernier épisode impliquant Weiner et des activités en ligne sexuellement explicites soit devenu public.

La lettre de Comey a été louangée par Donald Trump et des représentants du Parti républicain comme étant l’équivalent d’une réouverture officielle de l’enquête du FBI et de la résiliation de la décision de Comey en juillet selon laquelle aucune accusation ne serait portée contre la candidate présidentielle du Parti démocrate.

Clinton a parlé brièvement à la presse vendredi soir. Elle a demandé que le FBI fournisse plus d’informations sur le contenu de ce qu’il vérifiait, incluant s’il y avait un lien avec son utilisation d’un serveur privé pour ses courriels. Elle a fait remarquer que plus de 15 millions de personnes ont déjà voté et que des millions de plus vont se rendre aux urnes cette semaine dans le cadre du vote par anticipation. En réponse aux questions, elle a indiqué que le FBI ne l’avait pas contactée et qu’elle a appris pour la première fois de l’existence de la lettre par les médias.

À ce stade, il est impossible de déterminer avec précision les motivations derrière la lettre de Comey et les forces politiques pour lesquelles il parle. Cependant, sa tentative de présenter cette lettre comme une réponse politique désintéressée à la découverte de nouvelles informations n’a aucune crédibilité.

L’intervention directe dans l’élection par la principale agence de police et de renseignement ne peut être que l’expression d’une crise et de tensions profondes au sein de la classe dirigeante américaine et de l’État. Toute l’élection a été dominée par la montée de la colère sociale et des sentiments anti-establishment, mais elle a culminé en un concours entre deux représentants de droite des 1 pour cent les plus riches qui sont méprisés par de vastes couches de l’électorat.

Elle a atteint les bas-fonds de la dégradation politique chez les deux candidats – le milliardaire fascisant Trump a tenté de canaliser le mécontentement populaire derrière les politiques les plus à droite, chauvines et racistes; la multimillionnaire Clinton s’est tournée vers des scandales sexuels et des attaques à la McCarthy contre Trump en le dénonçant comme un agent du président russe Vladimir Poutine afin d’étouffer les révélations accablantes de corruptions et de mensonge et d’amener l’opinion publique derrière une politique d’escalade militaire et de confrontation avec la Russie, qui a l’arme nucléaire.

Tout le processus électoral est entouré d’une aura de violence et d’un effondrement de la confiance du public envers le système politique. Il se déroule dans des conditions d’intensification de crise économique, de tensions internationales et de crise de l’impérialisme américain partout dans le monde: la débâcle en cours de la guerre de Washington pour un changement de régime en Syrie, des signes de chaos dans le «tournant vers l’Asie» anti-chinois, l’émergence de conflits ouverts avec les «alliés» impérialistes en Europe, particulièrement avec l’Allemagne.

La convergence de ces crises génère des conflits intenses au sein même de la classe dirigeante américaine sur les politiques à adopter. Et cela est amplifié par une vague montante d’opposition sociale aux États-Unis.

Que l’intention de la lettre de Comey ait été d’infliger un coup fatal à la candidature de Clinton, de consolider des majorités républicaines précaires au Sénat et à la Chambre des représentants ou d’envoyer un coup de semonce contre une future administration Clinton, tout cela montre clairement que la prochaine administration sera embourbée dans des crises dès sa première journée au pouvoir.

Un ancien responsable du département de la Justice a indiqué que Comey subissait une pression interne intense au sein du FBI sur sa déclaration précédente selon laquelle aucun procureur compétent ne porterait des accusations contre Clinton quant à son utilisation d’un serveur privé. Si cela est vrai, ça veut dire que des sections de l’agence de police fédérale sont en rébellion ouverte contre la candidate qui pourrait très prochainement devenir leur «commandante en chef».

L’intervention du FBI à la veille des élections de 2016 représente une accélération d’une tendance dans la politique américaine qui a émergé pour la première fois dans une série d’enquêtes menées par les républicains contre l’administration de Bill Clinton, qui avait abouti à sa destitution en 1998. Cela a été suivi par l’élection volée de 2000, lorsque la Cour suprême est intervenue par une majorité de 5 contre 4 pour arrêter le recomptage des voix en Floride dans le but de remettre la Maison-Blanche à George W. Bush, le perdant dans le vote populaire.

Le système bipartite aux États-Unis a toujours été un instrument de la classe dirigeante, dominé par la grande entreprise. La croissance sans précédent des inégalités sociales pendant les quatre dernières décennies a creusé le gouffre entre le système politique et la grande majorité de la population. De plus en plus, la vie politique officielle tourne autour d’intrigues de palais, dans laquelle les médias et l’appareil militaire et de renseignement jouent un rôle central. L’utilisation constante de scandales et de fuites calculées est maintenant la norme.

Une chose est sûre: aucune de ces attaques et contre-attaques entre les factions capitalistes rivales n’est liée à la défense des droits démocratiques et des intérêts sociaux des travailleurs. Pour le système capitaliste bipartite, le peuple américain n’est qu’un objet destiné à être manipulé par la démagogie et le scandale.

Patrick Martin

Article paru d’abord en anglais, WSWS, le 29 octobre 2016

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Is a war in the making — a third world war?

If there is much talk about such a possibility, it is mainly because of the tensions between the United States and Russia. Tensions between the two most powerful nuclear states in the world have never been this high since the end of the Cold War in 1989 and the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991.

There are at least two flash points, one more dangerous than the other. In Eastern Ukraine, Russian backed rebels will not surrender to the US supported regime in Kiev because they see US control over Ukraine as part of a much larger agenda to expand NATO power to the very borders of Russia. This has been happening for some years now.

But it is the Washington-Moscow confrontation in Allepo, Syria which portends to a huge conflagration. The US is protective of major militant groups such as Al-Nusra which has besieged Eastern Allepo  and is seeking to overthrow the Bashar al-Assad government. Washington has also set its sight on ‘regime change’ in Damascus ever since the latter’s determined resistance to Israeli occupation of the strategic Golan Heights in Syria from 1967 onwards. The drive for regime change intensified with the US-Israeli quest for a “new Middle East” following the Anglo-American invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003. It became more pronounced in 2009 when Bashar al-Assad rejected a proposal to allow a gas pipe-line from Qatar to Europe to pass through his country, a pipe-line which would have reduced Europe’s dependence upon Russia for gas. Russia of course has been a long-standing ally of Syria. Together with Iran and the Lebanese Hezbollah, it is helping the Syrian government to break the siege of Eastern Allepo and to defeat militants in other parts of Syria.

It is obvious that in both instances, in Ukraine and Syria, the US has not been able to achieve what it wants. The US has also been stymied in Southeast Asia where its attempt to re-assert its power through its 2010 ‘Pivot to Asia’ policy has suffered a serious setback as a result of the decision of the new president  of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, to pursue an independent foreign policy that no longer adheres blindly to US interests. At the same time, China continues to expand and enhance its economic strength in Asia and the world through its One Belt One Road (OBOR) projects and the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and via its leadership of BRICS. China’s regional and global economic role is leading to its pronounced presence in security and military matters. As a result of all this, the US’s imperial power has clearly diminished. It is a hegemon in decline.

Source of image: lhvnews.com

It is because it is not prepared to accept its decline that some US generals are threatening to demonstrate US’s military might. If a hegemon is a danger to humankind when it is at its pinnacle, it becomes an even greater threat to peace when its power is diminishing. Like a wounded tiger, it becomes even more furious and ferocious. A new US president may be inclined to give vent to this frustration through an arrogant display of military power.

How can we check such wanton arrogance?  There will be elements in the elite stratum of US society itself who would be opposed to the US going to war. We saw a bit of this in 2013 when those who were itching to launch military strikes against Syria based upon dubious “evidence” of the government’s use of chemical weapons were thwarted by others with a saner view of the consequences of war. It is also important to observe that none of the US’s major allies in Europe wants a war. Burdened by severe challenges related to the economy and migration, the governments know that their citizens will reject any move towards war either on the borders of Russia or in Syria and West Asia.

This also suggests that a self-absorbed European citizenry may not have the enthusiasm to mobilise against an imminent war. Let us not forget that it was in European cities from London to Berlin that the biggest demonstrations against the war in Iraq took place in 2003. Anti-war protests will have to be initiated elsewhere this time.

Governments in Moscow and Beijing, in Tehran and Jakarta, in Pretoria and La Paz, should come out openly against war. They should encourage other governments in the Global South and the Global North to denounce any move towards a war that will engulf the whole of humanity. Citizens all over the world should condemn war through a variety of strategies ranging from signature campaigns and letters to the media to public rallies and street demonstrations.

In this campaign against an imminent war, the media, both conventional and alternative, will have a huge role to play. It is unfortunate that well-known media outlets in the West have supported war in the past. It is time that they atone for their sins!

Dr. Chandra Muzaffar is the President of the International Movement for a Just World (JUST).

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What Keeps the F-35 Fighter Jet Alive…

octobre 31st, 2016 by David Swanson

Imagine if a local business in your town invented a brand new tool that was intended to have an almost magical effect thousands of miles away. However, where the tool was kept and used locally became an area unsafe for children. Children who got near this tool tended to have increased blood pressure and increased stress hormones, lower reading skills, poorer memories, impaired auditory and speech perception, and impaired academic performance.

Most of us would find this situation at least a little concerning, unless the new invention was designed to murder lots of people. Then it’d be just fine.

Now, imagine if this same new tool ruined neighborhoods because people couldn’t safely live near it. Imagine if the government had to compensate people but kick them out of living near the location of this tool. Again, I think, we might find that troubling if mass murder were not the mission.

Imagine also that this tool fairly frequently explodes, emitting highly toxic chemicals, particles, and fibers unsafe to breathe into the air for miles around. Normally, that’d be a problem. But if this tool is needed for killing lots of people, we’ll work with its flaws, won’t we?

Now, what if this new gadget was expected to cost at least $1,400,000,000,000 over 50 years? And what if that money had to be taken away from numerous other expenses more beneficial for the economy and the world?

What if the $1.4 trillion was drained out of the economy causing a loss of jobs and a radical diminution of resources for education, healthcare, housing, environmental protection, or humanitarian aid? Wouldn’t that be a worry in some cases, I mean in those cases where the ability to kill tons of human beings wasn’t at stake?

What if this product, even when working perfectly, was a leading destroyer of the earth’s natural environment?

What if this high-tech toy wasn’t even designed to do what was expected of it and wasn’t even able to do what it was designed for?

Amazingly, even those shortcomings do not matter as long as the intention is massive murder and destruction. Then, all is forgiven.

The tool I’m describing is called the F-35 Fighter Lightening II by Lockheed Martin. At RootsAction.org you can find a new petition launched by locally-minded people acting globally in places where the F-35 is intended to be based. Also at that link you’ll find explanations of how the tool I’ve been decribing is the F-35.

The petition is directed to the United States Congress and the governments of Australia, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Israel, Japan and South Korea from the world and from the people of Burlington, Vermont, and Fairbanks, Alaska, where the F-35 is to be based. This effort is being initiated by Vermont Stop the F35 Coalition, Save Our Skies Vermont, Western Maine Matters, Alaska Peace Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks Peace Club, North Star Chapter 146 Veterans For Peace, World Beyond War, RootsAction.org, Code Pink, and Ben Cohen.

The petition reads:

The F-35 is a weapon of offensive war, serving no defensive purpose. It is planned to cost the U.S. $1.4 trillion over 50 years. Because starvation on earth could be ended for $30 billion and the lack of clean drinking water for $11 billion per year, it is first and foremost through the wasting of resources that this airplane will kill. Military spending, contrary to popular misconception, also hurts the U.S. economy (see here) and other economies. The F-35 causes negative health impacts and cognitive impairment in children living near its bases. It renders housing near airports unsuitable for residential use. It has a high crash rate and horrible consequences to those living in the area of its crashes. Its emissions are a major environmental polluter.

Wars are endangering the United States and other participating nations rather than protecting them. Nonviolent tools of law, diplomacy, aid, crisis prevention, and verifiable nuclear disarmament should be substituted for continuing counterproductive wars. Therefore, we, the undersigned, call for the immediate cancellation of the F-35 program as a whole, and the immediate cancellation of plans to base any such dangerous and noisy jets near populated areas. We oppose replacing the F-35 with any other weapon or basing the F-35 in any other locations. We further demand redirection of the money for the F-35 back into taxpayers’ pockets, and into environmental and human needs in the U.S., other F-35 customer nations, and around the world, including to fight climate change, pay off student debt, rebuild crumbling infrastructure, and improve education, healthcare, and housing.

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Une nouvelle fois, la communauté internationale a rejeté les sanctions économiques qui étranglent le peuple cubain.

Pour la vingt-cinquième année consécutive, l’Assemblée générale des Nations unies a exprimé sa condamnation du blocus économique, commercial et financier imposé par Washington à Cuba depuis plus d’un demi-siècle. Les sanctions obsolètes – elles remontent à la Guerre froide –, immorales – elles affectent les catégories les plus vulnérables de la population civile –, et illégales – en raison de leur portée rétroactive et extraterritoriale –, constituent le principal obstacle au développement de l’île[1].

Sur les 193 pays présents lors de la rencontre annuelle, 191 ont exhorté les Etats-Unis à mettre un terme au châtiment infligé à la population cubaine, qui impacte tous les secteurs de la société. Pour la première fois depuis 1992, année de la présentation initiale par Cuba de la résolution exigeant l’élimination des mesures de rétorsion économique imposées depuis 1960, Washington a décidé de s’abstenir lors du vote, reconnaissant ainsi l’échec de sa politique d’hostilité à l’égard des Cubains ainsi que la réalité de son isolement sur la scène internationale. Israël, qui a toujours suivi le vote des Etats-Unis, a également choisi l’abstention[2].

Samantha Power, représentante des Etats-Unis aux Nations Unies, avait annoncé lors de son allocution la décision de la Maison-Blanche de ne pas rejeter le texte de résolution comme les années précédentes :

 « Depuis plus de 50 ans, les Etats-Unis ont appliqué une politique destinée à isoler le gouvernement de Cuba. Depuis un quart de siècle, les membres des Nations unies ont voté de manière unanime en faveur de la résolution […] qui condamne l’embargo des Etats-Unis. […] Au lieu d’isoler Cuba, […] notre politique a isolé les Etats-Unis, y compris au sein des Nations unies. Aujourd’hui, les Etats-Unis opteront pour l’abstention. C’est un autre pas modeste et nous espérons qu’il y en aura encore beaucoup d’autres afin de mettre fin à l’embargo américain une fois pour toutes[3] ».

Ce vote historique s’inscrit dans la continuité des mesures adoptées par Barack Obama depuis le rétablissement du dialogue avec La Havane le 17 décembre 2014. Depuis cette date, la Maison-Blanche a procédé à la libération de trois prisonniers politiques cubains et a retiré Cuba de la liste des pays soutenant le terrorisme. Elle a également annoncé à plusieurs reprises – six au total – des allègements parcimonieux des sanctions économiques, même si leur portée reste très limitée. Ainsi, depuis deux ans, l’administration démocrate a renoué les relations diplomatiques avec Cuba, procédé à la réouverture d’une ambassade à La Havane, rétabli les vols commerciaux directs entre les deux pays, élargi les catégories (12 au total) de citoyens étasuniens autorisés à se rendre à Cuba et donné son accord pour certains investissements étasuniens dans l’île, notamment dans le domaine des télécommunications. La visite historique de Barack Obama à Cuba en mars 2016 a consacré cette nouvelle ère pour les relations entre Cuba et les Etats-Unis.

Les dernières mesures ont été annoncées le 14 octobre 2016, soit deux semaines avant le vote aux Nations unies, et permettent, entre autres, aux citoyens étasuniens autorisés à voyager à Cuba de ramener du rhum et du tabac cubains sans limite de quantité. Néanmoins, Washington interdit toujours l’importation classique de ces mêmes produits sur le marché étasunien. De la même manière, Barack Obama avait annoncé en mars 2016 que Cuba pourrait dorénavant utiliser le dollar pour ses transactions internationales. Plus de six mois après cette annonce, La Havane n’a toujours pas pu réaliser d’échanges en monnaie étasunienne, en raison de la  crainte des banques internationales d’être sanctionnées par le Département du Trésor étasunien[4].

Le gouvernement cubain, par la voix de Bruno Rodríguez, Ministre des Affaires étrangères, a salué le geste de Barack Obama. Néanmoins, il a tenu à rappeler que les sanctions économiques étaient toujours en vigueur :

« Le blocus économique, commercial et financier persiste, provoque des dommages au peuple cubain et constitue un obstacle au développement du pays. […] Il n’y a pas de famille cubaine ni de secteur dans le pays qui n’ait pas souffert de ses effets : au niveau de la santé, de l’alimentation, des services, des prix des produits, des salaires et des retraites. […] En raison de son caractère résolument extraterritorial, il affecte aussi directement tous les Etats membres des Nations unies[5] ».

Aucune administration n’aura été aussi loin dans la normalisation des relations avec Cuba que celle de Barack Obama. Cependant, alors que son dernier mandat touche à sa fin, le Président des Etats-Unis n’a pas fait usage de ses prérogatives en tant que chef du pouvoir exécutif pour démanteler le réseau de sanctions économiques contre Cuba. En effet, la Maison-Blanche pourrait par exemple rétablir le commerce bilatéral entre les entreprises étasuniennes et cubaines, autoriser les investissements étasuniens à Cuba et autoriser Cuba à acquérir des produits non alimentaires à crédit sur le marché des Etats-Unis. Les domaines relevant d’une décision du Congrès sont relativement restreints et peuvent être contournés par le pouvoir exécutif.

Depuis leur imposition il y a plus d’un demi-siècle, les sanctions économiques ont coûté 125 milliards de dollars à l’économie cubaine et constituent le principal obstacle au développement de l’île. Elles constituent une violation grave du droit international et suscitent l’opprobre de la communauté internationale qui a une nouvelle fois exprimé son opposition aux mesures de coercition imposées à la population. Leur levée est indispensable à la normalisation des relations entre Cuba et les Etats-Unis.

Salim Lamrani

Université de La Réunion

 

Docteur ès Etudes Ibériques et Latino-américaines de l’Université Paris IV-Sorbonne, Salim Lamrani est Maître de conférences à l’Université de La Réunion, et journaliste, spécialiste des relations entre Cuba et les Etats-Unis.

Son nouvel ouvrage s’intitule Fidel Castro, héros des déshérités, Paris, Editions Estrella, 2016. Préface d’Ignacio Ramonet.

Contact : [email protected] ; [email protected]

Page Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/SalimLamraniOfficiel

 


[1] Somini Sengupta & Rick Gladstone, « U.S Abstains in U.N. Vote Condemning Cuba Embargo », The New York Times, 26 octobre 2016. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/27/world/americas/united-nations-cuba-embargo.html?_r=0 (site consulté le 29 octobre 2016).

[2] Ibid.

[3] Samatha Power, « Remarks at a UN General Assembly Meeting on the Cuba Embargo », United States Mission to the United Nations, 26 octobre 2016. https://usun.state.gov/remarks/7510 (site consulté le 29 octobre 2016).

[4] Barack Obama, « Presidential Policy Directive : United States-Cuba Normalization », The White House, 14 octobre 2016. https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/10/14/presidential-policy-directive-united-states-cuba-normalization (site consulté le 28 octobre 2016).

[5] Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, « Discourso del Ministro de Relaciones Exteriores de Cuba, Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, en la presentación del proyecto de Resolución ‘Necesidad de poner fin al bloqueo económico, comercial y financiero impuesto por los Estados Unidos de América contra Cuba’ en la Asamblea General de Naciones Unidas », Cubadebate, 26 octobre 2016. http://www.cubadebate.cu/opinion/2016/10/26/bruno-rodriguez-eeuu-se-abstiene-en-onu-pero-el-bloqueo-sigue/#.WBT4zHrj-2U (site consulté le 29 octobre 2016).

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Quand Walid Joumblatt pressait le Président Elias Hraoui de lancer une opération militaire conjointe libano-syrienne pour mater le Général Michel Aoun, à l’époque principal opposant à la présence militaire syrienne au Liban.

Le Parlement libanais s’apprête à élire, lundi 31 octobre 2016, Michel Aoun, à la présidence de la République libanaise, au terme de plus de deux ans de vacances de pouvoir.

Le Chef du Courant Patriotique Libanais, la plus importante formation chrétienne libanaise, allié majeur du Hezbollah, a bénéficié dernièrement du ralliement à sa candidature de M. Saad Hariri, le chef du clan rival de la formation chiite.

La joie, réelle, qui a envahi les Libanais à l’annonce de cet arrangement électoral ne saurait masquer les turpitudes de la classe politique et leur volonté à l’époque de mater le général Aoun.

Ancien chef du gouvernement transitoire libanais en sa qualité de commandant en chef de l’armée, à l’expiration du mandat du président Amine Gemayel, en 1988, et opposant farouche à la présence syrienne au Liban, le Général Aoun a dû s’exiler, en 1990, en France, au terme d’un combat fratricide inter-chrétien avec son rival politique Samir Geagea, à l’époque chefs des Forces Libanaises, les milices chrétienne; épilogue de l’arrangement inter libanais de Taef (1989) qui met fin à la guerre civile.

Dans ses mémoires, le président Élias Hraoui, le terne premier Président effectif de la République post arrangement de Taef, relate les manigances de Walid Joumblatt, chef féodal du parti socialiste libanais, en vue de mâter le Général Aoun, ainsi que les engagements de Samir Geagea, l’un des grands criminels de la guerre libanaise et allié privilégié d’Israël de mettre une sourdine à sa campagne anti-syrienne, sous réserve que «soit mis fin à la situation anormale représentée par Michel Aoun».

Ci joint la traduction des extraits de mémoires en arabe du Président Hraoui :

Dans son ouvrage intitulé «La restauration de la République: Des micro-états à l’état», le président Hraoui reproduit deux lettres l’une de Walid Joumblatt, l’autre de Samir Geagea, ayant trait à cette affaire.

L’engagement conditionné de Samir Geagea.

Page 142, l’ouvrage reproduit une lettre manuscrite de Samir Geagea dans laquelle le chef des Forces Libanaises s’engage auprès du président libanais à «cesser les campagnes médiatiques contre la Syrie», à placer ses hommes -officiers ou simples combattants- sous l’autorité hiérarchique, de même que la restitution des armes de sa milice aux autorités légales».

La lettre, en date du 14 Février 1990, stipule que «de telles dispositions seront mises en vigueur dès qu’il aura été mis fin à la situation anormale de Michel Aoun».

La missive de Walid Joumblatt

Page 144, l’ouvrage reproduit une lettre manuscrite de Walid Joumblatt dans laquelle, le futur partenaire en affaires de Rafic Hariri, le milliardaire libanais saoudien, plaide ouvertement pour une intervention militaire libano syrienne contre le Général Michel Aoun

Ci joint l’intégralité de la lettre :

«Le rapport des forces semble évoluer en faveur de Michel Aoun. Il incombe de le priver d’une victoire militaire totale, par le biais d’une opération militaire conjointe syro-libanaise, depuis Souk Al Gharb», localité stratégique sur la route Beyrouth-Damas, dans la montagne libanaise, située en surplomb de la capitale libanaise.

«Nous sommes disposés à y participer. Mais le temps presse et il importe de passer à l’offensive dans les heures qui suivent, avant que Michel Aoun n’élimine Samir Geagea et ne s’intronise Roi des Chrétiens ou Gouverneur Suprême».

Epilogue :

26 ans après cette correspondance, Samir Geagea faisait alliance avec Michel Aoun pour barrer la voie à Souleimane Frangieh, l’unique rescapé de la tuerie d’Ehden (1978) ordonnée par le chef des forces libanaises contre le clan Frangieh, pour éradiquer tout contestataire à son leadership.

Mais entre temps, que de deuils, de destructions, de vies brisées, de victimes innocentes des guerres picrocholines de la mafiocratie libanaise.

Signe du dysfonctionnement de la démocratie libanaise, tant célebrée ailleurs par des thuriféraires intéressés par sa précarisation, le Général Michel Aoun, est le 4eme officier supérieur à accéder à la magistrature en 47 ans d’indépendance, après le Général Fouad Chehab (1958-1964), Le Général Emile Lahoud (1998-2007), Michel Souleimane (2007-2013). Et le troisième d’affilée depuis l’invasion américaine de l’Irak, en 2003, et turbulences djihadistes qui se sont ensuivies dans la zone.

René Naba

Annexe documentaire : madaniya.info

 

Illustration : Des milliers de Libanais manifestent à Beyrouth en déployant un drapeau national géant pour réclamer l’élection du président de la République au suffrage universel direct, le 4 septembre 2015 afp.com/PATRICK BAZ

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According to the Syrian dissidents’ news website, Enab, Muhaysini has released a video recently in which he appreciated Riyadh and other Arab states for equipping his comrades with missiles.

The Saudi preacher said that the missiles that they have sent would be used to break the Syrian army and its allies’ siege of Aleppo.

He also thanked Turkey for supporting the terrorists and treating the wounded militants in its hospitals.

Jaish al-Fatah is a conglomerate of terrorist groups with Al-Nusra (Fatah Al-Sham) Front comprising its main body.

In relevant remarks in June, a source said that Saudi Arabia has sent new cargoes of weapons and financial aid to the terrorists in Aleppo in Northern Syria to strengthen them against the Syrian army and its allies’ fresh attacks.

« The Saudi regime has recently sent small arms and new equipment, including 5 drones, to the terrorists in Syria, » the source said.

To this end, Riyadh has sent one of its ranking officers to the regions controlled by terrorists in Northern Aleppo to supply them with money and arms to intensify attacks and open new fronts against the Syrian army and popular forces, the source added.

Also, a prominent Syrian military analyst said earlier this month that the terrorists in Aleppo take orders from outside and don’t dare to leave the city in anticipation of punishment by Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

« Violation of the ceasefire by the terrorists and their opposition to the evacuation of Aleppo is of no surprise as they are not the ones in charge of the decision-making for remaining or leaving the city, rather they take orders from the regional and international sides for whom they are working, » Turki Hassan told FNA last Saturday.

Noting that the main cause of the terrorists’ stubborn stay in Aleppo is that leaders of Fatah al-Sham (formerly known as al-Nusra Front and Ahrar al-Sham) are afraid of punishment by their Qatari, Saudi and Turkish masters, he said, « If they move in defiance of their Qatari, Saudi and Turkish lords, they might be killed and their properties be seized. »

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According to the publication, along with Sabuncu, the police have detained Guray Oz, a Cumhuriyet columnist, following raids in their houses.

There were no immediate reports about the reasons of their detentions.

On July 15, a military coup attempt took place in Turkey. It was suppressed the following day. Over 240 people were killed during the coup attempt and an estimated 2,000 were wounded. Ankara has accused dissident Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who has been living in the US state of Pennsylvania since 1999, and his followers of playing a key role in the coup.

According to the Turkish Justice Ministry, a total of 32,000 military officers, high-ranking civil servants, judges and teachers suspected of being Gulen supporters have been arrested in Turkey after the failed coup attempt.

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When one thinks of beheadings for things which in most of the world are perfectly legal, when one thinks of treating foreign low-paid workers like slaves, when one thinks of treating women worse than animals, when one thinks of nepotism, bribery, a total lack of democracy, meddling in foreign elections, random justice, the export and funding of radical Islamic terrorism, belligerence towards one’s neighbours, ideological warfare and corrupt arms deals; which of the following first comes to mind, Human Rights or Saudi Arabia?

The answer is of course Saudi Arabia where the aforementioned events are all in a day’s work in the creepy Kingdom.  The fact that Saudi Arabia just got re-elected to the UN Human Rights Council is just another reason why this important institution is in serious need of reform and democratisation, in order for it to better live up to the noble and crucial principles of its founding charter.

Putting Saudi Arabia in charge of anything remotely related to human rights is a bit like putting a serial arsonist in charge of a metropolitan fire brigade. It’s clear that the Saudis bought votes from the regional block which re-elected the Kingdom to the Council. By contrast, Russia lost an election where votes are cast by countries who themselves do not have a sterling record of human rights. Ascending to Russia’s former regional bloc is Croatia, a country where unapologetic neo-Nazis hold power in high office and where business practices remain thoroughly corrupt. The whole thing is rather farcical.

But beyond the farce is something quite serious. The UN needs reform at all levels. The UNHRC in particular should set basic standards of human rights which countries must adhere to in order to even be considered for a position on the Council. If this were the case countries like Croatia and Saudi Arabia wouldn’t be let near such an organisation.

The Saudis have continually abused their vested position on the Council to block any investigations into the atrocities they are responsible for in Yemen and the wider Middle East.  By allowing a criminal to be his own judge, it is no wonder that a conviction is impossible.

Whilst Saudi Arabia and Turkey compete to see who can carve up the Middle East more rapidly, it is Russia who listens to the authentic voices of ordinary Arabs in their struggle to have a life free of terrorism, theocracy and medieval government. The UNHRC may not recognise this, but the history books shall.

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Selloff in Global Bond Markets

octobre 31st, 2016 by Nick Beams

Global bond markets experienced a significant selloff last week, sparking fears that something much more serious could be developing.

German bonds experienced their worst month since 2013. Yields on the country’s 10-year securities, regarded as the benchmark for European financial markets, rose to their highest levels for six months. In the US, the 10-year treasury bond yield climbed to its highest level since June. (The yield on a bond moves in an inverse relationship to its price.)

The biggest selloff and rise in yields was in Britain where the return on a 10-year bond rose to a post-Brexit referendum high. Gilts, as they are called, have recorded their largest loss since the turmoil of the global financial crisis in January 2009.

The yield on these British bonds has risen from an historic low of 0.51 percent in the middle of August to 1.28 percent. This means that an investor who purchased bonds at the end of August has suffered a paper loss of £91,000 on every £1 million outlaid, or just over 9 percent, in the space of less than two months.

There are two main reasons for the bond sell-off. The first is the expectation of a December interest rise by the US Federal Reserve, coupled with uncertainty over the future of the European Central Bank’s (ECB) quantitative easing (QE) program of bond purchases. The second is signs that inflation may be moving upward, which tends to depress bond prices. This is because bonds pay a fixed income and rising prices reduce the income stream and lower the value of the principal in real terms in the future.

Peter Chatwell, head of rates strategy at Mizuho International in London, told Bloomberg: “The premise of the selloff so far was higher inflation and uncertainty on what the ECB is going to do next and particularly about how the next leg of quantitative easing would look.”

The ECB has said it will announce the future of its QE program, under which it purchases €80 billion worth of bonds per month, at the next meeting of its governing council in December. At present the program is due to end in March 2017. While an immediate cut-off appears unlikely, the ECB may decide to “taper” its purchases in the same way that the Fed did when it withdrew from bond purchases. Any move to extend the program without any indication of when it would start to be wound back would increase opposition from German financial authorities, who have been critical of the policy from the outset.

There is a general mood in financial markets that central banks may start to ease back on QE measures. One of the reasons for the sharp movement in Britain is that the economy expanded by 0.5 percent in the September quarter—a better result than expected in the immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote—and so Bank of England governor Mark Carney will be less inclined to further loosen monetary policy.

According to a report in the Financial Times, “investors are now broadly reassessing the willingness of the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan to maintain their aggressive unconventional measures” as the Fed “prepares markets for another US interest rate increase in December.”

As one fund manager told the newspaper, the bond market was at an “inflection point” as a result. “We’re seeing a general attitude shift. It’s subtle, but it’s there.”

While the movements thus far are relatively small, they can have large consequences. The reason is that the policies of the world’s major central banks in pumping trillions of dollars into financial markets have created a bond market bubble. At one point, the price of bonds rose so high that some $10 trillion worth were trading at negative yields. That is, if an investor purchased these bonds and held them to maturity, they would suffer an overall loss.

The reason such purchases were made, however, was not to hold the bonds but to sell them for a capital gain when their price rose even further.

As the Wall Street Journal noted, the “weak point” for bonds is that their “previous superstrong performance … makes them unusually vulnerable.”

This means that relatively small movements can have a large effect. A rise in the rate of inflation, for example, from 1 percent to 2 percent would not have major consequences in the real economy. But it would have a significant impact on financial markets if it were matched by the same rise in yields.

According to an article published by Dow Jones, it has been estimated that such an increase would reduce the value of Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Global Broad Market Index, which measures global bond prices, by 6.9 percent, that is, a loss of about $3.36 trillion.

Such calculations throw a spotlight on the explosive contradictions at the very centre of the monetary policies pursued by the major central banks in the eight years since the financial crisis.

The stated aim of their agenda has been to lift the real economy. However, rather than produce any tangible boost—investment, for example, remains well below pre-2008 trends in all the major economies—the most significant effect has been to create a bubble in both equity and bond markets. Consequently, if interest rates do start to rise, either because of an increase in inflation or an uptick in economic growth—the stated aim of QE measures—there is the risk of a major crisis as a result of massive losses incurred in finance markets.

Moreover, there is a significant difference between the situation today and that of eight years ago. In 2008 the central banks stood outside the financial markets. Today they are major players and would therefore be directly involved in any market meltdown.

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The difference between leave and remain was 3.8 percent or 1.3 million in favour of Leave. However, in a close analysis, virtually all the polls show that the UK electorate wants to remain in the EU, and has wanted to remain since referendum day. Moreover, according to predicted demographics, the UK will want to remain in the EU for the foreseeable future.

There have been at least 13 polls since June 23rd which have asked questions similar to ‘Would you vote the same again’ or ‘Was the country right to vote for Brexit’. Eleven of these polls indicate that the majority in the UK do not want Brexit. The poll predictions leading up to the referendum narrowed but a significant majority of late polls indicated that the country wanted to remain. The leader of UKIP even conceded defeat on the night of the vote, presumably because the final polls were convincing that Remain would win.

In fact, according to the first post-referendum poll (Ipsos/Newsnight, 29th June), those who did not vote were, by a ratio of 2:1, Remain supporters. It is well known that polls affect both turnout and voting, particularly when it looks as though a particular result is a foregone conclusion. It seems, according to the post-referendum polls, that this was the case. More Remain than Leave supporters who, for whatever reason, found voting too difficult, chose the easier option not to vote, probably because they believed that Remain would win.

brexit-polls-oct-2016
Percentage lead of LEAVE or REMAIN according to the polls post June 23rd

Immediately after the referendum, there was a marked ‘shock’ reaction in the polls against the Leave vote. Some Leave voters had voiced the opinion that they had only voted Leave to give the government a good kicking and they wished they had the opportunity to change their vote. That was reflected in the early polls with the reversal of the Brexit referendum result into double percentage figures. A higher percentage of Leave voters changed their mind to Remain, whilst the Remain voters generally stood firm. Four months on and that has now softened to 90 percent ± 2 percent of both Leave and Remain voters sticking to the guns and the rest of the original voters balancing somewhere between changing their vote or responding that they now don’t know.

What has been largely ignored are the 12.9 million who did not vote. Had the democratic process been that of Australia where voting is compulsory, the polls indicate the result would have been to Remain from day zero, and would still be Remain (see no2brexit.com and businessinsider.com). Of course, there is a criticism of the non-voter but, for various very good reasons, some were reported as simply not able to vote.

Unexpected administrative, personal or employment circumstances disabled some members of the electorate on the day from voting. One Financial Times study pointed out that most university students would generally be encouraged by their university to register to vote in their university town and they may not have realised early enough that they would have to apply for a postal vote given that term would be finished by June 23rd. The non-voters were largely younger voters and all the parties agree that the younger vote was (and still is) far more likely to vote Remain than Leave by a factor of nearly 3:1.

Since the initial shock, the gap in favour of Remain has decreased and, now, stabilised. Only two YouGov polls support a majority in favour of Leave was right, the other eleven polls have all indicated that the will of the UK is that it should remain in the EU. Such unpalatable poll results have been left unreported or occasionally inaccurately reported.

The “What would you vote now” question is being asked less frequently now. As of the middle of October, the polls indicate the continuing preference for Remain. The deciding factor is still amongst those who did not vote, with 41 percent saying that Remain was their preferred option and 26 percent preferring Leave. These figures are very similar to the News-night poll six days after referendum day when the comparative figures for the Remain and Leave non-voters were 35 percent and 19 percent respectively. When the most recent figures are applied to the 12.9 million they provide 1.9 million more Remain supporters which easily overturns the 1.3 million referendum Leave majority. Of course should there be another referendum the previous non-voters might well come out in force because they know what is at stake – but they might not.

By March 2017 when Article 50 is due to be initiated, there will be approximately 563,000 new 18-year-old voters, with approximately a similar number of deaths, the vast majority (83 percent) amongst those over 65. Assuming those who voted stick with their decision and based on the age profile of the referendum result, that, alone, year on year adds more to the Remain majority. A Financial Times model indicated that simply based on that demographic profile, by 2021 the result would be reversed and that will be the case for the foreseeable future.

Finally, two groups, in particular, saw their exclusion from the electorate as undemocratic. According to NUS polls, 75 percent of the 16-18 age group felt they should have had a vote in the UK on Brexit (given its greater long-term implications than a general election vote). The 16-18 age group did have a vote in Scotland on independence and this referendum, many felt, was at least as important. Had the younger vote come out in force there is good evidence to suggest that the referendum result would have been different.

In the second group, members of the Commonwealth (and Eire) who were resident in the UK were able to vote but other members of the EU resident in the UK were not able to vote. All EU residents of Scotland were eligible to vote in the Scottish Referendum but not in the Brexit Referendum. Clearly, if democracy is regarded as allowing those most affected by a decision to have a say in that decision, then this has not happened.  With 2.9 million EU residents in the UK, it is likely that the majority would have voted for Remain and that too is likely to have reversed the decision.

Conclusion

So the UK electorate, as a whole, has been consistently against Brexit and the Remain majority will increase year on year. All things being equal Remain will be the choice of the public by the end of 2021 whether the abstaining electorate is counted or not. Those who saw the vote as a protest against poverty are now experiencing the thin end of the wedge of inflation from a falling pound and slow, drip-like movement of multinational companies out of the UK. Some Remain voters have thrown in the towel, accepting what they see as inevitable. The latest YouGov poll suggests that more people in the UK believe Brexit is bad, rather than good for jobs, will result in less influence in the world, is indifferent for the NHS, and will make the UK economy worse.   A falling economy is bound to bite and reverse some of the enthusiasm for Leave and the effect of that will simply be to consolidate the trend against Brexit.

Sadly nothing less than a second, fairer referendum could redress the unfairness felt by the exclusion from the electorate of both the 16-18s and the non-UK EU residents. This all paints a very sorry picture of the effectiveness of UK democracy. Brexit is not the will of the people in the UK. It never has been. Had all the people spoken on the day the result would almost certainly be what the pollsters had predicted, and what the UK, according to the polls, still wants, and that is to Remain.

Revd. Adrian Low is Emeritus Professor of Computing Education at Staffordshire University and Church of England priest for the Costa del Sol West Chaplaincy in Spain. He is the author of Introductory Computer Vision, Imaging Techniques and Solutions.

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A trade agreement by a NAFTA member state, namely Canada with the European Union (EU) would inevitably lead to de facto integration of the EU into the trading structures of NAFTA which are controlled by Washington and Wall Street.”  – Michel Chossudovsky [1]

What this treaty does and any treaty of this magnitude does, is literally revert us back to …. the divine rule of kings. The only exception is they’re not on thrones now, they’re in a numbered company that floats around the planet.”  – Rocco Galati

« L’état, c’est moi « (The State. It is I) -Louis XIV [2]

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It’s been called the most significant trade deal Canada has negotiated since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) which was enacted 22 years ago. [3]

The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) was the culmination of seven years of negotiations between Canada and the European Union. [4]

The agreement was to have been signed by the two political entities on October 27th. [5] The proposed deal has sparked opposition, however, from farmers, anti-globalization activists, environmentalists and other members of civil society, particularly in European countries. Throughout September and October, thousands took to the streets to make their opposition known. [6]

In the last week of October, there was some well publicized doubt about whether the agreement would be signed at all. [7] It was the Belgian regional district of Wallonia that proved to be the toughest obstacle. By Thursday however, Wallonia dropped its objections following the inclusion of an addendum to the agreement conceived to safeguard farmers and address concerns about investor protections which would have strengthened multi-national corporations. [8]

Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau, was in Brussels for a signing ceremony on Sunday October 30. [9]

Canada’s International Trade Minister and the European Commissioner for Trade have highlighted Canada’s ‘shared values’ with Europe. “If the EU can’t get a trade agreement with liberal, like-minded Canada, who can it get agreements with?” or so the thinking goes.[10][11]

The bi-lateral veneer of the CETA negotiations ignores a very important third agency, namely the United States, who have been pursuing their own trade deal with the EU, namely the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP.)

Professor Michel Chossudovsky, Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization has revealed through his research that there is more to CETA than meets the eye. He believes that once implemented, CETA will intersect with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to create an integration of the two economic trade zones and provide the core for an Atlantic trading block, with dire consequences for the public in both Europe and North America.

Professor Chossudovsky presents his analysis in the first half hour.

As the high stakes brokering among Canadian and European Trade representatives was taking place, a constitutional challenge of the trade accord was quietly filed at the Federal Court of Canada on Friday, October 21. Two of the plaintiffs, the Honourable Paul Hellyer and Ann Emmett of the Committee on Monetary and Economic Reform (COMER) spoke at a press conference in Toronto on Tuesday October 25th along with their lawyer Rocco Galati to explain the substance of the legal case against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Her Majesty the Queen of England and other government representatives. We will air audio from that press conference in our second half hour.

VIDEO: Legal Challenge to CETA. The CETA Agreement is Unconstitutional 

Video courtesy of Lawrence McCurry

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

Community Radio Stations carrying the Global Research News Hour:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Caper Radio CJBU 107.3FM in Sydney, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia airs the Global Research News Hour starting Wednesday Morning from 8:00 to 9:00am. Find more details at www.caperradio.ca 

Notes:

  1. http://www.globalresearch.ca/towards-nafta-eu-economic-integration-back-door-canada-eu-trade-agreement-ceta-sets-the-stage/5547556

  2. Address to the Parliament of Paris; Attr. by weatard-Antoine G, Histoire de Paris (1834), vol.6, p. 298; probably apocryphal; https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Louis_XIV_of_France

  3. ALICJA SIEKIERSKA (July 6, 2016), Globe and Mail, “EXPLAINER: What you need to know about CETA”; http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/what-you-need-to-know-about-ceta/article30764897/

  4. ibid

  5. http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2016/10/21/chrystia-freeland-ceta-beligium-wallonia_n_12587152.html

  6. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/brussels-protesters-march-against-transatlantic-trade-deals-ceta-ttip/article31965528/

  7. http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2016/10/21/chrystia-freeland-ceta-beligium-wallonia_n_12587152.html

  8. https://www.euractiv.com/section/trade-society/news/eu-canada-to-sign-landmark-trade-deal-on-sunday/

  9. ibid

  10. http://www.canadainternational.gc.ca/eu-ue/policies-politiques/ceta_faq_aecg.aspx?lang=eng

  11. http://www.cgai.ca/canada_eu_free_trade_the_end_or_future_of_trade_liberalization

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This last Friday it became public record that FBI Director James Comey reopened the Hillary Clinton email server investigation after repeatedly testifying before Congress and the world up to last July that he’d closed the case, after in his words not finding sufficient evidence of “any criminal wrongdoing” to indict her in spite of her four years as Secretary of State egregiously breaching our national security:’ 

-committing obstruction of justice and willful tampering with evidence, 

deleting 30,000 emails after receiving a court subpoena constituting destruction of evidence,

-not to mention repeatedly engaging in perjury before Congress and the FBI.

But obviously a federal investigation still in process in late June never stopped Bill Clinton’s illegal ambush at the Phoenix airport of Comey’s boss US Attorney General Loretta Lynch (image right) “clearing” the way for Hillary to proceed without consequence to be anointed as the next US figurehead puppet president by the ruling elite.

Because it’s so blatantly obvious to the entire world that Hillary is guilty as sin, Comey’s whitewash didn’t go over well with either Americans or longtime FBI agents who reacted angrily to Comey’s over-the-top corruption. Subsequently in recent months Comey has had a virtual mutiny on his hands as in the FBI boss has lost all credibility, respect and moral authority. 

Former federal attorney for the District of Columbia Joe diGenova spelled it all out in a WMAL radio interview last Friday just hours after the news was released that Comey had sent a letter informing Congress that the case is being reopened. DiGenova said that with an open revolt brewing inside the FBI, Comey was forced to go public on Friday with reopening the investigation. The former DC attorney added that the FBI investigators discovered more emails on a phone confiscated from the former New York Congressman and separated husband Anthony Weiner that also included his wife and longtime Hillary’s right-hand woman Huma Abedin’s communications that allegedly bear pertinent relevance to the Hillary case. Funny how things have a karmic way of coming full circle – the Clintons first introduced Weiner and Abedin 15 years ago and they married a half dozen years ago.

In a separate FBI investigation involving Weiner’s alleged sexting messages with a 15-year old minor, the phone in question was handed over to the FBI. The investigating teams of both the Weiner and Hillary cases compared notes and apparently additional emails not already issued by WikiLeaks or already in FBI possession recently came to light on Weiner’s phone. The legions of rank and file FBI agents were already fuming over Comey’s complete ethical and legal lapses in his choice not to indict Hillary. Joe diGenova believes that FBI personnel forced Comey’s hand to reopen the investigation after giving him the ultimatum that if he failed to do so, the FBI defiantly would. According to diGenova, this latest plot twist only proves that: 

The original investigation was not thorough, and that it was an incompetent investigation.

Otherwise had a real investigation been conducted, that Weiner phone used by both Anthony and Huma would have been picked up by the FBI and its contents thoroughly scrutinized long before now.

In addition to stating the obvious, that the higher-up feds had already made the decision to not consequence Hillary for her crimes, speculating on why that phone was not already submitted to the FBI as evidence, the former DC attorney concluded:

There could be one explanation: Huma Abedin may have denied that any other phone existed, and if she did, she committed a felony. She lied to the FBI just like General Cartwright, and if she did, she’s dead meat, and Comey knows it, and there’s nothing he can do about it.

Finally, diGenova dropped one more bombshell in Friday’s interview. An inside source has revealed to him that the laptops belonging to key Clinton aides Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson, both wrongly  granted immunity, were not destroyed after all as previously reported, but have been secretly kept intact by investigating FBI agents refusing to destroy incriminating evidence as part of the in-house whitewash.

Additionally like their boss, Hillary’s aides also sent classified material using private servers. On top of that, longtime aide Cheryl Mills on multiple occasions has perjured herself lying under oath for the Clinton crime family, tasked with “cleaning up” (aka covering up) their countless scandals over the past several decades. Indeed the whole Clinton entourage not already “mysteriously” winding up in the growing Clinton dead pool are all unindicted criminals protected by the corrosively corrupt DC cronyism where backroom deals (a la Bill’s airport ambush) are brokered based on whatever dirt’s been gathered and used as bargaining blackmail chips against all parties involved. That’s how the Washington crowd stays immune from any and all accountability as well as stays alive. Violate that crime syndicate code of conduct and you lose your life as more recent victims earlier this year have.

In a “leaked” memo to his FBI that surfaced on Fox Friday night, Comey (image left) outlined his reasons for reopening the case in light of the new information the director believes would have ultimately been leaked to Congress and the public anyway. So in full damage control/CYA mode, the beleaguered director now going public really had no choice in the matter. His underlings were chomping at the bit to both out and oust him. In an obvious attempt to weakly claim some moral high ground, Comey wrote in his memo:

I also think it would be misleading to the American people were we not to supplement the record.

Though his leadership and character are perceived by the vast majority of both FBI personnel as well as American citizens to presently lay in ruin as a pathetically shameful stain and humiliating joke on both the FBI organization and Washington in general, James Comey appears to be feebly attempting to save his own career and reputation for appearing now to “come clean.”

But make no mistake, his moral turpitude displayed throughout this Hillary debacle from early 2015 to now has over-exposed him as a lackey and potential fraud, so at this late stage of the game, redemption is not even an option. But the criminal misconduct, rampant corruption and diabolical evil committed by those at the highest puppet levels of federal power, and especially the elite puppet masters controlling them, their sins produce far more devastating consequences than this morally lacking man in the middle of this latest controversy.

Because there is no way that the FBI will properly conclude this part 2 of the Hillary investigation saga before the November 8thelection, Hillary and her Democrats are predictably crying foul, demanding that the FBI immediately disclose what it has, which of course is a moot point that won’t happen.

It seems highly unlikely that the email texts from Abedin and Weiner found on his phone would not contain clear criminal evidence that implicates Hillary. Since Hillary was the globalist choice after Obama was selected in 2008, it seems unlikely that the puppet masters would not permit this latest development to even occur. But then perhaps the ruling elite is pulling the plug on Hillary, concluding that she simply carries too much liability baggage with her deteriorating health condition and never-ending scandals, maybe the globalists are rethinking an alternative replacement like her obnoxiously aggressive VP candidate, the Jesuit trained and educated Tim Kaine.

That said, there are some cynics who believe that this recent odd turn is a last ditch desperado attempt being staged to overturn Trump winning by a landslide. This conjectured scenario goes something like this: a few days prior to election the FBI will once again “clear” Hillary of all charges. This in turn would offer her the last minute much needed boost being able to cash in on her worn out persecution complex, plagued forever by her “right wing conspiracy” theory against the “much maligned” woman of destiny.

In response to all her scandals, Hillary’s M.O. has always been to falsely blame some villainous sinister force. This year it’s been Putin hacking into her emails, and Trump, Putin and Assange colluding and plotting behind her back. She’s always been as paranoid as Richard Nixon, attempting to deflect the heat she draws from her own lies by constantly pointing fingers to externalize blame onto others.

This latest sudden turn of events obviously has James Comey incurring the wrath of Hillary Democrats as well as the Justice Department. By disclosing the reopened investigation so close to the election date that undoubtedly casts some influence on the potential outcome, Comey is defying his AG boss while clearly violating DOJ written policy. Lynch herself even tried to quash Comey’s letter to Congress. But as diGenova alluded, by Comey’s own past misdeeds (and those of his boss and Obama as well), the FBI director placed himself between this rock and a hard place by his own slipshod, half-ass probe failing to acquire Weiner’s phone the first-time around.

The entire sordid affair of this year’s totally rigged political election – pre-fixed in Hillary’s favor – blatantly reveals to America the gross misnomer of the US “justice” system being two-tiered, one for elitist cabal bosses like Hillary and the other for the rest of us 99% no longer protected in a totalitarian police state by our once rule of law the US Constitution. Regardless of what happens in the future, the truth genie’s already been let out of the bag, and for eyes open enough to see, it’s floating in the Washington cesspool of filth, debauchery and deception regularly perpetrated by our “entrusted perps” we have as our so called leaders.

Moreover, this year’s unending batches of Wiki-leaked DNC/Hillary emails and Project Veritas undercover campaign videos confirm that the entire US political as well as economic system is morally and financially bankrupt, irreparably broken and in need of complete overhaul. Voter fraud and election fraud are rampant. Soros funded electronic voting machines that are preprogrammed to vote for Hillary are operating in 16 key battleground states. America’s internal house now is in total disarray, badly in need of a deep cleaning purge like never before.

Mainstream media is strongly biased against Trump in its blind support for Hillary. As Secretary of State she sold out our nation, placing us all on high security risk and under foreign interest control at the hands of high rolling bidders so she and her fat cats can get richer as fellow partners-in-crime from places like Saudi Arabia and Israel, destroying our once sovereign country while aiding, abetting, financing and supporting the global terrorists around the world.

She helped create ISIS and plans world war against Russia, China and Iran.

The traitors in our government and their globalist puppet masters – the Rothschilds, Rockefellers, the Bushes and Clintons all need to be rounded up, imprisoned and tried at The Hague for both treason and their endless crimes against humanity. 

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

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Israël a suspendu sa coopération avec l’UNESCO vendredi, après l’adoption par l’organisation culturelle et scientifique de l’ONU d’une résolution qui critique fermement les actions agressives d’Israël dans et autour du site de la mosquée al-Aqsa à Jérusalem Est occupée.

En dépit de l’intense lobbying mené contre la motion par les ambassadeurs d’Israël à travers le monde, la résolution a été votée par 24 voix contre 6 et l’abstention de 26 gouvernements.

Les Etats-Unis, le Royaume Uni, l’Allemagne, la Lituanie, l’Estonie et le pays Bas ont voté contre la résolution, tandis que la Russie et la Chine l’ont soutenue.

Les responsables du gouvernement israélien ont prétendu que la motion déniait aux Juifs une connexion avec ce site historique, où se trouve le Mur Occidental, même si la motion ne comporte aucun terme suggérant un tel déni.

Les intentions d’Israël semblent être de vouloir affirmer sa souveraineté sur le site.

De façon significative, les efforts d’Israël pour obtenir un ancrage symbolique, et peut-être juridique, sur le site, grâce à des résolutions de l’ONU, se produisent alors que des associations qui appellent à la destruction de la mosquée al-Aqsa et à son remplacement par un Temple juif intensifient leurs efforts, souvent avec le financement et le soutien du gouvernement israélien.

Des critiques ont fait ressortir que la référence exclusive de la motion à ce site sous le nom de « mosquée al-Aqsa/al-Haram al-Sharif » ressemblait à une preuve que la résolution dénie aux Juifs toute connexion ou vénération des Juifs pour ce site, que les Juifs appellent Mont du Temple.

En avril, l’UNESCO a voté une résolution similaire qui a subi une critique presque identique.

La France a voté en faveur de cette résolution, mais a par la suite désavoué son soutien après que le Premier ministre d’Israël Benjamin Netanyahu ait écrit une lettre de protestation au président français François Hollande.

Dénonciation d’actions illégales, pas déni des liens

En réalité, la résolution votée par l’UNESCO affirme « l’importance de la Vieille Ville de Jérusalem et de ses Murs pour les trois religions monothéistes », tout en demandant à Israël de restaurer le statu quo historique du site de la mosquée al-Aqsa en rendant sa pleine autorité au Waqf jordanien – institution qui l’a géré.

Jusqu’à l’explosion de la deuxième Intifada en 2000, le Waqf jordanien a entièrement assumé l’entretien et le contrôle du site sacré.

Alors que le site lui-même est toujours sous l’autorité du Waqf, son périmètre est sous contrôle israélien, et les forces israéliennes y font de fréquentes incursions.

Alors qu’il entreprend autour du site des projets de développement et des projets archéologiques qui menacent les fondations d’al-Aqsa, Israël restreint sévèrement l’accès des Musulmans au site sacré.

La résolution condamne « l’escalade des agressions israéliennes et les mesures illégales contre le [Waqf] et son personnel, et contre la liberté de culte et l’accès des Musulmans à leur site sacré de la mosquée al-Aqsa /al-Haram al-Sharif, et demande à Israël, puissance occupante, de respecter le statu quo historique et de mettre immédiatement fin à ces démarches ».

Elle dénonce aussi les fouilles et les démolitions de structures anciennes dans et autour de la Vieille Ville, l’irruption sur le site d’extrémistes de droite et de forces armées, les dégâts sur les bâtiments par les forces israéliennes et les entraves aux rénovations nécessaires.

La résolution critique les projets israéliens de construction d’un téléphérique à Jérusalem Est et du prétendu Kedem Center dans le quartier palestinien de Silwan.

Le vote de l’UNESCO arrive à  un moment où Israël a soutenu une forte avancée de l’activité coloniale privée au cœur de Jérusalem Est occupée.

De nouvelles données montrent que le nombre de colons juifs dans la zone qui entoure le site d’al-Aqsa a augmenté de 70 % depuis 2009. Au cours de la même période, selon l’organisation non-gouvernementale israélienne Ir Amim, 60 familles palestiniennes ont été expulsées, dont 55 pendant les seules deux dernières années.

Manœuvre israélienne

Netanyahu a conduit le chœur de la condamnation de la résolution.

« Dire qu’Israël n’a aucune connexion avec le Mont du Temple et le Mur Occidental, c’est comme dire que la Chine n’a aucune connexion avec la Grande Muraille et que l’Egypte n’a aucune connexion avec les Pyramides », a dit Netanyahu jeudi dernier.

Le choix des mots par Netanyahu est significatif : il affirme que l’État d’Israël, plutôt que la religion juive, a une « connexion » avec ces sites, qui se trouvent en Cisjordanie occupée.

Obtenir qu’un telle « connexion » figure dans les résolutions de l’ONU procurerait à Israël une avancée dans l’affirmation de sa souveraineté sur ces sites.

Isaac Herzog, leader de l’opposition israélienne, a dit : « Quiconque veut réécrire l’histoire, dénaturer les  faits, et entièrement fabriquer le fantasme selon lequel le Mur Occidental et le Mont du Temple n’auraient aucune connexion avec le peuple juif, raconte un mensonge terrible qui ne sert qu’à accroître la haine. »

Prenant appui sur la manœuvre du gouvernement, les défenseurs d’Israël ont perpétué l’idée que la motion était une attaque contre la vénération des Juifs pour le site. Le journal de Tel Aviv Haaretz a rédigé un reportage avec un titre grossièrement trompeur disant que « l’UNESCO défend une motion qui déclare nuls les liens des Juifs avec le Mont du Temple ».

Yair Rosenberg de Tablet Magazine a décrit la motion de l’UNESCO comme « une résolution outrageusement antisémite qui gomme les liens des Juifs avec le Mont du Temple de Jérusalem, lieu le plus saint du judaïsme ».

« Effacer la connexion des Juifs avec Jérusalem, c’est nier l’héritage culturel même de Jérusalem », a dit la Ligue Anti-diffamation basée aux Etat Unis.

Et même la directrice générale de l’UNESCO, Irina Bokova, a elle aussi ajouté à la critique, déclarant : « Différentes populations vénèrent les mêmes lieux, parfois sous différents noms. La reconnaissance, l’utilisation et le respect de ces noms sont absolument essentiels. »

La colère contre la résolution a même rejoint la campagne présidentielle américaine où, et Donald Trump et Hilary Clinton ont prononcé de violentes condamnations.

L’Autorité Palestinienne a émis un communiqué accueillant avec plaisir la résolution qui a été cautionnée par l’Algérie, l’Egypte, le Liban, le Maroc, Oman, le Qatar et le Soudan, disant que la décision de l’adopter reflétait « la poursuite de l’engagement de la majorité des Etats membres à combattre l’impunité et à faire observer les principes sur lesquels l’UNESCO a été créée ».

Charlotte Silver

Ali Abunimah a contribué à la rédaction de cet article.

article original :  Israel’s false spin on UNESCO Jerusalem vote, Electronic Intifada, 15 octobre 2016

Traduction : J. Ch. pour l’Agence Média Palestine, 17 octobre 2016

 

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Les coupeurs de tête à l’ONU !

octobre 30th, 2016 by Bruno Guigue

Élire l’Arabie saoudite au Conseil des droits de l’homme, c’est comme nommer un pédophile directeur d’école. Mais ça y est, c’est fait. Cette monarchie est esclavagiste et corrompue. Pudibonde et obscène, elle se prosterne devant le dieu-dollar et vomit tout ce qui n’est pas wahhabite. Elle diffuse à l’échelle planétaire une idéologie débile et sectaire. Elle invoque le Créateur à chaque virement bancaire, mais elle décapite comme d’autres font un barbecue. Seulement voilà, elle a beaucoup d’amis. Et ils trouvent qu’elle a un excellent pedigree pour se voir confier la promotion des droits de l’homme. Remarquez, on a échappé au pire. On a failli lui confier les droits de la femme.

Voilà donc l’Arabie saoudite chargée, avec notre bénédiction, de soutenir les droits de l’homme comme la corde soutient le pendu. Car les Occidentaux ont voté comme un seul homme pour la candidature de Riyad. Avec une bienveillance de marchands de canons soucieux de la réputation du client, ils ont arrosé d’eau bénite cette fosse à purin. Vus de Paris, les dix milliards de contrats d’armements valent bien cette petite mascarade dont personne ne parlera plus dans 48 heures. On leur a vendu des armes, distribué des médailles, bradé l’honneur national. Tant qu’on y est, on peut aussi leur permettre de parader au sein de ce conseil qui de toutes façons ne sert à rien. Puisqu’ils y tiennent !

arabie Le-prince-heritier-Mohamed-ben-Nayef-recu-par-Francois-Hollande-a-l-Elysee-pour-lui-remettre-la-Legion-d-Honneur

Le prince héritier Mohamed ben Nayef, reçu par François Hollande à l’Elysée pour lui remettre la Légion d’Honneur, mars 2016 (Reuters)

On pourrait craindre, bien sûr, que l’ONU y perde de sa crédibilité. L’organisation internationale s’en remettra-t-elle ? En réalité, aucun risque. L’ONU est une avaleuse de couleuvres professionnelle. Elle n’est pas à un paradoxe près. Elle tente de donner une apparence de réalité à cette fiction qu’est la communauté internationale, mais personne n’est dupe. Le Conseil des droits de l’homme a des attributions ronflantes, mais ce machin onusien est devenu la « bonne-à-tout faire » des ploutocrates. L’arène internationale est un champ de forces où les alliances se font et se défont. Richissime, la monarchie wahhabite a des moyens de persuasion que n’a pas le Burkina Faso.

Que cette élection au CDH (28 octobre) ait eu lieu trois semaines après le massacre perpétré à Sanaa par l’aviation saoudienne (8 octobre) ne manque pas de sel. Quel symbole ! L’admission en grande pompe au Conseil des droits de l’homme, c’est la prime à l’assassin. On a heureusement échappé au Prix Nobel de Laurent Fabius, l’apologiste alcoolique des psychopathes d’Al-Nosra. On a frôlé celui des Casques blancs « auto-reverse », brancardiers le jour et tortionnaires la nuit. Mais c’était plus fort que tout. On n’a pas pu éviter l’élection des coupeurs de tête saoudiens au Conseil des droits de l’homme de l’ONU.

On aurait dû surtout demander ce qu’il en pense au peuple yéménite. Il subit tous les jours des bombardements qui ont fait 10 000 morts et provoqué une crise humanitaire sans précédent. Mais on s’est bien gardé de lui demander son avis, à ce peuple arabe martyr, avant de coller ce nouveau fion de hamster au revers du veston wahhabite. Car les droits de l’homme, en fait, c’est bon pour justifier les bombardements, pas pour les interdire. Sauf s’ils sont russes. Et même lorsqu’il n’y a pas de bombardement ! Explication.

Comme par hasard, deux jours avant le scrutin onusien, une école a été attaquée à Idlib (Syrie). Selon l’ONU, il y a eu 28 morts dont 22 enfants. L’ONU n’a accusé personne, faute de preuves. Mais les officines de propagande et les médias occidentaux ont accusé la Russie. Niant toute implication, le ministère russe de la Défense a fourni les preuves qu’il n’y avait pas eu de bombardement aérien. Aucune importance ! L’essentiel, c’est le vacarme organisé contre Moscou avant l’élection des membres du conseil des droits de l’homme. Résultat : la Russie a obtenu moins de voix que la Croatie. Contrairement à l’Arabie saoudite, elle ne fait plus partie du CDH. Mission accomplie.

Bruno Guigue

29 octobre 12016

Bruno Guigue

Bruno Guigue, ex-haut fonctionnaire, analyste politique et chargé de cours à l’Université de La Réunion. Il est l’auteur de cinq ouvrages, dont Aux origines du conflit israélo-arabe, L’invisible remords de l’Occident, L’Harmattan, 2002, et de centaines d’articles.

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