Un des phénomènes les plus bizarres, dans la situation très bizarre de ces dernières années, est le refus des politiciens de premier plan de l’Union européenne de discuter ouvertement de la réalité derrière la perturbation sociale catastrophique causée par l’afflux en Europe de plus d’un million de réfugiés de guerre, en provenance de Syrie et d’autres pays du Moyen-Orient et d’Afrique du Nord ravagés par la guerre. Le débat européen sur les réfugiés, à cause de ce silence, ou du refus de parler des causes réelles et des remèdes possibles, conduit à des déclarations complètement absurdes de la part d’anciens combattants politiques qui devraient beaucoup mieux s’y prendre.

Les réfugiés sont une conséquence de la guerre. La guerre est une conséquence de la décision prise par certains intérêts pétroliers et militaires de l’OTAN pour reprendre ou prendre le contrôle des nouveaux marchés mondiaux de l’énergie dans le pétrole et, maintenant, le gaz naturel. En outre, la guerre est une conséquence des réactions des autres nations, y compris la Chine, la Russie et l’Iran, à la tentative des États-Unis et d’autres pays occidentaux de contrôler les flux mondiaux de l’énergie. En outre et de manière connexe, il y a la réaction des éléments néo-nazis extrémistes en Ukraine, à la suite d’un coup d’État soutenu par les USA en 2014, à se joindre à cette guerre de l’énergie avec le soutien de l’UE, pour des raisons complètement montées de toutes pièces.

En conséquence du silence des dirigeants de l’UE, un drame tragique se déroule qui fait écho au roman de Thomas Harris, Le silence des agneaux.

Nourrir le danger ?

Un excellent exemple qui montre comment des hommes politiques sérieux sont obligés de faire les idiots pour justifier leur silence sur la vraie question en jeu est ce récent commentaire du ministre allemand des Finances, Wolfgang Schäuble.

Wolfgang Schäuble est un homme politique européen qui en a vu d’autres, et qui pense plus profondément que beaucoup d’autres sur de nombreuses questions de la vie. Dans beaucoup de domaines, il n’est clairement pas un penseur superficiel. Il a guidé le chancelier Helmut Kohl pour mener la réunification allemande controversée et dangereuse de 1990, une époque où des assassinats secrets ont éliminé deux personnages clés de l’unification allemande, Alfred Herrhausen de la Deutsche Bank et Detlev Rohwedder, directeur de Treuhand, ainsi que salement estropié Schäuble, même si ces assassinats ont été officiellement déclarés l’œuvre d’un «tireur isolé».

Donc que dit Schäuble aujourd’hui au sujet de la plus grave crise sociale depuis la fin de la Seconde Guerre mondiale en Allemagne ?

Dans une interview au journal allemand Die Zeit, s’opposant à l’idée que l’Europe puisse s’isoler de l’afflux de réfugiés en provenance d’Afrique du Nord et du Moyen-Orient arabe, Schäuble a déclaré : «Cet isolement est en fait ce qui va nous briser, nous conduire à la dégénérescence due à la consanguinité. Pour nous, les musulmans en Allemagne enrichissent notre ouverture, notre diversité.» Puis il a ajouté l’étrange commentaire suivant : «Il suffit de regarder la troisième génération de Turcs, précisément les femmes ! C’est en effet un potentiel d’innovation énorme !»

Le dernier, et pour autant que je sache, le seul homme politique allemand à pointer la vérité financière de qui est derrière la création d’État islamique ou DAESH, a dit la vérité et a été rapidement réduit au silence. Le ministre allemand du Développement, Gerd Mueller, dans une interview à la TV nationale allemande ZDF en août 2014, a accusé le Qatar de financer les militants d’État islamique : «Vous devez vous demander qui est en train d’armer, de financer les troupes d’EI. Le mot-clé est Qatar – et comment pouvons nous traiter politiquement avec ces gens et ces nations ?» Mueller a été, par la suite, réduit au silence par la coalition Merkel.

Pour éviter encore tout commentaire embarrassant qui pourrait pointer vers la vérité au sujet du financement des terroristes en Syrie et au Moyen-Orient, Angela Merkel a récemment viré son chef des renseignements, le BND allemand, Gerhard Schindler, pour une  note interne qu’il a permis d’être divulguée à la presse, note exprimant les graves préoccupations envers le rôle de la monarchie d’Arabie saoudite dans les conflits terroristes du Moyen-Orient et de l’instabilité du prince saoudien Muhammad bin Salman, ministre de la Défense et aujourd’hui de facto roi, car son père est gravement malade avec une forme déclarée de démence.

Le silence de l’UE sur la réalité de la situation actuelle avec la Russie et l’Ukraine est tout aussi assourdissant, autant que le silence sur la cause des guerres au Moyen-Orient et en Libye.

Le silence public, signe d’impuissance, des politiciens de l’UE lorsqu’ils ont été confrontés, début 2014, à l’enregistrement vérifié d’un appel téléphonique entre la secrétaire d’État adjointe américaine aux affaires européennes, Victoria Nuland, et Pyatt, son ambassadeur à Kiev. Les deux ont été surpris en train de discuter des personnes qu’ils avaient choisies pour le futur régime post-Ianoukovitch. Un enregistrement dans lequel elle a dit à Pyatt, à propos des préférences des gouvernements de l’UE, «Fuck  the UE !» Le silence de tous les gouvernements de l’UE fut alors le sinistre et remarquable signe du silence de plus en plus profond des agneaux. Comme l’est l’obéissance servile des gouvernements de l’UE, unanimes pour poursuivre les sanctions économiques contre la Russie même si les économies de l’UE en souffrent beaucoup. Rien que l’Allemagne a perdu quelque 120 milliards d’euros dans le commerce avec la Russie depuis les manifestations du Maïdan, fin 2013.

La réalité est taboue

Qu’est-ce qui pousse des hommes politiques intelligents comme Schäuble à babiller un non-sens sur les dangers de la consanguinité allemande et les capacités de la troisième génération de femmes turques ? Ce n’est pas ce que disent les dirigeants de l’UE, mais c’est ce qu’ils refusent de dire, en grande partie par crainte de représailles de la part des États-Unis, qui est important ici.

Ce que Schäuble et Merkel, et d’autres dans l’UE, savent très bien, mais dont ils ne disent rien à leur peuple, est que depuis des années le gouvernement des États-Unis, sa CIA, son Département d’État et son Pentagone, ainsi que des éléments clés du même genre en Grande-Bretagne, en France, dans la Turquie d’Erdogan, en Arabie saoudite, au Qatar, ont une Grande (ou pas si grande) Stratégie. Elle implique une réorganisation globale et complète du contrôle de la majeure partie du pétrole mondial et maintenant du gaz naturel.

La stratégie est simple et remonte à 1999, au discours à Londres par Dick Cheney, alors PDG de Halliburton, et même avant, au projet de Cheney de 1992, nommé Defense Policy Guidance, alors qu’il était secrétaire à la Défense des États-Unis ; une stratégie destinée à s’assurer qu’aucune autre nation ou groupe de nations puisse à l’avenir contester que l’Amérique est la seule superpuissance.

Le centre de cette stratégie américaine, dont Cheney semble être le meneur, ne repose pas sur des guerres préventives, mais sur des guerres pour l’énergie. Elles sont des guerres pour l’énergie, souvent déguisées en guerres de religion, pour contrôler, refuser ou fournir le pétrole si vital et, de plus en plus, les ressources de gaz aux nations du monde. La guerre en Syrie, lancée il y a cinq ans au cours des soi-disant printemps arabes, une série de changements de régime qui ont été promus par la secrétaire d’État Hillary Clinton, est la partie centrale où se joue le contrôle de l’avenir de l’énergie, et donc des économies, des 28 pays de l’Union européenne. Ce jeu va, à son tour, décider de qui dominera le monde ou pas. Pour les amis de Cheney à Washington, c’est une question de vie et de mort.

Le gaz européen

L’UE est potentiellement le plus grand futur marché mondial pour le gaz naturel, en raison de ses objectifs de réduction des émissions de CO2, déjà adoptées. Je ne discuterai pas ici de la science ou de l’absence de science derrière le réchauffement climatique. Il est pertinent pour les marchés mondiaux de l’énergie, car c’est un fait juridique, que les États membres ont convenu de ce qui suit : en 2020, une réduction de 20% des émissions de gaz à effet de serre par rapport à 1990 ; d’ici 2030, au moins 40% de réduction des émissions de gaz à effet de serre par rapport à 1990. Toutes les parties conviennent que le seul moyen actuellement possible d’atteindre ces objectifs est de remplacer massivement le charbon et le pétrole par le gaz naturel. En Allemagne, il faut ajouter la décision de Merkel, après Fukushima, d’éliminer l’électricité nucléaire. Le futur marché gazier de l’UE devient la Toison d’or pour les fournisseurs de gaz tels que le Qatar, mais pas que lui.

Arrive Washington

Maintenant, allons à Washington, à son extrême droite.

Jusqu’en février 2014, au moment du coup d’état étasunien en Ukraine, la Russie, en utilisant les gazoducs de l’ère soviétique passant par l’Ukraine pour la plupart, a été la source d’approvisionnement majeure pour le gaz européen, venant des énormes gisements de gaz russes. L’objectif de Washington était, et est toujours, de briser ce lien entre la Russie et l’UE. L’administration Obama, guidée par Nuland et le vice-président Joe Biden, a installé un régime vassal à Kiev et a ordonné à ses pions de défier le russe Gazprom pour le paiement du gaz livré, qui se compte par milliards. Ils ont ordonné à leurs vassaux à Kiev de lancer une guerre contre le Donbass russophone de l’Est de l’Ukraine en bordure de la Russie. Kiev a obéi.

Cela a provoqué une crise stratégique à cause de la base navale russe en mer Noire, qui était administrativement, depuis l’époque soviétique, une partie de l’Ukraine, mais historiquement russe et tatar. Un référendum, dans lequel plus de 90% des citoyens de Crimée ont voté pour être rattachés à la Russie, a été utilisé comme prétexte pour Washington pour pousser l’UE à prendre des sanctions économiques autodestructrices contre la Russie. Les sanctions ont visé des personnes et des entreprises clés de l’industrie pétrolière et gazière russe.

L’escalade, menée par une guerre de propagande de l’OTAN et des médias traditionnels contrôlés de l’UE, a permis à la Commission de Bruxelles de placer des entraves bureaucratiques à la réalisation d’un deuxième gazoduc, ne passant pas par l’Ukraine, le South Stream.

En collaboration avec le gazoduc sous-marin, le North Stream, qui vient d’être construit entre Saint-Pétersbourg et le nord de l’Allemagne, le South Stream aurait éliminé la capacité de Washington, via l’Ukraine, de faire chanter ou de nuire à Gazprom. La Bulgarie, le point d’ancrage destiné au passage entre le sud est de l’Europe et l’Italie, a été contrainte par Bruxelles de se retirer de l’accord South Stream avec Gazprom et, en décembre 2014, le président Poutine a annoncé que South Stream était mort.

Maintenant, en Syrie, Bachar al Assad et, à un degré moindre, l’Irak dominé par les chiites, se présentent comme l’obstacle pour que le gaz qatari, sous contrôle américain, arrive jusqu’aux principaux marchés européens.

Retour en 1991

Les plans américains, mis au point par une cabale de néo-conservateurs guerriers et soutenus par le complexe militaro-industriel, Big Oil et leurs banques de Wall Street, remontent au moins à 1991. Le général retraité 4 étoiles de l’OTAN, Wesley Clark, a décrit une réunion qu’il a tenue avec Dick Cheney et Paul Wolfowitz, qui était sous-secrétaire de Cheney à la Défense stratégique – la position numéro trois au Pentagone :

«Et j’ai dit : Monsieur le Secrétaire, vous devez être assez content de la performance des troupes dans Desert Storm. Et il a dit : Oui, mais pas vraiment, parce que la vérité est que nous aurions dû nous débarrasser de Saddam Hussein, et nous ne l’avons pas fait […] Mais une chose que nous avons apprise [de la guerre du Golfe] est que nous pouvons utiliser nos militaires dans la région – au Moyen-Orient – et que les Soviétiques ne nous arrêteront pas. Et nous avons environ 5 à 10 ans pour nettoyer ces anciens régimes clients soviétiques – la Syrie, l’Iran, l’Irak – avant que la prochaine superpuissance vienne nous défier.»

Suite à l’invasion américaine de mars 2003 en Irak pendant la présidence Cheney-Bush, avec Paul Wolfowitz à nouveau au Pentagone cette fois pour exécuter la chute de Saddam et la prise de contrôle militaire totale de l’Irak, le général John Abizaid a fait une déclaration éclairante. Abizaid, ancien commandant du CENTCOM, responsable de l’Iraq, a dit : «Bien sûr, c’est à cause du pétrole, entièrement à cause du pétrole, nous ne pouvons vraiment pas le nier

Peu doivent se rappeler que dès les premiers jours en tant que vice-président, en janvier 2001, Dick Cheney, qui venait de quitter Halliburton, la plus grande compagnie de services pétroliers au monde, a monté  quelque chose appelé l’Energy Task Force du Président Bush. Ce qui est moins connu est que ce groupe de travail n’était pas destiné qu’aux besoins en pétrole et en énergie des États-Unis.

Cheney a invité les chefs de ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP et autres grandes compagnies pétrolière à ses sessions de stratégie, tenues portes closes. Ils ont commandé des cartes pétrolières détaillées de l’Irak et d’autres pays du Moyen-Orient. Condi Rice, conseillère nationale à la sécurité et ancienne membre du conseil d’administration de Chevron, a ordonné à son personnel de coopérer pleinement avec le groupe de travail de Cheney. Lorsque les organisations d’intérêt public lui ont demandé de rendre publics les procès-verbaux de ces réunions, Cheney a simplement refusé, en violation de la loi américaine. Selon un document secret fuité venant de la NSC (National Security Council), la mission était : «L’examen des politiques stratégiques envers les États voyous», tels que l’Irak, et «les actions concernant la capture des champs de pétrole et de gaz existants et nouveaux

Pour le dire clairement, les stratèges politiques autour de Dick Cheney, au plus haut niveau du Pentagone, à la NSC, à la CIA et au Département d’État, ont un plan détaillé pour «la capture des champs de pétrole et de gaz existants et nouveaux».

Et comme Cheney l’a déclaré dans son discours de Londres à l’Institute of Petroleum, en 1999, «d’ici 2010, nous aurons besoin de l’ordre de cinquante millions supplémentaires de barils par jour. Alors, d’où va venir le pétrole ? Les gouvernements et les compagnies pétrolières nationales contrôlent environ quatre-vingt pour cent des actifs. Le pétrole reste fondamentalement une entreprise du gouvernement. Alors que de nombreuses régions du monde offrent de grandes opportunités pour le pétrole, le Moyen-Orient, avec les deux tiers du pétrole mondial et le coût le plus bas, c’est toujours là où est le trophée en fin de compte…»

Ce qui émerge est une image où Dick Cheney est l’homme central, la tête d’une sorte d’appareil de gouvernement parallèle et secret, indépendamment de qui est président, qu’il soit G.H.W. Bush père ou Clinton (Bill) ou W. Bush ou Obama. Il agit évidemment ainsi en utilisant ses réseaux dans le gouvernement des États-Unis, le renseignement et Big Oil, depuis au moins 1991, afin de réorganiser secrètement le contrôle sur le pétrole mondial et, plus récemment, le gaz mondial, pour qu’ils tombent entre les mains de ceux qui entourent Cheney. Ceci est un projet énorme, un grand dessein géopolitique. Il est également voué à l’échec.

Le gaz qatari ou russe ?

Avance rapide jusqu’en 2009. Alors que le marché du gaz naturel de l’UE est maintenant défini comme le plus grand marché potentiel d’importation de gaz, tous les yeux des principaux producteurs de gaz se sont tournés vers Bruxelles et les différents États membres de l’UE, les principaux clients potentiels. Alors que les réseaux de gazoducs et terminaux méthaniers s’étendent à travers le monde, le gaz est en train de devenir l’équivalent du pétrole sur le marché mondial, ou au moins régional.

En 2009, Ronald Dumas, l’ancien ministre français des Affaires étrangères, a révélé que l’armée britannique se préparait à envahir la Syrie d’Assad. C’était deux bonnes années avant les allégations de massacres par l’armée d’Assad qui ont fourni l’alibi à la guerre, soutenue par les Américains, contre Assad. Dumas a dit la télévision française : «J’étais en Angleterre deux ans avant la violence en Syrie, pour d’autres affaires. J’ai rencontré des hauts fonctionnaires britanniques, qui m’ont avoué qu’ils préparaient quelque chose en Syrie. C’était en Grande-Bretagne, pas aux États-Unis. La Grande-Bretagne préparait des hommes armés à envahir la Syrie.»

Des fuites de courriels envoyés par l’entreprise privée américaine de renseignement Stratfor ont révélé des notes d’une réunion avec des responsables du Pentagone qui confirmaient qu’à partir de 2011, la formation des forces de l’opposition syrienne par des forces spéciales  américaines et britanniques était en bonne voie. L’objectif était alors de provoquer l’«effondrement» du régime d’Assad «de l’intérieur».

En août 2009, l’émir du Qatar a rendu visite à Assad à Damas. Le Qatar détient le North Field, le plus grand champ de gaz au monde, au milieu du golfe Persique. L’émir a proposé qu’Assad donne son accord pour installer un gazoduc qatari à travers la Syrie, puis vers la Turquie pour envoyer le gaz qatari vers le marché européen du gaz. Peu de temps avant cette réunion à Damas, le cheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, le souverain du Qatar, a déclaré aux médias turcs, à la suite d’entretiens avec le Premier ministre turc, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan : «Nous sommes impatients d’avoir un pipeline de gaz du Qatar vers la Turquie (via la Syrie). Nous avons discuté de cette question dans le cadre de la coopération dans le domaine de l’énergie. À cet égard, un groupe de travail sera mis en place pour obtenir des résultats concrets dans les plus brefs délais.»

Assad a décliné l’offre du Qatar, affirmant que la raison en était «de protéger les intérêts de [son] allié russe, qui est le principal fournisseur de gaz naturel de l’Europe». Ce fut le début de la décision de l’OTAN de détruire militairement le régime d’Assad, début 2011, suivant le modèle libyen.

Ajoutant l’insulte à l’injure pour le complot bercé depuis longtemps par Cheney pour le Moyen-Orient, l’année suivante, en 2012, le président Assad a entamé des négociations avec son voisin, l’Irak, l’objectif initial de Cheney pour l’occupation militaire des champs de pétrole, et avec l’Iran, la bête noire de l’Amérique. Le champ gazier qatari fait partie du plus grand champ gazier connu au monde et se prolonge également dans les eaux territoriales de l’Iran, où le champ de gaz est appelé South Pars. En raison des sanctions occidentales, le gaz iranien est jusqu’à présent resté largement sous-développé.

L’Iran, l’Irak et la Syrie ont signé un protocole d’accord pour construire conjointement un pipeline de $10 milliards, partant de South Pars, le champ gazier offshore de l’Iran, traversant l’Irak puis la Syrie en contournant la Turquie de l’OTAN et en allant via le Liban jusqu’à un port syrien, sur la Méditerranée, pour nourrir le marché gazier de l’UE. Il a été signé en juillet 2012.

Peu de temps après avoir accepté le projet de gazoduc South Pars, les trois pays, la Syrie, l’Irak et l’Iran, ont convenu d’un accord pour transporter le pétrole à partir du champ de pétrole de Kirkouk en Irak, jusqu’au port syrien de Banias. Tant l’oléoduc Kirkuk-Banias que le gazoduc Iran South Pars-Irak-Syrie laisseraient la Turquie et Israël hors jeu.

Ce fut le moment où Washington et l’OTAN ont décidé de lancer leur «guerre civile» secrète par procuration, dont les combats se sont propagés jusqu’à Damas et Alep.

Le Qatar, sans ses ressources énergétiques serait un marigot insulaire de cheikhs féodaux, de chameaux et de faucons. Son genre d’islam est le même que le wahhabisme sunnite fondamentaliste de l’Arabie saoudite, son seul voisin. La décapitation, la peine de mort pour les homosexuels, la lapidation à mort pour adultère, tout cela est autorisé en vertu de la stricte législation de la charia. En raison du gaz et du pétrole, c’est aussi le plus riche pays du monde par habitant, alors l’Occident ignore poliment tout cela.

Le pays a été choisi par la Grande-Bretagne, dont c’était un territoire de la Première Guerre mondiale jusqu’en 1971, et plus tard par les États-Unis, pour être le site de l’une de leurs bases militaires les plus importantes dans tout le Moyen-Orient, à Doha.

Seul 13% de 1,8 millions d’habitants du Qatar sont des citoyens qataris. Les autres 1,5 millions restants sont des «travailleurs invités» étrangers travaillant généralement dans des conditions d’esclavage. Le Qatar abrite les Frères musulmans en exil et la chaine télé Al Jazeera, liée à la CIA et à l’OTAN. En bref, le Qatar est le partenaire idéal pour la CIA, le MI6 et l’OTAN pour faire avancer leur programme concernant le pétrole et le gaz au Moyen-Orient.

Pour le Qatar sunnite et fondamentaliste, son ennemi méprisé, l’Iran chiite, est soudainement devenu un rival mortel pour les ventes de gaz à l’UE.

L’impardonnable péché russe

Ensuite, la Russie de Poutine est entrée dans la danse syrienne, par son veto, à deux reprises, aux résolutions du Conseil de sécurité des Nations unies, en accord avec la Chine, résolutions qui auraient permis aux États-Unis et à l’OTAN (en grande partie par l’intermédiaire de la Turquie) de mettre en place une «zone d’exclusion aérienne» à la libyenne qui aurait conduit à un rapide renversement d’Assad. Cela pour rendre possible le démembrement ou la balkanisation de la Syrie ; ce qui permettrait alors au gazoduc Qatar-Syrie-Turquie vers l’UE de s’installer. La Russie à ce moment est devenue une cible privilégiée pour Washington. La Russie de Poutine menaçait toute la grande stratégie des États-Unis pour contrôler les flux d’énergie du monde, qu’elle le sache ou pas.

George Friedman, le fondateur de Stratfor, souvent désigné comme «l’ombre de la CIA», l’a aussi admis dans une inhabituelle interview avec un journal russe de premier plan. Friedman, dont les principaux clients comprennent les agences de renseignement du Pentagone et des États-Unis, a déclaré que «la Russie a commencé à prendre certaines mesures que les États-Unis considèrent comme inacceptables. Principalement en Syrie. Ce fut là que les Russes ont démontré aux Américains qu’ils étaient capables d’influencer les processus au Moyen-Orient… Les États-Unis ont estimé que la Russie leur nuisait de façon intentionnelle. C’est dans ce contexte que nous devrions évaluer les événements en Ukraine

Dans cette même interview à Kommersant, Friedman a décrit les événements en Ukraine, où le régime de Viktor Ianoukovitch a été renversé en février 2014, comme un coup d’État organisé et financé par les États-Unis : «La Russie nomme les événements qui se sont déroulés début 2014 un coup d’État organisé par les États-Unis. Et ce fut vraiment le coup d’État le plus flagrant de l’histoire».

Destiné à échouer

Les conséquences du complot fou de Dick Cheney pour tenter de contrôler le pétrole et le gaz dans monde sont de plus en plus évidentes. La Russie, dans les derniers jours, après un bref accord de cessez-le-feu avec Washington sur la Syrie, a clairement montré qu’elle ne permettra pas aux États-Unis de continuer à armer les terroristes al-Qaïda (et al-Nusra) en Syrie. Les forces russes ont de nouveau démontré leur détermination à détruire les terroristes qui combattent dans et autour de la bataille pour Alep et d’autres points clés syriens, que ce soit des terroristes «modérés» ou al-Qaïda / al-Nusra.

Le bombardement américain sur la Libye en 2011 et la tentative de prendre le contrôle des richesses pétrolières de ce pays d’Afrique ont été un échec lamentable. Ce pays d’Afrique du Nord, alors stable et prospère, grouille aujourd’hui de groupes armés qui s’assassinent les uns les autres pour une part de la richesse pétrolière. L’utilisation de l’Arabie saoudite et de ses richesses pétrolières par les États-Unis pour financer son grand dessein en Syrie et ailleurs se révèle un désastre. Le Royaume est en train d’épuiser rapidement ses réserves financières alors que les prix du pétrole restent à hauteur de 50 dollars. La guerre de l’Arabie saoudite contre le Yémen, aussi soutenue par les Américains, est en train d’échouer et fait de Riyad, la risée du monde. L’ancien allié des États-Unis et de l’UE, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, est en train de mener l’économie turque, alors prospère, à la ruine et de s’aliéner presque tout le monde avec sa folle et fanatique poursuite du pouvoir absolu.

De façon spectaculaire, le nettoyage ethnique soutenu par les Américains en Syrie qui a poussé des millions de personnes à chercher refuge, d’abord en Turquie, et, depuis le printemps de 2015, dans l’UE, notamment en Allemagne et en Suède, a déchiré le tissu de stabilité sociale de l’UE, allant même jusqu’à menacer son avenir.

Ceci dans le silence assourdissant de tous les dirigeants de l’UE, tout particulièrement de la chancelière allemande Angela Merkel ou de Wolfgang Schäuble. Ils savent tous que c’est ce nettoyage ethnique en Syrie et en Irak qui crée le flux de réfugiés. Tout cela pour faire place à des gazoducs sous contrôle américain qui forceront les Européens à ne pas s’approvisionner aux  sources de gaz russe. Ceci est la véritable histoire, cachée par les politiciens de l’UE comme Merkel ou Schäuble.

Le silence des agneaux, un roman de Thomas Harris, décrit le son lorsque le dernier agneau est conduit à l’abattoir et qu’il n’y a plus de bêlements. Le silence devant la vérité est une forme de communication aussi destructrice que les mensonges utilisés pour couvrir ce silence, comme ces dernières remarques stupides de Wolfgang Schäuble au sujet des dangers de la consanguinité et de la troisième génération de femmes turques. Ce dont on a besoin est un dirigeant sincère avec un courage moral, le genre montré par le président français Charles de Gaulle, quand il a refusé de diaboliser l’Union soviétique et a sorti la France de l’OTAN en 1966, plutôt que de s’incliner devant Washington et de jeter le destin de la France aux mains d’imprévisibles politiciens étasuniens.

William Engdahl

Article original publié dans New Eastern Outlook

Traduit par Wayan, relu par Cat pour le Saker Francophone

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In Hama province, the Syrian army’s Tiger Forces and its allies have been continuing operations against the joint terrorist forces. Intense clashes are ongoing at the Tell Buzam front. Russian and Syrian warplanes are pounding terrorist units near Ma’an, Souran and Tal Al-Sawwan as a pretext for further offensives by the government forces.

The High Command of the Syrian Arab Army and militant groups started negotiations on allowing the militant groups’ members a free passage from the eastern Aleppo pocket. In case of success, the army will set control of Bustan Al-Qasir Neighborhood. Nonetheless, Jabhat al-Nusra and Nour Eddine Al-Zinki, that are main striking forces of the Jaish al-Fatah operation room in Aleppo, refuse to negotiate with the government.

Over 600 militants have handed over their heavy weapons and military equipment to the Syrian army in Damascus countryside. About 200 militants and their families will be evacuated from al-Hamah and Qudsiyah while others will use an opportunity to get a pardon from the government. Then, the government forces will set full control of al-Hamah and Qudsiyah.

The US and Saudi Arabia have agreed to grant free passage to over 9,000 of Islamic State terrorists before the Iraqi city of Mosul is stormed. The jihadists will be redeployed to fight against the government in Syria, the media reported, citing various military and diplomatic sources. This will allow them to carry out operations against the government-controlled cities of Deir Ezzor and Palmyra. Saudi Arabia’s General Intelligence Directorate will be the mediator and guarantor of the agreement.

US President Barack Obama has allegedly sanctioned an operation to liberate Mosul, due to take place in October. Redeployment of 9,000 ISIS fighters from Mosul will allow Washington the widely-needed PR success in fight against terrorism in Iraq to balance the de-facto support of terrorist factions, including Al-Qaeda linked Jabhat Al-Nusra, in Syria.

Meanwhile, the first photos, which allegedly depict the Russian heavy aircraft-carrying cruiser “Admiral Kuznetsov” on the way to Syria’s shores, have appeared in social media outlets. Initial reports suggested that the warship is set to depart to the Syrian coast to take part in the ongoing anti-terrorist operation in the period from October 15 to October 20.

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Le résultat du plébiscite colombien a révélé la profondeur de la polarisation qui, du fond de son histoire, caractérise la société colombienne. Et aussi la grave crise de son système politique archaïque, incapable de susciter la participation des citoyens à un plébiscite fondateur – il s’agissait de  rien moins que de mettre fin à une guerre plus d’un demi-siècle ! auquel à peine un électeur sur trois a participé,  un taux inférieur à celui, déjà faible, de participation qui caractérise habituellement la politique colombienne.

Le taux de participation d’hier a été le plus bas de ces vingt-deux dernières années et le résultat a été si serré que la victoire du NON, comme cela serait arrivé en cas de victoire du OUI, est plus une donnée statistique qu’un événement politique retentissant. Les partisans du OUI avaient dit que ce qu’il fallait pour consolider la paix était une large victoire, qu’il ne suffisait pas de mettre simplement en minorité les partisans du NON. Cela vaut pour leurs adversaires. Mais personne n’a atteint cet objectif, parce que la différence de 0,5% en faveur du NON pourrait être sociologiquement considérée comme une erreur statistique et qu’un recomptage pourrait éventuellement inverser le résultat.

Il est prématuré de fournir une explication complète de ce qui est arrivé. Il faudrait disposer d’informations plus détaillées qui pour le moment ne sont pas disponibles. Mais il est toujours surprenant de constater que le désir de paix, que quiconque  a visité la Colombie pouvait sentir à fleur de peau dans la grande majorité de sa population, ne s’est pas traduit en votes pour ratifier cette volonté de paix et de refondation d’un pays embourbé dans un bain de sang sans fin. Au lieu de cela les citoyens ont réagi avec une indifférence irresponsable à l’appel à soutenir les accords obtenus laborieusement à La Havane. Pourquoi? Certaines hypothèses devraient viser, en premier lieu, la faible crédibilité qu’ont les institutions politiques en Colombie, rongées depuis longtemps par la tradition oligarchique, la pénétration du trafic de drogue et le rôle du paramilitarisme. Ce déficit de crédibilité est exprimé dans un retrait de l’électorat, d’autant plus important dans les régions où le NON a triomphé confortablement qu’elles sont éloignées des zones chaudes de conflit armé. En revanche, les départements qui ont été le théâtre d’affrontements se sont exprimés en grande partie en faveur du OUI.

La diabolisation de Timoleón Jiménez, Comandant Timoshenko

Pour le dire en d’autres termes: là où les horreurs de la guerre ont été vécues par les gens de manière directe et dans  leur chair  – principalement les régions agricoles et paysannes – l’option du OUI a remporté une majorité écrasante. C’est le cas de Cauca, avec 68% des votes pour le OUI, le Chocó avec 80%, le Putumayo avec 66%, le Vaupes avec 78%. En revanche, dans les zones urbaines où la guerre était juste une actualité médiatique, diabolisant sans relâche l’insurrection, ceux qui sont allés aux urnes l’ont fait pour exprimer leur rejet des accords de paix.

Cela renvoie à une deuxième considération : la faiblesse de l’effort éducatif fait par le gouvernement colombien pour expliquer les accords et leurs conséquences positives pour l’avenir du pays. Cette lacune a été notée par plusieurs observateurs et acteurs de la vie politique du pays, mais leur appel au président Juan M. Santos sont restés lettre morte. L’optimisme confiant qui a prévalu dans les milieux gouvernementaux (et dans certains secteurs proches des FARC-EP), associé  à la confiance imprudente dans les sondages qui, encore une fois, ont scandaleusement failli, ont fait sous-estimer la force de gravitation des ennemis de la paix et l’efficacité de la campagne fondée sur le rejet viscéral des accords promue par les partisans d’Uribe.

Le rôle joué par la droite liée aux groupes paramilitaires et par les médias, qui ont reproduit sans relâche les accusations de «trahison» adressées au président Santos, ont galvanisé un noyau dur opposé à la ratification des accords qui, bien que minoritaire dans l’ensemble de la population, a réussi à l’emporter parce que ses adhérents ont afflué en masse aux urnes, alors que seulement une partie de ceux qui voulaient veulent la paix a osé défier le mauvais temps et est allée voter. La « campagne de terreur » orchestrée par la droite s’est avérée persuasive, qui, dans ses caricatures sinistres, présentait le commandant Timoshenko comme déjà revêtu de l’écharpe présidentielle et prêt à imposer la dictature des «terroristes» sur une population sans défense et plongée dans l’ignorance, celle-là même qui a trouvé dans le NON l’antidote nécessaire pour conjurer cette menace terrifiante.

Bref, il est impossible de faire abstraction du sentiment de frustration que provoque ce résultat. Comme on l’a dit mille et une fois, la paix en Colombie, c’est la paix en Amérique latine. Une énorme responsabilité incombe aux FARC-EP face à ce résultat électoral déplorable. La sagesse montrée par les guérilleros dans les négociations ardues de La Havane va maintenant subir une nouvelle épreuve du feu. Et il faut espérer que la tentation de reprendre la lutte armée suite à la rebuffade électorale sera neutralisée par une attitude réfléchie et responsable que n’ont malheureusement pas eu les citoyens colombiens. Les déclarations de Timoshenko commandant – que maintenant les armes de l’insurrection sont les mots  – permettent d’alimenter cet espoir. Il en est de même pour les déclarations de la direction de l’ELN et le discours du président Santos peu après que les résultats du plébiscite ont été connus.

Espérons qu’il en sera ainsi et que cette guerre de plus d’un demi- siècle, qui  au fil des ans, a coûté l’ équivalent de près de la moitié du PIB actuel de la Colombie, qui a spolié de leurs terres et déplacé de leurs foyers près de sept millions de  paysans, qui a fait 265.000 morts officiellement enregistrés, qui a fait de deux millions et demi de mineurs des victimes indirectes, que ce cauchemar, en un mot, qui a endeuillé la bien-aimée Colombie, puisse sombrer définitivement dans le passé pour ouvrir ces grandes avenues évoquées par l’héroïque Président Salvador Allende, par où devront passer les hommes et les femmes de la Colombie pour construire une société meilleure. Hier, une excellente occasion d’avancer sur le chemin de la paix a été manquée. Il y en aura d’autres, sans aucun doute.

 Atilio Boron

Article original en espagnol : El plebiscito en Colombia: una oportunidad perdida, 3 octobre 2016

Traduction par Fausto Giudice pour le site tlaxcala

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Colombians voting in a plebiscite October 2 astonishingly rejected a peace agreement, already signed, between FARC guerrillas and the Colombian government. Álvaro Uribe headed the campaign for a No vote. He is Juan Manuel Santos’ predecessor as president and consistently has opposed negotiations with the FARC. He and Santos met October 5 to discuss “adjustments and corrections to be introduced into the texts of the Havana agreement.” They were forming a “new national front,” he said.

Afterwards Uribe outlined for reporters the proposed changes he had dictated to Santos, among them prohibitions against future FARC crimes and “judicial and economic solutions” for “eliminating drug trafficking.” These should be applied “immediately lest the brazen guerrillas engage in crimes against humanity.”

Photo by Karyn Christner | CC BY 2.0

Uribe rejects the “Special Jurisdiction for Peace,” contained within the peace agreement, as a means for judging and punishing war criminals. He objects to “total impunity” for FARC leaders as conveyed in the agreement. “[P]olitical participation by persons responsible for crimes” is off limits. Members of the armed forces deserve judicial immunity.

Subsequently the No campaign added other demands: arms must be handed over quickly, guerrillas must clear minefields, and they must provide real reparations” to victims. The FARC would use money gained through “illicit activities” to pay for the last two.

Government representatives met later with leaders on Uribe’s side to formulate changes in the agreement. They will be passed on to peace negotiators reconvened in Havana. The two factions would be forming “a political pact to save the agreement with the FARC.”

Uribe described President Santos as “willing” to make adjustments. “A cordial atmosphere and language of respect” marked the first meeting involving both sides. It looked like the Santos government was bowing to superior force. He himself seemed to be making amends.

Santos indicated the current ceasefire would end on October 31. FARC leaders announced their troops would be moving to secure areas “to avoid provocations.” FARC leader Timoleón Jiménez tweeted that “the country is passing through a “limbo of dangerous uncertainty.” He and head FARC negotiator Iván Márquez called for “defending peace in the streets.”

Tens of thousands of Colombians – “social organizations, students, workers, and regular people” – did march October 5 in many cities. In Bogota “rivers of people” blocked the streets, mostly young people, all silent. Many carried signs saying “no more war.”

The Santos presidency is weak as it defends the peace agreement. Only 25 percent of Colombians surveyed in March, 2016 liked his presidency. Unemployment and inflation are rising. Santos ran for re-election in 2014 on the issue of protecting the peace process. He would have lost but for leftist backing.

The government, not peace negotiators, decided upon a plebiscite. Strategists may have calculated that approval there would protect implementation of an agreement against Uribe – inspired counterattacks. Or maybe they thought use of a plebiscite for endorsing the agreement would preclude doing so through a constituent assembly, the FARC’s preference.

Actually, a plebiscite wasn’t required to validate the peace agreement, according to one legal opinion. The Colombian plebiscite apparently is the world’s only example – out of 56 – of a negotiated settlement of an armed conflict being put to a popular vote.

The face –off between Santos and Uribe reflects longstanding divisions within Colombia’s elite. Throughout the nation’s post – independence history, there’s been wrangling, even war, between a modernist clique of entrepreneurs, intellectuals, and professionals and a wealthy, often religiously-oriented, landowning class. Colombia’s conservative old guard tried to block Santos’ peace initiative from its start.

Today financiers and commercial interests – often with international ties – are confronting ranchers and drug – trade intermediaries, custodians of land with agricultural, extractive, or energy potential. Agreeing with the former that war and massacres frighten investors, President Santos, with U. S. backing, moved to end armed conflict. Following the plebiscite, 380 industrialists, appealing to the “national interest,” called for a new agreement “with full national support.”

The side led by Alvaro Uribe – his landowning family is allied to paramilitaries – is having its day now. Their machinations will weaken any new peace agreement. That’s unfortunate, because the rejected accord promised an opening for peaceful political agitation against social wrongs.

There are many; 2.300 persons or groups own 53.5 percent of the country’s useful land and 2,681 Colombians possess 58.6 percent of money deposited in bank accounts.   Colombia’s income disparity is the widest in the Western Hemisphere.

Those in resistance face persecution, and of the kind that has created 9500 political prisoners in Colombia today. And violent retribution looms, as when thousands of Patriotic Union activists were murdered beginning in the mid-1980s, among them demobilized guerrillas. Paramilitary murders and intimidation are on the rise now.

Class conflict pervades Colombian society. Yet the ruling class itself is divided; hence a macabre scrambling following rejection of the agreement. The people’s movement has had to choose, and so the more relaxed Santos branch of the oligarchy gained its backing in regard to peace.

Colombian academician and author Manuel Humberto Restrepo Domínguez thinks the No vote was “A massive act of sabotage.” He explains: “In the plebiscite there are signs of one more trap set by elites to reinsure power they already possess and to correct the fancies of a president departed from the right wing’s innermost heart. He called upon his political capital to make himself independent, thinking that his upper-class status might allow that, although he knew he was on a rocky road.

And,

“The elites have no shame, no regret. To the contrary, they regard weakness and longing to be occasions for attacking. They clearly are not disposed to allow spaces being opened up for real democracy. Nor do they allow others to contend for power. They are even less likely to abandon the only serious and consistent politics that unites and protects them, which is war … With their No, they have notified the national country … that they are disposed not to cede a single millimeter of what they have attained and defended with war.”

W.T. Whitney Jr. is a retired pediatrician and political journalist living in Maine.

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As the US officially enters the Yemen military campaign, the UK appears ready and willing to precipiate a catalytic event from which there is no going back. With relations between Russia and the West at post-Cold War lows and deteriorating fast, Royal Air Force (RAF) pilots have been given the go-ahead to shoot down Russian military jets when flying missions over Syria and Iraq, if they are endangered by them. The development comes with warnings that the UK and Russia are now « one step closer » to being at war, according to the Sunday Times.

While the RAF’s Tornado pilots have been instructed to avoid contact with Russian aircraft while engaged in missions for Operation Shader, the codename for the RAF’s anti-Isis work in Iraq and Syria, their aircraft have been armed with air-to-air missiles and the pilots have been given the green light to defend themselves if they are threatened by Russian pilots.

« The first thing a British pilot will do is to try to avoid a situation where an air-to-air attack is likely to occur — you avoid an area if there is Russian activity, » an unidentified source from the UK’s Permanent Joint Headquarters (PJHQ) told the Sunday Times. « But if a pilot is fired on or believes he is about to be fired on, he can defend himself. We now have a situation where a single pilot, irrespective of nationality, can have a strategic impact on future events. »

Where things get tricky is the qualifier « if he believes he is about to be fired on » – since this makes open engagement a function of threat evaluation in real time during stressed conditions, the likelihood of an escalation that could result in two warplanes shooting at each other, just jumped significantly.

The RAF Tornados aircraft will be armed with heat-seeking Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missiles (Asraams, also called AIM-132 missiles), the IBT adds. These weapons, which cost £200,000 each, have a longer range than other air-to-air missiles, allowing RAF pilots to shoot down enemy aircraft without being targeted themselves.

Providing cover to the largely underreported, if substantial escalation, according to the Sunday Times report an appraisal carried out by UK defence officials said: « It took six days for Russia to strike any Isis targets at all. Their air strikes have included moderate opposition groups who have been fighting to defend their areas from Isis. Among the targets hit were three field hospitals. » In the past 24 hours Russia’s Defence Ministry said that it has continued its air strikes on IS positions in Hama, Idlib, Latakia and Raqqa. It reported that the attacks resulted in the « complete destruction » of « 53 fortified areas and strong points with armament and military hardware », seven ammunition depots, four field camps of « terrorists », one command centre, and artillery and mortar batteries.

Russia has countered that US airstrikes have failed to make much of an impact on ISIS targets, and as reported last month, a « mistaken » strike by the US coalition forces killed over 60 Syrian soldiers in a move Russia accused of being a provocation to war.

The Sunday Times’ report quoted a defence source as saying: « Up till now RAF Tornados have been equipped with 500lb satellite-guided bombs — there has been no or little air-to-air threat. But in the last week the situation has changed. We need to respond accordingly. »

But another source of the original story summarized the severity of the situation best when he said that « we need to protect our pilots but at the same time we’re taking a step closer to war. It will only take one plane to be shot down in an air-to-air battle and the whole landscape will change. »

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Brexit And The Crisis Of The Left

octobre 13th, 2016 by Asbjørn Wahl

The British majority in favour of leaving the EU (Brexit) was surprising, even shocking, to many. The discussion runs high on both the result and the causes. The confusion seems to be extraordinarily high on the left, in Britain as in the rest of Europe.

In reality, the result of the referendum reflects an EU in existential crisis, while the discussion reflects a Left in deep political and ideological crisis.

Austere EU.

Seen from a left position, the British campaign was of course not without problems. The Brexit campaign was dominated by forces on the political right, and anti-immigration, xenophobia and racism were at the centre, although it was not as dominant as many media reported. National self-determination was reported as the main reason for the majority’s support of Brexit. And there was also a left organized Brexit movement, even though it was not very strong.

What is clear, is that large sections of the British working-class voted for Brexit. Xenophobia was an important part of this picture, no doubt. First and foremost, however, it must be seen as a reaction to a policy that systematically and with few exceptions has undermined wages and working conditions, trade union and social rights for workers. This is the result both of EU policies and of the aggressive neoliberal policies that have been conducted by British governments. Workers’ massive support for Brexit was therefore more than anything a protest against ‘the Establishment’. Those who had lost most as a result of the neoliberal policies, gave the elite a slap in the face.

Why is the EU Losing Popular Support?

Why is it then, that the EU is losing popular support so massively, in country after country? To understand that, we must look closely at the EU’s role and character. In the first phase (under the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community (EEC)), member countries were characterized by the reconstruction after WWII, the post-war class compromise, Keynesian economic policies (i.e. traditional social democratic regulatory policy) and stable economic growth. Already in the Treaty of Rome (1957), however, it was established that market freedoms should be the basis for the formation of the EEC.

Then, in the 1970s, global capitalism ran into a deep crisis, and the leading economic and political forces started to withdraw from the class compromise, abolished market and capital regulation, turned to an ever more aggressive neoliberalism – including privatization, austerity policies, rising unemployment and a massive redistribution of wealth from the bottom to the top in society. The lack of democratic institutions and traditions in the EU made it possible to introduce more extreme neoliberal politics here than in many of the member states, with stronger democratic traditions. Thus, the EU now has come to a stage that not only socialism, but also Keynesianism, are banned by law. Neoliberalism is constitutionalized and institutionalized as the EU economic model.

After the financial crisis of 2008, the reactionary austerity policies of the EU were reinforced, while it increasingly took on authoritarian forms, institutionalized through new agreements and pacts. The powerful interventions against the most crisis-hit countries (Greece, Ireland, Spain, Portugal and Italy) illustrates this in the most extreme way. To abolish the welfare states and defeat the trade union movement have now obviously become embedded parts of EU institutions and policies. In addition, the EU has virtually made it impossible to reverse this project, by requiring consensus between all member states to change existing treaties.

EU’s institutionalized neoliberalism, therefore, can only be brought down through massive mobilizations and confrontations.

It is this EU a majority of Britons have decided to leave. A project that is impossible to reform from within using ordinary democratic methods. And it is this EU the left in Europe fails to develop a common policy on. For too long both the trade union and the political arm of the labour movement have harboured illusions about the EU as ‘Social Europe’. It applies not only to Social Democracy, which has helped to build today’s increasingly authoritarian, neoliberal EU, but also the majority of parties to the left of Social Democracy – as well as the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), as one of the most EU-devoted organizations in the European labour movement.

The Real Existing EU

As part of this political confusion, a dangerous myth is currently being created in parts of the left, that an exit from the EU (or the Euro) only will strengthen nationalism and the right. Quite the opposite, such exits have to be among the important and necessary tools if we really want to weaken the EU as an authoritarian, neoliberal stronghold. It is not exit movements which have created and strengthened far right political parties in country after country in Europe. It is not exit movements which have resulted in the far right being in government in Hungary and Poland (and almost in Austria). It is the policies of the real existing EU which today divide the people of Europe. It is the same policies which feed the far right. Thus, discontent with EU policies and the feeling of powerlessness is spreading among people in Europe – for good reasons.

In this situation, left political forces, with their illusions, have put themselves in a situation where they are able neither to organize the discontented to political resistance, nor to give the discontent a political expression. Thus, the far right is given monopoly on mobilizing against the EU. This is a far right which of course does not direct its resistance against the forces behind the neoliberal attacks of the EU, but rather against other groups of people (immigrants, Muslims, people of different colour etc.). When people on the left then vote to remain in the EU, “rather than being lumped with racists and the extreme right,” they continue to give the far right monopoly in conducting resistance against the reactionary EU.

“To give up the struggle for our main interest-based demands in order to stay within the EU institutions should clearly be a no-go zone. ”

Of course, an exit from the EU (or the Euro) cannot be the primary demand for a left movement. Left forces will have to be developed through interest-based struggles. The question of exit, however, will be actualised immediately since EU institutions and treaties in practise are barriers against a realisation of our demands (very well illustrated by the fact that the Syriza government in Greece was forced to choose between fighting austerity and remaining in the Eurozone – and ended up administrating the austerity policies itself, as a “colonial administration” as J. K. Galbraith names it). To give up the struggle for our main interest-based demands in order to stay within the EU institutions should clearly be a no-go zone.

The structure and functioning of the EU create a number of barriers against simultaneous mobilization of resistance across Europe. Thus, the fight for a democratic and social(ist) Europe has to adopt a flexible strategy in which both civil disobedience and the possibility for single countries or groups of countries to exit – both from the euro and the EU – have to be actual tools. The development of an internationalist, class-oriented policy of exit is therefore both possible and necessary. It is about framing and narrative. The policies and institutions of the real existing EU today stand in the way of a united Europe, stand in the way of a democratization of Europe.

It is therefore important that the current authoritarian and neoliberal EU does not gain more power and influence in Europe. From a left-wing perspective therefore, it was encouraging that the British went Brexit, despite the fact that right wing xenophobia got such a big place. Of course, the latter phenomenon provides the left with an even bigger challenge. It is now imperative that left forces take the opportunity Brexit has given them to go on the offensive, confront capitalist interests, strengthen democracy and develop real popular unity across borders in Europe. The real existing EU constitutes a barrier to such a united Europe today. •

Asbjørn Wahl is Director of the broad Campaign for the Welfare State in Norway and Adviser to the Norwegian Union of Municipal and General Employees. He is also Chair of the ITF Working Group on Climate Change.

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Anticipating an outcome of the US presidential election as a remix of the 1972 Nixon landslide, Hillary has also coined, George “Dubya” Bush-style, a remixed axis of evil: Russia, Iran and “the Assad regime”.

Clinton Claims Russian Aggression Keeps War in Syria Going On That’s not even counting China, which, via “aggression” in the South China Sea, will also feature as a certified foe for the Founding Mother of the pivot to Asia.

And if all that was not worrying enough, Turkey now seems on the path to join the axis.

President Putin and President Erdogan met in Istanbul. Moscow positioned itself as ready to develop large-scale military-technical cooperation with Ankara.

That includes, of course, the $20 billion, Rosatom-built, four-reactor Akkuyu nuclear power plant. And the drive to “speed up the work” on Turkish Stream – which will de facto strengthen even more Russia’s position in the European gas market, bypassing Ukraine for good, while sealing Ankara’s position as a key East-West energy crossroads.

In addition, both Moscow and Ankara back UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura’s position that “moderate rebels” (the Beltway’s terminology) holding eastern Aleppo hostage must be eradicated.

The geopolitical game-changer is self-evident. As much as Erdogan may be a whirling political dervish, impossible to fathom and trust, while Putin is a master of the strategic long game, Moscow’s and Ankara’s interests tend to converge in the New Great Game; and that spells out closer integration in the dawn of the Eurasian Century.

Quite a cup of hemlock for Hillary Clinton, who has already equated Putin with Hitler.

Regime change or hot war?

In the appalling spectacle that turned out to be round two of the interminable Trump/Clinton cage match, Donald Trump once again made a rational point – expressing his wish for a normalized working relationship with Russia. Yet that is absolute anathema for the War Party, as in the neocon/neoliberalcon nebulae in the Beltway-Wall Street axis.

The Clinton (Cash) Machine-controlled Democrats once again condemned Trump as a tool of Putin while bewildered Republicans condemned Trump because he goes against “mainstream Republican thinking”.

Here’s what Trump said; “I don’t like Assad at all, but Assad is killing ISIS.

Russia is killing ISIS and Iran is killing ISIS.”Trump’s outlook on Southwest Asia relies on only one vector; destroy ISIS/ISIL/Daesh. That’s what adviser and former Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) director, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, has been infiltrating into Trump’s notoriously short attention span.

Flynn may have admitted on the record that ISIS/ISIL/Daesh’s progress was a “willful” decision taken by the Obama administration. Yet in his disjointed book Field of Fight, Flynn insists that, “the Russians haven’t been very effective at fighting jihadis on their own territory”, are “in cahoots with the Iranians”, and “the great bulk of their efforts are aimed at the opponents of the Assad regime.”

This is a neocon mantra; unsurprisingly, the co-author of Flynn’s book is neocon Michael Ledeen.

From dodgy American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) armchair “experts” to former counselors at the State Department, they all subscribe to the laughable view that the remixed axis of evil – now fully adopted by Hillary – is useless against jihadis; the good guys doing the difficult work are “the US-led coalition”. And damn those who dare criticizing the “relative moderates” backed by the CIA.

What Trump said is anathema not only for establishment Republicans who despise Obama for not fighting against the Hillary-adopted remixed axis of evil. The real mortal sin is that it “disregards” core US foreign policy bipartisan assumptions held to be as sacred as the Bible.

Thus the success of the neocon Ash Carter-led Pentagon in bombing the Kerry-Lavrov ceasefire deal which would imply coordinated airstrikes against both ISIS/ISIL/Daesh and the Front for the Conquest of Syria, formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, a.k.a. al-Qaeda in Syria.

Russian military air group at Khmeimim airbase in Syria © Sputnik/ Dmitriy Vinogradov Pentagon ‘Silent’ Coup Undermines US-Russia Engagement on Syria – Ex-White House Advisor Neocons and mainstream Republicans blame lame duck Team Obama for the “unholy reliance” on Russia and Iran, while neoliberalcons blame Russia outright. And high in the altar of righteousness, hysteria rules, with the neocon president of the NED calling for the US government to “summon the will” to pull a Putin regime change.

Ready to go nuclear?

Hillary Clinton continues to insist the US is not at war with Islam. The US is de facto at war in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan’s tribal areas; involved in covert war in Iran; and has totally destroyed Libya. It’s not hard to do the math.

In parallel, the deafening talk about Washington now advancing a Plan C in Syria is nonsense. There has never been a Plan C; only Plan A, which was to draw Russia into another Afghanistan. It did not work with the controlled demolition of Ukraine. And it will not work in Syria, as Moscow is willing to supply plenty of air and missile power but no boots on the ground of any consequence. That’s a matter for the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), Iran and its Shi’ite militias, and Hezbollah.

Ash Carter has threatened Russia with “consequences”. After blowing up the ceasefire, the Pentagon – supported by the Joint Chiefs of Staff — now is peddling “potential strikes” on Syria’s air force to “punish the regime” for what the Pentagon actually did; blow up the ceasefire. One can’t make this stuff up.

Major-General Igor Konashenkov, Russia’s Defense Ministry spokesman, sent a swift message to “our colleagues in Washington”; think twice if you believe you can get away with launching a “shadow” hot war against Russia. Russia will target any stealth/unidentified aircraft attacking Syrian government targets – and they will be shot down.

The only serious question then is whether an out of control Pentagon will force the Russian Air Force – false flag and otherwise — to knock out US Air Force fighter jets, and whether Moscow has the fire power to take out each and every one of them.

So in this three-month window representing the “death throes” of the Obama era, before the likely enthronization of the Queen of War, the question is whether the Pentagon will risk launching WWIII because “Aleppo is falling”.

Afterwards, things are bound to get even more lethal. The US government is holding open a first-strike nuclear capacity against Russia. Hillary firmly supports it, as Trump made clear he “would not do first-strike”.

The prospect of having axis of evil practitioner Hillary Clinton with her fingers on the nuclear button must be seen as the most life-and-death issue in this whole circus.

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Global Research Editor’s Note 

The following article published in June 2015 is of relevance to the ongoing situation in Syria. Already in mid-2015, former National Security adviser had proposed the possibility of direct military action (i.e. threats) against Russia, while at the same calling for dialogue and cooperation in regards to the campaign against ISIS,  a somewhat contradictory stance. (M.Ch. GR Editor)

*       *      * 

In a newly published op-ed for the Financial Times, [June 2015] former official in the Johnson and Carter Administrations Zbigniew Brzezinski urged that US to use “strategic boldness” in confronting Russia, potentially militarily, over their involvement in Syria.

Brzezinski presented Russian airstrikes against Syrian rebel factions as at best a display of “Russian military incompetence” and at worst a “dangerous desire to highlight American political impotence,” saying America’s credibility is at stake from allowing Russia to strike the rebels the US previously armed, terming them “American assets.”

He called for the US to openly demand Russia unconditionally halt all such moves, saying Russian warplanes in Syria are “vulnerable, isolated geographically from their homeland” and could be “disarmed” by force if the Russians don’t comply with US demands.

Perhaps most bizarrely, Brzezinski closes with talk of calling for Russia to coordinate with the US in the war against ISIS, even though Russia has been openly offering this for weeks over US objections. He further suggests coaxing China into joining the war against ISIS as well, saying China would likely be interested in “increasing its own regional influence.”

Ultimately, the long-time policy adviser’s position seems, like so many of his recent missives, to center around deliberately antagonizing Russia. He advocates taking enormous risks of a large military confrontation with Russia, and his end-game goal is something Russia is already offering at any rate, and which the Obama Administration keeps spurning.

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Le ton monte à nouveau entre la Turquie et le régime de Bagdad depuis que l’ayatollah Qasim al-Tai a émis une fatwa appelant à combattre les militaires turcs présents en Irak, traités d’ « envahisseurs ». Le Premier ministre, Haïdar al-Abadi, et les milices chiites d’Hashd al-Chaabi (Forces de mobilisation populaire) lui ont emboité le pas, ainsi qu’Hadi al-Amiri, chef des Brigades Badr.

En question : la base de Bashiqa, au nord-est de Mossoul, où l’armée turque forme des membres d’Hashd al-Watani (Forces de mobilisation nationale) – la milice sunnite d’Atheel al-Nujafi, ancien gouverneur de la région de Ninive, réfugié au Kurdistan -, ainsi que des militants turkmènes et des peshmerga.

Al-Abadi est « tombé sur un os »

La présence militaire turque à Bashiqa n’est pas moins légitime que celle des Gardiens de la révolution islamique iranienne en Irak qui disent assurer à distance la sécurité intérieure de leur pays. Elle l’est plus, en tout cas, que celle des armées occidentales. Le gouvernement de Bagdad, sur lequel s’appuient les forces étrangères pour justifier leurs ingérences en Mésopotamie, n’est que l’émanation d’un parlement élu dans des conditions fort peu démocratiques. Autant dire, un organisme qui n’a d’importance que celle qu’on veut bien lui conférer.

C’est surtout pour contrer les manœuvres de son prédécesseur Nouri al-Maliki, œuvrant dans l’ombre pour revenir au pouvoir – alors qu’il est largement à l’origine du chaos dans la région de Mossoul – qu’Haïdar al-Abadi joue, à outrance, la carte antiturque et agite la menace d’une nouvelle guerre régionale si les militaires turcs ne se retirent pas Bashiqa sans délai.

Manque de chance, le Premier ministre irakien est, comme on dit, « tombé sur un os ». Lors d’une rencontre, le 11 octobre dernier avec des personnalités musulmanes des Balkans et d’Asie centrale, retransmise à la télévision, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, le président turc, a rappelé qu’Al-Abadi avait, en personne, demandé à la Turquie, en 2014, de former des combattants à Bashiqa. Il lui a donc conseillé de « rester à sa place », et a conclu sur un ton ironique :« C’est qui le Premier ministre irakien ?… Peu nous importe que tu cries depuis l’Irak, nous continuerons à faire ce que nous pensons devoir faire ».

Nettoyage ethnique et guerre civile

Le président Erdogan n’a pas tort de craindre que le régime de Bagdad ne profite de la « libération » de Mossoul pour modifier la composition démographique de la région, notamment pour réduire le pays turkmène à sa plus simple expression.

Sous Saddam Hussein, des déplacements de populations ont eu lieu. Pendant la guerre Iran-Irak, les villages frontaliers ont été vidés de leurs habitants. Des Kurdes ont été installés dans la région de Bassora et des chiites sur les contreforts du Kurdistan. Mais, depuis 2003, on peut véritablement parler de nettoyage ethnique ou religieux :

  •  à Bagdad, les sunnites et les Kurdes ont été chassés de certains quartiers,
  • dans la région de Ninive,  l’Etat islamique a contraint les chrétiens, les yézidis, les shabaks et les chiites à l’exode, 
  • les peshmerga ont rasé les villages arabes reconquis sur l’EI, 
  • dans la région de Diyala, les milices chiites ont interdit aux villageois sunnites de revenir sur les terres reconquises sur l’EI. 

A l’exception du président Erdogan se préoccupe vraiment de l’ «après-EI »dans la région de Ninive, ne serait-ce qu’en raison des répercussions prévisibles en Turquie : nouvel afflux de réfugiés, attentats. Binali Yildrim, Premier ministre turc, a averti les assaillants : « Si vous changez les structures démographiques de Mossoul, vous allumerez une guerre civile de grande ampleur, une guerre sectaire ». Cela suffira-t-il à persuader ceux qui en ont l’intention d’abandonner leurs sinistres projets ? J’en doute. Pauvre Irak !

Gilles Munier

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Selected Articles: Towards NAFTA-EU Economic Integration?

octobre 13th, 2016 by Global Research News

TTIP

Towards NAFTA-EU Economic Integration? “Back-Door” Canada-EU Trade Agreement (CETA) Sets the Stage…

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky, October 13 2016

EU politicians have reluctantly put the TTIP “on hold” in response to the protest movement, while pushing ahead the CETA back-door deal with Canada, The adoption of CETA would in practice validate the eventual de facto implementation of the US sponsored TTIP leading to the economic integration of NAFATA and the EU.

pound-sterling-today

Brexit and the Despotism of the British Pound Sterling

By Dr. Binoy Kampmark, October 12 2016

While British Prime Minister, Theresa May, keeps insisting that Brexit pathway will be a smooth, relatively painless process filled without dramatic compromise to lifestyle and outlook, the traders, stockbrokers and wolves of the City have gone about their own business. They, the suggestion goes, knew better, whereas the idiotic Brexiteer ventured to the ballot in total ignorance.

U.S.-Russia-Syria

“Beating the Drums of War” at the UN Security Council: Russia Vetoes Resolution to Implement Syria “No Fly Zone”

By Carla Stea, October 12 2016

In a speech stunning for its arrogance, venom, and the violence of its verbal and personal attack on the Russian Federation, the Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom today demonstrated Lord Bertrand Russell’s observation that “the British gentleman behaves with exquisite courtesy toward members of his own set, and then goes home and whips his black servant to death.” Surpassing even the sanctimonious and hypocritical Russophobic diatribes of the Permanent Representative of the U.S., during today’s Security Council meeting it was obvious that the UK now regards Russia as its current “whipping boy”.

Barack Obama, Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud,

Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA): U.S. Citizens Can Now Sue Foreign Governments

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky, October 13 2016

The US Congress has overturned Obama’s veto of the controversial Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), which allows US citizens “to sue foreign governments believed to be involved in terrorist activities on US soil.”  The bill was initially intended to enable families of the victims of the 9/11 attacks to sue Saudi Arabia, which allegedly acted as a state sponsor of the September 11, 2001 attacks. Initially, former Florida Senator Bob Graham and Rep. Porter Goss were behind this initiative.

isis

Military Blogger Alleges U.S. Now Aids ISIS to Oust Assad

By Eric Zuesse, October 13 2016

A highly informed anonymous military blogger, who goes by the name of “bernhard” and blogs at his widely followed “Moon of Alabama” website, is alleging, in a post October 12th (“The ’Salafist Principality’ — ISIS Paid Off To Leave Mosul And To Take Deir Ezzor?”), that the Obama Administration has negotiated with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, and with Saudi Prince Salman (who is the decision-maker in Saudi military matters), to provide safe passage into the large Syrian city of Deir Es Zor, for the ISIS jihadists who have been occupying the city of Mosul in Iraq.

The_Birth_of_a_Nation_(2016_film)“The Birth of a Nation”: Revisiting the Nat Turner African Slave Rebellion of 1831

By Abayomi Azikiwe, October 12 2016

Nate Parker has produced a masterpiece which will evoke the legacy of one of the greatest African slave rebellions in the history of the United States. The Birth of a Nation is a dramatic film which attempts the arduous task of conveying the story of the African known as Nat Turner, who was enslaved and led a rebellion in Southampton County, Virginia, in 1831. This film is co-written, co-produced and directed by Nate Parker. It stars Parker as Turner, with Armie Hammer, Aja Naomi King, Jackie Earle Haley, Penelope Ann Miller and Gabrielle Union in supporting roles.

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In a controversial decision, US lawmakers voted to overturn President Barack Obama’s veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA). The legislation allows US citizens to sue foreign governments believed to be involved in terrorist activities on US soil.

Among the bill’s chief opponents was the Saudi government. Now that the bill is law, Riyadh’s newsrooms are having a field day.

« The Saudi press published dozens of articles condemning the law, warning about Saudi reactions to it and its political and economic ramifications for Saudi-US relations, and presenting various Saudi options to counter it, » said Steven Stalinsky, director of the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), according to the Washington Times.

These options include « establishing a Gulf lobby in the US; aiding in the filing of lawsuits against the US around the world; ending Saudi-US security coordination; ending the setting of oil prices in dollars; establishing an independent Saudi weapons industry, similar to the Iranian nuclear program, as a means of pressuring the US; and more. »

In an editorial written for newspaper Al-Riyadh, journalist Abdalla Al-Nasser suggests that the US has no right to criticize Saudi Arabia, given Washington’s disregard for international law. The law could be used to allow victims of US abuse to sue, as well.

« The US, which purports to respect human rights, international law and UN regulations, is the first to violate and ignore them, » he wrote.

« The US, with its mentality of arming itself, works to establish its global empire, and to this end uses all methods of violent takeover of the peoples of the earth, particularly the Middle East.

« The US [first] creates terrorism and then exterminates peoples in the name of the struggle against it. These forms of abuse, violent takeover, deception, and crime are elements of the American identity. »

A separate columnist points out America’s actions in Japan.

« The US killed hundreds of thousands of Japanese when it deliberately incinerated Hiroshima and Nagasaki, » Adel Al-Harbi wrote.

« Don’t their families have the right to sue the murderers? Doesn’t Vietnam have the right to sue those responsible for killing over 1 million Vietnamese over a period of 13 years? »

Stalinsky points out that these newspapers are owned by the Saudi government, indicating that these are harsh accusations from one of America’s principal allies.

« These are all government-controlled, » he added. « They will never write anything critical of the Saudi government, royal family. If they have a disagreement with any of the papers, they will fire the editor or writer. »

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French President François Hollande’s decision to cancel his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, amid deep military tensions between NATO and Russia, comes as Washington and its European allies escalate the pressure on Russia, threatening it with war in Syria.

The meeting between the two heads of state was slated for October 19, for the inauguration in downtown Paris of a “Russian Orthodox spiritual and cultural center” consisting of a church, a school, and cultural services of the Russian embassy. The meeting reportedly was confirmed by the Elysée presidential palace with the Kremlin during the September truce in Syria. As fighting intensified around Aleppo, however, and the NATO powers escalated their threats against Russia, the meeting no longer corresponded to Hollande’s strategy.

To allow US- and European-backed Islamist militias to reinforce their positions around the strategic city of Aleppo, last week France tried to push through a UN resolution demanding a no-fly zone over Aleppo. This would have prevented Russian warplanes from supporting Syrian government troops against the Islamist militias. Predictably, the resolution was vetoed by Russia’s delegation on the UN Security Council.

At the beginning of the week, French officials made clear that any visit by Putin to Paris would lead to an open confrontation over Syria.

On Monday, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said, “If the President of the French Republic decides that the Russian president is coming, it will not be to discuss pleasantries, but to speak truths.” He added, “There are war crimes, it is the General Secretary of the United Nations that said so. Afterwards, one must determine who is responsible.”

On Tuesday, the Elysée reported that Putin’s visit had been postponed indefinitely: “There was a discussion between the Kremlin and the Elysée this morning to propose a working visit on Syria at the Elysée, but ruling out participation by the president in any other event. In response, Russia has just indicated that it prefers to postpone the meeting scheduled for October 19.”

The Hollande administration’s denunciations of war crimes in Syria are hypocritical lies. Hollande is proceeding ruthlessly with contempt for the Syrian people, as the main forces responsible for the war are the NATO imperialist powers.

The war in Syria is an attempt by the imperialist powers to bring down Assad as they did the Libyan regime in 2011, with Islamist proxy forces funded by the Persian Gulf oil sheikdoms and armed by the imperialist powers. These Al Qaeda-linked militias have repeatedly carried out massacres against ethnic and religious minorities in Syria.

Above all, it is imperialist foreign policy, composed of pillage and massacres aimed at dominating the oil-rich Middle East, that constitutes a political crime. The NATO proxy war in Syria has caused the deaths of nearly a half million people and forced into exile over 10 million who are now living in refugee centers in Syria, trapped in refugee camps in neighboring countries, or desperately trying to obtain refugee status in Europe.

In this policy, France—the former colonial power in Syria, which it plunged into war twice in the 20th century in order to crush anti-imperialist uprisings—plays a particularly aggressive role. It pressed for a direct NATO intervention in 2013, although London, and ultimately Washington, both decided not to launch NATO troops in a war against Damascus.

Now, as it denounces Moscow and the Assad regime over the fighting in Aleppo, Paris is preparing France’s participation in the planned bombardment of Mosul, the main Iraqi city controlled by the Islamic State militia, that could force hundreds of thousands of Iraqis to flee. Hollande’s Socialist Party (PS) government has sent the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle to the region and is organizing the intervention of French special forces on Iraqi soil. This week, two French parachutists in Erbil in Iraqi Kurdistan were wounded by a booby-trapped drone.

NATO’s military escalation in Syria goes hand in hand with a rapid movement towards the right of the entire French political establishment.

Hollande has seized upon terror attacks in France and Belgium—carried out by the same Islamist networks that are working with NATO intelligence agencies to fight Assad—to impose a state of emergency, first used during France’s war against Algerian independence. The main target of this state of emergency is the working class, whose protests against the PS’ anti-worker labor law were met with repeated police crackdowns under the terms of the state of emergency.

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The US Congress has overturned Obama’s veto of the controversial Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), which allows US citizens « to sue foreign governments believed to be involved in terrorist activities on US soil. » 

The bill was initially intended to enable families of the victims of the 9/11 attacks to sue Saudi Arabia, which allegedly acted as a state sponsor of the September 11, 2001 attacks. Initially, former Florida Senator Bob Graham and Rep. Porter Goss were behind this initiative:

« Families of the victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks have long sought the right to sue Saudi Arabia for any alleged role in the attacks. The kingdom has denied any involvement and U.S. officials have backed that position. » (WSJ, 28 September 2016)

Ironically, in the immediate wake of 9/11, Afghanistan rather than Saudi Arabia was identified as the state sponsor of the 9/11 attacks.

Afghanistan was invaded despite the fact that the Kabul government had offered to extradite Osama bin Laden to the US. This initative was turned down by George W. Bush: « We do not negotiate with terrorists. »

Did the US State Department « get their countries mixed up »? If Saudi Arabia was behind the 9/11 hijackers,  why on earth did US-NATO invade Afghanistan?

The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) Does not Mention Saudi Arabia. So What’s the Problem? 

Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states have expressed their concern regarding this controversial legislation.  The wording of the bill, however, is broad and general.

The text of  S.2040 refers broadly to « Sponsors of Terrorism ». Nowhere in the bill is there reference to Saudi Arabia:

 This bill amends the federal judicial code to narrow the scope of foreign sovereign immunity (i.e., a foreign state’s immunity from the jurisdiction of U.S. courts).

Specifically, it authorizes federal court jurisdiction over a civil claim against a foreign state for physical injury to a person or property or death that occurs inside the United States as a result of: (1) an act of international terrorism, and (2) a tort committed anywhere by an official, agent, or employee of a foreign state acting within the scope of employment.

International terrorism does not include an act of war. Federal court jurisdiction does not extend to a tort claim based on an omission or an act that is merely negligent.

A U.S. national may file a civil action against a foreign state for physical injury, death, or damage as a result of an act of international terrorism committed by a designated terrorist organization. (Summary of the legislationemphasis added)

The Bill opens up a Pandora’s Box 

The legislation is by no means limited to Saudi Arabia. Was it really intended to go after Saudi Arabia, which is a US proxy, invariably acting in close liaison with Washington? What about Russia?

The legislation has broad foreign policy and geopolitical implications. It allows the US government to promote and/or support (civil) legal actions by US citizens against foreign governments, which are disliked by Washington. Potentially, it constitutes a legal mechanism as well as a foreign policy instrument which could be used against countries on Washington’s  « hate list », including Russia, China, Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, etc.

Conversely, it could also be used by US citizens to sue some of America’s staunchest allies on terrorism charges including Israel, U.K. France, Turkey as well as Saudi Arabia.

Another issue –which the media seems to have carefully neglected– is that the legislation is not limited to state entities and foreign governments. In this regard, both the media reports and political statements are misleading.

The bill allows US citizens to sue both foreign governments as well as (foreign) organizations (loosely defined) allegedly involved in acts of terrorism on US soil. The text of S 2040 is unequivocal. The legislation pertains to « persons », « entities », « organizations », « affiliated groups and individuals »and  « countries »: 

« Persons, entities, or countries that knowingly or recklessly contribute material support or resources, directly or indirectly, to persons or organizations that pose a significant risk of committing acts of terrorism that threaten the security of nationals of the United States or the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States, necessarily direct their conduct at the United States, and should reasonably anticipate being brought to court in the United States to answer for such activities. »

… act of international terrorism committed, planned, or authorized by an organization that had been designated as a foreign terrorist organization under section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1189), as of the date on which such act of international terrorism was committed, planned, or authorized, liability may be asserted as to any person who aids and abets, by knowingly providing substantial assistance, or who conspires with the person who committed such an act of international terrorism.”.

(3) Some foreign terrorist organizations, acting through affiliated groups or individuals, raise significant funds outside of the United States for conduct directed and targeted at the United States. (text of S 2040, emphasis added)

It includes the entire spectrum of social and political actors from individuals, entities and organizations up to countries and governments. A rather imprecise and « flexible » piece of legislation open to interpretation, which is by no means limited to State sponsorship of terrorism.


ANNEX

Complete text of Legislation 

AT THE SECOND SESSION
Begun and held at the City of Washington on Monday,
the fourth day of January, two thousand and sixteen
AN ACT 

To deter terrorism, provide justice for victims, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the “Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act”.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE. 

(a) Findings.—Congress finds the following:

(1) International terrorism is a serious and deadly problem that threatens the vital interests of the United States.

(2) International terrorism affects the interstate and foreign commerce of the United States by harming international trade and market stability, and limiting international travel by United States citizens as well as foreign visitors to the United States.

(3) Some foreign terrorist organizations, acting through affiliated groups or individuals, raise significant funds outside of the United States for conduct directed and targeted at the United States.

(4) It is necessary to recognize the substantive causes of action for aiding and abetting and conspiracy liability under chapter 113B of title 18, United States Code.

(5) The decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in Halberstam v. Welch, 705 F.2d 472 (D.C. Cir. 1983), which has been widely recognized as the leading case regarding Federal civil aiding and abetting and conspiracy liability, including by the Supreme Court of the United States, provides the proper legal framework for how such liability should function in the context of chapter 113B of title 18, United States Code.

(6) Persons, entities, or countries that knowingly or recklessly contribute material support or resources, directly or indirectly, to persons or organizations that pose a significant risk of committing acts of terrorism that threaten the security of nationals of the United States or the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States, necessarily direct their conduct at the United States, and should reasonably anticipate being brought to court in the United States to answer for such activities.

(7) The United States has a vital interest in providing persons and entities injured as a result of terrorist attacks committed within the United States with full access to the court system in order to pursue civil claims against persons, entities, or countries that have knowingly or recklessly provided material support or resources, directly or indirectly, to the persons or organizations responsible for their injuries.

(b) Purpose.—The purpose of this Act is to provide civil litigants with the broadest possible basis, consistent with the Constitution of the United States, to seek relief against persons, entities, and foreign countries, wherever acting and wherever they may be found, that have provided material support, directly or indirectly, to foreign organizations or persons that engage in terrorist activities against the United States.

SEC. 3. RESPONSIBILITY OF FOREIGN STATES FOR INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM AGAINST THE UNITED STATES. 

(a) In General.—Chapter 97 of title 28, United States Code, is amended by inserting after section 1605A the following: 

 “§ 1605B. Responsibility of foreign states for international terrorism against the United States

“(a) Definition.—In this section, the term ‘international terrorism’—

“(1) has the meaning given the term in section 2331 of title 18, United States Code; and

“(2) does not include any act of war (as defined in that section).

“(b) Responsibility Of Foreign States.—A foreign state shall not be immune from the jurisdiction of the courts of the United States in any case in which money damages are sought against a foreign state for physical injury to person or property or death occurring in the United States and caused by—

“(1) an act of international terrorism in the United States; and

“(2) a tortious act or acts of the foreign state, or of any official, employee, or agent of that foreign state while acting within the scope of his or her office, employment, or agency, regardless where the tortious act or acts of the foreign state occurred.

“(c) Claims By Nationals Of The United States.—Notwithstanding section 2337(2) of title 18, a national of the United States may bring a claim against a foreign state in accordance with section 2333 of that title if the foreign state would not be immune under subsection (b).

“(d) Rule Of Construction.—A foreign state shall not be subject to the jurisdiction of the courts of the United States under subsection (b) on the basis of an omission or a tortious act or acts that constitute mere negligence.”.

(b) Technical And Conforming Amendments.—

(1) The table of sections for chapter 97 of title 28, United States Code, is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 1605A the following:
“1605B. Responsibility of foreign states for international terrorism against the United States.”.(2) Subsection 1605(g)(1)(A) of title 28, United States Code, is amended by inserting “or section 1605B” after “but for section 1605A”.

SEC. 4. AIDING AND ABETTING LIABILITY FOR CIVIL ACTIONS REGARDING TERRORIST ACTS. 

(a) In General.—Section 2333 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following: 

“(d) Liability.—

“(1) DEFINITION.—In this subsection, the term ‘person’ has the meaning given the term in section 1 of title 1.

“(2) LIABILITY.—In an action under subsection (a) for an injury arising from an act of international terrorism committed, planned, or authorized by an organization that had been designated as a foreign terrorist organization under section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1189), as of the date on which such act of international terrorism was committed, planned, or authorized, liability may be asserted as to any person who aids and abets, by knowingly providing substantial assistance, or who conspires with the person who committed such an act of international terrorism.”.

(b) Effect On Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.—Nothing in the amendment made by this section affects immunity of a foreign state, as that term is defined in section 1603 of title 28, United States Code, from jurisdiction under other law.

SEC. 5. STAY OF ACTIONS PENDING STATE NEGOTIATIONS. 

(a) Exclusive Jurisdiction.—The courts of the United States shall have exclusive jurisdiction in any action in which a foreign state is subject to the jurisdiction of a court of the United States under section 1605B of title 28, United States Code, as added by section 3(a) of this Act.

(b) Intervention.—The Attorney General may intervene in any action in which a foreign state is subject to the jurisdiction of a court of the United States under section 1605B of title 28, United States Code, as added by section 3(a) of this Act, for the purpose of seeking a stay of the civil action, in whole or in part.

(c) Stay.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—A court of the United States may stay a proceeding against a foreign state if the Secretary of State certifies that the United States is engaged in good faith discussions with the foreign state defendant concerning the resolution of the claims against the foreign state, or any other parties as to whom a stay of claims is sought.

(2) DURATION.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—A stay under this section may be granted for not more than 180 days.

(B) EXTENSION.—

(i) IN GENERAL.—The Attorney General may petition the court for an extension of the stay for additional 180-day periods.

(ii) RECERTIFICATION.—A court shall grant an extension under clause (i) if the Secretary of State recertifies that the United States remains engaged in good faith discussions with the foreign state defendant concerning the resolution of the claims against the foreign state, or any other parties as to whom a stay of claims is sought.

SEC. 6. SEVERABILITY.

If any provision of this Act or any amendment made by this Act, or the application of a provision or amendment to any person or circumstance, is held to be invalid, the remainder of this Act and the amendments made by this Act, and the application of the provisions and amendments to any other person not similarly situated or to other circumstances, shall not be affected by the holding.

SEC. 7. EFFECTIVE DATE.

The amendments made by this Act shall apply to any civil action—

(1) pending on, or commenced on or after, the date of enactment of this Act; and

(2) arising out of an injury to a person, property, or business on or after September 11, 2001.

 

Speaker of the House of Representatives
Vice President of the United States and President of the Senate

 

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US Enters Yemen War with Missile Attacks…

octobre 13th, 2016 by Middle East Eye

A US destroyer fired cruise missiles on Houthi rebels early Thursday morning, attacking radar installations that the US claims were used by the rebels to target the USS Mason, another destroyer.

The missile launches from the USS Nitze mark the first time the US had directly attacked the Houthis in Yemen.

“These limited self-defence strikes were conducted to protect our personnel, our ships and our freedom of navigation in this important maritime passageway,” the US defence department said. “The US will respond to any further threat to our ships and commercial traffic. »

“Initial assessments show the sites were destroyed,” it added.

The US strike followed a second missile fired from rebel-held territory in Yemen targeting a US destroyer, a US defence official said on Wednesday.

However, Houthi rebels issued a statement denying they had fired a missile at the US vessel.

« Those claims are baseless, » the rebel-controlled Saba news agency quoted a military official as saying.

« Such claims aim to create false justifications to step up attacks and to cover up for the continuous crimes committed by the (coalition) aggression against the Yemeni people. »

Wednesday’s attack involved a « coastal defence cruise missile » fired from a Houthi-controlled area south of al-Hudaida, the US official said.

The USS Mason used countermeasures after detecting the missile at about 6pm local time on Wednesday.

« It is unclear if the countermeasures caused the missile to hit the water, or if it would have hit the water on its own, » said the official.

The ship was not hit.

On Sunday, two missiles fired from rebel-held territory in Yemen fell short of the Mason as it patrolled the Red Sea off the coast of the war-torn country.

Both missiles hit the water before reaching the ship and no one was injured in that incident, officials said.

On Monday, the Saudi-led coalition accused the rebels of firing a ballistic missile towards the southwestern Saudi city of Taif, hundreds of kilometres from the Yemeni border.

The missile was one of two that the coalition intercepted on Sunday – the other was launched toward Marib, east of Yemen’s rebel-held capital Sanaa.

The incidents come after the United Arab Emirates said last Wednesday that Yemeni rebels struck a « civilian » vessel in the strategic Bab al-Mandab waterway, wounding crewmen.

Rebels claimed the attack, which was carried out on 1 October.

The UAE is a key member of a Saudi-led coalition that has been pounding Yemen since March of last year.

Coalition warships have imposed a naval blockade on rebel-held ports along Yemen’s Red Sea coast allowing in only UN-approved aid shipments.

Also, Houthi rebels fired a missile at the main Saudi air base used by the Arab coalition in its bombing campaign but it was intercepted, the coalition said on Wednesday.

It was the second such missile launch since a coalition air strike killed more than 140 people attending a wake in Sanaa on Saturday, prompting threats of revenge.

Air defence forces « intercepted a ballistic missile, launched by the Houthi militias toward the city of Khamis Mushait and destroyed it without any damage, » a coalition statement said.

Khamis Mushait is home to the air base that has been at the forefront of the coalition bombing campaign against Houthi rebels and their allies.

It is about 100km from the Yemeni border.

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Obama Stepped Back From Brink, Will Hillary?

octobre 13th, 2016 by Mike Whitney

The American people need to understand what’s going on in Syria. Unfortunately, the major media only publish Washington-friendly propaganda which makes it difficult to separate fact from fiction.  The best way to cut through the lies and misinformation, is by using a simple analogy that will help readers to see that Syria is not in the throes of a confusing, sectarian civil war, but the victim of another regime change operation launched by Washington to topple the government of Bashar al Assad.

With that in mind, try to imagine if striking garment workers in New York City decided to arm themselves and take over parts of lower Manhattan. And, let’s say,  Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau decided that he could increase his geopolitical influence by recruiting Islamic extremists and sending them to New York to join the striking workers. Let’s say, Trudeau’s plan succeeds and the rebel militias are able to seize a broad swathe of US territory including most of the east coast stretching all the way to the mid-west.  Then– over the course of the next five years– these same jihadist forces proceed to destroy most of the civilian infrastructure across the country, force millions of people from their homes and businesses, and demand that President Obama step down from office so they can replace him with an Islamic regime that would enforce strict Sharia law.

How would you advise Obama in a situation like this? Would you tell him to negotiate with the people who invaded and destroyed his country or would you tell him to do whatever he thought was necessary to defeat the enemy and restore security?

Reasonable people will agree that the president has the right to defend the state and maintain security. In fact, national sovereignty and security are the foundation upon which the international order rests. However, neither the US media nor the US congress nor the White House nor the entire US foreign policy establishment agree with this simple, straightforward principle, that governments have the right to defend themselves against foreign invasion. They all believe that the US has the unalienable right to intervene wherever it chooses using whatever means necessary to execute its regime change operations.

In the case of Syria, Washington is using “moderate” jihadists to topple the elected government of Bashar al Assad.  Keep in mind, that no even disputes WHAT the US is doing in Syria (regime change) or that the US is using a proxy army to accomplish its objectives. The only area of debate, is whether these “moderates” are actually moderates at all, or al Qaida. That’s the only point on which their is some limited disagreement. (Note: Nearly everyone who follows events closely on the ground, knows that the moderates are al Qaida)

Doesn’t that strike you as a bit bizarre? How have we gotten to the point where it is “okay” for the US to topple foreign governments simply because their agents are “moderate” troublemakers rather than “extremist” troublemakers?

What difference does it make?   The fact is, the US is using foreign-born jihadists to topple another sovereign government, the same as it used neo Nazis in Ukraine to topple the government, the same as it used US troops to topple the sovereign government in Iraq, and the same as it used NATO forces to topple the sovereign government in Libya. Get the picture? The methods might change, but the policy is always the same. And the reason the policy is always the same is because Washington likes to pick its own leaders, leaders who invariably serve the interests of its wealthy and powerful constituents, particularly Big Oil and Israel.  That’s how the system works. Everyone knows this already. Washington has toppled or attempted to topple more than 50 governments since the end of WW2.  The US is a regime change franchise, Coups-R-Us.

Hillary Clinton is a charter member of the regime change oligarchy. She is a avid Koolaid drinker and an devoted believer in American “exceptionalism”, which is the belief that ‘If the United States does something, it must be good.’

Hillary also believes that the best way to resolve the conflict in Syria is by starting a war with Russia. Here’s what she said on Sunday in her debate with Donald Trump:

Clinton:  “The situation in Syria is catastrophic. And every day that goes by, we see the results of the regime by Assad in partnership with the Iranians on the ground, the Russians in the air…I, when I was secretary of state, I advocated and I advocate today a no-fly zone and safe zones.”

Repeat: “I advocate today a no-fly zone and safe zones.”

This is a very important point. Hillary has supported no-fly zones from Day 1 despite the fact that–by her own admission– the policy would result in massive civilian casualties.  And civilian casualties are not the only danger posed by no-fly zones. Consider the warning by America’s top soldier,  Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,  General Joseph Dunford. In response to a question from Senator Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi) on the potential dangers of trying to “control Syrian airspace,” Dunford answered ominously,  “Right now… for us to control all of the airspace in Syria would require us to go to war against Syria and Russia.”

This is the Hillary Doctrine in a nutshell: Confront the Russians in Syria and start WW3.  If there’s another way to interpret Dunford’s answer, then, please, tell me what it is?

Hillary also added that, “we have to work more closely with our partners and allies on the ground.”

This means that the Obama-CIA policy of supporting militant jihadists on the ground to topple an elected government will continue just as it has for the last five years.  Is that what Hillary supporters want; more intervention, more escalation, more Iraqs, more Syrias?

She also said this: “I do support the effort to investigate for crimes, war crimes committed by the Syrians and the Russians and try to hold them accountable.”

Readers should pause for a minute and really try to savor the convoluted absurdity of Clinton’s comments. As we pointed out in our analogy, Putin and Assad are trying to reestablish the central governments control over the country to establish security the same as if Obama found it necessary to fight armed rebels in lower Manhattan. Governments have the right to govern their country. This shouldn’t be hard to understand. What Hillary is proposing is that the Syrian and Russians (who were invited by Assad) be prosecuted for fulfilling the sworn duty of every elected leader while –at the same time– the countries (like the US) that have (by their own admission) armed, trained and financed foreign invaders that have torn the country to shreds and killed more than 400,000 civilians, be let off Scott-free.

It is a great tribute to our propagandist western media, that someone like Hillary can make a thoroughly asinine statement like this and not be laughed off the face of the earth. By Hillary’s logic, Obama could be prosecuted for war crimes if civilians were killed while he attempted to liberate lower Manhattan. The whole idea is ridiculous.

Here’s another Hillary gem from the debate:

“I do think the use of special forces, which we’re using, the use of enablers and trainers in Iraq, which has had some positive effects, are very much in our interests, and so I do support what is happening.”

“Positive effects”?

What positive effects? 400,000 people are dead, 7 million more are ether internally displaced or refugees, and the country has been reduced to a Fulluja-like rubble. There are no “positive effects” from Hillary’s war. It’s been a complete and utter catastrophe. The only success she can claim, is the fact that the sleazebag Democratic leadership and their thoroughly-corrupt media buddies have been more successful in hiding the details of their depredations from the American people. Otherwise its been a dead-loss.

Here’s more Hillary:

I would go after Baghdadi. I would specifically target Baghdadi, because I think our targeting of Al Qaida leaders —”

Baghdadi, Schmaghdadi; who gives a rip? When has the CIA’s immoral assassination program ever helped to reduce the fighting, ever diminished the swelling ranks of terrorist organizations, or ever made the American people safer?

Never, that’s when. The whole thing is a fu**ing joke. Hillary just wants another trophy for her future presidential library, a scalp she can hang next to Gadhafi’s.   The woman is sick!

Here’s one last quote from the debate::

“I would also consider arming the Kurds. The Kurds have been our best partners in Syria, as well as Iraq. And I know there’s a lot of concern about that in some circles, but I think they should have the equipment they need so that Kurdish and Arab fighters on the ground are the principal way that we take Raqqa after pushing ISIS out of Iraq.”

Obama is arming the Kurds already, but the Kurds have no interest in seizing Raqqa because it is not part of their traditional homeland and because it doesn’t help them achieve the contiguous landmass they seek for their own state. Besides, arming the Kurds just pisses off Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan who provides a critical airstrip at Incirlik from which the US carries out most of its airstrikes on enemy targets in Syria. In other words, Clinton doesn’t know what the heck she’s talking about.

While there’s no time to get into Hillary’s role in starting the war in Syria, there is a very thorny situation that developed last week that’s worth considering for those people who still plan to cast their vote for Clinton in the November election.

Here’s a quick rundown of what happened: Last Wednesday, the Washington Post leaked a story stating that the  Obama administration was considering whether it should directly attack Syrian assets on the ground, in other words, conduct a covert, low-intensity war directly against the regime. (rather than just using proxies.)

On Thursday, the Russian Ministry of Defense spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov announced that Moscow had deployed state of the art defensive weapons systems (S-300 and S-400 air defense missile systems) to the theater and was planning to use them if Syrian or Russian troops or installations were threatened.

In a televised statement, Konashenkov said:  “It must be understood that Russian air defense missile crews will unlikely have time to clarify via the hotline the exact flight program of the missiles or the ownership of their carriers.”

Referring to the provocative article in the Washington Post,Konashenkov added: “I would recommend our colleagues in Washington carefully weigh possible consequences of the fulfillment of such plans.”

The Russians were saying as clearly as possible that if US warplanes attacked either Russian installations or Syrian troops they would be shot down immediately. Reasonable people can assume that the downing of a US warplane would trigger a war with Russia.

Fortunately, there are signs that Obama got the message and put the kibosh on the (Pentagon’s?) ridiculous plan. Here’s a clip from an article at The Duran which may be the best news I’ve read about Syria in five years. This story broke on Friday and has been largely ignored by the major media:

“Following Russian warning of American aircraft being shot down, White House spokesman confirms plan for U.S. air strikes on Syria has been rejected….White House spokesman Josh Earnest confirmed this speaking to reporters on Thursday 6th October 2016.

“The president has discussed in some details why military action against the Assad regime to try to address the situation in Aleppo is unlikely to accomplish the goals that many envisioned now in terms of reducing the violence there.  It is much more likely to lead to a bunch of unintended consequences that are clearly not in our national interest.” (“U.S. backs down over Syria after Russian threat to shoot down American aircraft,” Alexander Mercouris, The Duran)

As critical as I’ve been of Obama over the years, I applaud him for his good judgment.  While the Pentagon warhawks and foreign policy hardliners are relentlessly pushing for a direct confrontation with Russia,  Obama has wisely pulled us back from the brink of disaster.

The question is: Would Hillary do the same?

Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at [email protected].

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Afghanistan – Fool’s War

octobre 13th, 2016 by Eric Margolis

Fifteen years ago this week, the US launched the longest war in its history: the invasion and occupation of remote Afghanistan. Neighboring Pakistan was forced to facilitate the American invasion or ‘be bombed back to the stone age.’

America was furious after the bloody 9/11 attacks. The Bush administration had been caught sleeping on guard duty. Many Americans believed 9/11 was an inside job by pro-war neocons.

Afghanistan was picked as the target of US vengeance even though the 9/11 attacks were hatched (if in fact done from abroad) in Germany and Spain. The suicide attackers made clear their kamikaze mission was to punish the US for ‘occupying’ the holy land of Saudi Arabia, and for Washington’s open-ended support of Israel in its occupation of Palestine.

This rational was quickly obscured by the Bush administration that claimed the 9/11 attackers, most of whom were Saudis, were motivated by hatred of American ‘values’ and ‘freedoms.’ This nonsense planted the seeds of the rising tide of Islamophobia that we see today and the faux ‘war on terror.’

An anti-communist jihadi, Osama bin Laden, was inflated and demonized into America’s Great Satan. The supposed ‘terrorist training camps’ in Afghanistan were, as I saw with my eyes, camps where Pakistani intelligence trained jihadis to fight in India-occupied Kashmir.

Afghanistan, remote, bleak and mountainous, was rightly known as ‘the graveyard of empires.’ These included Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Timur, the Moguls and Sikhs. The British Empire invaded Afghanistan three times in the 19th century. The Soviet Union, world’s greatest land power, invaded in 1979, seeking a corridor to the Arabian Sea and Gulf.

All were defeated by the fierce Pashtun warrior tribes of the Hindu Kush. But the fool George W. Bush rushed in where angels feared to tread, in a futile attempt to conquer an unconquerable people for whom war was their favorite pastime. I was with the Afghan mujahidin when fighting the Soviet occupation in the 1980’s, and again the newly-formed Taliban in the early 1990’s. As I wrote in my book on this subject, ‘War at the Top of the World,’ the Pashtun warriors were the bravest men I’d ever seen. They had only ancient weapons but possessed boundless courage.

Kabul in 2011

During the 2001 US invasion, the Americans allied themselves to the heroin and opium-dealing Tajik Northern Alliance, to former Communist allies of the Soviets, and to the northern Uzbeks, blood foes of the Pashtun and former Soviet Communist allies.

Taliban, which had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11, had shut down 90% of Afghanistan’s heroin and opium trade. The US-allied Northern Alliance restored it, making Afghanistan again the world’s leading supplier of heroin and opium. US occupation forces, backed by immense tactical airpower, allied themselves with the most criminal elements in Afghanistan and installed a puppet regime of CIA assets. The old Communist secret police, notorious for their record of torture and atrocities, was kept in power by CIA to fight Taliban.

Last week, Washington’s Special Inspector General for Afghan Relief (SIGAR) issued a totally damning report showing how mass corruption, bribery, payoffs and drug money had fatally undermined US efforts to build a viable Afghan society.

What’s more, without 24/7 US air cover, Washington’s yes-men in Kabul would be quickly swept away. The Afghan Army and police have no loyalty to the regime; they fight only for the Yankee dollar. Like Baghdad, Kabul is a US-guarded island in a sea of animosity.

report by Global Research has estimated the 15-year Afghan War and the Iraq War had cost the US $6 trillion. Small wonder when gasoline trucked up to Afghanistan from Pakistan’s coast it costs the Pentagon $400 per gallon. Some estimates put the war cost at $33,000 per citizen. But Americans do not pay this cost through a special war tax, as it should be. Bush ordered the total costs of the Iraq and Afghan wars be concealed in the national debt.

Officially, 2,216 American soldiers have died in Afghanistan and 20,049 were seriously wounded. Some 1,173 US mercenaries have also been killed. Large numbers of US financed mercenaries still remain in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Noble Peace Prize winner Barack Obama promised to withdraw nearly all US troops from Afghanistan by 2016.

Instead, more US troops are on the way to protect the Kabul puppet regime from its own people. Taliban and its dozen-odd allied resistance movements (‘terrorists’ in Pentagon speak faithfully parroted by the US media) are steadily gaining territory and followers.

Last week, the US dragooned NATO and other satrap states to a ‘voluntary’ donor conference for Afghanistan where they had to cough up another $15.2 billion and likely send some more troops to this hopeless conflict. Washington cannot bear to admit defeat by tiny Afghanistan or see this strategic nation fall into China’s sphere.

Ominously, the US is encouraging India to play a much larger role in Afghanistan, thus planting the seeds of a dangerous Pakistani-Indian-Chinese confrontation there.

There was no mention of the 800lb gorilla in the conference room: Afghanistan’s role as the world’s by now largest heroin/opium/morphine producer – all under the proud auspices of the United States government. The new US president will inherit this embarrassing problem.

Eric S. Margolis is an award-winning, internationally syndicated columnist, writing and commenting for the top media outlets of the United States, Canada UK, France, Gulf states, Turkey, Malaysia and Pakistan.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin said that terrorist groups operating in the area were behind the Aleppo UN convoy attack.

Many differing theories based on differing evidence concluded that the convoy was either bombed by a US Hellfire Drone or via jihadist terrorists backed by the US on the ground. Unfortunately US “diplomats” placed the blame for the convoy attack on Russia almost immediately after the incident…without evidence and without merit, as always.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the VTB forum “Russia is calling”….

“We see what’s happening. It’s just baseless accusations that Russia is the cause of all mortal sins. But we know who attacked this humanitarian convoy. This was one of the terrorist groups. And we know that the US is well aware of this. But they prefer to blame Russia. This won’t help.”

Putin made it clear that intimidation against Russia has never worked, and will never work in relation to the Syria…

“This is what I was speaking about recently, this method of doing things on the international arena which is called intimidation and pressure. This has never worked and will never work against Russia.”

Sputnik News reports

On September 19, a UN-Syrian Arab Red Crescent convoy carrying humanitarian aid for the Aleppo province was hit by a strike, according to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). As a result, 18 of 31 trucks were destroyed and at least 21 individuals were killed.

Several Western officials, including the ones from the White House, have blamed the attack on Russia and Syria. The Russian authorities have refuted the allegations and claimed there was no airstrike, while the load of the convoy could be set on fire most probably by Nusra Front militants controlling the area. Moscow called for a thorough investigation into the incident.

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A highly informed anonymous military blogger, who goes by the name of “bernhard” and blogs at his widely followed “Moon of Alabama” website, is alleging, in a post October 12th (“The ’Salafist Principality’ — ISIS Paid Off To Leave Mosul And To Take Deir Ezzor?”), that the Obama Administration has negotiated with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, and with Saudi Prince Salman (who is the decision-maker in Saudi military matters), to provide safe passage into the large Syrian city of Deir Es Zor, for the ISIS jihadists who have been occupying the city of Mosul in Iraq.

On September 17th, U.S. and UK jets had bombed the compound of Syrian government troops who were fighting to oust jihadists from that City, and 62 Syrian soldiers were killed, and over a hundred were injured, in that U.S.-led bombing attack. Subsequently, Syria brought more troops to that location and retook control there, but if and when the ISIS jihadists from Mosul take control there, the forces of Bashar al-Assad will be beaten not by U.S. bombs, this time, but by ISIS jihadists.

“Bernhard” cites a tweet on the morning of October 12th from the celebrated Syrian historian and journalist Nizar Nayouf, reporting (“berhard » calls it a ‘rumor’ because Nayouf relies upon ’Sources in London’):

“Breaking news: Sources in #London say: #US&#Saudi_Arabia concluded an agreement to let #ISIS leave #Mosul secretly & safely to #Syria.”

However, Nayouf was a democracy-activist whom the Assad regime imprisoned in 1991 and released on the date of Pope John Paul II’s visit to Syria on 6 May 2001; so, any prejudices that Nayouf might have would be against Assad, and not against the forces (such as Obama and the Sauds) who are trying to overthrow Assad. Only time can tell whether or not ISIS from Mosul will show up in Deir Es Zor, but Nayouf is reporting that that’s the deal.

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

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Records detailing as many as 181,000 rounds of depleted uranium munitions shot in 2003 by American forces in Iraq have been unearthed by researchers, representing the most significant public documentation of the controversial armament’s use during the US-led invasion.

The cache, released to George Washington University in 2013 but until now not made public, shows that a majority of the 1,116 sorties carried out by A-10 jet crews during March and April of 2003 were aimed at so-called “soft targets” like cars and trucks, as well as buildings and troop positions. This runs parallel to accounts that the munitions were used on a wide array of targets and not just against the tanks and armoured vehicles that the Pentagon maintains super-penetrative DU munitions are intended for.

The strike logs were originally handed over in response to a Freedom of Information Act request by George Washington University’s National Security Archive, but were not evaluated and analysed independently until now.

Earlier this year, the Archive provided the records to researchers at the Dutch NGO PAX, and an advocacy group, the International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons (ICBUW), who were fishing for new information. IRIN obtained both the data and analysis done by PAX and ICBUW, which is contained in a report that will be published later this week.

Confirmation that the munitions were used more indiscriminately than previously acknowledged could renew calls for scientists to look deeper into the health effects of DU on civilian populations in conflict areas. The munitions have been suspected – but never conclusively proven – of causing cancer and birth defects, among other issues.

But as a function of both the continued insecurity in Iraq and an apparent unwillingness on the part of the US government to share data and conduct research, there remains a dearth of epidemiological studies in Iraq. This has created a vacuum in which theories have proliferated about DU, some conspiratorial.

Knowledge that DU was shot across the country, but confusion over where and in what quantities has been frustrating for Iraqis, who are now once more facing a landscape wracked by war, death, and displacement.

Today, the same A-10 planes are once more flying over Iraq, as well as Syria, where they target forces of so-called Islamic State. Though US military press officers say DU has not been fired, there are no Pentagon restrictions against doing so, and contradictory information provided to Congress has raised questions over its possible deployment last year.

The scientific haze

Depleted uranium is what’s left over when the highly radioactive substance uranium-235 is enriched – its isotopes are separated in a process that’s used to make both nuclear bombs and energy.

DU is less radioactive than the original, but is still considered a toxic chemical and a “radiation health hazard when inside the body”, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Many doctors believe any possible negative health effects would most likely stem from the inhalation of particles after a DU weapon is used, though ingestion is also a concern. Though studies have been carried out in laboratory settings and on small numbers of veterans, no extensive medical research has been carried out on civilian populations exposed to DU in conflict areas, including Iraq.

There is “very limited credible direct epidemiological evidence » proving a correlation between DU and health effects in these settings, David Brenner, director of Columbia University’s Center for Radiological Research, explained to IRIN. After first finding an ailment to track – for instance lung cancer – Brenner said such a study would need to “identify the exposed population, and then quantify what were the exposures to each individual”. That’s where the targeting data comes into play.

The data may also be useful for clean-up efforts, if they were ever to be done on a large scale. But only 783 of the 1,116 flight logs contain specific locations, and the US has not released such data for the first Gulf War, when more than 700,000 rounds were fired. Activists have dubbed that conflict « the most toxic » in history.

783 of the 1,116 flight logs contain specific locations

Within the United States, DU is tightly controlled, with limits on how much can be stored at military sites, and clean-up protocols are followed at firing ranges. In 1991, when a fire broke out at an American military base in Kuwait and DU munitions contaminated the area, the US government paid for the clean-up and had 11,000 cubic metres of soil removed and shipped back to the US for storage.

Fearing that spent DU rounds could remain dangerous for years, experts say such steps – and similar ones taken in the Balkans after conflicts there – should still be carried out in Iraq. But first of all, authorities would need to know where to look.

“You can’t say meaningful things about the risk of DU if you don’t have a meaningful baseline of where weapons have been used and what steps have been taken,” said Doug Weir, international coordinator at ICBUW.

What the data shows – and what it doesn’t

With the release of this new data, researchers are closer to this baseline than ever before, although the picture is still not nearly complete. More than 300,000 DU rounds are estimated to have been fired during the 2003 war, mostly by the US.

The FOIA release, issued by US Central Command (CENTCOM), increases the number of known sites with potential DU contamination from the 2003 war to more than 1,100 – three times as many as the 350 that officials at Iraq’s environment ministry told PAX it was aware of and attempting to clean up.

Some 227,000 rounds of so-called “combat mix” – a combination of mostly Armour-Piercing Incendiary (API) munitions, which contain DU, and High-Explosive Incendiary (HEI) munitions – were reported fired in the sorties. At CENTCOM’s own estimated ratio of 4 API to every HEI munition, researchers arrived at a total of 181,606 rounds of DU spent.

While the 2013 FOIA release is extensive, it still doesn’t include data from US tanks, or reference to possible contamination emanating from storage sites during the war, or anything about the use of DU by US allies. The UK has provided information related to limited firing by British tanks in 2003 to the UN’s environmental agency, UNEP.

The new data shows DU munitions were used on a wide array of targets

A 1975 US Air Force review recommended that DU weapons be siloed only “for use against tanks, armoured personnel carriers or other hard targets”. It was suggested that deployment of DU against personnel be prohibited unless no other suitable weapons are available. The new firing records, wrote PAX and ICBUW in their analysis, “clearly demonstrate that the restrictions proposed in the review have been largely ignored”. Indeed, only 33.2 percent of the 1,116 targets listed were tanks or armoured vehicles.

“It clearly shows that despite all the arguments given by the US, that the A-10s are needed to defeat armour, most of what was hit were unarmoured targets, and a substantial amount of those targets were near populated areas,” Wim Zwijnenburg, senior researcher at PAX, told IRIN.

The legal haze

Unlike mines and cluster munitions, as well as biological or chemical weapons – even blinding lasers – there is no treaty dedicated to regulating the production or use of DU weapons.

“The legality of using DU in armed conflict situations is indeterminate,” Beth Van Schaack, professor of human rights at Stanford University, and a former US State Department official, told IRIN.

The customary international law of armed conflict includes bans on weapons that may be expected to cause long-term harm and prohibitions on methods of warfare that cause superfluous injury and unnecessary suffering. “Absent better data on the immediate and long-term effects of DU on human health and the natural environment, however, it is difficult to apply these norms with any specificity,” said Van Schaack.

In a 2014 UN report, the Iraqi government expressed “its deep concern over the harmful effects” of depleted uranium deployed in conflicts and called for a treaty banning its use and transfer. It called on countries that have used such weapons in conflict to provide local authorities “with detailed information about the location of the areas of use and amounts used,” in order to assess and potentially contain contamination.

Silence and confusion

Pekka Haavisto, who chaired UNEP’s post-conflict work in Iraq during 2003, told IRIN it was commonly known at the time that DU munitions hit buildings and other non-armoured targets with regularity.

Though his team in Iraq was not officially tasked with surveying DU use, signs of it were everywhere, he said. In Baghdad, ministry buildings were marked with damage from DU munitions, which UN experts could clearly make out. By the time Haavisto and his colleagues left Iraq following a 2003 bombing that targeted the Baghdad hotel serving as UN headquarters, he said there were few signs that American-led forces felt obliged to clean up DU or even notify Iraqis of where it had been shot.

“When we dealt with the DU issue, we could see that the militaries who used it had quite strong protection measures for their own personnel,” said Haavisto, currently a member of Parliament in Finland.

“But then the similar logic is not valid when you speak about the people who live in the locations where it has been targeted – that of course was a bit disturbing for me. If you think it can put your military in hazard, of course there are similar hazards for people who after the war are living in similar circumstances.”

Several towns and cities in Iraq, including Fallujah, have reported congenital birth defects that locals suspect may be linked to DU or other war materials. Even if they are not related to to DU use – Fallujah, for instance, barely features in the FOIA release – researchers say full disclosure of DU target location is as important for ruling it out as the cause.

“Not only is [the new] data concerning, but the gaps in it are too,” said Jeena Shah, a professor of law at Rutgers University who has helped advocates try to pry targeting logs from the US government. Both US veterans and Iraqis, she said, need all data on toxic munitions, so authorities can “conduct remediation of toxic sites to protect future generations of Iraqis, and provide necessary medical care to those harmed by the use of these materials”.

Is DU Back?

This week, a Pentagon spokesperson confirmed to IRIN that there is no “policy restriction on the use of DU in Counter-ISIL operations” in either Iraq or Syria.

And while the US Air Force repeatedly denied that DU munitions have been used by A-10s during those operations, Air Force officials have given a different version of events to at least one member of Congress. In May, at the request of a constituent, the office of Arizona Representative Martha McSally – a former A-10 pilot with A-10s based in her district – asked if DU munitions had been used in either Syria or Iraq. An Air Force congressional liaison officer replied in an email that American forces had in fact shot 6,479 rounds of “Combat Mix” in Syria over two days – “the 18th and 23rd of Nov 2015”. The officer explained the mix « has a 5 to 1 ratio of API (DU) to HEI ».

« So with that said, we have expended ~5,100 rounds of API, » he wrote, referring to DU rounds.

Those dates fell within an intense period of US-led strikes against IS oil infrastructure and transport vehicles, dubbed « Tidal Wave II ». According to coalition press statements, hundreds of oil trucks were destroyed in the second half of November in Syria, including 283 alone on 22 November.

The content of the emails and the Air Force’s response were originally forwarded to local anti-nuclear activist Jack Cohen-Joppa, who shared them with IRIN. McSally’s office later confirmed the content of both. Reached this week, multiple US officials could not explain the discrepancy.

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On September 20 I wrote about the likely reason for the willful U.S. bombing attack on a critical Syrian army position in Deir Ezzor:

Two recent attacks against the Syrian Arab Army in east-Syria point to a U.S. plan to eliminate all Syrian government presence east of Palmyra. This would enable the U.S. and its allies to create a « Sunni entity » in east-Syria and west-Iraq which would be a permanent thorn in side of Syria and its allies.

The U.S. plan is to eventually take Raqqa by using Turkish or Kurdish proxies. It also plans to let the Iraqi army retake Mosul in Iraq. The only major city in Islamic State territory left between those two is Deir Ezzor. Should IS be able to take it away from the isolated Syrian army garrison it has at least a decent base to survive. (Conveniently there are also rich oil wells nearby.) No one, but the hampered Syrian state, would have an immediate interest to remove it from there.

There are new signs that this analysis was correct.

Yesterday the Turkish President Erdogan made a remark that points into that direction. As the British journalist Elijah Magnier summarized it:

Elijah J. Magnier @EjmAlraiErdogan: #Turkey will participate in #Mosul just like it did in #Jarablus.Army doesn’t take orders from #Iraq PM who should know his limits.

4:06 AM – 11 Oct 2016

« Like Jarablus » was an interesting comparison. The Turks and their proxies took Jarablus in center-north Syria from the Islamic State without any fight and without any casualties from fighting. ISIS had moved away from the city before the Turks walked in. There obviously had been a deal made.

That’s why I replied this to Magnier’s tweet above:

Moon of Alabama @MoonofAThe Turks will pay off ISIS in Mosul to leave early just like they did in Jarablus?

5:58 AM – 12 Oct 2016

Three hours later this rumor from a well connected Syrian historian and journalist in London answered that question:

Nizar Nayouf @nizarnayoufBreaking news:Sources in #London say:“#US& #Saudi_Arabia concluded an agreement to let #ISIS leave #Mosul secretly& safely to #Syria »!

9:28 AM – 12 Oct 2016

Erdogan predicts that his troops and proxy forces will march into Mosul just like they marched into Jarablus: In a peaceful walk, without any fight, into a city free of Jihadis.

The Saudis and the U.S. arranged for that.

The U.S. bombed the most important SAA position in Deir Ezzor so that ISIS, now with the help of its cadres from Mosul, can take over the city. A nice place to keep it holed up in east-Syria until it can further be used in this or that imperial enterprise.

A good plan when your overall aim is to create an obedient mercenary statelet in the center of the Middle East. As the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency wrote in 2012:

THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY OF ESTABLISHING A DECLARED OR UNDECLARED SALAFIST PRINCIPALITY IN EASTERN SYRIA (HASAKA AND DER ZOR), AND THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THE SUPPORTING POWERS TO THE OPPOSITION WANT, IN ORDER TO ISOLATE THE SYRIAN REGIME.

But this plan requires to fight the Syrian and Russian air-forces which will do their utmost to defend the SAA group and the 100-200,000 ISIS besieged Syrian civilians in Deir Ezzor. The the U.S. and its allies may be willing to do that. A well known British Tory member of parliament already made noise that British fighter jets should be free to shoot down Russian planes in Syria. The U.S. had claimed that British planes took part in the Deir Ezzor ambush.

The defenders of Deir Ezzor lack their own air defenses. The Russian systems at the Syrian west-coast can not reach that far east. The Syrian system are mostly positioned to defend Damascus and other cities from attacks by Israel.

Russia recently talked about delivering 10 new Pantsyr-S1 short-to-medium range air defense systems to Syria. At least two of those should be airlifted to Deir Ezzor as soon as possible.

UPDATE: I was just made aware of a recent speech by Hizbullah leader Nasrallah who smellsthe same stinking plot:

Sayyed Nasrallah said that the Americans intend to repeat Fallujah plot when they opened a way for ISIL to escape towards eastern Syria before the Iraqi warplanes targeted the terrorists’ convoy, warning that the same deceptive scheme is possible to be carried out in Mosul.

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Russia’s military has test-fired three intercontinental ballistic missiles amid increasing tensions with the US on a range of issues, particularly the Syrian crisis.

The Russian Defense Ministry said the Russian forces fired a nuclear-capable rocket from a Pacific Fleet submarine in the Sea of Okhotsk north of Japan on Wednesday.

A Topol missile was further shot off from a submarine in the Barents Sea, while a third was launched from an inland site in the country’s northwest, Russian news agencies reported.

The launches come at a time when relations between Russia and the US have hit their lowest point in years following the collapse of a ceasefire in Syria.

‘Russia drills pose no threat to anyone’

In another development on Wednesday, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu accused the West of trying to portray his country’s military exercises as threats, saying the drills are no source of concern but rather part of usual combat training measures.

Speaking at a press briefing in Moscow, Shoigu rejected “reproaches” from Western countries that are afraid of the level of Russia’s combat readiness and capability.

“Scheduled activities of our operational and combat training are misrepresented as ‘alarming signals’. The ideas of a military threat, a new cold war or an arms race are being circulated. Of course, it is not true,” he said.

The minister further assured that the military exercises are aimed at ensuring Russia’s security.

Russia has held a series of drills and inspections of its armed forces’ combat readiness in recent months.

The Caucasus 2016 exercises, which were one of Russia’s biggest war games, were held at the Southern Military District as well as in the Black and Caspian seas on September 5-10.

Russia and China also held their first exercises in May. They will also hold their second joint anti-missile drills next year.

Earlier this week, Russia announced plans to hold joint drills with Egyptian forces, dubbed the Protectors of Friendship-2016 military exercises, in Egypt in mid-October.

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The unprecedented level of vituperation employed by both presidential candidates and the atmosphere of violence surrounding the election campaign are malignant expressions of the intensity of the political crisis of the United States.

At a rally Tuesday in Panama City Beach, Florida, the Republican candidate, billionaire real estate speculator Donald Trump, declared, “The election of Hillary Clinton would lead to the destruction of our country.” The previous day he obliquely referred to Clinton as “the devil.” Such denunciations are combined with an attempt to revive the Bill Clinton sex scandals and charges that the entire election is “rigged.”

While Trump’s poll numbers show him losing ground to Clinton, he continues to attract very large crowds. He is exploiting a deep-going anger that exists among layers of workers and lower-middle-class people who have seen a drastic decline in their living standards, a process that has only intensified during the nearly eight years of the Obama administration. The fact that these grievances can find no progressive outlet within the framework of the American political system facilitates Trump’s efforts to channel them in a reactionary and even fascistic direction.

The response of the Democratic Party and the Hillary Clinton campaign to Trump is fundamentally reactionary. They do not seek to expose the right-wing politics of Trump or the oligarchic and semi-criminal social interests he actually represents. Rather, Clinton is seeking to outflank Trump from the right on foreign policy by baiting him as an agent of Russia, and to scandalize him on the basis of his sexual exploits. This in no way addresses the social grievances of Trump’s supporters and actually bolsters his effort to portray himself as the victim of a ruthless establishment, laying the basis for him to declare the entire election illegitimate and seek to develop an extra-parliamentary political movement for the period after the November 8 election.

Besides the sex scandal-mongering and anti-Russian agitation, the other major feature of the Democratic campaign is its relentless focus on Trump’s persona, as though the real estate mogul and reality TV star were an aberrant interloper into America’s political Garden of Eden. How absurd! Trump is the personification of a diseased political culture and a society benighted by an immense stratification of wealth. He embodies the backwardness and corruption that have accumulated in American politics and culture over a period of half a century.

The methods employed by the Clinton campaign are those historically associated with the extreme right and the Republican Party. In flooding the media with sexual exposures, Clinton is adopting the modus operandi of the Republicans in the impeachment of her husband, Bill Clinton, which she herself declared at the time to be a “vast right-wing conspiracy.” Sex scandals have long been used to conceal political issues and debase public debate.

The Democrats’ attack on Trump as a stooge of Russian President Vladimir Putin is modeled after the anticommunist spy scares and witch-hunts of the 1950s. Since the eve of the Democratic Convention, the Clinton campaign, backed by the media, has responded to the release of incriminating emails by WikiLeaks and other sources documenting Clinton’s corrupt relations with Wall Street, her efforts to rig the primary campaign against her rival Bernie Sanders, her machinations in regard to her illicit use of a private email server while secretary of state, and her incessant lying to the public with the classic dodge of blaming the messenger.

Without presenting to the public a shred of evidence, the Clinton campaign, the Democratic Party, the US government and the entire media have charged the Russian government with hacking into Democratic Party computers and leaking emails in order to tilt the election in favor of Trump. Last week, James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, officially declared the Putin government to be the organizer of the leaks. This is the same person who lied under oath to the US Senate in March of 2013 when asked point blank whether the US government was carrying out mass domestic spying.

On Tuesday, the day after WikiLeaks released a trove of Clinton campaign emails, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest reiterated the charge that the Russian government was to blame for the leaks. He threatened Russia with “retaliatory activity” by the US government. Earnest declared that the US government had “significant capabilities” to “carry out offensive operations in other countries.”

John Podesta, the chairman of Clinton’s campaign, told reporters that “Russian intelligence agencies” were “doing everything they can on behalf of our opponent.”

The Russians have denied the charges. Commenting in the Intercept, reporter Glenn Greenwald, who helped expose the NSA spying program, warned about the consequences of the tactics employed by the Clinton campaign against Trump. “In the face of an abusive, misogynistic, bigoted, scary, lawless authoritarian, what’s a little journalistic fraud or constant fear-mongering about subversive Kremlin agents between friends, if it helps to stop him?” Greenwald wrote. He correctly warned, “Come January, Democrats will continue to be the dominant political faction in the US—more so than ever—and the tactics they are now embracing will endure past the election.”

The reactionary methods of the Clinton campaign are determined by the reactionary agenda being prepared for a Hillary Clinton administration. The baiting of Russia is calculated to build an atmosphere conducive to legitimizing the basic axis of her administration: escalation of war in the Middle East and military confrontation with Russia and China.

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Forces from up to 16 countries are present on the ground in Iraq, according to a new survey by The New Arab.

Some are actively engaged in counter-insurgency operations while others are serving in an advisory role.

USA

American military personnel are mainly deployed in seven military bases across Iraq: Ain al-Assad and Habbania in western Iraq; Ain Kawa and Dohuk in the Kurdistan region; al-Rustumia and al-Matar in Baghdad; and Qayyara in Nineveh province.

US forces, which number roughly 6,000 including 1,200 marines, share these bases with Iraqi regular forces. The majority are trainers, advisers and reconnaissance officers as well as analysts, but the personnel also include private security contractors bringing the total number to about 8,000 US personnel.

The US units include an artillery battalion in western Iraq and a squadron of Apache military helicopters tasked with defending Baghdad’s Green Zone and the Baghdad international airport. This is not including more than 80 US fighter jets involved in operations in Iraq based in Turkey, Kuwait and US aircraft carriers in the Gulf.

The deployment is governed by a treaty with Baghdad ratified by the Iraqi parliament.

Iran

Up to 6,000 Iranian military personnel from the Revolutionary Guards and the Basij are thought to be present in Diyala, Salah al-Din, Waset, Babel and Baghdad provinces, embedded with the Popular Mobilisation Units.

Iranian troops take part in fighting on the ground. Between 2014 and September 2017, more than 100 Iranians have been killed including 23 high-ranking officers, mostly in Salah al-Din and Anbar.

The Iranian forces are equipped with tanks and APCs as well as mobile rocket launchers and surveillance drones.

The Iranians do not have permission from the Iraqi government or parliament to be present in the country. They are thought to have arrived following Islamic State’s capture of Mosul.

Britain

Up to 350 British soldiers and advisers are deployed in Iraq, centred in Erbil and Nineveh. Their role is limited to training as well as logistical and aerial support for the Iraqi army and Kurdish Peshmerga forces.

Eight British Tornado fighters, a Type 45 destroyer and surveillance drones are also taking part in operations in Iraq. British military personnel are present as part of the international anti-IS coalition, sanctioned by Iraq’s parliament and government.

Australia

Around 200 Australian special forces are present in the Kurdistan region, overseeing training, support and electronic surveillance of IS.

Six Australian F-18 jets are also involved in operations, through the anti-IS coalition.

Belgium

Belgium deploys 120 soldiers and trainers in a camp near the Jordanian border with Iraq as well as in Kurdistan. They provide support and surveillance to anti-IS operations in northern Iraq.

Six Belgian F-16s and Fighting Falcon planes are also operating in the international coalition.

Canada

Up to 700 Canadian military personnel are present in Baghdad and Erbil, providing training, support and reconnaissance. Six FA-18 planes also operate as part of the international coalition

Denmark

The Scandinavian nation has 140 military mostly non-combat personnel in advisory and training capacities. They are present in a small base shared with the Peshmerga southwest of Erbil.

Meanwhile, seven Danish F-16s operate over Iraq as part of the international coalition.

France

Around 500 French military personnel are present in Iraq as part of the special forces unit. Most of them are serving in a support capacity, including analysts working with images provided by fifteen French reconnaissance planes operating over Iraq and Syria.

The French personnel also track down French jihadists in the ranks of IS. They are part of the anti-IS coalition.

Germany

Berlin maintains 150 military personnel mostly officers, part of a newly formed European anti-terror unit, based between Baghdad and Erbil.

Germany also runs a training camp for Kurdish volunteers and fighters, with focus on programmes related to use of European weapons supplied to Iraq, mostly Kurdistan. Germany is part of the international coalition.

Italy

Rome dispatched 450 military personnel to Iraq amid warnings of the collapse of a dam in Mosul.

Fourt Italian Tornado jets also operate over Iraq. Italy is part of the coalition.

Netherlands

Around 150 Dutch soldiers are training Iraqi soldiers in northern Iraq.

Six F-16s and a Patriot missile battery are being operated in Iraq in support of the Peshmerga forces. Part of the international coalition.

Turkey

Turkey has contributed nearly 600 troops, tasked with training Kurdish forces and Mosul tribes to fight IS and force it out of the city, as well as protecting borders from PKK infiltration.

It has weapons and armoured vehicles to defend its camp in Bashiqa, 30 kilometers northeast of Mosul.

There has been a lot of controversy about Turkish presence, which has been acknowledged by Kurdistan’s government, which confirmed it was officially requested by Baghdad.

This was denied by Baghdad, which asked Turkish troops to leave Iraq, with incitement from Russia and Iran, observers say.

Russia

Unconfirmed reports estimate around 200 Russian military personnel are present in Baghdad, in intelligence and liaison capacities. Iraqi airspace has been used by Russia to bomb targets in Syria.

Russia maintains an advanced radar facility north of Baghdad. Moscow obtained permission from the government but not parliament for the facility.

Sweden

Forty advisers working with the army.

Norway

Unknown number of trainers in Baghdad.

Spain

A few dozen trainers working with the Iraqi army and local police in Baghdad and northern Iraq.

No heavy equipment or air cover. Part of the international coalition

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Au moins 19 personnes sont mortes lors d’altercations avec la police aux États-Unis durant la dernière semaine de septembre. Les victimes sont toutes des hommes âgés de 18 à 53 ans. Dix-sept ont été tuées par balles, l’une a été électrocutée et l’autre électrocutée ainsi que battue et étranglée. Dans seulement deux des cas, les victimes ont été tuées pendant qu’elles s’en prenaient à d’autres personnes. Toutes les autres ont été abattues pendant qu’elles prenaient la fuite ou supposément en résistant à la police, ou durant des crises liées à la santé mentale ou émotionnelle.

Dans plusieurs des cas, les meurtres policiers ont provoqué des protestations. À El Cajon, en Californie, une banlieue de San Diego, il y a eu des manifestations contre le meurtre d’Alfred Olango (photo) le 27 septembre, un immigrant de l’Ouganda, qui n’était pas armé, qui a été électrocuté et abattu. Olango était en crise émotionnelle après avoir appris la mort d’un ami.

À Pasadena en Californie, une banlieue de Los Angeles, plus des cent personnes se sont rassemblées pour manifester contre le meurtre de Reginald Thomas, le père de huit enfants, après que la police a été appelée pour un conflit domestique le 30 septembre. L’homme noir de 36 ans, qui était apparemment bipolaire, aurait brandi un couteau et un extincteur quand la police est arrivée sur les lieux.

Malgré les affirmations des politiciens du Parti démocrate et des groupes de classe moyenne comme Black Lives Matter, selon lesquels la violence policière est une question exclusivement de couleur de peau, où des policiers blancs tuent des noirs, parmi ces 19 victimes se trouvaient au moins huit hommes blancs, un hispanique et un asiatique.

La race des policiers assassins n’a généralement pas été mentionnée, mais les meurtres ont eu lieu dans plusieurs villes dont les forces policières sont multiraciales, incluant Newark au New Jersey; Houston au Texas; ainsi que Los Angeles et San Diego en Californie.

La distribution géographique des meurtres incluait des centres urbains, des banlieues et zones rurales, et toutes les régions du pays, du nord-est à la côte pacifique. Par États, les meurtres sont survenus: en Arizona, en Arkansas, en Californie (3), en Géorgie, en Idaho, en Illinois, au Michigan (2), au Minnesota, au New Jersey (2), en Ohio, en Pennsylvanie, en Caroline du Sud, au Texas (2) et en Virginie occidentale.

Le bilan pour une seule journée, vendredi le 30 septembre, donne une idée du caractère barbare des relations sociales aux États-Unis et la brutalité sauvage de la police, qui sert de première ligne de défense pour la propriété capitaliste et l’autorité de l’État capitaliste. Il y a eu sept victimes.

Celles-ci incluaient, en plus de Reginald Thomas à Pasadena:

*Clayton Eugene Baker, un homme blanc de 24 ans tué par balles par un shérif adjoint de la police de Trinity County à Groveton au Texas, une petite ville au nord de Houston, après qu’un policier soit intervenu suite à un appel rapportant une querelle domestique.

*Douglas Marrickus Rainey, un homme noir de 32 ans, tué par une équipe SWAT dans la région de Gowensville, en Caroline du Sud, quelques heures après avoir reçu un appel concernant un vol à main armée chez Dollar General, ce qui a entraîné l’imposition de l’état d’urgence dans la région.

* Richard Parent, un homme blanc de 37 ans, tué par la police de l’État du Michigan dans le comté de Van Buren, dans les banlieues de l’ouest de Detroit, après une longue poursuite. Parent avait refusé de s’arrêter pour un contrôle routier, après avoir apparemment affirmé être un «citoyen souverain».

*Najier Salaam et George Richards-Meyers, tous deux âgés de 18 ans, tués par balles par six policiers de Newark, New Jersey, qui ont affirmé qu’ils confrontaient un gang de trois hommes responsables d’une série de vols de voitures. Aucun de ces officiers n’a été blessé malgré les affirmations selon lesquelles il y aurait eu une fusillade intense.

*Jacquarius M. Robinson, un homme noir de 20 ans, tué par une équipe SWAT à Colombus en Ohio, 10 heures après que la police soit intervenue sur la scène d’une fusillade entraînant un mort dans l’est de la ville. Robinson a tenté de fuir et la police l’a abattu. On ne sait pas s’il était d’une quelconque façon lié au meurtre précédent.

L’attention publique a été concentrée sur les morts dans le sud de la Californie parce qu’ils ont provoqué des manifestations de colère, bien que sur une échelle limitée et sans autres affrontements avec la police. Les tensions ont remonté pendant la fin de semaine après qu’un jeune noir de 18 ans, Carnell Snell Jr., a été tué par la police vers 13 heures samedi dans le sud de Los Angeles, après que la police ait arrêté une voiture qu’elle soupçonnait avoir été volée.

Les deux personnes se sont enfuies de la voiture et l’une d’entre elles, qui plus tard a été identifiée comme étant Snell, a été abattue. La police a prétendu avoir trouvé un pistolet sur les lieux, mais il n’y a aucune indiction que le jeune avait l’arme en sa possession ou qu’il l’ait utilisée. La police place fréquemment des armes sur le site de telles fusillades, ce qui peut ensuite servir de justification pour ses actes.

Il y a eu des protestations de la part de membres de la famille et d’autres citoyens de la ville, incluant une jeune femme qui a rapporté au Los Angeles Times, «Un policier ne devrait pas être le juge, le juré et le bourreau.» La mère de Snell, Monique Morgan, a dit qu’elle avait appris que son fils avait été troué de cinq balles dans le dos. Des témoins ont dit à la chaîne de télévision locale CBS KCAL que Snell avait ses mains dans les airs et disait à la police de ne pas tirer quand ils ont ouvert le feu.

D’après le bilan macabre maintenu par le site web killedbypolice.net, ces 19 meurtres, incluant le meurtre policier du dimanche suivant d’un homme non identifié à Markham en Illinois, une banlieue de Chicago, a fait passer le total annuel à 868 personnes. Un bilan séparé maintenu par le Washington Postestime que 46 pour cent des victimes sont des blancs, 24 pour cent sont des noirs, 16 pour cent sont hispaniques, et les autres races et les cas qui demeurent indéterminés représentent les 14 pour cent restants.

Les noirs sont tués dans une part beaucoup plus grande que la proportion qu’ils représentent dans la population, une indication que le racisme joue un rôle important. Mais le nombre de victimes blanches démontre que la classe, et non la race, est la question la plus fondamentale. Presque toutes les victimes de violence policière proviennent de la classe ouvrière, et généralement des sections les plus pauvres. Les meurtres policiers ne prennent pas place à Beverly Hills, Grosse Pointe ou dans l’Upper East Side de Manhattan, mais dans des régions à bas revenu, qu’elles soient urbaines, rurales ou en banlieue.

Cela n’empêche pas les politiciens du Parti démocrate de tenter de voiler le caractère de classe de la violence policière avec de la rhétorique sur le «racisme systémique». Hillary Clinton a parlé ainsi pendant son premier débat avec le républicain Donald Trump et à nouveau pendant une visite dans une église méthodiste épiscopale noire à Charlotte, en Caroline du Nord, où Keith Scott, âgé de 36 ans a été tué par la police le 20 septembre.

Scott; le policier qui l’a tué, Brentley Vinson; et le chef de la police de Charlotte responsable de justifier sa mort, Kerr Putney; sont tous noirs. Ce seul fait démontre que la lutte contre la violence policière requiert l’unification des travailleurs de toutes les races dans la construction d’un mouvement politique dirigé contre la classe capitaliste, et la police et les politiciens qui sont à son service.

Patrick Martin

Article paru d’abord en anglais, WSWS,  le 3 octobre 2016

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La révolution algérienne est un temps universel ; dans sa partie lutte pour la libération nationale (1954, 1962), sa genèse, son organisation, son management et sa dynamique sont devenus des modèles théoriques.

Quelques instants de ce temps  

Respectivement occupée et asservies depuis juin 1830, la terre et les populations qui allaient devenir l’Algérie et les Algériens, ont vécu en 1871 leur première insurrection, soit quarante (40) ans après le débarquement.

Enrôlés durant la Première guerre mondiale (1914, 1918) dans les forces ennemies pour les besoins de la libération de la France, les Algériens et l’Algérie ont vécu une crise démographique devenue une transition vers la disparition, l’extinction.

En 2016, dans une formulation pernicieuse, pour faire le lit des futures politiques publiques qui seront exécutées parce que dictées par la Banque mondiale et le Fond monétaire international, certains médias nationaux et étrangers insistent sur la limitation des naissances en Algérie.

Un peu plus d’une quarantaine d’années après 1871, vers le milieu des années 1920, c’est une conscience politique que construisaient des ouvriers qui, en s’installant dans la métropole après la Grande Guerre, ont appris ce que sont les luttes et combats, qui a commencé à voir le jour. Ce durant, c’est le fascisme qui prenait racine en France et celui de l’Italie revendiquait même une optimalité parétienne.

Toujours durant ces années 1920, sont nés les Algériens qui allaient devenir les révolutionnaires-modèles pour l’histoire universelle. Vers les années 1940, c’est cette jeunesse algérienne des moins de 30 ans, peu instruite et pauvre qui a rompu avec la classe amorphe faite des bourgeois et certains ulémas qui tergiversait sur le déclenchement du processus libératoire.

De 1920 à 1962, quarante (40) autres années ont été indispensables pour réussir probablement l’un des chefs-d’œuvre d’émancipation d’un peuple de toute l’histoire de l’humanité.

Ces repères permettent d’émettre l’hypothèse qu’une période de quarante ans est nécessaire pour une renaissance révolutionnaire algérienne et qui serait l’œuvre des moins-de-trente ans.

Cette piste confirmerait une sociogenèse et sociogénétique telles que développées par Norbert Elias, celles d’un peuple amazigh, en quête d’une nouvelle libération.

Pour expliquer le processus de la civilisation, il faut procéder […] à l’examen simultané du changement des structures psychiques et des structures sociales dans leur ensemble. Il faut procéder ensuite […] à un examen psychogénétique visant à appréhender le champ des conflits… Il faut enfin éclairer, par une étude sociogénétique la structure d’ensemble d’un champ social déterminé et de l’ordre historique dans le cadre duquel il se transforme.

Elias, Norbert. La dynamique de l’occident. Chap. Esquisse d’une théorie. pp 256-257.

Le développement-destruction post indépendance de l’Algérie

Comme toutes les révolutions qui disparaissent avec la disparition de l’objectif, l’Algérienne a transporté naturellement avec elle les germes de son autodestruction.

De 1962 aux débuts des années 2000 et plus précisément 2001 avec l’insurrection d’une nouvelle génération d’Algériens de Kabylie massacrés par peur de généralisation à toute la patrie, c’est une autre période de quarante ans qui a été nécessaire pour un sursaut pour la dignité.

Sur leur chemin, ces rebelles ont trouvé ceux qui ont tout raté dans le développement du pays sauf l’enrichissement personnel, le monopole de positions dominantes en contrepartie de soumission ou de silences ; lesquels sont visibles dans les milieux d’une bureaucratie orwellienne, de la prédation économique, de l’information manipulatrice et la sous-traitance du monopole de la violence en le privatisant pour des milices.

Comme dans le siècle précédent, ce sont les élites bourgeoises manipulant l’argument d’autorité incluant ceux du droit à la vie (assassinats impunis) et à la liberté (détentions arbitraires) qui s’opposent avec condescendance envers ceux qu’elles appellent, pour nanification, « la jeunesse », laquelle a démontré qu’elle est audacieuse. L’argument de ses élites sur la faiblesse du niveau de scolarité est d’une indigence théorique que s’ils se l’appliquaient, ils rougiraient de honte, eux qui ont appuyé sans aucun esprit critique toutes les politiques de développement précédentes qui ont mené le pays à sa déliquescence actuelle.

Une néo-colonisation politique et économique avec paupérisation

Conduite par le Cabinet du président de la République, les nouveaux responsables des services de renseignements, les relais de la bureaucratie politique nationale et des lobbies économiques prédateurs, une néo-colonisation politique et économique avec paupérisation des Algériens est officialisée avec une constitution bâtarde. Cette soumission ne fait que confirmer un nouveau cycle de partage des pays sous-développés au bénéfice de la France par sa détention de moyens de pression qui touchent aux aspects liés à la compromission et vie privée de dirigeants algériens, aux U.S.A et alliés en sa qualité de puissance militaire menacée par sa propre monnaie qui ne cherchent qu’à repousser encore plus loin la Russie et la Chine en les affaiblissant si tant cela est possible.

Algérie : un conglomérat de voix sans voies  

Depuis les Printemps les plus visibles, ceux de Tunisie (2010) et Égypte (2011), malgré quelques tentatives de manipulations, les Algériens ont opté pour la paix. Les conflits de Syrie et Libye leur ont confirmé l’efficacité de leur stratégie, celle d’éviter une autre fois la fatalité d’un nouveau conflit fratricide qui sera attisé par des mercenaires.

Au niveau politique, un conglomérat de voix se proclamant opposition n’a réussi ni à identifier les vraies menaces et objectifs du FMI et de la Banque mondiale, ni pu s’opposer à une nouvelle constitution et delà être capable de proposer une voie ou plusieurs pour éviter à la patrie l’explosion. En pire, ce conglomérat de voix se prépare à supporter les résultats des élections législatives prochaines alors qu’une participation massive pour revendiquer une assemblée constituante qui suspendrait de facto l’actuelle serait une solution pour renverser le processus en cours.

Des militaires, des politiques silencieux et des islamo-populistes bruyants au service de l’ultralibéralisme

Avec un Sud de plus en plus abandonné aux terroristes et mafias, abandonné par les politiques qui se réunissent dans les salons officiels de l’État, abandonné par les chanteurs qui adorent se produire à Paris, Montréal, Ottawa, Londres ou Fès, un Sud qui revendique de plus en plus fort son amazighité, ni la Présidence, encore moins son Cabinet n’ont répondu à l’initiative de doter le pays d’un hymne national bilingue à même de le ressouder autour d’un destin commun.

L’absence de réaction à cette initiative adressée même à des officiers-généraux et vedettes médiatiques, pourtant revendication quasi-unanime, qui ne constitue au fait la rectification d’une décision conjoncturelle de la révolution montre à elle seule l’état de blocage du niveau de réflexion atteint par le pays et ses dirigeants qui ont peur des chantiers de prestige dans lesquels leurs gains personnels ne sont pas garantis.

C’est le même sort qui a été réservé à un plaidoyer pour une nouvelle monnaie nationale, négociée avec les pays voisins et surévaluée par rapport aux cours des monnaies actuelles ; aucun effet ni réaction n’ont été enregistrés.

Les islamistes-populistes, dans leurs comportements crétinistes n’ont pas encore réalisé qu’ils sont le moyen pour un massacre socio-économique de leurs compatriotes par l’ultralibéralisme ; ils comptent toujours sur la récupération des laissés-pour-compte pour en faire de la chair à canons dans leur négociation du monopole de la puissance avec ses actuels détenteurs.

Hocine Ait Ahmed, de la grandeur à la rente

Dans un autre versant, celui du purement politique et social, héritage de Hocine Ait Ahmed, c’est la fixation sur un consensus national qui n’a jamais été réalisé depuis l’indépendance, qui conduit vers un statu quo mortel pour l’Algérie.  Son chantre est un expert onusien qui fait montre d’un archaïsme intellectuel sidérant. À des fins de sauvegarde d’intérêts égoïstes et ne pas froisser les ambitions de ceux qui veulent être des députés en écrasant le projet de la constituante personnels, Hocine Ait Ahmed et sa grandeur se transforment en une rente politicienne.

Le seul consensus national postindépendance obtenu a été justement l’œuvre de Hocine Ait Ahmed avec la rencontre de Sant’Égidio qui malgré toutes les perfidies subies a vu toutes résolutions exécutées par le pouvoir d’Alger sauf son module de justice.

L’avenir de la patrie est chez les moins-de-trente ans

L’avenir de la patrie est entre les moins-de-trente qui sont propres et non marqués par les aspects négatifs de la guerre de libération ni par leurs responsabilités dans les tragédies vécus par le pays. Seuls eux sont capables d’une pacifique révolution anti-libérale qui sauvegardera l’intégrité de la patrie et qui relancera un processus révolutionnaire pour toute l’Afrique. Un processus qui sera long mais noble.

Les Algériens doivent se rappeler que l’indépendance et la souveraineté sont des acquis réversibles si elles ne sont pas protégées et qu’ils ne sont pas dispensés de conduire une nouvelle d’autant plus que les conditions nécessaires sont réunies. À l’image de Hocine Ait Ahmed et de ses camarades.

Cherif Aissat

 

Notes

Dans une série d’articles aussi pernicieux les uns que les autres, il est dit que « l’explosion démographique en Algérie est une menace sérieuse ». Sans recensement général et sérieux de la population et isolement de certaines variables et des analyses longitudinales, avancer une telle affirmation est purement politico-idéologique. Construire un raisonnement sur l’indice synthétique de fécondité (indice du moment) est une stupidité.

Dans un immense lapsus-linguae révélateur du niveau de privatisation de l’État, Le directeur du cabinet du président de la République Ahmed Ouyahia a déclaré au ministre de l’Industrie, Abdeslam Bouchouareb : « Tu as vendu le pays » et mises à part quelques réactions de citoyens sur Facebook, aucune indignation de l’opposition. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRv49uLLF90

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On October 6, Los Angeles’ Loyola Marymount University invited ex-Thai prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra to give a talk on the subject of “The Secret of Reducing Poverty and the Rich-Poor Gap: The Power of Political Will.” The Los Angeles Loyolan newspaper in an article titled, “Los Angeles LoyolanVisit from former Thai PM causes controversy,” reported that:

There is, however, some controversy regarding his visit. Shinawatra governed Thailand from 2001 to 2006 until a military coup pushed him out on accounts of corruption, abuse of office for personal gain and several other convictions. 

According to LMU’s Asia Media website, Shinawatra was exiled from Thailand in 2006 and is considered a fugitive by many. He is widely criticized by Thai students, families and citizens across the country. Because of this, Shinawatra’s presence on campus this Thursday sparked controversy among Thai students at LMU. 

The students interviewed asked to be kept anonymous due to fears about personal safety when stating their opinions on the former prime minister.

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Thai students in California were right to fear for their safety. While in power, Shinawatra mass murdered upward to 3,000 people, including thousands during a 90-day “drug war” in 2003, over 80 protesters in a single day in 2004 and a wide range of political opponents and activists.

After being ousted from power in 2006, Shinawatra would deploy heavily armed militants in Bangkok in 2010 and again in 2013 and 2014 in a violent bid to seize back and hold political power. Over 100 would die during the violence.

In addition to Shinawatra’s appetite for violence, he was also immensely corrupt. He was charged and convicted for abuse of power and sentenced to 2 years in prison. He fled the country and has not returned since, thus living abroad as a fugitive. In 2011, his sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, would run in controversial elections openly as his proxy, then attempted to rewrite Thailand’s laws to exonerate her brother and return him to power.

It was also between 2011 and the military coup that ousted her  from power that a disastrous rice subsidy scheme used to secure Shinawatra the election began unravelling. At one point, just before being ousted from power, upward to a million impoverished farmers had already transferred their rice to government mills, but were left without subsidy payments for over 6 months. In fact, farmers were not paid until the military seized control and mobilised emergency funds.

Considering Shinawatra’s violence, corruption and his sister’s trampling of impoverished farmers the Shianwatra family used to win the 2011 elections, it was a strange choice by the US State Department to admit Shianwatra into the United States, let alone have an American university host him for a talk about “reducing poverty.”

US Hypocrisy in Focus 

The United States, as it hosts a mass murdering convicted criminal, has predicated alleged concerns regarding Syria’s ongoing conflict on concerns regarding “human rights.” In light of America’s apparent indifference to Shinawatra’s human rights abuses, it is clear that the United States is merely using humanitarian concerns in Syria as a pretext to pursue a more self-serving objective.

Likewise, the US is using concerns regarding an ongoing “war on drugs” in the Philippines to place pressure on Manila for an assortment of geopolitical concessions. However, Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte must be forgiven for not taking America’s concerns seriously, considering the hospitality another Southeast Asian leader is enjoying despite putting upward to 3,000 people to death in the streets extrajudicially in just 90 days without trials or even warrants.

There is also the matter of rule of law. The United States claims that nations like China in the South China Sea are beholden to the “rule of law,” yet it has transparently discarded it by ignoring Shinawatra’s convictions, the fact that his passport has been revoked by his home nation and the fact that he faces multiple warrants for his arrest by a nation the US claims is America’s ally, but refuses to honour.

China might be forgiven for sensing a certain degree of flexibility within the “rule of law” considering the ample room the United States finds for itself to manoeuvre.

Despite US grandstanding as leading a self-proclaimed “international order,” it is abundantly clear that whatever this “order” represents, it floats freely of any definite principle and is defined by whatever is convenient for Washington and its interests at any given moment. Such an “order” seems to work contra to the best interests of the vast majority of the planet’s population, and such shifting principles seem more like hypocrisy than a reliable framework within which global business can be conducted.

The US, through acts of hypocrisy like Shinawatra’s recent visit to Los Angeles, reaffirms the necessity of ushering in a multipolar international order, the diminishes any one nation’s power upon the global stage, and makes flagrant abuses of common principles like that which the US regularly demonstrates less frequent and less severe.

Joseph Thomas is chief editor of Thailand-based geopolitical journal, The New Atlas and contributor to the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

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The implementation of a no-fly zone will inflame and escalate an already desperate situation

There is a growing demand from government politicians for a no-fly zone in Syria. Those calling for it, led by Conservative MP Andrew Mitchell, and echoed by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, are either culpably naive or more likely unconcerned about taking Britain into direct conflict not just with the Syrian military but with the Russians too.

The issue is not complicated. As today’s leaks show Hilary Clinton laid it out back in 2013 when she said, « To have a no-fly zone you have to take out all of the air defenses, many of which are located in populated areas. So our missiles, even if they are standoff missiles so we’re not putting our pilots at risk— you’re going to kill a lot of Syrians. »

UKDrones564

Or, just last month, General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff admitted, « right now, for us to control all of the air space in Syria would require us to go to war against Syria and Russia; that’s a pretty fundamental decisio ».

The situation in Aleppo and other parts of Syria is desperate. The idea of a no-fly zone can seem attractive because people rightly want there to be an effective humanitarian response. But as these two quotes outline, a no-fly zone would need to be secured by Western forces against opposition from Syria and Russia. Air defenses would have to be taken out and Syrian and Russian planes shot down. In the end a no-fly zone in Syria would work the same as the no-fly zone in Libya did, as a corridor for western military bombing.

The end result in Libya was a huge increase in the level of death and destruction in the country, the decapitation of the regime and the fragmentation of the country. In the case of Syria the added problem is that it would inevitably lead to confrontation with Russia. Incredibly, Andrew Mitchell shrugged off this risk on BBC’s Today programme on Tuesday by saying that Turkey had shot down a Russian plane and nothing happened.

People say the situation in Syria can get no worse, but they are wrong. As Emily Thornberry, Shadow Foreign Secretary explained today in parliament, « in a multi-playered, multi-faceted civil war such as Syria, the last thing we need is more parties bombing ». Such action will inflame and escalate an already desperate situation leading not just to more agony on the ground Syria, but almost certainly to the break up of the country.

It is quite amazing that the views of MPs like Boris Johnson and Andrew Mitchell are taken seriously at all on issues of foreign policy. Andrew Mitchell voted for  the Iraq War, for the intervention in Libya and twice for bombing in Syria. Johnson too has voted for every war he has been able to. If the daily reports of carnage and chaos in the news are not enough to convince people of the catastrophic effects of these escapades, they have been roundly condemned as chaotic disasters in a series of official reports, including Chilcot, the Select Committee Report on Libya, and the House of Commons Defence Committee report on the intervention in Syria.

These reports and the whole bloody history of the War on Terror are wilfully ignored in efforts to push for more war and presumably to try and undermine Jeremy Corbyn’s anti-war Labour leadership. Each time we are told that this situation is different, that this time we are fighting a war for other peoples freedom. Each time the terrible death toll of the War on Terror multiplies and the anger against the West is further inflamed.

How many more innocent civilians are going to die, how many more catastrophes have to happen before the start the war coalition finally accept reality and admit that bombing foreign countries is not a path to peace or progress? What is needed is diametrically opposite; de-escalation and the most urgent push for a political solution.

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Pro-government forces have intensified operations in the area of the Syrian capital, Damascus. On October 11, the Syrian army and the National Defense Forces (NDF) seized the town of Rayhan from Jaish al-Islam militants in Eastern Ghouta. This allowed the government forces to lay down a siege on the strategic town of Tell Kurdi and the nearby industrial area and to deploy in about 2 km from the last major stronghold of militants in the region, Douma.

Separately, the government forces launched operation to liberate the strategic Yarmouk Refugee Camp in southern Damascus.

The camp is predominantly populated by Palestinian nationals and is now under the control of ISIS. A minor part of the camp is controlled by Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra). The Syrian army and groups of pro-government Palestinian militias entered the camp from the north and by October 12 they have seized almost the half of it.

In the province of Hama, the Syrian army’s Tiger Forces and the NDF took control of Kawkab and al-Kubariyah, but retreated from Ma’an. By October 12, the army and the NDF have repelled a series of counter-attacks by the terrorists and now they are aiming to re-launch the operation in Ma’an. Local sources say that up to 60 terrorists, including Jaish al-Nasr commander, Bassam Abo Duraid, were killed in the clashes.

Clashes are ongoing in the city of Aleppo. However, no sides have achieved notable gains.

The Syrian military will receive a batch of Pantsir-S1 surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery weapon systems, according to reports in Russian media outlets. Sources in military-diplomatic circles say that the systems will be delivered under the Russian-Syrian deal made in 2008. Details of the deal have not been revealed. Nonetheless, experts believe that the delivery of 36-50 systems and 700 missiles for them could be expected. The reason of the decision is a growing threat to deliver military strikes on the government forces by the US-led coalition.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Defense Ministry confirmed that it will use all military means to repel the US aggression.

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Britain And France Prepare Military Escalation In Syria

octobre 13th, 2016 by Robert Stevens

Britain’s ruling elite are making advanced preparations towards a major escalation of military operations in Syria.

Parliament met in an emergency three-hour session yesterday to accuse Russia of war crimes in Syria and lay the basis for Britain’s involvement in establishing a no-fly zone and possibly sending ground forces into the war-torn country.

Global tensions over Syria are at a boiling point. As parliament met, Russian President Vladimir Putin cancelled a planned October 19 visit to France in response to the accusation made the previous day by French President Francois Hollande that Moscow was guilty of “war crimes” in Syria.

The Syrian army, with the support of Russia, have been attacking the east of Aleppo, where NATO’s Al Qaeda-linked Islamist proxies in Syria are based. With its proxies facing defeat, Washington, backed by its international allies, is calling for the imposition of a no-fly zone in order to save them.

“The population [of Aleppo] is the victim of war crimes. Those who commit these acts will pay for this responsibility before the international court of justice,” said Hollande.

Tensions have been ratcheted up ever since Washington, without any evidence, pinned responsibility on Moscow for an attack on a UN aid convoy and demanded that Russia and Syria ground their aircraft. Russia denies any involvement.

The UK parliamentary debate was initiated jointly by Conservative MP Andrew Mitchell and Labour’s Alison McGovern, who co-chairs the Friends of Syria group and is chair of the main Blairite think-tank, Progress. The initiative was supported by former US commander in Iraq and ex-CIA Director David Petraeus.

The Guardian, one of the main advocates of confronting Russia in Syria, noted that Mitchell “has been arguing for a no-fly zone for many months… In recent weeks some of Mitchell’s advisers have developed this proposal into a call to track Russian jets from UK warships off the coast of Syria, and for a complete no-fly zone for Syrian helicopters over civilian areas. It has been argued that Syrian helicopters are doing all the damage with chemical, napalm and high explosive barrel bombs. One proposal has been to bomb air runways.”

Speaking to BBC radio’s Today programme ahead of the debate, Mitchell said, “What we are saying is very clear. No one wants to see a firefight with Russia, no one wants to shoot down a Russian plane.”

The shooting down of the warplanes of the world’s second nuclear power is precisely what Mitchell is advocating.

He continued, “But what we do say is that the international community has an avowed responsibility to protect and that protection must be exerted. If that means confronting Russian air power defensively, on behalf of the innocent people on the ground who we are trying to protect, then we should do that.”

Asked if the UK should be involved in enforcing a no-fly zone, Mitchell responded, “I think that Britain should explore with its allies how it would enforce a no-fly zone.”

In the debate, Mitchell provocatively compared Russia with fascist Germany and Italy. “The Russians are doing to the United Nations precisely what Italy and Germany did to the League of Nations in the 1930s, and they are doing to Aleppo precisely what the Nazis did to Guernica during the Spanish civil war,” he said.

Mitchell railed against the anti-war sentiment that has grown as a result of the disastrous imperialist wars over the past two decades. “The international community faces a choice,” he asserted. “Are we so cowed and so poleaxed by recent history in Iraq and Afghanistan that we are incapable now of taking action?”

The debate saw Labour’s warmongers compete with the Tories in displays of handwringing over the tragic fate of the Syrian people in order to justify heightened military aggression.

Labour’s official response came from Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry, appointed at the weekend by newly elected leader Jeremy Corbyn. Opposing a no-fly zone, she said, “I believe that in a multi-layered, multifaceted civil war such as that in Syria, the last thing that we need is more parties bombing. We need a ceasefire and for people to draw back.”

From then on Thornberry bent with the prevailing political winds. After being heckled by Labour MP Ben Bradshaw, who demanded Thornberry describe Russia’s actions as “war crimes”, she replied, “The actions of the Russians can well be seen as war crimes”, adding that there were, however, also “the war crimes of the jihadis.” Thornberry called on the government to “support French efforts to ensure that more initiatives are taken to bring the parties to international justice.”

The evening prior to the debate, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn convened a meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party to make yet another appeal for unity with the Blairite warmongers. Instead he was denounced for refusing to sanction action against Russia. According to the Guardian, “MPs said Corbyn referred to an attack that was ‘apparently’ carried out by the Russians.”

The newspaper cited Angela Smith MP, who said, “It is deeply concerning that Jeremy is unwilling to face up to the role that Putin’s Russia is playing in Syria. The recent criminal atrocities committed in Aleppo make the case for an effective international response overwhelming and Labour needs to show moral leadership on what is an intolerable situation.”

Corbyn’s spokesman later stated that he acknowledged that the evidence “appears to show that Russia was involved in the bombing, if not Russia the Syrian airforce, and all evidence appears to show it was a war crime.” But Corbyn “opposes all forms of foreign intervention in the conflict,” he added.

During the debate, Labour’s Ann Clwyd commended the Guardians coverage of Syria and demanded to know, “Where is the rage? Where are the demonstrations that we have seen on so many previous occasions…I want to see—I challenge the people listening to this debate—2 million, 3 million or 4 million people outside the Russian embassy day after day.”

Clwyd was a staunch advocate of the 2003 war against Iraq. The political editor of Rupert Murdoch’s The Sun, Trevor Kavanagh, praised her role in supposedly swinging public opinion behind support for war, while Blair made her his Special Envoy on Human Rights in Iraq.

Clwyd’s call was echoed by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who called on the Stop the War Coalition to organise a demonstration in London against Russia.

Johnson at this stage ruled out support for a no-fly zone, stating it would be impossible to enforce “unless we are prepared to shoot down warplanes.” However, the military options being considered by the imperialist powers were outlined by retired British General Sir Richard Shirreff in an interview in the Daily Telegraph. The former Deputy Supreme Allied Commander of NATO said that British troops should “play a major role” in training professional armed forces in Syria to oppose Assad. “To train properly you’ve got to be able to commit troops, because the whole principle of training other armies is that you live alongside them and if necessary you’ve got to be prepared to fight alongside them, or at least advise them.”

He warned, “[B]e under no illusions about how difficult imposing a no fly zone is. The Syrians have very effective Russian supplied air defence systems and that will require a major effort to suppress it.”

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The U.S. State Department Spokesperson, John Kirby, claimed on Tuesday that the Saudi airstrike against Yemeni civilians in Sanaa was « different » than Russian and Syrian airstrikes in Aleppo.

The flustered Kirby then claimed the Saudis are not « deliberately targeting civilians » like the Russians and Syrians; furthermore, the Saudi Air Force is « investigating » the airstrikes.

Shockingly, Kirby then asserts that the Saudis are defending themselves against the Houthi fighters that are allegedly being armed by the Iranians.

Kirby’s comments were not only false, but also contradictory because his regime has supplied weapons to the opposition in Syria.

Moreover, Kirby stated that the exiled Yemeni regime invited Saudi Arabia to bomb Yemen, which is the same thing his regime attacks Assad for doing in Syria.

Kirby’s claims that Iranian-supplied missiles are being fired into Saudi Arabia are somewhat false.

While Houthi fighters are responding to the Saudi Air Force’s daily bombardments around Yemen, they are not using Iranian-supplied missiles.

The Zilzal-3 missiles being fired by the Houthi fighters are not Iranian-made, but rather, a smaller replica produced by Yemeni engineers, Al-Masdar’s Tony Toh reported.

So far, the Saudi-led Coalition has not issued any-sort of apology or remorse for their airstrike that killed hundreds of civilians last week; it is also unlikely that they will accept blame for massacring these people.

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The American people are receiving a highly distorted view of the Syrian war – much propaganda, little truth – including from one of the moderators at the second presidential debate, writes Robert Parry.

How ABC News’ Martha Raddatz framed her question about Syria in the second presidential debate shows why the mainstream U.S. news media, with its deep-seated biases and inability to deal with complexity, has become such a driving force for wider wars and even a threat to the future of the planet.

Raddatz, the network’s chief global affairs correspondent, presented the Syrian conflict as simply a case of barbaric aggression by the Syrian government and its Russian allies against the Syrian people, especially the innocents living in Aleppo.

ABC News' chief global correspondent Martha Raddatz.

ABC News’ chief global affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz.

“Just days ago, the State Department called for a war crimes investigation of the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad and its ally, Russia, for their bombardment of Aleppo,” Raddatz said. “So this next question comes through social media through Facebook. Diane from Pennsylvania asks, if you were president, what would you do about Syria and the humanitarian crisis in Aleppo? Isn’t it a lot like the Holocaust when the U.S. waited too long before we helped?”

The framing of the question assured a response from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about her determination to expand the U.S. military intervention in Syria to include a “no-fly zone,” which U.S. military commanders say would require a massive operation that would kill many Syrians, both soldiers and civilians, to eliminate Syria’s sophisticated air-defense systems and its air force.

But Raddatz’s loaded question was also a way of influencing – or misleading – U.S. public opinion. Consider for a moment how a more honest and balanced question could have elicited a very different response and a more thoughtful discussion:

“The situation in Aleppo presents a heartrending and nettlesome concern. Al Qaeda fighters and their rebel allies, including some who have been armed by the United States, are holed up in some neighborhoods of eastern Aleppo. They’ve been firing rockets into the center and western sections of Aleppo and they have shot civilians seeking to leave east Aleppo through humanitarian corridors.

“These terrorists and their ‘moderate’ rebel allies seem to be using the tens of thousands of civilians still in east Aleppo as ‘human shields’ in order to create sympathy from Western audiences when the Syrian government seeks to root the terrorists and other insurgents from these neighborhoods with airstrikes that have killed both armed fighters and civilians. In such a circumstance, what should the U.S. role be and was it a terrible mistake to supply these fighters with sophisticated rockets and other weapons, given that these weapons have helped Al Qaeda in seizing and holding territory?”

Siding with Al Qaeda

Raddatz also could have noted that a key reason why the recent limited cease-fire failed was that the U.S.-backed “moderate” rebels in east Aleppo had rebuffed Secretary of State John Kerry’s demand that they separate themselves from Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front, which now calls itself the Syria Conquest Front.

Secretary of State John Kerry (right) and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. (U.N. photo)

Secretary of State John Kerry (right) and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. (U.N. photo)

Instead of breaking ties with Al Qaeda, some of these “moderate” rebel groups reaffirmed or expanded their alliances with Al Qaeda. In other words, Official Washington’s distinction between Al Qaeda’s terrorists and the “moderate” rebels was publicly revealed to be largely a myth. But the reality of U.S.-aided rebels collaborating with the terror group that carried out the 9/11 attacks complicates the preferred mainstream narrative of Bashar al-Assad and Vladimir Putin “the bad guys” versus the rebels “the good guys.”

If Raddatz had posed her question with the more complex reality (rather than the simplistic, biased form that she chose) and if Clinton still responded with her recipe of a “no-fly zone,” the obvious follow-up would be: “Wouldn’t such a military intervention constitute aggressive war against Syria in violation of the United Nations Charter and the Nuremberg principles?

“And wouldn’t such a strategy risk tipping the military balance inside Syria in favor of Al Qaeda and its jihadist allies, possibly even its spinoff terror group, the Islamic State? And what would the United States do then, if its destruction of the Syrian air force led to the black flag of jihadist terror flying over Damascus as well as all of Aleppo? Would a Clinton-45 administration send in U.S. troops to stop the likely massacre of Christians, Alawites, Shiites, secular Sunnis and other ‘heretics’?”

There would be other obvious and important questions that a more objective Martha Raddatz would ask: “Would your no-fly zone include shooting down Russian aircraft that are flying inside Syria at the invitation of the Syrian government? Might such a clash provoke a superpower escalation, possibly even invite nuclear war?”

But no such discussion is allowed inside the mainstream U.S. media’s frame. There is an unstated assumption that the United States has the unquestioned right to invade other countries at will, regardless of international law, and there is a studied silence about this hypocrisy even as the U.S. State Department touts the sanctity of international law.

Whose War Crimes?

Raddatz’s favorable reference to the State Department accusing the Syrian and Russian governments of war crimes further suggests a stunning lack of self-awareness, a blindness to America’s own guilt in that regard. How can any American journalist put on such blinders regarding even recent U.S. war crimes, including the illegal invasion of Iraq that led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis?

President George W. Bush in a flight suit after landing on the USS Abraham Lincoln to give his "Mission Accomplished" speech about the Iraq War.

President George W. Bush in a flight suit after landing on the USS Abraham Lincoln to give his “Mission Accomplished” speech about the Iraq War on May 1, 2003.

While Raddatz referenced “the heart-breaking video of a 5-year-old Syrian boy named Omran sitting in an ambulance after being pulled from the rubble after an air strike in Aleppo,” she seems to have no similar sympathy for the slaughtered and maimed children of Iraq who suffered under American bombs – or the people of Yemen who have faced a prolonged aerial onslaught from Saudi Arabia using U.S. aircraft and U.S.-supplied ordnance.

Regarding Iraq, there was the case at the start of the U.S.-led war when President George W. Bush mistakenly thought Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein might be eating at a Baghdad restaurant so U.S. warplanes leveled it, killing more than a dozen civilians, including children and a young woman whose headless body was recovered by her mother.

“When the broken body of the 20-year-old woman was brought out torso first, then her head,” the Associated Press reported, “her mother started crying uncontrollably, then collapsed.” The London Independent cited this restaurant attack as one that represented “a clear breach” of the Geneva Conventions ban on bombing civilian targets.

But such civilian deaths were of little interest to the mainstream U.S. media. “American talking heads … never seemed to give the issue any thought,” wrote Eric Boehlert in a report on the U.S. war coverage for Salon.com. “Certainly they did not linger on images of the hellacious human carnage left in the aftermath.”

Thousands of other civilian deaths were equally horrific. Saad Abbas, 34, was wounded in an American bombing raid, but his family sought to shield him from the greater horror. The bombing had killed his three daughters Marwa, 11; Tabarek, 8; and Safia, 5 who had been the center of his life. “It wasn’t just ordinary love,” his wife said. “He was crazy about them. It wasn’t like other fathers.” [NYT, April 14, 2003]

The horror of the war was captured, too, in the fate of 12-year-old Ali Ismaeel Abbas, who lost his two arms when a U.S. missile struck his Baghdad home. Ali’s father, his pregnant mother and his siblings were all killed. As the armless Ali was evacuated to a Kuwaiti hospital, becoming a symbol of U.S. compassion for injured Iraqi civilians, the boy said he would rather die than live without his hands.

Because of the horrors inflicted on Iraq – and the resulting chaos that has now spread across the region and into Europe – Raddatz could have asked Clinton, who as a U.S. senator voted for the illegal war, whether she felt any responsibility for this carnage. Of course, Raddatz would not ask that question because the U.S. mainstream media was almost universally onboard the Iraq War bandwagon, which helps explain why there has been virtually no accountability for those war crimes.

Letting Clinton Off

So, Clinton was not pressed on her war judgments regarding either Iraq or the Libyan “regime change” that she championed in 2011, another war of choice that transformed the once-prosperous North African nation into a failed state. Raddatz’s biased framing also put Republican Donald Trump on the defensive for resisting yet another American “regime change” project in Syria.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at a press conference on Sept. 9, 2012. (State Department photo)

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at a press conference on Sept. 9, 2012. (State Department photo)

Trump was left muttering some right-wing talking points that sought to attack Clinton as soft on Syria, trying to link her to President Barack Obama’s decision not to bomb the Syrian military in August 2013 after a mysterious sarin gas attack outside Damascus, which occurred six months after Clinton had resigned as Secretary of State.

Trump: “She was there as Secretary of State with the so-called line in the sand, which…

Clinton: “No, I wasn’t. I was gone. I hate to interrupt you, but at some point…

Trump: “OK. But you were in contact — excuse me. You were…

Clinton: “At some point, we need to do some fact-checking here.

Trump: “You were in total contact with the White House, and perhaps, sadly, Obama probably still listened to you. I don’t think he would be listening to you very much anymore. Obama draws the line in the sand. It was laughed at all over the world what happened.”

In bashing Obama for not bombing Syria – after U.S. intelligence expressed suspicion that the sarin attack was actually carried out by Al Qaeda or a related group trying to trick the U.S. military into attacking the Syrian government – Trump may have pleased his right-wing base but he was deviating from his generally less war-like stance on the Middle East.

He followed that up with another false right-wing claim that Clinton and Obama had allowed the Russians to surge ahead on nuclear weapons, saying:our nuclear program has fallen way behind, and they’ve gone wild with their nuclear program. Not good.”

Billionaire and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Billionaire and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Only after attacking Clinton for not being more militaristic did Trump say a few things that made sense, albeit in his incoherent snide-aside style.

Trump: “Now, she talks tough, she talks really tough against Putin and against Assad. She talks in favor of the rebels. She doesn’t even know who the rebels are. You know, every time we take rebels, whether it’s in Iraq or anywhere else, we’re arming people. And you know what happens? They end up being worse than the people [we overthrow].

“Look at what she did in Libya with [Muammar] Gaddafi. Gaddafi’s out. It’s a mess. And, by the way, ISIS has a good chunk of their oil. I’m sure you probably have heard that.” [Actually, whether one has heard it or not, that point is not true. During the ongoing political and military strife, Libya has been blocked from selling its oil, which is shipped by sea.]

Trump continued: “It was a disaster. Because the fact is, almost everything she’s done in foreign policy has been a mistake and it’s been a disaster.

“But if you look at Russia, just take a look at Russia, and look at what they did this week, where I agree, she wasn’t there, but possibly she’s consulted. We sign a peace treaty. Everyone’s all excited. Well, what Russia did with Assad and, by the way, with Iran, who you made very powerful with the dumbest deal perhaps I’ve ever seen in the history of deal-making, the Iran deal, with the $150 billion, with the $1.7 billion in cash, which is enough to fill up this room.

“But look at that deal. Iran now and Russia are now against us. So she wants to fight. She wants to fight for rebels. There’s only one problem. You don’t even know who the rebels are. So what’s the purpose?”

While one can’t blame Raddatz for Trump’s scattered thinking – or for Clinton’s hawkishness – the moderator’s failure to frame the Syrian issue in a factual and nuanced way contributed to this dangerously misleading “debate” on a grave issue of war and peace.

It is surely not the first time that the mainstream U.S. media has failed the American people in this way, but – given the stakes of a possible nuclear war with Russia – this propagandistic style of “journalism” is fast becoming an existential threat.

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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Tensions within the Republican Party exploded into public recriminations Tuesday, with presidential candidate Donald Trump issuing a series of strident statements denouncing House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senator John McCain, two leading congressional Republicans, for their refusal to support his campaign.

In a particularly revealing Twitter comment, Trump gloated over his open break with the Republican congressional leadership, declaring, “It is so nice that the shackles have been taken off me and I can now fight for America the way I want to.”

By “shackles” Trump is referring to the political norms of the US constitutional system, which he has defied with his threats, should he win the presidency, to prosecute and jail his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, as well as his encouragement of violence and his denunciation of the electoral process as “rigged.”

At two campaign rallies Monday, Trump suggested that a Democratic victory in the presidential election would be illegitimate, the result of ballot-box fraud in key states such as Pennsylvania. He told his supporters to send poll watchers to “certain communities”—alluding to African-American neighborhoods in Philadelphia—to “make sure that this election is not stolen from us and is not taken away from us.”

Trump’s strident attacks on his own party as well as the Democrats make clear that his perspective is no longer to win the presidential election on November 8. His orientation is rather toward the building of an extra-parliamentary far-right movement for the period of social and political upheaval that will follow the elections.

Maine Governor Paul LePage, a fervent Trump supporter, said in a radio interview Tuesday that the United States needed someone like Trump to wield “authoritarian power” because “we’re slipping into anarchy.” LePage was only articulating in the crudest form the strongman politics that are the essence of the Trump campaign.

Trump has said that a collapse of the world financial system on an even greater scale than in 2008 is likely, and he is positioning himself to offer an ultra-right alternative to a Democratic administration that will become deeply unpopular as it imposes policies of economic austerity and imperialist war. Whether this approach costs the Republicans legislative seats on November 8 is irrelevant to Trump, because he anticipates that in the next period in American history, political issues are going to be decided in the streets, not in the halls of Congress.

This divergence underlies the conflict between the Republican presidential candidate and House Speaker Ryan, the top Republican in Congress, who announced Monday he would no longer defend Trump or campaign for him. Ryan informed the House Republican Caucus of his decision in a Monday conference call, during which all members of the House leadership declared their agreement while a minority of pro-Trump representatives loudly objected.

Effectively declaring the presidential race lost for the Republicans, Ryan said that while he would not withdraw his endorsement of Trump, his number one task was to defend the Republican majorities in the House and Senate, “making sure that Hillary Clinton does not get a blank check” when she becomes president next January.

The House Republican leaders were reacting to polling data showing that Clinton has opened up a double-digit lead over Trump nationally. Of particular concern to the Republicans were indications that Trump’s unpopularity was having an effect on congressional races. While loss of the Republican majority in the Senate had been widely considered possible, the 60-seat Republican majority in the House of Representatives was seen as impregnable until last week.

Trump unloaded on Ryan in a series of tweets on Tuesday, calling him “weak” and suggesting that the congressional Republican leadership would be responsible if he lost the election to Clinton. He also denounced the 2008 Republican presidential candidate John McCain, one of ten Republican senators who announced Saturday they could no longer support his presidential campaign.

Clinton’s response to these events has been a further shift to the right, redoubling her efforts to win support from leading figures in the Republican Party. Her campaign launched advertisements in at least four states that include testimonials from Republican voters who are supporting Clinton this year. Campaign spokesman Brian Fallon said, “She is reaching out to voters that may well have supported Mitt Romney in 2012 and in a normal year might also be inclined to support the Republican nominee, but are so troubled by Donald Trump they are open to supporting Hillary Clinton.”

As part of this “outreach” effort, Clinton followed up a campaign rally at Wayne State University in Detroit Monday with a private meeting with Republican billionaire Dan Gilbert, the Quicken Loans mogul who has bought up most of downtown Detroit in order to make a killing from the city’s bankruptcy.

For the Democratic Party and its supporters in the media, Trump’s slide in the polls and the very public crisis of the Republican Party are cause for celebration and complacent sighs of relief. Typical is the column by Roger Cohen in the New York Times, which begins with a lengthy verbal lashing of Trump:

“It’s fortunate that we are less than a month from the election because we are running out of words to describe him: this phony, this liar, this blowhard, this cheat, this bully, this misogynist, this demagogue, this predator, this bigot, this bore, this egomaniac, this racist, this sexist, this sociopath. I will not go on. It’s pointless. Everyone knows, not least his supporters .”

Cohen and his like are hostile to acknowledging the widespread economic desperation that is driving millions of working people to vote for and support the billionaire demagogue. But as Times columnist David Leonhardt pointed out on the same page Tuesday, tens of millions of Americans confront economic stagnation and generally deteriorating conditions of life. He wrote:

“The typical household, amazingly, has a net worth 14 percent lower than the typical one did in 1984, according to a forthcoming Russell Sage Foundation publication. The life-expectancy gap between the affluent and everyone else is growing. The number of children living with only one parent or none has doubled since the 1970s (to 30 percent). The obesity rate has nearly tripled (to 38 percent). About eight million people have spent time behind bars at some point in their life, up from 1.5 million 40 years ago. While college enrollment has grown, the norm for middle-class and poor students is to leave without a four-year degree.”

Cohen dismisses this social layer as “the losers to turbo-capitalism,” but they comprise, as Leonhardt suggests, the vast majority of the working class and large sections of the middle class, for whom living standards have declined or, at best, stagnated.

Hillary Clinton, the handmaiden of the stock exchange and the Pentagon, has no credibility as a defender of working-class jobs and living standards. It is the complacent, right-wing defense of capitalism and imperialism by the Democratic Party—given a “progressive” coloration by its pseudo-left apologists, who share its obsession with the politics of race, gender and sexual orientation—that provides an opening for fascistic demagogues, whether Trump himself or a more politically skilled successor.

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In a speech stunning for its arrogance, venom, and the violence of its verbal and personal attack on the Russian Federation, the Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom today demonstrated Lord Bertrand Russell’s observation that “the British gentleman behaves with exquisite courtesy toward members of his own set, and then goes home and whips his black servant to death.”  

Surpassing even the sanctimonious and hypocritical Russophobic diatribes of the Permanent Representative of the U.S., during today’s Security Council meeting it was obvious that the UK now regards Russia as its current “whipping boy,” and this targeted attempt to degrade and humiliate Russia during today’s meeting is alarming, as the devaluation and dehumanization of a people is the first step in the psychological preparation for a physical attack, overt or covert on the people of a country:

“Normally I begin my statements in this Council with the words “thank you, Mr. President.”  I cannot do that today.  Because today, we have seen the fifth veto in five years on Syria from you, Mr. President….A veto that has once again denigrated the credibility and respect of the Security Council in the eyes of the world.  A veto that is a cynical abuse of the privileges and responsibilities of permanent membership, and I simply cannot thank you for that.”


( Of course, the UK is selling arms to the Saudis bombarding innocent civilians in Yemen, slaughtering more than 600 innocent civilians that very same day, as the UK Ambassador spoke.  Headless bodies and people with smashed legs were later removed from the UK and US funded devastation inflicted on innocent civilians of Yemen)

Contrary to the UK’s defamatory remarks, indeed, today Russia upheld the United Nations’ credibility and legitimacy as an objective organization, by vetoing the French-Spanish Resolution that would have, under Article 25 of the UN Charter, denied the Syrian government  control over its own airspace by “demanding immediate end to military flights over Syria’s Aleppo,” a blatant infringement of Syria’s sovereignty, and a violation of the UN Charter, and as the Russian Foreign Ministry stated, “The prohibition of flights over Aleppo provides cover to terrorists from Jabhat al-Nusra and those militants allied with them.”

Unfortunately for the Ambassador of the UK, his very own BBC corroborates the Russian Foreign Ministry allegations, quoting none other than United States Vice-President Joseph Biden, who stated at the Kennedy School of Harvard:

 “Our biggest problem is our allies.  The Turks, the Saudis, the Emirates, etc.,….were so determined to take down Syrian President Bashar al Assad and essentially have a proxy Sunni-Shia war….they poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens, thousands of tonnes of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad, policies that ended up helping militants linked to Al Qaeda and ultimately ISIS.”

 “’Qatar and Turkey provided support to the Syria Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist militias and some of what they sent got to al-Qaeda linked Jabhat al-Nusra’ according to a former administration official.”   This is the BBC, not RT.

 And for an encore, Hillary Clinton stated in a 2015 speech at the Brookings Institution that:

“nobody can deny that much of  the extremism in the world today is a direct result of policies and funding undertaken by the Saudi government and individuals.  We would be foolish not to recognize that.”

Further, in an article by Liz Goodwin and Michael Isikoff Clinton is quoted stating:  “’The Saudi and Qatari governments themselves are funding ISIS’”

Russia supported UN Special Advisor Steffan di Mistura’s proposal to personally help escort Al-Qaeda linked terrorists out of Aleppo to avoid their provoking government bombing of their enclaves.  However, on October 7, the terrorist group Fatah al-sham rejected di Mistura’s and Russia’s offer to help end the fighting, and stated their determination to control part of Aleppo, regardless of the resultant bloodshed they thereby made inevitable.

In a CNN article dated September 28, reiterated in part on October 5 by the New York Times:

“State Department spokesman John Kirby warned Moscow that it risked getting stuck in a quagmire if it didn’t work to end the violence. ‘The war won’t stop, opposition groups are certainly not going to pull back, Extremist groups will continue to exploit the vacuums that are there in Syria, to expand their operations, which will include – no question – attacks against Russian interests, perhaps even Russian cities.  And Russia will continue to send troops home in body bags.’”

The abovementioned ‘quagmire’ is the inevitable outcome of the French-Spanish resolution seeking to “demand an immediate end to military flights over Syria’s Aleppo.”  The result of that ‘quagmire’ would be, ultimately, regime change in Russia, and the reduction of Russia to the status of a servile puppet, who can be “whipped to death,” which Boris Yeltsin had made possible..

In one of the noblest speeches ever delivered at the United Nations during this century, Venezuelan Ambassador Ramirez, in  words of brilliance, exposed the enormity of hypocrisy for which the Ambassadors demonizing Russia are guilty, listing the colonialist aggressions and current war crimes throughout the middle east, and throughout the world, for which the UK and the US have never been held to account.

Ambassador Ramirez demonstrated that the Russian veto prevented the UN Security Council from endorsing the obliteration of Syria, in the same Machiavellian way in which UN Security Council Resolutions 678 on Iraq and 1973 on Libya unleashed the pulverizing bombing campaigns which turned the previously functioning and progressive governments of Iraq and Libya into current failed states incubating and rampantly spreading terrorism. And  Ambassador Ramirez stated that he regretted that Russia had not exercised its veto power to prevent the UN Security Council from authorizing the war crimes committed by the US, the UK and NATO in Iraq and Libya.

And finally, with enormous courage, the Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela accurately defined the cause of the stagnation at the UN Security Council:

“The fundamental reason for the lack of unity is based on the fact that certain permanent members of the Security Council are deeply involved in the conflict and supported the development of this type of asymmetric war, a new and absolutely illegal mechanism designed to overthrow Governments… No one in the Security Council can decide whether the Government of Syria is legitimate.  No one in the Security Council has the right to suppress the sovereignty of the Syrian Government over its own territory…  The exercise of the right of veto by Russia was criticized.  We believe that the right of veto serves in many instances to establish balance in situations that are otherwise totally out of balance.  If only they could have exercised the right of veto in connection with the intervention in Iraq or the NATO bombings in Libya, we would not be facing the regrettable situation in which we find ourselves today.”

The virulent beating of the war drums at the UN Security Council suggests a proxy war against Russia, and predictions of Islamic terrorist attacks against Russian cities raise the terrifying prospect of another stealthy campaign to destabilize Russia, turning that sovereign country into a docile pawn of Western oligarchic interests.  It would be prudent to recall that Russia is a nuclear power, and hubris doomed Napoleon and Hitler.  Unfortunately, this time hubris may also doom all humanity.

Author and Geopolitical analyst Carla Stea is Global Research’s Correspondent at United Nations headquarters, New York, NY. 

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US-Nuclear-War

“Mutually Assured Destruction”(MAD): The Nuclear Debate America Should be Having

By Adeyinka Makinde, October 11 2016

M.A.D. The concept of ‘Mutually Assured Destruction’ which posited the prospect of a global catastrophe in the event of a nuclear exchange between the United States and the Soviet Union was one which permeated the popular consciousness of the people of both nations as indeed it did the rest of the world during the era of the Cold War. The realisation of Armageddon beckoning, replete with apocalyptic imagery of modern cities being turned into vast swathes of wasteland and of mass human annihilation, informed the policies of the respective superpowers.

trumpclintonDonald and Hillary: The Tragedy of the Great American TV Soap Opera. “Trajectory Towards a Nuclear Precipice”?

By Colin Todhunter, October 10 2016

The game plan is to destroy Russia as a functioning state or to permanently weaken it so it submits to US hegemony. Washington believes it can actually win a nuclear conflict with Russia. It no longer regards nuclear weapons as a last resort but part of a conventional theatre of war and is willing to use them for pre-emptive strikes. The situation in Syria is most worrying of all. Another theatre of conflict instigated by the US that now sees it and Russia facing each other directly, with Moscow warning the US about the consequences of its aggression: possible nuclear war.

US-Nuclear-War

Nuclear Poker … “The Third World War Had Been Fought to Save Al Qaeda”

By Israel Shamir, October 10 2016

If the greatest poker game of all times will end by nuclear grand slam, and the survivors will review the causes of WWIII, they will die laughing. The Third World War had been fought to save al Qaeda. Yes, my dear readers! Uncle Sam invaded Afghanistan in order to punish al Qaeda, and now he started the World War to save al Qaeda. Positively a great ambivalent passionate love/hate relationship between the American gentleman and the Arab girl, from 9/11 to Aleppo.

trumpclinton

A Presidential Contest of Deplorables: Will the Next US President be Announcing a ‘No-fly Zone’ over Syria? Which Means War with Russia

By Eric Zuesse, October 12 2016

This news-report will be short but important: One major-Party U.S. Presidential candidate is so gross that his answer when the radio host Howard Stern said the individual’s daughter is “a piece of a**” was that she has “always been very voluptuous”; his competitor is so warmongering that she says “I am advocating the no-fly zone”, which means that she wants the U.S. to warn Syria and Russia that if they don’t stop flying their warplanes over Syria, the U.S. will shoot down those warplanes. (That’s what a “no-fly zone” means.) Which of these two candidates presents the bigger likelihood of starting World War III as the U.S. President — of starting a war against Russia?

worldwar3

Global Tensions Between East And West Reach Boiling Point

By Graham Vanbergen, October 12 2016

Whilst sitting in a street cafe enjoying a Cappuccino watching busy people doing busy things it is hard to imagine that another war on the scale of 1939-45 could ever happen again, especially in Europe, after all, we’re all part of the European Union, a bloc of 28 nations set up in first place to end any future conflict on the continent. America has not experienced international conflict on its soil for over 200 years. But this over confidence in western security is misplaced as the events leading up to the next major conflict won’t be like the last.

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« Money-théisme », Islam et Science

octobre 12th, 2016 by Chems Eddine Chitour

«Le monde est en guerre. Une guerre d’intérêts, pas de religion»

Pape François

 

Un pape iconoclaste c’est ainsi que l’on peut résumer le pape François, un pape du XXIe siècle qui n’hésite pas à mettre les pieds dans le plat et comme le dit si bien Jean-Paul Sartre, il fait comme les vrais intellectuels «il s’occupe des choses qui ne le regardent pas»! Je vais articuler mon plaidoyer autour de trois «dossiers» chauds qui ont vu le pape prendre position sans atermoiement, sans arrière-pensée au risque de le rendre illisible pour les catholiques de l’extrême, des hommes politiques et de ceux qui réellement tiennent la planète sous leur joug.

Le pape François pose les bonnes questions notamment concernant la condition humaine avec cette dilution de ce qui fait l’homme ou la femme dans une indifférenciation  porteuse de questionnements

Le pape François dénonce l’indifférence face à la détresse humaine

Le pape François ne s’est pas contenté d’observer d’une façon neutre, il rentre dans la mêlée. Il dénonce l’indifférence envers le dérèglement du monde dont la signature la plus visible est l’indifférence. Ainsi à Assise, où il était à l’honneur pour le 30e anniversaire de cette initiative François a appelé les chefs religieux à être «des médiateurs créatifs de paix».

«Cet appel écrit Jean-Marie Guénois, lancé au monde par le pape François à Assise – a revêtu une force toute particulière dans l’actuel contexte international. «Nous avons vu dans les yeux des réfugiés la douleur de la guerre, l’angoisse de peuples assoiffés de paix». D’emblée, François a insisté sur le caractère spirituel de sa démarche, qui vise à rompre ce qu’il a appelé «le paganisme de l’indifférence» par des «réponses spirituelles concrètes pour vaincre les fermetures en s’ouvrant à Dieu et aux frères». Car «Dieu nous demande (de) faire face à la grande maladie de notre époque: l’indifférence». L’indifférence qu’il dénonce depuis le début de son pontificat: «C’est un virus qui paralyse, qui rend inerte et insensible.» (1)

 Le pape François et l’islam

Devant la curée médiatique contre l’islam, alimentée il faut bien le dire par des actes abjects et dont on ne peut pas dire, qu’ils sont le fait d’une guerre de l’islam contre le monde occidental, d’autant que l’immense majorité des musulmans est spectatrice d’un destin façonné par les autres et visant pour des raisons que l’on connaîtra un jour, à faire appel à l’islam d’une façon sanglante. Le pape François avec une rare lucidité ne rejoint pas la meute de la curée. Il fait le distinguo et surtout il replace cette poussée extrémiste dans l’histoire des religions qui, à des degrés divers, sont passées par les mêmes expériences… Petit à petit, au fil des débats, le pape François fidèle à l’aggiornamento prôné par Paul VI lors de Vatican II et plus ou moins freiné par Jean-Paul II, le débat sur l’islam prend racine.

 «Si je parle de violence islamique déclare-t-il, je dois parler de violence catholique Je crois qu’il y a presque toujours dans toutes les religions un petit groupe de fondamentalistes. Nous en avons.» François a d’abord répondu: «Je n’aime pas parler de violence islamique, parce qu’en feuilletant les journaux je vois tous les jours que des violences, même en Italie: celui-là qui tue sa fiancée, tel autre qui tue sa belle-mère, et un autre… et ce sont des catholiques baptisés! Ce sont des catholiques violents. Non, les musulmans ne sont pas tous violents, les catholiques ne sont pas tous violents. C’est comme dans la Macédoine, il y a de tout… Il y a des violents de cette religion…» «Je crois qu’il n’est pas juste d’identifier l’islam avec la violence, ce n’est pas juste et ce n’est pas vrai. J’ai eu un long dialogue avec le grand iman de l’université Al-Azhar et je sais ce qu’ils pensent. Ils cherchent la paix, la rencontre.» «Ce sont des frères! On peut vivre ensemble bien.» (2)

Le pape François et sa croisade contre le  Dieu argent : le Money-théïsme

Dans sa lutte contre le Dieu argent, le pape François ne prend pas de gants, à juste titre il tient le Dieu argent, en quelque sorte le money-théisme comme responsable du dérèglement du monde. Le pape François considère «le Dieu argent» comme «un terrorisme de base»:

«Le terrorisme est partout. Pensez au terrorisme tribal dans certains pays africains. Le terrorisme est aussi… je ne sais pas si je peux le dire car c’est un peu dangereux, mais le terrorisme grandit lorsqu’il n’y a pas d’autre option. Et au centre de l’économie mondiale, il y a le Dieu argent, et non la personne, l’homme et la femme, voilà le premier terrorisme. Il a chassé la merveille de la création, l’homme et la femme, et il a mis là l’argent. Ceci est un terrorisme de base, contre toute l’humanité. Nous devons y réfléchir.» (3)

Rémi Brague, philosophe et chrétien, spécialiste de la pensée médiévale arabe et juive décortique la pensée du pape.

«Le geste de Jésus est avant tout prophétique. Sur le plan matériel, il se contente probablement de renverser une table ou deux. S’il en avait renversé davantage, la garnison romaine serait intervenue! (…) Le Christ n’accuse pas l’usage de l’argent, mais le culte qui est rendu, qui est de nature idolâtrique. (…) La condamnation de l’argent par le Vatican n’est pas nouvelle, mais elle est ici radicale, et désigne une des raisons du terrorisme politique. Elle intervient surtout à un moment où les inégalités se creusent comme jamais dans l’histoire de l’humanité, rejetant aux oubliettes toute promesse de maintien, sans parler d’extension, des droits démocratiques conquis avec tant de sacrifices. Cette prise de conscience réserve d’autres surprises. Vous vous souvenez de Francis Fukuyama qui annonçait au début des années 1990 «la fin de l’histoire», autrement dit le caractère indépassable du capitalisme. Eh bien, il alerte maintenant contre le «pouvoir de l’argent», pire menace sur la «démocratie» ». (3)

«Les faits auxquels vous faites référence ont une signification religieuse; leur sens économique et/ou politique est moins clair. (…) Partout où l’on échange des biens ou des services, et donc partout où il faut mesurer la valeur de ce que l’on échange pour que cet échange soit équitable, on a soit le marché, soit le marché noir. il y a un point commun entre la violence physique et la dictature du marché. Tout comme les terroristes recherchent que les gens se couchent devant eux sans combattre, les phénomènes économiques ont un effet de sidération qui ressemble aux effets de la terreur. Ils donnent l’impression qu’il n’y a pas d’autre alternative, que cet ordre est inévitable. Ceux qui mettent en oeuvre cette terreur cherchent d’ailleurs très consciemment cet effet de sidération qui provoque la soumission. (…) La pauvreté n’est pas la misère, elle peut être volontaire, nous l’avons vu. Mais la misère est toujours subie. En revanche, j’aime le mot de «sobriété». Elle est le contraire de l’ivresse. Etre sobre, comme en anglais «sober», désigne celui qui évite l’alcool ou la drogue, et celui qui a une conduite mesurée. L’ivresse déforme notre vision de la réalité; la sobriété rend capable de voir celle-ci.» (3)

Le pape et la théorie du genre

Un autre sujet qui tient à coeur au pape est la personne humaine dans ce qu’elle a de plus intime et que des milliers d’années ont forgée. Le pape François a accusé dimanche 2 octobre 2016 les manuels scolaires français de propager l’«endoctrinement de la théorie du genre». Le pape s’est souvent élevé contre la théorie du genre depuis son élection, sans toutefois viser directement l’enseignement français. En 2014, il martelait:

«On ne peut rien expérimenter avec les jeunes et les enfants! Ce ne sont pas des cobayes de laboratoire!». S’exprimant devant les journalistes dans l’avion qui le ramenait à Rome après trois jours dans le Caucase, il a raconté une anecdote rapportée par un père de famille français dont le fils de 10 ans envisage de devenir une fille. «Le papa s’était alors rendu compte que dans les livres du collège, on enseignait la théorie du genre. Ceci est contre les choses naturelles! Pour une personne, une chose est d’avoir cette tendance, cette option, et même de changer de sexe, autre chose est de faire l’enseignement dans les écoles sur cette ligne, pour changer la mentalité. C’est cela que j’appelle la colonisation idéologique.» (4)

Ceux qui la dénoncent affirment que la théorie du genre vise à effacer toute différence, biologique comme sociale, entre les hommes et les femmes. Elle est selon eux introduite insidieusement à l’école, notamment via les manuels scolaires. En réponse, face à eux il est opposé qu’ils ont une mauvaise lecture des «gender studies» anglosaxons. Ces études de genre visent, selon leurs partisans, à comprendre les mécanismes sociaux qui conduisent aux inégalités entre les hommes et les femmes, et non à nier la différence des sexes.» (4)

Le pape François a précisé ce qu’il avait voulu dire, en parlant de «guerre mondiale contre le mariage» à propos de la diffusion de la «théorie du genre». François avait commencé sa réponse par ce rappel:

«L’image de Dieu n’est pas l’homme, mais l’homme et la femme, ensemble. Ils sont une seule chair quand ils s’unissent. Voilà la vérité! Quand on détruit cela, on salit l’image de Dieu.» Il avait conclu par cette remarque: «Il y a une guerre mondiale contre le mariage et nous devons être attentifs à ne pas laisser ces idées entrer en nous.» Et François de conclure: «Vous comprenez? La vie est la vie. Et les choses doivent se prendre comme elles viennent. Le péché est le péché. Les tendances ou les déséquilibres hormonaux créent tant de problèmes et nous devons être attentifs.» (5)

Les vertiges d’une science sans garde-fous

La théorie du genre n’est que le prélude d’une science sans éthique. On sait qu’avec la technique Crisp on peut arriver à créer le bébé parfait. Dans le même ordre de ce que certains appellent la dérive de l’éthique, on apprend que le Royaume-Uni veut expérimenter une technique de procréation assistée avec l’ADN de trois parents L’objectif est dit-on d’éviter la transmission d’un gène qui cause de graves maladies du foie, neurologiques et cardiaques. Cette technique de procréation assistée dans laquelle l’ADN de trois parents est utilisé pour créer un embryon en bonne santé.

Cette technique est destinée à éviter que des mères transmettent à leurs bébés des maladies génétiques graves, à cause d’un ADN mitochondrial défectueux. (..) Le traitement de fusion de deux ADN maternels a été développé par le professeur Doug Turnbull, de l’université de Newcastle. Il s’agit de remplacer moins de 1% de l’ADN défectueux de la mère par celui d’une donneuse en bonne santé. Implanté par FIV (fécondation in vitro), le bébé à naître tiendra environ 99,8% de son ADN de ses deux parents, et le reste de la donneuse.» (6)

On peut faire mieux, aux Etats-Unis des études ont montré qu’il n’est plus nécessaire de faire de la gestation intra-utérine on peut la faire en dehors dans des sortes d’utérus artificiels et certains scientifiques envisagent même que la gestation puisse être portée par l’homme. Dans ces conditions, la société va changer et l’accouchement dans la douleur pour la femme comme dit dans la Bible ne sera plus qu’un lointain souvenir qui a commencé à s’estomper avec la césarienne et la péridurale. Ce que disait  la philosophe Simone de Beauvoir à propos de la femme: «On ne naît pas femme, on le devient» serait alors d’une brûlante actualité.

Faut-il choisir entre le salut de l’âme et la santé du corps?

Faut il arrêter de faire évoluer la science sous prétexte qu’elle est amenée à des dérives dangereuses en absence d’éthique ? Sachant bien que cette question d’éthique est différente selon les époques et les lieux. A titre d’exemple, les scientifiques bouddhistes ou des religions de l’extrême orient en général, n’ont pas la même perception de la mort de la transcendance. Ainsi les manipulations génétiques sur l’embryon notamment avec la technique des « ciseaux de la CRISP » technique qui permet de changer , de modifier un génome ne sont pas interdites,  ce qui expliquerait semble –til l’avance de ces scientifiques par rapport à leurs collègues européens et américains.

La science promet à l’homme à terme l’immortalité  vers 2045 ?  Dans l’intervalle elle lui donne les moyens de réparer son corps , certaines  fois en puisant ou en  bricolant ce qu’il a de plus intime ; son génome. Mieux encore  elle lui promet des enfants à la carte ; l’extension  irrépressible vers l’eugénisme est actée . De l’autre côté 5000 ans de civilisation religieuse , lui ont fait comprendre qu’il y a des limites, des fils rouges à ne pas dépasser. Ce que dans l’Islam on appelle « el Ghaïb » , l’inconnaissable.

Tiraillée entre ces deux pôles la condition humaine se cherche.  Car la science n’a pas d’état d’âme, ce n’est pas une grande surface ou one prend que ce qui nous intéresse, c’est en fait une vente concomitante où on vous oblige le meilleur  et le pire, les avancées  utiles  à l’humanité et celles qui questionnent la condition humaine. Car la théorie du genre n’est que l’une des facettes d’une déconstruction au pas de charge opérée par la science, dans tout les domaines, sociologiques biologiques , éthiques, technologiques

Faut-il choisir entre le salut de l’âme et la santé du corps? C’est l’interrogation que pose Etienne Klein directeur de recherches au Cnrs,.

«Imaginez, en somme, qu’à partir de demain, il n’y ait plus de techniciens, d’ingénieurs, de chercheurs, plus non plus d’anesthésie chez le dentiste, plus de laser pour soigner les décollements de la rétine et toutes sortes d’autres choses, etc. Je sais bien que, parfois, nous voudrions retourner à la nature brute, mais à la condition expresse de pouvoir emporter des vêtements en textile synthétique, une carte de crédit, un téléphone portable et un sac à dos rempli d’antibiotiques. Ainsi s’exprime le paradoxe de notre rapport au progrès: nous prétendons ne plus y croire, mais nous tenons encore à lui farouchement, même si ce n’est plus que de façon négative, c’est-à-dire en proportion de l’effroi que nous inspire l’idée qu’il puisse s’interrompre.» (7)

Aujourd’hui, un fait social total s’impose: nous avons peur. Je n’ai pas encore dit que nous avons peur de la science, j’ai simplement dit que nous avions peur d’une façon générale. D’abord, le futur inquiète: nous sommes assaillis par toutes sortes de craintes concernant l’avenir. (…) Nous sentons que notre maîtrise des choses est à la fois démesurée et incomplète: suffisante pour que nous ayons conscience de faire l’histoire, insuffisante pour que nous sachions quelle histoire nous sommes effectivement en train de faire.» (7)

«Je voudrais ajoute Etienne Klein commencer par rappeler deux constats qui me paraissent assez peu contestables aujourd’hui. Le premier concerne le statut de la technique, le second celui de la science. Premier constat, dans la société d’aujourd’hui, deux forces majeures s’opposent: la première de ces forces est la technique, qui diffuse dans tous les aspects de la vie de la société. La technologie transcende la dimension de l’action individuelle et même celle de l’action collective. La fonction anthropologique de la technique devient ainsi celle d’une nouvelle divinité, d’un «sacré» non-religieux, mais qui possède toutes les caractéristiques d’un dieu tout-puissant. La seconde de ces forces est une résistance à la technique, qui manifeste la peur d’aller trop vite vers l’inconnu. La société se trouve saisie d’une peur de l’incertitude face à l’avenir. Le second constat porte sur le statut de la science, qui est manifestement devenu ambivalent dans notre société. (…) Par exemple, sur les paquets de cigarettes, il n’est jamais écrit que fumer déplaît à Dieu ou compromet le salut de l’âme. D’ailleurs, le salut de l’âme, objet même du discours théologique, s’est effacé au profit de la santé du corps qui, elle, est l’objet de préoccupations scientifiques. En ce sens, et comme Auguste Comte l’avait prophétisé nous considérons qu’une société ne devient vraiment moderne que lorsque le prêtre et l’idéologue y cèdent la place à l’expert, c’est-à-dire lorsque le savoir scientifique et ses développements technologiques et industriels sont tenus pour le seul fondement acceptable de son organisation et de ses décisions.»  (7)

Nous voilà avertis, nous avons besoin de la science qui n’a pas d’état d’âme. Les religions passent leur temps à compter ce qui reste d’ouailles au lieu de proposer une alternative qui permet d’expliquer le monde. Les combats d’arrière-garde n’ont pas d’avenir face à une science qui nous promet des miracles à la chaîne. Les  religions  se devraient de montrer les chemins de la transcendance avec les outils du XXIe siècle.  Dans ce challenge les docteurs de l’Islam sont particulièrement aphones, il n’y a aucune prise de position courageuse dans ce débat sur ce qui reste de la destinée humaine maintenant que la science est en train de déconstruire à tout de bras.

Est-ce ainsi que les Hommes doivent vivre sans repères sans éthiques ? La question interpelle chacun de nous  religieux ou athée, scientifique ou citoyen lambda, c’est la condition humaine qui est amenée à faire des choix, définir un vivre ensemble entre ses composantes, humaines avec des invariants – sur ce que c’est que l’humanité avec comme corollaire comment la protéger- valables quelques soient les peuples qui l’a composent. Elle aura aussi à   définir aussi un vivre ensemble avec la nature  si elle veut perdurer dans un monde de plus en plus crisique notamment  du fait de ses agressions envers cette  nature.

Professeur Chems Eddine Chitour

Ecole Polytechnique enp-edu.dz

 

1. Jean-Marie Guénois: Le plaidoyer du pape contre «l’indifférence» Le Figaro 20/09/2016

2.Jean-Marie Guénois: http://www.lefigaro.fr/actualite-france/2016/07/31/01016-20160731ARTFIG00176-pape-francois-si-je-parle-de-violence-islamique-je-dois-parler-de-violence-catholique.php

3. Caroline Brizard http://tempsreel.nouvelobs.com/societe/20160812.OBS6237/le-dieu-argent-le-premier-terrorisme-selon-le-pape-francois-le-premier-des-maux.html

4. http://www.lefigaro.fr/actualite-france/2016/10/03/01016-20161003ARTFIG00209-le-pape-et-la-theorie-du-genre-la-polemique-en-cinq-questions.php

5. http://www.lefigaro.fr/actualite-france/2016/10/02/01016-20161002ARTFIG00197-le-pape-denonce-un-manuel-francais-de-college-qui-promeut-la-theorie-du-genre.php

6. http://www.la-croix.com/Ethique/Medecine/Le-Royaume-Uni-veut-experimenter-une-technique-de-procreation-assistee-avec-trois-parents-2013-06-28-979898

7. http://www.union-rationaliste.org/index.php/ardeche-drome-isere/251-faut-il-avoir-peur-de-la-science

 

Article de référence

http://www.lexpressiondz.com/chroniques/analyses_du_professeur _chitour/251373-money-theisme-islam-et-science.html

 

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Donald Trump said he « disagrees » with his running mate over US intervention in Syria. Mike Pence had called for hitting Syrian government targets, but on Sunday the GOP nominee said that instead, the US should work together with Russia against ISIS.

“He and I haven’t spoken and I disagree,” Trump said during Sunday’s presidential debate, when asked whether he agreed with Pence’s calls for bombing Syria.

During the presidential debates on Tuesday Pence had said that the US should be ready to strike the Syrian army if Russia continues to be involved in what he called“barbaric actions” in Aleppo.

Both Trump and Clinton were asked what would they do about the situation in Aleppo, which the question – asked via Facebook – compared to the Holocaust.

Clinton blamed the situation in Aleppo on the Syrian government and Russia, accusing Moscow of not paying « any attention to ISIS » but only being « interested in keeping Assad in charge. »

« We need some leverage with he Russians because they’re not going to come to the negotiation table without leverage, »Clinton said, repeating her calls for establishing a no-fly zone and arming the Kurds, but acknowledging that sending US troops on the ground would not work.

« I would not use American ground forces in Syria, I think that would be a very serious mistake, » Clinton said.

“She talks rebels, but she doesn’t know who the rebels are.” Trump replied. “Almost everything she’s done in foreign policy, it’s been a mistake and it’s been a disaster.”

Trump took issue with Clinton’s claim that Russia was not fighting Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).

“Assad is killing ISIS. Russia is killing ISIS. Iran is killing ISIS. And those three have now lined up together because of our weak policy,” he said.

“I think it would be great if we got along with Russia. We could fight ISIS together,” Trump had said earlier in the evening.

What would happen if Aleppo falls, asked ABC’s Martha Raddatz.

“Aleppo… I think that it basically has fallen,” Trump replied.

The Republican nominee also repeated his criticism of the US military announcing an attack on IS in Mosul, thus sacrificing the element of surprise, ending with declaring that “Generals George Patton and Douglas McArthur are spinning in their graves at our stupidity in the Middle East.”

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The last ASEAN country to be studied within the book is Myanmar, which is by far the most susceptible of the entire bunch to Hybrid War. Truth be told, it’s been experiencing some form or another of Hybrid War since its independence in 1948, although this mostly took the form of Unconventional Warfare prior to 1988. From that point on, Color Revolutions were reversely integrated into the destabilization model there and offered as a “solution” to the world’s longest-running civil war, earning them the automatic support of the international (Western) community and lending them false normative “justification” in the eyes of the easily misled global masses.

Myanmar functions as the ideal case study for examining Hybrid War in practice, and it’s more relevant in the current geopolitical climate than ever before. All of the pieces are in place for a violent explosion and the country is rife with asymmetrical risks to its stability. The reason that Myanmar is such a powder keg is because foreign actors have been conspiring against its unity since independence, wanting to exploit one or another peripheral ethnic group for their own particular purposes. The decades-long military government can’t avoid shouldering some of the responsibility for the country’s present woes, as it was unsuccessful in crafting an inclusive and lasting sense of nationhood, though to be fair, the challenge that it was confronted with was immense.

Hybrid Wars 7. How The US Could Manufacture A Mess In Myanmar (I)

As it stands, the Suu Kyi government intends to institutionalize the state’s internal divisions through the implementation of Identity Federalism, whereby each rebel-controlled and identity-dissimilar part of the country receives a high degree of sovereign ‘self-rule’ over its internal affairs. This could essentially fracture the country and prevent it from ever functioning as an integrated unit again, although the primary beneficiaries of this externally imposed “Balkanization” would most assuredly be foreign (Western) resource companies and their affiliated state militaries, the latter of which are eager to use the forthcoming federalized statelets as ‘lily pads’ to in their quest to ‘leapfrog’ as close to China’s border as they can.

The geostrategic intent is to either control or cripple China’s transnational multipolar infrastructure projects in the country, with the China-Myanmar Energy Corridor that recently opened in January 2015 being the specific target of both types of intrigue. The US already succeeded in pressuring the Myanmar government to abandon China’s ambitious plans for a $20 billion railroad along that route, thus demonstrating the degree of control that it exercised over Naypyidaw even before their proxy Suu Kyi came to de-facto power.  However, China saw the writing on the wall and unprecedentedly began courting the “opposition” leader and directly involving itself in the domestic affairs of one of its partners for the very first time. If China somehow manages to clinch a deal with Suu Kyi that preserves its influence in the country and safeguards its strategic pipeline assets there (to say nothing of possibly expanding its infrastructure investments), then it’s predicted that the US would respond by unleashing a Hybrid War against the country, preferring to see Myanmar totally destroyed than ever again functioning as a reliable multipolar springboard for Beijing.

burma_pol_96The situation inside the country is extraordinarily complicated owing to the multilayered variables that have been impacting on events for decades, but a quick review of the most relevant aspects of Myanmar’s history is the most suitable first step for better understanding the existing state of affairs. As such, the research proceeds from this point and then naturally segues into the country’s history of Color Revolution attempts, detailing how Suu Kyi was able to successfully come to power over twenty years after the US first intended for her to do so. After that, the study dives into the contours of Myanmar’s civil war before highlighting the country’s pivotal geopolitical role in facilitating three separate transnational connective infrastructure projects, two of which are instrumental in deepening the influence of unipolarity over the state. Finally, the last part of the work applies all of the previously examined information in constructing the most likely Hybrid War scenarios that the US could engineer in order to maximally destabilize China’s periphery and put an end to what used to be its most promising chance to strategically alleviate its dependence on the Strait of Malacca.

A Nation In Flux

The country that’s currently called Myanmar used to be known as Burma, and governments that refuse to recognize the legitimacy of the ruling authorities still refer to it by its pre-1989 name. For the sake of consistency, the author will use Burma when referring to the lands of present-day Myanmar up until the name change was initiated, and thenceforth the country will be referred to by its constitutional and legal name when describing all events afterwards. Myanmar’s history is extensive and dates back thousands of years, but the scope of the present study can only accommodate for the most relevant aspects of its past. That being said, it categorizes events into four distinct time periods ranging from the country’s early history until World War II; the post-independence years of U Nu and Ne Win; the failed 1988 “8888” Color Revolution to the equally failed 2007 Saffron Revolution; and Myanmar’s current role in the Pivot to Asia and electoral transition to the Suu Kyi-led government.

From Kingdom To Colony

Burma’s historical story can be summed up as one in which the Bamar demographic majority progressively became the dominant force within their area. Being located in the Indochinese Peninsula and directly across the Bay of Bengal from India, Burma’s people underwent a strong degree of Indianization and consequently came to adapt a very pious attitude towards Buddhism. This is most vividly represented in the historical city of Bagan, the capital of the ancient Pagan Kingdom, where the rulers erected thousands of Buddhist structures. This polity ended up falling apart by 1287, after which most of the territory of Burma split into three generally separate entities: the Kingdom of Mrauk U in current-day Rakhine State; the Kingdom of Ava in what came to be known as “Upper Burma” (or upstream/central Burma); and the Hanthawaddy Kingdom of “Lower Burma” (or the Irrawaddy Delta area).

The ethnic Rakhine/Arakanese-majority Mrauk U Kingdom was able to retain its sovereignty until 1784 because of the geographic protection afforded to it by the Arakan Mountains, but ethnic the Bamar Ava and Hanthawaddy Kingdoms struggled between themselves for leadership along the entire Irrawaddy River, with Ava’s former satellite of Toungoo eventually coming out on top in 1541. That was the year when both “Burmas” were unified, following which the rivalry between the Upper and Lower portions receded into history and the legendary Bayinnaung began building his regional empire. This historic figure succeeded in uniting the modern-day areas of Northeastern India (the “Seven Sisters”), Myanmar (minus Rakhine State/Mrauk U), Thailand, and Laos under his rule, although his conquests fell apart shortly after his death. In response, Burma and Siam entered into a regular period of warfare that would continue until the mid-1800s, although most of this focused on the areas of Northern Thailand and the Tenasserim Peninsula, roughly measuring out to around the modern-day border between Myanmar and Thailand.
The Toungoo Dynasty was succeeded by the Konbaung Dynasty in 1752, and at its height, it achieved control over Northeastern India and Mrauk U, the latter occurring in 1785 and remaining in effect until the present day. This means that the contemporary territory of Rakhine State had remained historically separate from Burma for hundreds of years, thus fostering a unique sense of identity and pride among its inhabitants. This factor will be returned to a future point, but it’s important for the reader to not forget that the area has a deeply ingrained sense of identity separateness and historical pride, as it directly relates to the current situation of Buddhist nationalism against the so-called “Rohingya”/Bengali Muslim minority. As it turned out to be, the Konbaung Dynasty didn’t last long, since the British soon set their imperial sights on Burma and steadily colonized it through a series of three wars between 1824-1886.

The First Anglo-Burmese War lasted from 1824-1826 and resulted in the UK gaining control of Northeastern India, Mrauk U, and Peninsular Burma near the Tenasserim Hills. In effect, this meant that Mrauk U was only part of unified Burma for less than 40 years before it separated once more for another 60 years, further underlining the different historical development that it experienced separate from the rest of the country. After that war, the British Empire attacked the country again from 1852-1853 in order to obtain control over the former Hanthawaddy lands of Lower Burma, and finally, it completed its colonization after the Third Anglo-Burmese War  from 1885-1886. Despite nominally ruling over all of the Burmese lands, the British struggled to exert their influence in the frontier areas of modern-day Shan, Kachin, and Chin states, thus marking the beginning of Myanmar’s ongoing predicament whereby the peripheral regions actively resist the central authority’s push in exercising its sovereignty there.

During the occupation, the British sought to mitigate this issue by recruiting frontier locals into the colonial administration and army, specifically targeting those that had earlier converted to Christianity. American missionaries had a heavy presence in the frontier areas and had been actively proselytizing there since the early 1800s. They importantly converted a large number of ethnic “Karen”, a nebulous exonym given to a variety of Thai-bordering tribes, and this group was among the most loyal to the British throughout the colonial period. Unsurprisingly, faced with the loss of their administrative privileges after independence, this was the first of the peripheral groups to formally rebel against the government and ignite what would later grow into the world’s longest-running civil war. The relevance in pointing all of this out is that the identity separateness of Burma’s frontier groups had already posed a governing challenge to the authorities since the beginning of the occupation, but that this factor of tension was co-opted in some ways in order to leverage influence against the ethnic Bamar and mostly Buddhist central majority, all to the divide-and-rule benefit of the British.

Arrival of British forces in Mandalay on 28 November 1885 at the end of the Third Anglo-Burmese War.

The UK had initially administered Burma as part of India, and it wasn’t until 1937 that it granted it the status of a separate colony. Burmese nationalism and anti-colonial sentiment began growing in the early 1900s and progressively remained steady until World War II. The colony was invaded by the Japanese in early 1942, and they used a locally sourced but foreign-trained fighting force called the “Burmese Independence Army” to attack alongside them in order to ‘justify’ their aggression. Notably, this group included Aung San and the Thirty Comrades, the collective term that’s now used in referring to the Burmese who went abroad to seek pro-independence support. Most of them reached positions of influence under the Japanese regime that they later used to foster a legitimate independence movement against the fascists. Aung San, for example, was appointed War Minister in 1943 of what the Japanese proclaimed to be an “independent Burma”, but he would eventually turn on his patrons and arguably become the country’s most famous independence hero and the internationally recognized founder of the modern state. After the end of World War II, Burma was able to secure international support in convincing Thailand to abandon its annexation of eastern Shan State (the territory east of the Salween River) and restore Yangon’s nominal pre-war sovereignty over the area.

U Nu And Ne Win

Burma was basically only ruled by two men from 1948-1988, and these were U Nu and Ne Win. The former was the first Prime Minister of Burma whereas the latter had been Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces prior to his 1962 coup (having served a brief interim period as Prime Minister beforehand). The only reason that they were able to come to power is because popular independence hero Aung San was assassinated in summer 1947, just before his country formally gained its independence the year afterwards. Prior to his death, he had importantly helped negotiate the Panglong Agreement with the country’s diverse minority groups which instituted a loose federal arrangement as a compromise solution for national unity. Particularly, the frontier areas of Shan, Kachin, and Chin states were allowed to practice “full autonomy in internal administration”, but the Karen weren’t granted such legally enshrined privileges because they chose to boycott the event. Resultantly, they began a simmering anti-government insurgency soon thereafter which evolved into a full-blown war of independence in 1949, marking the official start of the civil war that soon came to involve all of the other peripheral minorities.

General Ne Win

General Ne Win

Despite the war that was playing out in the countryside, U Nu hoped that Burma would evolve into a stable, non-aligned state. His foreign policy didn’t pander to either of the two blocs, although he and his military were opposed to the communist rebels that were fighting in the hinterland. Nevertheless, Yangon never particularly sided with the West on the international arena and endeavored to retain an air of independence during the Cold War. Try as the government may, it wasn’t able to pacify the insurgent frontier, and the communist rebellion continued to pose a threat to the country’s stability. U Nu and Ne Win reached a backdoor political arrangement whereby the latter would temporarily rule the country from 1958-1960 in order to mollify the growing anti-government crisis within the country, which had by then begun to dangerously turn some urban dwellers against the authorities. The ruse was ultimately unsuccessful, however, and when another substantial political crisis erupted in 1962, Ne Win simply seized power for himself and carried out a coup.

This power grab proved to be internationally unpopular and led to Burma’s isolation from the West. Part of the reason for this is because the then-General Secretary of the UN from 1961-1971, U Thant, was a Burmese national, so the general public was more aware of his country and its corresponding major political events, and they tended to see the coup as a negative development. Part of the reason behind this perception is because Ne Win quickly implemented what he referred to as the “Burmese War To Socialism”, which was a centrally controlled economic model that nationalized most of the country’s businesses. Considering that this occurred at one of the peaks of the Cold War, there was no way that the US and its allies could have supported it, yet despite their disdain and general condemnation, Ne Win did not use this strategic opportunity to fully ingratiate his country with the Soviet bloc.

The military leader believed that Burma should pursue a stringently non-aligned foreign policy, and furthermore, it was still under threat from the Chinese-supported Communist Party of Burma (CPB). While the USSR and China had by then already begun to express hostilities towards one another, the fear in Yangon was that allying too close with Moscow might result in the CPB falling under Soviet influence instead and consequently being used as a Russian tool for geostrategically pressuring the government (e.g. to set up military bases). Burma was also weary of upsetting their larger Chinese neighbor, despite its active assistance to the CPB, so it chose not to provocatively aggravate the regional situation by interacting with the Soviet Union on the same level as it had previously. For these reasons, the USSR was kept at arm’s length, yet bilateral relations were still quite fruitful and the two states never experienced any significant problems. Burma was thus able to pragmatically depend on the Soviet Union during this time, although the level of economic engagement between the two still trailed significantly behind what Burma had earlier enjoyed with the West.

Soviet Marshall Georgiy Zhukov and Burmanese PM U Nu (left) talk to the members of parliament of Burma in Rangoon, February 1957.

On the domestic front, Ne Win fended off a couple of student protests that threatened his rule early on, but his suspension of the country’s constitution (and with it, the Panglong Agreement) unwittingly exacerbated ethno-regional tensions and caused insurgent activity to explode in the periphery. This was especially evident in Shan and Kachin states, and it prompted the government to reactively increase its operations in these regions, which thereby intensified the civil war. Ne Win sought to decrease tensions after the enactment of the 1974 Constitution, which symbolically allotted these regions and their Rakhine and Karen counterparts with “state” status. As part of his reforms, Ne Win also abolished military control over the government and moved towards administering it via the Burma Socialist Programme Party (BSPP) that he established right after his 1962 coup. Although the country was nominally civilian-led from this point up until the reestablishment of military power in 1988, it was still under the strong influence of individuals from the armed forces, with the perfect example being how General Ne Win simply assumed leadership of the BSPP in order to prolong his stewardship over Burma.

The “8888” Color Revolution, China, And The Saffron Revolution

Suu Kyi:

Regretfully, Ne Win wasn’t able to revitalize his country’s economy, and it continued its downward spiral throughout the next 14 years. Food prices spiked and the government’s social expenditure plunged, obviously combining to produce the stereotypical conditions necessary for imminent destabilization. The state fell into debt, yet the authorities were compelled to continue pumping large amounts of money into the military in order to confront the threats emanating from the never-ending civil war. Central mismanagement enflamed the already brewing economic crisis, and short-sighted currency decisions sparked a financial meltdown. The deteriorating domestic conditions breathed life into a simmering opposition movement that finally began to make itself public via student protests in late 1987. Despite its ups and downs, this anti-government force continued into the summer of 1988 and had by August displayed the obvious characteristics of what is now known as a Color Revolution. The military was provoked into violence and the state was predictably thrown into chaos soon thereafter, which unexpectedly prompted Ne Win to resign on 8 August 1988 after what the West has supportively taken to calling the “8888 Uprising”.

The country remained in chaos until the military’s State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) reestablished order on 18 September, but the brief interim period provided an opportunity for Color Revolution proxy Aung San Suu Kyi to become a global icon. She’s the daughter of the assassinated pre-independence leader Aung San and lived most of her life abroad, having resided in the UK prior to her return to Burma. She was in the country at this politically opportune time in order to care for her elderly mother, and just so happened (if one is to believe the Western mainstream media narrative) to decide to seize the moment and become an anti-government icon. She was totally unheard of beforehand but quickly and aptly capitalized off of her father’s namesake in order to tap into the patriotic historical memory that most Burmese have retained when reminiscing about the run-up to their country’s independence. With Burma now burning before their eyes because of the Color Revolution that was unleashed against it, many people felt a romanticist attraction to Suu Kyi simply because her family name made them imaginatively ponder how different their country could have been had World War II hero Aung San not been assassinated.

Aung San Suu Kyi

Aung San Suu Kyi

These raw emotions, purposely summoned at a time of preplanned national collapse and manipulated fear, were easily exploited by Suu Kyi and her Color Revolution supporters as they sought to seize power over the country, but the SLORC’s surprise reestablishment of order preemptively offset their expected plans. A little over a week later on 27 September 1988, Suu Kyi responded by founding the National League for Democracy (NLD) in order to institutionally ‘legitimize’ her regime change plans and to serve as a vehicle for propelling her into the seat of power that she had earlier failed to acquire. The year afterwards, SLORC changed the country’s name from Burma to Myanmar, and then went through with holding elections in May 1990. The NLD had productively used the past 20 months to actively campaign for their “pro-democracy” cause, and despite Suu Kyi having been placed under house arrest since July 1989, they ended up receiving nearly 60% of the vote in this election. Sensing that an NLD-led government would be a Color Revolution success for the US alongside its forerunners in Eastern Europe, the military retained control of the country and did not recognize the results, pledging instead to maintain national unity until the domestic conditions were suitable for a political transfer.

In the meantime, they continued Suu Kyi’s house arrest for most of the time between then and her ultimate release in 2010, but instead of being seen as the necessary step in safeguarding national security that it was, it was widely interpreted by the American-influenced global media as “political oppression” and inadvertently transformed her into a worldwide icon for “democracy”. The politically influenced decision to award the Nobel Peace Prize to her in 1991 ensured that she’d become a household name all across the globe and that the ensuing years until her eventual release would be marked by a slow-motion, low-intensity Color Revolution and never-ending regime change pressure on the authorities. In hindsight, it’s difficult to propose a more acceptable solution to the obvious threat that Suu Kyi posed in facilitating a foreign proxy takeover of the state, so it’s challenging to consider what other options the military authorities would have had at their disposal short of killing her, which they clearly would never have done simply because of the unquestionable reverence that all Myanmar citizens have for her bloodline (despite whatever disagreements they may have with her policies and patrons).

The China Factor:

Following the emergency restoration of military rule over the country, the state authorities speedily moved towards striking a strategic partnership with China. Their largest neighbor had long been the one which it had the most tepid relations, drawing back to the Sino-Burmese War of 1765-1769 when the country preserved its independence against the Qing Dynasty’s advances. That hadn’t really been many significant interactions after that, partly owing to Burma later having to fight against the British and subsequently falling under London’s imperial control. The famed Burma Road was used to supply anti-Japanese forces during World War II, but relations with the country’s northern neighbor quickly fizzled after the People’s Republic of China started sponsoring the Communist Party of Burma and relations remained tense until Beijing reversed its policy in the 1980s. The timing couldn’t have been more advantageous for Myanmar, since its economy had collapsed by that time and the Soviet Union was unable to provide it with any sustainable support. The newfound international isolation that it experienced after SLORC (later to be rebranded as the State Peace and Development Council, or SPDC) abruptly halted Suu Kyi’s Color Revolution pushed it into finding whatever alliances were available to provide it with arms, money, and international support, and China was more than willing to oblige with all three.

20160423_asm986From the Chinese standpoint, Myanmar has copious untapped resources that could greatly aid in developing neighboring Yunnan Province. Additionally, clinching a strategic partnership with Myanmar would stabilize its southern periphery and safeguard against any surprises (or so it was thought). China correctly identified Myanmar as being the most viable conduit for facilitating its non-Malacca access to the Indian Ocean, thereby bestowing the country with an immense strategic importance to Beijing. Diversifying away from its dependence on the Strait of Malacca is one of the grand strategic objectives of the Chinese leadership, and being able to access Myanmar’s physical (including hydroelectric) resources was an added benefit in this arrangement. Extrapolating further, having yet another strategic ally along India’s borders would increase Beijing’s position vis-à-vis New Delhi and complement nicely with its existing relationships with Pakistan, Bangladesh, and for a period of time, Sri Lanka. By being the first Great Power to directly ally with the Myanmar military government, China hoped to acquire a premier foothold in the country’s economy that could further embed its influence. The reasoning in Beijing was that if a relationship of complex interdependence could be established, then it would become increasingly likely that Myanmar would see its relationship with China as absolutely indispensable to its interests and therefore be less likely to drift out of Beijing’s influence.

The Color Of Blood:

The US grew to be displeased with the fact that the Myanmar military authorities still remained in power, especially since it was largely due to Chinese full-spectrum support and Beijing was receiving major geostrategic benefits from the bilateral partnership. As it often does in such situations, the US convened an asymmetrical covert intervention aimed at toppling the government, albeit this time using Buddhist monks as the proxy of choice as opposed to student demonstrators. This was a calculated decision which demonstrated that the US intelligence services were well informed about the critical role that Buddhism plays in the country, especially in terms of the normative influence that monks have traditionally exercised over their local communities. If the US could engineer the manipulated perception that the dispensers of “normative judgement” in Myanmar society had turned against the government, then it hoped that this would spark a larger rebellion among the masses that could repeat the widespread destabilization of the “8888 Uprising” and topple the military.

a-young-monk-holds-his-alms-bowl-upside-down-during-the-2007-uprising_medium_thumbThe immediate trigger for what came to be known as the “Saffron Revolution” was the government’s unannounced decision to remove fuel subsidies after a visit by IMF and World Bank officials in August 2007. Both of these organizations had been pressuring the government to ‘loosen up’ its control over the economy by rolling back or rescinding its subsidization policies, and as expected, the moment that it was implemented, it led to catastrophic results for the country. Fuel prices obviously spiked, and this in turn increased the prices of food and other goods that are dependent on motorized transport in order to reach their markets. Quite quickly, then, the country found itself in the midst of another socio-economic crisis that was easily ‘nudged’ by the US into becoming a political one. Buddhist monks arose as the chief anti-government vanguard, with the more radical elements within them leading the seditious charge in agitating the rest of the masses into a full-blown riot.

Provocateur-monks functioned very similarly to and in close coordination with their provocateur-protester counterparts, as both groups endeavored to mislead more people within their ranks into joining the growing movement. Due to the heavy information warfare component that was utilized during these events, it can be surmised that many of the participants may not have been fully aware of the treasonous role that they were playing in joining the protests, having no idea about the violent regime change ambitions that the provocateur elements had in mind to pursue.

On an informational level, the simultaneous organizing of separate but coordinated religious and secular “protest” elements was useful in bestowing the organizers with a multitude of angles from which to cover the events, and it also invented the perception that the monks were leading people into the streets to follow them due to their religious influence over society (conveniently forgetting the existence of independently organized secular regime change actors). Most importantly, however, these two compatible Color Revolution forces acquired a critical mass of power and influence when they finally combined in the streets of Yangon, representing a tactical regime change innovation whereby separate autonomously organized anti-government blocs unify on command into a united front. This tactic would later be repeated and perfected during EuroMaidan seven years later.

To be continued…

Andrew Korybko is the American political commentator currently working for the Sputnik agency. He is the author of the monograph “Hybrid Wars: The Indirect Adaptive Approach To Regime Change” (2015). This text will be included into his forthcoming book on the theory of Hybrid Warfare.

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This news-report will be short but important:

One major-Party U.S. Presidential candidate is so gross that his answer when the radio host Howard Stern said the individual’s daughter is “a piece of a**” was that she has « always been very voluptuous”; his competitor is so warmongering that she says “I am advocating the no-fly zone”, which means that she wants the U.S. to warn Syria and Russia that if they don’t stop flying their warplanes over Syria, the U.S. will shoot down those warplanes. (That’s what a “no-fly zone” means.)

Which of these two candidates presents the bigger likelihood of starting World War III as the U.S. President — of starting a war against Russia?

Which of these two candidates has drawn more media-criticism and lost the more voter-support, as a consequence of these two revelations — the grossness of the one, and the warmongeringness of the other, candidate?

According to current polls, it seems extremely likely that the next President of the U.S. will be announcing a no-fly zone — ordering Syria and Russia to stop bombing ISIS and/or certain other jihadists in Syria (such as Al Qaeda in Syria). What will happen if Russia ignores the warning, and continues bombing all jihadist groups there, including the ones that the U.S. and Sauds have been arming and will be warning Syria and Russia not to bomb? Do U.S. voters care what would happen? Do they even think about what would happen? These Americans are obligated to produce these decisions, but not all of them will do that.

America’s voters will, in fact, be making those decisions, answering those questions, by no later than Election Day, November 8th. But other Americans will abstain, and will simply let the Americans who do participate, make these decisions, which all Americans, and all the world, will have to live with, if not die from. How patriotic will the non-participants — the people who won’t make a choice between the two deplorables — be? How unpatriotic will they be? How intelligent will the non-participants be? How stupid will they be?

Will the people who vote for a third-party candidate — someone who stands no realistic chance of winning even a single one of the 50 states in the Electoral College — belong in the category of Americans who make a choice, or instead in the category of Americans who decline to choose?

Sometimes, news-reporting consists of clarifying what the issues are in an upcoming election. Those are the issues in the current contest for the White House. On the one side is a gross person. On the other side is a warmongering person. The deadline for making this choice will be November 8th.

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

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Brexit and the Despotism of the British Pound Sterling

octobre 12th, 2016 by Dr. Binoy Kampmark

While British Prime Minister, Theresa May, keeps insisting that Brexit pathway will be a smooth, relatively painless process filled without dramatic compromise to lifestyle and outlook, the traders, stockbrokers and wolves of the City have gone about their own business.  They, the suggestion goes, knew better, whereas the idiotic Brexiteer ventured to the ballot in total ignorance.

Central to the post-Brexit dark is discussion about the British pound, which has been accorded magical powers to reward, anoint or strip.  Reading its fortunes is tantamount to consulting a wizened oracle, though the results are sometimes puzzling.

The last few days have seen the currency take a bruising, a spectacle not reflected in the bullish performance of the FTSE 100.  While the pound fell below $1.23 against the US dollar, the stock exchange closed near an all-time high, hitting an intra-day record of 7,129.83.

The rush for the tea leaf readers, insensible or otherwise, was on, and Michael Saunders of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee suggested that the giddy decline would continue. “Given the scale and persistence of the UK’s current account deficit, I would not be surprised if sterling falls further, but I am fairly agnostic as to whether further depreciation is likely.”[1]  As expected, a not particularly useful assessment, hugging escapist agnosticism.

The pound has been hitting a few snags in the hype, and purchasing power matters to such publications as The Economist, which has asserted that Brexit threatens that “gold mine” of “government bonds, London property, and sterling itself.”  Good old Mr Foreigner tends to be keen in owning such assets, a feature that drives up the price of sterling.  This, it asserts, usually results in the “Dutch disease” whereby exports become more expensive, impeding the competitiveness of local industries.

Brexit, claims the publication, removes that disease while undermining the gold mine, or oil deposits, if you wish to push the analogy.  “Brexit is a little like Saudi Arabia swearing off the oil business, declaring it would rather work for an honest living even if that makes its people poorer.”  This might well be deemed “noble,” but reflected a distinct lack of imagination or awareness on the part of the voter, falling for a misguided policy “so that they could work harder for what they get” (The Economist, Oct 11).

One of the central features that the debate pivots on is re-orientating the focus away from the zealous provision of financial services, Britain’s long trumpeted strong suit, with a focus on manufactured goods and tourism.

This, suggests Greg Ip of the Wall Street Journal (Oct 7), may well lead to a useful study in “deglobalization,” with the raising of fences, and the refocusing on the internal dynamics of the country.  Such is the consequence of reasserting some crude variant of sovereignty, however much it is disliked by the rampant free market vigilantes.  “In the end Britons may be a bit poorer than if they’d stayed, but more self-reliant and more in control of their own borders.”

The economic gatekeepers like Saunders, who had a stint as a Citigroup economist before entering the Bank of England establishment, saw promise in a lower pound precisely because it would ease the burden for exporters.  Never mind what those items might be.  “If you didn’t have a drop in the pound, the effect may be a particularly weaker export performance and the drop in the pound will probably offset that.”

Some of the economic preachers have become little Pollyannas.  The IMF’s former deputy-director for Europe, Ashoka Mody, was beaming with enthusiasm for the UK “rebalancing,” claiming it to be “a stunning achievement that a once-in-a-fifty-year event should have gone so smoothly.”[2]

The former Governor of the Bank of England, Lord King, sees a post-Brexit environment in terms of a wonderland of prospects, again ones which feature the exploits of a lower pound economy suitably placed to wage economic assault.  Hadn’t Britain been attempting to have lower house prices, a lower exchange rate accompanied by higher interest rates for some time?

Naturally, many of these assumptions (the “may” brigade is the only one in full employment in Britain these days) is based on the UK getting bullish in its supply of products, a point that gets increasingly complicated in the event of being prized out of chains in the European Union. Those priding British sovereignty have simply assumed that Britons will be cleverer and more resilient in that regard.  They will find magical markets unhindered by the sluggishness of the Euro zone.[3]

Again, the battle between market place, with the mammon of prosperity paraded before Britain, and the virtues of reforming a system that is not only creaking but in some cases collapsing, continues to play out.  Central to that battle remain the fortunes, if one can call them that, of British sterling.

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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Why the New Silk Roads Terrify Washington

octobre 12th, 2016 by Pepe Escobar

Almost six years ago, President Putin proposed to Germany ‘the creation of a harmonious economic community stretching from Lisbon to Vladivostok.’

This idea represented an immense trade emporium uniting Russia and the EU, or, in Putin’s words, “a unified continental market with a capacity worth trillions of dollars.”

In a nutshell: Eurasia integration.

Washington panicked. The record shows how Putin’s vision – although extremely seductive to German industrialists – was eventually derailed by Washington’s controlled demolition of Ukraine.

Three years ago, in Kazakhstan and then Indonesia, President Xi Jinping expanded on Putin’s vision, proposing One Belt, One Road (OBOR), a.k.a. the New Silk Roads, enhancing the geoeconomic integration of Asia-Pacific via a vast network of highways, high-speed rail, pipelines, ports and fiber-optic cables.

In a nutshell: an even more ambitious version of Eurasia integration, benefiting two-thirds of the world population, economy and trade. The difference is that it now comes with immense financial muscle backing it up, via a Silk Road Fund, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the BRICS’s New Development Bank (NDB), and an all-out commercial offensive all across Eurasia, and the official entry of the yuan in the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights; that is, the christening of the yuan as a key currency worth holding by every single emerging market central bank.

At the recent G20 in Huangzhou, President Xi clearly demonstrated how OBOR is absolutely central to the Chinese vision of how globalization should proceed. Beijing is betting that the overwhelming majority of nations across Eurasia would rather invest in, and profit from, a “win-win” economic development project than be bogged down in a lose-lose strategic game between the US and China.

And that, for the Empire of Chaos, is absolute anathema. How to possibly accept that China is winning the 21st century / New Great Game in Eurasia by building the New Silk Roads?

And don’t forget the Silk Road in Syria

Few in the West have noticed, as reported by RT, that the G20 was preceded by an Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok. Essentially, that was yet another de facto celebration of Eurasia integration, featuring Russia, China, Japan and South Korea.

And that integration plank will soon merge with the Russia-led Eurasia Economic Union – which in itself is a sort of Russian New Silk Road.

All these roads lead to total connectivity. Take for instance cargo trains that are now regularly linking Guangzhou, the key hub in southeast China, to the logistics center in  Vorsino industrial park near Kaluga. The trip now takes just two weeks – saving no less than a full month if compared with shipping, and around 80 percent of the cost if compared with air cargo.

That’s yet another New Silk Road-style connection between China and Europe via Russia. Still another, vastly more ambitious, will be the high-speed rail expansion of the Transiberian; the Siberian Silk Road.

Then take the closer integration of China and Kazakhstan – which is also a member of the EEU. The duty-free Trans-Eurasia railway is already in effect, from Chongqing in Sichuan across Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus and Poland all the way to Duisburg in Germany. Beijing and Astana are developing a joint free trade zone at Horgos. And in parallel, a $135 million China-Mongolia Cross-Border Economic Cooperation Zone started to be built last month.

Kazakhstan is even flirting with the ambitious idea of a Eurasian Canal from the Caspian to the Black Sea and then further on to the Mediterranean. Sooner or later Chinese construction companies will come up with a feasibility study.

A virtually invisible Washington agenda in Syria – inbuilt in the Pentagon obsession to not allow any ceasefire to work, or to prevent the fall of its “moderate rebels” in Aleppo – is to break up yet another New Silk Road hub. China has been commercially connected to Syria since the original Silk Road, which snaked through Palmyra and Damascus. Before the Syrian “Arab Spring”, Syrian businessmen were a vital presence in Yiwu, south of Shanghai, the largest wholesale center for small-sized consumer goods in the world, where they would go to buy all sorts of products in bulk to resell in the Levant.

The “American lake”

Neocon/neoliberalcon Washington is totally paralyzed in terms of formulating a response – or at least a counter-proposal – to Eurasia integration. A few solid IQs at least may understand that China’s “threat” to the US is all about economic might. Take Washington’s deep hostility towards the China-driven AIIB (Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank). Yet no amount of hardcore US lobbying prevented allies such as Germany, Britain, Australia and South Korea from joining in.

Then we had the mad dash to approve TPP – the China-excluding, NATO-on-trade arm of the pivot to Asia that was meant to be the cherry of the mostly flat Obama global economic policy cake. Yet the TPP as it stands is practically dead.

What the current geopolitical juncture spells out is the US Navy willing to go no holds barred to stop China from strategically dominating the Pacific, while TPP is deployed as a weapon to stop China dominating Asia-Pacific economically.

With the pivot to Asia configured as a tool to “deter Chinese aggression”, exceptionalists have graphically demonstrated how they are incapable of admitting the whole game is about post-ideological supply chain geopolitics. The US does not need to contain China; what it needs, badly, is key industrial, financial, commercial connection to crucial nodes across Asia to (re)build its economy.

Those were the days, in March 1949, when MacArthur could gloat, “the Pacific is now an Anglo-Saxon lake”. Even after the end of the Cold War the Pacific was a de facto American lake; the US violated Chinese naval and aerial space at will.

Now instead we have the US Army War College and the whole Think Tankland losing sleep over sophisticated Chinese missiles capable of denying US Navy access to the South China Sea. An American lake? No more.

The heart of the matter is that China has made an outstanding bet on infrastructure building – which translates into first-class connectivity to everyone – as the real global 21st century commons, way more important than “security”. After all a large part of global infrastructure still needs to be built. While China turbo-charges its role as the top global infrastructure exporter – from high-speed rail to low-cost telecom – the “indispensable” nation is stuck with a “pivoting”, perplexed, bloated military obsessed with containment.

Divide and rule those “hostile” rivals

Well, things haven’t changed much since Dr. Zbig “Grand Chessboard” Brzezinski dreaming in the late 1990s of a Chinese fragmentation from within, all the way to Obama’s 2015 National Security Strategy, which is no more than futile rhetorical nostalgia about containing Russia, China and Iran.

Thus the basket of attached myths such as “freedom of navigation” – Washington’s euphemism for perennially controlling the sea lanes that constitute China’s supply chain – as well as an apotheosis of “China aggression” incessantly merging with “Russia aggression”;after all, the Eurasia integration-driven Beijing-Moscow strategic partnership must be severed at all costs.

Why? Because US global hegemony must always be perceived as an irremovable force of nature, like death and taxes (Apple in Ireland excluded).

Twenty-four years after the Pentagon’s Defense Planning Guide, the same mindset prevails; “Our first objective is to prevent the reemergence of a new rival…to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power. These regions include Western Europe, East Asia, the territory of the former Soviet Union and southwest Asia”.

Oops. Now even Dr. Zbig “Grand Chessboard” Brzezinski is terrified. How to contain these bloody silky roads with Pentagon “existential threats” China and Russia right at the heart of the action? Divide and Rule – what else?

For a confused Brzezinski, the US should

“fashion a policy in which at least one of the two potentially threatening states becomes a partner in the quest for regional and then wider global stability, and thus in containing the least predictable but potentially the most likely rival to overreach. Currently, the more likely to overreach is Russia, but in the longer run it could be China.”

Have a pleasant nightmare.

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Global Tensions Between East And West Reach Boiling Point

octobre 12th, 2016 by Graham Vanbergen

Whilst sitting in a street cafe enjoying a Cappuccino watching busy people doing busy things it is hard to imagine that another war on the scale of 1939-45 could ever happen again, especially in Europe, after all, we’re all part of the European Union, a bloc of 28 nations set up in first place to end any future conflict on the continent. America has not experienced international conflict on its soil for over 200 years. But this over confidence in western security is misplaced as the events leading up to the next major conflict won’t be like the last.

You might be surprised to learn that just two years ago out of a total of 195 countries, 151 of the world’s nations were involved in some form of conflict. What is worse is that the study from the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) shows that the world has been getting progressively less peaceful over the last decade.

Russian leaders want to prevent Ukraine from joining Western alliances, particularly NATO, which Russia has always viewed as a national-security threat.

The founder and chairman of the IEP said at the time of the findings: “Given the deteriorating global situation we cannot be complacent about the institutional bedrocks for peace: our research shows that peace is unlikely to flourish.” He was right, because just two years later the same index reports that only 10 countries in the world are now free from conflict.

All over the world whether referring to the threat of Islamism in the West, Russia and America’s stance in the Mid-East or China’s muscle flexing in the Far-East, politicians, religious leaders and the establishment media are using the word WARmore and more to characterise their own security challenges and to demonise their opponents in the eyes of their citizens. A global propaganda machine is readying its citizens for what may come sooner than most of us would think possible.

By far, the greatest risk for global conflict to erupt overnight is happening right now in the Middle East. For this report, we will focus on Syria but don’t forget that there are six critical and 10 significant war zones on the world today according to the Global Conflict Tracker.

The west, predominantly the USA, UK and France and its coalition are not invited by the sovereign nation of Syria or its people to fight extremism on its territory and therefore one could argue it is acting against international law. Syria was one of the first countries in the world to sign up to the United Nationsin 1945 as a former member of the United Arab Republic.

However, every continent on earth is now represented in the battle for Syria.

Russia, Iran, Iraq and Syria reached a joint agreement at the end of last year to work with each other which was also reported to have reached agreements on co-ordination of operations in Syria with Jordanand Israel. Just two days ago, China publicly backed Russia’s positions on “the most important” global issues, including Moscow’s take on the Syrian and Afghan conflicts but six weeks earlier had signed a tripartite agreement to support Russia and Iran over Syria.

At the same time last year the Islamic Nations Coalition including Bahrain, Bangladesh, Benin, Chad, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Gabon, Guinea, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Maldives, Mali, Malaysia, Morocco, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Turkey, Togo, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen are represented.

The American led coalition includes; United Kingdom, France, Germany, Canada, Australia, Turkey, Denmark and Italy. Albania, Austria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Portugal, South Korea, Romania, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Somalia, Sweden, Taiwan and Ukraine.

The France led coalition was arranged a few months before and joined the US led coalition which include; Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Belgium, China, Czech Republic, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia and Spain.

Some of the country representations are obviously symbolic and political but if conflict erupts they won’t be soon after.

The British press reports that global conflict is inevitable

The Metro (4th Oct) leads with the banner “Russia tells citizens ‘nuclear war with the West could happen soon.” It reports that “As tensions rise in the middle East, an official TV channels in Russia has issued a chilling warning that war with the West could be imminent. Zvezda, a nationwide TV service run by the country’s Ministry of Defence, said last week, ‘Schizophrenics from America are sharpening nuclear weapons for Moscow.’

The Independent‘s headline (10th Oct) “Russia tensions with US ‘more dangerous’ than during the Cold War” states that Germany’s foreign minister Frank-Walker Steinmeir says during the Cold War superpowers had ‘red lines and respected them’. Steiner was quoted in Germany’s newspaper Bild as saying: “It’s a fallacy to think that this is like the Cold War. The current times are different and far more dangerous”.

The Mirror (3rd Oct) goes with the flow and headlines with “Russia prepares citizens for NUCLEAR WAR with the West and builds huge underground shelters in Moscow.” The Mirror reports that “The country’s media and officials have claimed the West wants to launch an attack on Russia because of its intervention in Syria. Officials announced on Friday underground shelters had been built which could provide shelter for Moscow’s 12 million people in the event of an attack.”

And there are reports from all over the world with Newsweek adding to the concerns with”Europeans Are Quietly Preparing For War With Russia” as it reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin adopts his military brinksmanship across the region, including the buzzing of NATO ships and aircraft by Russian warplanes.

Australia’s News.Com reports Moscow vs Washington: Is Russia preparing for war with the US? Tabloid Moskovsky Komsomolets has predicted that a “direct military confrontation” will occur between the global powers on par with the Cuban missile crisis.

In the U.S. War Talk Returns to Russian TV as U.S. Ties Hit Deep Freeze, – at this point we could go on and on – you get the idea.

1 in 122 people on earth are now displaced by conflict – more than at any time during World War 2

Other signals

Britain’s most senior diplomat was talking during an emergency debate in Parliament (11th Oct) and obviously feels there is no future whatsoever in even attempting a diplomatic solution as he has openly called for “demonstrations outside the Russian embassy” in London over its bombing of targets in Syria. Boris Johnson also voted for the bombing of Syria last December 2nd.

Veteran broadcaster Vladimir Pozner told the BBC: “There’s a real feeling now that America is out to prove it is the only superpower. The continued expansion of NATO is seen by the Russian leadership, perhaps incorrectly, as being a real threat.
“There is a danger of real confrontation, perhaps leading to some kind of military engagement and war.”

In June, Nato announced that it will be carrying out its biggest war games in Eastern Europe since the end of the Cold War. The 10-day military exercise included 31,000 troops who will have to react to a “nightmare scenario”. Then Russia did the same but concluded from war-games it would win a European conflict.

War leaders quotes

Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves said in September 2014 “The current security architecture in Europe, which relied on both the Helsinki Final Act and the Paris Charter, has now collapsed, following Russia’s aggression in Ukraine”

Angela Merkel launched a scathing attack on Vladimir Putin a few weeks back amid fears the growing verbal conflict between the two leaders will soon escalate into a large-scale, brutal conflict.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has cancelled a planned visit to France next week, the Kremlin said Tuesday (11th Oct), in an apparent snub to French President François Hollande, who suggested “Moscow was guilty of war crimes in Syria”.

Britain’s General Sir Richard Shirreff stoked nuclear fears (May 2016) when he warned Europe would be locked in nuclear war with Russia by 2017. The FT reported that “Shirreff, who until retiring two years ago was Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe, the most senior European officer in Nato, has a simple message: “the political and military decisions we are currently making, and have already made, are now propelling us into a future war with Russia.”

The US secretary of state tries to reach agreement with his Russian counterpart before Crimea referendum March 2014 where over 90% of Crimean’s voted to stay with Russia

Facing off

In the most dramatic diplomatic escalation involving the Syrian conflict to date, John Kerry issued an ultimatum to Russia just three weeks ago, in which he emphatically warned his opposite Russian number Sergey Lavrov to stop bombing Aleppo or else the US would suspend all cooperation and diplomacy with Russia.

Russia then suspended the nuclear cooperation deal with the US or was it the other way round – dependant on what you read. Then the US carried out that threat and suspends all cooperation talks with Russia over Syria.

Just one week later a Top US general warns that a Syrian “no-fly” zone means certain war with Russia. And just a few days after that, Russia reminds America what forces and capabilities in has in the air and on the ground in Syria.

US-led coalition jets bombed positions of the Syrian government forces on September 17, resulting in the deaths of 83 servicemen. Washington said the airstrike was a ‘mistake’, however Damascus claimed the incident was a “blatant aggression.” Here, we are on the brink.

The escalation ladder

Russian Government Officials Told To Immediately Bring Back Children Studying Abroad and in one of three scenario’s ZeroHedge speculates that it “underscores the severity of the ongoing diplomatic crisis and just how significant the upcoming isolation between Russia and the West is likely to become in the coming months.”

The Russian president assembles the western media and pleads with them to understand just how dangerous the situation has got for the Russian people in this (excerpt) VIDEO and literally pleads “how do you not understand that the world is being pulled in an irreversible direction.”

Yesterday (Oct 11th) the Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev steps forward and warns of the risks of nuclear war – and his fears about tensions between Russia and America.

In the meantime a US Army chief threatens war with Russia stating “we will stop you and we will beat you harder than you have ever been beaten before. Make no mistake about that.” The Army Chief of Staff was countering a senior Russian official, who said that “Russia can now fight a conventional war in Europe and win.” There was no diplomatic opposition by the US state dept for these comments.

No-Fly zone imposed over Syria will mean a full-on open continental war with boots on the ground by all parties. In the meantime, both the US led and Russian led coalitions are facing off in the United Nations Security Council over the crisis with proposal, veto and counter-proposal with no-one reaching agreements. In this political ‘no-mans land’, anything can happen – and probably will.

“Everybody’s patience with Russia has run out,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters on Monday (10th Oct).

Germany’s Spiegel International explains in a lengthy 5-part piece that the extremely dangerous nature of this proxy war is becoming more apparent than ever. It argues that a serious escalation between Moscow and Washington is on the horizon and how Syria is becoming the new global war.

Russia is now sending two additional warships and a missile corvette with anti-aircraft capabilities to the Mediterranean. The Russian Defense Ministry has openly threatened to shoot down US warplanes over Syria.

The scene is set. Diplomacy has failed, ceasefires have failed. Threats are escalating. All parties are preparing for a wider conflict. Don’t forget that this article has been written on the back of mainstream press articles. We are now at the mercy of the global power players.

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An email exchange between Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her campaign manager John Podesta, posted Monday by WikiLeaks, frankly acknowledges that the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) is funded and supported by Washington’s chief allies in the Arab world.

The September 2014 exchange was contained in one of the 2,086 documents posted by WikiLeaks Monday, following up on the release a week ago of over 2,000 more of Podesta’s emails and attachments.

At the time of the exchange on ISIS, Podesta was a White House counselor to President Barack Obama. One of the most powerful figures in the Democratic Party establishment, he is the former White House chief of staff to Bill Clinton, the former chairman of the Obama transition and a corporate lobbyist for corporations like WalMart, BP and Lockheed Martin. For her part, Clinton had left her post as secretary of state over a year earlier.

The email acknowledges that the sources for the assessment of the Saudi and Qatari support for ISIS “include Western intelligence, US intelligence and sources in the region.”

The document calls for increased reliance upon the Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga as a key proxy force for combating ISIS in Iraq, pointing to the Kurdish militia’s “long standing relationships with CIA officers and Special Forces operators.”

It adds: “While this military/para-military operation is moving forward, we need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL [ISIS] and other radical Sunni groups in the region.”

The email continues: “This effort will be enhanced by the stepped up commitment in the [Kurdish Regional Government]. The Qataris and Saudis will be put in a position of balancing policy between their ongoing competition to dominate the Sunni world and the consequences of serious US pressure.”

The Obama administration has publicly embraced Saudi Arabia as its closest Arab ally and the ostensible leader of an “Islamic alliance” against terrorism. The Saudi regime is the patron of the High Negotiations Committee (HNC), which purportedly represents the so-called “moderate” opposition that is also supported by Washington in the more than five-year-old war for regime change against the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad.

Officially, the US administration has maintained that, while wealthy individuals in Saudi Arabia and Qatar had helped finance ISIS, the despotic governments of these oil monarchies were blameless.

This pretense was blown in October 2014, barely a week after the Podesta-Clinton email, when Vice President Joe Biden told an audience at Harvard University that the Saudi regime, along with other Gulf sheikdoms and Turkey, had “poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens, thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad. Except that the people who were being supplied were al-Nusra and Al Qaeda and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world.”

“We could not convince our colleagues to stop supplying them,” Biden added.

The US State Department subsequently “clarified” the vice president’s remarks and Biden himself apologized for “any implication that Turkey or other Allies and partners in the region had intentionally supplied or facilitated the growth of ISIL [ISIS] or other violent extremists in Syria.”

The contents of the Clinton-Podesta email are supplemented by a separate email released by WikiLeaks that includes an excerpt from a secret speech delivered by Clinton in 2013 that was flagged as problematic by her staff. In it she claimed that US attempts to “vet, identify, train and arm cadres of rebels” in Syria had been “complicated by the fact that the Saudis and others are shipping large amounts of weapons–and pretty indiscriminately–not at all targeted toward the people that we think would be the more moderate, least likely, to cause problems in the future.”

And previously, WikiLeaks posted a secret State Department memo signed by Clinton in 2009 that affirmed: “Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qa’ida, the Taliban, LeT, and other terrorist groups.”

The Clinton camp has responded to the latest release of emails by ratcheting up its virulently anti-Russian campaign, claiming that WikiLeaks was acting as a pawn of the Kremlin and that the material released may have been altered to serve Moscow’s foreign policy purposes.

In her debate Sunday with her Republican rival Donald Trump, however, Clinton herself acknowledged the authenticity of the documents, attempting to defend a statement quoted in one of them from a speech to real estate investors in which she declared that in politics “you need both a public and private position.” She claimed that her inspiration for this approach was Abraham Lincoln.

The method of the “public and private” position is clearly in force in relation to Saudi Arabia, and for good reason.

Saudi Arabia remains a key pillar of political reaction and imperialist domination in the Middle East, with its ruling monarchy constituting the world’s chief customer of the American arms industry. Some $115 billion in US weapons and military support have poured into the kingdom since Obama took office in 2009.

More importantly, the Saudi government support for Al Qaeda, ISIS and similar Islamist militias has developed in close collaboration with the CIA, which coordinated the flow of arms, money and foreign fighters into Syria from a station in southern Turkey.

Moreover, such collaboration began long before the Syrian civil war, dating back to the US-orchestrated war against the Soviet-backed regime in Afghanistan in the 1980s, where Al Qaeda got its start under the leadership of Osama bin Laden, who collaborated closely with the CIA and Pakistani intelligence.

The determination of the US ruling establishment to maintain a veil of secrecy over this collaboration was underscored by Obama’s veto–subsequently overridden–of legislation allowing Americans to sue foreign governments alleged to be responsible for terrorist attacks in the US. The clear target of the bill was Saudi Arabia, based on ample evidence of Saudi government involvement in the September 11, 2001 attacks that claimed nearly 3,000 lives.

The overriding fear within the administration and US ruling circles is that any serious probing of the Saudi role in these attacks would uncover the complicity of elements within the US intelligence agencies themselves in the events of 9/11.

Another significant element of the Clinton-Podesta email is its welcoming of the ISIS 2014 offensive in Iraq. It states that “the advance of ISIL [ISIS] through Iraq gives the U.S. Government an opportunity to change the way it deals with the chaotic security situation in North Africa and the Middle East. The most important factor in this matter is to make use of intelligence resources and Special Operations troops in an aggressive manner.”

In other words, ISIS provided a pretext for launching a renewed US military intervention aimed at furthering the strategic goal of American hegemony in the Middle East under the guise of a struggle against terrorism.

The email exchange further exposes Hillary Clinton’s deep involvement in all of these crimes.

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One suspects that the decision to bar José Bové from entering Canada was taken jointly by the French and Canadian governments with the intent of blocking protest and debate on a far-reaching trade agreement which will have devastating economic and social implications throughout Canada and the EU. It will also contribute to the eventual trade integration of the EU and NAFTA.

« European Parliament MP José Bové was barred from entering Canada Tuesday night by the Canada Border Services Agency.

The anti-globalization activist and opponent of the free trade treaty with the European Union had been stuck at Trudeau airport customs since 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

The French politician is best known for having contributed, while he was a union leader, to the demolition of a McDonald’s restaurant to protest against the free market in agriculture. He served two sentences in the early 2000s for civil disobedience, and has paid several fines for having destroyed certain plants. His campaign against McDonald’s 15 years ago was reportedly one of the reasons invoked by customs officers to refuse entry.

Bové was slated to participate in a discussion on free trade Tuesday evening at Centre St-Pierre in Montreal. The event was held anyway, though it started 20 minutes late. Other speakers included Nathalie Guay of Réseau québécois sur l’intégration continentale (RQIC), and Anne-Céline Guyon of Stop Oléoduc.

“He is not a criminal. He is an elected member of the European Parliament,” Bové’s press secretary, Jean-Marc Desfihes, said Tuesday night. (Montreal Gazette October 12, 2016)

Council of Canadians Press Release: 

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls arrives in Canada this week to promote CETA (the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement). At the same time, another prominent voice, José Bové, Member of European Parliament and well-known anti-globalization activist, will be highlighting the dangers of the deal during his visit to Montréal on October 11-13.

Bové was a sheep farmer and trade union activist who rose to international celebrity status after the symbolic demolition of a McDonald’s under construction in 1999. This was to protest the WTO’s liberalization of agriculture. Elected as a Green Member of European Parliament since 2009, he is in Canada to highlight another looming disaster: CETA.

“Following in the footsteps of his colleague, German Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, French Prime Minister Mr. Valls will be here to sell you a dream about a ‘progressive’ agreement, but that is simply not so,” says Bové. “It is urgent to fight against CETA on both sides of the Atlantic. CETA is a Trojan horse for multinational corporations that seek to use it to bend rules as they wish. For family farms that provide quality food, whether European or Canadian, it is a major setback. The rules simply stack the deck in favour of corporate agriculture, and many farmers could lose their livelihoods.”

José Bové’s visit to Montréal is being hosted by the Council of Canadians, the Quebec Network for Continental Integration (RQIC), Vigilance OGM, National Farmers Union,  Union paysanne. It also involves these RQIC members: Attac-Québec, CSD, CSN, and Génération nationale.

 

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Jeremy Corbyn’s re-election to the leadership of the Labour Party on an increased vote is a significant victory for the left in the Labour Party and for progressive politics in Britain. It is a victory that everyone on the left celebrates.  It demonstrates the strength of support that exists for changing the politics of the Labour Party: for shifting the balance of power within our society, away from the political and economic elites towards the majority, to empower and enfranchise the working class and communities hardest hit by the long run attacks upon the welfare state.

It is absolutely clear that Corbyn seeks to bring significant change to the Labour Party: to restore its foundational commitment to the interests and advancement of the working class, to defend and extend its greatest achievement – the welfare state, and to make headway where previously there has been little progress – in making Labour a champion of international peace and justice, against British economic interventionism, war and nuclear weapons. All those who seek advance for this agenda wish to support Corbyn and his allies in bringing change to the Labour Party so it can implement some, or all, of these policies.

The influx of new members into the Labour Party to support Corbyn’s political vision has been remarkable. Yet obstacles to the implementation of extensive change in the Labour Party are considerable, as has been seen over the last year.  Both the British establishment and its counterparts within the Labour Party have fought to undermine Corbyn and remove him from office. This has failed but the strength of the right in the party’s apparatus and structures has obstructed much of the work he would wish to do.  But there are also a number of other historical and political factors which militate against the kind of extensive change that some on the far left would wish to see.

The Labour Party has always been a broad church politically, never predominantly the preserve of the left. As Corbyn demonstrated in his speech at the recent Labour Party conference, uniting the party means political pledges which are acceptable to the overwhelming majority of the party – progressive, but very much in the Labour tradition. These include supporting the NHS, introducing a National Education Service, investing in jobs and homes, and restoring workers’ rights and some elements of public ownership. All these are excellent commitments and the restoration of the Labour Party to this political programme is very much to be welcomed.

Policies supported by Jeremy Corbyn and the left that are not tolerated by the right, such as anti-war, anti-Trident, anti-NATO have been sidelined or rejected, in line with Labour policies throughout most of its existence. Attlee, whose government introduced the welfare state, also helped found NATO and committed Britain to nuclear weapons, and there are those in the Corbyn leadership, as well as in the trade unions, the PLP and across the membership who either genuinely support this perspective, or condone it in order to achieve change on more ‘mainstream’ issues like rail re-nationalisation . Other issues are also highly contested and structural obstacles exist to progressive change – such as the rule change voted at the recent conference, preventing Labour councillors from voting against cuts budgets thereby allowing the situation to continue where many working class people and communities see Labour as part of the problem rather than part of the solution.

So the question facing Labour is not whether it can become an anti-capitalist party of the radical left. That is not within the framework of what is politically possible. Political intervention from the far left with that in mind will damage Corbyn’s prospects for achieving change within the Labour Party.  The question is whether his leadership can succeed in recovering Labour for a social democratic reform agenda. Such a development would be unprecedented and of enormous political significance, across Europe and beyond, potentially impacting on other similar parties across Europe – the SDP in Germany, the Socialist Party in France.

Since the 1990s, all nominally social democratic parties have embraced neo-liberalism. Blair consolidated that process in Britain as Jospin did in France and Schroeder did in Germany and countless others elsewhere. Nowhere has this political process yet been reversed. The possibility exists in Britain because, owing to the first past the post electoral system, no numerically significant radical left party has emerged to present an anti-neo-liberal alternative the like of which we have seen across Europe and elsewhere globally. Thus Corbyn has been the recipient of much of the anti-establishment, anti-neo-liberal sentiment which has brought significant electoral support to parties like Podemos and Syriza. If Corbyn can harness this desire for change to restore social democracy to the Labour Party that will be an enormous advance for the people of Britain, with a potential impact on mass social democratic parties beyond our national boundaries. The social democratic space in British politics needs to be occupied once again by a mass party capable of government.

Many on the left have opted to join the Labour Party in order to support this development. Others take the view that in addition to the struggle to restore the Labour Party to its original remit and ethos, it is also crucial for an alternative left politics to be expressed – anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist – as it has been in politics in Britain and globally, for a century or more. The purpose of this is not just to set out the extent of what is possible and necessary for a real transformation of society and human, economic and social relations, but to be able to pursue in practical terms the politics that this vision represents.  This political space, to the left of social democracy, also needs to be occupied – in Britain, as it is across Europe and beyond. Left Unity is part of that radical left current, with parties and movements across Europe, acting in solidarity and recognising that the problems we face in Britain cannot be solved on a national basis. They are systemic problems that the working class internationally is organising against and we are part of that process.

The hopes and dreams of so many of those who support Corbyn – and many more across society who don’t articulate their aspirations in party political terms – can only ultimately be fulfilled by a radical transformation of society, where democracy is not just a political process but an economic process in which the people must be supreme. We want to see the investment and reform programme which Corbyn proposes to improve people’s lives, but we also recognise that capitalism is fundamentally anti-people and our interests cannot be reconciled with the interests of capital. A clear political expression of anti-capitalist principles and policies is an essential part of the political spectrum – a small part no doubt in Britain – but the experience of the last two centuries shows this political analysis to be correct and to be widely supported internationally.

As too is our opposition to imperialism and our critique of British foreign policy and the tools it uses to retain its global position whatever the suffering it inflicts. A clear voice against war and nuclear weapons has never been more necessary, for Britain to play a different kind of role in the world based on justice and equality between states, not perpetuating neo-colonialism. Such a voice is necessary against racism and discrimination, for migrants, refugees and free movement, for the rights not only of workers from all countries, but of women and girls, of disabled people and all those suffering as a result of the brutal policies inflicted by ruling classes here and internationally.

Above all, our position is not just about stating the case for an alternative, it is about taking action, working wherever we can in our communities, with our class within and beyond our national boundaries, against austerity, against the sanctions, against the racist attacks and discrimination. There are diverse ways of contributing to the struggle for a just and equal society and this is ours.

Κate Hudson is a British left wing political activist and academic who is the General Secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) and National Secretary of Left Unity
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Yemen Is the Unspoken Shame of Our Generation

octobre 12th, 2016 by Darko Lazar

Ordinarily in Yemen, it would be the thick plumes of black smoke that are indicative of the fact that something terrible has taken place – no matter what the location. But on this occasion, the dark curtain that obscures everything in sight is a welcome distraction; a murky drape that disguises something that even the most morbidly graphic of imaginations would have a hard time concocting. Severed, charred body parts are strewn about.

Yemenis attend the funeral of members of the same family on October 8, 2016

The grim sight is compounded by frequent, bloodcurdling screams – themselves a horrifying combination of disbelief, anguish, and rage punctuated by vows for revenge – just to name a few.

This was the scene at a funeral hall packed with thousands of mourners in Yemen’s capital, Sana’a, on October 8.

According to the country’s health officials, over 140 people were killed and more than 525 were injured. Saudi air raids targeted the community hall where mourners had gathered to pay their last respects to the late father of Yemen’s interior minister, Jalal al-Rowaishan.

But Sana’a-based journalist Mohammad al-Attab says that the death toll is likely to rise.

« The hall is one of the biggest in Yemen. It has the capacity of over 4,000 and there were a lot of people attending the funeral. When I went to the hospitals after the attack, I saw a lot of injured people, many of them in critical condition, » al-Attab explained.

Described as one of the most lethal incidents since the start of the Saudi-led military campaign in March of last year, the attack caused outrage in a country already accustomed to Saudi-perpetrated massacres.

Al-Attab described the aftermath of the bombing as a « pool of blood ».

« When you enter the hall you can see flesh, blood and concrete mixed together. People’s bodies were shredded all over the place. It is really something very difficult to even imagine. Also the smell is unbearable because the Saudis use missiles that burn people alive, » al-Attab said.

Disingenuous Condemnation

Saturday’s attack was quickly followed by a wave of ‘condemnation’.

The UN humanitarian coordinator in Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick, condemned the « horrific attack », adding that the humanitarian community was « shocked and outraged » by the airstrike.

However, the co-founder of one of the very last NGOs still operating in war-torn Yemen describes the attack as a « legal genocide approved by the UN. »

Dr. Riaz Karim, who co-founded the Yemen Organization for Humanitarian Relief and Development [MONA], says, « the rest of the world suffers from the ‘Ostrich Syndrome’. They have buried their heads in the sand hoping it will go away. Yemen is not the forgotten war of the decade; Yemen is the unspoken shame of our generation ».

Since the start of the conflict, more than 10,000 people, including 2,236 children have been killed, according to modest estimates. The Saudi-led coalition’s air campaign has devastated Yemen’s infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools and factories, leaving over 80% of the population in need of humanitarian assistance.

The Sana’a-based executive director of the Horn of Africa Center for Strategic & International Studies, Bischara Ali, believes that Riyadh’s war on Yemen enjoys, « full impunity from the so-called UN/HR/MSM and the entire western world ».

But the airstrikes on Sana’a, which come less than three weeks after the US Senate approved a US$1.15 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia, apparently provoked a reaction from the White House.

« We have initiated an immediate review of our already significantly reduced support to the Saudi-led coalition and are prepared to adjust our support so as to better align with US principles, values and interests, including achieving an immediate and durable end to Yemen’s tragic conflict, » White House National Security Council spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.

Washington, a major arms supplier to Saudi Arabia, is reportedly attempting to distance itself from Saturday’s devastating bombing, warning Riyadh that US-Saudi security cooperation was « not a blank check. »

For Saudi dissident and director of the Washington-based Institute for Gulf Affairs, Ali Al-Ahmed, the Obama Administration’s supposed condemnation is « nothing new ».

« There are dozens of American officers inside the Saudi Ministry of Defense Aerial Command and Control Center, that tell the planes what to bomb. Those American officers, who are located six levels below ground at the Saudi air force command base, have a direct line of communication to the US military central command in Florida, which they use to receive information. The Americans continue to be part of the military operation [in Yemen]. It’s very typical of American officials to talk about how horrible they feel about this or that, but this is not about how they feel. This is about the people who have died because of their policy. If the Obama Administration wanted this war to stop, Obama would have called [King] Salam and said ‘stop this war’. It’s very clear that the American administration is lying here, trying to weather the storm, » Al-Ahmed says.

Double-Tap Strike

Footage emerging after the attack, along with eyewitness accounts, demonstrates that the Saudis had once again resorted to using the so-called ‘double-tap’ strike strategy, which involves repeated air strikes that target civilians and rescuers responding to an earlier bombing raid at the same location.

Rima Kamal, who works with the International Committee of the Red Cross [ICRC], confirmed that « several air strikes » had hit the venue.

A number of senior intelligence and military officials were reportedly attending the funeral precession at the time of the attack. Sana’a mayor Abdul-Qader Hilal was confirmed to have been killed, while the commander of the Yemeni Republican Guard and the commander of the security forces in Sana’a are also believed to be among the dead.

The list of killed VIPs has led some to conclude that the attack was in fact a « targeted assassination. »

« This was an intentional attack against top Yemeni government officials, and the double-tap proves it. They [the Saudis] knew who was going to be there and that’s why they targeted the funeral, » Ali Al-Ahmed alleges.

But others believe Saudi Arabia’s motives are more sinister.

According to pro-Ansarullah activist, Hussain Al Bukhaiti, « the Saudis knew where all of the people who were at the funeral reside and they track all of their movements. If they really wanted to target them, why didn’t they target them alone? »

Al Bukhaiti points to similar attacks carried out by the Saudi-led coalition, which have killed an extraordinarily high number of civilians, even though no officials were in attendance.

« In my city of Dammar, the Saudis killed and injured over 120 people when they targeted a wedding on October 8 of last year. There were no high-ranking officials present. There is nothing different about this attack, » Al Bukhaiti says.

The Sana’a attack comes at a time when Riyadh is grappling with an economic crisis, growing political instability at home and territorial losses resulting from Houthi advances in the kingdom’s southern provinces.

Yemeni-born journalist, Yousef Mawry, who fled Sana’a last year, thinks that the timing of the attack is significant.

« Saudi Arabia realizes their demise is close at hand. They are killing innocents indiscriminately because they are simply in a state of confusion. They’ve already lost the war and now they are beginning to realize their entire regime is at stake, » Mawry opines.

Al Bukhaiti shares this point of view, warning that the Saudis are currently engaged in a campaign of collective punishment against the Yemeni nation.

« This is an act of frustration because the Saudis have targeted the entire Yemeni military and they have failed to stop the Houthis from attacking the Saudi border, and they have failed to stop the Houthis and the Yemeni army from launching ballistic missiles. So they want to punish the people, » Al Bukhaiti concludes.

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Human kind is facing the most formidable threats in all its history

– The planet is going rapidly towards an irreversible climatic disaster, facing simultaneously all sort of threats to its ecosystem

– We are facing again the specter of a possible major nuclear conflict

– The vast majority of the human population lives now in conditions which are, sometimes, even worse than those prevailing 500 years ago

Huge banks, state and “private” secret services are developing like cancer in our societies.

For the first time in human History the development of productive forces has attained the level required to satisfy all “reasonable” human needs and permit a life in dignity to all inhabitans of the planet, but, in the same time, inequality has beaten all historical records.

– Also for the first time in History, the extremely limited minorities, already controlling most of power, money and knowledge, are also in the process of acquiring the technological capacity to impose a totalitarian order which will make Hitler seem a poor boy, an alchemist compared to modern chemists.

But maybe more worrisome than all those, already very worrisome “objective” facts, is the level of discourse emitted by the two persons competing to become Presidents of the most powerful country of the world. They want to rule the superpower and the world. But you will hardly find in the insults they exchange any meaningful idea on what they will do with the formidable challenges in front of their country and the planet.

Words and ideas do matter, even if they are false or ridiculous. Karl Marx used to say that Ideas are in delay compared to the Being and this is quite true. But the opposite is also true. Ideas – or their absence – is also a clear indication where a society is heading, what it chooses to know and what to ignore, what truths it needs and what illusions it prefers.

Our century was announced as a “century of catastrophes” – traditional wars in the Middle East, less traditional in Europe, like the one that destroyed already Greece and it goes on pushing it into the abyss, nuclear disasters like in Fukushima (a clear result by the way of the submission of nuclear industry to the prerogatives of a sick society in general and of the Finance in particular, the consequences of which remain hidden to a great extent). We are living in an era of “end of hope”, of huge crisis or collapse of nearly all the modern projects promising to make Humans subjects of their History (Enlightment and Democracy, Socialism, Welfare Capitalism, blind belief into the automatic social benefits of Science, Psychanalysis etc.).

But humans cannot survive without hope and without meaning (project). The destruction of meaning in the political discourse of the most powerful states of the world, like the USA, is a more than clear sign for the accelerating decomposition of modern capitalism (if capitalism is still the right word for a system which is going into a kind of post-modern feudalism, opening the way to the end of Humans, the destruction of the Planet and a dictatorship of the Machines). The destruction of meaning may announce our own destruction.

It is only normal that people, feeling by instinct the terrible prospects ahead, go back to past identities, like nation or religion, or try to find new hopes (for. ex. the social movement crystallized around Sanders during the US election campaign). Still the “dark” forces seem, for the time being, to dominate the scene.

Coming back to the US elections what we see? One of the candidates seems to represent the end of Rationality, the other the end of Emotion, both the end of any kind of Ethics. But we know from the Ancient times that those three properties, when and only when they coexist, are the ones differentiating Humans from human-like monsters. (The situation in Europe, in particular in France, which is the “mother” of modern Europe, as far as politics and ideas is concerned, is not better. Probably it is even worse than in the American center of the world system).

The characters dominating the political class reflect the illness of the “system”. Maybe this process is old enough. But after the “end” of the Cold War (not ended by the way) and the collapse of the USSR, it has come to the fore nearly everywhere in “Western Democracies”, the United States of America included.

Read the following commentaries on the second Trump-Clinton debate published in the The Nation and the Counterpunch respectively [1,2]. (Or, if you prefer, you may also skip the news and just look again to the films of Stanley Kubrick, especially the last one. His genius will help you discern the nature of forces governing, to a large extent, our world and also their – unannounced – project).

As the great French genetician Albert Jacquard has put it, “the main obstacle to grasp reality consists of the limits of our imagination”.

Dimitri Konstantakopoulos is a journalist and writer. He served as special advisor to the Office of Greek PM Andreas Papandreou (1985-88), working on Arms Control and East-West relations. He has been chief correspondent of the Athens News Agency in Moscow (1989-1999). He has been the Secretary of the Movement of Independent Citizens (2011-12) and a member of the Secretariat and the Central Committee of SYRIZA (2012-13). He left this party in July 2015. A member of the editorial board of the international review of self-management “Utopie Critique”, he is actively involved in the Delphi international Initiative for Democracy. He is the author of three books on relations between CPSU and Greek CP, the Cyprus conflict and US policy in Eastern Mediterranean and on relations between Nation and the Left.

Notes

1. https://www.thenation.com/article/the-strangest-debate-of-the-weirdest-election-ever/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=DAILY_2016_10_10&utm_term=daily

2. http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/10/10/

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This article was written in late September 2016

This week’s tempo of news breaking events exposing Hillary and the US government’s aggressive hubris is only accelerating the closer the November election looms.

The globalists are well aware that a growing segment amongst the global masses are on to them and their evil ways. So the elite is growing increasingly desperate trying to plug all the holes of endless false narratives exposing the rampantly corrosive corruption and in-our-face criminality of the entire Bush-Clinton-Bush-Obama-Clinton dynasty. Thus, the dangerous treachery of warmongering rhetoric and reckless threats are ratcheting up daily.

But one key development seems to have barely gotten noticed this week. On October 1st Obama took us one enormous step closer to stripping away our free speech and access to accurate news sources via the internet as virtually the only truth disseminator left on the planet that’s not already oligarch owned and controlled by the six mega-media corporations.

As of this last weekend, Obama surrendered US control over important functions of the internet to the United Nations. Tech experts warn that placing internet domain responsibility into the hands of a centralized global bureaucracy like the UN may well lead to widespread censorship and control as just another warning sign plunging humanity towards New World Order totalitarianism.

Of course in recent years the CIA-NSA-Homeland Security apparatchik has co-opted internet giants like Facebook and Google which also controls YouTube, enlisting them as deep state spies invading citizens’ privacy and increasingly censoring the internet according to what deep state dictates as acceptable for consumption by a dumbed down robotic population.

Just as mainstream media is now overwhelmingly viewed by the vast majority of Americans as pure propaganda not to be trusted, by design so will the same oppressive fate soon befall the internet. Again, history keeps repeating itself as truth becomes the enemy in every totalitarian state. The elite plans to shut down any voice of dissent and the truth, thus gaining absolute control over the servile misinformed population. The rise and fall of the US Empire is morphing rapidly into a globalized crime cabal that only a handful of ruling psychopaths could love.

The recently rigged spectacle of a debate [first presidential debate] between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump was just more over-the-top evidence that the elite controls every aspect of this year’s presidential election.

It’s been reported that Hillary received the debate questions a week in advance when an NBC intern was spotted dressed in a Fed Ex uniform delivering a package directly into the hands of her campaign manager.

And it didn’t take a four-time world poker champ to point out that Hillary was obviously in cahoots sending hand signals to MSM moderator Lester Holt every time she wanted to take another cheap shot at the Donald. Her bag of dirty tricks is unending as it’s also gone public that she is paying big bucks for dirty laundry secrets about her opponent. And since Trump’s recent tax return is unavailable due to a pending audit, the Clinton rag the New York Times feebly released a 1995 tax return that only found Trump using the same legal tax code loopholes that every other wealthy American reporting losses exploits in the corrupt US tax law system. But that would-be smoking gun quickly fizzled out.

Less than two months ago on national television Clinton campaign strategist Bob Beckel called for a drone assassination strike on Julian Assange to “illegally shoot the son of a bitch” due to ongoing WikiLeaks’ disclosures incriminating Hillary for her “lost” emails and DNC documents chronicling how she stole the primaries away from Bernie Sanders to cheat her way to the nomination.

Earlier this week because Assange was again threatened with his life, at the last minute he called off his hyped up bombshell disappointing millions who had stayed up late in America. Julian did promise to release within a few days such damaging information on war, arms, oil, Google, the election and mass surveillance that many hope will finally put Hillary behind bars where she belongs once and for all.

Speaking of hard time, the felony blackmail her hubby Bill brazenly committed just prior to the FBI-Justice Department issuing Hillary’s get-out-of-jail card also just surfaced. Journalist-author Edward Klein in his recent book Guilty as Sin wrote that he received some powerfully damaging information from one of Bill Clinton’s closest legal advisors. The anonymous source said that Bill shared with his advisor, “I want to bushwhack Loretta [Lynch],” the sitting US Attorney General.

So Bill Clinton stalked and laid in waiting to pounce on Lynch at the Phoenix airport in July prior to boarding her plane. Bill’s ambush was to blackmail the AG. Afterwards the former president bragged to advisors how he had the Attorney General sweating and shaking, so thoroughly intimidated that she promised not to charge Hillary with any crimes for being guilty of violating national security. On a related side note to Bill’s alleged sex crimes, Hillary’s been labeled his enabler pretending to stand for women’s rights on the one hand while on the other hypocritically intimidating to viciously discredit her husband’s past accusers.

That’s just the way business in Washington DC is done, behaving like criminal thug killers not unlike organized crime. The Clintons have been notoriously aggressive gathering and using the dirt on others in order to get what they want, from Arkansas to the White House. And when others in their path ever resist, a murder trail of dozens of close associates have suspiciously shown up dead, from longtime Clinton family friend-White House Counsel Vince Foster to Commerce Secretary Ron Brown. Three more victims with ties to both the DNC and Clinton this summer are just the latest fatalities. Blackmail and murder pretty much explain Hillary and her husband’s modus operandi that appears immune from any and all accountability. A two-tiered justice system has been operating in the US for a long time where the top 1% continue getting away with murder while the rest of us without constitutional rights get screwed by a grossly unjust, violent police state system.

Assange and WikiLeaks may have deferred their bombshell to Romanian hacker aka Guccifer 2.0 who released over 800 megabytes amounting to 42 pages showing how millions in taxpayer TARP bailout dollars were syphoned off and allegedly laundered illegally through the Clinton Foundation. The hacked documents list a database of “pay-to-play” donors and bribes to selected Congress members as well as on to major banks and large financial institutions. Other documents show kickbacks from banks to Congress members.

Tax dollars allocated to boost the recession-racked US economy ultimately padded the 1%’s deep pockets, compliments of Hillary and Bill’s criminal laundering scheme. If confirmed as legitimate Foundation documents and not the already hacked DNC records released earlier this year, this latest data dump is but one more example demonstrating Bill and Hillary’s “pay-for-play” criminal enterprise. Moreover, additional emails released this week confirm how her State Department and her Clinton Foundation worked hand in glove together to illegally drum up revenue and influence with clear evidence of conflict of interest.

Despite this fact, prior to Hillary even being nominated by Obama to become his Secretary of State, she signed an ethics agreement that was a Memorandum of Understanding as a precondition to taking the job that she would not violate conflict of interest laws by allowing foreign interests undue influence. As soon as she accepted her powerful position, she began violating her White House agreement and compromising national security. In fact over half the private interests (85 out of 154) who met Hillary at her State Department made sizeable donations often into the millions totaling $156 million.

Pathological liar Hillary committed perjury before the Benghazi Congressional hearings and lied hundreds of other times, chief among them claiming she had turned over all her emails to the FBI that later found 17,448 more that she had failed to submit. In early March this year Hillary received a subpoena from the FBI for her emails. So what did she do? Three weeks later she ended up caught deleting 33,000 more emails attempting to destroy critical evidence, yet another crime. Through the watchdog group Judicial Watch, even more emails were procured from the State Department beyond the 55,000 emails she allegedly turned over to the FBI.

Repeatedly Clinton’s unsecured private server account had been used to criminally sell off America and US arms to the highest foreign bidders from places like Saudi Arabia (gave $10 million to Foundation) and Israel on top of her willful destruction of incriminating evidence she tried hiding from authorities to cover up her countless crimes. Throughout her entire 4-year stint as Secretary of State, Hillary Clintonknowingly breached national security allowing foreign nationals and hackers easy access to this nation’s top secret classified information. Anyone else but her would be doing decades inside federal prison.

Because of Hillary’s crimes and FBI Director James Comey’s whitewashed investigation, both the Justice Department and the FBI have been politically and irreparably compromised, causing the public to completely lose confidence in both government and law enforcement. Comey used his red herring smokescreen of “intent” to bogusly justify not pressing charges. Yet violating national security clearly falls under US Code 793 and has nothing to do with Clinton’s intentions but everything to do with her passing at least 22 top secret emailsthrough her unsecured private server. Clearly she broke a federal law that’s among the most serious of all felonies. Yet despite her consistent lying, destruction of evidence and obstruction of justice, she was never even required to take a single polygraph test. Comey’s shoddy farce of a non-investigation indicates that he’d made the political decision from the get-go to not prosecute. At no time did he refer the case to a grand jury. Instead he granted immunity to key witnesses and totally overlooked Hillary’s destruction of evidence.

Because the DC crime cabal works together in the oligarchic interest of the ruling elite, Congress will never dare impeach Hillary Clinton, even though overwhelming evidence of her criminality and immorality make her unfit for president. And as far as Director Comey’s criminal part, the Senate has more than enough grounds to file a resolution of no confidence in his capacity to oversee the FBI. Many FBI personnel working under Comey are now calling him a “traitor” too.

Audited financial records show that both Bill and Hillary Clinton amassed a fortune by diverting millions through their Clinton Foundation into their own private bank accounts. While Hillary headed the State Department, her partner-in-crime husband made a cool $48 millionin speaking fees 215 times that she lent her official stamp of approval. Their combined speaking engagements from 2001 to her presidential bid earned them $153 million. The same Persian Gulf monarchies that overtly support and finance ISIS terrorists that Hillary and Obama created gave the Clintons over $100 million. This unprecedented scale of obscene corruption enabled foreign interests undue influence and control over both the Clintons and US foreign policy as their pay-for-play tax-exempt Foundation profited $2 billion. Since 1997 over $100 billion has been collected by their international criminal charity foundation. The Clinton scheme monetized the White House, using illicit practices no different from the drug cartels to set up multiple shell entities for no other reason but for money laundering purposes.

The Clinton’s post-earthquake Haiti debacle [JH1] starting in 2010 with photo-ops and promises became a disgraceful example among many where 95 cents on each dollar was absconded by the Clintons while the remaining 5 cents trickled down to a few quake victims. An artificially inflated price tag into the hundreds of millions was designated for building a new hospital that was never built. $2 million for housing never got off the ground. A miniscule fraction of what they took in was actually spent on victims in the Western Hemisphere’s poorest nation. The Clintons greedily self-enriched through their charity fraud off the backs of the destitute, hungry and homeless. Their organization was supposed to create 16,000 jobs but instead created a sweat shop on the north side of the island where the least damage occurred. $13 billion was raised in all. A mining gold contract was secured for Hillary’s brother while her chief of staff Cheryl Curtis made 30 trips to Haiti ostensibly to set up an industrial park and posh hotels that made a killing for the Clintons. To this day Haiti’s earthquake victims have yet to receive their promised assistance from the Clintons.

Getting richer off selling enriched uranium to the so called enemy Putin that’s the essential ingredient for making nuclear weapons allowed Russia to buy up 20% of America’s uranium deposits as yet another flagrant act of treason. And now hypocrite Hillary is resorting to the same kind of cold war witch hunt that Joe McCarthy would be proud of, accusing Donald Trump, Roger Stone and other critics of being un-American, secretly colluding with Russia, implying that they are violating national security, the very same high crime she willfully and recklessly perpetrated herself as the traitor she is. Both the Clintons’ entire public careers have been mired in scandal, controversy, deception, cutthroat criminality and thuggery.

Finally, because on top of everything else Hillary is gravely ill suffering from a host of severe medical and mental health issues, it’s all the more reason to ensure that she does not get elected. WikiLeaks determined that in 2011 Clinton asked her State Department staff to research a commonly prescribed drug for treating Parkinson’s disease. Her poor balance, multiple episodes of falling down, coughing fits, and what appear to be seizures have created a firestorm of speculation.

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

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Nate Parker has produced a masterpiece which will evoke the legacy of one of the greatest African slave rebellions in the history of the United States.

The Birth of a Nation is a dramatic film which attempts the arduous task of conveying the story of the African known as Nat Turner, who was enslaved and led a rebellion in Southampton County, Virginia, in 1831. This film is co-written, co-produced and directed by Nate Parker. It stars Parker as Turner, with Armie Hammer, Aja Naomi King, Jackie Earle Haley, Penelope Ann Miller and Gabrielle Union in supporting roles.

In order to launch the project Parker obtained financing to invest in the movie eventually obtaining $10 million in order to start the production filming in May 2015 in Georgia. The film represents a much needed effort aimed at reinterpreting the legacy of resistance among African people in North America as seen through the eyes of the oppressed and their descendants.

This film is being released 185 years after the Nat Turner Rebellion in August 1831 which took place in Southampton County, Virginia but had national ramifications. This former British colony was the entry point of enslaved Africans into the region of North America in 1620.

Some five decades after the much-flaunted 1776 Declaration of Independence of the white settlers, the importation and trade in Africans was growing at a fever pitch. Nonetheless, the economic system of slavery was already beginning to decline as is reflected in the film.

The failure of the slave system to secure a future for the Southern planters created the conditions for the intensification of the exploitation and brutality against Africans. Slave catchers of the period in Virginia and throughout the South are the forerunners of modern-day law-enforcement in their purpose and behavior.

After two centuries of super-exploitation and the development of a system of national oppression based upon institutionalized racism, Nat Turner and his comrades sent a profound warning to the slave masters that their plantations were not secure from unrest in its deadliest form. This episode in U.S. history reminds residents and observers of U.S. society that the plague of racism is very much alive and well in the second decade of the 21st century.

Parker’s work deliberating utilizes the same title as the notoriously racist silent film released in 1915 under the direction of D.W. Griffith. The cinematic innovation of the film a century ago through close ups and panning, made its propaganda incendiary. Historians say that the release of Griffith’s film just two years prior to the American intervention in World War I under the-then President Woodrow Wilson prompted a revival of the Ku Klux Klan.

Wilson hosted a screening of the film at the White House in part due to his friendship with novelist Thomas Dixon, whose 1905 book, The Clansman, provided the storyline of the 1915 release of The Birth of the Nation. Wilson is noted for his efforts in reinstituting strict segregation in Washington, D.C. Many believe he was an ideological racist and in recent times there have been demonstrations demanding the removal of his name from buildings and institutions at Princeton University, one of the most prestigious institutions of higher learning in the U.S.

In an article published by the New York Times on November 18, 2015, its says

“The students’ demands include the removal of Woodrow Wilson’s name from anything named after him at the university; cultural competency training for the faculty and the staff; the inclusion in Princeton’s core curriculum requirements of a course on the history of a marginalized people; and the creation of a cultural space on campus dedicated to black students. During tense discussions between Mr. Eisgruber (university president) and more than 100 students spilling out of his office, Mr. Eisgruber refused to sign on to the demands. Though he personally agreed that Woodrow Wilson was a racist, he refused to remove his name. He said that Wilson, a former president of the university, had done some things that were honorable and some that were blameworthy. Mr. Eisgruber also said he would not require competency training for all faculty members, even though he and his cabinet had attended such training.”

The Political Economy of Slavery and the Racist Intellectual Culture of Historical Revisionism

In the contemporary The Birth of a Nation from 2016 it reveals the financial unviability of African slavery as an economic system. The protagonist Nat Turner, a preacher, is exploited by the planters in efforts to solve the problems of incorrigibility among the enslaved Africans.

Nat Turner is sent around the area to preach a doctrine of docility and obedience to the master class. Nonetheless, his exposure to the system in its most egregious aspects including horrendous working conditions, the selling of family members by the planters, the mass rape of African women and the deliberate division sewn among the enslaved themselves in order to maintain the dominance of the white slave owners and their functionaries, fueled his anger leading to a historic rebellion resulting in the deaths of many whites and the destruction of their property.

The field of American historical studies has been enriched by scholars such as W.E.B. Du Bois, CLR James, Eric Williams, Herbert Aptheker and others who rejected the notions of the “happy slaves” fostered by the apologist for institutional racism and national oppression such as Ulrich B. Philipps, Walter Lynwood Fleming and William Archibald Dunning. The racist approach to historical studies dominated the major universities in the U.S. during the late 19th and 20th centuries.

In taking such an approach to the history of slavery and the failure of Reconstruction, the Southern and indeed the entire ruling class of the post-antebellum period, were provided with a pseudo-scholarly rationale for the maintenance of national oppression and economic exploitation of the former enslaved Africans. This same justification continues into the 21st century as Africans seek to realize their inherent right to self-determination and national liberation.

The so-called Dunning school of Southern history blamed the Africans themselves for the failure of Reconstruction in the aftermath of the Civil War fought from 1861-65. Fleming, the son of a Alabama slave owner who taught for years at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, was so imbued with racism that he refused to even capitalize the word “Negro”, as Africans were known in the period leading up to the 1960s, when the term was overturned by the Black Power and Pan-Africanist movements.

Fleming wrote in one of his major works that « The [N]egro is the central figure in the reconstruction of the South. Without the [N]egro there would have been no Civil War. Granting a war fought for any other cause, the task of reconstruction would, without him, have been comparatively simple.”

This film by Nate Parker makes an important contribution to rewriting the actual history of the African people in the U.S. and consequently world studies. Without an accurate understanding of the development of America as the leading imperialist nation in the world it is impossible to design a program for transforming the present conditions of colonialism, neo-colonialism and imperialism.

Africans will of course be integral to the reshaping of international affairs amid the decline once again of the dominant economic class within the U.S. As slavery had outlived its usefulness and profitability in the mid-decades of the 19th century, so has imperialism in the 21st century. Whether its ultimate decline can be realized in the absence of another world war is largely dependent upon the role of the nationally oppressed in alliance with the working class in the U.S. and around the world.

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The email leak reveals why the battle for Aleppo matters so much to Hillary Clinton.

A new Wikileaks email dump released yesterday reveals Hillary’s eight point plan to destroy ISIS, and destroy Syria…in what can only be described as a reckless and naive view of the region that Hillary herself actively destabilized with her support for the Iraq invasion, and as the driving force behind the violent regime change operation in Libya.

The email exchange between Hillary Clinton, and top aide John Podesta, is breathtaking…full of hubris and stupidity.

It portrays a cold and calculating Clinton concerned with destroying ISIS in Iraq, but scheming to help jihadist groups in Syria n order to overthrow Assad with “moderate” forces that cannot be properly vetted.

Let’s not forget that Hillary’s financial conflict of interest runs deep in the troubled region, with Qatar giving between $1 million and $5 million to the Clinton Foundation, and Saudi Arabia having donated upwards of $25 million dollars to the Clinton Foundation.

Hillary’s 8 point plan is conflicted and personal. Taking on Qatar and Saudi Arabia puts her at odds with big time Clinton Foundation donors.

Things get further complicated when we remember that in 2010, (as reported by The Intercept) Clinton’s top aide said that the up to $60 billion weapons transfer of fighter jets and helicopters to Saudi Arabia was a “top priority.”

On August 17, 2014 Hillary Clinton sent an email to John Podesta (then counselor to President Barack Obama, now current Hillary campaign chairman), where HRC details her roadmap to defeating ISIS, propping up the Kurdish forces in the north, and striking a decisive blow to Assad in Syria.

The complete email exchange can be found on the Wikileaks website. Here is The Duran’s breakdown of the 8 point plan with RED highlighted sections.

podesta-screen1

The email from John Podesta to HRC begins with a question on an attack in Tripoli, which is worth “analyzing for future purposes”. Podesta may be floating out the idea to communicate with whichever forces initiated the attack on Islamist positions. Maybe the forces can be lumped into the “moderate rebels” bucket.

podesta-screen2

Podesta reveals his frustration with progress in Syria…describing “elements” as “vexing”.

 

podesta-screen3

Hillary Clinton begins to lay out here 8 point plan. Point 1, HRC notes that the “advance of ISIL” provides an “opportunity” for American to reshape how it deals with North Africa and the Middle East.

Hillary closes Point 1 with her belief that Kurdish troops “can inflict a real defeat on ISIL”, and thus need to be supported by the US government.

podesta-screen4

Point 2 and 3 sees HRC admit that US engagement with ISIL has been “limited”.  She further concludes that with US close air support to Peshmerga fighters, ISIL can be defeated in Iraq and the Sunni “resistance” in Syria can then be supported.

Hillary notes her concern with providing heavy weapons to Peshmerga forces in the fear that those weapons will be used against Turkey by Kurdish forces.  HRC brushes those concerns aside as “obsolete”, with an airlift of heavy weapons solving the Turkey issue.

podesta-screen5

Point 4. Weaken ISIL in Iraq and Syria with targeted bombings (something Russia is doing at the moment in Syria). The smoking gun, after the targeted bombings “provide the FSA, or some group of moderate forces” with weapons, to not only take on ISIL on the ground in Syria, but to step up “operations against the Syrian regime.”

Then an even bigger revelation that should shock no one, but to have it documented holds weight…Qatar and Saudi Arabia are providing ISIL with financial and logistical support.

“While this military/para-military operation is moving forward, we need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other radical Sunni groups in the region.”

“This effort will be enhanced by the stepped up commitment in the KRG [Kurdish Regional Government]. The Qataris and Saudis will be put in a position of balancing policy between their ongoing competition to dominate the Sunni world and the consequences of serious U.S. pressure.”

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Point 6 and 7 (Hillary’s numbering is off as she skipped point 5) HRC notes that US interests in the region differ from country to country, with “energy issues in Libya” being a US national interest.

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Point 8, HRC reveals that ISIL is growing and entering new markets such as Libya and Egypt..as Hilary alludes to the fact that ISIL can even reach into Lebanon and Jordan.

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Point 9, Hillary lays out her grand bargain for the region.

A Kurdish autonomous state, which will work with the Iraqi government to share energy riches in and around Mosel and Kirkuk, while at the same time shifting the fighting to Syria, where the Peshmerga forces (in coordination with FSA troops) carve out the North of Syria, and deal a decisive blow to Assad.

We see why the battle for Aleppo matters so much to Hillary Clinton. Assad taking control of Syria’s main northern city runs counter to HRC’s grand plan, as laid out in this Wikileaks email release.

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Afghanistan: Enduring Occupation

octobre 12th, 2016 by Manlio Dinucci

The fifteenth anniversary of 11 September was featured in the front pages for days. This contrasts with the media blackout for the fifteenth anniversary of the war in Afghanistan, launched on 7 October 2001 through operation «Enduring Freedom».

The official justification: hunting down Osama bin Laden, the lead organizer of the September 11 attacks, hidden in an Afghan cavern under the protection of the Taliban. In actual fact, we will later find out that a plan for the operation had already been laid out on President Bush’s table prior to September 11. What the strategic objectives might be emerged clearly from the report, Quadrennial Defense Review, published by the Pentagon on 30 September 2001, a week before the beginning of the war in Afghanistan.

In the Il Manifesto [original Italian] of 10 October 2001 we published its essential sections that can be reread today in light of subsequent events.

«The United States is a global power with important geopolitical interests all over the world, and therefore must preclude others from controlling crucial areas, particularly Europe, Northeast Asia, the coast of East Asia, the Middle East and Southwest Asia. Asia in particular is emerging as a region capable of large-scale military competition. It is possible that a military rival with a formidable resource base will emerge in the region. Our armed forces must maintain their capabilities to impose the will of the United States on any adversary (be it a state or non-state entity), so as to change the regime of an adversary state or to occupy a foreign territory where till now US objectives have not been realized».

So here we have in black and white what the real reasons for the war in Afghanistan are.

In the period prior to September 11 2001, there are strong signals in Asia of a rapprochement between China and Russia — signals that are given concrete form when, the “Good Neighbours and Friendly Cooperation Treaty” is signed on 17 July 2001. This treaty was defined as the “cornerstone” of the bilateral relationship between the two countries.

Washington considers the rapprochement between China and Russia to be a challenge to US interests in Asia, at a critical time when the US is trying to occupy the vacuum, created by the dissolution of the USSR in Central Asia, an area of primary importance both for its geographic position with respect to Russia and China and the adjacent reserves of oil and natural gas in the Caspian.

Afghanistan is a key position to controlling this area. This explains the enormous deployment of US/NATO forces in Afghanistan, for a war that — according to an estimate provided by default from the Watson Institute (Brown University, USA) — has to date resulted in the following:

• more than 170,000 dead and 180,000 seriously injured;
• an official cost, on the part of the US alone, of around 830 billion dollars (more than 40 times the GDP of Afghanistan); plus
• other enormous costs that are not recorded.

When the military operations in Iraq, Libya, Syria and other countries are taken into account, the US official costs, based exclusively on the military operations, amounts to around 3,700 billion dollars in 2001-2016 and includes future costs (notably support for veterans) that brings it to around 4,800 billion.

In the US-led Nato operation in Afghanistan, renamed «Steadfast Support», Italy continues to participate with a contingent lined up in the areas of Kabul and Herat. Italian officials are deployed at Tampa (Florida) at the US Command for the entire operation and in Bahrain as staff linking up with US forces. In the context of this strategy, Italy is committed to 27 «missions» in 19 countries.

Article in italian :

paula-bronstein-7

Afghanistan occupazione duratura

 

Translation : Anoosha Boralessa pour le Réseau Voltaire

Picture by the photographer Paula Bronstein, Independent

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Dans la poursuite des objectifs financiers et stratégiques réactionnaires dans la région Asie-Pacifique, l’impérialisme français annonce ses ambitions pour stimuler ses déploiements militaires dans cette région.

Cela a été détaillé dans un rapport en juin, « la France et la sécurité dans la région Asie-Pacifique », présenté par le ministre de la Défense français, Jean-Yves Le Drian, au forum « Le Dialogue de Shangri-La » à l’Institut international pour des études stratégiques britannique à Singapour en juin. Il fait partie d’une version mise à jour de la Loi française de programmation militaire de 2015, qui dispose que Paris doit investir dans des améliorations majeures de ses capacités militaires pour développer son influence en Asie.

Dans la préface, Le Drian a écrit : « L’évolution des équilibres stratégiques s’est accélérée en Asie et dans l’espace inde-pacifique. En somme, l’ensemble géopolitique formé par l’Asie et l’espace inde-pacifique., foyer de dynamisme économique, de croissance démographique et d’innovation technologique, constitue une source de prospérité globale présentant des vulnérabilités. Sa sécurisation est donc essentielle, mais doit s’inscrire dans le cadre d’un ordre international fondé sur le dialogue et le respect de règles établies sur des bases multilatérales ».

Le document souligne l’importance stratégique de la région Asie-Pacifique pour Paris, déclarant : « La France a initié un rééquilibrage de son centre de gravité stratégique vers l’Inde-pacifique dont elle est une puissance riveraine ». La France a beaucoup de possessions insulaires dans les océans pacifique et indien. Elle vise à développer ces tremplins pour une influence navale. Elle participe déjà au QUAD (groupe de coordination de la Défense Quadrilatère) dans la planification de la politique de sécurité des îles du Pacifique avec les États-Unis, l’Australie et la Nouvelle-Zélande.

Des stratèges français formulent cette politique depuis des années, depuis que l’Administration Obama a annoncé son « pivot vers l’Asie » en 2011 pour encercler la Chine et soumettre Pékin aux intérêts américains.

Un examen du rapport « Le Drian » fait ressortir les intérêts financiers sous-tendant les plans français pour une escalade militaire majeure en Asie. Le rapport identifie l’Asie en tant que centre mondial de la croissance économique et un marché clé pour les entreprises et les investisseurs français, notant qu’en 2012, l’investissement direct de l’étranger (IDE) de la France dans la région Asie-Pacifique s’élevait déjà à 75 milliards de dollars américains.

Le déficit commercial annuel de la France avec la Chine est d’environ 25 35 milliards d’euros, le plus grand déficit commercial de la France avec un seul pays. Les sociétés françaises et internationales utilisent la Chine et l’ensemble de l’Asie-Pacifique pour se fournir en biens de consommation de bon marché pour les marchés français et européens, en s’appuyant en dernière analyse sur l’influence militaire américaine et européenne afin de dicter des conditions avantageuses aux fournisseurs asiatiques.

L’impérialisme français considère également la Chine comme un concurrent potentiel dans l’ancien empire colonial de la France en Afrique, où elle maintient toujours une présence politique et militaire majeure. Depuis 2011, Paris a lancé une série de guerres et d’interventions militaires – en Libye, en Côte d’Ivoire et en République centrafricaine – ciblant des régimes qui ont développé des liens économiques avec la Chine ce qui risquait de miner les intérêts néocoloniaux français.

Dans la poursuite de ces intérêts, le gouvernement du Parti socialiste (PS) du président François Hollande s’est aligné sur le « pivot vers l’Asie » des États-Unis, alors même que Washington alimentait une confrontation avec Pékin en mer de Chine méridionale, qui pourrait déclencher un conflit entre les deux puissances nucléaires.

Le Livre blanc militaire de la France de 2013 a déclaré : « l’équilibre de l’Asie orientale a été modifié en profondeur par la montée en puissance de la Chine |…] Le renforcement de la présence militaire américaine dans la région peut contribuer à la maîtrise des tensions en Asie ». Il a ajouté : « la France apporterait, en cas de crise ouverte, une contribution politique et militaire d’un niveau adapté ».

Lors d’un sommet de l’Association des nations d’Asie du Sud-Est (ANASE) en 2013, le ministre des Affaires étrangères d’alors, Laurent Fabius, a déclaré : « La France a, elle aussi, engagé un “pivot”. Non par effet de mode, mais parce que la France veut être présente là où se construit le monde de demain. Or l’Asie-Pacifique sera de façon évidente au cœur du XXIe siècle ».

De tels plans pour faire valoir les intérêts militaires français en Asie ont des implications inquiétantes. Ils ont lieu au milieu d’une résurgence de toutes les ambitions néocoloniales des puissances impérialistes, le plus clairement montré par la poussée vers la guerre américano-européenne en Afrique et au Moyen-Orient. En Asie, l’impérialisme français est de retour sur la scène de certains de ses crimes les plus horribles. La France était une puissance coloniale brutale en Asie du Sud-Est, et la guerre de 1946-1954 en Indochine française a coûté des centaines de milliers de vies avant que l’impérialisme français n’ait été contraint d’abandonner la région par sa défaite humiliante à Diên Biên Phu.

La tentative de Paris de se lancer dans une escalade militaire en Asie est liée à la crise insoluble du capitalisme européen et mondial. Avec l’Union européenne (UE) embourbée dans un marasme économique profond, et la poursuite d’une politique qui n’arrangera rien d’austérité profonde contre la classe ouvrière combinée aux aumônes valant des milliers de milliards d’euros aux banques, Paris cherche désespérément de nouvelles cibles pour le pillage financier.

Le groupe de réflexion, Institut français des relations internationales (IFRI), a écrit : « le “pivot” français vers l’Asie sert l’objectif principal de l’Administration Hollande, qui est de trouver des relais de croissance qui n’existent plus en Europe ». Il a ajouté : « pour les parlementaires français, il existe dans le contexte économique actuel un « impératif asiatique pour la France », sous peine de risquer de « rater un tournant stratégique » ».

Les assertions selon lesquelles un « pivot » français vers l’Asie produirait des avantages économiques sont des mensonges militaristes. Un « pivot » français nécessiterait une augmentation massive des dépenses militaires et, par conséquent, les coupes sociales correspondantes contre les travailleurs. L’IFRI a écrit : « En outre, parler de “pivot” vers l’Asie lorsque les contraintes budgétaires limitent les capacités de projection de l’outil militaire français peut sembler décalé […] En dépit de discours volontaristes aux ambitieux objectifs, l’avenir de la politique étrangère française en Asie apparaît dans ce contexte bien incertain ».

Un « pivot » asiatique par la France ou d’autres puissances européennes intensifierait les contradictions du capitalisme mondial, qui menacent déjà d’exploser dans une guerre mondiale entre les pouvoirs dotés d’armes nucléaires. Il n’est pas clair, à plus long terme, contre qui un tel « pivot » serait entrepris – la Chine, une coalition d’autres puissances asiatiques, ou même les États-Unis.

La politique de la France en Asie est truffée de contradictions. D’une part, elle a développé des liens militaires avec les alliés du « pivot » des États-Unis vers l’Asie, y compris l’Inde, l’Australie et le Japon, avec les grandes ventes d’armes à l’Inde et l’Australie. D’autre part, tout en soutenant tacitement la poussée vers la guerre américaine contre la Chine, elle a développé des liens économiques avec Pékin tout comme d’autres puissances européennes. L’an dernier, elle a défié les exigences des États-Unis et, comme toutes les autres grandes puissances de l’UE, elle a rejoint l’Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) de Beijing.

L’AIIB a été conçu pour investir dans la ceinture économique des projets chinois de Route de la soie du 21e siècle et d’« Une route, une région » (OBOR), ce qui implique jusqu’à 1400 milliards de dollars dans l’infrastructure ferroviaire et routière pour créer un réseau de transports rapides depuis la Chine à travers la Russie, l’Asie centrale et le Moyen-Orient vers l’Europe. Le projet OBOR était une réponse au « pivot » des États-Unis qui a bloqué l’influence chinoise dans les routes commerciales dans les océans indien et pacifique vitaux pour la sécurité des importations d’énergie chinoises en provenance du Moyen-Orient.

Le Brexit a aiguisé les rivalités stratégiques entre l’UE et Washington. Depuis que la Grande-Bretagne a voté pour quitter l’UE, la France et l’Allemagne ont poussé pour la création des forces militaires indépendantes au sein de l’UE qui auraient pour effet de rivaliser avec l’alliance de l’OTAN entre les États-Unis, le Canada et les pouvoirs impérialistes européens – une initiative longtemps opposée par Washington et Londres.

Kumaran Ira

Article paru d’abord en anglais le 10 octobre 2016

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On October 11, the Syrian army and its allies continued to conduct military operations in Aleppo with the most intense clashes were ongoing south of the Awijah neighborhood and in Sheikh Sa’eed where the army stormed the Sheikh Sa’eed Hill. Since October 10, up to 50 militants have been reported killed in the city.

Turkish-backed militant groups that operate under the brand of the Free Syrian Army, supported by the Turkish Armed Forces, have seized more areas from ISIS in northern Aleppo.

The Ankara-led forces took control of the villages of Yahmul, Jarez, Sheikh Rih, al-Bel, Baraghitah and Tawaqli near the strategic town of Azaz in the province of Aleppo. Now, they are aiming to re-take Sawran. If this is done, the nearby town of Dabiq will likely become the next target of Erdogan’s Operation Euphrates Shield.

The joint forces of Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra), Failaq al-Sham, Jabhat Ansar al-Din and a number of less-known militant groups announced on Monday a fresh military operation, called ‘Ashoura Battle’, in northern Latakia. The operation is set to be focused on the Syrian army’s positions in the Kurdish Mountains. Pro-militants sources have already claimed that the so-called “moderate opposition” captured some “strategic points”. Nonetheless, these reports still have to be confirmed. The operation is most likely aimed to draw the Syrian military attention from the city of Aleppo and northern Hama where the militants’ defenses are collapsing under the pressure of the pro-government forces.

Russia is planning to expand its logistic facitiliy in Tartus into a fully-fledged permanent naval base. By now, the facility in Tartus has been used to resupply Russian warships during missions in the Mediterranean and to deliver supplies to the Syrian government forces.

“We have prepared the paperwork, which is now being reviewed by other government agencies. The documents are pretty much ready, so we hope to submit them to you for ratification soon,” Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister, General Nikolay Pankov, told the Russian Senate on October 10.

Last week the Russians confirmed delivery of the S-300 anti-aircraft missile system to Tartus to protect the facility and the naval grouping from potential airstrikes and missile attacks.

Meanwhile, reports have appeared that Russia is in talks with Egypt to lease military facilities, including an air base in the town of Sidi Barrani near the Mediterranean. If the agreement is made, the military base will be ready for use by 2019, according to the reports.

Now, there are no doubts that Washington’s actions to counter the Russian efforts in Syria have only pushed Moscow to expand its military presence in the Middle Eastern region.

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This article was first published by WhoWhatWhy

This presidential campaign has endured debates on a number of mundane issues, including the size of a candidate’s hands, who is more dishonest, and which candidate has the better temperament. One thing nobody is talking about is the staggering outcome of the war in Afghanistan — and that’s probably just the way those profiting from this trillion-dollar fiasco like it.

This month marks the 15th anniversary of the US-led intervention in Afghanistan, making it the nation’s longest war. It now appears, based on evidence gathered by a federal inspector general, that the whole undertaking was, and remains, an incredibly expensive disaster that has actually made Afghanistan more corrupt than it was before the US invasion back in 2001.

In one of his most stunning disclosures yet, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) revealed that, while the US Forces-Afghanistan reported that there were 319,000 Afghan soldiers, the actual number may only be 120,000. “Persistent reports” of discrepancies in Afghan troop strength “raise questions” over whether or not US taxpayers are actually paying for “ghost soldiers,” SIGAR John Sopko said in a letter to the Pentagon.

Bill Goodfellow, the executive director of the Center for International Policy, a nonprofit that promotes US foreign policy accountability and transparency, observes that despite reports like this, as well as the huge price tag and human cost, there’s been no discussion of Afghanistan in the presidential race.

“It doesn’t affect most people because the military is being staffed by economic conscription and the children of think tank analysts and journalists are not being drafted,” Goodfellow told WhoWhatWhy in a phone interview.

In his visits to Afghanistan, Goodfellow says, he has seen little evidence of the $115 billion that’s been appropriated by the US to rebuild that country. “When you go to Kabul you ask where is it? It’s in Dubai and in the pockets of US contractors,” he charged. “We’ve spent $800 billion on the war in Afghanistan and the 8,400 troops we have there now will cost $20 billion per year.”

Goodfellow sees little chances for a peace deal inside Afghanistan. He believes that as long as the US cash faucet remains open, there is just too much money to be made by all of the key players to do anything but prolong the war. “It provides powerful incentive for the elites,” said Goodfellow. “How do you make peace as lucrative as war?”

Developments in Iraq and Afghanistan show that, despite the loss of thousands of American lives,  hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths, and the expenditure of trillions of dollars, neither nation had the capability to defend itself once the US left.

This month is also the one-year anniversary of President Barack Obama’s decision to reverse course, ending his planned withdrawal of American troops. This decision may force his successor to continue US involvement in Afghanistan long after Obama leaves the White House.

The White House’s latest about-face came after the Taliban seized the northern city of Kunduz and held it for two weeks, and after the United Nations reported that the Taliban were as prevalent throughout the country as they had been at any time since 2001.

It was only two years ago that President Obama declared that the combat mission in Afghanistan was ending and that the country’s longest war was “coming to a responsible conclusion.”

There was a similar proclamation after the high-profile American withdrawal from Iraq in 2011.

Washington’s renewed troop commitment in Afghanistan comes at the same time the US is, once again, ramping up its presence in Iraq, helping that country take back territory lost to ISIS.

According to the office of the United Nations Secretary General, the first six months of 2016 saw a 4% increase in civilian casualties in Afghanistan compared to the same period in 2015.

As the violence has escalated, the Afghan Investment Support Agency reports a 30% decline in net investments being made in the beleaguered nation from last year. The Asian Development Bank blames “deteriorating security and law and order concerns” for the retrenchment.

Construction workers in Afghanistan. Photo credit: ISAF Public Affairs / SIGAR (PDF)

So how did this come to pass in Afghanistan?

Americans are fortunate to have a team of 195 civil servants led by Sopko that has been tracking in great detail America’s pricey reconstruction effort there. While SIGAR’s work has been virtually ignored by most news outlets, WhoWhatWhy has covered it extensively. You can find our stories here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

Over the arc of his 30-year career, Sopko has worked as a prosecutor and a legislative counsel for Congressional oversight committees, as well as senior federal government advisor. He was an attorney with the Department of Justice’s Organized Crime Task Force.

Since July of 2012 he has served as Special Inspector General for Afghanistan’s Reconstruction. The voluminous quarterly reports that Sopko has filed with Congress provide blow by-blow-details on a reconstruction effort gone badly awry.

So far, SIGAR’s work has resulted in over one hundred convictions of a diverse roster of government contractors, active-duty and retired US military personnel, 91 of whom have already been sentenced.

SIGAR has recovered more than $951 million in criminal fines, restitutions, forfeitures, civil-settlement recoveries, and US government cost savings. Over 400 individuals and 355 companies were referred by SIGAR for suspension or debarment from government contracting.

“We have spent more in Afghanistan than we did on the entire Marshall Plan to rebuild postwar Europe,” Sopko told WhoWhatWhy (you can find the complete interview at the bottom of this article). “The American taxpayer has had to foot that $114 billion bill, so they deserve to know not only the cost but also what it has gotten them.”

Sopko recently released his agency’s first ‘lessons learned’ report entitled “Corruption in Conflict: Lessons from the US Experience in Afghanistan.” It evaluates how the US government viewed the risks of corruption going in, how the US responded to the corruption it encountered, and just how ineffective those responses were.

The SIGAR analysis describes how the pursuit of strategic and military goals all too often trumped concerns about fighting the corruption that US personnel found rampant throughout Afghan society.

According to the report, the United States facilitated “the growth of corruption by injecting tens of billions of dollars into the Afghan economy, using flawed oversight and contracting practices,” while collaborating “with malign power brokers” all in hopes of realizing short-term military goals.

As a consequence, the United States “helped to lay a foundation for continued impunity” for bad actors that ultimately undermined the “rule of law” and actually promoted the kind of corruption that had historically driven the local population away from the central government and “to the Taliban as a way of expressing opposition” to a government they believed to be illegitimate.

The SIGAR report quotes former US Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker making the disconcerting observation that “the ultimate failure for our efforts wasn’t an insurgency. It was more the weight of endemic corruption.”

SIGAR’s investigations documented “poor US oversight, procurement, and contracting practices that were enabling corrupt behavior.” As a result, lacking “sufficient controls on US funds, millions of dollars in US reconstruction funds for Afghanistan were being wasted.”

“The Afghan government was so deeply enmeshed in corrupt and criminal networks that dismantling them would mean dismantling major pillars of support for the government itself,” according to SIGAR’s report. “One part of US policy corrupted Afghan officials while other parts tried to investigate and root out corruption.”

Photo credit: SIGAR (PDF)

Benchmark studies reviewed by SIGAR’s researchers suggested that a donor nation’s capacity to absorb aid ranges from 15 to 45% percent of the recipient’s GDP. In the case of Afghanistan, too much money was a key problem. SIGAR reported that “US reconstruction assistance to Afghanistan surpassed 45% percent of Afghanistan’s GDP, reaching a high of 105% percent in 2010.”

As the money continued to pour in, SIGAR found “corruption grew so pervasive and entrenched that it came to pose a threat to the entire security and state-building mission.”

SIGAR’s reviews identified “abusive and corrupt warlords” who parlayed their status and acceptance by the US to gain “positions of authority in the Afghan government, which further enabled them to dip their hands into the streams of cash” flooding “into a small and fragile economy.”

SIGAR warned that corruption was “a corrosive acid — partly of our making” which was eating away at the base of “every pillar of Afghan reconstruction, including security and political stability.”

SIGAR concluded: “Failure to effectively address corruption in future contingency operations means US reconstruction programs may, at best, continue to be subverted by systemic corruption, and, at worst, may fail.”

Colonel Andrew Bacevich, a historian and author of several books, including “The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism,” is a West Point graduate who served in the Vietnam War and remained on active duty through the early 1990s. He asserts the US is in deep denial about its failures in prosecuting the war on terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“We have not won this war,” Bacevich told a Boston University audience in 2014. “We are not winning this war and simply pressing on is unlikely to produce more positive results this year or the year after.”

“To insist on accountability is to go out on a limb,” said Bacevich, whose son, an Army first lieutenant,  was killed in Iraq in 2007. “You would open yourself up to the charge of not supporting the troops, or of being an isolationist, or of not believing in American global leadership and worst of all, of not believing in American exceptionalism’s unique calling to save the world.”

“The absence of attention to SIGAR’s work is quite telling, in my view,” Bacevich wrote WhoWhatWhy in an email. “Rarely has so much money been squandered to such little effect with so few people taking notice.”

Below, is our complete interview with SIGAR John Sopko:

WWW:What’s the hardest part of your job?

SOPKO: “Maintaining aggressive oversight in an unstable atmosphere comes with a lot of roadblocks. Security concerns, missing documents, and access to decision-makers and implementers involved in decades-old projects can make our job difficult.”

WWW: Do you think that the average American is aware of the scale of the investment their government is making in Afghanistan?

SOPKO: No I don’t, and that is why I take my job so seriously. We have spent more in Afghanistan than we did on the entire Marshall Plan to rebuild postwar Europe. The American taxpayer has had to foot that $114 billion bill, so they deserve to know not only the cost but also what it has gotten them. SIGAR prioritizes transparency and accessibility in our work for that reason.

WWW: What’s the connection between rooting out corruption and the success of the American efforts in Afghanistan?

SOPKO: “A report we recently released found that systemic corruption has corroded US efforts in Afghanistan across nearly every sector. It has undermined support for the Afghan government and funneled money to the insurgency, threatening the stability of the state. US investments depend on Afghanistan remaining secure, stable, and democratically-governed, so our ability to recognize and address the threat of corruption is critical.”

WWW: Is it fair to say that SIGAR’s reports have been prescient in that they identified problem areas that became vulnerabilities that are exploited by the Taliban?

SOPKO: “I hope so, it is certainly our goal. In a war zone like Afghanistan, faulty and fraudulent work can kill people. We take that risk very seriously and it is why we have teams set up to identify and alert Afghan and US officials to immediate threats.”

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Signe que le conflit syrien risque de dégénérer en guerre entre les deux puissances majeures dotées d’armes nucléaires, le ministre russe des Affaires étrangères, Sergueï Lavrov, a mis en garde hier contre les frappes aériennes et de missiles de l’OTAN sur ses forces et ses alliés en Syrie, en déclarant que la Russie répondrait militairement.

Lavrov s’est référé aux rapports dans les médias selon lesquels les États-Unis envisagent de bombarder les forces syriennes ou russes en Syrie. « C’est un jeu très dangereux », a-t-il dit, « étant donné que la Russie est en Syrie à l’invitation du gouvernement légitime de ce pays, y a deux bases, et des systèmes de défense aérienne pour protéger ses intérêts. »

Moscou a également envoyé des missiles Iskander-M à capacité nucléaire à la ville russe de Kaliningrad sur la Baltique vendredi soir. De Kaliningrad, les missiles peuvent frapper des cibles, y compris les bases de l’OTAN, à travers la Pologne et les républiques baltes. Les responsables du ministère russe de la Défense ont déclaré que les missiles ont été chargés sur un cargo en mer Baltique « juste en dessous d’un satellite de reconnaissance américain » afin qu’ils puissent surveiller sa réaction et clarifier à l’armée américaine que les missiles étaient bien en route vers Kaliningrad.

Des fuites vers des journaux américains, dont le Washington Post la semaine dernière ont révélé que les responsables américains discutent du lancement d’une attaque contre les forces gouvernementales syriennes dans le dos du peuple américain. Alors qu’une poignée de reportages de presse ont vu le jour sur les fuites elles-mêmes, un silence assourdissant règne dans les médias américains et européens sur le danger et les conséquences d’une telle escalade.

Mercredi, Josh Rogin a écrit dans le Post, « Des responsables du Département d’État, de la CIA et les chefs d’état-major interarmées ont discuté des frappes militaires limitées contre le régime [syrien]… Les options envisagées, qui restent classées, inclurent le bombardement des pistes des forces aériennes syriennes en utilisant des missiles de croisière et d’autres armes à longue portée tirées depuis des avions et des navires de la coalition, m’a dit un responsable de l’Administration qui faisait partie des discussions. Une façon proposée pour contourner l’objection de longue date de la Maison-Blanche pour frapper le régime d’Assad sans une résolution du Conseil de sécurité des Nations unies serait de réaliser les secrètement et sans reconnaissance publique, a indiqué le responsable ».

Dans un discours de 2013 devant des banquiers de Wall Street divulgué par Wikileaks, Hillary Clinton a déclaré que d’imposer une telle « zone d’exclusion aérienne » entraînerait des pertes civiles massives : « Pour avoir une zone d’exclusion aérienne, vous devez détruire toutes les défenses aériennes, dont beaucoup sont situés dans des zones habitées. Donc, nos missiles, même s’ils sont tirés de loin de sorte que nous ne mettons pas nos pilotes en danger, vont tuer beaucoup de Syriens ».

Après le bombardement américain du mois dernier à Deir ez-Zor qui a tué au moins 62 soldats syriens et blessés 100, il faut supposer que des raids des États-Unis auront pour but de causer également des pertes militaires syriennes massives.

Même avant que Lavrov a fait ses remarques, les responsables militaires russes ont réagi à des fuites comme le reportage du Post en avertissant les responsables américains qu’ils risquaient de provoquer une guerre majeure. Le porte-parole du ministère de la Défense russe, le général Igor Konashenkov, a déclaré que ses forces présumeraient que des frappes américaines seraient hostiles, localiseraient et détruiraient les combattants américains, y compris les avions furtifs, en Syrie.

« Des missiles ou des frappes aériennes quelconques sur le territoire contrôlé par le gouvernement syrien vont créer une menace claire pour les militaires russes », a déclaré Konashenkov. « Les équipes des systèmes de défense aériens russes ont peu de chances d’avoir le temps pour déterminer, dans une “ligne droite,” les trajectoires de vol exactes de missiles, puis à qui les ogives appartiennent. Et toutes les illusions d’amateurs sur l’existence d’avions « invisibles » seront confrontées à une réalité décevante ».

Au sujet des « fuites » telles que le reportage du Post, il a ajouté, « l’information selon laquelle les initiateurs de ces provocations sont des représentants de la CIA et du Pentagone, qui […] aujourd’hui réclament des scénarios “cinétiques” en Syrie, est particulièrement préoccupante ».

Konashenkov a averti Washington qu’il devrait faire un « calcul approfondi des conséquences possibles de ces plans ».

Cette remarque est effrayante. Si Konashenkov ne l’a pas dit, l’importance des remarques de Moscou est claire : la mise en œuvre de plans américains signifie un affrontement militaire avec la Russie, et les conséquences possibles d’un tel affrontement incluent l’escalade vers une guerre nucléaire à part entière qui tuerait des milliards de personnes. Les arrangements diplomatiques qui pour un temps ont stabilisé les relations entre l’OTAN et la Russie dans la période suivant la dissolution par la bureaucratie stalinienne de l’URSS en 1991 se sont effondrés.

Comme Moscou conclut apparemment qu’il n’a pas d’autre choix que de se préparer à la guerre si Washington et ses alliés de l’OTAN décident de la lancer, les travailleurs du monde entier sont en train de devenir la seule catégorie sociale pouvant s’opposer à une guerre catastrophique.

La force motrice de cette crise de guerre est la politique agressive des puissances impérialistes de l’OTAN, menées par les États-Unis. L’émergence de la Russie comme un obstacle à des guerres effrénées des États-Unis et de l’OTAN au Moyen-Orient, en s’opposant à une guerre de l’OTAN prévue en Syrie en 2013, est totalement inacceptable pour Washington.

Maintenant, au moment où les forces islamistes d’Al-Qaïda en Syrie, qui sont mandatées par l’OTAN, font face à la défaite autour d’Alep, des factions de l’État américain appellent ouvertement au lancement une guerre pour les sauver. Il y a un mois, le général américain Joseph Dunford a indiqué son soutien à l’imposition d’une « zone d’exclusion aérienne » sur la Syrie au Sénat américain, ajoutant que cela « nous obligerait à mener une guerre contre la Syrie et la Russie ».

La semaine dernière, le chef d’état-major de l’armée des États-Unis, Mark Milley, a parlé de la Russie et de la Chine comme d’ennemis, et s’est adressé à eux directement, en déclarant : « Je veux être clair pour ceux qui veulent nous faire du mal […] que les forces armées des États-Unis – en dépit de tous nos défis, en dépit de notre tempo [opérationnelle], en dépit de tout ce que nous avons fait – nous vous arrêterons et nous allons vous battre plus fort que vous n’avez jamais été battu avant. Ne vous méprenez pas à ce sujet ».

Alors que les puissances de l’OTAN portent la responsabilité centrale de la crise en Syrie, la réponse de l’oligarchie capitaliste post-soviétique en Russie est aussi irresponsable et réactionnaire. Incapable, et hostile, à un appel à l’opposition internationale à la guerre dans la classe ouvrière, elle vise à utiliser sa force militaire pour dissuader l’escalade des États-Unis et l’OTAN en Syrie afin de négocier un accord avec les puissances impérialistes.

Cette politique a totalement échoué. Implorer Washington pour un accord à un moment et faire l’escalade de l’action militaire en Syrie au suivant : de telles oscillations du Kremlin ont eu comme résultat que ce dernier s’est fait entraîner dans une confrontation avec l’OTAN qui va en s’approfondissant et qui menace maintenant de déclencher un conflit militaire majeur.

Le déploiement par la Russie des missiles à Kaliningrad est un signal à Washington et ses alliés européens que Moscou ne croit pas seulement que la guerre est une possibilité très réelle, mais prévoit qu’une telle guerre se propagerait rapidement depuis la Syrie vers l’Europe. L’OTAN a déployé des dizaines de milliers de soldats près des frontières de la Russie en Europe de l’Est depuis son soutien à un putsch fasciste qui a renversé un régime pro-russe en Ukraine en 2014.

Lavrov a déclaré que cela posait une menace intolérable pour la sécurité nationale russe. « Nous avons assisté à un changement fondamental de circonstances qui se trouve [dans] l’agression russophobe qui est maintenant au cœur de la politique américaine envers la Russie, » a-t-il dit. « Ce n’est pas de la rhétorique russophobe, mais des mesures énergiques qui concernent vraiment nos intérêts nationaux et mettent en danger notre sécurité. L’élargissement de l’OTAN, des [déploiements de] l’infrastructure militaire de l’OTAN à côté de nos frontières […] et le déploiement d’un système de défense antimissile – toutes ces mesures sont des actions inamicales et hostiles ».

Notamment, Moscou a été indigné par la menace du porte-parole du département d’État américain, John Kirby, à savoir : si la Russie n’obéit pas aux ordres des États-Unis en se retirant de Syrie, les groupes islamistes pourraient « étendre leurs activités, ce qui pourrait inclure des attaques contre les intérêts russes, peut-être même les villes russes. La Russie va continuer à renvoyer des troupes à la maison dans des sacs mortuaires et continuera de perdre des ressources, peut-être même des avions ». Dans ce contexte, l’observation ultérieure de Kirby que Washington peut influencer « quelques » milices de l’opposition en Syrie avait le caractère d’une menace.

Puisque les armes de la CIA parviennent aux armureries du front Al Nusra lié à Al-Qaïda dans Alep, il est clair que si Moscou permet simplement la chute du régime syrien face à l’opposition islamiste, la Russie pourrait bientôt se trouver ciblée par le même type d’opérations islamistes que l’OTAN utilise actuellement en Syrie. Cela a apparemment convaincu Moscou, au moins pour l’instant, de risquer une confrontation avec les États-Unis dans une tentative désespérée pour dissuader l’action militaire de l’OTAN contre la Syrie et la Russie.

Article paru d’abord en anglais, WSWS, le 10 octobre 2016

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Billionaires Back « Black Lives Matter »

octobre 12th, 2016 by Gabriel Black

The Ford Foundation, one of the most powerful private foundations in the world, with close ties to Wall Street and the US government, recently announced that it is overseeing the funneling of $100 million over six years to several organizations that play leading roles in the Black Lives Matter movement.

“We’re eager to deepen and expand this community of social justice funders,” the foundation’s announcement reads. “We want to nurture bold experiments and help the movement build the solid infrastructure that will enable it to flourish.”

Fortune Magazine wrote that the foundation’s announcement “would make anyone sit up straighter if they read it in a pitch deck [a presentation for startups seeking investor capital].” The contribution of such an immense sum of money is a gift from the ruling class that will allow Black Lives Matter to construct a bureaucracy of salaried staff and lobbyist positions. The influx of money will bring the movement greater influence through campaign contributions and integrate it even more closely with the Democratic Party and the corporate media.

The Ford Foundation will also provide various forms of consultancy and advisory assistance to a consortium of 14 groups associated with Black Lives Matter. Both the financing and the auxiliary services are to be organized through a fund called the Black-Led Movement Fund (BLMF), which is being overseen by a firm called Borealis Philanthropy.

The Ford Foundation receives the bulk of its endowment from corporate contributors and very wealthy donors through trusts and bequeathments. Established in 1936 by Ford Motor Company founder Henry Ford and his son, Edsel, it today boasts the third largest endowment of any foundation, valued at roughly $12.4 billion.

The Ford Foundation has for years maintained close ties to US military and intelligence agencies. A British historian of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Frances Stonor Saunders, described the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations in her book The Cultural Cold War: The CIA and the World of Arts and Letters as “conscious instruments of covert US policy, with directors and officers who were closely connected to, or even members of American intelligence.”

Today, the foundation is not formally connected to Ford Motor Company, but its board of directors is a “who’s who” of powerful corporate players, including CEOs and Wall Street lawyers. The chairperson of the board of directors is Irene Inouye, widow of deceased Democratic Senator Daniel Inouye.

The $100 million gift is an acknowledgment by a powerful section of the ruling class that the aims of the Black Lives Matter movement are aligned with those of Wall Street and the US government.

In an interview with Bloomberg News in 2015, the Ford Foundation’s current president, Darren Walker, an ex-banker at UBS, spelled out the pro-capitalist perspective underlying the foundation’s decision to bankroll Black Lives Matter:

“Inequality in many ways undermines our vision for a more just and fair world,” he said. “Indeed, the American people, and it’s not just the Trump supporters, are feeling increasingly vulnerable, increasingly insecure, and what that does is it drives wedges in our society, in our democracy. Inequality is bad for our democracy. It kills aspirations and dreams and makes us more cynical as a people… What kind of Capitalism do we want to have in America?”

The foundation’s support for Black Lives Matter is an investment in the defense of the profit system. Black Lives Matter portrays the world as divided along racial lines, proclaiming on its web site that it “sees itself as part of a global black family.”

It claims that black people are “extended families and ‘villages’ that collectively care for one another, and especially ‘our’ children…” It explicitly rejects the notion that any other section of society has the right to raise grievances of its own. Its group history page notes: “Not just all lives. Black lives. Please do not change the conversation by talking about how your life matters, too.”

The petty-bourgeois leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement are now poised to exercise a significant degree of political influence directed at securing privileges within the political elite. A quick look at the founders of Black Lives Matter gives a sense of the opportunist and self-promotional character of the group as a whole. The official Black Lives Matter organization was founded by three people: Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi. The three met as members of BOLD (Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity). BOLD is one of the 14 organizations now being funded by the Black-Led Movement Fund.

One of these founders, Garza, runs an organization called the National Domestic Workers Alliance, on whose board sits Alta Starr. Starr oversees a fund at the Ford Foundation. She is also on the board of a foundation backed by billionaire George Soros, the Open Society Foundation’s Southern Initiative.

Patrisse Cullers is the director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. This organization was founded by Van Jones, a Democrat who worked under Obama as a special advisor on “green jobs, enterprise and innovation.” He is also a long time contributor to CNN. This organization also receives funds from the Open Society Foundation.

A leaked document from an October 2015 board meeting of the Soros-funded US Programs/Open Society revealed that the organization provided $650,000 “to invest in technical assistance and support for the groups at the core of the burgeoning #BlackLivesMatter movement.” The document notes that the board planned to discuss the difficulty of dealing with a de-centralized movement: “What happens when you want to throw a lot of money at a moment[sic], but there isn’t any place for it to go?” It was also raised that the Soros name could discredit Black Lives Matter if the public became aware of his financial support.

Many of the organizations on the list of Ford recipients are also members of the newly-formed “Movement for Black Lives,” which has published a policy agenda document centered on demands for greater government financing of black-owned businesses and institutions.

In an earlier period, nationalist movements such as the Black Panthers, however politically disoriented, had a genuine element of social struggle and conflict with the state. While their political program was of a petty-bourgeois character, they had a significant base of support among the oppressed. This was the period of the mass civil rights movement against Jim Crow segregation in the South and the urban rebellions in the North.

In response to the upheavals of the late 1960s, a section of the ruling class sought to cultivate a base of support among the more privileged sections of minorities that would be loyal to the status quo. As a result of policies such as affirmative action, social inequality among African-Americans has soared, with a small elite holding positions of power in corporate America and the state. This found its apotheosis in the election of Barack Obama to preside as president over a historic transfer of wealth to the financial aristocracy following the Wall Street crash of 2008.

These social transformations are reflected in the political outlook of the Black Lives Matter movement, which is devoid of any genuine element of social protest or democratic struggle. The agenda of these organizations, as underscored by the support of groups like the Ford Foundation, has nothing to do with the real social and economic grievances of millions of workers and young people of any race or ethnicity. They speak for highly privileged sections of the middle class who are fighting over the distribution of wealth within the top 10 percent of the population.

In the face of rising popular opposition to war, police violence and social inequality, the decision to advance the racialist program of Black Lives Matter is aimed at dividing the working class and preventing the emergence of an independent and unified working class movement against the capitalist system.

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Photos showing US jets being painted Russian colors have triggered debates and conspiracy theories online, with many saying Washington plans to conduct false flag attacks in Syria and blame them on Moscow.

The pictures of the US jets were posted by a Canadian journalist last week on his Twitter account.

Although the journalist noted that painting fighter jets in the colors of potential adversaries is standard practice, they caused a stir among conspiracy theorists.

Many of them accused the US of preparing a false flag attack aimed at framing Russia in Syria.

One Twitter user said the practice is reminiscent of Washington’s past actions regarding Cuba.

The publication of the images fell on fertile ground. Relations between Russia and the US over the Syria conflict are at an all-time low, with both countries exchanging threats and warnings with each other over their involvement in Syria.

The US and other militaries are known for using aggressor squadrons, which act as opposing forces in military war games. In addition to being painted in an adversary’s colors, they also use enemy tactics to provide realistic simulations of air combat.

click image to access RT instagram

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Amanda Taub du New York Times fait une analyse intelligente de la raison pour laquelle certaines guerres attirent plus l’attention « occidentale » que d’autres.

C’est seulement lorsqu’on peut tirer des conflits un récit, une histoire convaincante et excitante, sans rapport nécessaire avec les pertes humaines, mais qui passionne le public comme les politiciens, que l’intérêt des Étasuniens pour eux ne faiblit pas. Il faut qu’ils aient un lien direct avec les intérêts étasuniens immédiats et des questions culturelles ou des débats politiques étasuniennes, et surtout, sans doute, qu’ils offrent un cadre émotionnel attractif où les bons et les méchants sont clairement identifiables.

Le nombre de morts du Yémen est inférieur à celui de la Syrie mais, bien qu’Al-Qaïda y opère, le conflit du Yémen n’a pas eu le même impact sur les intérêts étasuniens et européens que la Syrie. Il n’y a pas d’histoire évidente du bien contre le mal à en tirer. Le pays est déchiré par différentes factions en guerre sur le terrain, et pilonné par l’Arabie saoudite, un allié étasunien. Il n’y a pas de méchants assez faciles à photographier pour que les Étasuniens s’enflamment contre eux.

Ce sont de bonnes observations. Mais ces journalistes font eux-mêmes partie du processus qu’ils décrivent. Ils créent artificiellement des « bons » et des « méchants » et sont conduits par des « intérêts ». (Note : Je doute qu’il soit exact, comme elle l’affirme catégoriquement, que « le nombre de morts du Yémen soit inférieur à celui de la Syrie ». La famine dans le nord-Yémen est très grave. Le nombre de morts n’est tout simplement pas encore connu, mais il se monte probablement à des centaines de milliers..…).

Les informations ne dépendent pas de l’existence du bien et du mal ni de l’existence d’une histoire intéressante. Une telle idée relève tout simplement d’une idéalisation ridicule. Ce sont les médias qui créent les camps (souvent artificiels) d’une guerre en fonction des intérêts en jeu. Le bien et le mal ne sont pas intrinsèques aux situations, ils sont fabriqués. Il n’est pas du tout nécessaire qu’une histoire soit réellement excitante. Il est facile de concocter, à tout moment, une histoire excitante qui ne sera probablement pas vraie du tout.

Ce sont les « intérêts » qui décident qui sont les « bons » et les « méchants » et qui créent les histoires « intéressantes » – des intérêts économiques bien précis, comme le business du pétrole qui sous-tend la campagne Ltd* en Syrie, mais aussi la recherche du pouvoir personnel ou d’avantages tribaux. Les entreprises de relations publiques et les politiciens qui sont au service de ces « intérêts » donnent aux journalistes les infos dont ils ont besoin pour bien tourner leurs histoires. Les journalistes bien domestiqués des médias dominants savent intuitivement quand des « intérêts » sont en jeu. Ils font de leur mieux pour les satisfaire – sinon ils perdraient leurs emplois lucratifs.

Au milieu des années 2000, al-Qaïda en Irak était « méchante » et la force d’occupation étasunienne qui « sauvait les pauvres Irakiens » était « bonne ». Mais tout cela n’était que mensonge, c’était simplement l’histoire « intéressante » que l’armée étasunienne voulait que les médias racontent. Elle a fabriqué cette histoire pour cacher la vérité, à savoir que les vrais Irakiens se soulevaient contre l’occupation, de quelque côté qu’il soit.

L’armée étasunienne a versé plus de 540 millions de dollars à la firme de relations publiques britannique, Bell Pottinger, pour fabriquer les horribles vidéos d’Al-Qaïda :

Les vidéos fabriquées par Bell Pottinger incluaient de courts extraits télévisuels réalisés dans le style des médias arabes et de fausses vidéos des insurgés qui pouvaient être utilisées pour poursuivre les gens qui les regardaient, selon un ancien employé.

Le personnel de l’agence travaillait avec des officiers étasuniens haut gradés dans leur base du Camp de la victoire à Bagdad, pendant que l’insurrection faisait rage à l’extérieur.

Pour 540 millions de dollars, on pourrait tourner deux films primés aux Oscars dans la série des films les plus chers. C’est une énorme quantité d’argent, assez pour des milliers de clips à petit budget des « terroristes d’al-Qaïda ». Dans la guerre d’Irak ces clips ont créé le nouveau « méchant » de la guerre et l’histoire « intéressante » qu’il fallait raconter pour que l’occupation militaire soit vue comme « bonne » et puisse se poursuivre en tout bien tout honneur.

Les gouvernements « occidentaux » ont versé plus de 70 millions de dollars aux « Casques blancs », la fausse « Défense civile syrienne » créée par la firme de relation publique Purpose Inc. de New York, pour faire et pour diffuser des photos et des films qui désignent l’insurrection islamique en Syrie comme « bonne » et le gouvernement syrien et ses alliés comme « méchant » (des milliards (!) supplémentaires sont consacrés chaque année à l’approvisionnement en armes des mercenaires du camp djihadiste et à leurs salaires).

Les médias « occidentaux » comprennent ce que veulent les « intérêts ». Ils avalent ce que produisent les firmes de relations publiques, le digèrent et le recrachent au consommateur. L’« indignation » suscitée par les « intéressantes » histoires quotidiennes est ensuite utilisé par les « intérêts » pour faire avancer leurs objectifs.

Voici quelques exemples récents de ces manipulations trouvées dans le menu quotidien proposé par les médias au public « occidental ».

Lousie Loveluck, une « journaliste du Washington Post, envoit de la propagande sur les « djihadistes modérés » depuis Alep-est : Le bombardement d’Alep détruit encore un important hôpital.

Le plus grand hôpital d’Alep-est a été bombardé samedi pour la deuxième fois de la semaine, tuant et blessant plus d’une douzaine de patients qui se remettaient des attaques précédentes.

Les médecins de l’établissement, connus sous le nom de M10, ont déclaré que l’assaut incluait des bombes à sous-munitions, des bombes baril et des armes incendiaires qui ont provoqué une grande panique et des appels à l’aide.

Elle tweete :

Louisa Loveluck @leloveluck

L’attaque sur le principal hôpital de traumatologie d’Alep a tué 2 patients, blessé 13. 7 frappes, incluant des bombes à sous-munitions, des bombes baril, des bombes incendiaires et à vide.

08:38 – 1 octobre 2016

Il semble que les médecins (probablement tous les pédiatres, dont certains sont «  les derniers » et d’autres sont morts) soient les seules sources de Loveluck à Alep.

Sept attaques avec des armes à sous-munitions, des bombes à canon, des armes incendiaires et des bombes à vide, tout cela ensemble (note : et pas encore d’armes nucléaires ?) « SUR » un hôpital soi-disant plein et seulement deux morts ??? Et iI y a encore un bâtiment debout ??? C’est un peu curieux. Poutine et Assad sont vraiment nuls en frappes aériennes. Ou peut-être que l’hôpital n’a pas été ciblé du tout. Peut-être que la véritable cible était une position d’artillerie ou des quartiers généraux des djihadistes. Mme Loveluck ne montre aucun désir d’en savoir plus. Les médecins, payés par l’organisation américaine de relations publiques SAMS Foundation, sont tout ce dont elle a besoin. Les « bons », les « méchants », l’histoire « intéressante », tout est déjà là, elle n’a plus qu’à s’en servir pour son « reportage ».

Le National de Dubaï dans les Emirats Arabes Unis (E.A.U.) est généralement un bon journal. Son récent article sur les coulisses de l’organe de propagande mensongère des « Casques blancs » est bien meilleur que ceux des médias grand public. Le reportage de Phil Sands sur le sud de la Syrie est excellent. Mais parfois, il doit faire son devoir en tant que bénéficiaire de subventions publiques et il se met à publier de « drôles » de trucs : Des passagers sauvés du bateau d’aide humanitaire émirati attaqué par des combattants rebelles au Yémen :

Des passagers civils d’un navire d’aide humanitaire des Emirats transportant des fournitures médicales et de première nécessité vers le Yémen ont été sauvés après que le navire a été attaqué par les milices Houthi.

Une opération de sauvetage a été lancée dans les premières heures de samedi après qu’un navire civil appartenant à National Marine Dredging Company des EAU a été intercepté dans le détroit de Bab Al-Mandeb alors qu’il livrait du matériel d’urgence à Aden.

Le « navire d’aide humanitaire » était le catamaran d’approvisionnement militaire rapide HSV-2 Swift. Il fait des allers et retours entre le port érythréen d’Assab et Aden, dans le sud-Yémen, pour transporter des militaires et mercenaires des E.A.U., ainsi que leurs armes lourdes. L’année dernière, Janes a analysé des images satellites du port d’Assam :

L’Image du 7 novembre montre aussi que le catamaran roulier à grande vitesse Swift 1 (IMO : 9283928) était également présent sur les lieux.

(Janes se trompe de nom. Le numéro IMO est celui du HSV-2 Swift que les Emirats Arabes Unis ont loué.)

Le mois dernier, War on the Rocks s’est penché, de manière plus approfondie, sur la guerre des Emirats Arabes Unis contre le Yémen et dont le port d’Assab, loué à l’Erythrée, est la base principale :

Au cours de la dernière année, ce port en plein désert est devenu une base aérienne moderne avec un port en eau profonde et un centre de formation militaire.

La construction d’un aérodrome à Assab s’est terminée fin juillet 2015, ainsi que la base qui sert de zone de soutien logistique et de plaque tournante aux forces blindées, de la taille d’une brigade des E.A.U., qui serviraient de fer de lance à l’attaque d’Aden. Elles étaient composées de deux escadrons de chars de combat Leclerc, un bataillon de véhicules de combat d’infanterie BMP-3 et deux batteries d’obusiers G6. Les E.A.U. ont également envoyé par mer une force de 1500 hommes – des soldats yéménites, montés dans des véhicules blindés fournis par les E.A.U., qui ont été formés et équipés à Assab.

Le navire, qui était évidemment un navire militaire, a été frappé pendant la nuit du 28 septembre. Les forces armées yéménites alliées aux Houthis ont lancé depuis la terre un missile anti-navire C-802 chinois. Les médias Houthi ont publié une excellente vidéo de ce lancement réussi. Le navire, à la vaste et puissante coque d’aluminium, s’est enflammé d’un seul coup. L’« aide humanitaire » et les nombreux « passagers civils » n’ont probablement pas survécu.

Aujourd’hui, les militaires des E.A.U., dirigés par le général australien, Mike Hindmarsh, et ses hommes, ont bombardé les bateaux de pêche yéménites le long de la côte occidentale du Yémen. Les bateaux de pêche, l’une des rares sources d’approvisionnement alimentaire qui reste au Yémen, n’ont rien à voir avec le succès de l’attaque. Le C-802 a été lancé et guidé par radar depuis la terre. Mais aucun média dominant « occidental » ne vous le dira. Les « bons » et les « méchants » dans cette guerre ne sont pas ceux qui leur conviennent. Ils aimeraient peut-être nous parler des « bons » Yéménites opprimés et des « méchants » Saoudiens, mais ils n’en ont pas le droit. Il manque à l’histoire son aspect « intéressant ». Le National tente de promouvoir les « intérêts » de ceux qui le subventionnent, mais il rate son coup.

On trouve un autre exemple de reportage très partial sur les « bons » et les « méchants », pour ne pas parler carrément de mensonge, dans l’Independent d’aujourd’hui : La nageuse syrienne et son frère 12 ans tués par les bombardements à Alep

L’étudiante et sportive, Mireille Hindoyan, a été grièvement blessée, et est décédée plus tard, après que des bombes sont tombées sur le quartier de Villi.

« Des bombes sont tombées », écrit l’Independent. Nulle part dans l’article on ne nous dit qui a fait « tomber les bombes » et tué la nageuse. Mais les lecteurs savent bien que seules les forces syriennes et russes sont en capacité de bombarder Alep.

Villi est le quartier arménien d’Alep. Voici ce que les médias arméniens ont écrit :

ALEP. – Trois Arméniens ont été tués à la suite du bombardement du quartier arménien densément peuplé de Villi à Alep, en Syrie.
..
Les terroristes bombardent le district de Villi, densément peuplée d’Arméniens [..], à Alep, depuis vendredi matin.

Le district de Villi se trouve dans la partie occidentale d’Alep tenue par le gouvernement. La nageuse a été tuée par les bombardements des djihadistes d’Alep-est soutenus par les Etats-Unis. Mais ce n’est pas l’Independent qui vous le dira. Il insinue que les « méchants » Assad et Poutine ont tué la nageuse. Le fait que les « bons » djihadistes tuent des civils du camp du gouvernement n’est pas une histoire « intéressante ». On n’a pas le droit de le dire. À moins qu’ils ne soient des nageurs primés, ces morts-là, pourtant quotidiens, n’existent pas.

Début 2011, on trouvait des rapports similaires, concernant la Libye, partout dans les médias « occidentaux ». Dans son discours, Kadhafi menace de déclencher un « génocide » en Libye a été un des gros titres décisifs. Khadhafi n’a bien sûr jamais proféré de telles menaces. Il a seulement promis de vaincre la sanglante insurrection armée menée par le Groupe islamique combattant libyen, aligné sur les djihadistes d’Al-Qaïda financés par le Qatar. Ils ont occupé Benghazi, supprimé ses habitants et menacé l’Etat libyen. Mais la fausse information et l’indignation « occidentale » qu’elle a suscitée a servi de base à une attaque à grande échelle de l’OTAN qui a ensuite détruit la nation libyenne. Une enquête du parlement britannique confirme maintenant qu’il n’y a jamais eu de menace contre des civils par Kadhafi et que toutes les assertions des médias et des politiciens « occidentaux » étaient fausses et sans fondement. À l’époque, c’était une histoire « intéressante », racontée par les « intérêts » dirigeants, et un mensonge absolu.

L’histoire « intéressante » du génocide de Kadhafi ne s’est bien vendue qu’au public « occidental » parce que les médias ont joué le jeu des bellicistes. Ils ont décrit le gouvernement libyen comme « méchant » et les djihadistes comme « bons ». Une véritable enquête médiatique aurait mis à jour sans difficulté des faits prouvant le contraire. Mais les « reporters » s’en sont bien gardés. Rien n’a pas changé, comme on peut le constater avec la Syrie. Tout ce qu’affirme la « bonne » opposition est considéré comme la vérité et relayé sans aucune vérification. Les attaques des « bons » djihadistes contre le camp du gouvernement, perçu comme le « méchant », ne sont pas « intéressantes », et soit ne sont pas rapportés, soit le sont de manière biaisée.

Dans la guerre contre le Yémen les médias sont dans le camp des attaquants émiratis et saoudiens soutenus par les Américains. On peut seulement trouver quelques infos sur la famine qui sévit dans le nord du Yémen à cause du blocus américano-saoudien de toutes les importations vitales pour le pays. Bien que ce soit vraiment une histoire intéressante mettant en jeu des intérêts humains vitaux qui pourrait engendrer un débat public, on n’en fait pas une histoire « intéressante ». De même, les bombardements saoudiens et émiratis qui terrorisent, au quotidien, la population de la capitale yéménite Sanaa ne trouvent pas d’écho dans les journaux « occidentaux ». L’attaque Houthi réussie contre le navire militaire sera vendue comme du « terrorisme » pour justifier une nouvelle escalade de la guerre.

Tout cela n’est qu’une affaire d’« intérêts ». Pas seulement les « intérêts étasuniens » en général, ou les « intérêts humains » idéalisés, mais des intérêts beaucoup plus spécifiques. Amanda Taub et les autres « reporters » sont à la solde de ces « intérêts ». Le plus souvent, ils se mentent à eux-mêmes et s’imaginent qu’il en est autrement. Mais leurs illusions ne résistent pas à l’épreuve des faits.

Moon of Alabama

Note :

* limited company, une forme juridique d’entreprise anglo-saxonne.

Article original en anglais :

under-newspaper

Special Interests Create The “Good”, The “Bad” And The “Compelling” Story – The Media Tell It

Traduction : Dominique Muselet

  • Posted in Francais @fr
  • Commentaires fermés sur Des intérêts particuliers créent les « bons », les « méchants », et l’histoire « intéressante » qui va avec.

Les « casques blancs » ont loupé le prix Nobel de la paix, car démasqués ; et voici que « des médecins du monde » prennent le relai [1] :

« Oyez, oyez bonnes gens, notre indignation doit faire cesser le massacre d’Alep par les forces russes et du régime [syrien, bien entendu]. Signez et faites signer « notre » pétition, le sort des Alépins en dépend. Que nos voix puissent faire basculer l’histoire en sortant les dirigeants du monde de leur honteuse indifférence. PS : et surtout n’oubliez pas de faire un don ! ».

Sinistre indignation au moment même où le sort des Alépins a, peut-être, cessé de dépendre des dirigeants de « votre » monde, du fait d’un cinquième veto russe ce 7 octobre [2] ; un veto venu les empêcher de faire basculer l’histoire de cette ville meurtrie et de tant d’autres villes, sacrifiées sur l’autel de leur insatiable rapacité et de leur incomparable arrogance.

Sérieusement, avez-vous trouvé que MM. Ayrault et Kerry, pour ne citer que ces deux dirigeants du monde auquel vous faites visiblement référence, ont fait montre d’une « honteuse indifférence » devant la déroute des terroristes d’Al-Nosra et Cie, à Alep ? Ont-ils jamais ménagé leurs efforts pour des réunionites urgentissimes au Conseil de sécurité afin d’arracher les résolutions qui les sauveraient à défaut de les blanchir ?

N’avez-vous pas entendu leur émissaire spécial, Staffan de Mistura, au moment même de la conférence de presse de MM. Ayrault et Lavrov ce 6 octobre [3], proposer la sortie de 900 terroristes assiégés du secteur est d’Alep, quitte à prendre le risque de les accompagner physiquement vers Idleb ou ailleurs; oubliant, dans sa détresse, que quelques jours plus tôt il les avait chiffrés à 3000 et que les autorités syriennes ne demandaient pas mieux qu’ils se dirigent, tous, vers Idleb ou ailleurs, exactement comme il le souhaitait ? Une proposition sur ordre des ses supérieurs et des chiffres faux dans un cas comme dans l’autre, vous vous en doutez. Une proposition refusée par les intéressés dans la journée avec tous les noms d’oiseaux à l’égard de leur courageux bienfaiteur.

Que pouvaient-ils faire, plus qu’ils n’ont fait, pour remettre à leurs terroristes préférés cette ville stratégique afin de créer leur « Sunnistan » rêvé, une fois qu’ils les auraient débarbouillés et cravatés ou, tout simplement éliminés, dans le but de l’offrir à des serviteurs moins zélés mais plus dociles ?

Et, qui que vous soyez, que dire de votre propre indifférence depuis l’été 2012 devant Alep assiégée par les terroristes, affamée, assoiffée, violée, pillée, détruite, souffrant de milliers de morts et de toutes les blessures, sous leurs « canons de l’enfer » fièrement exhibés ?

Comment se fait-il que seuls les appels au secours des terroristes, qui martyrisent cette ville depuis quatre années, chatouillent votre altruisme militant ? Des terroristes « génétiquement modifiés en opposition armée modérée » par MM. Ayrault et Kerry et leurs amis et prédécesseurs, comme décrits à maintes reprises par le Dr Bachar al-Jaafari devant le Conseil de sécurité des Nations Unies ; à moins, qu’à l’image de vos dirigeants, vous ne vous contentiez de cracher vos accusations avant de prestement déguerpir pour ne pas avoir à entendre les preuves irréfutables contredisant vos allégations.

Et sous quelles malsaines arguties comptez-vous ensevelir vos vaillantes indignations devant le dernier et le plus meurtrier d’une longue série de massacres collectifs [4] commis par les chasseurs saoudiens ayant bombardé des civils yéménites rendus à une cérémonie funéraire, à Sanaa, pour présenter leurs condoléances au ministre de l’Intérieur suite au décès de son père, ce 8 octobre ? D’après les experts militaires, il s’agit bel et bien de frappes aériennes et plus exactement de 4 raids consécutifs [5], non de déflagrations au sol comme annoncé au départ.

Le bilan de cette promenade de santé saoudienne est d’environ 140 morts tellement carbonisés et déchiquetés, pour la plupart, que leur identification n’est possible que par profilage génétique, technologie indisponible dans le pays d’après un haut responsable de la ville, et de 600 blessés.

Des blessés qui risquent de mourir à leur tour, parce que les blessures sont graves et que le grand frère saoudien interdit leur transport à l’étranger, alors qu’il n’y a plus rien qui n’ait été détruit dans ce beau pays anciennement appelé l’« Arabie heureuse ». Il n’y a plus rien, ni hôpitaux, ni écoles, ni infrastructures, ni usines, ni… Une belle occasion de mettre votre indignation à profit, en actes et en paroles.

Quatre jours sont passés et pas une réunion de l’ONU au programme pour sanctionner cet acte gratuit et misérable, sans doute parce que les massacreurs des Yéménites sont les protégés de cette respectable organisation, au même titre que les terroristes massacreurs à Alep. Les premiers n’ont mérité qu’un blâme de Ban Ki-moon, pour la forme, les seconds ayant eu droit à trois réunions du Conseil de sécurité en une semaine !

Bref, Messieurs les médecins d’on ne sait quel monde, votre diagnostic est faux et relève sans doute d’une instrumentalisation, non d’une improbable ignorance de vos propres dirigeants. Nous le savons. Ils le savent. Alors, de grâce, dites-leur d’aller voir ailleurs et de trouver un autre moyen de récolter des dons pour vos nobles causes. Alep et toute la Syrie s’en passeront.

Mouna Alno-Nakhal

11/10/2016

 

Notes :

[1] Notre indignation doit faire cesser le massacre d’Alep

http://www.medecinsdumonde.org/pays/moyen-orient/petition-syrie-0

[2] Syrie: le Conseil de sécurité vote sur la résolution de la France et Moscou présente son alternative (vidéo RT)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iiti7OApUJw

[3] Lavrov : « On doit se soucier de toute la population d’Alep, pas seulement de celle de l’est » (Vidéo)

https://francais.rt.com/international/27273-conference-presse-conjointe-lavrov-ayrault

[4] The agony of #Yemen (vidéo)

https://www.facebook.com/vanessa.beeley/videos/vb.667683867/10155625087228868/?type=2&theater

[5] Al-Mayadeen (vidéo)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p97LCNhHKE8&feature=youtu.be

 

***

The Syrian War And The Question Of An American Mutiny

octobre 11th, 2016 by Adeyinka Makinde

 A recent press conference given by US Army General Mark Milley, the present serving army chief of staff reminded me of the fictional character played by Burt Lancaster in the 1964 movie ‘Seven Days in May’. That film posited the scenario of James Scott (the Lancaster character) as a Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who, disgruntled about the serving president’s perceived weakness in seeking a treaty with the Soviet Union, plots to overthrow the civilian government.

‘Seven Days in May’ was based on a book that drew its inspiration from real life American political and military figures in the early 1960s during the Cold War. At that time Right-wing, verging on fascist-leaning generals such as Army General Lyman Lemnitzer the supremo at the Pentagon and Air Force Generals Curtis LeMay and Tommy Powers dominated the Pentagon. A Major General named Edwin Walker actually tried to indoctrinate troops under his command with the teachings of the Right-wing John Birch Society.

It was in the prevailing atmosphere of fervent anti-communism at the time that these generals sought to undermine and even plot to overthrow the government of President John F. Kennedy. This view was not limited to a few senators and journalists of the time. The Kremlin apparently believed this to the extent that it is claimed to have influenced Nikita Khruschev’s decision to reach the settlement that he did with Kennedy over the Cuban Missile Crisis. The Soviets feared a US military government would make the issue of a nuclear war not merely a possibility, but one of absolute certainty.

Lemnitzer is said to have believed in the theory espoused by military strategist Herman Kahn that the United States could win a nuclear war by a first strike attack.

LeMay, who in 1949 drew up plans to destroy 77 Russian cities in a single day of bombing, was on record as inviting a war with the Soviet Union and admitted that Tommy Powers, to whom he had variously referred to as “not stable” and a “sadist”,  was even more hardline than he was.

All three felt that Kennedy was weak in failing to invade Cuba and giving the Soviets the secret undertaking not to invade the island in return for the removal of Soviet missiles from Cuba.

Arthur Schlesinger Jr., one of JFK’s team would later admit that « we did not control the Joint Chiefs of Staff ».

That appears to be the situation today.

There is evidence that President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry are being undermined by not only by figures in the present Pentagon such as General Milley and General Joseph Durnford, the current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but also by the Secretary of Defence, Ash Carter.

For much of the available evidence points to the recent bombing by United States and NATO forces of Syrian Army placements in the eastern province of Deir al-Zour which killed over 60 and wounded over 100 Syrian soldiers as being far from the officially announced accident, and instead was a deliberate action designed to destroy the Kerry-Lavrov ceasefire and also to enable Jihadist forces to mount an offence against the Syrian Arab Army.

It is a longstanding policy of the United States to use Jihadist groups as proxies against their enemies. This was successfully achieved in securing the withdrawal of Soviet armies from Afghanistan as well as in overthrowing the regime of Colonel Gaddafi in Libya. The government of the United States has been applying the template of this policy in Syria despite its official anti-Jihadist stance and anti-ISIS propaganda. The Russian intervention has shown this to be disingenuous. This is why Russia is an enemy and the United States does not want Aleppo to fall to the Syrian Arab Army.

The US generals are hardly likely to be ignorant of this cynical geo-strategic policy of US covert support for ISIS, Jabhat al Nusra and virtually all the Sunni rebel militias. The ridiculous notion of the existence of ‘moderate’ rebels; one which has been roundly discredited at various intervals since the beginning of the Syrian conflict, was resuscitated recently and formed the basis of US arguments against Russia targeting all rebel positions in the vicinity of Aleppo.

Russian air power has been instrumental in enabling the Syrian Arab Army to reclaim Syrian territory lost to Jihadi groups such as Islamic State and al Nusra. Therefore calls by administration figures such as Carter and politicians such as Senator John McCain, Hillary Clinton, Tim Kaine and Donald Trump’s running mate Mike Pence, for a ‘No Fly Zone’ are an invitation to war with Russia. This was confirmed by General Durnford’s unambiguous statement before a Senate Committee that such a declaration “will mean war with Russia.” It would also serve the interests of Jihadist groups.

But a crucial point which has not received much focus in the American mainstream press is the import to be taken from words uttered America’s most senior general at the aforementioned Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on US strategy in the Middle East which took place on the 22nd of September.

A report by Reuters of the congressional hearing noted that Durnford had stated that it would “be unwise” to share intelligence with Russia, and further, that Durnford had stressed that it would not be one of the military’s missions if Washington and Moscow were to ever work together against Islamist militants in Syria. When asked if he would support the proposal on intelligence sharing with Russia agreed upon by John Kerry and Sergey Lavrov on the 9th of September, Dunford responded “We don’t have any intention of having any intelligence sharing arrangement with the Russians.”

Both Durnford and Carter openly contradicted the official policy at the hearing and General Milley’s recent sabre rattling press briefing which included a not so veiled threat to Russia when he promised to « destroy any enemy, anywhere and anytime », provides ample illumination on the attitude of US military leaders towards the notion of cooperating with the Russians in Syria or elsewhere. It certainly opens serious questions about the purportedly accidental attack on the Syrian Army which is said to have lasted for over an hour.

If army generals like Durnford and Milley are disobeying orders and policy instructions from the White House, both should be dealt with under the provisions contained within the United States Uniform Code of Justice as pertain to the usurping or overriding of military authority. A strict application of military custom should have had both reprimanded and instructed to disavow their words failing which they should be demoted, court martialed and dismissed from the service. In fact, mutiny is technically punishable by death; presumably in this case execution by firing squad.

Barack Obama did in the past remove generals who disagreed with him, a notable example being that of General Stanley McChrystal. His inaction on this matter may be due to the lame duck status all presidents acquire in the last months of their presidency. While Obama’s policy remains the American position on using Islamist militias to overthrow Arab regimes which do not act in accord with the wishes of the United States and Israel, it is difficult to believe that he would want to go down in history as the president who started World War Three.

Adeyinka Makinde is a writer based in London, England.

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Afghanistan occupazione duratura

octobre 11th, 2016 by Manlio Dinucci

Il quindicesimo anniversario dell’11 settembre ha occupato per giorni le prime pagine. Blackout mediatico, invece, sul quindicesimo anniversario della guerra in Afghanistan, iniziata il 7 ottobre 2001 con l’operazione «Libertà duratura».

Motivazione ufficiale: la caccia a Osama bin Laden, organizzatore degli attacchi dell’11 settembre, nascosto in una caverna afghana sotto protezione dei talebani. In realtà, si saprà in seguito, il piano dell’operazione era già sul tavolo del presidente Bush prima dell’11 settembre. Quali fossero i suoi obiettivi strategici emergeva chiaramente dal rapporto Quadrennial Defense Review, diffuso dal Pentagono il 30 settembre 2001, una settimana prima dell’inizio della guerra in Afghanistan.

Sul Manifesto del 10 ottobre 2001 ne pubblicammo le parti essenziali, che oggi possiamo rileggere alla luce degli avvenimenti successivi: «Gli Stati uniti, che come potenza globale hanno importanti interessi geopolitici in tutto il mondo, devono precludere ad altri il dominio di aree cruciali, particolarmente l’Europa, l’Asia nordorientale, il litorale dell’Asia orientale, il Medio Oriente e l’Asia sudoccidentale. L’Asia, in particolare, sta emergendo come una regione suscettibile di competizione militare su larga scala. Esiste la possibilità che emerga nella regione un rivale militare con una formidabile base di risorse. Le nostre forze armate devono mantenere la capacità di imporre la volontà degli Stati uniti a qualsiasi avversario, inclusi stati ed entità non-statali, così da cambiare il regime di uno stato avversario od occupare un territorio straniero finché gli obiettivi strategici statunitensi non siano realizzati». È qui scritto a chiare lettere quali sono le reali ragioni della guerra in Afghanistan.

Nel periodo precedente l’11 settembre 2001, vi sono in Asia forti segnali di riavvicinamento tra Cina e Russia, che si concretizzano quando, il 17 luglio 2001, viene firmato il Trattato di buon vicinato e amichevole cooperazione, definito «pietra miliare» nelle relazioni tra i due paesi.

Washington considera il riavvicinamento tra Cina e Russia una sfida agli interessi sta-tunitensi in Asia, nel momento critico in cui gli Usa cercano di occupare il vuoto che la digregazione dell’Urss ha lasciato in Asia centrale, area di primaria importanza sia per la sua posizione geostrategica rispetto a Russia e Cina, sia per le limitrofe riserve di petrolio e gas naturale del Caspio.

Posizione chiave per il controllo di quest’area è quella afghana. Ciò spiega l’enorme spiegamento di forze Usa/Nato in Afghanistan, per una guerra che —secondo una stima per difetto del Watson Institute (Brown University, Usa)— ha finora provocato oltre 170 mila morti e 180 mila feriti gravi e una spesa ufficiale, solo da parte Usa, di circa 830 miliardi di dollari (oltre 40 volte il pil dell’Afghanistan) più altre enormi spese non registrate. Comprese le operazioni militari in Iraq, Libia, Siria e altri paesi, la spesa ufficiale Usa, limitatamente alle sole operazioni militari, ammonta nel 2001-2016 a circa 3700 miliardi di dollari e comporta impegni futuri (soprattutto come assistenza ai veterani) che la portano a circa 4800 miliardi.

All’operazione Nato sotto comando Usa in Afghanistan, ridenominata «Sostegno Risoluto», continua a partecipare l’Italia con un contingente schierato nelle aree di Kabul ed Herat. Ufficiali italiani sono dislocati a Tampa (Florida) presso il Comando Usa dell’intera operazione e in Bahrein quale personale di collegamento con le forze Usa. Nel quadro della stessa strategia, l’Italia è impegnata in 27 «missioni» in 19 paesi.

Manlio Dinucci

 

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