In an interview on September 11, 2001 swaggering-real estate mogul Donald Trump and present Republican presidential candidate remarked that the World Trade Center Twin Towers were likely brought down through controlled demolition.

This prescient observation has been intentionally overlooked by major media in the wake of 9/11’s fifteenth anniversary.

Many corporate news outlets chose instead to single out a off-handed comment by Trump early on in the exchange where he momentarily ‘bragged’ that he ‘owned the tallest building’ in Manhattan next to the WTC– while failing to recognize and highlight his much more important expert opinion a few moments later concerning the World Trade Center’s fate alongside those of its inhabitants.

trump-trade-center-ii

Standing to a model called Twin Towers II, Trump in 2005 said plans to build the Freedom Tower should be scrapped. PHOTO: The Age

 

screen-shot-2016-09-15-at-10-17-39-am

« At one point during the nearly 10-minute interview, » Washington Post political reporter Jenna Johnson writes, « Trump mentioned that his building in the Financial District was now the tallest.

« Forty Wall St. actually was the second-tallest building in downtown Manhattan, and it was, actually, before the World Trade Center, was the tallest, » Trump said in an interview with WWOR-TV in New York when asked whether his building had been damaged. « And then when they built the World Trade Center, it became known as the second-tallest, and now it’s the tallest. »

The Huffington Post likewise took the statement out of context to carry on the now-routine Trump-bashing campaign.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has been widely criticized for bragging, after the collapse of the twin towers on Sept. 11, 2001, that his building at 40 Wall Street was now the tallest skyscraper in lower Manhattan.

Not only was Trump’s boast despicable, coming as it did just hours after nearly 3,000 people lost their lives ― it was also a lie, according to architectural reports reviewed by The Huffington Post.

The above suggests an effort to mislead and confuse political reportage in an attempt to suppress any meaningful discussion of and plea for a true investigation of the most significant historical and geopolitical event in the past half century.

Trump’s ‘boast’ took place at around the two-minute mark. Yet here is Trump’s key remark from that discussion that begin at 5:30, following the interviewer’s suggestion that explosives may have been the cause of the WTC Towers’ destruction and Trump explaining his understanding of the buildings’ architectural components:

I happen to think they had not only a plane but bombs that exploded almost simultaneously, because I can’t imagine anything being able to go through that wall. Most buildings are built where the steel is on the inside around the elevator shaft. This one was built from the outside, which is the strongest structure you can have, and it [came down] almost just like a can of soup. 

Americans live in the ‘United States of Amnesia,’ as Michael Eric Dyson once put it, largely because of deceptive media and educational institutions, both of which airbrush history for the Inner Party, much as in  Soviet Russia or Orwell’s 1984.

In fact, Trump’s September 11, 2001 observation eerily corroborates the Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth version of the World Trade Center towers free fall. Trump recognized from first hand knowledge the Towers “very strong structures” and maintained only powerful explosives could have taken them down in such a fashion. He dismissed cartoon physics and remarked that an aluminum plane could not have sliced through the steel-girded exterior.

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Foreign journalists are hoping that China can draw the world’s attention to economic growth and developing countries during the G20 Summit as they prepared for the coverage of the event on Thursday.

Carla Stea, a journalist at the Centre for Research on Globalization, an independent research and media organization in Montreal, Canada, said she hopes most that China can persuade other countries to adopt win-win cooperation as opposed to the zero sum game.

« I hope China will be effective in convincing other countries to invest more money in human development and less money in military and nuclear weapons, » said Stea on the opening day of the media center. « The more the developed world invests in underdeveloped countries, the more interest the underdeveloped countries have to pay on the debt, as well as interest on the interest. This has to stop, and we need to restructure the foreign debt for these underdeveloped countries. »

Journalists laud focus on developing countries

Global Research’s Carla Stea’s in the media center at the G20 Summit venue in September. Wang Zhuangfei / China Daily

Vice-Foreign Minister Zhang Ming said the Hangzhou G20 Summit will focus more on developing countries than previous summits did. The development of African countries in particular will be an important issue.

Walter Michael, a CCTV journalist, said China’s emphasis on the developing world is a welcoming move.

« It is great that China has invited a lot of developing countries to the summit. Inclusivity is a big theme of this summit. The developing countries deserve a spot at the table. It’s good for world leaders to hear what they have to say, » he said.

Joao Netto, a reporter for Brazil’s NBR Television, said sustainable development is his key concern as the world leaders get together and come up with strategies to spur the sluggish economy. « The main points of my reporting will include sustainable development and global economic recovery because Brazil is in an economic crisis, » said Netto.

Nearly 5,000 journalists from some 70 countries have registered for the Hangzhou summit. A 15,000-square-meter media center has been built to help them. The center is equipped with Chinese and English phones that provide real-time simultaneous interpretation service of 14 languages spoken at the event.

There are 500 personal computers at service in the hall and 1,500 seats for journalists in the center. More than 40 agencies from China and abroad have moved in the office rooms.

Wang Xi’ning, head of the G20 Summit’s press center, said 24-hour nonstop service will start on Saturday to better serve reporters.

« First-tier technology and equipment at the center has been prepared to help reporters immediately spread text, pictures, audio and video. … China has always been proactive in providing information of various types to journalists from around the world, » Wang said.

What’s in the bag? Reporters find out

As the media center of the G20 Summit opened its doors on Thursday, Hangzhou, the host city, gave every registered reporter a backpack containing three of the city’s most popular souvenirs: an umbrella, a silk scarf and a folding fan.

The umbrella brand – Paradise – has been around for more than three decades and is well known in China. Produced by Hangzhou Paradise Umbrella Group Co, one of the largest umbrella manufacturers in China, the gift sports a « G20 2016 CHINA » logo and promises protection against the ample rain and strong late-summer sunshine characteristic of Hangzhou.

Reporters were also surprised to find a silk scarf, a Hangzhou trademark for thousands of years. Its climate is ideal for the growth of mulberries and silkworms which lead to high-quality silk products.

The folding fan, created by Hangzhou Wangxingji Fan Co, represents the literary culture and graceful lifestyle of the city. Since the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279) when the imperial family settled in Hangzhou, craftsmen and artists also moved there and brought the art of fan making.

The backpack itself is branded Hedgren, a bag and suitcase maker formerly from Belgium that was acquired in 2011 by League Co in Hangzhou’s Tonglu county.

Also inside, reporters found stationery, souvenirs and other small items, all made in Zhejiang.

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Just when you thought the takeover of the global food supply couldn’t get a whole lot worse, it did.

Monsanto recently announced it has accepted Bayer AG’s $56 billion takeover offer (a deal totaling $66 billion if you take into account Monsanto’s debt),1,2,3 which will make the new entity the largest seed and pesticide company in the world.

The merger is expected to be finalized by the end of 2017. Should the deal end up being blocked by regulators, Bayer will pay Monsanto $2 billion.

“As we look at the future, we think the combination of taking the Monsanto stable: biotechnology, seeds and data science, and combining that with chemistry, we unlock future innovations growers desperately need at the moment,” Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant said.4

Warning: Troubled Times Ahead

The news has generated deep concerns, and Global Justice Now is calling on anti-competition regulators to investigate the takeover bid.

Bernie Sanders has also gone on record saying the takeover is “a threat to all Americans” and needs to be blocked.5 He also wants the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to “reopen its investigation of Monsanto’s monopoly over the seed and chemical market.”

If the merger goes through, we’ll be left with just four companies providing 59 percent of the global seeds and 64 percent of the world’s pesticides.6,7 Aisha Dodwell with Global Justice Now summarized it well when, on September 14, she said:8

Today’s announcement of Bayer’s takeover of Monsanto is a disaster for the world’s food system.

The creation of this mega-agribusiness would mean that a single terrifying corporate behemoth is now the world’s biggest company for both seeds and pesticides, putting them firmly in control of the world’s farming inputs.

In an industry that was already dominated by only six big agribusinesses, this latest news will lead to even further market concentration as more mergers and takeovers will now become inevitable.

We’re speeding towards a situation where our global food system is controlled by a very few giant corporate entities who will have complete control of our food — what we eat and how it is grown.

Farmers Worry Bayer-Monsanto Behemoth May Ruin Them

In a recent New York Times article,9 Kentucky farmer Don Halcomb reveals he fully expects his profits to disappear by year’s end due to the combination of rising costs and dwindling crop prices. Halcomb, who grows corn, soy, wheat and barley on 7,000 acres, is already producing these commodities at a loss.

Over the past 10 years, the price of a bag of seed corn has risen from $80 to $300 — a price hike he attributes to the consolidation of seed companies, which reduces competition.

The latest merger between Bayer and Monsanto is only likely to make matters worse, no matter how Bayer and Monsanto executives try to frame it as a boon for famers.

Bayer AG’s CEO, Werner Baumann, claims “it is not our plan or our ambition or our intent to prevent farmers from having choice. »10 But the history of Monsanto and Bayer both suggest it would be naïve in the extreme to believe him.

Additionally, several other major seed companies are also in takeover or merger negotiations, including ChemChina and Syngenta, and DuPont and Dow Chemical. If either of those go through, the market will be even more consolidated.

Many Farmers Now Reconsider Use of GE Seeds

On a positive note, the ever-increasing costs are causing many farmers to reconsider their use of genetically engineered (GE) seeds. It has become increasingly difficult to justify the higher prices for seeds, while crop prices diminish.

Part of the problem is that farmers are simply growing too much GE corn and soy, which makes it difficult to recoup their investment. The threat of even higher prices for GE seeds and chemicals makes their future even more uncertain. As noted by The Wall Street Journal:11

The dominance of genetically modified crops is under threat.
Since their introduction to U.S. farms 20 years ago, genetically engineered seeds have become like mobile phones — multifunctional and ubiquitous … 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates this year that 94 percent of soybean acres were planted with biotech varieties, and 92 percent of corn acres. Today, farmers are finding it harder to justify the high and often rising prices for modified, or GMO, seed, given the measly returns …

Spending on crop seeds has nearly quadrupled since 1996, when Monsanto Co. became the first of the companies to launch biotech varieties. Yet major crop prices have skidded lower for three years, and this year, many farmers stand to lose money.

GE Seeds Fail to Live Up to Promises

The development of “superweeds” resistant to the herbicides so generously doused on GE crops are another factor giving farmers pause. As farmers must work harder to combat the weeds and spend more money on chemicals, many see their profits vanishing at an ever faster pace.

Ohio farmer Joe Logan echoes Halcomb’s sentiments, saying the price of biotech seeds prevents him from making a profit. Today, the soybean seed Logan uses costs him nearly five times more than what he paid 20 years ago.

To save money, he plans on sowing mostly non-GE soybeans next year. Kyle Stackhouse, who grows corn and soybeans in Indiana, quit planting GE crops and is now making a profit.

After turning his soybean fields and nearly three-quarters of his corn fields to biotech varieties, Stackhouse decided about 10 years ago that biotech seeds weren’t delivering harvests big enough to justify their price.

‘The [genetic] traits weren’t putting dollars in our pocket,’ he said,” The Wall Street Journal reports.12

Stackhouse estimates he typically spends about $53 per acre on soybean seeds and $40 on pesticides, versus $83 he would have spent on biotech soybean seeds [and] an additional … $24 on related crop chemicals. That puts him ahead about $14 per acre on costs.

Monsanto — A Destroyer of the World

In addition to GE seeds and its flagship product, the herbicide Roundup, Monsanto has also been a leading producer of Agent Orange, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), DDT, recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) and aspartame — the history of which is summarized in “The Complete History of Monsanto, ‘The World’s Most Evil Corporation,’”13 originally published by Waking Times in 2014.14

Monsanto also made its mark on history by participating in the Manhattan Project to build the first atomic bomb, thereby becoming a “war horse” ally to the United States government — an alliance that still holds today. As noted in “The Complete History,” article:

To add insult to world injury, Monsanto and their partners in crime Archer Daniels Midland, Sodexo and Tyson Foods write and sponsor The Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009: HR 875.15 This ‘act’ gives the corporate factory farms a virtual monopoly to police and control all foods grown anywhere, including one’s own backyard, and provides harsh penalties and jail sentences for those who do not use chemicals and fertilizers. President Obama … gave his approval.

With this Act, Monsanto claims that only GM [genetically modified] foods are safe and organic or homegrown foods potentially spread disease, therefore must be regulated out of existence for the safety of the world … As further revelations have broken open regarding this evil giant’s true intentions, Monsanto crafted the ridiculous HR 933 Continuing Resolution,16aka Monsanto Protection Act, which Obama robo-signed into law as well.

This law states that no matter how harmful Monsanto’s GMO crops are and no matter how much devastation they wreak upon the country, U.S. federal courts cannot stop them from continuing to plant them anywhere they choose. Yes, Obama signed a provision that makes Monsanto above any laws and makes them more powerful than the government itself.

Bayer Also Has a Long, Dark, Destructive History of Genocide

Bayer AG is no different. Founded in Germany in 1863 by Friedrich Bayer and Johann Wescott, the company is perhaps most well-known for being the largest producer of aspirin and other commonly used drugs. But it too has a long, sordid history of creating poisons and mass destruction.17 During World War II, Bayer (then I.G. Farben) produced Zyklon B gas, used in the Nazi gas chambers to eradicate 11 million people whose only crime was to be born a Jew.

According to AHRP.org, the company was also “intimately involved with the human experimental atrocities committed by Mengele at Auschwitz.”18 In one case, Bayer purchased 150 healthy female prisoners from the camp commander of Auschwitz for use as test subjects for a new sleep drug. All the test subjects died, and another order for prisoners was promptly placed.

While some of its board members ended up being arrested and tried for their crimes against humanity, others escaped and helped create the Federal Reserve.19 If you think the passing of time might have made this corporate entity kinder, safer and gentler, think again.

In 2003, it was revealed Bayer sold blood-clotting medicine tainted with the HIV virus to Asian, Latin American and Europe in the mid-1980s.20 The drug, Factor VIII concentrate, was worth millions of dollars, and the company continued to sell the tainted drug for a year after the contamination was discovered. In Hong Kong and Taiwan alone, more than 100 hemophiliacs contracted HIV and died after using the medicine.

More Bayer Atrocities and Malfeasance

Bayer’s drug Trasylol — used to control bleeding during surgery — was eventually found to be responsible for at least a thousand deaths each month for the 14 years it was on the market.21 In 2006, documents proved Bayer hid evidence showing unfavorable results from the drug in order to continue selling it. Lawsuits have also been filed against Bayer for the untimely death of 190 young women taking their birth control pill Yaz, which raises your risk of blood clots by 300 percent.

Its top-selling Flintstones Vitamins for kids is another piece of evidence suggesting the company has no clue or concern about health, as it contains a number of questionable if not outright toxic ingredients, including aspartame, cupric oxide, aluminum, coal tar, hydrogenated soybean oil (trans fat; associated with heart disease), zinc oxide, ferrous fumarate and GE corn starch.

Between 2006 and 2007, Bayer was also responsible for contaminating U.S. rice imports with three unapproved varieties of GE rice under development by Bayer CropScience. Bayer also makes neonicotinoid pesticides, suspected of being responsible for mass die-offs of bees around the world, thereby threatening the global food supply, and made the plastic chemical bisphenol-A (BPA), now known to have a dangerous impact on the human endocrine system.

In short, Bayer’s history is just as dark and unethical as Monsanto’s, if not more, and some are rightfully referring to the merger of these two destructive behemoths as a “marriage made in hell.”22

Billions Against Bayer

The Bayer-Monsanto merger will make the subsequent entity all the more powerful to bully farmers into paying more and pressuring and manipulating governments into accepting the unacceptable risks involved. In response, the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) is calling for consumers everywhere to boycott Bayer in a new campaign called “Billions Against Bayer” — the continuation of the successful “Millions Against Monsanto” campaign. In a recent press release, OCA says:23

Two of the world’s most foul corporate criminals will be one. Monsanto will pack up its headquarters and head overseas. The much-maligned Monsanto name will be retired. But a corporate criminal by any other name — or size — is still a corporate criminal.

This merger only heightens the urgency, and strengthens our resolve, to hunt down the corporations that are poisoning everything in sight. We will follow them to the ends of the earth, if need be. We will expose their crimes. We will end the toxic tyranny. We will become the Billions Against Bayer. And we will need your help. Monsanto (and Bayer) are on trial. You be the judge.

 

 

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It is tough to fight any real war. And it takes true guts, discipline and determination to win it.

For years and decades, the so-called ‘left’ in the West has been moderately critical of North American (and sometimes even of European) imperialism and neo-colonialism. But whenever some individual or country rose up and began openly challenging the Empire, most of the Western left-wing intellectuals simply closed their eyes, and refused to offer their full, unconditional support to those who were putting their lives (and often even the existence of their countries) on the line.

I will never forget all those derogatory punches directed at Hugo Chavez, punches coming from members of the ‘anti-Communist left’, after he dared to insult George W. Bush at the United Nations in 2006, calling him a “devil” and choking, theatrically, from the sulfur that was still ‘hanging in the air’ after the US President’s appearance at the General Assembly.

I will not be dropping names here, but readers would be surprised if they knew how many of those iconic leaders of the US left described Chavez and his speech as ‘impolite’, ‘counter-productive’, and even ‘insulting’.

Tens of millions of people have died because of Western imperialism, after WWII. Under the horrid leadership of George W Bush, Afghanistan and Iraq have been reduced to ruins… But one has to remain ‘polite’, ‘objective’ and cool headed?

Well, that is not how real revolutions have been ignited. This is not how the successful anti-colonialist wars are fought. When the real battle begins, ‘politeness’ is actually mostly unacceptable, simply because the oppressed masses are endlessly pissed off, and they want their feelings to be registered and expressed by the leaders. Even the search for ‘objectivity’ is often out of place, when still fragile revolutions have to face the entire monumental hostile propaganda of the regime – of the Empire.

But the question is: do most of the Western leftists really support revolutions and anti-colonialist struggles of the oppressed world?

I believe they don’t. And this is clearly visible from reading most of the so-called alternative media in both North America and Europe.

Whoever stands up, whoever leads his nation into battle against the Western global dictatorship, is almost immediately defined as a demagogue. He or she is most likely christened ‘undemocratic’, and not just by the mass and ‘liberal’ media, but also on the pages of the so-called ‘alternative’ and ‘progressive’ Western press. Not all, but some, and frankly: most of it!

Chavez actually received very little support from Western ‘left-wing’ intellectuals. And now when Venezuela is bleeding, the ‘Bolivarian Republic’ can only count on a handful of revolutionary Latin American nations, as well as on China, Iran and Russia; definitely not on the robust, organized and militant solidarity from Western countries.

Cuba received even less support than Venezuela. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, no attempt was actually made by Western leftists to bail the heroic nation out. It was China, in the end, which ran to its rescue and saved Cuban socialism. (When I wrote about it, I got hundreds of Western leftists at my throat, and in the end it took Fidel to confirm, in his ‘Reflections’, what I was saying, to get them off my back). Then, when the Obama administration began making dangerous advances on Havana, almost everyone in the West began screwing those cynical grimaces: ‘you see; now everything will collapse! They will buy Cuba!’ They didn’t. I travelled to the beloved green island, and it was so clear from the first moment there, that the ‘revolution is not for sale’. But you will not read it often in the Western ‘progressive’ media.

*

It is of course not just Latin America that is ‘disliked’ by the progressives in the West. Actually, Latin America is still at least getting some nominal support there.

China and Russia, two powerful nations, which are now standing openly against Western imperialism, are despised by virtually all ‘liberals’ and by most of the Western ‘left’. In those circles, there is total ignorance about the Chinese type of democracy, about its ancient culture, and about it’s complex but extremely successful form of Communism (or calls it ‘socialism with Chinese characteristics’). Like parrots, the Western leftists repeat ‘liberal’ propaganda that ‘China is being capitalist’, or that it is being ruled by ‘state capitalism’. The internationalism of Chinese foreign policy is constantly played down, even mocked.

The hostility of the Western ‘left’ towards China has disgusted many Chinese leaders and intellectuals. I only realized the extent of this revulsion, when I spoke, last year, at the First World Cultural Forum in Beijing, and mingled with the thinkers at the China Academy of Social Sciences, the right (intellectual) arm of the government and the Party.

China can count on its allies in Russia, Latin America, Africa and elsewhere, but definitely not in the West.

It is pointless to even mention Russia or South Africa.

Russia, ‘the victim’ during the horrid Yeltsin years was ‘embraced’ by the Western left. Russia the warrior, Russia the adversary to Western imperialism, is, once again, loathed.

It appears that the ‘progressives’ in the United States and Europe really prefer ‘victims’. They can, somehow, feel pity and even write a few lines about the ‘suffering of defenseless women and children’ in the countries that the West is plundering and raping. That does not extend to all countries that are being brutalized, but at least to some…

What they don’t like at all, are strong men and women that have decided to fight: to defend their rights, to face the Empire.

The Syrian government is hated. The North Korean government is despised. The President of the Philippines is judged by Western liberal media measures: as a vulgar freak who is killing thousands of ‘innocent’ drug pushers and consumers (definitely not as a possibly new Sukarno who is willing to send the entire West to hell).

Whatever the Western ‘left’ thinks about North Korea and its government (and in fact, I think, it cannot really think much, as it is fully ignorant about it), the main reason why the DPRK is hated so much by the West regime, is because it, together with Cuba, basically liberated Africa. It fought for the freedom of Angola and Namibia, it flew Egyptian MIGs against Israel, it struggled in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) as well as in many other countries, and it sent aid, teachers and doctors to the entire continent devastated by the Western colonialist barbarity.

Much good it received in return! At best, indifference, at worse, total spite!

*

Some say that the Western ‘left’ doesn’t want to take power, anymore. It lost all of its important battles. It became toothless, impotent, and angry about the world and itself.

When in January 2016 I spoke at the Italian Parliament (ending up insulting the West for its global plunder, hypocrisy), I mingled a lot with the 5 Star Movement, which had actually invited me to Rome. I spent time with its radical left wing. There are some great people there, but overall, it soon became clear that this potentially the biggest political movement in the country is actually horrified of coming to power! It does not really want to govern.

But then, why call those weak bizarre selfish Western entities – the ‘left wing’? Why confuse terms, and by that, why discredit those true revolutionaries, those true fighters, who are risking, sacrificing their lives, right now, all over the world?

*

Wars are all extremely ugly. I have covered many of them, and I know… But some of them, those that are fought for the survival of humanity, or for survival of the particular countries, are inevitable. One either fights, or the entire Planet ends up being colonized and oppressed, in shackles.

If one decides to fight, then there has to be discipline and single-mindedness; total determination. Or the battle is lost from the very beginning!

When the freedom and survival of one’s motherland is at stake, things get very serious, ‘dead-serious’. Battle is not a discussion club. It is not some chat.

If we, as ‘leftists’, have already once decided that imperialism and colonialism (or ‘neo-colonialism’) are the greatest evils destroying our humanity, then we have to show discipline and join ranks, and support those who are at the frontline.

Otherwise we will become an irrelevant laughingstock, and history will and should judge us harshly!

*

Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. His latest books are: “Exposing Lies Of The Empire” and  “Fighting Against Western Imperialism” Discussion with Noam Chomsky: On Western Terrorism. Point of No Return is his critically acclaimed political novel. Oceania – a book on Western imperialism in the South Pacific. His provocative book about Indonesia: “Indonesia – The Archipelago of Fear”. Andre is making films for teleSUR and Press TV. After living for many years in Latin America and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides and works in East Asia and the Middle East. He can be reached through his website or his Twitter.

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A new review of the safety of France’s nuclear power stations has found that at least 18 of EDF’s units are are « operating at risk of major accident due to carbon anomalies. »

The review was carried out at the request of Greenpeace France following the discovery of serious metallurgical flaws by French regulators in a reactor vessel at Flamanville, where an EPR plant is under construction.

The problem is that parts of the vessel and its cap contain high levels of carbon, making the metal brittle and potentially subject to catastrophic failure. These key components were provided by French nuclear engineering firm Areva, and forged at its Le Creusot.

« The nature of the flaw in the steel, an excess of carbon, reduces steel toughness and renders the components vulnerable to fast fracture and catastrophic failure putting the NPP at risk of a major radioactive release to the environment », says nuclear safety expert John Large, whose consultancy Large Associates (LA) carried out the Review.

His report examines how the defects in the Flamanville EPR reactor pressure vessel came about during the manufacturing process, and escaped detection for years after forging. It then goes on to investigate what other safety-critical nuclear components might be suffering from the same defects.

Steam generators at 28 EDF nuclear sites at risk

After several months of investigation LA found that critical components of a further 28 nuclear plants were forged by Le Creusot using the same process. These are found in the steam generators – large, pod-like boilers – that have been installed at operational EDF nuclear power stations across France.

The conclusion is based on documents provided by IRSN (the independent French Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire) that reject assurances given by both EDF and Areva that there is no safety risk from steam generators containing the excess carbon flaw.

In August 2016, IRSN warned the French nuclear safety regulator Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire (ASN) that:

  • EdF’s submission was incomplete;
  • there is a risk of abrupt rupture which could lead to a reactor core fuel melt; and
  • immediate « compensatory » measures need to be put in place to safeguard the operational NPPs involved.

« As a result of Areva’s failures, a significant share of the French nuclear reactor fleet is at increased risk of severe radiological accident, including fuel core meltdown », said Large. « However, there is no simple or quick fix to this problem.

« The testing and inspection regime currently underway by Areva and EDF is incapable of detecting the extent and severity of the carbon problem and, moreover, it cannot ensure against the risk of rapid component failure. It is most certain that the IRSN finding will equally applies to replacement steam generators exported by Areva to overseas nuclear power plants around the world. »

EDF reactors face protracted closure, credit rating falls

EDF stated yesterday that it will carry out further tests on 12 nuclear reactors during their planned outages in the coming months – and that extended periods of outage are to be expected. « There are outages that could take longer than planned », an EDF spokesman told Reuters.

« In 2015, we discovered the phenomenon of carbon segregation in the Flammanville EPR reactor. We decided to verify other equipments in the French nuclear park to make sure that other components are not impacted by the phenomenon. »

In anticipation of the nuclear closures, year-ahead electricity prices rose in the French wholesale power market, forcing power rises across Europe up to a one-year high.

Meanwhile Moody’s has downgraded EDF credit ratings across a spectrum of credit instruments. EDF’s long-term issuer and senior unsecured ratings fell from A2 to A3 while perpetual junior subordinated debt ratings fell to Baa3 from Baa2. Moody’s also  downgraded the group’s short-term ratings to Prime-2 from Prime-1.

According to Moody’s,

« the rating downgrade reflects its view that the action plan announced by EDF in April 2016, which includes government support, will not be sufficient to fully offset the adverse impact of the incremental risks associated the Hinkley Point C (HPC) project on the group’s credit profile.

« Moody’s believes that the significant scale and complexity of the HPC project will affect the group’s business and financial risk profiles. This is because the HPC project will expose EDF and its partner China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN, A3 negative) to significant construction risk as the plant will use the same European Pressurised reactor (EPR) technology that has been linked with material cost overruns and delays at Flamanville in France and Olkiluoto 3 in Finland. In addition, none of the four plants using the EPR technology currently constructed globally is operational yet. »

Once rating agencies have had time to evaluate the seriousness of EDF’s current problems with reactors packed with unsafe crirical components, further downgrades may follow. « The ratings could be downgraded if (1) credit metrics fall below Moody’s guidance for the A3 rating; or (2) EDF were to be significantly exposed to AREVA NP’s liabilities », the agency warns.

Flamanville EPR heading for the scrapheap

The Review also shows that the reactor pressure vessel of the Flamanville EPR, which is already installed, does not have a Certificate of Conformity issued by ASN. This means that it does not comply with the European Directive on Pressure Equipment, nor does it meet the mandatory requirement of the ASN, which since 2008, stipulates that any new nuclear reactor coolant circuit component has to have a Certificate of Conformity before its production commences.

« Without a Certificate of Conformity the reactor pressure vessel and steam generators currently installed in Flamanville 3 will almost certainly have to be scrapped », said Roger Spautz, responsible for nuclear campaign at Greenpeace France.

The review, he added, « reveals evidence that at the Creusot Forge plant, Areva did not have the technical qualifications required to meet exacting nuclear safety standards. The plant was not under effective control and therefore had not mastered the necessary procedures for maintaining the exacting standards for quality control in the manufacture of safety-critical nuclear components. »

Areva has now acknowledged that ineffective quality controls at le Creusot Forge were mainly responsible not only for the flaws in the Flamanvile 3 EPR, but across other operational nuclear power plans – and that the technical failures date back to 1965.

Moreover, ASN has indicated that in the nuclear components supply chain three examples of Counterfeit, Fraudulent and Substandard Items (CFSI) have occurred in the year ending 2015.

The recent ASN publication (24th September 2016) of a list of the NPPs affected by the AREVA anomalies and irregularities demonstrates that the phenomenon not only has reached alarming proportions but is continuing to grow under scrutiny.

The number of components affected by irregularities and installed in NPPs in operation increased by 50 in April 2016 from 33 to 83 by 24th September this year. Irregularities affecting the Flamanville EPR increased from two to 20 over the same period.

Also at risk: Sizewell B, Hinkley C finance, Taishan EPRs

LA’s Review also relates these developments in France to the UK, specifically: the currently operating Sizewell B NPP in Suffolk; and the now contracted construction programme for the Hinkley Point C NPP.

Sizewell B which includes a number of components sourced from Le Creusot which need urgent examination and / or replacement in order to prevent unsafe operation. The fact that this could escape the UK’s nuclear regulators also indicates, says Large, that « the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) did not delve deep enough into the situation as now revealed by ASN. »

As for For Hinkley Point C, it now appears inevitable that the Flamanville reactor will not be completeted by its target date of the end of 2020, indeed it may very well never be completed at all. Under the terms of agreement for the plant’s construction accepted by the European Commission, this would render the UK government unable to extend promised credit guarantees to HPC’s financial backers.

« Now that ASN has deprioritized efforts on the under-construction Flamanville 3 NPP because of its pressing urgency to evaluate the risk situation for the operating NPPs », says Large, « there is a greater likelihood that Flamanville 3 will not reach the deadline for operation and validation of its technology by the UK Credit Guarantee cut-off date of December 2020. »

Also at risk are the two EPRs that Areva and EDF are currently constructing at Taishan in China. These are now at the most advanced stage of any EPR projects in the world, however there are increasing fears that they contain faulty components.

The vessels and domes at Taishan were also supplied by Areva, and manufactured by the same process as that utilised by Le Creusot. It is suspected that Chinese nuclear regulators may have decided to overlook this problem and hope for the best. However if they discover that the steam generators, which along with the reactor vessels have already been installed, are also at risk of catastrophic failure, that might prove a risk too far – even for China.

The danger for EDF and Areva is that the massive commercial liabilities they may be accruing for faulty reactors supplied to third parties, together with the tens of billions of euros of capital write-downs for projects they have to abandon, and the loss of generation revenues due to plant outages, could easily exceed their entire market capitalisation.

In other words: for EDF, Areva, their shareholders and the entire French nuclear industry, the end really could be nigh.

Oliver Tickell is contributing editor at The Ecologist.

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How Shimon Peres Stole the Nuclear Bomb with a Bluff

octobre 1st, 2016 by Richard Silverstein

And why the military censors don’t want you to know about it.

Published in partnership with Tikun Olam תיקון עולם..

You will read much hagiography in the Peres obituaries published in Israeli and world media. Here is a perfect example in the NY Times of the half-truths and undeserved admiration that is being heaped upon his memory:

He was consistent in his search for an accommodation with the Arab world, a search that in recent years left him orphaned as Israeli society lost interest, especially after the upheavals of the 2011 Arab Spring led to tumult on its borders.

 In an especially vain moment, Peres is pictured mimicking the pose of his political mentor, David Ben Gurion

In an especially vain moment, Shimon Peres is pictured mimicking the pose of his political mentor, David Ben Gurion.

This is at best only partially true.  Peres was intermittent in his search for peace with the Arabs.  True, in 1993, he led the effort that culminated in the Oslo Accords.  But subsequent Israeli governments abandoned them and they eventually came to be discredited entirely both on the left and right.

After the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, Peres had an opportunity to call a snap election which would’ve confirmed his mandate to solidify the gains from those Accords.  Instead, he temporized and waited until it was too late.  By the time he called elections a year later, Palestinian militants had engineered a series of savage terror attacks inside Israel which discredited Peres’ leadership and brought Bibi Netanyahu to power for his first term as prime minister.  Though there were subsequent opportunities for Israeli governments to negotiate peace deals, especially with Ehud Barak, another Labor prime minister, all of them were squandered.  Regardless, Peres’ accession to the position in 1995 and the cataclysm that followed, was a pivotal moment that led to the political stagnation which has lasted ever since.

Much of what you will read about Peres is either outright false or only partially true. A certain portion of what you read may even be true. But Shimon Peres is one of those Israeli leaders like Ben Gurion, his mentor, and Ariel Sharon, who built a myth around themselves. Part political hype, part astute branding, and part a need in Israelis and the rest of the world to believe the myth they were sold of Israel as the miracle in the desert, the people which made a barren land bloom, which drained swamps and turned them into thriving kibbutzim. The little State that could.

So in assessing Peres’ legacy it’s important to keep this in mind; to separate fact from fiction; myth from reality.

Prime Minister David Ben Gurion with his chief aide, Shimon Peres. In background: defense minister Moshe Dayan and Ben Gurion aide, Teddy Kollek.

Prime Minister David Ben Gurion with his chief aide, Shimon Peres. In background: defense minister Moshe Dayan and Ben Gurion aide, Teddy Kollek.

Shimon Peres had a severe stroke two days ago and while his health has improved since he entered the hospital, at age 93, he is in the twilight of his years.  It’s appropriate to take stock of his legacy as an epochal figure who spans the founding of the State to the present day.  I can’t think of another active Israeli politician with that length of service or span of history.

When Peres dies, an entire nation will mourn him as a founding father of the state.  Someone who served it faithfully and diligently for nearly seven decades.  The accolades will pour forth.  Newscasters will show historic footage of him with his political mentor, David Ben Gurion, and intone solemnly about the deeds of the Great Man.

But, as is often the case in these matters, the truth lies elsewhere.  Peres began his career as Ben Gurion’s errand boy.  He was diligent and inventive.  What the boss needed done, he always figured out a way to accomplish.  Eventually became his chief fixer.  That’s how he was assigned the monumental task of getting Israel the Bomb.  Such a task is no small feat and it required immense amounts of grit, determination, invention, and even outright thievery.  Peres was more than up to the task.

Uncensored version of Wall story which describes Peres’ bluff which enabled French to circumvent international nuclear prohibition against selling uranium to Israel

Uncensored version of Wall story which describes Peres’ bluff which enabled French to circumvent international nuclear prohibition against selling uranium to Israel.

From almost the first moment after the State was founded Ben Gurion aspired to create a nuclear weapon.  He saw it as his Doomsday device.  The ace he could draw from the deck if all the cards were stacked against him.  Though Israel’s actual strategic strength was quite robust, Ben Gurion suggested otherwise.  In a famous episode of that era, he’s reputed to have looked at a map of the Middle East spread upon the wall of his study and exclaimed to those around him: “I didn’t sleep a wink last night because of this map.  What is Israel?  A single tiny speck.  How can it survive amidst this Arab world?!”

This was part and parcel of the Israeli strategy of portraying itself as the eternal victim, the weaker party to every conflict, who required moral and military support to prevent its destruction.  None of it was true.  But in the aftermath of the Holocaust, the world felt it couldn’t to take a chance that it might happen again.  That’s how Israel became little David to the Arab Goliath in the eyes of much of the world after 1948.

Though the conventional Israeli belief is that Israel’s  WMD was meant to protect Israel from imminent destruction should  it suffer a catastrophic defeat, that theory is wrong either in whole or in part.  In actuality, Israel never faced such a threat.  It always maintained military superiority over its enemies in every war from 1948 through 1967 (and after).

Ben  Gurion’s real goal in obtaining nukes was political.  He wanted to ensure Israel would never have to negotiate away the gains it made on the battlefield.  He wanted a weapon he could hold over the heads of any enemy, that would ensure he never had to renounce anything that was rightfully Israel’s (in his mind at least).  So Israel’s Bomb has enabled it to reject virtually every peace initiative offered going all the way back to 1967.  Israel’s leaders knew that the U.S. would never gamble that it wouldn’t use WMD if it had to.  So American presidents already had one hand tied behind their backs in such negotiations.  In a card game, when one party holds the ace of spades in his pocket and everyone else playing knows this, it’s not much of a game, is  it?

Israeli Opponents of the Bomb

It would be a misnomer to believe that Ben Gurion and Peres were lionized by their peers for their visionary project.  Opposition to an Israeli Bomb was strong and crossed party lines.   Among those who were against were future prime minister Levi Eshkol, Pinchas Sapir, Yigal Alon, Golda Meir, and Israel’s leading weapons developer, Yisrael Galili.  Even then IDF chief of staff Chaim Leskov opposed the Bomb.  Prof. Yeshayahu Leibowitz, in his typically prophetic fashion created an NGO that called for making the Middle East a nuclear-free zone (it was called in Hebrew “the Public Committee to Demilitarize the Middle East of Nuclear Weapons”).  It was probably the first such call anywhere in the world.  In one matter, he turned out to be wrong.  He predicted that by building the nuclear reactor Israel would tempt its enemies to bomb and destroy it.  Afterward, Lebowitz predicted, they would call Dimona: “Shimon’s Folly.”

The sheer chutzpah that Peres employed to get what he wanted was astonishing.  He played on the heartstrings of German guilt to obtain funding for the  nuclear arms project.  He recruited Arnon Milchanas a covert operative to organize a conspiracy to steal highly enriched uranium from the U.S. depository where it was stored.  Peres negotiated with the French a complex deal to build the Dimona plant, which to this day produces the plutonium for Israel’s WMD arsenal.

Shimon Peres visits an Israeli police counter-terrorism unit, 2011.

Shimon Peres visits an Israeli police counter-terrorism unit, 2011.

The defense ministry director general traveled extensively to France in those days and cultivated the entire political leadership in pursuit of the necessary agreements to build the Dimona plant.  On the very day he flew to France to sign the final deal, the government in Paris fell.  Though Ben Gurion saw Peres’ trip as wasted, the latter refused to give up.  He went to the resigning prime minister and suggested that they back-date the agreement to make it appear as if it had been signed before the resignation.  The French leader agreed.  And so, Israel’s Bomb was saved by an audacious bluff.  When someone asked Peres afterward how he thought he could get away with such a stratagem, he joked: “What’s 24 hours among friends?”

Peres facilitated outright theft as well.  If Israel waited to produce the highly enriched uranium it would need to create a Bomb on its own, it would’ve taken years longer than it did.  If it could procure the uranium by other means it would immensely speed the process.  That’s how the father of the Israeli Bomb recruited future Hollywood film producer Milchan to steal hundreds of kilos of nuclear materials from a warehouse in Pennsylvania with the connivance of American officials who were pro-Israel Jews recruited to the task.

Roger Mattson recently published a book on the subject, Stealing the Atom Bomb: How Denial and Deception Armed Israel.  This article summarizes his findings. Among them, are that a group of American Jewish scientists and engineers founded the company which likely embezzled and transferred to Israel enough material to make six nuclear bombs. Several officers of this company later became national officers in the Zionist Organization of America. A founder of the company fought in the Haganah during the 1948 War and was a protege of future Israeli intelligence chief, Meir Amit. Key figures in U.S. intelligence even suggested that the company itself was established by Israeli intelligence in order to steal U.S. materials and technological expertise in the service of Israel’s nuclear weapons project. All of this means that leaders of one of the key organizations in the Israel Lobby aided and abetted a huge national security breach which gave Israel the bomb.

If you’re a pro-Israel advocate you likely see such figures as heroes. If so, consider this: Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed in 1956 for doing far less harm to America’s nuclear program than these individuals did.

 

Israel Lobby’s Covert Fundraising Program

The WMD project was extraordinarily expensive.  The new State, saddled with huge expenses to feed and house millions of  new immigrants, had no budget to fund it.  That’s where Peres turned to wealthy Diaspora Jews like Abe Feinberg to covertly raise funds for the Israeli bomb.  Feinberg spearheaded a fundraising campaign which raised $40-million, equivalent to $260-million in today’s dollars.  Feinberg also conspired through his Democratic Party connections to secure from Pres. Johnson Israel’s right to refuse to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation pact.

The Israeli news portal Walla describes the brilliant stratagem Ben Gurion and Peres concocted that drew France to Israel’s side in the effort to make a Bomb.  It began in 1956 with a secret meeting at a French villa outside Paris with a high-level British and French contingent.  The goals of the French and British were aligned with those of Israel, but not completely so.  The British and French wanted to give Egypt’s new firebrand leader, Gamal Nasser a black eye for nationalizing the Suez Canal and offering aid to the Algerian resistance.  They hatched a plan to attack Nasser and carve up Egypt’s strategic assets for themselves.  Israel was happy to go along for the ride.  But it had a separate goal–to garner European support for its nuclear effort.

After getting the go-ahead sign from Ben Gurion, Peres approached his French counterparts and announced Israeli agreement to join in the attack which later came to be known as Operation Kadesh.  But Israel, he told them, faced far more danger in the venture than either the British or French.  If Israel lost, its very existence could be threatened.  That’s why it needed a strategic weapon that could prevent its annihilation in the event of a disastrous defeat.

As negotiations proceeded with the French, they warned the Israelis that there were prohibited from selling them uranium under international agreements.  Peres came up with a typically brilliant and devious solution: “Don’t sell it to us, lend it to us,” he said.  “We will return it to you after our mission is completed.”  So began the real effort to build an Israeli Bomb.  The reactor was completed in 1960 and by 1967 Israel had its first primitive nuclear weapon to use in case it lost the 1967 War.

For some strange reason, the Israeli military censor disapproved of Walla talking about Peres’ “bluff” regarding back-dating the French-Israeli nuclear agreement. In the censored version, you won’t find any reference to it. Nor will you find the story about Peres’ suggestion that the French “lend” the uranium to Israel, since it was illegal to sell it.  My guess is that with Peres’ demise likely, they preferred not to tarnish the Old Man’s reputation any more than necessary. Which raises the question: why is a censor stooping to protect Israeli politicians’ reputations rather than protecting the security of the state, which is its putative mission?”

Richard Silverstein is a MintPress analyst who has written the Tikun Olam blog since 2003, specializing in Israeli politics and US foreign affairs. He earned a BA from Columbia University, a BHL from the Jewish Theological Seminary, and MA in Comparative Literature from UCLA. Follow Richard on Twitter: @Richards1052 

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Here we go again. In yet another Pentagon precision strike, a residential building in Achin district of Nangarhar province was hit as a crowd welcomed home a tribal leader returning from the Hajj. 

At least 13 civilians were turned into «collateral damage». The Pentagon of course does not «discuss the details of counter-terror operations», but it’s «currently reviewing all materials related to this strike».

Nothing obviously will come out of it – adding the civilian dead to the non-stop mounting toll of Operation Enduring Freedom (Forever).

Someone that actually is bound to endure his freedom in full splendor is former warlord, head of Hezb-i-Islami and «Butcher of Kabul» Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.

The Pentagon does not detain the monopoly of shelling civilians in Afghanistan. Hekmatyar also did it with relish in the early 1990s – besides running an underground torture prison in neighboring Pakistan.

In Kabul during Taliban rule in the late 1990s, I talked to many residents during the civil war who were allied with Tajik commander and «Lion of the Panjshir» Ahmad Shah Massoud – assassinated two days before 9/11 – as they recalled Hekmatyar’s forces relentlessly shelling civilian neighborhoods.

Hekmatyar has been in hiding for almost two decades now – since 1997. He has not yet returned to Kabul. In 2002, in Kunar province in Afghanistan, I was trying to track him – as well as Osama bin Laden – with my Peshawar fixer, and we kept running into US Marines asking us for information. After Osama disappeared, Hekmatyar quickly became the number one «dead or alive» Bush II target in Afghanistan, branded as a «global terrorist» by Washington and blacklisted by the UN in 2003.

Now he’s up to amass political power, after being pardoned by the government of president Ashraf Ghani. His outfit, Hezb-i-Islami, is a spent military force for years now. Politically it’s another story. With the deal, Hezb militants will now be able to run for office.

It was a hard nut to crack. Hekmatyar has always refused to sign any deal as long as US- / NATO troops de facto occupy Afghanistan. The final deal establishes Hezb and US / NATO agree to disagree – as long as Hekmatyar refuses to support terrorism. And Ghani’s people have to do the paperwork to remove Hezb-i-Islami from the UN’s list of terrorist organizations.

Whether incorporating Hezb into the fragile government in Kabul will intimidate the Taliban remains an open question.

CIA rat line in effect

Afghanistan for all practical purposes continues to be occupied by foreigners; in this aspect Hekmatyar’s logic happens to mirror the Taliban’s logic – even though the successors of Mullah Omar won’t be admitted to the power table in Kabul.

A Western covert intel operative with knowledge of how Afghanistan was handled at the highest levels in Washington lays down the case:

Osama bin Laden was a failed CIA asset that was used as a pretext to invade Afghanistan to restart the heroin trade, which is a trillion-dollar business. Mullah Omar was our ally against the Soviets, and a most honorable man, who shut down all the heroin plantations in Afghanistan after the Taliban took over as they considered the over 300,000 dead who died from heroin overdoses per year immoral. We turned on him and betrayed him. Osama was a guest of Mullah Omar, and he merely asked for evidence of Osama’s involvement in 9/11. Since there was none, as he was not involved, none could be furnished. Bush II ridiculed on television even the thought that he would be required to give evidence to a bow and arrow Mullah Omar.

It gets much juicier when the operative details what few have had the courage to spell out; the CIA’s real agenda in Afghanistan:

The CIA used the heroin proceeds for external operations and so their revenue had been cut off when the Taliban were in power. This way they could always circumvent the US Congress. Heroin; that is why we are still there. Terrorism is engineered through Operation Gladios as this is being used to justify these interventions. Most Western intel agencies are connected to this trade. 93 % of the world’s heroin comes from Afghanistan. After the US invasion heroin growing was immediately restarted. The military convoys from the Pakistan ports to Afghanistan carried back as backhaul the heroin for world distribution. The Taliban and Osama had absolutely nothing to do with 9-11.

Hekmatyar by the way was never connected to the heroin trade.

Kabul as it stands remains in control of the large population centers and roughly 70% of the country. The rest is Talibanistan. There’s no chance of Kabul winning the war. According to the numbers deployed by Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Pentagon and its allies have 14,000 troops in Afghanistan. The US contingent – 9,800 – will drop to 8,400 by the end of 2016.

Everyone remembers NATO «handing over control» – as in being ignominiously defeated by the Taliban – in 2014. Those remaining US troops on the ground euphemistically provide «training» and «air support» to the Afghan Army, and are themselves supported by hordes of military contractors. In parallel, deep in the shades, contractors keep moving the CIA heroin to the West.

The US-NATO combo has just pledged «to help fund Afghan security forces to the tune of around $1 billion annually over the next three years». Few will be aware that offers splendorous extra incentive to CIA-run heroin traders plying their wares across the EU.

Here we go again. In yet another Pentagon precision strike, a residential building in Achin district of Nangarhar province was hit as a crowd welcomed home a tribal leader returning from the Hajj.

At least 13 civilians were turned into «collateral damage». The Pentagon of course does not «discuss the details of counter-terror operations», but it’s «currently reviewing all materials related to this strike».

Nothing obviously will come out of it – adding the civilian dead to the non-stop mounting toll of Operation Enduring Freedom (Forever).

Someone that actually is bound to endure his freedom in full splendor is former warlord, head of Hezb-i-Islami and «Butcher of Kabul» Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.

The Pentagon does not detain the monopoly of shelling civilians in Afghanistan. Hekmatyar also did it with relish in the early 1990s – besides running an underground torture prison in neighboring Pakistan.

In Kabul during Taliban rule in the late 1990s, I talked to many residents during the civil war who were allied with Tajik commander and «Lion of the Panjshir» Ahmad Shah Massoud – assassinated two days before 9/11 – as they recalled Hekmatyar’s forces relentlessly shelling civilian neighborhoods.

Hekmatyar has been in hiding for almost two decades now – since 1997. He has not yet returned to Kabul. In 2002, in Kunar province in Afghanistan, I was trying to track him – as well as Osama bin Laden – with my Peshawar fixer, and we kept running into US Marines asking us for information. After Osama disappeared, Hekmatyar quickly became the number one «dead or alive» Bush II target in Afghanistan, branded as a «global terrorist» by Washington and blacklisted by the UN in 2003.

Now he’s up to amass political power, after being pardoned by the government of president Ashraf Ghani. His outfit, Hezb-i-Islami, is a spent military force for years now. Politically it’s another story. With the deal, Hezb militants will now be able to run for office.

It was a hard nut to crack. Hekmatyar has always refused to sign any deal as long as US- / NATO troops de facto occupy Afghanistan. The final deal establishes Hezb and US / NATO agree to disagree – as long as Hekmatyar refuses to support terrorism. And Ghani’s people have to do the paperwork to remove Hezb-i-Islami from the UN’s list of terrorist organizations.

Whether incorporating Hezb into the fragile government in Kabul will intimidate the Taliban remains an open question.

CIA rat line in effect

Afghanistan for all practical purposes continues to be occupied by foreigners; in this aspect Hekmatyar’s logic happens to mirror the Taliban’s logic – even though the successors of Mullah Omar won’t be admitted to the power table in Kabul.

A Western covert intel operative with knowledge of how Afghanistan was handled at the highest levels in Washington lays down the case:

Osama bin Laden was a failed CIA asset that was used as a pretext to invade Afghanistan to restart the heroin trade, which is a trillion-dollar business. Mullah Omar was our ally against the Soviets, and a most honorable man, who shut down all the heroin plantations in Afghanistan after the Taliban took over as they considered the over 300,000 dead who died from heroin overdoses per year immoral. We turned on him and betrayed him. Osama was a guest of Mullah Omar, and he merely asked for evidence of Osama’s involvement in 9/11. Since there was none, as he was not involved, none could be furnished. Bush II ridiculed on television even the thought that he would be required to give evidence to a bow and arrow Mullah Omar.

It gets much juicier when the operative details what few have had the courage to spell out; the CIA’s real agenda in Afghanistan:

The CIA used the heroin proceeds for external operations and so their revenue had been cut off when the Taliban were in power. This way they could always circumvent the US Congress. Heroin; that is why we are still there. Terrorism is engineered through Operation Gladios as this is being used to justify these interventions. Most Western intel agencies are connected to this trade. 93 % of the world’s heroin comes from Afghanistan. After the US invasion heroin growing was immediately restarted. The military convoys from the Pakistan ports to Afghanistan carried back as backhaul the heroin for world distribution. The Taliban and Osama had absolutely nothing to do with 9-11.

Hekmatyar by the way was never connected to the heroin trade.

Kabul as it stands remains in control of the large population centers and roughly 70% of the country. The rest is Talibanistan. There’s no chance of Kabul winning the war. According to the numbers deployed by Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Pentagon and its allies have 14,000 troops in Afghanistan. The US contingent – 9,800 – will drop to 8,400 by the end of 2016.

Everyone remembers NATO «handing over control» – as in being ignominiously defeated by the Taliban – in 2014. Those remaining US troops on the ground euphemistically provide «training» and «air support» to the Afghan Army, and are themselves supported by hordes of military contractors. In parallel, deep in the shades, contractors keep moving the CIA heroin to the West.

The US-NATO combo has just pledged «to help fund Afghan security forces to the tune of around $1 billion annually over the next three years». Few will be aware that offers splendorous extra incentive to CIA-run heroin traders plying their wares across the EU.

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Righteousness is rarely endearing, and when concocted in a brew of hypocrisy, it becomes noxious. US political campaigning tends to overflow in it, a mixture of rights, noisily championed liberties and supposed exceptionalism.

To that end, Donald Trump is enigmatic. He does, to a large extent fit that bill, only in so far as he assumes making money is a patriotic duty. But in being macho and prone to the business side of things, he shows how capitalism lacks a country.

That sentiment has its advantages.  A world where Russia’s Vladimir Putin would be shaking the hands of a US president warmly is a hard one to contemplate, though it might be better for peace.  Trump has promised that, were he to snatch victory come November, that would happen.

This point has meant that Putin is figuring more than he generally would in a US election.

Editorials regularly feature Cold War re-runs, pointing the finger at business interests that would place Trump at odds with the dictates of US foreign policy were he to charge into the White House.“It is unclear,” suggested University of New Haven professor Matthew Schmidt, “there wouldn’t be a continuing stream of conflict of interest either directly from his own holdings or his advisers if he had to deal with Russia in a place like Syria, for instance.”[1]

Given that US politicians have, during the course of the republic’s history, linked money interests to those of serving the US people, the point is hardly worth mentioning.

Casting a warm glance the way of the Kremlin has tickled the entire Hillary Clinton campaign.  “We’re trying elect a president,” proclaimed Clinton at a rally in California, “not a dictator.”  Advisors have busied themselves meeting various leaders in swing states of “Eastern European descent” in an effort to stir the pot of anti-Russian resentment.[2]

As Katie Glueck, writing for Politico, explains, the Clinton effort is part of a ploy to get deep into traditional Republican territory, one historically sympathetic to GOP causes and suspicious of the Russian Bear.  Trump’s pro-Putin talk, accompanied by lukewarm backing for NATO had “alarmed voters with close ties to Ukraine, Lithuania, Estonia and other Eastern European countries”.

With a misplaced sense of purity, the Clintons insist on the idea that Trump’s lust for business, notably with the unwashed, makes him somewhat less that patriotic, following the money when he should be following the Stars and Stripes.

One would have thought that a voracious appetite for the bank account made him quintessentially American.

The Clinton critique does not get away from the obvious issue that every age, every period, finds its authoritarian figure to do business with.  For decades, US international interests were, and continue to be, aligned with the ruthless and anti-democratic.  The only question worth asking there is which dictator was preferred over another.The world of money, the eternal drive of transactions, continues with unmitigated enthusiasm, indifferent to the vices of strong men, the authoritarian bugbears.

Chile’s ruthless Augusto Pinochet and Milton Friedman are forever linked in a discourse of monetary bliss, the former thrilled by the economic advice dished out by the Chicago School, with Washington’s blessing.What does matter for the Clinton side of the argument is that democrats must at least put up some pretence for respecting human rights, as long as they worship before the crudely crafted effigy of Realpolitik.

The Clintons were never been immune to the world of the shady deal and backing characters of ill-repute. Goldman Sachs is hardly a saintly corporation, but is very much part of the Clinton fan club, having paid her ample sums for a string of speeches.  Does that put her at odds with making decent regulatory policy on rapacious banking practices?  Not in Clinton’s moral universe, where corruption takes place in open sight.The now deposed Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak, along with his wife, were openly described as “friends of my family” despite a ruthless military rule that collapsed before the flood of the Arab Spring.  The current strong man, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, has been doing his best to butter relations with the Clintons, despite a spate of forced disappearances and instances of torture.[3]

Then there is the nasty matter of Saudi Arabia, going about its good business of bombing Yemen with US supplied fighter jets. During Clinton’s time as Secretary of State, weapons transfers worth billions found their way to the kingdom.  The favour has been repaid in the form of donations to the Clinton Foundation.  One person’s authoritarian is another person’s calculating donor.

While Trump is hardly cherubic on this score, he is distinctly aware that any glass house in this matter is broken.  All is shattering, and it is time to shatter more. Making deals with dictators, if they be called that, took place before, as it will in future. Moral sanctimony from any side in US politics will hardly hide that point.

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

Notes

[1] http://www.bostonherald.com/news/us_politics/2016/09/expert_trump_does_himself_no_favors_complimenting_putin

[2] http://www.politico.com/story/2016/09/donald-trump-russia-vladimir-putin-swing-states-228930

[3] https://www.amnestyusa.org/research/reports/egypt-officially-you-do-not-exist-disappeared-and-tortured-in-the-name-of-counter-terrorism

 

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‘We have to knock the hell out of ISIS, and we have to do it fast,’ Donald Trump urged in the first presidential debate, but after almost 55,000 bombs it might be time for a new strategy.

Despite dropping 54,611 bombs and missiles in 15,362 airstrikes across the Middle East, the U.S.-backed coalition seems no closer to stamping out terrorism than when it began.

That figure comes from Airwars, a nonprofit that keeps track of the aerial campaign against Daesh (an Arabic acronym for the terrorist group commonly known in the West as ISIS or ISIL) and other groups in Iraq, Syria and Libya.

Since the air war on Daesh began on Aug. 8, 2014, the U.S.-backed coalition has carried out 9,996 airstrikes in Iraq and 5,366 airstrikes in Syria.

Thick smoke and flames erupt from an airstrike by the U.S.-led coalition in Kobani, Syria, as seen from a hilltop on the outskirts of Suruc, at the Turkey-Syria border.

Thick smoke and flames erupt from an airstrike by the U.S.-led coalition in Kobani, Syria, as seen from a hilltop on the outskirts of Suruc, at the Turkey-Syria border.

Airwars also attempts to track all civilian casualties caused by the U.S.-backed coalition and Russian bombs. These figures are unreliable, as official government sources routinely underestimate the number of civilians killed while generously inflating the numbers of combatants killed. To combat this bias, the NGO uses eyewitness accounts and local media to more accurately report on the civilian death toll.

According to the most recent report on the site, between three and seven civilians were killed, and 47 were injured in airstrikes carried out by the coalition on Mosul in northern Iraq during the early morning hours of Sept. 21. In a translation from a video published by NRN, a local Arabic-language news source, one eyewitness suggests the high body count from the airstrikes makes the coalition look even more brutal than Daesh:

When you see this bombing no one can blame Islamic State when they kill a spy with a bullet to his head. Innocent family members were killed by this bombing.

Airwars estimates that at least 1,612 civilians have been killed by the U.S.-backed coalition since 2014, though that figure could be as high as 2,437.

An aircraft lands after missions targeting the ISIS in Iraq from the deck of the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush in the Persian Gulf. For weapons manufacturers, the nonstop pace of airstrikes targeting ISIS fighters in Iraq and Syria, as well as Saudi-led bombing of Yemen’s Shiite rebels and their allies, means billions of dollars more in sales.

An aircraft lands after missions targeting the ISIS in Iraq from the deck of the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush in the Persian Gulf. For weapons manufacturers, the nonstop pace of airstrikes targeting ISIS fighters in Iraq and Syria, as well as Saudi-led bombing of Yemen’s Shiite rebels and their allies, means billions of dollars more in sales.

Despite the loss of Fallujah, which was declared “liberated” from the terrorists in June, Daesh maintains a strong presence in Syria and Iraq, and continues to take credit for terrorist attacks abroad.

Mosul, currently under heavy bombardment by the coalition, is forecast to be the next target for Iraqi forces. In a Sept. 17 report from Politico, retired U.S. Army Col. Daniel L. Davis quoted a Kurdish commander who estimated there are still some 20,000 Daesh troops in and around Mosul, suggesting that even a victory in Mosul could be short-lived. Military experts Davis interviewed speculated that retaking the city from Daesh could trigger a new Iraqi civil war similar to the current conflict in Syria.

The air war began over two years ago under President Barack Obama, but both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have indicated that they intend to intensify the conflict against Daesh.

During Monday’s presidential debate Clinton said:

We’re working with NATO, the longest military alliance in the history of the world, to really turn our attention to terrorism. We’re working with our friends in the Middle East, many of which, as you know, are Muslim-majority nations.

In his response, Trump noted:

I think we have to get NATO to go into the Middle East with us, in addition to surrounding nations, and we have to knock the hell out of ISIS, and we have to do it fast, when ISIS formed in this vacuum created by Barack Obama and Secretary Clinton.

Responding to the candidates on Tuesday, Robert Fisk, an award-winning journalist who covers the Middle East for the Independent, expressed frustration at both candidates’ eagerness to continue the same, failing strategies. He wrote:

[H]aven’t we all been knocking the hell out of Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Syria, even Lebanon (a few years ago), and achieving the constant rebirth of ever more vicious warriors, of which Isis – heaven spare us the thought – may soon generate another, even worse progeny?

Fisk, who is based in Beirut, also noted that Washington’s so-called “friends” in the Middle East include “[t]hose fantastic Saudis who gave us 15 of the 9/11 hijackers,” and suggested it will be America’s fault when the air war on Daesh inevitably creates more terrorism through blowback.

He concluded:

About the only nonsense left unuttered by Trump and Clinton was that Isis was born outside the United States. There they would have been on safe ground. Or would they? For I suspect there may be a growing number of Arabs who believe that Isis is indeed a child born in America.

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State Department spokesman John Kirby warned Russia on Wednesday its radical Salafist terrorists in Syria may soon attack Russian cities.

“Extremist groups will continue to exploit the vacuums that are there in Syria to expand their operations, which could include attacks against Russian interests, perhaps even Russian cities. Russia will continue to send troops home in body bags, and will continue to lose resources, perhaps even aircraft,” Kirby said.

Because the “extremist groups” in Syria are supported by the United States and its Gulf Emirate partners, this remark can only be interpreted as a threat against Russia by the State Department.

Russia

Russia said as much.

“We can’t assess those statements as anything else but a call, a directive for action,” said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.

Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov added the statement by Kirby amounted to “the most frank confession by the U.S. side so far that the whole ‘opposition’ ostensibly fighting a ‘civil war’ in Syria is a U.S.-controlled international terrorist alliance.”

“What makes Kirby’s statement particularly shocking is that the scale of direct U.S. influence on terrorists’ activity is global and reaches as far as Russia,” he said.

CBS News tried to downplay the comments by Zakharova and Konashenkov:

The remarks by Russian officials have shown a degree of mistrust and strain between Moscow and Washington after the collapse of the U.S.-Russia-brokered truce and the Syrian army onslaught on Aleppo backed by Russian warplanes. The growing friction makes it increasingly unlikely that the cease-fire could be revived.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday that Washington is “on the verge” of ending Syria talks with Moscow because of days of deadly bombings of Aleppo by Russian and Syrian planes.

In other words, Kerry is threatening to shut down the truce in response to Syria’s effort to fight against US and Saudi-backed terrorists destroying its country.

Konashenkov’s remarks are prescient. The Russians are well aware this “international terrorist alliance” (created by the CIA, Pakistani intelligence, and the Saudis) was imported into the Muslim republics of the former Soviet Union following the CIA’s covert war in Afghanistan. “Despite its anti-American ideology, Islamic fundamentalism was largely serving Washington’s strategic interests in the former Soviet Union, the Balkans and the Middle East,” writes Michel Chossudovsky.

Shamil Basayev and Al Khattab, rebel leaders fighting in the renegade Chechen autonomous region of the Russian Federation, were trained and indoctrinated in CIA-sponsored camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The CIA has exploited Islam to destroy secular institutions in the Russian Federation. “The enforcement of Islamic law in the largely secular Muslim societies of the former Soviet Union has served America’s strategic interests in the region. Previously, a strong secular tradition based on a rejection of Islamic law prevailed throughout the Central Asian republics and the Caucasus, including Chechnya and Dagestan (which are part of the Russian Federation),” Chossudovsky adds.

The Saudis imported their radical Wahhabist creed into Chechnya, Dagestan, and Tajikistan in the late 1980s following the defeat of the Soviets in Afghanistan. The Islamic Djamaat of Dagestan and Chechen separatists established an independent Islamist state in the Caucasus. The CIA asset Ibn Al-Khattab organized raids against the Russian army.

The establishment media portrays the Russian response to Kirby’s statement as intransigence and unwillingness to participate in a proposed truce calling for an end to attacks on jihadists attempting to overthrow al-Assad and establish a Wahhabist principality in Syria.

The Russians have a direct interest in stopping terrorism in Syria and Kirby provided an additional rationale with his remark.

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It is one year since the beginning of a Palestinian youth-driven, anti-colonial revolt characterised by protests and attacks on Israeli forces and settlers in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), along with brutal violence and punitive measures by Israeli authorities.

The timeline is not precise; by October 1, 2015, anti-occupation violence by Palestinians had been gradually on the rise, with ebbs and flows, for a few years. Some have dubbed it the ‘Jerusalem Intifada’. Others have described it as “less than an Intifada and more than a popular blow-up.”

According to a Quds News Network article published this week, 246 Palestinians have been killed over the last year, and a further 18,500 injured. Other sources cite 230 fatalities (Ma’an News Agency) or “more than 225” (Amnesty International).

The majority of Palestinians were killed while conducting attacks, or alleged attacks; in July, for example, the Palestine Red Crescent said that 139 of the then-total 218 fatalities were assailants or alleged assailants (just under two-thirds).

Is this the Third Intifada?

Rising tensions in the Occupied Territories have led to dozens of deaths and hundreds of clashes.
Are we witnessing the Third Intifada?

However, as Associated Press noted earlier this month, “Palestinians have frequently accused Israelis of using excessive force against assailants and said in many cases, alleged assailants were not even attackers.” Such vital information is, regrettably, rarely included in many news agencies’ articles.

Certainly, a number of Palestinians – typically young adults – have carried out attacks over the last year, the overwhelming majority of which have targeted uniformed Israeli occupation forces or settlers in the OPT. Some of these assailants were executed after they no longer posed a threat.

But Israeli forces – including in incidents where the military changed its version of events a number of times – have also killed Palestinians falsely labelled as assailants, as well as Palestinians shot in the context of arrest raids or during the suppression of demonstrations.

It is instructive to note that, even according to the Israeli authorities, the number of Palestinians killed purely in the context of protests and raids over the last year (71) isdouble the total number of Israelis killed by Palestinians (33, plus two foreign nationals).

Palestinians killed by Israeli armed forces are rarely humanised in the West. In the media, their deaths merit – at best – a couple of paragraphs that always includes the Israeli military spokesperson’s version of events (and often only their version). And then everyone moves on.

Here then, is a snapshot of the human cost of Israel’s apartheid regime, and a few of the stories of those Palestinians who lost their lives over the past year.

‘Abd al-Rahman Obeidallah, 13-years-old. Killed October 5, 2015.

Obeidallah was shot dead by an Israeli soldier in Aida refugee camp, northern Bethlehem. He was standing, observing clashes between residents and occupation forces some 70 metres away, when he was struck with one live bullet to the chest. Obeidallah was one of five children, and his 17-year-old brother Muhammad described him as his “closest friend.” According to his mother Dalal, the young teen had “always dreamed of visiting” an aunt in Jerusalem, but, she added, “we are deprived of visiting Jerusalem.” The Israeli army subsequently claimed that the killing of Obeidallah was “unintentional.” A criminal investigation has been opened by the Israeli Military Advocate General (MAG) into the shooting, but a year on, there is no indication of any conclusion.

Shadi Dawla, 24-years-old. Killed on October 9, 2015.

Shadi was killed when Israeli forces opened fire on Palestinian demonstrators throwing stones at army watchtowers along the border fence east of Gaza City. Six Palestinians werekilled that day, and 145 injured, as well-protected Israeli soldiers cut down unarmed protesters with live ammunition.  Shadi worked with his father as an electrician, and according to his younger brother, was planning to get married. “[Shadi] wasn’t just my brother”, he said, “he was a good friend. We were always together. We always talked to each other and asked each other for advice.” More than 20 Palestinians, including a child aged 10, have been killed by the Israeli army in Gaza fence protests over the last year. No Israeli investigations have been opened into any of their deaths.

Nur Hassan, 26-years-old. Killed on October 11, 2015.

Nur Hassan, five months pregnant at the time, was killed alongside her three-year-old daughter Rahaf, in an Israeli airstrike on their family home in the a-Zeitun neighbourhood of the Gaza Strip. The house suffered a direct hit, and was completely destroyed. The bombing, which took place in the middle of the night as the family slept, was described by the Israeli military as an attack on “weapon production sites.” The Hassan home was located in a farming area, surrounded by olive and fruit orchards, with which the family made their living. In a widely-viewed video, the surviving father, Yihya, held Rahaf’s body, saying repeatedly, “Wake up, my daughter.” The second child, five-year-old Muhammad, also survived the bombing. There has been no Israeli investigation.

Dania Ershied, 17-years-old. Killed on October 25, 2015.

Ershied was killed at a checkpoint in front of Hebron’s Ibrahimi Mosque, in what was reported by Israeli authorities to have been an attempted stabbing by a “terrorist.” Eyewitness accounts reported by human rights groups contradict this, however. During a second inspection, Border Police officers began shouting at her to show her knife. According to Amnesty International, “warning shots were fired at her feet, prompting her to step back and raise her hands in the air. She was shouting at the police that she did not have a knife and still had her arms raised when police again opened fire, shooting her six or seven times.” Dania was a pupil at Al-Rayyan Girls’ High in Hebron, and was killed in her school uniform. There is no investigation into her death.

Ra’ed Jaradat, 22-years-old. Killed on October 26, 2015.

Jaradat was killed after attacking Israeli occupation forces outside Beit Einun village near Hebron. He stabbed one soldier before being repeatedly shot, including after he was lying motionless on the ground. Jaradat was an accounting student at Al-Quds University, and hailed from Sair, another Hebron area village. After the killing of Dania Ershied (see above), Jaradat wrote on Facebook: “Imagine if this were your sister!” His bereaved father toldjournalists: “We live well; my son needed nothing. But the only thing missing in the lives of these youths is freedom.”

Tharwat al-Sharawi, 72-years-old. Killed on November 6, 2015.

Al-Sharawi was shot dead by Israeli occupation forces as she approached a petrol station in Hebron. The Israeli military claimed that the mother of six had attempted a car-ramming attack. Yet a video of the incident reveals that the car was going slow enough for soldiers to easily move out of the way – before they opened heavy fire on the vehicle as it entered the station forecourt. The gunfire, which continued well after she had passed the soldiers, alsoinjured a petrol station employee. Al-Sharawi’s son said his mother was on her way to lunch at her sister’s house. According to Amnesty International, the Israeli forces’ use of lethal violence was illegal even if the grandmother had been carrying out an attack. However, Israel’s MAG decided that no criminal investigation will be opened.

Abdullah Shalaldah, 28-years-old. Killed on November 12, 2015.

Abdullah Shalaldah was killed in a hospital room by Israeli occupation forces disguised as Palestinian civilians (including one pretending to be a pregnant woman in a wheelchair). The soldiers entered a room on the hospital’s third floor, with the intent of arresting a patient, Azzam Shalaldah. As they burst into the room, they shot the patient’s cousin, Abdullah, three times in the head and upper body. The Israeli army claimed he had attacked soldiers, but witnesses said he had been unarmed, and was killed as he came out of the bathroom where he had been washing for prayers. Thousands attended Shalaldah’sfuneral in Sair. There is no Israeli military investigation into his death.

Lafi Awad, 22-years-old. Killed on November 13, 2015.

Awad was killed during a demonstration at the Separation Wall in Budrus. After Friday prayers, residents marched towards the Wall, built on village land, where Israeli forces awaited them. After a few hours of clashes, a smaller group of youths approached the Wall, only to be ambushed by soldiers. Awad was grabbed and assaulted, but managed to free himself. As he ran away, an Israeli soldier shot him in the back. Other Israeli soldiers prevented his friends taking him the quickest route to hospital. The Israeli army claimedthat a “rioter” tried to grab a soldier’s weapon.  Lafi was one of eight children. In 2013, he was arrested and detained for 17 months for helping to destroy surveillance cameras in the hated Wall. No criminal investigation is being opened into his killing.

Mohammed Abu Khalaf, 20-years-old. Killed on February 19, 2016.

Abu Khalaf, from Kafr Aqab in Occupied East Jerusalem, was shot and killed by Israeli forces outside Damascus Gate, after stabbing and wounding two Border Police officers. In videofootage captured by an Al Jazeera camera crew who happened to be on the scene at the time, Israeli forces opened heavy fire on Abu Khalaf even once he was lying motionless on the ground. The Israeli authorities held Mohammad’s body for 200 days, only returning him to his family for burial on September 6, 2016. “Today, the pain from the unhealed wound was renewed when we received his body and buried it”, his mother Rula told journalists. Israeli authorities subsequently decided that no charges would be filed against the officers involved.

Anwar Al-Salaymeh, 22-years-old. Killed on July 13, 2016.

Al-Salaymeh was shot to death by Israeli occupation forces as he drove with his friends in a-Ram in the West Bank. The Israeli military claimed that soldiers only opened fire in order to thwart an attempted car-ramming. The surviving passengers, however, said that they had been heading to a bakery and were unaware of the presence of Israeli forces in the area, a version of events supported by evidence gathered by human rights group B’Tselem. Al-Salaymeh, who had got married three months before his death, was on his way to get cookies for his pregnant wife when he was killed. According to his father, Al-Salaymeh “really helped with supporting the family – this is why he left high school and went to work.” There is no investigation being conducted into his killing.

Muhyee al-Din Tabakhi, 10-years-old. Killed on July 19, 2016.

Tabakhi was struck by a so-called black sponge round, fired by Israeli Border Police officers in a-Ram, Occupied East Jerusalem. He died shortly afterwards in hospital. Confrontations between local youths and Israeli forces in the area are common, owing to work being done on the Separation Wall. Shortly before Tabakhi was shot, some youths were throwing stones at a Border Police jeep, prompting an officer to exit the vehicle and give chase. The 10-year-old was shot in the chest from a distance of around 30 metres. An adult who went to his aid was also shot in the hand. An Israeli police spokesperson merely noted that no ‘live fire’ had been used.

Muhammad Abu Hashhash, 19-years-old. Killed on August 16, 2016.

Abu Hashhash was killed by Israeli occupation forces during a brutal, day-long raid of al-Fawwar refugee camp, near Hebron. He was shot in the back the moment he stepped out of his front door, by an Israeli sniper concealed in a Palestinian home about 30-40 metres away. Israeli soldiers had made a small hole in the wall of the house, through which the teenager was shot. Abu Hashhash was a keen football player, in a camp of some 9,500 residents. During that same raid, Israeli forces injured a further 52 other residents, including with live ammunition. At the time of writing, there is no news of an Israeli military investigation into his death.

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US Backs India’s Military Strikes against Pakistan

octobre 1st, 2016 by Keith Jones

The Obama administration has signaled its support for India’s “surgical” cross-border military strikes carried out Wednesday night in Pakistan-held Kashmir.

India’s attack was patently illegal and highly provocative. US strategic think tanks frequently refer to disputed Kashmir as the most dangerous “nuclear flashpoint” in the world. Yet American officials have studiously avoided making any criticism of India, a “global strategic partner” of US imperialism and pillar of its military-strategic offensive against China.

A chorus of former Obama and Bush administration officials now employed by various military-strategic think tanks are lauding the Indian action and even praising New Delhi for its “restraint,” even as the Hindu supremacist BJP government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi pushes South Asia closer to the precipice of all-out war.

India claims it sent ground forces, paratroops and attack helicopters to more than a half-dozen places up to three kilometers inside Azad, or Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir. It boasts that it inflicted “heavy,” “double-digit” casualties on “terrorists and those trying to shield them.”

Pakistan, while contesting the Indian version of events, concedes that two of its soldiers were killed and nine wounded Wednesday night.

The strikes represent a dangerous new turn in India’s strategy toward Pakistan. This is underscored by the fact that they are being celebrated not only by India’s virulently right-wing BJP government, but by the entire political establishment and corporate media. The attacks are being hailed as proof of a stronger, bolder India, which has thrown off the shackles of “strategic restraint.”

For more than four decades, India had not conducted military operations inside Pakistan. Or, to be more precise, any actions it did carry out were kept secret, with the aim of avoiding escalating strikes and counterstrikes that could quickly lead to war and even nuclear conflict.

Washington’s readiness to endorse India’s new aggressive posture is utterly reckless. It will only encourage New Delhi to take still greater military-strategic risks. It exemplifies the highly destabilizing role being played in South Asia by US imperialism and its “pivot to Asia.” Particularly incendiary is Washington’s drive to make India a “frontline” state in its offensive to encircle and prepare for war against China.

When questioned Thursday about Washington’s attitude toward the Indian strikes, Obama administration officials repeatedly evaded giving a straight answer. Instead, they issued general, pro-forma calls for both sides to show restraint and engage in dialogue, while insisting that Pakistan had to do more to prevent cross-border “terrorism.”

So anxious was US State Department spokesman John Kirby to shift attention from the Indian military strikes that at one point during his press briefing he apparently became flustered. He misinterpreted a question about whether the Indian strikes constituted the type of “escalation” that “Secretary Kerry had cautioned against,” and took it to be a reference to the September 18 terrorist attack on the Uri military base in India-held Kashmir.

Pressed as to whether the Indian strikes constituted an “escalation,” Kirby again ducked the question, while suggesting, as New Delhi does, that “terrorism” is the central cause of India-Pakistan tensions. “Our message to both sides has been the same,” declared Kirby, “in terms of encouraging them to increase communication to deal with [the terrorist] threat and to avoid steps that escalate the tensions. And I’m…not going to get into characterizing each and every step along the way there.”

It is likely that Washington had advance warning India was going to attack Pakistan and gave New Delhi a green light. In the run-up to Wednesday night’s attack, there was a flurry of phone calls between top US and Indian officials, including conversations between US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Indian counterpart, Sushma Swaraj, and between US National Security Adviser Susan Rice and her Indian counterpart, Ajit Doval.

What is incontrovertible is that in the aftermath of India throwing off “strategic restraint” to attack Pakistan, the Obama administration has signaled its support, although it finds it politic—under conditions where the Pentagon remains dependent on Pakistan’s logistical support to maintain the US-NATO occupation of Afghanistan—not to go on record as publicly endorsing Indian strikes in Pakistan.

Ex-US government officials are under no such constraints and they have been lining up to voice support for India’s new and more aggressive military-strategic posture.

Bruce Riedel, a longtime CIA analyst and former AfPak War adviser to the Obama administration, told the Hindustan Times that India was within its rights to attack Pakistan, citing as a precedent Washington’s illegal Predator drone strikes and other violations of Pakistan sovereignty. “India,” said Riedel, “can note that the United States has been carrying out attacks in Pakistan for over a decade to kill terrorists, including Osama bin Laden and Mullah Mansour (the Afghan Taliban chief summarily executed last May).”

Ashley Tellis, who in the administration of George W. Bush played a key role in negotiating the 2008 Indo-US civil nuclear accord, was no less emphatic in support of India’s attack. Indian Prime Minister Modi, he told the Press Trust of India, “could not let the outrage at Uri go unanswered.”

Tellis praised the Indian action as “carefully measured.” Invoking New Delhi’s transparent, trumped-up pretext for the attack, that Pakistan was about to launch terrorist squads across the border, Tellis added, “Striking at terrorist launch pads was meant to signal that India has not lost its freedom to retaliate, but puts the onus of further escalation on Pakistan.”

John Blank, a former South Asian policy adviser to the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee and currently a Rand Corporation analyst,” said “any (US) criticism of India for a cross-border action would have seemed hypocritical,” given its own “surgical strike against Obama bin Laden in Abbottabad (Pakistan).”

Blank pointed to the significance of the Wednesday evening phone call between the Indian and US national security advisers. “The phone call between Ajit Doval and Susan Rice…enlisted the US to help prevent a Pakistani counter-strike.”

During the Cold War, Pakistan was a key US ally. Washington armed its military and encouraged it in its reactionary military-strategic rivalry with India, which, after 1971, was formally allied with the Soviet Union by a “Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Cooperation.”

The US subcontracted to Pakistani intelligence the training of the Afghan mujahedeen and allied Arab fundamentalist forces it used in the 1980s to bleed the Soviet Union in a proxy war in Afghanistan, while backing to the hilt Pakistan’s Islamist dictator Zia ul-Haq.

But since the turn of this century, Washington has been seeking to build up India as a counterweight to China, and since Obama launched the “pivot to Asia” in 2011, the US has sought to make India the fourth pillar of an anti-China alliance alongside its key Asian-Pacific allies, Japan and Australia.

Building on the Indo-US “global strategic partnership” forged by the previous Congress Party-led government, the 28-month-old BJP regime has, to Washington’s delight, dramatically expanded India’s integration into the “pivot.” This has included adopting the Obama administration’s provocative stance on the South China Sea, expanding bilateral and trilateral ties with Japan and Australia, and agreeing to allow US warplanes and battleships to make routine use of Indian bases for resupply and repair and the forward deployment of war materiel.

In conjunction with this shift, the Modi government has pursued a more aggressive policy against Pakistan and China, which has developed extensive economic ties in South Asia. Under Modi, India is asserting itself as the regional hegemon. This has involved diplomatic and political thrusts as well as major new arms purchases and aggressive military deployments on its borders.

In the face of the burgeoning threat from the Indo-US alliance, Beijing and Islamabad have strengthened their own longstanding strategic ties.

Already on the first anniversary of the Modi government’s coming to office, the aforementioned Riedel noted that “the bipolar alliance system in South Asia has hardened… the United States and India are closer to each other, and China and Pakistan have come much closer together.”

A key element in this is the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a $46 billion network of rail, road, pipeline and power projects linking western China to Pakistan’s Arabian Sea port of Gwadar.

India is mounting a very public campaign against the CPEC because it will provide a huge and desperately needed economic shot in the arm to Pakistan and because it fears Gwadar could ultimately serve as an Indian Ocean base for the Chinese Navy.

The US has left it to India to publicly campaign against the CPEC, on the grounds that it will pass through parts of the former British Empire princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, which India claims is rightfully hers. But there is no question that Washington also views the CPEC as a strategic threat, as it would enable Beijing to circumvent US plans to impose an economic blockade on China using Indian Ocean and South China Sea chokepoints in the event of a war or war crisis.

Washington’s support for Wednesday’s Indian strikes on Pakistan involves more than a desire to cement its alliance with India. Its relations with Pakistan are badly frayed and increasingly characterized by bitterness and suspicion, in part because of Islamabad’s attempt to ensure itself a major say in any political settlement of the Afghan war by retaining ties to sections of the Taliban, especially the Haqqani network. But even more fundamental are Pakistan’s close ties to China, the power Washington has identified as the principal obstacle to US domination of Eurasia.

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The USA declared war on Spain in the middle of 1898, and sent their navy and troops to “liberate” Cuba from the Spanish yoke. Spain was defeated and negotiations between the two countries began in Paris in order to reach a peace agreement, finally signed in December 1898. |1|

During these negotiations, the Spanish authorities defended the following position: since the United States had taken their colony, they were obliged to honour Cuba’s debts to Spain. Such were the rules of the game. And indeed the rules cited by Spain did constitute common practice in the 19th century. A State which annexed another state must assume its debts.

The United States refused, saying it was not their intention to annex Cuba. In substance, they declared: “We liberated Cuba and gave assistance to independentists who had been fighting you for several years.”

The Spanish answered that if Cuba became independent, it must repay the debt, as had all the other Spanish colonies that had become independent during the 19th century.

The United States categorically rejected Spain’s demand of payment from Cuba. Finally, Spain signed the peace treaty with the United States and gave up on recovering the debt.

The most common version of the narrative of what took place tends to suggest that the United States rejected Spain’s debt claims against Cuba because that debt had served to maintain Cuba and the Cuban people under the Spanish yoke. But when we analyse the content of the negotiations, the explanation is very different. Admittedly, the United States advanced this argument, but it was only one among many others they used to justify their position.

What were the arguments advanced by the United States?

  • 1) Spain had issued Spanish securities in Europe with French and British bankers in the name of Cuba. Spain was guarantor of the issuance of these securities and they were backed by revenue from the Cuban customs and other taxes. The majority, if not all, of the bonds issued by Spain in Cuba’s name and the wealth they generated remained in Spain.
  • 2) Strictly speaking, there was no such thing as a Cuban debt because Cuba, as a colony, did not have the right to issue securities on its own initiative or in its own name. The island’s finances were controlled exclusively by the Spanish government.
  • 3) There was no proof that the Spanish bonds secured by Cuba’s revenues were actually used for projects that were beneficial to Cuba. Quite to the contrary, the history of Cuba’s finances as a colony showed that revenue from the island was absorbed by Spain’s national budget. In fact, until 1861, Cuba produced revenues well above the expenditures made by the Cuban government put in place by Spain. The revenue in excess of those expenditures was transferred in large part to Spain. Then, when Spain mounted costly military expeditions in Mexico, in Santo Domingo and against the independentists in Cuba, Cuba’s finances began to go into the red. In other words, Cuba had begun to run a budget deficit because Spain was using Cuba’s revenues to finance colonial wars both outside Cuba and within Cuba itself. The Spanish military expeditions into Mexico and Santo Domingo used Cuba as their base.
  • 4) Based on arguments 1 and 3, the United States’ position was that Cuba’s debtor status was a fiction since the so-called Cuban debts were in reality Spain’s. The United States argued that Spain’s budget absorbed the surplus produced by the island while saddling it with loans which in fact served its own interests and not Cuba’s.

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Frank Martini. Cartographer. – The Department of History, United States Military Academy (CC – Wikimedia)

Only after having used the preceding arguments did the United States add the well-known moral argument: “From the moral point of view, the proposal to impose these debts upon Cuba is equally untenable. If, as is sometimes asserted, the struggles for Cuban independence have been carried on and supported by a minority of the people of the island, to impose upon the inhabitants as a whole the cost of suppressing the insurrections would be to punish the many for the deeds of the few. If, on the other hand, those struggles have, as the American Commissioners maintain, represented the hopes and aspirations of the body of the Cuban people, to crush the inhabitants by a burden created by Spain in the effort to oppose their independence would be even more unjust.[…] [The instances of state practice adduced by Spain] are conceived to be inapplicable, legally and morally, to the so called ‘Cuban debt’, the burden of which, imposed upon the people of Cuba without their consent and by force of arms, was one of the principal wrongs for the termination of which the struggles for Cuban independence were undertaken.” |2|

In light of these arguments by the United States, Spain changed its tactics in the negotiations. It proposed that the Cuban debts be submitted for international arbitration in order to determine whatshare had actually been used in Cuba’s interest. Spain offered to bear the burden of that share of the debts which had not served Cuba and asked the United States to take responsibility for the other part or transfer it to the new independent Cuban State. The American negotiators telegraphed President McKinley to ask his opinion. He responded by making it clear that the United States would not agree to take on any Cuban debt and would not encourage Cuba to agree to do so.

In conclusion, the United States purely and simply repudiated the debt claimed by Spain from Cuba.

In 1909, after the United States had withdrawn its troops from Cuba, Spain demanded that the “independent” government of Cuba repay a portion of the debt. Unsurprisingly, Cuba refused, arguing that the Treaty of Paris of December 1898, which ended the conflict between Spain and the United States, had cancelled all debts. From that point, Spain was forced to negotiate with her French and British creditors.

Further, it needs to be stressed, on the one hand, that at no time did the United States invite the Cubans to send delegates to participate in the negotiations held in Paris; and on the other hand that the United States made use of the argument relating to the despotic nature of the colonial regime only secondarily. They concentrated on the use that Spain had made of the so-called Cuban loans to demonstrate that it was Spain first and foremost that benefited from them. They also showed that Spain, and not Cuba, was the actual borrower.

I can’t resist drawing a parallel with the current situation in Europe. The comparison with the Washington-Madrid-Havana conflict in 1898 is of capital importance if we study the situation of Greece and other countries such as Cyprus or Portugal in the 2010s.

After 2010, many recent studies demonstrate that the amounts Greece is being held responsible for were never transferred to the Greek authorities. They served mainly to repay private foreign banks, in particular French and German ones. Since 2010, credits have been granted to Greece by 14 States of the Eurozone, by the IMF and by the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), which took over from the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), because Greece no longer has access to the financial markets (in another context, like Cuba under Spanish domination). Thus the loans are in fact borrowed by third parties and then imposed on Greece under extremely harsh conditions. Less than 10% of the debt amounts imposed on Greece since 2010 have actually transited via Greece’s budget, and those sums have been used to finance counter-reforms and privatisations. The borrowers mentioned above get financing from private European banks and then use their credit to repay them without the borrowed amounts ever actually going to the Greek treasury. It can be demonstrated that these loans have been of no benefit to the Greek people. They have not improved the country’s economic and financial situation. Quite to the contrary.

It should be added that, initially, the 14 countries of the Eurozone who granted credits to Greece made profits at the country’s expense by practising abusive interest rates (between 4 and 5.5%) between 2010 and 2012. The IMF also profited at Greece’s expense, as did the ECB. |3|

That Greece is a borrower nation has been a fiction since 2010. That fiction serves the interests of the principal powers of the Eurozone, beginning with Germany and France. These major powers themselves defend the interests their major corporations, be they banking, industrial (and in particular arms makers) or commercial firms. The major powers have convinced 12 other Eurozone member countries and the IMF to maintain the fiction, with the complicity of the Greek authorities. The European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and the ECB participate in furthering the narrative. Big capital in Greece (banking, commercial – e.g. shipping – etc.) itself profits from the situation.

In the cases of Greece, Cyprus, Portugal, and other countries, there will be no major power like the United States in 1898 ready to intervene to repudiate their debts. However the arguments used by Washington are applicable to many indebted countries, and since there will be no supreme saviour, it is up to the people (of Greece, Cyprus, Portugal and all other peoples) to take the situation in hand and free themselves from the yoke of debt and other mechanisms of extortion and subordination. The international struggle for the abolition of illegitimate debt is more vital than it has ever been.

Translated by Snake Arbusto and Vicki Briault Manus

Notes

|1| The account which follows is based in part on Sarah Ludington, G. Mitu Gulati, Alfred L. Brophy, “Applied Legal History: Demystifying the Doctrine of Odious Debts,” 2009, http://scholarship.law.duke.edu/cgi…. Their explanation differs from the one given by Alexander Sack.

|2| Source of citation: J. B. Moore, Digest of International Law, vol. I, pp. 358-359.

|3| See details in Chapter 3 of the Preliminary Report of the Greek Debt Truth Commission,http://www.cadtm.org/Preliminary-Re…. The IMF demanded an interest rate of around 5% of Greece. The ECB had Greece repay it in securities at 100% of their face value when it had purchased them at 60 or 70% of their value on the secondary market. And it demanded a rate of over 6% on those securities while at the same time it was lending to the private banks of the Euro Zone at 0%!

Eric Toussaint is a historian and political scientist who completed his Ph.D. at the universities of Paris VIII and Liège, is the spokesperson of the CADTM International, and sits on the Scientific Council of ATTAC France. He is the author of Bankocracy (2015); The Life and Crimes of an Exemplary Man (2014);Glance in the Rear View Mirror. Neoliberal Ideology From its Origins to the Present, Haymarket books, Chicago, 2012 (see here), etc. See his bibliography:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%89ric_Toussaint 

He co-authored World debt figures 2015 with Pierre Gottiniaux, Daniel Munevar and Antonio Sanabria (2015); and with Damien Millet Debt, the IMF, and the World Bank: Sixty Questions, Sixty Answers, Monthly Review Books, New York, 2010. Since the 4th April 2015 he is the scientific coordinator of the Greek Truth Commission on Public Debt.

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Deutsche Bank’s shares plunged to record lows this week, sparking talk of a government bailout to avert a new financial crash. The turmoil surrounding Germany’s biggest bank demonstrates that all of the contradictions of the global financial system that led to the meltdown of 2008 are once again erupting. Now, however, these contradictions are fuelling and intersecting with economic and political tensions between the major powers. These geo-political conflicts are, in turn, intensifying the financial crisis.

The financial position of Deutsche Bank has been of concern for a number of years, with the International Monetary Fund saying last June that it appeared to be “the most important net contributor to systemic risks in the global financial system.” But the immediate cause of the present crisis was political.

After a protracted investigation, the US Department of Justice moved last month to impose a $14 billion penalty on Deutsche Bank for fraudulent practices in relation to the US sub-prime mortgage market in the lead-up to the 2008 crisis. Both the substance of this decision and the circumstances surrounding it indicate that it was a calculated move to hit Germany’s only major international bank.

The decision was leaked to the Wall Street Journal, rather than being discussed behind closed doors so that a private settlement could be reached. It emerged in the midst of rising tensions between the US and the European Union, particularly with Germany.

Following the EU decision to hit Apple with a €13 billion back tax bill—a step that met with trenchant criticism from US government and corporate circles—the Justice Department move in relation to Deutsche Bank was widely regarded in European circles as payback. Tensions over the Apple penalty and its implications for US investment and profit-making in Europe had been compounded by the virtual scuttling of the US-sponsored Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership by Germany and France.

The Deutsche Bank share plunge was halted on Friday, at least for now, on the back of news that the US was prepared to lower its fine to $5.4 billion. This, however, will prove at most to be a short-lived ceasefire in an ongoing economic and financial war.

The conflicts are not temporary phenomena, but are rooted in two interconnected objective developments: the ongoing stagnation in the world economy, marked by low growth levels, declining trade, lower investment and falling productivity, and the development of a massive financial bubble reflected in the rise of stock and bond markets.

The contradiction between booming financial markets and intractable slump in the underlying economy is assuming an ever more explosive form. Notwithstanding the illusion that money can simply beget more money through speculation and central bank stimulus, financial assets represent, in the final analysis, a claim on the wealth produced in the real economy.

For decades, financial assets were roughly equivalent in size to global gross domestic product. But the rise of financialisation, starting in the 1980s, led to a situation where, by the time of the 2008 crisis, these assets were more than 360 percent of global GDP. This ratio has only increased since then as a result of the extraordinary monetary policies—the pumping of trillions of dollars into the financial system and ultra-low and even negative interest rates—adopted by the world’s major central banks.

Commenting on the Deutsche Bank crisis, one financial analyst told theFinancial Times: “Investors are now worried that sooner or later there will be a heavy price to pay for the current market distortions.” The market distortions, however, are only the immediate expression of profound contradictions in the very foundations of the global financial system.

Under conditions where financial asset claims vastly outweigh real wealth, each section of finance capital must turn ever more viciously against its rivals in an attempt to eliminate them.

These tendencies find particular expression in Deutsche Bank. For decades, it worked in close collaboration with key sections of German large-scale industry. But with the growth of global finance capital, this business model became increasingly unviable, and at the end of the 1980s Deutsche Bank sought to turn itself into a global investment bank and aggressively targeted its rivals, particularly US banks. Its criminal activities in the US sub-prime market, mirroring those of US competitors such as Goldman Sachs, were part of this process.

While American banks were strengthened by the bailouts organised by the US government, the financial position of Deutsche Bank has been steadily eroded.

Without a bailout, it needs to raise more capital from the market in order to compete. But the ultra-low and negative interest rate regime, set in place by the major central banks, means that its basic business model has been adversely affected and profit expectations have been lowered. Under conditions where Deutsche Bank continues to hold on its balance sheet high levels of toxic derivative assets and the prospects for a serious revival of world trade and economic growth become increasingly remote, its counterparties demand ever higher rates of return on credit.

As the Wall Street Journal noted: “Deutsche Bank’s biggest problem isn’t just that it needs capital, but that it will find it very hard to raise any,” since it will “struggle to convince investors that it can make a return that beats its cost of capital in the years ahead.”

Just as rival gangs conduct a turf war of each against all in a bid to strengthen their own position, so Deutsche Bank has been targeted. Hedge funds and speculators have had a field day betting against the bank.

In a statement to employees on Friday, Deutsche Bank CEO John Cryan alluded to the forces at work, declaring that in banking, trust was everything, and that “there are currently forces at play in the market that want to weaken this trust in us.”

Deutsche Bank is not the only target. The wider dimensions of the conflict were given voice in a statement this week by Valdis Dombrovskis, a vice-president of the European Commission. He declared that reforms to global banking being pushed by the United States, which would lead to “significant increases in capital requirements shouldered by Europe’s banking sector,” would not be accepted.

While not directly naming the US, he said: “We want a solution that works for Europe and does not put our banks at a disadvantage compared to our global competitors.”

The way in which the insoluble contradictions of the global capitalist economy are fuelling geo-political tensions, and vice versa, as revealed in the Deutsche Bank crisis, is of profound significance. As the tormented history of the 20th Century shows, it is an indubitable expression of a global breakdown of the capitalist system that leads inexorably, unless prevented by the international working class, to world war.

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In a must-watch interview with the BBC, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says the Obama Administration has protected and supported Al-Nusra in Syria

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov granted the BBC an exclusive 20 minute interview, probably in an attempt to reach out to not-completely brain dead western television viewers.

The questions asked by the sniveling BBC anchor were predictable:

  1. Will you stop murdering babies in Aleppo with cluster munitions and bunker busters?
  2. Will you apologize for bombing the aid convoy?
  3. Will you apologize for shooting down MH-17?
  4. How will Russia survive more sanctions?

True to form, Lavrov very succinctly laid out Russia’s positions on all these « issues ». Oh, and he added a few zingers, like the Obama administration « gave rise and support to Al-Nusra ».

Actually, throughout the interview Lavrov repeatedly points out how the United States has steadfastly refused to distinguish between Al-Nusra and the « moderate rebels », insisting that they’re all moderate and therefore should not be bombed or hurt in any way.

Imagine, that just a week ago the U.S. agreed to weed out the « baddies »; now that the cease-fire has failed, the Pentagon is arming the same groups they vowed to destroy along with Russia. Incredible.

Oh, and here’s the takeaway: Moscow is tired of Washington’s games. Aleppo will be cleansed of Al-Nusra, with or without Washington’s « help ».

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The decision whether to allow the commercialisation of the first genetically modified (GM) food crop (mustard) in India is close. Serious conflicts of interest, sleight of hand and regulatory delinquency – not to mention outright fraud – could mean the decision coming down in favour of commercialisation.

The bottom line is government collusion with transnational agribusiness, which is trying to hide in the background, despite much talk of Professor Pental and his team at Delhi University being independent developers of the GM mustard (DMH 11) in question The real story behind GM mustard in India seems to be that it presents the opportunity to make various herbicide tolerant (HT) mustard hybrids using India’s best germ plasm, which would be an irresistible money spinner for the developers and chemical manufacturers (Bayer-Monsanto).

Campaigner Aruna Rodrigues is petitioning India’s Supreme Court (view the petition), seeking a moratorium on the release of any genetically modified organisms (GMOs) into the environment pending a comprehensive, transparent and rigorous biosafety protocol in the public domain conducted by agencies of independent expert bodies, the results of which are made public.

If at first you fail… try collusion and fraud?

In order to understand the GM mustard issue in India, it is important to appreciate the history behind it, as outlined in the writ petition:

In 2002, Proagro Seed Company (now Bayer), applied for commercial approval for exactly the same construct that Prof Pental and his team are now promoting as HT Mustard DMH 11. The reason today matches Bayer’s claim then of 20% better yield increase (than conventional mustard). Bayer was turned down because the ICAR [Indian Council of Agricultural Research] said that their field trials did not give evidence of superior yield.

The petition says that, some 14 years later, invalid field trials and unremittingly fraudulent data now supposedly provide evidence of a superior yield of 25%. It continues:

HT DMH 11 is the same Bayer HT GMO construct – an herbicide tolerant GMO of three alien genes. It employs, like the Bayer construct, pollen sterilisation technology BARNASE, with the fertility restorer gene BARSTAR (B & B system) (modified from the original genes sourced from a soil bacterium) and the herbicidal bar gene in each GMO parental line. The employment of the B & B system is to facilitate the making of hybrids as mustard is largely a self-pollinating crop (but outcrosses at rates of up to 20%). THERE IS NO TRAIT FOR YIELD. HT DMH 11 is straightforwardly an herbicide tolerant (HT) crop, though this aspect has been consistently marginalised by the developers over the last several years.

In basic terms, as mustard tends to be self-pollinating, in order to produce a hybrid, two parent lines had to be genetically modified. Barnase and barstar technology were used in the parent lines. And the outcome is three GMOs: the two parents and the offspring, DMH 11, which will be ideal for working with glufosinate (Bayer’s ‘Liberty’ and ‘Basta’).

… the plan is that the OFFICIAL ROUTE FOR THE FIRST-TIME RELEASE OF AN HT CROP AND A FOOD CROP, WILL BE THROUGH HT DMH 11 AND/OR its TWO HT PARENTAL LINES by STEALTH. Since the claimed YIELD superiority of HT DMH 11 through the B & B system over Non-GMO varieties and hybrids is quite simply NOT TRUE…

In other words, GM mustard is both a Trojan horse and based on a hoax.

Whatever happened to science and proper procedure?

Various high-level reports (listed here) have advised against introducing GM food crops to India. In a press release (ar-mustard-press-release-sept-26-2016-2), Aruna Rodrigues notes the abysmal state of GMO regulatory oversight in the country and the need for the precautionary principle to be applied without delay.

GM mustard (DMH 11) is a HT GMO with three alien genes. DMH 11 and its two GM parental lines, which have suddenly emerged in the line-up for commercial approval as part of the DMH 11 ‘package’, are HT crops designed to be used with glufosinate (notably Bayer’s market brands), a neurotoxin that will be banned in the EU from 2017.ar-mustard-press-release-sept-26-2016-2

Rodrigues asserts that the two parent lines and the hybrid DMH-11 require full independent testing, which has not occurred. And it has not occurred because of a conflict of interest and regulatory delinquency. The Department of Biotechnology is an active partner with Prof Pental (and his team at Delhi University, who have been developing GM mustard). The institutions of GMO governance in India see no problem in regulating DMH11, which they are also invested in and promote.

Allowing for not one but three GMOs is a serious case of regulatory ‘sleight-of-hand’, permissible due to diluted rules to ensure easy compliance. According to Rodrigues, it effectively means that the system allowing for GMOs in India has been deregulated. From a biosafety perspective, both maternal lines of DMH 11 must trigger the need for new rigorous safety testing.

Rodrigues explains that the testing/regulatory system that has been used allows for three GMOs to be defined as a single ‘event’ under cover of a single safety dossier:

They have slipped under the regulatory radar on a technicality, through a lacuna in the rules of an ‘event-based system’, which allows these three GMOs to come up for commercial approval without safety testing… India is suddenly faced with the deregulation of GMOs. This is disastrous and alarming, without ethics and a scientific rationale.

She goes on to highlight in some detail how the tests for GM mustard have been based on fraud. GM mustard is said to out-yield India’s best cultivars by 25-30%. The choice of the correct ‘comparators’ is an absolute requirement for the testing of any GMO to establish whether it is required in the first place. But Rodrigues argues that the choice of deliberately poor ‘comparators’ is at the heart of the fraud of HT DMH 11.

In the absence of adequate and proper testing and sufficient data, no statistically valid conclusions of mean seed yield (MSY) of DMH 11 could be drawn anyhow. Yet they were drawn by both the regulators and developers who furthermore self-conducted and supervised the trials. Without valid data to justify it, DMH 11 was allowed in pre-commercial large scale field trials in 2014-15.

For an adequate basis for a comparative assessment of MSY, Rodrigues argues it was absolutely necessary for the comparison to include the cross (hybrid) between the non-modified parental lines (nearest isogenic line), at the very start of the risk assessment process and throughout the subsequent stages of field testing, in addition to other recommended ‘comparators’. None of this was done.

Deliberately poor non-GMO mustard varieties were chosen to promote prospects for DMH 11 as a superior yielding GMO hybrid, which then passed through ‘the system’ and was allowed by the regulators, a classic non-sequitur by both the regulators and Dr Pental.

The fraud continued, according to Rodrigues, by actively fudging yield data of DMH 11 by 15.2% to show higher MSY. Again, she offers a good deal of evidence to show how it was done and why it was done: to justify the request for commercial approval.

A combination of fudged data and regulatory delinquency mean that DMH 11 and its two GMO parental lines are effectively forcing open the backdoor entry into India of herbicide tolerant GMOs based on non-GM traits.

Rodrigues concludes:

It matters not a jot if HT DMH 11 is not approved. What does matter is that its two HT (GMO) parental lines are: HT Varuna-barnase and HT EH 2-barstar will be used “for introgressing the bar-barnase and bar- barstar genes into new set of parental line to develop next generation of hybrids with higher yields –” (Developer and Regulator). This extraordinary admission confirms that the route to any number of ‘versions’ of HT mustard DMH 11 IS INVESTED IN THESE TWO GMOs as parents. India will have hundreds of low-yielding HT mustard hybrids (as was contrived for failed Bt cotton, with a present count above 1500 Bt hybrids), using India’s best mustard cultivars at great harm to our farmers and contaminating our seeds and mustard germ plasm irreversibly.

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

This unremitting fraud and unremitting regulatory delinquency is being protected by a subterranean process of regulation that has also broken India’s constitutional safeguards by keeping the biosafety data hidden from the nation.

India faces a three in one regulatory jugglery in a brazen display of collusion to fraud the Nation, by our regulatory institutions of governance… There is an on-going and accelerating down-sizing of precautionary regulation and rigorous and sceptical oversight of GMOs, even unremitting and clear fraud.

Rodrigues says:

These matters require criminal prosecution. The Petitioners’ Prayer to the Hon’ble Supreme Court is for HT crops to be barred and specifically HT (GMO) Mustard to be barred, and for an enquiry to be instituted into the regulatory process followed for DMH 11, amongst other Prayers.

It raises the question why are top officials seemingly hell-bent on driving GMOs into India. That, of course, is an issue in itself, one that is again related to collusion and deception.

 

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“An ambassador is a … gentleman sent to lie abroad for the good of his country.” (Attributed to Sir Henry Wotton, 1568-1639.)

When Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations (“We the people of the United Nations, determined to save succeeding generations form the scourge of war …”) rose to speak at the UN to address Syria’s ongoing tragedy, on Sunday 25th September, US Ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, François Delattre, Permanent Representative for France and British Permanent Representative, Matthew Rycroft, metaphorically threw their toys out of the pram and walked out. Anything more infantile and further away from the UN’s founding aspirations would be hard to find.

They would have done well to hear Mr Churkin’s full address (1) it lays out home truths and the reality of international State sponsored terrorism – resulting in Syria’s living nightmare – in succinct detail. He began:

“It is the sixth year that the Syrian people have been suffering a grave tragedy. In 2011, Washington and some other Western capitals decided to continue the reshaping of the geopolitical space of the Middle East and North Africa, which started with the US and UK criminal invasion in Iraq in 2003. Besides, both in Libya and Syria they continued to ‘use an axe’ without any disdain for the support of terrorist groups … consequences of countries’ break-ups and flows of millions of refugees were qualified as an unforeseen ‘irritant’.”

Samantha Power, however, has never seemingly found a conflict she would not embrace (safely, from afar, of course.) The Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and now Syria, “liberation” by annihilation seemingly ever her preferred option. The UN welcomes some unlikely Representatives to uphold its founding aspirations.

“What Russia is sponsoring and doing in Aleppo is not counter terrorism, it is barbarism”, railed Ms Power. Clearly she has forgotten the US led, multi-country barbarisms above and further that Russia has been invited to work with Syria to attempt to resolve the country’s terrorist crisis. The US and their “allies” – in the air and on the ground – are illegals, in contravention of a swathe of international law.

She appears to also have forgotten the numerous substantiations of the US (and allies) funding and arming the head chopping, organ eating, child murdering other illegal immigrants from over one hundred foreign countries, according to varying analysts. Another irony is America appointing itself the “world’s policeman” – as the world is seeing what its policemen are doing at home.

Also dropped through Ms Powell and her fellow UN absconders memory hole seems to be General Wesley Clark’s near immediate post 9/11 revelation from a Pentagon colleague that:

“ … we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.” Moreover, not to be forgotten is that the plans for Syria’s destruction were plotted in detail from within the then US Embassy in Damascus. (2)

Interesting is also the UK walkout Representative’s background, recalling that the UK is ever willing killer-in-arms with the US. Matthew Rycroft has trailed around varying war zones or war enablers in a “diplomatic” capacity since graduation from Oxford University in 1989.

An early placement was at the NATO desk in the British government’s bailiwick, Whitehall. After various Foreign Office placements he joined the British Embassy in Washington in 1998, from where he was seconded to both the US State Department and US Congress. On returning to the UK he became, in February 2002, Private Secretary Foreign Affairs, to the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair, according to his evidence to the Chilcot Inquiry on Iraq. (3 pdf.)

February 2002 was of course the time the planning in the Foreign Office was concentrating on Tony Blair’s now infamous meeting with George W. Bush in Crawford Texas in the coming April. Rycroft denied having any involvement in those plans, however he had integral involvement in the infamous Downing Street memo of 23rd July 2002. (4)

The memo related to the plans to overthrow Saddam Hussein, discussed at a meeting held by Tony Blair at which Rycroft was one of the attendees. His memo began:

“SECRET AND STRICTLY PERSONAL – UK EYES ONLY 

“DAVID MANNING

From: Matthew Rycroft

Date: 23 July 2002

S 195 /02

“cc: Defence Secretary, Foreign Secretary, Attorney-General, Sir Richard Wilson, John Scarlett, Francis Richards, CDS, C, Jonathan Powell, Sally Morgan, Alastair Campbell

“IRAQ: PRIME MINISTER’S MEETING, 23 JULY

“Copy addressees and you met the Prime Minister on 23 July to discuss Iraq.

This record is extremely sensitive. No further copies should be made. It should be shown only to those with a genuine need to know its contents.

“John Scarlett summarised the intelligence and latest (Joint Intelligence Committee) assessment. Saddam’s regime was tough and based on extreme fear. The only way to overthrow it was likely to be by massive military action …

“C reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime’s record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.” (Emphasis added.)

In the memo’s “Conclusions” Rycroft’s first is:

“(a) We should work on the assumption that the UK would take part in any military action … “

The rest is Nuremberg’s “supreme international crime …” and bloody, genocidal history. Ongoing.

Rycroft has now turned his attentions to Syria. On walk out day, the 25th September in a speech to the UN (5) which includes too many inaccurate and misleading statements (many might say mistruths) to address here, he includes:

“ … the death and destruction that the sectarian Assad regime has unleashed upon them. Nor will they forget that Russia aided and abetted this ruthless sectarian dictator in waging war against his own people.”

 

Goodness, word for word out of the US-UK Saddam Hussein hand book – “waging a war against his own people”, “sectarian dictator.” As Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, Syria is secular and the government is fighting a war to rid the country of the terrorists who flooded in as a result of the fruition of the US plans formulated in 2006

Rycroft also alleged the use by the government of chlorine bombs – he had clearly not read, or chosen to ignore the various Reports, including by the UN, categorically disproving this.

Iraq had the US inspired “Iraq Liberation Act” of 1998 held over the nation’s head until destroyed by the US and UK in 2003. Syria has the “Syria Accountability and Liberation Act” (6) of July 2009. Apart from imposing draconian sanctions of the sort that resulted in the deaths of half a million children between 6th August 1990 and 12th May 1996 in Iraq, the Act:

“Sets forth diplomatic measures intended to isolate the government of Syria.”

And:

“Authorizes the (US) President to provide assistance to support a democratic transition in Syria.”

In another re-run of the Iraq lies, Rycroft adapts the “Saddam starves his own people” line – when in fact the US-UK driven embargo even denied baby formula – and accuses President Assad of “failing to stop starvation.”

Incidentally, in 2003, after the invasion of Iraq, Matthew Rycroft was awarded the CBE: “ … an honour awarded to an individual by the Queen for a leading role at a regional level or a prominent … role at a national level in any activity. The definition of CBE is Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.” The cynic might speculate that his part in “Empire’s” Iraq slaughter might have been a contributory factor.

But he has not lost talent for plotting and economy with the truth, it would seem. But then, between experience in the Foreign Office, the State Department and Congress would be a peerless education. An example:

On 12 September, the eve of the ill-fated ceasefire: “President Dr. Bashar Al-Assad vowed to regain every inch of Syria from the terrorist forces.

“The Syrian President made this promise during his visit to the rural Damascus town of Darayya on Monday.

“In addition to his promise to recover every inch of the country, the Syrian President stated that his government will rebuild Darayya after the four year long battle left the town in ruins.” (7)

On 15th September, Matthew Rycroft translated this statement in a address to the UN as: “Earlier this week, Assad said it was his objective to regain the entire country by force …” (8) He surely learned well from his part in Iraq plotting.

Meanwhile, on 25th September (clearly a very busy plotting day) the UK’s new Foreign Secretary (it is hard to think of anyone less suitable to be a diplomat) was in Turkey. He tweeted:

Boris Johnson

@BorisJohnson

Follow
 #Turkey is a vital partner to the UK. Pleased to visit for first time as Foreign Sec for talks with Govt, civil society & #SyrianOpposition
9:34 AM – 25 Sep 2016

Meeting “opposition” head choppers, eh?

Another shocking international conspiracy against a small, proud nation, which threatens no one. The onslaught against Syria, the betrayal of a fellow Member of the United Nations will be added to the list of crimes of enormity laid at the feet of the “Special relationship” – the barbarism of the US-UK alliance.

Incidentally, diplomacy: “The art of dealing with people in a sensitive and tactful way.”

 Notes

1.     http://russiaun.ru/en/news/sc_ salp

2.     http://www.globalresearch.ca/ syria-and-conspiracy-theories- it-is-a-conspiracy/29596

3.    http://www.iraqinquiry.org.uk/ media/234076/2010-09-10- transcript-rycroft-s1- declassified.pdf

4.    http://warisacrime.org/node/1

5.    https://www.gov.uk/government/ speeches/it-is-difficult-to- deny-that-russia-is- partnering-with-the-syrian- regime-to-carry-out-war-crimes

6.    https://www.congress.gov/bill/ 111th-congress/house-bill/1206

7.    https://www.almasdarnews.com/ article/video-assad-vows- regain-every-inch-syria/

8.    https://www.gov.uk/government/ speeches/we-cannot-afford-to- repeat-history

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Oil, Power and Money: “Assad Must Go”

octobre 1st, 2016 by Mike Whitney

Secret cables and reports by the U.S., Saudi and Israeli intelligence agencies indicate that the moment Assad rejected the Qatari pipeline, military and intelligence planners quickly arrived at the consensus that fomenting a Sunni uprising in Syria to overthrow the uncooperative Bashar Assad was a feasible path to achieving the shared objective of completing the Qatar/Turkey gas link. In 2009, according to WikiLeaks, soon after Bashar Assad rejected the Qatar pipeline, the CIA began funding opposition groups in Syria. — Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Why the Arabs don’t want us in Syria, Politico

The conflict in Syria is not a war in the conventional sense of the word. It is a regime change operation, just like Libya and Iraq were regime change operations.

The main driver of the conflict is the country that’s toppled more than 50 sovereign governments since the end of World War 2.  (See: Bill Blum here.) We’re talking about the United States of course.

Washington is the hands-down regime change champion, no one else even comes close. That being the case, one might assume that the American people would notice the pattern of intervention, see through the propaganda and assign blame accordingly. But that never  seems to happen and it probably won’t happen here either. No matter how compelling the evidence may be, the brainwashed American people always believe their government is doing the right thing.

But the United States is not doing the right thing in Syria. Arming, training and funding Islamic extremists — that have killed half a million people, displaced 7 million more and turned the country into an uninhabitable wastelands –is not the right thing. It is the wrong thing, the immoral thing. And the US is involved in this conflict for all the wrong reasons, the foremost of which is gas. The US wants to install a puppet regime in Damascus so it can secure pipeline corridors in the East, oversee the transport of vital energy reserves from Qatar to the EU, and make sure that those reserves continue to be denominated in US Dollars that are recycled into US Treasuries and US financial assets. This is the basic recipe for maintaining US dominance in the Middle East and for extending America’s imperial grip on global power into the future.

The war in Syria did not begin when the government of Bashar al Assad cracked down on protestors in the spring of 2011. That version of events is obfuscating hogwash.  The war began in 2009, when Assad rejected a Qatari plan to transport gas from Qatar to the EU via Syria. As Robert F Kennedy Jr. explains in his excellent article “Syria: Another pipeline War”:

The $10 billion, 1,500km pipeline through Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and Turkey….would have linked Qatar directly to European energy markets via distribution terminals in Turkey… The Qatar/Turkey pipeline would have given the Sunni Kingdoms of the Persian Gulf decisive domination of world natural gas markets and strengthen Qatar, America’s closest ally in the Arab world. ….

In 2009, Assad announced that he would refuse to sign the agreement to allow the pipeline to run through Syria “to protect the interests of our Russian ally….

Assad further enraged the Gulf’s Sunni monarchs by endorsing a Russian approved “Islamic pipeline” running from Iran’s side of the gas field through Syria and to the ports of Lebanon. The Islamic pipeline would make Shia Iran instead of Sunni Qatar, the principal supplier to the European energy market and dramatically increase Tehran’s influence in the Mid-East and the world…

Naturally, the Saudis, Qataris, Turks and Americans were furious at Assad, but what could they do? How could they prevent him from choosing his own business partners and using his own sovereign territory to transport gas to market?

What they could do is what any good Mafia Don would do; break a few legs and steal whatever he wanted. In this particular situation, Washington and its scheming allies decided to launch a clandestine proxy-war against Damascus, kill or depose Assad, and make damn sure the western oil giants nabbed the future pipeline contracts and controlled the flow of energy to Europe. That was the plan at least. Here’s more from Kennedy:

Secret cables and reports by the U.S., Saudi and Israeli intelligence agencies indicate that the moment Assad rejected the Qatari pipeline, military and intelligence planners quickly arrived at the consensus that fomenting a Sunni uprising in Syria to overthrow the uncooperative Bashar Assad was a feasible path to achieving the shared objective of completing the Qatar/Turkey gas link. In 2009, according to WikiLeaks, soon after Bashar Assad rejected the Qatar pipeline, the CIA began funding opposition groups in Syria.

Repeat: “the moment Assad rejected the Qatari pipeline”, he signed his own death warrant. That single act was the catalyst for the US aggression that transformed a bustling, five thousand-year old civilization into a desolate Falluja-like moonscape overflowing with homicidal fanatics that were recruited, groomed and deployed by the various allied intelligence agencies.

But what’s particularly interesting about this story is that the US attempted a nearly-identical plan 60 years earlier during the Eisenhower administration. Here’s another clip from the Kennedy piece:

During the 1950′s, President Eisenhower and the Dulles brothers … mounted a clandestine war against Arab Nationalism — which CIA Director Allan Dulles equated with communism — particularly when Arab self-rule threatened oil concessions. They pumped secret American military aid to tyrants in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon favoring puppets with conservative Jihadist ideologies which they regarded as a reliable antidote to Soviet Marxism….

The CIA began its active meddling in Syria in 1949 — barely a year after the agency’s creation…. Syria’s democratically elected president, Shukri-al-Kuwaiti, hesitated to approve the Trans Arabian Pipeline, an American project intended to connect the oil fields of Saudi Arabia to the ports of Lebanon via Syria. (so)… the CIA engineered a coup, replacing al-Kuwaiti with the CIA’s handpicked dictator, a convicted swindler named Husni al-Za’im. Al-Za’im barely had time to dissolve parliament and approve the American pipeline before his countrymen deposed him, 14 weeks into his regime…..

(CIA agent Rocky) Stone arrived in Damascus in April 1956 with $3 million in Syrian pounds to arm and incite Islamic militants and to bribe Syrian military officers and politicians to overthrow al-Kuwaiti’s democratically elected secularist regime….

But all that CIA money failed to corrupt the Syrian military officers. The soldiers reported the CIA’s bribery attempts to the Ba’athist regime. In response, the Syrian army invaded the American Embassy taking Stone prisoner. Following harsh interrogation, Stone made a televised confession to his roles in the Iranian coup and the CIA’s aborted attempt to overthrow Syria’s legitimate government….(Then) Syria purged all politicians sympathetic to the U.S. and executed them for treason.  (Politico)

See how history is repeating itself? It’s like the CIA was too lazy to even write a new script, they just dusted off the old one and hired new actors.

Fortunately, Assad –with the help of Iran, Hezbollah and the Russian Airforce– has fended off the effort to oust him and install a US-stooge. This should not be taken as a ringing endorsement of Assad as a leader, but of the principal that global security depends on basic protections of national sovereignty, and that the cornerstone of international law has to be a rejection of unprovoked aggression whether the hostilities are executed by one’s own military or by armed proxies that are used to achieve the same strategic objectives while invoking  plausible deniability. The fact is, there is no difference between Bush’s invasion of Iraq and Obama’s invasion of Syria. The moral, ethical and legal issues are the same, the only difference is that Obama has been more successful in confusing the American people about what is really going on.

And what’s going on is regime change: “Assad must go”. That’s been the administration’s mantra from the get go. Obama and Co are trying to overthrow a democratically-elected secular regime that refuses to bow to Washington’s demands to provide access to pipeline corridors that will further strengthen US dominance in the region.  That’s what’s really going on behind the ISIS distraction and the “Assad is a brutal dictator” distraction and the “war-weary civilians in Aleppo” distraction. Washington doesn’t care about any of those things. What Washington cares about is oil, power and money. How can anyone be confused about that by now?  Kennedy summed it up like this:

We must recognize the Syrian conflict is a war over control of resources indistinguishable from the myriad clandestine and undeclared oil wars we have been fighting in the Mid-East for 65 years. And only when we see this conflict as a proxy war over a pipeline do events become comprehensible.

That says it all, don’t you think?

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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‘White Helmets’ — Pawns for U.S. Militarism

octobre 1st, 2016 by Workers World

The dangerous U.S. military escalation of its 5-year war to overturn Syria’s government can be seen in the Sept. 17 bombing, which killed 62 Syrian Army soldiers and aided the position of the Islamic State group. The attack sabotaged a U.S.-Russian brokered ceasefire and led Russia to call for an emergency U.N. Security Council meeting.

At the same time, there has been a heavy barrage of U.S. war propaganda. “White Helmets,” a new film, is part of the sophisticated disinformation campaign.

War propaganda is always more insidious on the home front, but it is an essential ingredient of imperialist wars. Charging the enemy with genocide, baby killing, mass rapes, mass graves and weapons of mass destruction have all been debunked after a U.S. war. But they saturate the media before a war and seem indisputable.

Samantha Powers, U.S. ambassador to the U.N., has denounced both Russia and Syria. She labels U.S. wars “humanitarian interventions,” and has used unsubstantiated war propaganda to justify wars in West Asia, North Africa and the Balkans that have decimated countries, killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced millions.

Social media hype

The film praising White Helmets, a U.S.-British-funded group embedded with U.S.-funded reactionary opposition forces, is trending on Netflix. The documentary’s well-publicized launch is calculated to help it win awards and convey the call for deeper U.S. military involvement in Syria. It premiered the Sept. 17-18 weekend at the Toronto International Film Festival.

NBC News praised the featured group as “Angels on the Front Line.” The Washington Post, New York Times and Wall Street Journal sang the movie’s praises and White Helmets’ “selfless, humanitarian role.”

The White Helmets defines itself as unpaid, unarmed first responders in Syria, claims 3,000 members and alleges it is a Syrian Civil Defense group. It claims to have saved 40,000, even 60,000 lives in Syria, by rescuing survivors from bombsites.

Most claims about the White Helmets are unverified self-promotion on social media. Interviews with and media coverage of the grouping show desperate appeals for an increase in U.S./NATO military action in Syria — not peace and reconciliation. New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof and other journalists have quoted its calls for a no-fly zone as a “humanitarian” option.

The much-hyped White Helmets is not a Syrian organization, nor was it created by Syrians, nor is it educational. It is a U.S.-British creation. Former British Army officer James Le Mesurier, self-described as a British “security” specialist, founded it. He previously worked for Blackwater, the mercenary organization universally condemned for its murderous brutality in Iraq.

U.S. AID funding

The White Helmets’ website declares the group is “unfunded, independent and neutral.” At an April 27 press conference, U.S. State Department Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner acknowledged the organization has received $23 million from the U.S. Agency for International Development. That agency’s website explains, “Our work … advances U.S. foreign policy objectives.”

Additionally, the White Helmets receives millions of dollars from billionaire financier George Soros, the Netherlands and the British Foreign Office. Equipment and vehicles come through Turkey.

The White Helmets has never functioned as a neutral force. While attacking the Syrian government and calling for more U.S., British and NATO bombing, the group functions exclusively in Syrian areas held by the Nusra Front, a terrorist organization linked to al-Qaida. This well-funded group operates on the ground with U.S.-, British-, Israeli- and Saudi-funded militias committed to destroying Syria’s government.

While claiming to be “unarmed,” the White Helmets appears in videos with weapons, surrounded by armed militias.

The U.S. brought White Helmets’ leader Raed Saleh to the U.N. Security Council in 2014 to testify against the Syrian government and to lobby for a U.N. resolution approving a U.S.-enforced no-fly zone — meaning direct U.S. intervention. Saleh promotes bombing to “save” the people of Syria and is hardly “neutral.”

Washington later barred Saleh from the U.S. when he tried to attend a gala dinner honoring White Helmets with a keynote speech from USAID. The State Department deported him, citing his connections to “extremist organizations.”

The White Helmets is the latest of a series of front groups, designed to give a “humanitarian” gloss to Washington’s latest war of regime change in the Middle East.

White Helmets was established as a social media presence of the Syria Campaign, AVAAZ and Purpose — interlinked campaigns that push for U.S. destruction of Syria. They quote each others’ material and create the illusion of a democratic, independent opposition in Syria.

These forces are also pushing for a Nobel Peace Prize nomination for White Helmets to further legitimatize their calls for an expanded war. They also campaigned for Washington to bomb Libya under the guise of a “humanitarian” no-fly zone.

Resources that tell the truth

While the corporate media and TV entertainment channels seem to be taken in by this slick film, it takes little effort to expose who White Helmets is and reveal its role in the ugly U.S.-funded war in Syria. Information is available online in various formats. But this has not stopped the constant, orchestrated promotion of White Helmet.

“The White Helmets — al Qaeda with a Facelift” is a 4-minute video on Youtube which reveals the truth about the grouping. (tinyurl.com/zojokn3) The Syria Solidarity Movement, including Eva Bartlett, Vanessa Beeley, Ken Stone and Hands Off Syria, which made the video, has extensively researched White Helmets’ funding and role.

Change.org’s petition opposes the Nobel Peace Prize nomination, concluding that the White Helmets is “terrorism and neocolonialism under the umbrella of Humanitarianism.” (tinyurl.com/z52cttu)

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During the early phases of the post-Cold War “New World Order,” NGOs were touted as representing a new wave of international politics. Instead of allowing international issues to be settled in closed meetings, the people themselves, informed by intrepid citizen journalists, would from now on play the key role in setting the agenda.

Like most of the promises made in the 1990s, this one also failed to deliver. It became clear that many NGOs, far from representing the “grass roots” of politics, were more akin to the artificial grass-like stadium surface known in the US as “astroturf”. It may look and even, to a degree, feel like the genuine article, but it most certainly is not. Many NGOs, while presenting a public image of bottom-up activism, were funded by major corporations or governments, which had the effect of depriving them of their independence and objectivity.

Given the success of NGOs as promoters of corporate interests, it did not take very long for them to begin to position themselves as independent, objective, and trustworthy sources of political information. Their appeal was largely based, once again, on the perception that the average NGO, or even a blog dealing with international affairs, is being implemented as a collection of concerned citizens engaged in unbiased news collection, analysis, and reporting. In that respect, they filled quite a large niche vacated by government spokesmen, news organizations, and intelligence services, all of which have been losing the public’s trust and which were no longer seen as objective.

Today, such fake NGOs as Bellingcat, White Helmets, Syria Observatory for Human Rights, plus a whole range of less well known bloggers and self-styled “open-source information” analysts, are no longer playing a supporting role in the ongoing information war that is an important component of hybrid wars. They have become the tip of the spear. These fake NGOs are now playing a leading role in what US military doctrine refers to as “shaping the information battlefield” within the “Full Spectrum Dominance” agenda.

Hybrid War Propaganda Laundering

Naturally, these entities are not setting the agenda or calling the shots. They have been assigned a number of roles by the political elites.

First of all, they are supposed to engage in veritable “propaganda laundering.” Much as banks provide legitimacy to funds obtained through illegal or immoral means, Bellingcat, White Helmets, and others turn what would otherwise be recognized as propaganda into “breaking news”–style stories that are then run, with reference to the NGO in question rather than the true source of the disinformation, by the mainstream media.

Bellingcat’s so-called investigations into the MH17 tragedy represent an example of this process. Anyone who follows Ukrainian social media and government sites understands that Bellingcat has not performed much due diligence actual investigation and instead selectively chooses only certain events that fit western propaganda narratives while ignoring others that may exposed western backed proxy groups, such as the May 2014 Odessa Massacre. Every bit of what it calls “evidence” has been spoon-fed to it by Ukrainian intelligence services which in fact manufactured the videos, the photographs, the supposed intercepted communications, immediately in the aftermath of the MH17 shoot-down and uploaded them to Youtube and other social media outlets with the aid of Ukraine’s own “information warriors” posing as concerned citizens.  Bellingcat’s staff, by passing this disinformation as the product of its own open-source intelligence gathering, made it appear as if the conclusion that only Russian troops could be responsible for the MH17 tragedy was the product of independent research conducted by a team of citizen truth-seekers armed only with the Internet.

In Syria, the White Helmets function in a similar manner. While pretending to be an impartial humanitarian organization, they operate in strict collaboration with a variety of jihadists organizations, and their reports place the blame for civilian suffering solely on the shoulders of Syria’s legitimate government and its Russian allies. Once again, propaganda issued by al-Nusra and affiliated groups is being given a stamp of legitimacy by what appear to be selfless humanitarian workers.

The second function these NGOs fulfill is allowing interested governments to refrain from directly lying to the media and the public themselves, since doing so would inevitably have negative political consequences. Indeed, the practice has become so widespread that the discerning observer can readily tell whether information being presented by government representatives is true on the basis of whether the government cites and presents its own evidence, or refers the public to an NGO-run website. The NATO use of commercial imagery rather than its own satellite imagery as evidence that Russian forces were operating on the Donbass is a variation on this theme.

Thirdly, the use of propaganda-launderers allows government factions to pursue their own foreign policy agendas independently of the rest of the government. It is apparent that they are used as conduits for information leaks by the more aggressive factions in Western governments which seek to sabotage peace efforts in Ukraine, Syria, and other regions of the world. This is a dangerous trend, because these launderers serve as a megaphone for hardliners, to the point that the more reasonable voices are drowned out.

Fourthly, the propaganda-launderers allows a certain degree of plausible deniability, and even a reversal of policy if need be, with the NGO in question being quietly shunted aside when it ceases to be useful. Should Western interests demand a rapprochement with Russia, entities such as Bellingcat, the White Helmets, and all the rest would vanish overnight.

Is It Working?

The answer to that question depends on the target audience. Specialists, and even well informed journalists, are unlikely to be swayed. The pathetic scenes of US State Department spokesmen squirming under the pointed questioning of genuinely truth-seeking journalists such as Matt Lee or Gayane Chichakyan show that the reliance on propaganda-laundering NGOs has its limits. The general public is a different story, since cable news channels do not show such embarrassing moments to the public. Nevertheless, as the old saying goes, you can’t fool all of the people all of the time. The weakness of all propaganda efforts is their heavy-handed, one-note message which in this instance amounts to “Everything is Russia’s Fault.” This approach can be effective for a while, but eventually it runs into a mounting wall of public skepticism which will consign propaganda laundering to obsolescence, to be replaced by another method of manufacturing public consent.

Coming back to the MH17 incident it’s clear that lots of question still remain 2 years after the tragedy. Who is responsible for downing of the plane? Who ordered to down it? Why the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was there? Who did point the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 to this corridor? Was it an accident or a planned provocation?

Recently, a newly appeared team of pro-Russian bloggers, ‘Anti-Fake’, blasted the open-source investigation into the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash over Ukraine in 2014 by Bellingcat. Anti-Fake issued a 44-page report, blaming Bellingcat for a pro-Kiev stance and relying on fake and falsified evidence. In turn, Bellingcat and its supporters in main stream media pointed out some mistakes in Anti-Fake’s report and blamed the group for alleged links with the Russian government. SouthFront suggests to all concerned to contribute some time to read reports from the both sides.

It appears that the reports by Bellingcat and Anti-Fake are an element of the current informational warfare. It’s pretty clear that such reports are aimed to shape informational battlefield in order to pursue foreign-policy or political and military objectives.

The both sides of the ongoing geopolitical conflict use various tools of informational warfare, the West’s states have much more resources than their opponents. So, the quality of pro-Western content is higher.

If you’re able, and if you like our content and approach, please support the project. Our work wouldn’t be possible without your help: PayPal: [email protected] or via: http://southfront.org/donate/ or via: https://www.patreon.com/southfront

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There are a multitude of governance models across the world, but they can all be divided into one of two broad categories – “Western Democracy” or “National Democracy”. The first one is exemplified by the political systems in the US and most of the EU (with Hungary and increasingly Poland being notable exceptions), while the latter is manifested by countries such as Russia, China, and Iran which the West commonly smears as “dictatorships” because of the comparatively outsized role that their national leader typically has relative to the rest of the formal government. Some countries fall in the middle of these two models but generally lean closer to one or the other, hence why only two categories are relevant in this classification.

The US prefers for countries to follow “Western Democracy” not out of purely ideological reasons, but for the very pragmatic one of being able to more easily influence phased leadership transitions during predictable election cycles. “Western Democracy” also isn’t just a mechanical-technical template of simply holding regular elections, but a distinct political culture that includes “lobbyists” (legal bribers), “free media” (political indoctrinators typically controlled by a handful of state-connected entities), and “activists (Color Revolution vanguards), among other traits. “National Democracies”, on the other hand, may have each of these three “Western Democracy” indicators to varying degrees, but they don’t blindly follow a maximalist approach in copying-and-pasting each and every aspect of them and their existing iterations for no apparent reason.

If such characteristics are present in a “National Democracy”, then it’s because each of these have been fine-tuned to the country’s specific conditions and not imported as a weaponized systematic approach in periodically provoking ‘legitimate’ regime change. In other words, the foreign promotion and forced practice of “Western Democracy” enables Western states to more easily control what otherwise would have been “National Democracies” through the specific ‘political code’ written into their new governing systems, which explains the fervor with which the US has been ‘promoting (Western) democracy’ since the end of the Old Cold War and why it argues that such an effort is in the ‘national security’ interest of the country.

In many instances, however, the US was unsuccessful in turning independent “National Democracies” into subservient “Western Democracies”, which is why it’s had to resort to Color Revolutions, Unconventional Wars, and their amalgamation into Hybrid Wars as a means of forcing Regime Tweaking (concession), Regime Change (overthrow), and/or a Regime Reboot (constitutional revisionism) onto its rivals. “National Democracies” are usually structured in such a way that they’re exceptionally vulnerable during the inevitable leadership transitions that come with time, particularly when the National Leader needs to be replaced. Whether he or she passes away, resigns, or steps down at the end of their term, a new replacement must eventually be decided upon, and it’s here where “Western Democracy” gets to work in seeking to destabilize its “National” counterparts.

Hybrid Wars are the modus operandi for achieving this, and the ultimate determinant in whether or not a “National Democracy” survives the onslaught is the unity of its “deep state” apparatus. This concept refers to the permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies that control the fundamental workings of both “Western” and “National” democracies alongside the “open state” academic-informational-administrative elite and their economic counterparts. Taken together, these 7 branches of power define the modern-day state no matter its governing disposition, but it’s just that “National Democracies” are more susceptible to being visibly impacted whenever the “deep” and “open” states go through a power struggle, one which more often than not has the highest likelihood of occurring during the leadership transition described above.

zst-ny-hillary-clinton-libya-2007-2011-bombed-outRelevant examples of “National Democracies” successfully weathering what many had thought would have been extremely challenging leadership transitions are Turkmenistan and most recently Uzbekistan, with other countries such as Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, and Algeria slated to go through this process soon enough, albeit to uncertain ends. When they and other states inevitably pass through this experience, the subsequent course of events will be dependent on the unity of the military and security services, and how quickly the elite can rally behind an agreed-upon replacement. If all goes according to plan and there are scant disruptions and a strong sense of “deep state”-“open state” unity, then a smooth transition can be assured like in the aforementioned two cases, but if personal or identity-based ambitions get the best of the ruling and/or security classes, then the consequences could be disastrous.

In almost every example of a “National Democracy”, the passing, resignation, or stepping down of the country’s leader serves as a potential Hybrid War trigger event in unleashing a series of preplanned destabilizations, with the variables surrounding this being both the previously discussed military-elite unity and the confidence that the anti-government organizers have in their plans. The best-case scenario is that the “deep state” remains unified and the provocateurs are caught off guard and unprepared by the structurally advantageous event, while the opposite one is that the “deep state” is fiercely divided amongst itself and the ‘revolutionaries’ are fully prepared for launching a Hybrid War. Sometimes, however, the reality is somewhere in the middle, with the “deep state” either being divided and the hostile organizers unprepared for exploiting this scenario, or the military and elite are unified in spite of the regime change proxies feeling confident enough to go forward with their initiatives anyhow.

It’s unclear at this moment how the course of events would progress in each and every case, since it’s challenging for researchers to find reliably objective information about either of the examined country’s two determinants (military-elite unity and the confidence of anti-government organizers), so it’ll remain to be seen how other “National Democracies” fit into this model. What is certain, however, is that the removal of their National Leader from the political equation serves as a trigger event for exacerbating the already existing Hybrid War vulnerabilities present in the state, and that the US and its NGO/Hybrid War foot soldiers will instantly move to exploit any real or perceived split within or between the “deep” and “open states” during this crucially sensitive time (if it hadn’t engendered such divisions already), as well as between these 7 pillars of state functionality and the general population.

Therefore, all members of the state – from its “deep” and “open” ones all the way down to the average citizen – must be prepared in advance for withstanding the US’ asymmetrical aggression during this time, recognizing that the collective good of society is best served by stably staying the course as much as possible during this indeterminate transitional period, and rejecting the US’ frenzied efforts to divide and rule the country by playing to identity politics and personal motivations. Proactive informational campaigns about the dangers of Hybrid War and the promotion of patriotism and its related state-supported NGOs could serve to educate the populace enough that they become largely inoculated against this threat, though there’s regrettably no such strategic model that could be applied by all “National Democracies” in ensuring their “deep state”-“open state” unity. Rather, the required solution will widely vary depending on the composition of the “deep” and “open” states and the nature of relations between its respective entities, which are understandably unique to each country and follow no set theoretical patterns.

Andrew Korybko is the American political commentator currently working for Sputnik agency. He is the author of “Hybrid Wars: The Indirect Adaptive Approach To Regime Change” (2015).

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The Obama administration, and especially the CIA and the State Department, seem to be in trouble. They shout everything they can against Russia and allege that the cleansing of east-Aleppo of al-Qaeda terrorist is genocidal. Meanwhile no mention is ever made of the famine of the Houthis in Yemen which the U.S. and Saudi bombing and their blockade directly causes.

But more and more major news accounts support the Russian allegation that the « moderate rebels » the U.S. is coddling in Syria are actually in cahoots with al-Qaeda if not al-Qaeda itself.

Reuters reports (though only at the end of a longer story):

In Aleppo, rebels in the Free Syrian Army are sharing operational planning with Jaish al-Fatah, an alliance of Islamist groups that includes the former Syrian wing of al Qaeda.Meanwhile, in nearby Hama province, FSA groups armed with U.S.-made anti-tank missiles are taking part in a major offensive with the al Qaeda-inspired Jund al-Aqsa group.


by Carlos Latuff – bigger

The Wall Street Journal is more direct and headlining: Syria Rebels Draw Closer to al Qaeda-Linked Group

Some of Syria’s largest rebel factions are doubling down on their alliance with an al Qaeda-linked group, despite a U.S. warning to split from the extremists or risk being targeted in airstrikes.

Some rebel groups already aligned with Syria Conquest Front responded by renewing their alliance. But others, such as Nour al-Din al-Zinki, a former Central Intelligence Agency-backed group and one of the largest factions in Aleppo, pledged allegiance for the first time to the front in recent days.

Indeed the al.Qaeda affiliate Fateh al-Sham announced publicly that the CIA’s Nour el-Din Zinki and Suqour al-Sham joined its Jihad

As little back as August the State Department defended Zinki after some of its member abducted a Palestinian boy from a hospital near Aleppo and beheaded him in front of a video camera:

[I]n State Department briefings, [..] spokesman Mark Toner downplayed the incidents, or the possibility that the US would stop arming Nour al-Din al-Zinki just because they beheaded a child..

Toner insisted [..] “one incident here and there would not necessarily make you a terrorist group.”

The new news reports follow after an interview by the German former politician and journalist Jürgen Todenhöfer with an al-Qaeda commander published in English on this site. The commander said that Nusra (aka al-Qaeda) were directly supplied, via a subgroup, with U.S. TOW missiles. He added about such groups:

They are all with us. We are all the al-Nusra Front. A groups is created and calls itself « Islamic Army », or « Fateh al-Sham ». Each group has its own name but their believe is homogeneous. The general name is al-Nusra Front. One person has, for example, 2,000 fighters. Then he creates from these a new group and calls it « Ahrar al-Sham ». Brothers, who’s believe, thoughts and aims are identical to those of al-Nusra Front.

Another interview recently published by the former military Jack Murphy was with a Green Beret soldier who served in Turkey and Syria. The Green Berets are special forces of the U.S. army. They are specialists in training and  fighting with indigenous guerrilla groups against governments the U.S. dislikes. The soldier interviewed was ordered to train « moderate Syrian rebels » in Turkey. Parts of the interview (paywalled) are quoted here:

« No one on the ground believes in this mission or this effort”, a former Green Beret writes of America’s covert and clandestine programs to train and arm Syrian insurgents, “they know we are just training the next generation of jihadis, so they are sabotaging it by saying, ‘Fuck it, who cares?’”. “I don’t want to be responsible for Nusra guys saying they were trained by Americans,” the Green Beret added.

Murphy states bluntly: “distinguishing between the FSA and al-Nusra is impossible, because they are virtually the same organization. As early as 2013, FSA commanders were defecting with their entire units to join al-Nusra. There, they still retain the FSA monicker, but it is merely for show, to give the appearance of secularism so they can maintain access to weaponry provided by the CIA and Saudi intelligence services. The reality is that the FSA is little more than a cover for the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra. …

It is one thing when Russia says somesthing, but another when Reuters, WSJ, and independent German and U.S. subject experts report this as facts. The first can be shunned as « Putin lies » but the others are extremely hard to refute.

The Russians are right. The U.S. did not separate the « moderate rebels » from al Qaeda, as it had agreed to in the ceasefire agreement, because the « moderates » and al-Qaeda are the same. The « moderates » are al-Qaeda. This was not unknown. The 2012 Defense Intelligence Analysis said as much. The CIA of course knew this all along. But the Saudi tool heading the CIA, John Brennan, can not admit such as his masters in the Gulf are also the ones who finance al-Qaeda.

They buy the weapons Brennan’s people hadn over to al-Qaeda. The « end-user » according to this certificate for a weapon buy in Ukraine is Saudi Arabia. But who will believe that the Saudi dictators need for example 100 obsolete T-55 tanks? The weapons on the certificate, for an estimated $300-$500 million, are obviously for al-Qaeda in Yemen and in Syria. (Did Joe Biden or his son, both heavily engaged in Ukraine, get a provision from the deal?)

As the facts accumulate how long can the New York Times and Washington Post keep up with their propaganda claims. One has to admit, they really try their best. Unfortunately for them, their best is only mediocre. The NYT today found out that Vladimir Putin Relishes His Role as Disrupter. How does the NYT know what Putin « relishes »? The reporter did not ask Putin himself. But he did ask some knowledgeable experts with insight into Putin’s inner mind and those assured the author that this is indeed the case. They know exactly how Putin feels. They are Richard Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director and Robert Kagan, leading voice of of the neocons and Clinton promoter. Some « experts ».

Add that to dozens of stories on how « Russia indiscriminately bombs civilians/hospitals/bakeries in east-Aleppo » but never hits any « rebels » because none occur in these stories at all. A recent NYT piece of that kind had 14 « voices » in it. Eight belonged to various propagandists associated with the « White Helmets », four were « western » diplomats, one Syrian government official and a Russian spokesperson were quoted at the end. No Russian military and no one from west-Aleppo, where by far most people in the city live under government protection and daily rocket hail by the « rebels », were even asked.

But all those tales we hear about the devilish Russians MUST be true! Even the 7 years old Bana Alabeb now tweets from east-Aleppo about her tragic fate under indiscriminate Russian assaults. This in perfect English and with an excellent WiFi and Internet connection as her many « White Helmets » photo attachments and her videos attest. But the whole city is devastated and in ruins she says, with phosphor bombs going off right in front of her house.

But Bana is a very responsible little lady:

Bana Alabed @AlabedBanaDear world, it’s better to start 3rd world war instead of letting Russia & assad commit #HolocaustAleppo

1:53 PM – 29 Sep 2016

Here « mother » phoned up the Daily Mail for an « exclusive » and assures us that this is all true. TheTelegraph has her in a slideshow with sad music and the Guardian promotes her too. Another Gay Girl in Damascus media fail. In 2011 the Guardian also was part of that scam. If that 7-year old girl is in east-Aleppo and not in Denmark or the UK, I must be on Mars. No sane reader will take such a stunt serious. What Public Relation company came up with this sorry flimflam?

Like the « moderate rebels » fantasy, such tales and the nonsense the « White Helmet » propaganda outlet distributes, are starting to fail. The UAE’s National, a well established international newspaper, recently dug a bit around the White Helmet’s creator, a « former » British military agent working for Gulf defense interests. That does not sound charitable. This is noticeable report, even as it still lacks any details, as it is the first in a major paper that shows some auspiciousness against that outlet.

The Obama administration’s lies about the « moderate rebels » are now openly discussed in major media. The propaganda of #HolocaustAleppo (isn’t abusing the holocaust meme anti-semitic?) is turning into a laughing stock.

Russia is upping its stake in Syria. Additional Russian SU-24, SU-25 and SU-34 jets are arriving. Nearly 6,000 Russian soldiers are on the ground. The CIA’s  al-Qaeda « rebels » are losing in east-Aleppo and are in stalemate and under pressure elsewhere. They will be bombed to smithereens. A few new BM-21 multiple missile launchers and heavier anti-air artillery was delivered to them. But those are just band-aids on lethally bleeding wounds. Even MANPADs will not change the situation one bit.

The U.S., the Saudis and especially Brennan’s CIA have lost that fight. Will Obama and Kerry admit it? Or will they throw another Hail Mary and do something crazy?

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In a September 22 speech to an elite foreign policy group in New York City, Brazil’s legislatively installed president, Michel Temer, made the startling admission that President Dilma Rousseff was removed from office because of her position on economic policy, rather than any alleged wrongdoing on her part.

Speaking to the Americas Society/Council of the Americas, a group of “opinion leaders” and corporate executives with interests in Latin America, Temer said,  as translated by The Intercept  (9/23/16):

And many months ago, while I was still vice president, we released a document named “A Bridge to the Future” because we knew it would be impossible for the government to continue on that course. We suggested that the government should adopt the theses presented in that document called “A Bridge to the Future.” But, as that did not work out, the plan wasn’t adopted and a process was established which culminated with me being installed as president of the republic.

The Intercept‘s Inacio Vieira notes that the economic plan that Rousseff refused to implement called for widespread cuts to social programs and privatization, a radically different agenda from the one approved by the 54.5 million Brazilian voters who gave Rousseff’s Workers’ Party its fourth electoral victory in 2014.

But Temer’s remarkable confession was not seen as newsworthy by virtually anyone in US corporate media—though the New York Times (9/19/16) did report on the speech by Temer to the United Nations a few days earlier in which he insisted in reference to the impeachment, “Everything happened with absolute respect for the constitutional order.”

A search of the Nexis news database turns up no stories that mention his more forthright AS/COA speech in any US newspaper, magazine, broadcast or cable outlet. The story was covered in alternative outlets like The Intercept (9/23/16, 9/23/16, 9/28/16), Common Dreams (9/23/16) and Mintpress (9/26/16).

The media silence on Temer’s admission is striking, especially considering that the Council of the Americas’ members include some of the biggest names in corporate media, including News Corp, Time Warner, Bloomberg and the Financial Times.

But as signaled by Vice President Joe Biden’s recent praise for Temer’s “commitment to maintaining Brazil’s regional and global leadership role during the recent period of political change,” the US government is quite pleased with the new pro-austerity regime in Brazil (for as long as it lasts; Temer has already been barred by an electoral court from political campaigning for eight years for violating campaign spending limits). Given this official friendliness, then, it’s not surprising that elite media are not eager to expose the shady origins of Washington’s new friends.

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India Launches Military Attacks Against Pakistan

octobre 1st, 2016 by Keith Jones

India carried out multiple “surgical” military strikes inside Pakistan over a five-hour period Wednesday night, bringing South Asia perilously close to an all-out war with potentially catastrophic consequences.

Not only would a war between India and Pakistan be the first-ever war between nuclear-armed states; it could rapidly draw in the United States and China on opposed sides.

In anticipation of a Pakistani counterstrike (or so as to provide cover for Indian war preparations), Indian authorities on Thursday ordered the evacuation of all those living within 10 kilometers of the Pakistani border in the Indian states of Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir.

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif denounced Wednesday’s night attack as “unprovoked and naked” Indian “aggression” and called an emergency meeting of his cabinet for today to discuss Islamabad’s response.

India says it attacked seven “terrorist launching pads” on the Pakistani side of the Line of Control that separates Indian- and Pakistani-held Kashmir; that its forces penetrated up to 3 kilometers inside Pakistani territory; and that they inflicted “significant casualties” on “terrorists and those trying to shield them.”

The military has been tight-lipped about the operation. But Indian media reports, based on official sources, said Indian commandos had crossed into Azad or Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir both on the ground and in helicopter gunships and that their “kills” were in the “double-digits.”

India and Pakistan have passed through repeated war crises over the past quarter-century and in 1999 fought an undeclared war in the remote Kargil region of Indian-held Kashmir. However, New Delhi has not publicly admitted to carrying out military action inside Pakistan for decades for fear that this could trigger a rapid escalation to war and even nuclear-war.

Yesterday’s attack came ten days after anti-Indian Islamist militants attacked the Indian military base at Uri, in the Himalayan state of Jammu and Kashmir, killing eighteen Indian soldiers. Without so much as a cursory investigation, India’s Hindu supremacist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government held Islamabad responsible for the attack and vowed it would punish Pakistan.

India’s media, opposition parties, and a long list of retired military officers all joined in the clamour for India to bloody Pakistan.

At a celebratory press conference yesterday, the Indian Army’s Director General of Military Operations, Lt. General Ranbir Singh, said the “surgical strikes” had been aimed at “terrorist teams” positioned across the Line of Control for “launch” into India.

India, Singh claimed, has no further plans for cross-border actions. “However,” he continued ominously, “the Indian Armed Forces are fully prepared to deal with any contingency which may arise.”

Pakistan’s military, meanwhile, is vehemently denying that India mounted any “surgical” cross-border attacks, calling the claim “an illusion” and “fabrication of truth” promoted by India “to create false effects.”

The Pakistani military does concede two of its soldiers were killed and nine others wounded Wednesday night, but is attributing the casualties to cross-border artillery and gunfire—a regular occurrence across the Line of Control (LoC). In its statement challenging India’s claims, the military said that “Pakistan has made it clear that if there is a surgical strike on Pakistani soil,” it “will be strongly responded” to.

Both sides are clearly spreading disinformation—a further sign of how dangerous the situation is.

Take New Delhi’s claim that yesterday’s attack was aimed at preventing the imminent dispersal of terrorist squads into India. It is a transparent, trumped-up pretext for a reckless act of aggression.

The World Socialist Web Site has no brief for Pakistan’s reactionary, communalist ruling elite and its military, which have time and time again trampled on the democratic rights of the Pakistani people and served as a satrap for US imperialism. Having been schooled in the stratagem by the CIA, which enlisted Islamabad as its junior partner in its covert war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, Pakistan has used Islamist terrorists in pursuing its military-strategic rivalry against India, particularly so as to politically suppress and divert the popular opposition to Indian rule in Kashmir along communal lines

But why would Pakistan—which has repeatedly voiced alarm over the military-strategic gap between it and India, a country with a six times greater population and seven times bigger economy—mass terrorists to strike India when New Delhi is already on a war footing?

Rattled by the falling off of Indian’s growth rate after 2010, the India bourgeoisie brought Narendra Modi and his virulently right-wing BJP to power to intensify the exploitation of the working class and assert its great-power ambitions on the world stage. In pursuit of the latter aim, India has integrated itself ever more completely into Washington’s war drive against China and, bolstered by US support, sought to impose itself as the regional hegemon.

While the Indian elite paints the country as an innocent victim of Pakistani “terrorism”, the BJP government has pursued confrontation with Pakistan. Soon after taking office it instructed the military to adopt a more aggressive posture on the LoC, resulting in 2015 in the most prolonged cross-border shelling in a decade. More than a month before the Uri attack, Modi announced that India would leverage the ethno-nationalist insurgency in Pakistan’s southwestern province of Balochistan against Islamabad, effectively threatening Pakistan with dismemberment.

Yesterday’s attack was meant to show that New Delhi is ready to take greater risks in advancing its strategic interests and that vis à vis Pakistan it will no longer be bound by the so-called policy of “strategic restraint.”

As for Pakistan’s claims that there were no cross-border strikes, they are simply not credible. Various Pakistani government officials and political leaders have made statements that implicitly or explicitly contradict the military’s version of events. Among these is Defense Minster Khawaja Muhammad Asif, who declared, “If India tries to do this again, we will respond forcefully.”

By denying that India has carried out a military raid inside Pakistan, Islamabad is seeking to avoid further escalation, without having to make a public and, from the reactionary standpoint of capitalist geopolitics, humiliating admission that it won’t make good on its repeated threats to answer any Indian cross-border thrust with a military strike of its own.

This stance however is likely only to encourage the Modi government and the most bellicose sections of the Indian elite who will hold it up as proof of how weakened Pakistan is. Yesterday, the entire political establishment, including the Congress Party and the Stalinist Communist Party of India (Marxist) joined forces, including at an all-party meeting convened by the BJP, to celebrate the aggression against Pakistan. The media, meanwhile, went into overdrive to hail the military strikes, amplifying the government’s claims that they were proof of a bolder, more powerful India, and trumpeting the military as veritable heroes.

The strategic rivalry between India and Pakistan, which today threatens the people of South Asia with a nuclear holocaust, is testament to the failure of bourgeois rule. It is rooted in the 1947 communal partition of South Asia into an expressly Muslim Pakistan and a predominantly Hindu India, which was implemented by the Congress Party and the Muslim League, the rival parties of the South Asian bourgeoisie, in conjunction with the subcontinent’s departing British colonial overlords.

That said, a huge factor stoking the war danger is Washington’s more than decade-long drive to transform India into a frontline state in its strategic offensive to isolate, encircle and prepare for war with China. Under Modi, India has lined up with the US in the South China Sea dispute and developed closer strategic bilateral and trilateral ties with the US’s key Asian-Pacific allies, Japan and Australia. Last month, Modi agreed to allow US warplanes and battleships to make routine use of Indian military bases.

Under George W. Bush and Obama, the US has lavished “strategic gifts” on India, giving it access to its most advanced weaponry and creating a special status for it in the world nuclear regulatory regime that has the effect of allowing New Delhi to concentrate the resources of its indigenous nuclear program on nuclear weapons development.

Invariably the strengthening of the Indo-US alliance has been associated with the downgrading of Washington’s ties with Pakistan, which throughout the Cold War was the principal US ally in South Asia.

Islamabad has warned that Washington has overturned the balance of power in South Asia, and that its ever-closer strategic partnership with New Delhi is emboldening India, and fuelling an arms and nuclear arms race, but all to no effect.

Fearing strategic isolation, Pakistan has drawn closer to its long-time ally China. But that has only increased its estrangement from Washington and fuelled its rivalry with India.

Eager to placate New Delhi, Washington likely gave it the green light to “punish” Pakistan, although the Obama administration, which still relies on Pakistan to provide crucial logistical support to the US occupation forces in Afghanistan, has denied it.

Obama’s National Security Adviser Susan Rice called her Indian counterpart, Ajit Doval, Wednesday evening just hours before the Indian “surgical strike,” purportedly to give condolences for the Uri attack and express support for India’s fight against terrorism. Press reports suggest Rice’s call was precipitated by concerns over growing complaints in India that Washington has been insufficiently supportive, including for failing to label Pakistan as responsible for the Uri attack.

What is incontrovertible is that US government officials have refused to condemn yesterday’s “surgical strikes” on Pakistan, although they were patently illegal and highly provocative. Instead they have issued ritualistic calls for both sides to show restraint and move toward dialogue.

The US is playing a most dangerous and incendiary game. In pursuit of its anti-China alliance with New Delhi, it is encouraging India’s government, now led by the communally toxic BJP, to pursue an aggressive, but supposedly “calibrated,” policy of diplomatic, economic and military action against Pakistan—a country with which it has fought four wars and that has threatened to meet any large scale Indian attack with the speedy use of its recently deployed “battlefield” or tactical nuclear weapons.

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Some of the largest demonstrations and labour strikes France has ever seen spread across the country from March to July. The action is set to continue in September as hundreds of thousands of workers and students protest a neoliberal labour law forced through the national assembly by the ruling Socialist Party (PS) led by President François Hollande.

The government passed the Loi Travail in July without debate or a vote (Hollande invoked a rarely used article of the French constitution that allows the president to rule by decree). The labour reform makes it easier for employers to hire and fire employees, and to impose wages and working hours. Hollande’s reforms, which are opposed by a large majority of the French public, threaten labour rights won by French workers in struggles over the course of the last century.

A Nuit Debout in Place de la République, Paris.

A Nuit Debout in Place de la République, Paris.

“This law is not just bad by itself but signifies the destruction of the entire legal architecture protecting workers’ rights in France,” Jean-Yves Lesage explains to me. Lesage is a printer in a newspaper plant who has been a union activist and member of the General Confederation of Labour (CGT), France’s largest union federation, for 30 years. The CGT is close to the French Communist Party and is leading the protests against Hollande’s labour reform.

“In France we have three levels of labour laws,” he says. “The national minimum for every person, which is the labour code (Code du travail), laws for each industrial sector, which cannot be below the national standard, and laws for each workplace, which cannot be below the legal standard for that sector.

“This architecture is very important because it gives every worker a minimum standard of labour rights even where the trade union is weak or non-existent,” says Lesage. “The new labour law changes this architecture and accepts that a workplace labour agreement could be of a lower standard than a sector-wide agreement, which in turn could be below that of the national standard for labour rights. The door is then open to force workers and their unions to accept agreements under the level of any existing law. This means that there is no end to the extent to which labour rights can be undermined in each workplace.”

This alarming prospect explains the intensity of the demonstrations against Loi Travail: workers are determined not to submit to what they consider the almost complete abrogation of their labour rights.

Police response to protests

The official response has been massive police repression. Since March, 2,000 people have been arrested, demonstrators attacked with rubber bullets, water cannons and tear gas. Hundreds of protestors were injured during the biggest gathering so far (an estimated 1.3 million people) on June 14 in Paris. The police response made parts of the city look like a war zone.

“The state repression of union demonstrations against the new labour law has been super-violent on a scale that I have never seen before in France,” says Florian, a union activist affiliated with the National Confederation of Labour (CNT), an anarcho-syndicalist union allied with the CGT in protesting the labour reform. (He asked that his last name not be included for fear of reprisal from the French government.)

“For the past four months, in these protests several people have lost their eyes due to rubber bullets fired at them by the police, a man has been put in a coma because the police fired a grenade at him which exploded near his face. These grenades have rubber bullets inside them. Another man was injured by a grenade fired at his spine. Police have also broken into a CNT local office in Lille and destroyed it, arrested its members for protesting, and confiscated files.”

The severity of official repression has been facilitated by the state of emergency declared in November 2015 following terrorist attacks in Paris that killed 130 people. The emergency grants police increased powers to act without judicial consent. House searches can be conducted without warrants at any time and house arrests made. Curfews can be imposed, public movement limited and mass gatherings stopped. Public spaces such as bars and theatres can be closed and media can be censored.

A French state of emergency is only supposed to last for 12 days, but the Hollande government has extended it several times. After the Bastille Day attack in Nice this July, which killed 84 people, the national assembly voted to maintain the state of emergency until January 2017.

“The French government is using the state of emergency to suppress labour rights and human rights in France,” says Richard Wagman, co-founder of France’s New Anticapitalist Party (NPA), which has also been an active participant in the demonstrations. “Since the promulgation of the state of emergency and the massive deployment of police, military and paramilitary forces, there have been practically no arrests of suspected terrorists. The first arrests carried out under the emergency were those of ecologists who were put in jail for protesting against the climate conference in Paris last December.

“Since then,” continues Wagman, “numerous trade unionists, social rights activists, anti-racist organizers, environmentalists and other progressives have been arrested, as the police no longer have to offer the same constitutional guarantees in prosecuting suspects for offences which are often imaginary. When terrorist attacks traumatize the country and police powers are increased, it’s the workers’ movement which is pushed back.”

Under Hollande, France’s military interventions abroad have increased dramatically, with attacks on Libya and Syria, and thousands of troops dispatched to Mali and the Central African Republic. According to Lesage, the terrorist attacks in France can be connected to the Syrian and Libyan campaigns, but “it is also linked to our colonialist history, our Muslim immigrants and the discrimination they suffer.”

Muslims in France are treated “violently” by the police, says Florian, who agrees the roots of terrorism lie in France’s foreign policy, especially its attack on Syria. “France needs to stop creating chaos in the Middle East and selling weapons all over the world if its government wants to end terrorism on its soil,” he says.

Business lobbies, citizens stay up all night

France’s largest business lobby—the Movement of the Enterprises of France (MEDEF)—enthusiastically backs the reforms and has long pressured the Socialist Party to lower labour standards in the face of prolonged recession and 10% unemployment. Hollande, who alongside Angela Merkel of Germany pressed Greece and other European countries to impose austerity on workers, was bound to pursue the same agenda at home.

“All EU governments faced with the pressures of globalization are enforcing austerity to reduce the living standards of their workers down to the level of China and India,” says Lesage. “Euro-capitalists now need a state better able to control the waves of public anger unleashed by this destructive process.”

This anger is particularly widespread in France. Hollande came to power four years ago by declaring that his enemy was “high finance.” But he proceeded to serve precisely this sector by enacting unprecedented neoliberal measures against the working class.

This betrayal has created widespread disillusionment with politics in France, leading to the phenomenon of Nuit Debout (“Rise Up All Night”). As part of the labour demonstrations over the summer, thousands of people have occupied public squares overnight to discuss politics and economics, and what kind of society they would prefer to live in.

“The convergence of struggles was the main theme put forth in Nuit Debout,” says Wagman, “bringing together workers and youth from different sectors in democratic, non-hierarchical debates, as well as initiating a number of militant initiatives to support ongoing struggles in different sectors.”

The phenomenon, which was inspired by the 2011 Indignados movement in Spain, has spread to other countries in Europe. “It is a modern form of proletarian internationalism in terms of class consciousness and democratic forms of organization,” Wagman says.

“People are tired of voting for progressive policies and being deceived. They can see that the political system does not work,” says Florian, who attended Nuit Debout in Place de la République, Paris, where the movement began. “When people do not agree with neoliberal measures and make this clear, the government passes these anyway and this is done by a so-called socialist government which keeps lying and working against the public interest.

“Nuit Debout shows that the French people crave politics, but a genuine socialist politics and the creation of a true participatory democracy that benefits everyone and not just the corporate elite. They want to be involved in fashioning such a democracy and refuse to be marginalized and manipulated by the economic elite.”

Hollande has become so unpopular in France that he could not even trust his own party members to vote for the labour reform legislation, which is why he rammed it through the national assembly on July 20. Christian Paul, a deputy in the assembly who leads a dissident faction of the Socialist Party, warned this “would be politically devastating.” He told Prime Minister Manuel Valls in early July that “he risked further alienating left-wing voters if he overrode parliamentary opponents and forced the labour reform bill onto the statute books by decree ahead of legislative and presidential elections in mid-2017.”

While the Socialist Party appears headed for a significant loss in those elections, no formidable alternative exists on the left. The Left Front, a coalition of the Communist Party, Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s Left Party and the Unitarian Left, has only 15 seats in the national assembly out of a total of 577 (the far left is better represented at the regional and departmental level). The major opposition party, with 199 seats currently, are the right-wing Republicans (formerly the Union for a Popular Movement) led by Nicolas Sarkozy, who also drew mass protests in response to labour reform proposals when he was prime minister

Sarkozy has called Hollande’s Loi Travail “far too weak to solve the problems, but stinging enough to arouse the passions of the left. The government has proven its weakness faced with the protests.” (The Republicans are one of several groups challenging the legislation as unconstitutional.) Sarkozy would also prefer that the police had even more leeway to address terrorism. “We must be merciless,” he said at the end of July, “the legal quibbling, precautions and pretexts for insufficient action are not acceptable.”

The CGT has reacted with defiance to the imposition of the labour reform and large demonstrations are planned for September.

« We’re going to maintain the climate that we’ve known for the past four months and are thinking very concretely of other [protests] in the fall, » Philippe Martinez, the CGT secretary-general, told the newspaper L’Humanité. « I would remind you that there are laws that have been passed, but never applied. »

Asad Ismi is an independent journalist and activist who covers international affairs for the Monitor. 

This article was published in the September/October 2016 issue of The Monitor.

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Amid mounting public threats that the US is preparing an escalation of its military intervention in Syria, the New York Times Thursday published a lead editorial branding Russia as an “outlaw state.”

This ratcheting up of rhetoric that has grown increasingly hysterical in regard to Russia is a response to the debacle suffered by US imperialism in its over five-year-long proxy war for regime change in Syria. Syrian government forces, backed by Russian air power, appear to be on the brink of retaking all of the eastern portion of Aleppo, the last major bastion of the US-backed “rebels,” composed principally of Al Qaeda-affiliated Islamist militias.

Secretary of State John Kerry issued an ultimatum to his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov Wednesday: either Russia grounds both its own and the Syrian government’s warplanes, or Washington will break off all negotiations with Moscow on Syria.

The significance of this threat was further spelled out in a press briefing by State Department spokesman John Kirby, who told reporters that as a consequence of Russia failing to bow to US demands, “extremists and extremist groups will continue 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, and they will continue to lose resources—even, perhaps, more aircraft.”

The provocative and utterly reckless character of Kirby’s remarks was no accident. That Washington intended to communicate a threat to unleash CIA-sponsored terrorism against Russia was underscored by a Washington Post column by Philip Gordon, who until last year was the White House coordinator for the Middle East, North Africa and the Gulf. The piece, which warned in its headline that “Russia will pay the price,” used almost identical language, stating that continued Russian action in Syria “could very well result in terrorist attacks against Russia.”

Gordon went on to warn that the Obama administration could take actions to “increase costs on Russia,” adding, “Arming the opposition with shoulder-fired missiles capable of hitting Russian and Syrian planes over Aleppo is among the options.”

The ex-White House aide finally cautioned Moscow that if “Hillary Clinton becomes the next U.S. president, Putin could be facing a U.S. leader who has long supported a no-fly zone in Syria and robust support for the opposition, has expressed skepticism about Russia’s intentions in Syria, and will be looking to more clearly reassert American leadership in the Middle East.”

It is evident, however, that the question of whether an escalation of the US intervention in Syria can wait until after the US election of November 8 has become the subject of heated debate within the US ruling establishment.

The Reuters news agency cited unnamed senior officials as saying that the Obama administration is considering “tougher responses to the Russian-backed Syrian government assault, including military options,” including the provision of heavier weaponry to the Al Qaeda-linked “rebels” and air strikes on Syrian government positions. (This second option was already put into practice with the September 17 US bombing that killed and wounded close to 200 Syrian troops near Deir Ezzor, which Washington claimed was an accident.)

With its editorial denunciation of Russia as an “outlaw state,” the New York Times is effectively weighing in on the debate within America ruling circles over the US intervention in Syria. It wants a military escalation and it wants it now—against Russia.

The Times writes:

“President Obama has long refused to approve direct military intervention in Syria. And Mr. Putin may be assuming that Mr. Obama is unlikely to confront Russia in his final months and with an American election season in full swing. But with the rebel stronghold in Aleppo under threat of falling to the government, administration officials said that such a response is again under consideration.”

To bolster its case, the Times throws in unsubstantiated charges made in an investigation driven entirely by “evidence” supplied by the Ukrainian secret police that Russia was responsible for the July 2014 shootdown of a Malaysia Airline jet over the war-torn Donbass region.

Putin, the newspaper declares, is guilty of “butchering civilians in Syria and Ukraine, annexing Crimea, computer-hacking American government agencies,” and “crushing dissent at home.”

Putin’s government represents Russia’s ruling oligarchy, which enriched itself through the theft of state property during the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the restoration of capitalism. Its intervention in Syria, though of a defensive character, in response to US attempts to encircle and isolate Russia, represents the interests of this oligarchy and provides no progressive solution to the catastrophe unleashed by imperialism on Syria and the broader Middle East.

That being said, the crimes of Putin pale in the face of those carried out by successive US administrations, all of them with the complicity and propaganda support of the New York Times.

The US government is responsible for over a million deaths in Iraq and hundreds of thousands more from Afghanistan to Libya and Yemen. It instigated the regime-change operations in both Ukraine and Syria that gave rise to the “butchery” in those countries, much of it inflicted with weapons supplied by the CIA.

Moreover, even as the Times attacked the Russians’ “butchery” in Syria, the Pentagon announced that it is sending another 600 US troops to Iraq to prepare for a siege of Mosul, which, like the previous assaults on Fallujah and Ramadi, will entail massive crimes against the civilian population.

As for Russian computer hacking, the Times speaks on behalf of the US government, which, through the NSA, engages in the most massive spying operation the world has ever seen. And as for “crushing dissent at home,” the US, it should be recalled, is a country where the police murder over 1,000 people every year and the so-called « justice system » keeps some 2 million people behind bars. In brief, the Times editorial is a piece of war propaganda.

The term “outlaw state” was first put into official use by Ronald Reagan. It was later rendered as “rogue state” under Bill Clinton and, then, under George W. Bush, became the “axis of evil.” Invariably, these terms were used to describe oppressed, semi-colonial countries targeted by US imperialism for war and conquest: Nicaragua, Grenada, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, North Korea, Iran, etc.

Now, in the pages of the New York Times, the term is used to describe Russia, a country of 146 million people armed with nuclear weapons. The implications could not be more ominous.

While the motivations of the Times editors may include short-term political considerations—the possibility of an “October surprise” in Syria boosting the prospects of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton—the anti-Russia propaganda campaign that the newspaper is leading has far deeper roots in the crisis of American capitalism and the protracted drive by US imperialism to overcome its historic decline through the instrument of militarism.

If words have any meaning, the Times editorial is a warning: behind the backs of the people of the United States and the entire planet, the preparations for a third world war are advancing rapidly.

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The Social Impacts of Drug Trafficking and Heroin in America

septembre 30th, 2016 by Stephen A. Molling

The tragic video of a two-year-old crying over the body of her mother who collapsed from an overdose at a Dollar Store in Massachusetts has brought attention to the epidemic of cheap heroin in the United States.

Drug trafficking is not just a problem in America’s cities it is the main problem. Turf wars by drug dealers account for most of the murders in the United States. Drug-related shootings are at all-time highs. Crimes by drug addicts account for most of the prostitution, robberies, and burglaries in America. Prisons are packed with heroin users along with psychiatric wards and graveyards.

For eight years President Obama has been the commander-in-chief of U.S. armed forces in Afghanistan, a country that produces 90% of the opium in the world. ¹   With a stroke of his pen Obama could shut off most of the drug supply to 17 million heroin and opium addicts. Instead, his legacy is the same as George W. Bush. He allowed drugs to flow unimpeded out of Afghanistan for both terms of his presidency.

In a September 17, 2016 speech to the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, President Obama insisted that it would be a personal insult to him if African Americans do not vote for Hillary Clinton. He said that only she can continue his legacy of support for the black community.

Wait. A legacy of support for the black community. Really?

Unemployment rates have not dropped in black communities during Obama’s presidency. Home ownership rates are lower among blacks than before he took office. African-Americans are experiencing stagnant wages and diminishing wealth just like everyone else. Racial tension is at its highest level ever in the United States. Finally, there is an epidemic of drug use and violence plaguing black and white communities all over the country.

Since Obama is now a lame-duck it is more important to examine the record of his hand-picked successor, Hillary Clinton. What did she do about the drug problem in black communities while she was in office during Obama’s first four years?

While acting as the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton was responsible for the activities of the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.

The mission of the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) is to combat international crime and illegal drugs, and their impact on the United States, its citizens, and partner nations ²

Last year the INL received over four billion dollars to distribute among five thousand drug interdiction personnel around the world. ³ In 2013 the DEA reported that over the four years that Hillary managed the multi-billion dollar program at the State Department, the flow of drugs north from Mexico increased:

The availability of heroin continued to increase in 2012, likely due to high levels of heroin production in Mexico and Mexican traffickers expanding into white powder heroin markets in the eastern and midwest United States.⁴

The DEA further reported that during the years that Hillary Clinton was in office so much Mexican heroin flooded into the country that the price of the narcotic dropped to the point that it was easier to obtain than prescription pain medicine.⁵

OK, so Hillary did nothing to stop the flow of heroin from Mexico when she was in office.  But what did she do about the flow of drugs out of Afghanistan?   The UN Office of Drugs and Crime provides the answer.  It reported that opium production in Afghanistan reached a ten-year peak in Hillary’s final year. ⁶

So much for Hillary Clinton’s efforts to stop the flow of heroin into African-American communities in the United States  when she was in a position do something about it.

Hillary’s website describes her 5-point plan to save Americans from drug addiction. It is Band-Aid therapy on steroids.

First, she will combat narcotics trafficking by giving money to public schools for education.  Every parent knows it is much easier to keep bad stuff away from children than to teach them to resist temptation.

Next she will provide two million first responders with $400 injection devices to administer drugs to people who are having overdoses. Keep the cheap dope away from them and they won’t overdose and need a $400 injection.

Next, she will provide free medical services to drug addicts.  Again, there would be no addicts if cheap drugs weren’t available everywhere.

Finally, she will make the criminal justice system focus more on drug rehabilitation than on drug interdiction.  There goes the last hope to address the central issue of restricting the flow of illegal narcotics into the country.

Despite the assessment by the DEA that the largest flow of heroin into America is coming from Mexico, Hillary has ridiculed the idea of building a wall on the border. She proposes to do nothing at all about the flow of opium from the poppy fields of Afghanistan.

That is the legacy that Obama insists Hillary Clinton must continue.

For 7 years, Stephen A. Molling was the Executive Director of a non-profit youth development program in East Baltimore. He has witnessed the devastating effect of heroin on urban families first-hand. He is the author of The Uragon Protocol.

Notes:

¹ UNITED NATIONS Office on Drugs and Crime. “World Drug Report 2016” Page xii
² http://www.state.gov/j/inl/faqs/index.htm
³ ibid
⁴ https://www.dea.gov/resource-center/DIR-017-13%20NDTA%20Summary%20final.pdf
⁵ ibid
⁶ UNITED NATIONS Office on Drugs and Crime. ” World Drug Report 2013” p.30

 

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President Barack Obama has agreed to give Israel a record $38 billion in military aid over the next 10 years, cementing his legacy as the strongest financial supporter of Israel ever to occupy the White House. Obama, whom Israeli journalist Gideon Levy calls “the patron of the occupation,” increased the amount of money the U.S. provides Israel each year from $3.1 to $3.8 billion.

Although the corporate media portray the relationship between Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as chilly, Obama put his money where his heart apparently is with the unprecedented allocation of military assistance to Israel.

Netanyahu, who described the increase in U.S. monetary aid as “unprecedented” and “historic,” characterized it as “the greatest accomplishment since sliced bread,” according to Aaron David Miller, vice president of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. “The bond between the United States and Israel is unbreakable,” Obama declared on Sept. 21 as he shook hands on the deal with Netanyahu.

  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (center left) talks with President Obama in New York last week. (Video still from The Jerusalem Post)

The annual $3.8 billion, more money than the U.S. gives to any other country, will fund the continuing Israeli military occupation of Palestinian lands, now in its fifth decade.

Israel exercises complete control over every aspect of Palestinian life in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza. That includes borders, airspace, ingress and egress of people and goods, and the seashore and waters off the coast of Gaza. The occupation violates fundamental human rights of the Palestinians.

Two years ago, 60 Israeli youths signed an open letter to Netanyahu announcing their refusal to serve in the Israeli military because of the dehumanization of Palestinians living under occupation. In the occupied Palestinian territories, they wrote, “human rights are violated, and acts defined under international law as war-crimes are perpetuated on a daily basis.” The signatories cited “assassinations (extrajudicial killings), the construction of settlements on occupied lands, administrative detentions, torture, collective punishment and the unequal allocation of resources such as electricity and water.”

Flavia Pansieri, former United Nations deputy high commissioner for human rights, said last year that human rights violations “fuel and shape the conflict” in the occupied Palestinian territories, adding, “[h]uman rights violations in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, are both cause and consequence of the military occupation and ongoing violence, in a bitter cyclical process with wider implications for peace and security in the region.”

Israel took over the West Bank and East Jerusalem by military force in 1967 and has held it under military occupation ever since. U.N. Security Council Resolution 242, passed in 1967, refers to “the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war” and calls for “withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict.” Yet Israel continues to occupy the Palestinian territories it acquired in the Six-Day War between Israel and nearby Arab countries that year.

Since 1967, Israel has transferred more than half a million of its own citizens into the Palestinian territories. It persists in building Jewish settlements in the West Bank, which is occupied Palestinian territory.

But a state that is occupying territory that is not its own cannot build settlements on that territory and transfer its own citizens into them. Under Article 8.2(b)(viii) of the International Criminal Court’s Rome Statute, such action constitutes a war crime.

In criticizing Israel’s building of Jewish settlements on Palestinian lands, Secretary of State John Kerry said that since Obama was inaugurated in 2009, the number of Israelis in the West Bank and East Jerusalem has grown by 95,000, including 15,000 during the past year alone. Israel plans to build 2,400 new housing units in the settlements as it demolishes more and more Palestinian homes.

Kerry’s criticism rings hollow as the Obama administration consistently uses its veto in the Security Council to block the Palestinians’ campaign to block illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Obama is reportedly considering a council resolution to set the parameters for an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, although the powerful pro-Israel lobby opposes such a move.

As this article is being written, the Women’s Boat to Gaza, with 13 women aboard, is sailing to Gaza to protest Israel’s blockade of what is often called the world’s largest “open-air prison.” In Gaza, 1.8 million people live on a 140-square-mile strip of land. It is one of the most densely populated areas in the world. Gazans cannot enter or leave without Israeli permission. They cannot import or export goods without Israeli permission. They cannot fish in their own waters without Israeli permission.

In July 2014, Israel invaded Gaza and killed 2,251 Palestinians, the majority of them civilians. The number of Palestinians wounded was 11,231, including 3,540 women and 3,436 children. On the Israeli side, six civilians and 67 soldiers were killed and 1,600 were injured. Tens of thousands of Palestinians lost their homes, and the infrastructure was severely damaged. Numerous schools, U.N.-sanctioned places of refuge, hospitals, ambulances and mosques were intentionally targeted by Israel.

Israel used the “Dahiya doctrine” to apply “disproportionate force” and cause “great damage and destruction to civilian property and infrastructure, and suffering to civilian populations,” as defined in the 2009 U.N. Human Rights Council (Goldstone) report. These acts constitute evidence of war crimes under Article 8 (2)(a) of the Rome Statute.

U.S. political leaders and the corporate media portray a false equivalence of firepower between Israelis and Palestinians in Gaza. But Israel’s use of force greatly exceeds that of the Palestinians.

The White House and Congress condemn the rocket fire into Israel by Hamas and the “deliberate targeting of civilians.” But Washington says Israel has a right to defend itself, justifying Israel’s bombing campaign in Gaza and blaming Hamas, while minimizing Israel’s role in creating and escalating the violence.

Israel’s overwhelming use of military force constitutes collective punishment, which is a war crime. The laws of war, also known as international humanitarian law, are primarily found in the Geneva Conventions. Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, to which Israel is a party, specifically forbids collective punishment. It says, “No protected person [civilian] may be punished for an offense he or she has not personally committed. … Reprisals against protected persons and their property are prohibited.”

The U.N. secretary-general characterized Israel’s blockade of Gaza as “a continuing collective penalty against the population of Gaza.”

“Israel is able to act with utter impunity because of the military, economic and political support it receives from governments around the world,” according to Zaid Shuaibi, a spokesman for the Palestinian BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) National Committee. Israel would be unable to carry out its policies of aggression in Gaza without the support of the United States.

Actress Lisa Gay Hamilton, who is on the Women’s Boat to Gaza, wrote, “I’m here because I’m concerned about the effects of war and blockade on the women, as schools, hospitals, and homes have been periodically destroyed and sources of power and water compromised. … I’m here because my president just increased U.S. military aid to Israel from $3.1 to $3.8 billion per year over the next 10 years, with … no mention of the situation in Gaza.”

Fifty-seven percent of Democrats and 40 percent of Republicans think the increase in military aid to Israel is too high.

Hundreds of Israeli officials, intellectuals and artists signed an open letter to Jews worldwide to oppose the occupation. The 470 signatories, including high-ranking officers of the Israel Defense Forces, ambassadors, ministers, high government officials and members of the Knesset, wrote: “The prolonged occupation is inherently oppressive for Palestinians and fuels mutual bloodshed. It undermines the moral and democratic fabric of the state of Israel and hurts its standing in the community of nations.”

In his Sept. 20 farewell speech to the U.N. General Assembly, Obama appeared to oppose Israel’s permanent occupation and settlements, saying, “Surely Israelis and Palestinians will be better off if Palestinians reject incitement and recognize the legitimacy of Israel … (and if) Israel recognizes that it cannot permanently occupy and settle Palestinian land.”

But Obama’s actions speak louder than his words. Although he has the power to condition U.S. aid to Israel on ending the occupation and ceasing construction of Jewish settlements on Palestinian land, Obama has chosen instead to serve as “patron of the occupation.”

The annual $3.8 billion, more money than the U.S. gives to any other country, will fund the continuing Israeli military occupation of Palestinian lands, now in its fifth decade.

Israel exercises complete control over every aspect of Palestinian life in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza. That includes borders, airspace, ingress and egress of people and goods, and the seashore and waters off the coast of Gaza. The occupation violates fundamental human rights of the Palestinians.

Two years ago, 60 Israeli youths signed an open letter to Netanyahu announcing their refusal to serve in the Israeli military because of the dehumanization of Palestinians living under occupation. In the occupied Palestinian territories, they wrote, “human rights are violated, and acts defined under international law as war-crimes are perpetuated on a daily basis.” The signatories cited “assassinations (extrajudicial killings), the construction of settlements on occupied lands, administrative detentions, torture, collective punishment and the unequal allocation of resources such as electricity and water.”

Flavia Pansieri, former United Nations deputy high commissioner for human rights, said last year that human rights violations “fuel and shape the conflict” in the occupied Palestinian territories, adding, “[h]uman rights violations in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, are both cause and consequence of the military occupation and ongoing violence, in a bitter cyclical process with wider implications for peace and security in the region.”

Israel took over the West Bank and East Jerusalem by military force in 1967 and has held it under military occupation ever since. U.N. Security Council Resolution 242, passed in 1967, refers to “the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war” and calls for “withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict.” Yet Israel continues to occupy the Palestinian territories it acquired in the Six-Day War between Israel and nearby Arab countries that year.

Since 1967, Israel has transferred more than half a million of its own citizens into the Palestinian territories. It persists in building Jewish settlements in the West Bank, which is occupied Palestinian territory.

But a state that is occupying territory that is not its own cannot build settlements on that territory and transfer its own citizens into them. Under Article 8.2(b)(viii) of the International Criminal Court’s Rome Statute, such action constitutes a war crime.

In criticizing Israel’s building of Jewish settlements on Palestinian lands, Secretary of State John Kerry said that since Obama was inaugurated in 2009, the number of Israelis in the West Bank and East Jerusalem has grown by 95,000, including 15,000 during the past year alone. Israel plans to build 2,400 new housing units in the settlements as it demolishes more and more Palestinian homes.

Kerry’s criticism rings hollow as the Obama administration consistently uses its veto in the Security Council to block the Palestinians’ campaign to block illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Obama is reportedly considering a council resolution to set the parameters for an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, although the powerful pro-Israel lobby opposes such a move.

As this article is being written, the Women’s Boat to Gaza, with 13 women aboard, is sailing to Gaza to protest Israel’s blockade of what is often called the world’s largest “open-air prison.” In Gaza, 1.8 million people live on a 140-square-mile strip of land. It is one of the most densely populated areas in the world. Gazans cannot enter or leave without Israeli permission. They cannot import or export goods without Israeli permission. They cannot fish in their own waters without Israeli permission.

In July 2014, Israel invaded Gaza and killed 2,251 Palestinians, the majority of them civilians. The number of Palestinians wounded was 11,231, including 3,540 women and 3,436 children. On the Israeli side, six civilians and 67 soldiers were killed and 1,600 were injured. Tens of thousands of Palestinians lost their homes, and the infrastructure was severely damaged. Numerous schools, U.N.-sanctioned places of refuge, hospitals, ambulances and mosques were intentionally targeted by Israel.

Israel used the “Dahiya doctrine” to apply “disproportionate force” and cause “great damage and destruction to civilian property and infrastructure, and suffering to civilian populations,” as defined in the 2009 U.N. Human Rights Council (Goldstone) report. These acts constitute evidence of war crimes under Article 8 (2)(a) of the Rome Statute.

U.S. political leaders and the corporate media portray a false equivalence of firepower between Israelis and Palestinians in Gaza. But Israel’s use of force greatly exceeds that of the Palestinians.

e White House and Congress condemn the rocket fire into Israel by Hamas and the “deliberate targeting of civilians.” But Washington says Israel has a right to defend itself, justifying Israel’s bombing campaign in Gaza and blaming Hamas, while minimizing Israel’s role in creating and escalating the violence.

Israel’s overwhelming use of military force constitutes collective punishment, which is a war crime. The laws of war, also known as international humanitarian law, are primarily found in the Geneva Conventions. Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, to which Israel is a party, specifically forbids collective punishment. It says, “No protected person [civilian] may be punished for an offense he or she has not personally committed. … Reprisals against protected persons and their property are prohibited.”

The U.N. secretary-general characterized Israel’s blockade of Gaza as “a continuing collective penalty against the population of Gaza.”

“Israel is able to act with utter impunity because of the military, economic and political support it receives from governments around the world,” according to Zaid Shuaibi, a spokesman for the Palestinian BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) National Committee. Israel would be unable to carry out its policies of aggression in Gaza without the support of the United States.

Actress Lisa Gay Hamilton, who is on the Women’s Boat to Gaza, wrote, “I’m here because I’m concerned about the effects of war and blockade on the women, as schools, hospitals, and homes have been periodically destroyed and sources of power and water compromised. … I’m here because my president just increased U.S. military aid to Israel from $3.1 to $3.8 billion per year over the next 10 years, with … no mention of the situation in Gaza.”

Fifty-seven percent of Democrats and 40 percent of Republicans think the increase in military aid to Israel is too high.

Hundreds of Israeli officials, intellectuals and artists signed an open letter to Jews worldwide to oppose the occupation. The 470 signatories, including high-ranking officers of the Israel Defense Forces, ambassadors, ministers, high government officials and members of the Knesset, wrote: “The prolonged occupation is inherently oppressive for Palestinians and fuels mutual bloodshed. It undermines the moral and democratic fabric of the state of Israel and hurts its standing in the community of nations.”

In his Sept. 20 farewell speech to the U.N. General Assembly, Obama appeared to oppose Israel’s permanent occupation and settlements, saying, “Surely Israelis and Palestinians will be better off if Palestinians reject incitement and recognize the legitimacy of Israel … (and if) Israel recognizes that it cannot permanently occupy and settle Palestinian land.”

But Obama’s actions speak louder than his words. Although he has the power to condition U.S. aid to Israel on ending the occupation and ceasing construction of Jewish settlements on Palestinian land, Obama has chosen instead to serve as “patron of the occupation.”

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I recently had the enormous honour of representing the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) at a week of action and international conference, organized from September 4-10 by Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) in the UK. This was another step in building a close working relationship between our two organizations. It was also fascinating and inspiring to see disabled people, not merely participating in the struggle against austerity but actually giving a powerful and decisive lead to the entire movement.

Since 2010, governments in the UK have moved into a cutting edge role in the implementation of the agenda of austerity. Central to this has been a drive to degrade and undermine income support systems so as to generate a climate of desperation and to force people into low paid, precarious work. A notorious system of ‘benefit sanctions’ has ensured that those forced to seek assistance live in a state of ongoing uncertainty, under constant threat of suspension or outright cut off.

However, a striking feature of the austerity attack in the UK has been an extraordinary and brazen readiness to attack disabled people living in poverty. When the whole edifice of English Poor Law provision was put in place, there was an assumption that those seeking assistance could be divided into the more and the less morally worthy, the ‘deserving’ and the ‘undeserving’ poor. ‘Able bodied’ and employable people were considered highly suspect and subject to outright abandonment, whereas those who could not be so readily assumed to be the architects of their own misfortune, particularly disabled people, might expect somewhat fewer conditions and scrutiny to be attached to the pittance they were provided. The austerity agenda of the 21st Century, however, has no patience with such sentimentality. It’s considered essential that disability, even of the severest kind, should exempt no one from the scramble for the lowest paid and most exploitative jobs.

DPAC rally: No More Deaths From Benefit Cuts

Challenge and Resist Massive Injustice

First implemented, shamefully, by a Labour Government, the infamousWork Capability Assessment (WCA) was toughened by the Tory led Coalition in 2010 and its implementation handed over to private companies. First, at the hands of the hated Atos and, then, the U.S. based Maximus, sick and disabled people have been subjected to a regime of degrading scrutiny and lethal abandonment that has been shocking beyond description. DPAC has played a truly inspiring role in acting to challenge and resist this profound and massive injustice.

This extreme concern to ensure that almost no one be considered unable to participate in the scramble to find employment, has huge implications in terms of the international implementation of austerity. Certainly, Ontario has been impacted by this approach to ‘public policy.’ Here, the institution that has gone the furthest in this regard is the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) as it oversees the persecution and impoverishment of injured workers. The WSIB displays willful disregard for medical evidence and an obsessive readiness to deem workers capable of performing work they have no realistic hope of obtaining or being able to perform.

Those disabled people who must rely on the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), are facing a regime that is focused on blocking and restricting eligibility to the greatest degree possible. The same determined drive to insist that virtually everyone is ready for work in some theoretical form is a central consideration. While a major redesign of ODSP appears to delayed due to yet another round of social assistance review and consultation by the Ontario Government, the previous ‘Brighter Prospects’ report that the Liberals commissioned makes clear that the concept of somewhat secure disability benefits is incompatible with the prevailing political agenda.

The DPAC week of action was of importance, not only because we in Ontario face the same kind of attacks, but because the model of resistance that has been created by an organization of disabled people in the UK holds lessons for all of us. The recent upsurge of support around the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour Party notwithstanding, it would be impossible to deny that a sweeping movement of resistance to austerity in that country is yet to emerge. As real wages have declined on a scale comparable to that of Greece, strike activity is at historic lows. Social movement struggles continue but the needed critical mass of social resistance is yet to be set in motion. The Tory architects of social regression probably thought that disabled people would be among the least combative of their victims but this proved to be a serious miscalculation. The week of action that I had the privilege to play a role in drove this home to me very powerfully.

Throughout the week of September 4, a range of actions unfolded in a whole number of towns and cities. I was able to participate in several of the actions. Without doubt the most inspiring and important was held on September 7. DPAC members and supporters marched to the Houses of Parliament and blocked Westminster Bridge, bringing traffic to a halt. It took the police a couple of hours to clear scores of disabled people, many of them in wheelchairs, from the bridge. A few arrests occurred but the calm determination of people who were fighting back against lethal benefit cuts was unbeatable. It was easy to see why DPAC’s readiness to defy those responsible for these attacks has been so profoundly inspiring to the entire movement against austerity in the UK.

On the Saturday, the week culminated in a one day conference, devoted to the theme of “Disabled Peoples’ Resistance: Building Beyond Borders.” Presentations were made by people from Ireland, Greece, Bulgaria, Germany and I was able to report on the struggles underway in Ontario. “Emancipation Movement of People with Disabilities: Zero Tolerance” presented a video on an occupation they had carried out at a centre for disabled children in Lechaina, Greece. They were challenging the rampant neglect and abuse of children in these centres face, some of them strapped to their beds for every hour of the day and night. They are demanding the Syriza led Government deal with this appalling mistreatment at such places and several international solidarity actions will be taken to assist their struggle, including here in Toronto.

Coming out of the week of action and conference has been a renewed commitment to developing much more dynamic forms of international solidarity. We discussed ways to act together in support of our different struggles and to deepen our understanding of the attacks we face and the lessons that can be drawn from the forms of resistance we take up. Seeing the abuses faced by the disabled in austerity wracked Greece, this disgraceful removal of social provision in the UK or the failure to provide shelter from the elements for the homeless in Toronto, it’s clear that the agenda thrown against us is becoming ever more reckless and harmful. The lead that DPAC has given in this regard is a lesson to movements against austerity everywhere and opens up huge possibilities for the struggles that lie ahead. •

John Clarke is an organizer with the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP).

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The State Department admitted that the Nusra Front could be receiving U.S. arms via allied nations, and it’s not the first time the U.S. or its allies have been accused of aiding extremist groups in Syria.

The State Department moved quickly to deny a Syrian rebel commander’s recent allegations that the United States is offering arms and military equipment to extremist groups in the Syrian civil war.

On Monday, German newspaper Köelner Stadt-Anzeiger published an interview with Abu Al Ezz, a commander in the Nusra Front, in which he claimed that the United States offers indirect support to his group by sending equipment and aid via allied countries.

“Yes, the US supports the opposition [in Syria], but not directly. They support the countries that support us. But we are not yet satisfied with this support,” Al Ezz said, according to a translation published by RT.

The Nusra Front, or Jabhat-al-Nusra, recently attempted to rebrand itself as Jabhat Fateh al-Sham and distance itself from its traditional allies, the terrorist group al-Qaida. However, the group’s leadership and extremist ideology remain unchanged, and both RT and Köelner Stadt-Anzeiger continue to refer to the group by its former name.

According to Al Ezz, U.S. materiel has been key in turning the tide against Syrian army forces:

Due to these rockets [American-made TOW anti-tank missiles], we reached a balance with the regime. Our tanks came from Libya via Turkey, joined by the [BM-21] multiple rocket launchers.

“The [Assad] government forces have an advantage because of aircraft and missile launchers, but “we have the American-made TOW missiles, and the situation in some areas is under control,” Al Ezz added.

When asked if the TOW missiles were initially intended for Jabhat Al-Nusra or if the group obtained them from the moderate Free Syrian Army, the jihadist clarified: “No, the missiles were given to us directly.”

But Al Ezz went on to add that training on how to use these weapons came directly from the US and its allies. When Jabhat Al-Nusra was besieged, Al Ezz said they “had officers from Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Israel and America here… Experts in the use of satellites, rockets, reconnaissance and thermal security cameras.”

The German journalist asked if US instructors were really present among the jihadists’ ranks. Al Ezz replied: “The Americans are on our side.”

Al Ezz added that Jabhat Al-Nusra received funding from US allies like Saudi Arabia and Israel for achieving specific military goals during the Syrian conflict.

“We got 500 million Syrian pounds (around $2.3 million) from Saudi Arabia. To capture the Infantry School in Al Muslimiya years ago we received 1.5 million Kuwaiti dinars (around $500,000) and Saudi Arabia’s $5 million,” Al Ezz said.

The funds came from the “governments” of those states, not from private individuals, he added.

“Israel is now giving us support because Israel is at war with Syria and with Hezbollah,” Al Ezz said.

As for the ceasefire, the Nusra Front and its allies are refusing to honor it, he said. “We will carry out the next overwhelming attack against the regime in a few days. We have regrouped our forces in all provinces, including Homs, Aleppo, Idlib and Hama.”

The Nusra Front and its allies are refusing to honor the ceasefire, he said. “We will carry out the next overwhelming attack against the regime in a few days. We have regrouped our forces in all provinces, including Homs, Aleppo, Idlib and Hama.”

In a press briefing on Monday, State Department spokesman Mark Toner denied Al Ezz’s allegations, saying:

We’ve absolutely not provided – I can’t say that as – vehemently enough, that we would never provide Nusrah with any kind of assistance whatsoever. We view them as a foreign terrorist organization, we view them as an affiliate of al-Qaida, and we’re going to seek their continued destruction.

But later in the same briefing, Toner said that “there are those – and not the United States – but there are those who back various groups and opposition groups within Syria who also may seek to arm them,” effectively admitting that arms could have traveled from the United States to the rebels via another member of the Western-backed coalition in the region.

Watch Syrian rebels fire an American anti-tank missile at a Russian T-90 tank:

Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, also raised the issue of the United States’ arming of rebel groups during a special session of the U.N. Security Council on Sunday. Before a genuine peace process can occur, Churkin said Russia has “to see proof that there is a genuine desire to separate US-allied rebel groups from the Al-Nusra Front, then destroy the Al-Nusra Front and bring the opposition into a political process.”

Al Ezz’s interview is hardly the first time the United States or its allies have been accused of supporting the Nusra Front and other extremist groups operating in Syria. Israel, the recipient of $3.1 billion in annual military aid from the United States and a key U.S. ally in the Middle East, has reportedly aided the group with airstrikes and medical care. Earlier this month, an Israeli journalist recorded the commander of another rebel group pleading with the Israeli government for increased military assistance.

And in a December 2015 episode of the BBC Radio series “The Report,” investigative journalist Peter Oborne showed that military aid from the United Kingdom and United States to so-called “moderate rebel” groups like the Free Syrian Army flows freely to more extreme groups like the Nusra Front.

Alastair Crooke, a British diplomat and former intelligence analyst for MI6, the U.K.’s primary foreign intelligence agency, told Oborne:

The West does not actually hand the weapons to al-Qaida — let alone to ISIS — but the system they’ve constructed leads precisely to that end. The weapons conduit that the West gave to the FSA is understood to be a sort of Wal-Mart that the radical groups can take weapons and use to fight Assad. The weapons migrate along the line to the more radical elements.

Watch “American allies accused of arming jihadist group Al-Nusra Front

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“President Obama has long refused to approve direct military intervention in Syria,” the New York Times asserted in an editorial (9/29/16) about “Vladimir Putin’s Outlaw State.”

That’s a peculiar thing to say, given that the Times regularly covers the United States’ ongoing direct military intervention in Syria. Since 2014, according to official Pentagon figures, the US has carried out 5,337 airstrikes in Syria. According to the monitoring group Airwars, these airstrikes (along with a few hundred strikes by US allies) havelikely killed between 818 and 1,229 Syrian civilians.

Nor is direct US military intervention in Syria limited to aerial attacks. In May 2015, the New York Times (5/16/15) reported on a combat raid by US Delta Force commandos in eastern Syria. Later that year, the Times (10/30/15) observed that President Barack Obama had announced he was sending (in the paper’s words) “several dozen” special forces troops on an “open-ended mission” inside Syria.

NYT: ISIS Official Killed in U.S. Raid in Syria, Pentagon Says

This somehow does not meet the New York Times‘ definition of “direct military intervention in Syria.”

Just a couple of weeks ago, the Times (9/16/16) wrote about three dozen more special forces going to aid Turkish troops inside Syria. Officially, these will have an “advise and assist” role—but the Times (12/27/15) has elsewhere noted the frequent US practice with regard to special forces of “resorting to linguistic contortions to mask the forces’ combat role.”

The Times, for its part, is engaging in some kind of linguistic contortion of its own to make none of this qualify as “direct military intervention in Syria.” Presumably it has something to do with the airstrikes and special forces not being aimed at the Syrian government of Bashar Assad, but at the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS—a rival to Assad’s power in Syria that the US is semi-officially at war with, even as Washington providesarms and training to other armed groups trying to overthrow Assad.

Jim Naureckas is the editor of FAIR.org. You can follow him on Twitter at@JNaureckas.

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Last week, the US Congress approved the Stability and Democracy for Ukraine Act, or “STAND for Ukraine.” As the Ukrainian Embassy in the US has reported, American congressmen unanimously supported the bill.

The bill’s list of means for supporting democracy in Ukraine includes the supply of lethal defensive weapons systems. The legislation will come into force following a vote in the Senate and its signing by the US President. From that point on, Washington will be able to officially supply lethal weapons to Ukraine.

The act’s adoption was an expected development. After all, it is well known that a Ukrainian lobby effectively works in the US and throughout the West. During his visit to New York, Poroshenko (right) met with representatives of the Ukrainian Diaspora who have had strong positions in American political circles since the end of the Second World War.

As a point of comparison, the numerous Russian diaspora in the US and its organizations, and in particular the Congress of Russian Americans, are nowhere close to matching the efficiency of Ukrainian circles’ lobbying activism. The fault for this, in my opinion, can be assigned to both sides, both Russian Americans themselves and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia and other government agencies and non-governmental organizations.

It is also important to recognize that numerous Western politicians and economists were included in Ukraine’s administrative organs, all the way up to the ministry level, following the coup d’etat in Kiev. The Ukrainian president’s aides and advisors have proven their effectiveness.

One of them is the former Secretary General of NATO, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who has the status of a freelance advisor. Rasmussen previously stated that NATO should provide Ukraine with lethal weapons if Russia does not fulfill the Minsk Agreements and continues to “destabilize Eastern Ukraine.” Rasmussen’s statement was a manifestation of Ukraine’s lobbying efforts and organizations in Western countries just as much as it is an element of the West’s overall information policy, the goal of which is convincing Western political circles and public opinion that Russia is a party to the conflict in Donbass and threatens Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

As can be seen in the US Congress’ resolution, this is yet another success. Poroshenko can be satisfied with at least this part of his trip to New York.

But the experience of American support for “democracy” around the world attests to the fact that the US Congress is in fact promising new bloodshed and destruction for the people of Ukraine and Donbass. Ukrainians have never been good strategists, and this obvious truth has never benefitted the majority. One only needs to look at the experience of former Yugoslavia or that of Libya and Syria to be assured that America’s “benevolence” towards the people of Ukraine will only lead to the further division of the country and new victims. The US is not interested in a strong Ukraine, but in deterring Russia at any cost. For them, Ukrainians are but expendable material, just like the people of Donbass.

But what is most interesting for me personally in the US Congress’ resolution is another aspect which somehow found itself on the periphery of the Russian foreign ministry’s attention. Although lethal weapons were illegally delivered earlier, as many Donbass militiamen and even Ukrainian soldiers have exposed, the official green light to supply Ukraine with lethal weapons in fact makes the US a party in the armed conflict in the former Ukraine.

Earlier, the US State Department’s participation in the events of the Euromaidan legitimized the coup d’etat and gave a powerful impetus to the ensuing civil war. The burden of responsibility for the coup and the beginning of the civil war, however, must also be put on France, Germany, and Poland, whose foreign ministers signed on February 21st, 2014 the Agreement on Settling the Political Crisis in Ukraine. In so doing, these countries of “united Europe” and the US acted as parties to the political conflict in former Ukraine or, more precisely, its initiators.

Probably because of the peace-loving ideological foundations of the Russian foreign ministry, this thesis has yet to be voiced on the international arena. Instead, Sergey Lavrov’s ministry continues to fend off accusations of Russian involvement in the conflict in Donbass. It is difficult to blame the Donbass republics’ foreign ministries for this insufficient line, as they lack diplomatic experience. Yet it is this argument that will emerge in negotiations on the fate of Donbass and will put the blame on the United States for participating in the murder of the peaceful population of Donbass.

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Palestinian pro-Syrian government militia from the Al-Quds brigade and the Syrian army recaptured the tumultuous Handarat refugee camp north of Aleppo city. After this success, the loyalists took control of nearby areas of Kindi Hospital and Shuqayf-Jandoul and the al-Kindi hill. Now, the pro-government forces are securing the gains.

Syria’s Ministry of National Reconciliation generously offered three options for combatants in Aleppo:

  • To essentially disarm and assimilate legally back into society;
  • To remain an active combatant, but gain safe passage to a front of the given fighter’s choice;
  • To remain a combatant in Aleppo, but to allow civilians to flee active combat zones.

This move clearly indicates that the Syrian military seeks to avoid major civilian casualties amid ongoing military operations in the area.

US officials engaged in further brinkmanship with authorities in Moscow, discussing the non-diplomatic responses that could be taken if the Syrian govt. continues operations in Aleppo.

In his press conference, spokesman for the US Department of State, John Kirby, made a concrete threat against the Russians by stating that they would have to “send troops home in body bags, and will continue to lose resources,” and “that more Russian aircraft will be shot down.” Kirby also predicted that Russian cities would be attacked by terrorists.

The Russian MOD interpreted such statements as US admission that the “opposition” supposedly waging a “civil war” in Syria is in reality a US-controlled terrorist “internationale.” What is particularly shocking in Kirby’s admission, according to Russian MOD official representative, Major General Igor Konashenkov, that the US direct influence over terrorists is global in scope and extends to Russia, among others.

“Concerning Kirby’s threat concerning possible loss of Russian aircraft and sending Russian soldiers home ‘in body bags’, I will say that we are well informed on where in Syria, including in Aleppo Province, and exactly how many ‘unadvertised’ specialists are engaged in operational planning and commanding the militants.” Konashenkov added: “Naturally, one can continue to keep telling us they are stubbornly but ineffectually trying to separate Jabhat al-Nusra from the ‘opposition’. However, if there are attempts to make good on these threats, it is far from a foregone conclusion the militants will be able to help them save their skins.”

 

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The foreign minister of Venezuela, Delcy Rodriguez denounced the existence of U.S. military bases in Latin American Thursday and called for the governments in the region to unite and demand their closing, remarks that came during the third annual Latin American Summit of Progressive Movements in Ecuador.

According to Rodriguez, who spoke to an audience in the capital city of Quito, these bases only provoke conflict in the region. “We denounce the presence of 70 U.S. bases in our region, we have to unite and demand the closing of these bases,” said Rodriguez.

Ecuador’s former foreign minister Ricardo Patiño introduced Rodriguez, warning that the imperialist powers will continue to attack the progressive forces in Latin America.

“But we are stronger,” said Patiño. “We need to be better organized to be able to defend ourselves.”

Patiño recalled the decision of Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa to close the U.S. navy base in the city of Manta in 2007. When faced with criticism, Correa said he would allow a U.S. base in Ecuador as long as the northern country allows an Ecuadorian navy base in its territory.

Rodriguez also spoke about the attacks against the progressive governments in the region by the new conservative leaders in Argentina and Brazil, with the support of imperialism.

“Right-wing governments in the region are franchises of the (U.S.) Pentagon and the Department of State, that are destroying what the left has achieved,” said Rodriguez.

Rodriguez said she hopes the region could soon count again on Argentina and Brazil to work on a stronger integration.

The foreign minister reflected on the sovereignty struggles of Venezuela that late president Hugo Chavez, leader of the Bolivarian Revolution, often explained to the people.

“More than to rethink the integration process in the region, we have to defend it, we need to build a pluri-polar and multi-centered world like Chavez talked about,” said Rodriguez.

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The US claim that Russian troops will go home in body bags if Moscow doesn’t end its Aleppo offensive is absurd, former CIA contractor Steven Kelley told RT. He said Russia is the only answer to defeating ISIS. Other experts also weigh in on the subject.

When asked about State Department spokesperson John Kirby’s warning that Russia “will continue to send troops home in body bags” if it doesn’t put an end to the offensive, Kelley said Washington is pretending to be fighting Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) when it isn’t doing so at all.

“The US has always been the main sponsor and creator of Daesh (Arabic acronym for IS), so this charade that they are having anything to do with fighting Daesh in Syria is completely a farce, and I think the rest of the world is smart enough to realize that everything that comes out of the mouth of John Kirby or any of the State Department personnel is complete and utter balderdash,” Kelley said.

He advised Russian President Vladimir Putin to focus on « getting the job done, » as Russia is the only way IS will be defeated in Syria.

“Russia should sever all relations, and if I had anything to advise Mr. Putin, I would say get the job done, stop participating in any of these peace agreements and destroy Daesh and get the job over with,” he said.

“The US is not going to do anything to help removing (sic) Daesh and is going to do everything possible to reconstruct, rearm, and resupply, and put more personnel into the field. So everything they say is a lie, and Putin really needs to stop playing games with the US State Department and get the job done.”

Kelley went on to credit Russia for getting involved in Syria when it did, stating that the country would have been “completely overrun” by now if it didn’t.

“One can only hope that [Russia] will be resolute, they will finish the job, they will stop being distracted by these fake calls for ceasefires,” he said.

Meanwhile, political analyst Chris Bambery slammed the US for failing to realize that there is no separation between moderate rebels and militants on the ground.

“The Americans can’t on the one hand say they want to fight Daesh – the so-called Islamic State – but at the same time be supporting rebel groups like al-Nusra Front, and there is no separation between moderate rebels and jihadists on the ground. They are there together, fighting alongside each other, and in fact the jihadists make up the majority. Much of the arms provided and the recruits trained by the West… have gone over to those groups,” Bambery told RT.

“It’s strange to me that America can be almost in alliance with a group which is an affiliate of the organization that carried out the 9/11 attacks in Washington and New York.

« This does not seem a coherent policy.”

Referring to Washington’s threat of severing ties with Russia when it comes to Syria, Bambery said the situation is equivalent to a child “throwing their toys out of the pram,” adding that Washington needs Moscow to achieve a successful outcome in the war-torn country via a political process.

“They need the Russians to make a deal over Syria. They need them to bring Assad, as they did, to the table, and to kick off the talks,” he said, adding that US Secretary of State John Kerry “doesn’t seem to be actually capable to [rising] to the challenge of Syria, and bringing home an agreement which can end the civil war.”

Jeff Steinberg, senior editor of the Executive Intelligence Review, agreed that the US is failing to differentiate between rebel groups and militants.

“The US does not differentiate between the rebel groups they’re backing, with the exception of ISIS…When Kirby says there’s going to be Russians going to be going home in body bags and terrorism taking place on Russian soil, I have to scratch my head and say, ‘is this a threat coming from a government that’s actually backing groups like al-Nusra?’”

Reminding that al-Nusra is a branch of Al-Qaeda, Steinberg said: “We seem to have forgotten every lesson learned from 9/11, and we’re back in bed with the same forces who carried out those hideous attacks.”

When it comes to Kerry’s call for another ceasefire in Syria, Bambery says that his demand is impossible, as trust has to be rebuilt following the recent happenings.

“Confidence has to be rebuilt, the parties have to be brought back together again, in the way that we got that ceasefire in the first place. And rather than hectoring Russia, rather than hectoring what they seem to regard as opponents in this, they need to be working together to bring back that trust, to bring back the people around the table, where we can get that ceasefire going. And this is not a way of going about it…” he concluded.

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Sélection d’articles du 24 au 30 septembre 2016


Bachar Al-Jaafari

Syrie : Nous sommes passés d’une guerre par procuration à une vraie guerre ! Par Dr. Bachar al-Jaafari, 25 septembre 2016

Ce 21 septembre lors d’une énième session du Conseil de sécurité de l’ONU sur la situation en Syrie, Ban Ki-moon aurait déclaré :« C’est l’occasion de rétablir la cessation des hostilités, faciliter l’aide humanitaire à Alep et dans tout le pays, maintenir au sol la force aérienne syrienne et voir une action militaire conjointe contre les groupes terroristes tels que Daech et Al Nosra… cela permettrait d’ouvrir la voie vers des négociations politiques » . Maintenir au sol la force aérienne syrienne ! Pour quoi faire, sinon légitimer les mensonges, la cruauté et la rapacité de ses donneurs d’ordre ?nPour mémoire, voici la réponse du Docteur Bachar al-Jaafari, délégué permanent de la Syrie auprès des Nations Unies.

casques-blancs

Les « Casques Blancs » main dans la main avec les groupes terroristes en Syrie Par Silvia Cattori, 26 septembre 2016

L’entreprise commerciale américaine Netflix, qui diffuse des films et séries télévisées en ligne, a consacré aux Casques Blancs un « documentaire choc« . Diffusé depuis le 16 septembre, sur tous les continents et à grand renfort de publicité, ce film de pure propagande, à la gloire des Casques Blancs – une prétendue organisation « humanitaire syrienne » financée par les puissances qui épaulent les groupes terroristes dits « rebelles modérés » -, est destiné à entretenir la fiction que le gouvernement Assad et l’armée régulière syrienne n’agissent pas en faveur de leur peuple, mais bombardent délibérément des civils.

Nahed

Jordanie – Bye bye Nahed, vous resterez à jamais vivant dans la mémoire des Levantins Par Mouna Alno-Nakhal, 26 septembre 2016

Hier et aujourd’hui, la presse écrite et télévisée du Levant honore la vie et l’œuvre de l’homme politique et écrivain engagé, Nahed Hattar, citoyen jordanien assassiné ce dimanche par un « Takfiriste », comme l’affirment les autorités jordaniennes ; une brève définition de cette catégorie d’assassins regrouperait ceux qui rejettent autrui et agissent pour réduire au silence l’autre qui ose penser autrement.

embargo

Les sanctions économiques, principal obstacle au développement de Cuba Par Salim Lamrani, 27 septembre 2016

Malgré l’établissement d’un dialogue historique avec La Havane le 17 décembre 2014 et en dépit de la visite officielle du Président Barack Obama dans l’île en mars 2016, Washington continue d’appliquer des sanctions économiques contre la population cubaine, suscitant l’incompréhension auprès de la communauté internationale.

al-assad

Le Pentagone lance l’opération psychologique («Psyop») en Syrie Par Manlio Dinucci, 27 septembre 2016

Les « Psyop » (Opérations psychologiques), dont sont chargées des unités spéciales des forces armées et des services secrets étasuniens, sont définies par  comme des « opérations planifiées pour influencer à travers des informations déterminées les émotions et motivations et donc le comportement de l’opinion publique, d’organisations et de gouvernements étrangers, afin d’induire ou renforcer des attitudes favorables aux objectifs préfixés ».

Alep Damas

Si vous avez une seule capitale, mon pays en a deux : Damas et Alep! Par Dr. Bachar al-Jaafari, 28 septembre 2016

Le Conseil de sécurité s’est réuni ce dimanche, 25 septembre, à la demande des États-Unis, de la Grande-Bretagne et de la France. Inutile de relayer les discours des représentants de ces trois pays, les médias aux ordres des meneurs de la prétendue Coalition internationale de lutte contre le terrorisme se sont, très lourdement, chargés de la besogne.

Omran-pencil-bw22

Le Quai d’Orsay, l’UE et les USA financent le «Aleppo Media Centre», qui défend la cause des djihadistes Par Vanessa Beeley, 29 septembre 2016

L’histoire a fait la une partout : «Petit garçon sorti vivant des décombres». La vidéo et la photographie produites par le Aleppo Media Centre (AMC), qui montrait Omran Daqneesh, alias «le petit rescapé d’Alep» prétendument sauvé par les notoirement connus casques blancs dans la partie est d’Alep tenue par les terroristes, est aussitôt devenue virale et a été propulsée bien haut dans la stratosphère de la propagande médiatique occidentale.

alep-terroristes

Interview avec un commandant du Front al-Nosra : «Les Américains sont à nos côtés» Par Jürgen Todenhöfer, 29 septembre 2016

Cette interview menée par Jürgen Todenhöfera d’abord été publiée en allemand le 26 septembre 2016 dans le Kölner Stadtanzeiger, le principal quotidien de la région de Cologne. Interview avec un commandant du Front al-Nosra : «Les Américains sont à nos côtés»

« L’interview a été organisée par un rebelle d’Alep. J’ai des contacts avec des rebelles syriens depuis des années. L’interview s’est déroulée à l’extérieur d’Alep, dans une carrière à portée de vue – et de tir – du Front al-Nosra. Seul un membre d’al-Nosra pouvait s’y rendre sans danger. »

syrie-al-qaiafda-en-syrie-2

Al-Qaïda confirme collaborer avec la coalition internationale en Syrie Par Guillaume Borel, 29 septembre 2016

Le journal allemand Kölner Stadtanzeiger a publié lundi 26 septembre l’interview exclusive d’un des commandants du Front Al-Nosra à Alep, la branche d’Al-Qaïda en Syrie rebaptisée récemment Fatah Al-Cham et qualifiée de groupe « rebelle modéré ». Cette interview confirme un certain nombre d’analyses qui circulaient dans les médias indépendants, notamment en ce qui concerne la collaboration opérationnelle entre le Front al-Nosra et la coalition internationale, mais également la responsabilité des groupes djihadistes dans la crise humanitaire actuelle.

Ashton Carter

Le chef du Pentagone annonce les plans américains pour une guerre nucléaire avec la Russie Par Bill Van Auken, 29 septembre 2016

Le ministre de la Défense américain Ashton Carter a prononcé un discours devant des “missileers” (lanceurs de missiles) sur la base du Global Strike Command (commandement des frappes mondiales) à Minot, dans le Dakota du Sud, lundi, défendant la modernisation massive de l’arsenal nucléaire américain et émettant des menaces belliqueuses contre la Russie.

OPEC

L’accord d’Alger de l’OPEP : Nécessité d’une stabilisation des prix avec les pays consommateurs Par Chems Eddine Chitour, 30 septembre 2016

L’Algérie a accueilli avec  élégance et avec sa tradition hospitalière, le 15e FIE Forum international de l’énergie et le Sommet de l’Opep dans une conjoncture plus volatile que jamais. Quand on entend le secrétaire général de l’Opep déclarer que la réunion d’Alger ne décidera de rien,  on pensait que la réunion d’Alger était un non–évènement .  Rien ne présageait en fait  une réussite du Sommet informel de l’Opep…

Annie Lacroix-Riz

Comment la France passa de l’ère allemande à l’ère américainePar Dr. Jacques R. Pauwels, 30 septembre 2016

Dans deux de ses livres, Le choix de la Défaite : les élites françaises dans les années 1930 et De Munich à Vichy, l’assassinat de la 3eRépublique 1938-1940 Annie Lacroix-Riz  a expliqué comment, dans les années trente, l’élite de la société française – politiciens, militaires de haut rang, industriels, banquiers, le haut clergé, etc. – a voulu et planifié l’ « étrange défaite » de 1940. C’est par le biais de cette trahison que l’élite put triompher de l’« ennemi intérieur » gauchiste, empêcher d’autres réformes politiques et surtout sociales comme celles introduites par le Front Populaire, et éliminer le système, trop démocratique à son goût, de la 3e République en faveur du régime autoritaire et collaborateur de Vichy.

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  • Commentaires fermés sur Syrie une vraie guerre, Casques Blancs, «Psyop», Front al-Nosra…

US officials have threatened Syria and its allies – including Russia specifically – that the collapse of a US-proposed ceasefire will lead “Gulf states” to arm militants with shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles.

A Reuters article titled, “Gulf may arm rebels now Syria truce is dead: U.S. officials,” would elaborate, claiming:

One U.S. official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss American policy, said Washington has kept large numbers of such man-portable air defense systems, or MANPADS, out of Syria by uniting Western and Arab allies behind channeling training and infantry weapons to moderate opposition groups while it pursued talks with Moscow.

But frustration with Washington has intensified, raising the possibility that Gulf allies or Turkey will no longer continue to follow the U.S. lead or will turn a blind eye to wealthy individuals looking to supply MANPADS to opposition groups.

“The Saudis have always thought that the way to get the Russians to back off is what worked in Afghanistan 30 years ago – negating their air power by giving MANPADS to the mujahideen,” said a second U.S. official.

However, in reality, ambitions to down Russian and Syrian aircraft over Syria are not Saudi in origin, but rather come from the highest levels of policy and politics within Washington.  Washington-based corporate-financier policy think tank, the Brookings Institution, in a paper titled, “What to do when containing the Syrian crisis has failed,” would admit (emphasis added):

We must also be clever about employing various options for no-fly zones: We cannot shoot down an airplane without knowing if it’s Russian or Syrian, but we can identify those aircraft after the fact and destroy Syrian planes on the ground if they were found to have barrel-bombed a neighborhood, for example. These kinds of operations are complicated, no doubt, and especially with Russian aircraft in the area—but I think we have made a mistake in tying ourselves in knots over the issue, since there are options we can pursue.

In a 2015 Fox News interview, US Senator John McCain would admit:

I might do what we did in Afghanistan many years ago, to give those guys the ability to shoot down those planes. That equipment is available.

When asked to clarify his statement as to who would be shooting down the planes, McCain would answer:

The Free Syrian Army, just like the Afghans shot down the Russian…

In essence then, the US is merely laundering anti-air weapons and the ambition to use them through Saudi Arabia, as it has done so with all the weapons, terrorists, vehicles, money, and support used to trigger and perpetuate the ongoing war in Syria – with the Saudis at best, merely partners.

The US is Knowingly Going to Arm Al Qaeda, ISIS with Anti-Air Missiles

US politicians and policymakers are already acutely aware that any weapons they send into Syria – including anti-air missiles – will immediately end up in the hands of designated foreign terrorist organizations, including Al Qaeda and ISIS. They are aware of this because thousands of anti-tank missiles the US has sent into the country, as well as fleets of Toyota trucks, ammunition, food, and other supplies have already ended up in Al Qaeda and ISIS’ hands.

This is not only through the seizure of weapons by terrorist organizations from “moderate rebels,” but because America’s “moderate rebels” have either voluntarily joined the ranks of designated terrorist organizations, including Al Qaeda and ISIS – or were affiliated with terrorists from the very beginning and even before the conflict even began.

In a particularly embarrassing episode, it was reported by the pro-war, corporate-financier funded and chaired Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) blog, The Long War Journal in an article titled, “Islamic State used US-made anti-tank missiles near Palmyra,” that:

In a new video released by the Islamic State, the jihadist group shows the capture of the ancient city of Palmyra, also known as Tadmur in Arabic. During the video, at least one US-made BGM-71 TOW anti-tank missile is seen being used against Syrian regime troops near the city.

The report continued by stating:

This is not the first time the Islamic State has shown with TOWs. Last December, the jihadist group also published photos showing its forces using TOW missiles against Free Syrian Army (FSA) forces in the Damascus countryside. The United States has supplied several FSA groups with TOW missiles, which have sometimes fallen into the hands of jihadist groups or have been used to assist jihadist groups. The TOW used in Palmyra was likely captured from battles with the FSA in other parts of Syria.

It is not only possible that any anti-air weapons sent into Syria will end up in the hands of Al Qaeda or ISIS, it is inevitable.

Any nation supplying militants with such weapons is all but intentionally ensuring they eventually end up in the hands of terrorist organizations.

America Sowing the Seeds for New Levels of Global Terrorism for Decades to Come

And what US policymakers seem unaware or unconcerned with is the possibility that such weapons may be turned against their own forces not only in Syria – including US and European warplanes – but across the region, including on the battlefield in Yemen, targeting US-made Saudi warplanes.

Also possible is that these weapon systems are spirited out of the region and used to target civilian aircraft in terrorist attacks around the world.

As the US continues leveraging the downing of MH-17 over Ukraine against Russia, it simultaneously attempts to all but ensure the most dangerous terrorist organizations on Earth gain access to anti-air weaponry. It is a clear indicator that the US, not Russia nor the Syrian government, pose a threat to global peace and stability.

The same US who knowingly created and wielded Al Qaeda against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan in the 1980s before claiming to be victimized by this mercenary force on September 11, 2001 -precipitating a decade and a half of “War on Terror” – is hereby standing up a terrorist mercenary force larger and better armed than ever before. The US is sowing the seeds of global terrorism for decades to come by doing so.

America’s fueling of the Syrian conflict directly and through its Persian Gulf proxies has turned the entire Middle East and North African region into a hotbed of failed states, terrorism, and humanitarian crises. Russia’s failure to prevent US intervention in Libya has left the nation divided and destroyed, hemorrhaging refugees across the Mediterranean Sea into Europe and inviting terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda and ISIS to expand across not only the ruins of Libya, but also across the rest of the region and beyond.

Russia’s failure to stop the division and destruction of Syria will result in a catastrophe greater still – and despite the level of destruction and violence unfolding today in Syria – should Damascus collapse and militant groups be left intact – Syria will face exponentially greater violence and destruction that will make Libya’s ongoing sociopolitical and humanitarian catastrophe pale in comparison.

The US, by erasing the lines of even rhetorical sensibility, does however open a window of opportunity for Syria and its allies to respond with asymmetrical warfare, targeting US and European warplanes illegally operating over Syria in such a way as to make it difficult if not impossible to determine whether or not America’s own anti-air weapons are being used against its and its allies’ warplanes.

US policy which essentially places anti-air missiles into the hands of terrorists – is so ill-conceived and desperate, the fact that it has been tabled in the first place illustrates Washington’s increasingly weak and desperate hand. If this policy is properly exposed for what it truly implies both for Syria and the state of global security for decades to come, and should it be countered intelligently by Syria and its allies, it can be turned back against Washington and add further impetus to finally end this war in the Syrian people’s favor – not Washington’s.

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

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DANGER – Tensions Rising Sharply Between Nuclear Superpowers

septembre 30th, 2016 by Dimitris Konstantakopoulos

Tension between Russia and USA rose dangerously, on Thursday 29th of September, as the spokesman of the American Pentagon proceeded to indirect, still clear and quite unprecedented threats, about what can happen to Russian soldiers, interests and even cities, if Moscow and Damascus do not alter their policy in Syria. In the same time the US Secretary of State is threatening with suspension of talks with Russia on the situation in Syria.

Answering to these threats, the spokesman of the Russian Ministry of Defense said that (Pentagon’s spokesman Kirby’s) “words are the most frank confession by the U.S. side so far that the whole ‘opposition’ ostensibly fighting a civil war in Syria is a U.S.-controlled international terrorist alliance…What makes Kirby’s statement particularly shocking is that the scale of direct U.S. influence on terrorists’ activity is global, and that it reaches as far as Russia.”

These exchanges came only three days after US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter went to the Air Force Global Strike Command base, in Minot, South Dakota, to defend the massive modernization of the US nuclear arsenal and issue bellicose threats against Russia, essentially outlining plans for a nuclear war with Russia!

Look for more information in the following articles:

http://www.crossroadstoday.com/story/33276365/the-latest-russian-military-slams-us-comments-on-syria

http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKCN11Z0RI?il=0

https://www.rt.com/news/361055-syria-russia-usa-threats/

http://www.businessinsider.com/kerry-russia-syria-negotiations-2016-9

http://www.globalresearch.ca/pentagon-chief-outlines-us-plans-for-nuclear-war-with-russia/5548284

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2016/09/29/syri-s29.html

Once more, the question some observers are putting is if President Obama is really in control of the US state apparatus, or we are facing one more “revolt” of the “party of War” inside it. For eight years, Obama is trying to reverse the neocon scenario for a bigger conflict in the Middle East which would extend, after Syria and Lebanon, to a probably nuclear conflict with Iran. In this context, the Syrian war can be seen as the prelude and the preparation of the greater war against Iran.

Who is deciding US Foreign Policy, the President or the “War Party”? This is exactly the question Stephen Cohen, one of the leading and deeper students of Russian affairs in USA is putting, in his review of the new rise of Cold War in both Ukraine and Syria

https://www.thenation.com/article/who-is-making-american-foreign-policy-the-president-or-the-war-party/

Another observer, ex-British diplomat Alistair Crook also warns about the “Party of War” inside the US administration and state which is not obeying Obama’s orders

https://consortiumnews.com/2016/09/26/new-cold-war-spins-out-of-control/

For the activities regarding Syria and Turkey of the neocon “War Party” and its friends outside the US you may see

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/17/world/middleeast/syria-assad-obama-airstrikes-diplomats-memo.html?_r=0

and

http://www.defenddemocracy.press/turkey-military-coup-possible/

A quarter of a century after the unilateral dissolution of Warsaw Pact and the collapse of the USSR, we are found again in a situation of a rapidly developing nuclear arms race, without the checques and balances, the Arms Control tools (like the ABM treaty) and the codes of behavior existing during the Cold War, at least after the Cuban Missile Crisis.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/dangerous-crossroads-both-russia-and-america-prepare-for-nuclear-war/5548074?utm_campaign=magnet&utm_source=article_page&utm_medium=related_articles

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The Monsanto Company has been reeling from an image crisis for several years now, one that reached a fever pitch with the first March Against Monsanto in May 2013.

The bad press and constant protests, both in its home country of the United States and especially abroad where GMOs are banned in 38 countries, have continued ever since, leading to company plans to possibly change its name and culminating with a pending, agreed-upon sale to Bayer this year.

But while the company has been universally questioned, criticized and protested against by the general citizenry, it has made inroads in large part because of its close relationships with government and academic institutions, as well as the lack of clear, concise labeling on GMO foods.

And now, Monsanto has partnered about with two of the biggest names in academia: Harvard University and MIT, for a new project that could change the face of agriculture in many unforeseen ways.

Monsanto Teams Up With Harvard, MIT for Controversial CRISPR GMOs 

The current regulatory framework for GMO crops has been roundly criticized by watchdog groups and scientists who say that Monsanto’s new crops are approved despite a lack of long-term, independent safety testing.

But it’s still at least somewhat time-consuming for new crops to make it to market, giving customers and watchdog groups a chance to be vigilant.

Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)

The highly controversial new CRISPR technology for creating genetically engineered crops could change all that, however. Also known as gene-editing, this technology allows scientists to simply “exchange a couple letters in an organism’s genetic code (either an A, G, C or T) and replace it with one that is somehow beneficial for a specific purpose,” as noted in this article from the website DigitalTrends.com. Regular GMOs swap a plant’s genes with those from an entirely different organism.

The new CRISPR technique will allow many more scientists and companies to begin experimenting with changing the genes in our natural food crops (which could be highly profitable in the long run, especially since consumers aren’t likely to know that it’s being done to their food), and now Harvard and MIT are getting in on a piece of the action.

Monsanto announced recently that it has reached an agreement with the Broad Institute (a biomedical and genomic research institute) of MIT and Harvard University, continuing a trend of corporate infiltration of academia that also included a recent $6 million dollar donation by Bill Gates to help “de-polarize” the debate on GMOs at another top university, Cornell.

The agreement will help “deliver a wide array of crop improvements in global agriculture,” the press release stated, and is considered to be the institute’s first agricultural license.

“The license to CRISPR-Cas from the Broad Institute provides access to an exciting tool for our growing body of genome-editing research,” said Dr. Tom Adams of Monsanto. “Genome-editing technology is complementary to our ongoing discovery research and provides an incredible resource to further unlock our world-leading germplasm and genome libraries.”

But what will be the unintended consequences of this strange new world in biotechnology, and will the citizens even know what types of experiments they may be eating?

Here is what the Green party/European Free Alliance group in the European parliament had to say on CRISPR GMOs according to this article from GMWatch.org. In Europe there is a push to classify them along with regular GMOs which could lead to bans and/or restrictions.

“Gene editing raises similar concerns as [genetic modification] as regards intellectual property rights and the impact on traditional and organic farming models. As such, it would make sense for gene editing to be covered by the same regulatory regime as existing GMOs,” they said in a statement. “However, the current EU legislation on GMOs is clearly in need of a major overhaul, notably to significantly improve the risk assessment process and ensure its independence, as well as to take account of the socio-economic impact of GMOs.”

Natalie Bennett, the UK Green Party leader, had this to say about the new technology: “The Green party believes that with these new technologies, with their often unknown side effects and impacts, it is important to maintain the precautionary principle. These are genetic modifications using new techniques; they should be treated accordingly.

“It was only last week that researchers writing in the prestigious journal Science expressed grave concerns about one particular use of gene editing technology, the gene drive, while the European Food Safety Authority concluded in 2012 that cisgenesis [another technology for altering plants] should be treated in terms of regulation and oversight as a GM technology, at least initially.

“With new techniques and possibilities being developed every year, now is not the time to allow a wild west of release of organisms without full safety oversight and consumer information.”

Untested, Unlabeled CRISPR Technology: Full-Speed Ahead in the U.S.

Unfortunately in the United States and despite the concerns of many others like Bennett, the CRISPR gene-editing experiment continues full-speed ahead.

As of right now there will is no regulation needed for CRISPR-created GMO plants such as a new non-browning mushroom created by a Penn State University scientist in the lab, according to the USDA in this article from the Organic Consumers Association.

The technology is also excluded from the new “GMO labeling law (which many described as toothless to begin with)” so there may come a time when such gene-edited crops flood store shelves without customers even knowing, despite the complete lack of independent, long-term safety testing.

For more on the controversial technology and the new Harvard and MIT agreement, you can click on this link.

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Suing Saudi Arabia: Overturning Sovereign Immunity in US Courts

septembre 30th, 2016 by Dr. Binoy Kampmark

It was momentous on one fundamental level. Here was the President of the United States, Barack Obama, holding the torch for a wretched ally the politicians on the Hill and others have had reservations over for many years.  Saudi Arabia, ever the thorn and asset of US interests, facing the grief of families who lost members on September 11, 2001.  This, the same ally whose theocratic bent remains the most bruising of obstacles in any claims that the US is open to a global democratic experiment.

In the end, it came down to a very American formula, one born in the court room and ligation process. It also left a good deal of mud on the Presidential power of veto.  “I would venture to say,” ventured press secretary Josh Earnest, not without some hyperbole, “that this is the single most embarrassing thing that the United States has done, possibly since 1983.”

The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act permits US courts to waive an assertion of foreign sovereign immunity, one of the treasured features of a State’s legal armoury, regarding acts of terrorism that occur on US soil.  While Saudi Arabia claims no direct role in the 9/11 attacks, it cannot say the same about its zealous nationals, with fifteen of the 19 plane hijackers boasting that nationality.

True to form, its diplomats were heating the issue and reminding US lawmakers about the consequences of JASTA becoming law.  In the cold, monetarily inclined words of Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir, “everybody will begin to think twice before they invest in a place where their assets could be seized.”[1]

Sen. Chuck Schumer, chief sponsor of the bill, explained with some solemnity that, “Overriding a presidential veto is something we don’t take lightly, but it was important in this case that the families of the victims of 9/11 be allowed to pursue justice, even if that pursuit causes some diplomatic discomforts.”[2]

Nerves through Washington duly frayed.  Playing the 9/11 card is a rotten business, but it certainly worked to convince members on both side of the aisle that the President’s veto had to be overturned.  The façade was duly taken down; and the ugly, protective mask of the relationship with Riyadh ripped off.  Admitting to an avenue of legal action, or at any rate permitting it, against an ally was tantamount to a confession.

One such individual was CIA director John Brennan, whose befuddled security mind has to juggle the plotting machinations of Riyadh with the dictates of US security.  “It would be an absolute shame if this legislation, in any way, influenced the Saudi willingness to continue to be among our best counterterrorism partners.”

President Obama was more forthright. The passage of the bill effectively meant that the various imperial efforts of the US would be compromised.  Vast, gargantuan and spread over the earth, US engagements and actions would suddenly face the prospect of legal targeting.

His concern with such actions had to with “not wanting a situation in which we’re suddenly exposed to liabilities for all the work that we’re doing all around the world, and suddenly finding ourselves subject to private lawsuits in courts where we don’t even know exactly where they’re on the up and up, in some cases.”[3]

Speculation was already being advanced by various legal authorities.  JASTA, argued Theodore Karasik, would also permit Saudi citizens an avenue to sue the US government and its employees in foreign courts. That would well accompany additional moves to amend domestic laws “to allow their citizens to sue the US government and its employees in foreign courts, most likely state security courts.”[4]

Stephen I. Vladeck of the University of Texas School of Law goes further in suggesting that the law will do little to bring home the litigious bounty for victims of 9/11 while enlarging the scope for US plaintiffs to launch suits against states for international terrorism, whether Washington deems them sponsors of terrorism or otherwise.[5]

The punch against US power, however, would come in the form of taking Washington’s policies to task in very specific cases.  Would, for instance, the Syrian regime be justified in suing the United States for its role in sponsoring Syrian rebel fighters who go on to commit acts of terrorism?  Justice can be truly blind, though the legal authorities often fear it.

Much of this fuss may be unfounded.  States continue to pursue claims against each other in the International Court of Justice, though they tend to do so with velvet gloves and utterances of mock decency.  In some cases arbitral channels over matters of wrongful death can also be used.  But States have continued over the years to cite a veil of sovereign immunity in the courts that has, at stages, begun to tear. The Nuremberg war crimes trials made a decent start of it.

Over time, the deaths of nationals has generated a basis to seek compensation, though a state might well be reluctant to part with money in the bargain.  Granting an award is no guarantee of receiving it.  But rarely has there been such an overt challenge to assumptions of sovereign immunity, a domestic effort to effectively overturn an internationally accepted rule.

Following that other accepted notion of reciprocity at international law, other countries may well see their nationals rush to the courts to seek redress for the actions of the US imperium, allies or otherwise.  They should be mindful of the comments of Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate judiciary committee: “All they want is the opportunity to present their case in a court of law.”

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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TISA, TTIP and TPP continue to be negotiated in secret, as WikiLeaks recently released a new leak from the updated TISA (Trade in Services Agreement) core text and annexes. If you want to know what TISA means in 7 words, it’s this: total privatization and commodification of public services.

Unfortunately, once something is privatized, it becomes very difficult to ever get it back into the public hands. Of the 3 T-Treaties, TISA is the largest, encompassing 24 countries (including blocs such as the EU) which produce over 2/3 of global GDP, yet has received the least attention.

Protests against the TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, negotiated primarily between the US and EU) have been strong, to the point where several European government officials have publicly stated that the treaty doesn’t look like it will pass. Protests have also been strong against the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership, negotiated primarily among the US, Japan, Canada, Australia and other Pacific nations).

Since the worldwide economy is shifting from being product-based to being service-based, TISA has the potential to become one of the most important economics treaties on Earth. Already, according to 2015 figures from the World Bank, service industries account for 78% of US GDP and 74% of EU GDP. Together, the 3 T-Treaties promise to cement massive control in the hands of the international corporatocracy, disempowering sovereign states and preventing governments from setting laws, regulations and policy to protect their nations, markets and people.

All About the Corporatocracy

It’s laughable to hear politicians defend TISA and the other treaties by trying to claim they will be good for jobs or the economy. For most people in TISA, TTIP and TPP affected nations, the results will be disastrous, as discussed in How the TPP is Going to Affect You. The aim of these treaties is to open up markets for multinational corporations to exploit new labor and consumer markets – with less governmental regulation than before. These treaties give the corporatocracy the power to force down wages. This article talks about the proposed TISA agreement:

“The “disciplines,” or treaty rules, would provide foreign services providers free access to domestic markets at “no less favorable” conditions than domestic suppliers and would restrict governments’ ability to regulate services. This would essentially change the regulation of many public and privatized or commercial services from serving the public interest to serving the profit interests of private, foreign corporations.”

You may not like tyrannical governments, but tyrannical corporations are even worse, because at least a government can be petitioned, replaced or overthrown; private corporations answer to no one except their shareholders. The point of government is protect the rights of its citizens, which includes regulating creatures like corporations who are created for the sole purpose of making as much money as possible above anything else. TISA, TTIP and TPP all gut the ability of national governments to enact laws to protect their land and citizens from marauding foreign multinationals. It’s corporate hegemony, pure and simple.

TISA, TTIP and TPP would disallow GMO and country-of-origin labeling, would essentially make Google, Facebook and any website owner a “copyright cop”, and would even require all signatory states to make their national laws conform (and be subordinate to) the ones in these treaties!

ISDS (Investor State Dispute Settlement): Parallel Legal System in All 3 T-Treaties

Much has already been written about the ISDS (Investor State Dispute Settlement), but for those who don’t know, the ISDS is a parallel legal system that only multinationals have access to. People, local companies and even national governments do not have access to it. The ISDS tribunal is staffed (of course) with corporate lawyers. ISDS even gives corporations the power to get legal damages in “expected profit”. The way it is written, a Vietnamese phone company, for example, could bring its company (with its workers paying its wages) into the US, could set up business there, and could sue if the local, state or national government tried to stop them.

Opposition to TISA, TTIP and TPP Growing

Despite the secrecy surrounding TISA, TTIP and TPP, the public and nations states alike have gained enough knowledge of them to mount widespread opposition. Recently (and surprisingly) Vietnam refused to ratify the TPP, even though some considered it would benefit greatly from the clauses dealing with wage rates. Meanwhile, literally hundreds of thousands of people protested the TTIP in Germany. The French Government has opposed the deal (French Prime Minister Manuel Valls demanded a finish to the talks) and German Vice-Chancellor and Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel revealed that TTIP negotiations had basically failed. He stated:

“In my opinion, the negotiations with the United States have de facto failed, even though nobody is really admitting it … Europeans must not give in to (the Americans’) demands.”

Those American demands he is referring to are things like Europeans accepting hormone-filled beef and chlorine-filled chicken. Europe’s food standards are much higher than those of the US, which has been more influenced and corrupted by Big Agra and Big Biotech (and their toxic array of pesticides and GMOs) more than the EU. In the US, around 70% of supermarket food is GMO and around 90% of beef is made using growth hormones, whereas the GMO rate in the EU is way lower, and hormone-fed beef is banned.

TISA, TTIP and TTP: calculated economic warfare against the BRICS nations.

3 T-Treaties: Economic Warfare Against BRICS

As much as TISA, TTIP and TTP embolden multinational corporations, the 3 T-Treaties also serve another agenda: the geopolitical plan for the US and allies to isolate the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). To understand this, you need to realize that the so-called New World Order is very much an Anglo-American-Zionist dominated agenda. It’s all about the push towards global governance or world government, by centralizing power in every area of life: political, military, educational, financial and more. TISA, TTIP and TPP represent nothing less than economic warfare against BRICS.

TTIP forges ties with the EU and surrounding nations, but deliberately excludes Russia. TPP forges ties with Japan, other Pacific nations and some South American nations, but deliberately excludes China, India and Brazil. TISA forges ties with countries all over the world (sort of a combination of TTIP and TPP) but none of them are the 5 BRICS countries. The plan is obvious: isolate, ostracize and weaken any nation which dares to challenge US supremacy. This goes hand-in-hand with US military agenda (the Pivot to Asia) which aims to inflict the same kind of weakening in a military sense.

power grab

Conclusion: TISA, TTIP and TTP are a Colossal Power Grab

TISA, TTIP and TTP are an attempt to rewrite the playing rules for a massive amount of the world economy, bring financial pressure to bear down upon the perceived opponents and enemies of the US, consolidate more power for the corporatocracy, open up new markets for exploitation without regulation, and make the public even more powerless against Big Money. These 3 T-Treaties (and others like them such as CETA being negotiated between Canada and the EU) must be first brought out of secrecy and under scrutiny. They remove sovereignty and decision-making ability away from the local and regional level. It’s yet more centralization of power – the overriding theme of the New World Order agenda. That reason alone is hopefully sufficient for anyone unsure about these T-Treaties, and new to the sphere of conspiracy research, to regard them with a large dose of distrust.

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

Sources:

*https://wikileaks.org/tisa/#September%2015,%202016%20Publication

*http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NV.SRV.TETC.ZS

*http://freedom-articles.toolsforfreedom.com/how-tpp-will-affect-you/

*http://www.ourworldisnotforsale.org/sites/default/files/Memo-Proposed%20TISA%20March%202014.pdf

*http://commondreams.org/news/2016/09/16/tpp-ropes-its-corporate-power-vs-people-power-capitol-hill

*http://bigstory.ap.org/article/611ff828b5ed44d5ad56ab46e0781e52/german-economy-minister-says-eu-us-trade-talks-have-failed

*http://freedom-articles.toolsforfreedom.com/big-pharma-big-agra-mergers-synthetic-agenda/

*http://freedom-articles.toolsforfreedom.com/pivot-to-asia-militarization-of-pacific/

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William Engdahl recently explained how Washington used the corrupt Brazilian elite, which answers to Washington, to remove the duly elected President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, for representing the Brazilian people rather than the interests of Washington.

Unable to see through the propaganda of unproven charges, Brazilians acquiesced in the removal of their protector, thereby providing the world another example of the impotence of democracy.

Everyone should read Engdahl’s article. He reports that part of the attack on Rousseff stemmed from Brazil’s economic problems deliberately created by US credit rating agencies as part of Washington’s attack to down grade Brazilian debt, which set off an attack on the Brazilian currency.

Brazil’s financial openness made Brazil an easy target to attack. One might hope that Vladimir Putin would take note of the cost of “economic openness.” Putin is a careful and thoughtful leader of Russia, but he is not an economist. He has confidence in neoliberal Elvira Nabiulina, Washington’s choice to head the Russian central bank. Nabiulina is unfamiliar with Modern Monetary Theory, and her commitment to “economic openness” leaves the Russian economy as exposed as Brazil’s to Washington destabilization. Nabiuina believes that the assault on the ruble is due to impersonal “global market forces,” not to Washington’s financial clout.

Nabiulina, an indoctrinated and propagandized neoliberal, is essentially a servant of Washington, not that she is aware of her role as “useful idiot.” She delights in the applause she receives from the Washington Consensus for leaving the Russian economy open to Washington’s manipulation. Being a neoliberal, she does not understand that Russia’s central bank can create at zero cost the money with which to finance productive projects in Russia. Instead, she thinks that the money entering the economy from the central bank is inflationary, but the money entering the economy from foreign sources is not.

Money is money regardless of whether it is made available by the central bank or by foreign creditors. As long as the money, whatever its source, is used productively, the money is not inflationary.

There is a huge difference between the money created by the central bank and the money created by foreign creditors. Money lent by foreign banks in the form or US dollars or euros must be repaid with interest in the foreign exchange in which the money was lent. Money created by the central bank to finance public infrastructure projects does not have to be repaid at all, much less with interest and in foreign exchange earned by exports.

Funds acquired from borrowing abroad bring many risks. The money can be pulled out, collapsing a freely traded ruble. The interest that must be paid is a drain on Russia’s foreign currency reserves. Foreign borrowing also brings a foreign exchange risk, which rises with economic sanctions. If the ruble drops in value or is driven down with an orchestrated attack, the ruble cost of the foreign loan can rise dramatically.

None of these risks and costs are present when the central bank is the source of money. The appropriate use of the Russian central bank is to create the money with which to finance public projects and to serve as lender of last resort to private Russian companies unable to obtain funding from Russian banks. This use of the central bank insulates the Russian economy from orchestrated destabilization.

It is unfortunate for Russia that Nabiulina and prime minister Dmitry Medvedev believe that Russian debt financed by hostile foreigners is preferable to money created by Russia’s own central bank. Glazyev, alone among Putin’s advisers, understands this. We suspect that the Atlanticist Integrationists have a target on Glazyev’s back as they hope to integrate Russia with the West regardless of the costs to Russia. These Russian “America Worshipers” are Russia’s greatest problem.

For Washington, neoliberal austerity is for “export only” to countries that Washington intends to turn into dependent financial colonies. By accommodating Washington’s goal, Nabiulina is engaging in a charade. The dollars and euros borrowed from abroad are not the money that goes to the Russian borrowers. The borrowed foreign exchange is held by the central bank. Nabiulina then creates the rubles that finance the projects. There is no point whatsoever to borrowing foreign currencies as backing for domestically created rubles. Regardless of whether Russia borrows abroad, the central bank must create rubles with which to finance the projects. So there is no point to the foreign borrowing.

A Russian government that cannot understand this is in deep trouble.

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts’ latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the WestHow America Was Lost, and The Neoconservative Threat to World Order.

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Le «Psyops» (Operazioni psicologiche), cui sono addette speciali unità delle forze armate e dei servizi segreti Usa, sono definite dal Pentagono «operazioni pianificate per influenzare attraverso determinate informazioni le emozioni e motivazioni e quindi il comportamento dell’opinione pubblica, di organizzazioni e governi stranieri, così da indurre o rafforzare atteggiamenti favorevoli agli obiettivi prefissi».

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Le Grand Orient au Moyen Orient

L’Angleterre aura durablement façonné le Moyen-Orient à son image, plus que toute autre puissance coloniale.

Des accords Sykes-Picot, en 1916, portant démembrement de l’Empire ottoman et son partage en zone d’influence entre la France et la Grande Bretagne, à l’avantage des Anglais, à la Promesse Balfour, en 1917, portant création d’un Foyer National Juif en Palestine, à la propulsion de la dynastie wahhabite à la tête du royaume saoudien et de la dynastie hachémite sur le trône jordanien, à la mainmise enfin sur le golfe pétrolier, tout, absolument tout, aura porté la marque de son empreinte, y compris l’introduction de la Franc-Maçonnerie dans le Monde arabe et musulman. À l’ancrage du Grand Orient au Moyen Orient en vue d’accompagner le Monde arabo-musulman dans son accession à la modernité.

La première loge de la Grande Loge d’Écosse en Syrie remonte en effet à 1748, soit trente ans avant la Révolution française. Elle a été instituée d’ailleurs par Alexandre Drummondville, Consul britannique à Alep et frère de Georges Drummond, Grand Maître de la Grande loge d’Écosse (1752-1753), lui même grand provincial (1739-1747).

L’objectif sous-jacent de l’ancrage du Grand Orient au Moyen Orient sera repris d’une manière agressive, deux siècles plus tard, par les néoconservateurs américains, sous la présidence du républicain George Bush Jr (2008-2008) en vue d’édifier un «Grand Moyen Orient» sur les débris du Moyen orient, avec les désastreuses conséquences générées tant au niveau des relations entre Islam et Occident que sur le plan de la radicalisation xénophobe entre les deux rives de la Méditerranée.

Le Grand Manitou Jean Marc Aractingi ou les pesanteurs sociologiques de l’européocentrisme

Le halo de mystère qui entoure la Franc-Maçonnerie dans le Monde arabe et musulman pourrait se dissiper à la lecture de l’ouvrage en quatre tomes rédigé par l’un des siens, Jean Marc Aractingi, un hyper-capé du cursus universitaire français en même temps qu’un grand ponte de la Franc-Maçonnerie.

Maître à la Grande Loge de France et de l’Orient de Paris, membre correspondant de la célèbre loge de recherche Jean Scott européenne de la Grande Loge de France, haut dignitaire du Souverain Sanctuaire International des rites égyptiens de Memphis Misraim et Commandeur de l’Ordre de La Fayette, Jean Marc Aractingi, Grand maître du Grand Orient Arabe, est pour les initiés (33e,99e, CBCS, 7e R), autrement dit le «Grand Manitou».

Son cursus universitaire n’en est pas moins impressionnant.

Diplôme de l’École Centrale de Paris (DEA thermique), cet ingénieur en énergie solaire est titulaire d’un triple diplôme : DEA thermique-Centrale, DEA en Développement de l’Université Paris I-Sorbonne, Diplôme de 3e cycle en Diplomatie Supérieure du Centre des Études Diplomatiques et Stratégiques de Paris (CEDS), par ailleurs ancien stagiaire au Collège Interarmées de défense (anciennement École de Guerre)-Exercice COALITION 2003.

Ancien PDG du Groupe ARCORE-SOLARCORE SA, il est Président de l’Association Franco-Arabe des Diplômés des Grandes Écoles Françaises. Il est l’auteur du livre «Peintres orientalistes», Éditions vues d’Orient (2003) et co-auteur avec Christian Lochon du livre sur «Confréries soufies: secrets initiatiques en Islam et rituels maçonniques (Harmattan 2008). En préparation pour 2017 : «Les Druzes, Francs Maçons de l’Orient» aux Éditions Erik Bonnier.

Cet état de service, paradoxalement, ne lui sera d’aucune utilité devant les pesanteurs sociologiques de l’européocentrisme. La Franc-maçonnerie est certes une instance d’ouverture, sous réserve toutefois que les maçons arabes et musulmans souscrivent aux Canons de l’Occident.

Dans le cas d’espèce, le Grand Manitou» arabe détient le «Grand Chelem» faisant ses preuves avec brio dans les enceintes universitaires occidentales. Arabe et lettré, voire hyper-capé… un cursus qui fait tâche.

L’obédience maçonnique en France -Le Grand Orient Arabe- est ainsi, sinon boycottée, sinon ostracisée à tout le moins ignorée pat les grands médias français, et, fait plus grave, par la plupart des grandes obédiences, du Grand Orient de France à la Grande Loge Nationale de France (GNLF).

Pas un article, ni le moindre entrefilet, sur ses activités ou ses prises de position, alors que site central de l’obédience enregistre près de 500.000 visiteurs, en dépit de l’attrait qu’exerce, ne serait-ce qu’à titre de curiosité, cette structure à la faveur de la séquence dite du «printemps arabe».

La Franc-Maçonnerie en terre d’Islam (Turquie, Égypte, Iran, Algérie, Maroc)

Sans surprise, la franc-maçonnerie a été introduite en terre d’islam par les diplomates européens accrédités auprès des pays appartenant à l’Empire ottoman.

Ainsi les premières loges ont vu le jour à Smyrne (Turquie) et à Alep en Syrie dès 1738. Elles ont attiré les «Autochtones» issus la plupart de personnalités appartenant à l’élite (intellectuels, hauts fonctionnaires, magistrats). Plusieurs dirigeants ont appartenu à ces loges comme Ismaël Pacha le fils du khédive d’Égypte, l’émir Abdelkader en Algérie, le prince Askari Khan en Iran, le sultan Mourad V en Turquie.

Les Francs-maçons du Moyen Orient ont œuvré pour la diffusion des idées de laïcité, de tolérance et de fraternité qui ont largement contribué au déclin de l’Empire Ottoman.

Libanais, Syriens, Palestiniens se sont retrouvés en maçonnerie pour mener le même combat, celui de l’éveil des consciences politiques. Ils jouèrent un rôle important dans l’émergence de divers nationalismes (arabe, panislamique, libanais) ainsi que dans le mouvement d’éveil littéraire et social connu sous le nom de Nahda (Renaissance).

Dans la décennie 1920, cette maçonnerie connaîtra un foisonnement de loges, avec l’arrivée d’une élite comprenant des hommes politiques, écrivains (Gibran Khalil Gibran…), philosophes, journalistes, médecins ou avocats. Après le démembrement de l’Empire ottoman, elle trouvera son âge d’or en Égypte et surtout au Liban et en Syrie sous le Mandat français. Il en est de même pour les pays du Maghreb (Algérie, Tunisie et Maroc).

Des présidents et des Premiers ministres y ont adhéré :

  • Algérie : L’Émir Abdel Kader, le président Mohammad Boudiaf et le général Larbi Belkheir, un cacique de l’appareil sécuritaire algérien.
  • Égypte : Le Roi Farouk, Saad Zaghloul, premier ministre sous la monarchie, le Colonel Ahmad Orabi Pacha, chef du combat contre la présence britannique en Égypte, le Prince Ibrahim Pacha, Vice-roi d’Égypte, le prince Tawfick, Vice-roi d’Égypte.
  • Jordanie : Le Roi Hussein et son frère, le Prince Hassan.
  • Liban : Charles Debbas, Président de la République sous le mandat français (1919-1943), le président Camille Chamoun (1952-1958), Charles Malek, ministre des affaires étrangères, le premier ministre Riyad Al Solh, premier ministre de l’époque de l’indépendance et son cousin Sami Al Solh, également premier ministre, l’écrivain Jirji Zeydan, l’avocat Moussa Prince et Daher Dib, les deux grands pontes de la maçonnerie libanaise.
  • Maroc : Ahmed Réda Guédira, ministre des Affaires étrangères et ancien directeur du cabinet royal sous le règne de Hassan II, Driss Basri, redoutable ministre de l’intérieur sous Hassan II, Moulay Ahmad Al Alaoui, cousin du Roi et directeur du journal «Le Matin du Sahara», ainsi que le sultan Hafid.
  • Syrie : Ahmad Nami Bey, président de la République sous le mandat français, Quatre premiers ministres: Haqqi Bey Al Azm, Loutfi Al Haffar, Ata Al-Ayoubi, Jamil Mardam Bey, ainsi que Ibrahim Hananou, le colonel putschiste Housni Zaïm et le président post indépendance Choucri Al Kouatly.
  • Tunisie : le président Habib Bourguiba et le premier ministre Salahedinne Baccouche.
  • Turquie : Trois loges relevait du «Grand Orient de France» opéraient en Turquie :
  1. La Loge «Union d’Orient» qui comptait dans ses rangs des personnalités de haut rang le Prince Mustapha Fazil, le grand vizir (premier ministre) Ibrahim Ehdem Pacha
  2. La Loge «I Proodos» a eu comme membre le Sultan Mourad V et l’intellectuel Namik Kemal
  3. La Loge «Macedonia Risorta» qui abritera des membres de l’organisation «Jeunes Turcs» comme le grand vizir Talaat Pacha
  • Égypte : Jamal Eddine Al Afghani.
    La célèbre loge «Les Pyramides» (affiliée au Grand Orient de France) a eu comme membres le prince Abdel Halim Pacha et Ismail Pacha, le propre fils du Khédive d’Égypte était affilié à une lige maçonnique.

Jamal Eddine Al Afghani était, lui, membre du «Kawkab Al Charq» (l’Astre de l’Orient) appartenait à la Grande Loge Unie d’Angleterre. Déçu par son manque d’activité politique, il fondera sa propre loge «Al Mahfal Al Watani» (La Loge Nationale). De concert avec le Mufti Mohammad Abdo et Adib Ishaq, Jamal Eddine Al Afghani a été l’un des trois précurseurs du mouvement «An Nahda», la renaissance culturelle et politique du Monde arabe.

Iran: Amir Abbas Hoveyda

La célèbre loge «Le Réveil de l’Iran», affiliée au «Grand Orient de France» comptait parmi ses membres le prince Askari Khan et plusieurs futurs premiers ministres dont Mohammad Foroughi et Amir Abbas Hoveyda, condamné à la mort par la Révolution Islamique, passé à la postérité non pour ses méfaits mais pour l’épouvantable interview, conduite toute honte bue, à la veille de son supplice et dans la cellule de sa prison par la célèbre «Reine» Christine Ockrent.
http://www.renenaba.com/christine-ockrent-le-passe-droit-permanent/

Plus de 150 photos de francs-maçons, de listes de maçons turcs, égyptiens et iraniens, etc.. de loges célèbres illustrent cet ouvrage comme autant de «preuves par le texte» des affirmations de l’auteur dont l’objectif pédagogique est de «mettre à la portée de tous un ouvrage de vulgarisation, avec pour toile de fond, l’histoire des loges et des hommes célèbres qui ont façonné tout au long des siècles cette franc-maçonnerie arabo-musulmane si méconnue du grand public».

René Naba

ILLUSTRATION

L’équerre et le compas posés sur une Bible, emblèmes de la franc maçonnerie (Régis Duvignau/Reuters).

 

Lecture

couvfmt2bat200816

Livre

Format 145X190

372 pages

+ de 100 illustrations

EAN 9782367600611

20€

sortie nationale août 2016

Tome 1

Tome 2

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Comment la France passa de l’ère allemande à l’ère américaine

septembre 30th, 2016 by Dr. Jacques R. Pauwels

Photo : Annie Lacroix-Riz, auteure du livre Les Élites françaises entre 1940 et 1944

Dans deux de ses livres, Le choix de la Défaite : les élites françaises dans les années 1930 et De Munich à Vichy, l’assassinat de la 3e République 1938-1940 (Paris, Armand Colin, 2010 et 2008), Annie Lacroix-Riz, spécialiste d’histoire contemporaine et professeur à l’université Paris 7, a expliqué comment, dans les années trente, l’élite de la société française – politiciens, militaires de haut rang, industriels, banquiers, le haut clergé, etc. – a voulu et planifié l’ « étrange défaite » de 1940. C’est par le biais de cette trahison que l’élite put triompher de l’« ennemi intérieur » gauchiste, empêcher d’autres réformes politiques et surtout sociales comme celles introduites par le Front Populaire, et éliminer le système, trop démocratique à son goût, de la 3e République en faveur du régime autoritaire et collaborateur de Vichy. Ce régime choya tous les éléments de l’élite du pays, mais surtout le patronat, et tandis qu’il fut un paradis pour celui-ci, il fut un enfer pour les salariés, et pour le peuple français en général ; Annie Lacroix-Riz l’a bien démontré dans un autre ouvrage, Industriels et banquiers sous l’Occupation (Armand Colin, Paris, 2013). Or, dans une toute nouvelle étude, Les Élites françaises entre 1940 et 1944 (Armand Colin, Paris, 2016), l’historienne se penche sur un autre aspect de la saga de la couche supérieure de la société française des années trente et quarante : leur passage de la tutelle allemande à la tutelle américaine.

Les défaites subies par la Wehrmacht devant Moscou (fin 1941) et surtout Stalingrad (hiver 1942-1943) ainsi que l’entrée en guerre des États-Unis et le débarquement anglo-américain en Afrique du Nord (novembre 1942) firent comprendre à l’élite française que l’Allemagne perdrait la guerre et que l’inévitable victoire soviétique impliquerait fort probablement pour la France le triomphe de la Résistance, « majoritairement ouvrière et communiste », et par conséquent une épuration des collaborateurs et des changements révolutionnaires. Afin d’éviter un tel scénario, catastrophique pour eux-mêmes et pour leur ordre socio-économique, la majorité des politiciens, militaires, industriels, banquiers, et autres « gens très bien », responsables directement ou indirectement pour la trahison de 1940 et la politique collaboratrice, répressive et même meurtrière de Vichy, commencèrent à se dissocier discrètement de la tutelle allemande et à préparer un « avenir américain ». Ils espéraient que l’occupation allemande de la France serait suivie par une occupation américaine, ce qui éviterait des « désordres », mot de passe pour les changements révolutionnaires associés avec la Résistance; et dans le contexte d’une Pax Americana engendrée par une victoire américaine leurs péchés pro-nazis seraient pardonnés et oubliés, leur permettant de conserver les privilèges traditionnels et nouveaux dont ils avaient joui grâce à Vichy. Sous les auspices du nouveau tuteur américain, la France serait un « Vichy sans Vichy ».

Il était possible de rêver à tout cela parce que les leaders américains détestaient également l’idée que, après le départ des Allemands, les Résistants communistes et autres puissent prendre le pouvoir en France, y provoquer des « mutations [politiques et socio-économiques] profondes » et ouvrir la porte à l’influence soviétique. À Washington on n’avait rien contre le régime de Vichy, avec lequel on maintenait jusqu’en janvier 1943 de bonnes relations diplomatiques ; et les autorités étatsuniennes, Roosevelt en tête, espéraient longtemps que dans l’après-guerre Pétain ou un des autres dirigeants vichyssois pas trop souillés par leur germanophilie – comme Weygand ou Darlan –  resterait au pouvoir en France, peut-être après un léger « replâtrage parlementaire » du système vichyssois. « L’avenir américain » fut préparé dans des négociations en Afrique du Nord, où les É.-U. avaient plusieurs consulats, en Espagne et en Suisse, où Berne fut le pied-à-terre de l’agent secret étatsunien Allen Dulles, qui y « veillait à l’avenir de la France » et de l’Europe en général.

Les Allemands étaient à la hauteur mais toléraient ces initiatives parce que l’élite du Reich préparait son propre « avenir américain », ce qui impliquait des industriels et banquiers allemands avec de bons contacts américains – y compris Dulles – et même des chefs de la SS/Gestapo. Afin de permettre à quelques-uns des plus fermes suppôts du nazisme au sein de de l’élite allemande, par exemple le banquier Hjalmar Schacht, de se poser en « résistants » quand le régime nazi s’écroulerait, on les enferma dans des camps de concentration comme Dachau, où ils étaient « entièrement séparés de la masse des détenus du camp proprement dit » et bien traités. De façon similaire, les autorités allemandes en France eurent la gentillesse d’arrêter de nombreux « collaborationnistes de premier plan » et de les « déporter » vers le Reich pour y attendre la fin de la guerre dans un confortable lieu de « détention d’honneur », par exemple des hôtels à Bad Godesberg et au Tyrol. Cette expérience devait servir de « brevet de ‘résistance’ » à ces personnages, leur permettant de poser en héros patriotiques à leur retour en France en 1945.

Tandis qu’à l’occasion du choix du tuteur allemand comme « protecteur des coffre-forts » en 1940, « un chef français compatible avec le guide allemand » se tenait déjà prêt dans les coulisses, à savoir Pétain, la sélection d’un chef français compatible avec le nouveau guide américain était nettement moins facile. Le tandem de l’élite française et les autorités américaines détestaient celui qui apparaît aujourd’hui comme un choix manifeste, à savoir Charles de Gaulle, le chef des « Français libres ». La raison ? Ils le regardaient comme un « fourrier du bolchevisme », « un simple tremplin vers le pouvoir des communistes ». Ce n’est que très tard, à savoir le 23 octobre 1944, donc plusieurs mois après le débarquement en Normandie et le début de la libération du pays, que de Gaulle fut reconnu officiellement par Washington comme chef du Gouvernement provisoire de la République française. La chose devint possible à cause de plusieurs facteurs. Primo, les Américains ont fini par se rendre compte que le peuple français ne tolérerait pas qu’après le départ des Allemands « le tout-Vichy [fût] maintenu en place ». Ils ont compris que, inversement, de Gaulle bénéficiait d’une grande popularité et du soutien d’un grande partie de la Résistance. Par conséquent, ils avaient besoin de lui pour « neutraliser les communistes au lendemain des hostilités ». Secundo, de Gaulle négocia auprès de Roosevelt afin d’adopter une politique « normale », ne menaçant aucunement « le statu-quo socio-économique » ; et il donna des gages en « repêchant » de nombreux collaborateurs vichyssois qui avaient été les favoris des Américains.  Tertio, le chef des « Français libres » avait pris ses distances avec l’Union Soviétique. C’est ainsi que le gaullisme s’est « respectabilisé » et que de Gaulle est devenu « un leader de la droite », acceptable à élite française aussi bien qu’aux Américains, les successeurs des Allemands dans le rôle de « protecteurs » des intérêts de cette élite. Or, du point de vue des nouveaux vrais maîtres de la France – et de la plupart du reste de l’Europe – il fut et resta une sorte de « rebelle » qui continua longtemps à leur causer des ennuis.

Les Élites françaises entre 1940 et 1944 est une étude surprenante, fascinante, rigoureusement et minutieusement documentée, comme les autres livres d’Annie Lacroix-Riz. De ceux-ci, il faut encore mentionner Aux origines du carcan européen (1900-1960) : La France sous influence allemande et américaine (Paris, Éditions Delga, 2014). On peut y apprendre comment, à la suite de la fin de la Seconde guerre mondiale, les États-Unis ont su consolider leur domination politique et économique de l’Europe occidentale par le biais de la création d’institutions européennes. Et ils l’ont fait en collaboration avec des élites françaises, allemandes et autres – y compris des collaborateurs vichyssois « recyclés » tels que Jean Monnet. Dans ce contexte aussi, leur ancien antagoniste, de Gaulle, leur a causé quelques ennuis.

 Jacques R. Pauwels

Livre d’Annie-Lacroix :

This carefully documented report by political correspondent Marwa Osman confirms that the US is supporting and arming the Al Qaeda affiliated rebels  which are the object of the Syrian government’s endeavor to Liberate Aleppo, with the support of Russia. 

Crimes against humanity are being committed by Al Qaeda with the support of its sponsors including the US, Britain, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. 

The Western media reports accusing Russia of deliberately targeting civilians are fabricated. 

The Syrian government operation is directed against the various terrorist entities with the support of Russia.

America’s air raids launched by Obama in 2014 under a fake counterterrorism label are intent upon protecting rather defeating the ISIS – Daesh terrorists.  

(M.Ch. GR Editor)

 

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«Si le pétrole est source de profit, il devient aussi matière à conflit.»

Serge Zeller

 

L’Algérie a accueilli avec  élégance et avec sa tradition hospitalière, le 15e FIE Forum international de l’énergie et le Sommet de l’Opep dans une conjoncture plus volatile que jamais. Quand on entend le secrétaire général de l’Opep déclarer que la réunion d’Alger ne décidera de rien,  on pensait que la réunion d’Alger était un non–évènement .  Rien ne présageait en fait  une réussite du Sommet informel de l’Opep  transformé dans l’euphorie en réunion extraordinaire par la magie d’une résilience à la fois du savoir faire technologique du staff  algérien et du savoir faire diplomatique  de l’Algérie qui est l’un des rares pays à  garder de bonnes relations avec l’Iran  mais aussi avec l’Arabie Saoudite qui respecte sans les approuver les positions iconoclastes de l’Algérie en politique notamment au sein de la Ligue Arabe .. Bref et pour être honnête  tout le monde comme nous allons le voir avait besoin de cet accord  L’objectif à tous prix de réconcilier des points de vue aux antipodes l’un de l’autre.

Une brève histoire de l’Opep

Pour rappel l’OPEP a été créée en 1960 par cinq pays, elle avait pour ambition légitime de défendre un prix juste pour le pétrole. En face il y avait des compagnies pétrolières les fameux « Le sette sorele » « Les sept sœurs »  pour reprendre l’expression d’Enrico Mattei le patron de l’ENI. Il s’agit des sept soeurs issues de l’empire Rockefeller (de la Standard Oil of Ohio à l’exception de Shell et de BP). Pendant 10 ans l’OPEP lutta pied à pied contre les multinationales. Deux évènements ont secoué l’Opep: l’entrée de l’Algérie au sein de l’OPEP en 1968 et la prise du pouvoir en septembre 1969 par El Gueddafi en Libye.

Le ton est donné, pourtant, différentes réunions internationales eurent lieu à Téhéran, Caracas, Alger, Tripoli et Riyad. En vain, les multinationales proposaient d’ajouter au prix du baril quelque cents aux deux dollars. 1971: un coup d’éclair que la nationalisation des pétroles en Algérie, le fameux «Kararna Taemime El Mahroukate»  «  Nous avons décidé de la nationalisation des hydrocarbures »,  lancé un certain 24 février par Boumediene indiquait à la face du monde que l’Algérie avait décidé de prendre en main son destin pétrolier. Ce ne fut pas simple, mais l’exemple de l’Algérie a fait tache d’huile. La Libye, l’Irak l’Iran imitèrent l’Algérie.

Pour la première fois des pays du Sud ont pu faire plier les multinationales et leurs pays. Deux pays étaient aux avant-postes de ce bras de fer. Le président Boumediene et le roi Fayçal, c’est-à-dire un petit producteur avec 1 million de barils/jour (50 millions de tonnes/ an) et le plus gros producteur, en l’occurrence l’Arabie saoudite qui produit dix fois plus. C’était l’époque où la diplomatie pétrolière algérienne était au firmament, Belaïd Abdesselam et Zaki Yamani, les deux ministres furent les représentants de l’OPEP dans une tournée européenne et américaine pour expliquer en octobre 1973 la justesse des revendications de l’OPEP.

Souvenons-nous ces trois années 1973 -1975 furent des années intenses. L’Algérie accueillait en septembre 1973 le premier Sommet des Non-Alignés, Avril 1974, l’Algérie était le porte-parole des Non-Alignés pour porter à la tribune des Nations unies le message des pays du tiers-monde qui revendiquaient un Nouvel ordre mondial plus juste. La standing ovation faite à Boumediene est restée dans l’histoire. Début 1975 l’Algérie sur sa lancée organisait au Club des Pins le Sommet des chefs d’Etat de l’Opep…le prix du baril est passé de moins de deux dollars à plus de 12 dollars.

 

Naissance de l’AIE et déclin de l’OPEP

Novembre 1975: Henry Kissinger secrétaire d’Etat américain annonce à la face du monde la création de l’AIE (Agence, internationale de l’énergie) dont le but était la défense des intérêts des pays occidentaux consommateurs, en clair; la destruction de l’Opep. Ce fut le début des ennuis de l’OPEP. Alors que la doctrine néolibérale est de laisser les forces du marché (offre et demande s’équilibrer toutes seules sans manipulation externe) l’AIE donne instruction à la trentaine de pays de constituer des stocks de sécurité de un à trois mois, dont le but est de parer à des chocs pétroliers, en clair, en cas de problème d’approvisionnement (embargo; guerre..) les pays déstockeront. Ce que font les pays chaque fois que les prix augmentent. De ce fait, en provoquant une abondance artificielle, ils perturbent le marché et les fondamentaux du pétrole sont faussés.

La main invisible d’Adam Smith ne travaille pas pour la régulation du marché, mais pour manipuler les marchés au strict profit des pays producteurs. C’est d’ailleurs ce qui se passe depuis deux ans, le prix du pétrole a été divisé par 2,5, tous les pays et surtout les Etats-Unis et la Chine ont constitué d’énormes stocks à des prix de pétrole bradé 1979: il y eut la révolution iranienne, les prix du pétrole atteignirent 30 dollars. L’avènement des producteurs hors OPEP telle que la Norvège et surtout la Grande-Bretagne contraint les pays de l’OPEP à agir en cartel et surtout l’indiscipline commença à régner. L’Arabie saoudite voulant garantir ses parts de marché entama une guerre des prix avec la Grande-Bretagne de Thatcher qui produisit à outrance. Conséquence: les prix chutent en 1984 à moins de 10 dollars.

Les petits producteurs comme l’Algérie perdirent de l’argent; Nicolas Sarkis avance que les pertes de l’Algérie en 1985-1989 furent de 16 milliards de dollars. Les évènements d’octobre 1988 ont été catalysés en partie par la situation économique de l’Algérie. Graduellement, l’OPEP fut dépossédée de son marker crude l’Arabian light au profit du Brent de la mer du Nord, un pétrole qui est de loin sur le déclin, mais qui sert toujours comme référence. Les années 1990 virent d’autres mécanismes de fixation avec l’apparition des marchés spots et la spéculation. On arrive à juin 2008, le pétrole grimpe à 140 dollars? Ce qu’on ne dit pas c’est que ces 140 dollars sont inférieurs en dollars constants aux 30 dollars de 1980! Dans le même ordre, les 46 dollars du 24 septembre 2016 représentent en pouvoir d’achat 10 dollars de 1980.

Etat des lieux  actuel du marché pétrolier

La situation actuelle se caractérise par «la guerre de tous contre tous» au sein de l’OPEP; envolée la solidarité et les décisions par consensus. Les pays du Golfe menés de main de maître par l’Arabie saoudite sont indifférents au sort des petits pays; Ils travaillent globalement malgré la situation actuelle pour le compte des pays occidentaux. Reste l’Iran dont la guerre de leadership avec l’Arabie saoudite déteint sur la politique pétrolière. Elle produit à plein régime et atteint les 3, 6 millions de barils avec comme objectif 4 millions de barils, l’Irak produit de plus en plus et dépasse les 2 millions de barils, le Venezuela traverse une crise profonde et lui aussi est dépendant du pétrole. Il reste la Libye, pays dévasté où chaque seigneur de la guerre vend à partir des puits qu’il a accaparés et naturellement il y a toujours des acheteurs occidentaux comme pour le pétrole de Daech qui transitait par la Turquie. Reste un producteur hors OPEP, la Russie qui produit autant que l’Arabie saoudite et dont la situation financière est délicate. Autant de contraintes pour l’OPEP Si on y ajoute la déprime de l’économie mondiale, l’avènement perturbateur, mais éphémère des pétroles de schiste, le ralentissement de la Chine et le recours massif au renouvelable, on comprend que les prix du pétrole soient orientés à la baisse. Mais cela ne va pas durer car on ne découvre plus autant de pétrole et que la production est le fait de gisements anciens. A peine 5 milliards de barils découverts en 2015 d’après le bureau d’Etudes Blomberg. La production de 96 milliards de barils ne pourra pas aller loin et ce serait difficile de se maintenir à 100 millions de barils/jour.

La chute des prix du pétrole depuis l’été 2014 a entraîné une forte baisse des investissements pétroliers en 2015 et en 2016. Moins d’investissements aujourd’hui, cela signifie moins de production à moyen terme. Et comme la consommation pétrolière mondiale continue à augmenter, il y a effectivement un risque de retournement du marché, avec une offre qui serait inférieure   à la demande. La consommation mondiale de pétrole augmentera plus que prévu

La consommation mondiale de pétrole augmentera plus que prévu en 2016 et conservera sa vigueur en 2017, tandis que la production d’or noir faiblit, permettant au marché de retrouver son équilibre au second semestre de cette année, a estimé mardi l’Agence internationale de l’énergie. La demande mondiale d’or noir devrait croître de 1,3 million de barils par jour (mbj) cette année, contre une anticipation précédente de 1,2 mbj, pour atteindre 96,1 mbj, a détaillé l’AIE dans son rapport mensuel sur le pétrole. La demande devrait progresser dans les mêmes proportions en 2017 et s’établir à 97,4 mbj, tirée essentiellement par les pays non membres de l’OCDE, qui devraient consommer 1,2 mbj sur la croissance de 1,3 mbj attendue l’an prochain. L’Inde, la Corée du Sud et la Chine figureront parmi les pays les plus gourmands.

Face à cet appétit plus marqué pour l’or noir, la production de pétrole faiblit, ce qui conduit l’AIE à anticiper «un marché pétrolier équilibré au second semestre 2016», alors qu’il est grevé depuis par une offre excédentaire depuis près de deux ans. L’impact sur les prix, qui ont remonté depuis le plancher de 27,10 dollars le baril en janvier et flirtent désormais avec la barre des 50 dollars, devrait toutefois rester limité, selon l’AIE, en raison des stocks excédentaires restant à écouler  Rien n’a réellement changé depuis 2014, quand l’OPEP avait, à la surprise générale, fermement refusé de jouer, cette fois, les ajusteurs de marché et lancé une politique de hausse de la production afin de conserver ses parts de marché face à des producteurs de schistes américains dont elle espérait que les coûts réfréneraient les velléités d’expansion. Las, les schistes ont bien résisté et ce sont les membres les plus fragiles de l’Opep qui ont le plus pâti de ce bras de fer.

Le cartel est à un moment historique de son existence. Soit il persiste dans cette stratégie attentiste, au risque de sa propre survie tant les intérêts de ses membres divergent. Soit il tente une dernière conciliation, réaffirmant son existence au risque de voir les autres producteurs combler le vide et mettre sur le marché les millions de barils qu’il n’aura pas extraits. Il n’aurait dans ce cas plus qu’à acter sa disparition, son rôle s’étant réduit comme peau de chagrin ces dernières années.

Pour rappel la chute du Brent est la conséquence du refus de l’Arabie Saoudite de fermer les vannes face à la surproduction issue du pétrole de schiste américain (4 millions de barils/jour contre zéro il y a cinq ans).   Comme il y a trente ans le bras de fer Arabie Saoudite contre Grande Bretagne a amené les prix à un niveau de 9 dollars. Il faut cependant rappeler que les 9 dollars de 1986 valent les 45 dollars actuels ! Pendant ce temps là, un flacon de Chanel n°5 coute 90 dollars  soit deux barils de pétrole. C’est cela le Nouvel Ordre imposé par le néo-libéralisme, acheter les matières premières à un prix qu’il veut grâce à ses places financières   bien fixer et vendre le  produit à un prix qu’il fixe lui-même comme il veut sans passer par les places financières

Le pétrole américain a plutôt bien résisté car les compagnies qui ont survécu ont réalisé d’importants gains de productivité. « L’an dernier, la production outre Atlantique s’élevait à 9,2 millions barils jours et aujourd’hui, elle atteint encore 8,5 millions de barils »,  . Comme dans le même temps, la Russie n’a jamais autant pompé et que l’Irak est à fond, on se retrouve aujourd’hui en surproduction. « Au premier trimestre, l’offre était de 96,5 millions de barils/jours pour une demande de « seulement » 95 millions.   A cela, il faut ajouter les stocks  américains chinois et européens qui atteignent des records.

L’accord d’Alger

On sait qu’il existe un espace de dialogue le FIE Forum international de l’énergie. Créé en 1991, il constitue un cadre informel d’échanges, de concertation et de dialogue entre les pays producteurs et consommateurs d’énergie. La 15e édition est l’occasion d’approfondir le dialogue et une initiative d’Alger en ce sens permettrait de lancer les termes d’un débat pour chercher les voies et moyens à mettre en oeuvre pour trouver des solutions aux problèmes auxquels est confronté le secteur de l’énergie au plan mondial.

Le ministre de l’Energie Nourredine Bouterfa a raison de dire que «L’Algérie est un pays conciliateur reconnu pour ses qualités de dialogue et qui a l’avantage d’être en très bonnes relations avec l’ensemble des membres de l’OPEP ceci constitue un facteur supplémentaire qui donne davantage de confiance aux autres pays.»

Les pays membres de l’OPEP ont signé  ce mercredi à Alger un accord sur la réduction de la production pétrolière, dans l’optique de faire remonter les cours du baril…  Personne ne l’avait vu venir à la surprise générale notamment des agences pays occidentaux qui misaient sur un échec, un coup d’épée dans l’eau connaissant les atermoiements des rentiers brdiés par l’intransigeance de l’Arabie Saoudite qui après  s’être battue en 1986 contre Margareth Tatcher et amené le contre choc ^pétrolier des 9 dollars , l’OPEP a perdu dans cette tragédie plus de 200 milliards de dollars, la même Arabie Saoudite jouant un bras de fer avec les producteurs de pétrole de schiste a amené le pétrole à 27 dollars  faisant perdre à l’OPEP près de 400 milliards de dollars

A la surprise générale, l’Organisation des pays exportateurs de pétrole (OPEP) a annoncé mercredi soir la signature à Alger d’un accord sur la réduction de la production de pétrole. Et, fait inattendu, Ryad, dont l’économie dépend à 73 % des pétrodollars, a même accepté que son grand rival, l’Iran, en soit exempté.

Aussitôt, les marchés boursiers ont été dopés par cette annonce, mais qui dit baisse de la production dit baisse de l’offre, donc hausse du prix du brut. La réunion d’Alger a débouché sur un projet d’accord. L’accord final, lui, devra être conclu le 30 novembre prochain lors de la prochaine Conférence de l’OPEP à Vienne.   on ne connaît pas exactement le sort réservé à l’Iran. Mais il semble acquis que Téhéran aura un traitement particulier, le ministre iranien du Pétrole s’est d’ailleurs félicité de cet accord d’Alger, lui qui la veille condamnait pourtant cette initiative. Le succès de cet accord surprise, sous réserve des suites, s’explique par deux facteurs : tous les pays producteurs souffrent plus ou moins des bas prix du pétrole et cette situation dure depuis deux ans et les investissements ont chuté de près de 40% dans  la production amenant les multinationales à réduire la voilure et à attendre de meilleurs jours. Wait and  see. A Alger ils ont comme un seul homme appelé à une  « solution »

L’accord que chacun espérait était dans l’air qui était dans l’air car aussi bien les compagnies pétrolières que tous les pays producteurs OPEP et hors OPEP et même les petits producteurs de pétrole américains souhaitaient sortir de cette situation. Cependant les positions étaient plus dogmatiques que réalistes. Il a fallu plusieurs heures de négociation à huit clos pour qu’enfin l’Arabie Saoudite -qui faut il le rappeler avait  pris la part de l’Iran quand ce dernier était sous embargo-,accepte de réduire sa production en laissant l’Iran augmenter la sienne. Le retrait de 750.000 barils/jour est un premier pas, nous verrons d’ici fin novembre si ce signal est suffisant ^pour faire repartir les  prix à la hausse.

Par ailleurs, il est très possible que la Russie fasse un geste pour consolider l’accord, l’intention a été affirmée par le Ministre  russe du pétrole. Cela aussi le cas d’autres producteurs tels que le Mexique et la Norvège .

L’AIE : la grande muette

A Alger le docteur Fatih Birol  Directeur Général de l’Agence Internationale de l’Energie a fait une belle présentation sur le marché pétrolier qui nous a laissé sur la faim. Il parle de la nécessité de faire repartir les investissements sinon il y aura un problème d’approvisionnement. Selon Fatih Birol, l’effondrement des cours pétroliers à partir de juin 2014 a engendré un recul de 40% des investissements pétroliers

Indépendamment du « quasi-miracle » de l’accord d’Alger, si l’OPEP continue sur sa lancée à savoir des réunions sans lendemain, on peut comprendre que l’OPEP des pères fondateurs, des Boumediene et Fayçal est «idéologiquement morte». L’Opep n’a plus barre sur les évènements c’est le chacun pour soi et il est utile de remarquer que dans toutes les confrontations avec les pays producteurs, l’Opep est sortie perdante depuis 30 ans  L’Opep devrait faire sa mue si elle ne veut pas disparaître à jamais. Elle devrait sortir de son ronron actuel pour engager un dialogue constructif avec les pays consommateurs représentés par l’AIE (Agence internationale de l’énergie) et le hors Opep.

Une telle initiative serait une démarche originelle car un tel dialogue assurera une stabilité pérenne à la fois pour les producteurs et les consommateurs qui seront sûrs d’avoir un approvisionnement régulier en contrepartie de recettes régulières pour les pays de l’OPEP»,. Les pays de l’OPEP (35% de la production), la Russie (12%) détiennent une partie de la solution. Ils devraient engager un dialogue sans exclusive.

Il s’agit donc de mobiliser autour d’un projet qui réponde aux préoccupations et craintes des producteurs et des consommateurs. Seul un retrait d’une partie de la production permettra de refaire les parties à la hausse vers un prix de 60 dollars qui est de fait attendu par tout le monde. Le gel de la production ne réglera pas fondamentalement le problème. L’accord de retrait de 750.000 barils ne règlera pas fondamentalement le problème de la volatilité des prix

La seule façon de faire repartir  durablement les prix à la hausse vers les 60 dollars est de réduire la production de l’Opep de 5% soit environ 2 millions de barils/jour, le gain est autrement plus important que la perte d’un volume avec un prix aussi bas. Cependant, même cette réduction ne pourrait être efficace que si elle implique à la fois les producteurs Opep et non Opep. Les 14 pays de l’Opep, en plus de la Russie et du Mexique, doivent réduire ensemble leur production.

Il faut ensuite discuter avec les pays consommateurs  représentés par l’AIE, pour qu’il n’y ait pas de perturbations et pour que tout le monde soit d’accord sur un prix moyen de pétrole autour de 60 dollars D’abord, les compagnies pétrolières qui pourraient ce faisant réenclencher les investissements dans l’industrie du pétrole et qui sont maintenant en berne. Ce prix de 60 dollars encouragerait le recours aux énergies renouvelables qui deviendraient encore plus compétitives et les stimulerait.

Ce prix de 60 dollars annulerait la spéculation en Bourse. Les pays consommateurs connaissant les recettes raisonnables peuvent enfin – après cet électrochoc de deux ans de vaches maigres- entamer un développement en connaissance de cause, notamment la nécessité d’aller à marche forcée vers les énergies renouvelables. Il ne grèverait pas beaucoup les pays consommateurs tels que les Etats-Unis ou l’Europe. On peut même faire preuve d’imagination pour concevoir un deuxième prix plus bas pour les faibles volumes nécessaires aux pays en développement qui ne disposent pas de moyens de paiement et qui consomment très peu. Ce prix de 60 dollars fixé à la fois comme prix plafond et prix plancher est une expérience à tenter. L’AIE devrait être consultée et apporter sa part à la stabilité du marché pétrolier

Le vrai défi de l’Algérie: réussir une vraie transition énergétique

En espérant que l’accord d’Alger puisse être suivi d’effet , ce n’est qu’un sursis pour les rentiers s’ils ne changent pas de fusil d’épaule et ne changent pas le paradigme de la croissance !  Jusqu’à présent, depuis les années 1980, l’Algérie et les petits pays producteurs sont considérés comme marginaux, c’est l’Arabie saoudite qui, pour le compte des pays occidentaux, dicte sa loi.  L’Algérie est astreinte à un quota qu’elle ne dépasse pas (discipline du cartel que d’autres pays ne respectent pas…). Plusieurs pays OPEP en sont sortis, c’est le cas de l’Indonésie, de l’Equateur… Nous sommes un très petit producteur, 12 milliards de barils de réserves, à peine 0,7% des réserves mondiales contre près de 20% pour l’Arabie saoudite, 10% pour l’Iran, 10% pour l’Irak. Nous produisons 3% de la production de l’OPEP et la règle actuelle est de un baril une voix alors qu’elle était dans les années 1970 de un pays, une voix.

Mais même avec cette conjoncture mondiale qui lui est défavorable, même si le prix du pétrole arrive à atteindre les 60 dollars le problème de la transition énergétique reste entier. Il ne faut surtout pas penser retrouver les années fastes dans l’immédiat à 120 dollars le barils . Cette rente potentielle doit servir si nous avons vraiment tirer la leçon de ces deux années prémonitoires de stress, à être injectées uniquement dans  l’investissement pour le développement Durable . Nous avons beaucoup de retard dans la mise en place  de ce modèle énergétique malgré les déclarations rassurantes .

L’Algérie «peut très bien s’en sortir» sans dépendre totalement du pétrole, en axant ses efforts sur le développement de ses énergies renouvelables et en économisant sa consommation énergétique. Il nous faut tenir bon. Il ne sert à rien de forcer nos puits -pour produire plus-  après les malheureuses expériences précédentes. Chaque calorie produite rationnellement devrait être convertie en une énergie renouvelable. Il nous faut mettre un frein vivement, de stopper l’hémorragie aux frontières qui fait perdre à l’Algérie, une moyenne de 2 milliards de dollars/an. La tenue urgente des états généraux de l’énergie où les universitaires, société civile, entreprises, ministères seront associés pour aboutir à une transition énergétique vers un développement durable aboutissant à un modèle énergétique accepté par chacun, avec l’obligation de résultats.

Nous devons tourner le dos à la rente et nous engager sans attendre vers une transition énergétique fruit d’un modèle énergétique vers le développement durable. Les rares gouttes qui restent doivent être laissées autant que possible pour les générations futures. «Notre meilleure banque est notre sous-sol.» La politique des énergies renouvelables attend des décisions fortes bien expliquées dans le cadre d’états généraux où la parole sera donnée aux citoyens qui, eux, auront à appliquer par conviction, une stratégie énergétique qui repose d’abord sur des économies d’énergie de l’ordre de 10 à 20%, soit plus de 6 millions de tonnes qui seront épargnées.

Les Algériens devraient savoir  qu’au sud du pays un carré de 250km de côté est suffisant pour générer de l’électricité solaire à toute la planète. Le Sahara converti en panneau solaire est capable d’alimenter 300 planètes Terre !  L’Algérie produit 500 fois moins en brûlant une ressource non renouvelable le gaz naturel!  Le Sud n’a pas révélé toutes ses potentialités qui attendent d’être mises en valeur dans le cadre d’un Schéma National d’Aménagement du Territoire  (SNAT) du XXIe siècle. Avec les énergies renouvelables  ( solaires éolien, géothermie )  avec le Barrage vert pour lutter contre l’érosion climatique , nous pouvons faire reverdir le sahara avec une jeunesse qui ne demande qu’à apporter sa part.

C’est dire que cette manne du Sud est de loin plus importante que le peu d’énergie fossile disponible qu’il nous faudra économiser d’une façon drastique avec le concours des citoyens à qui il faudrait expliquer pédagogiquement les enjeux. Justement, le dernier mot est pour l’éducation et la formation de qualité dès l’école, l’apprentissage de l’écocitoyenneté est un combat qui commence à l’Ecole puis au lycée avec le bac du développement durable comme le recommandent les Nations unies et enfin, dans la formation professionnelle et le supérieur avec les métiers du développement durable. C’est cela l’avenir de l’Algérie et non une organisation qui- même avec cette victoire inattendue ; L’accord d’Alger –  a perdu sa raison d’être.

Professeur Chems Eddine Chitour

Ecole Polytechnique enp-edu.Alger

 

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The Israeli Military Censor has outright banned the publication of 1,936 articles and redacted some information from 14,196 articles over the past five years. That is 1,936 articles that professional journalists and editors decided were of public interest but which never saw the light of day.

In fact, the IDF Censor redacted at least some information from one in five articles submitted to it for review since 2011, according to data provided by the Israeli army at the request of +972 Magazine, its Hebrew-language sister site Local Call, and The Movement for Freedom of Information.

Under the new chief IDF censor who entered the job last year, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of instances in which the Censor contacts publishers with demands to alter or remove items that have already been published — almost double the number of post-publication censorship attempts in years past. At the same time, the new IDF Censor is intervening slightly less in articles submitted to her office for review prior to publication.

Since the start of 2011, the years that saw the most censorship were those in which Israel was engaged in warfare in the Gaza Strip. The highest rates and frequency of censorship took place in 2014, the year of Operation Protective Edge, and the second-highest was 2012, the year of Operation Pillar of Cloud.

Furthermore, the data confirms that the IDF Censor’s office bans the publication of documents and materials from the State Archives, documents that have already approved for publication, and some of which have already been published in the public domain.

The Israeli military censor in Israel draws its authority from emergency regulations put in place during the British Mandate period, many of which have remained on Israel’s law books for upwards of 70 years.

While other countries have formal mechanisms for requesting that journalists refrain from publishing certain information relating to national security, Israel is all but alone among Western democratic states that have a legally binding state censor. Nowhere else must reported materials be submitted for prior review.

Media outlets in Israel, lately expanded to include independent blogs and websites (like +972 Magazine) are required to submit to the IDF Censor for prior review any articles that fall under a broad list of topics relating to national security and foreign relations. The Censor may forbid publication of part or all of the article. That said, the decision of which articles and news items are submitted to the censor for review is made on a case-by-case basis by news organizations and editors themselves. However, once an article has been censored by the military, the journalist is forbidden from revealing what information has been removed, or even to indicate that information has been censored.

Adding to the lack of transparency is the fact that the IDF Censor is technically a part of IDF Intelligence branch. Because of that institutional association, “it is not subject to freedom of information laws,” explains Attorney Nirit Blayer, executive director of the Movement for Freedom of Information. “Nevertheless, the person in charge of freedom of information in the IDF has an approach of publishing anything that can be published.” Therefore, we received the requested information quickly and without much difficulty.

Censorship-infographic

Here is the data:

Between the years 2011 and August of 2016, between 13,000 and 14,000 items were submitted to the IDF Censor for prior review each year. During 2011 and 2013, between 20 and 22 percent of items submitted for review by the IDF Censor were redacted either in part or in full, although in the vast majority only part(s) of the item was blocked for publication.

In 2014 there was a significant spike in the frequency of censorship, most likely explained by the war in Gaza that year. Of the articles submitted for prior review by the censor that year, 26 percent (3,719 articles) were partially or fully blocked for publication (22 percent were partially redaction, 4 percent were fully censored).

In the past two years, however, there has been a slight reduction in the percentage of articles that were redacted or censored. The IDF Censor partially or fully censored 19 percent of items submitted for review prior to publication. From the start of 2016 through August, that number dropped even further to 17 percent — the lowest rate of censorship intervention in the past five-and-a-half years.

The IDF Censor is actually redacting fewer of the articles submitted for review prior to publication in the past year.

However, from the very beginning of her tenure as the current IDF Censor last year, Col. Ariella Ben-Avraham has been expanding the scope of the IDF Censor’s purview, putting an emphasis on Facebook pages and blogs that self-identify as news or media pages. In late 2015, she contacted dozens of such Facebook pages (including +972 Magazine’s) and sent them a military censorship order requiring them to submit relevant materials prior to publication.

It is now apparent that Ben-Avraham’s proactive policies are not limited to demanding the submission of materials. The current IDF Censor has also been actively seeking the removal, in part or in whole (the data we received does not distinguish), of materials that have already been published.

Between 2011 and 2013 the IDF Censor sought the removal of already-published materials, on average, 9, 19 and 16 times per month, and 37 times a month during 2014 (when a war took place). In 2015, a year that saw no wars take place, the IDF Censor contacted publishers on average of 23 times a month with demands to remove content that had already been published. Thus far in 2016 (through August), that number has soared to an average of 37 times a month, the same rate as in wartime, or in other words, nearly two-times more frequently than in 2012.

The frequency of attempts to redact information after it has been published is on the rise.

The censor also revealed that between 2014 and 2016, roughly 9,500 files from the State Archives relating to national security were submitted for review. According to the censor, roughly 0.5 percent of those documents were partially or fully censored. It was not clear how many individual documents were contained in the 9,500 files.

The IDF Censor, in response to our questions, said that it has never approached third-party hosts of news or media (like ISPs or social media platforms) in order to seek the removal of information that was published despite its censorship attempts. However, authorities in Israel use other means of controlling the flow of information and censorship online, even when that information was not published by a person who falls under Israeli jurisdiction, as was reported on +972 earlier this summer.

In that case, like many others, the state used another tool for blocking the publication of information it sought to keep secret — judicial gag orders. Gag orders are issued by judges, often without much deliberation and almost always without any consideration of the public interest to know. The number and frequency of judicial gag orders in Israel has grown dramatically in recent years.

The number of gag orders issued by Israeli courts has more than tripled in the past 15 years, according to soon-to-be published research conducted by Noa Landau, editor of Haaretz’s English edition, during a fellowship at the Reuters Institute at Oxford last year. Collecting data from Israeli police, the court system, the Israeli army, and Haaretz, Landau found that in the past five years alone, the number of gag order requests went up by roughly 20 percent.

So while the IDF Censor — with the exception of during wartime — is keeping the use of its powers at levels that remain relatively static, in some ways even reducing the them, Israeli authorities have found a work-around in judicial gag orders.

The one piece of data that is missing from the picture, however, is self-censorship. How often do journalists and editors decide on their own not to investigate, look into or write about sensitive topics because they believe the military censor or a judge will stop them from publishing their story? How many stories simply disappear that way every year? We’ll never know.

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Lors d’une rencontre informelle des ministres de la Défense de l’Union européenne (UE) mardi à Bratislava, le ministre britannique de la Défense, Michael Fallon, a dénoncé les projets franco-allemands pour une union européenne militaire et une éventuelle création d’une armée européenne.

« Il y a des États-membres qui aimeraient voir […] un réservoir unique de forces. Je vois là une armée européenne et nous nous y opposerions », a-t-il dit aux journalistes. « L’OTAN doit rester la pierre angulaire de notre défense et de la défense de l’Europe ».

Fallon insiste sur le fait qu’il incombe à l’OTAN et non à l’Union européenne de défendre l’Europe contre la Russie. En s’en prenant vivement aux projets élaborés à Berlin et à Paris pour créer un quartier général militaire commun de l’UE, Fallon a déclaré : « L’Europe regorge de quartiers généraux, nous n’avons pas besoin d’en avoir un nouveau ». Il a juré « de continuer à s’opposer à toute idée d’une armée européenne ou d’un quartier général pour une armée européenne qui reviendrait simplement à saper l’OTAN ».

Fallon a dit que la Suède, les Pays-Bas, la Pologne, la Lettonie et la Lituanie ont également notifié leurs préoccupations quant aux projets franco-allemands.

D’autres pays ont proposé des projets concurrents pour la militarisation de l’UE. Un document italien vu par le journal en ligne EUObserver propose une « force multinationale européenne (EMF) » regroupant les « États-membres qui sont disposés à partager les forces armées, le commandement et le contrôle, les manœuvres et les capacités stratégiques. » Il aspire à une intégration militaire plus approfondie à l’avenir en appelant l’EMF le « noyau initial d’une future force armée européenne intégrée ».

Le document finlandais serait plus faible que les projets de militarisation italiens ou franco-allemands. Il propose une nouvelle « planification civile et militaire commune permanente et une capacité de conduite des opérations » pour la direction « d’opérations militaires non exécutives ». Il a implicitement désigné la Russie comme étant l’ennemi principal, en exhortant l’UE à cibler les « menaces hybrides », un terme associé habituellement à la Russie dans le contexte de l’actuel renforcement de l’OTAN en Europe de l’est.

Les remarques faites par Fallon signalent l’éruption de conflits profondément enracinés au sein des puissances européennes après le vote de la Grande-Bretagne de sortir de l’UE. Sur fond de crise de guerre sans précédent avec la Russie et au Moyen-Orient, et du discrédit de l’UE en raison de sa politique d’austérité anti-ouvrière, les États les plus puissants d’Europe continentale tentent de maintenir la cohésion de l’UE en la transformant en une alliance militaire. Et pourtant des responsables à Londres et ailleurs en Europe considèrent ceci comme étant une menace intolérable à l’égard de l’OTAN, et notamment des relations de l’Europe avec les États-Unis.

Les responsables allemands et français ont réagi au sommet de Bratislava à la déclaration de Fallon en minimisant tout conflit entre leurs ambitions militaires et celles de l’OTAN.

Ensemble, la ministre allemande de la Défense, Ursula von der Leyen, et son homologue français, Jean-Yves Le Drian, ont affirmé qu’il n’existait pas de projets d’établir une armée européenne rivale de l’OTAN. « Au contraire », a dit von der Leyen, « Il est question de regrouper les diverses forces des pays européens afin de pouvoir agir rapidement ». Elle a prétendu que « tout ce qui renforce l’Europe en termes de défense renforce aussi l’OTAN ».

Le secrétaire général de l’OTAN, Jens Stoltenberg a formulé une déclaration quelque peu identique quoique plus réservée. Lors d’une conférence de presse, il a dit, « Tant ce que ceci est en complément de l’OTAN, et tant que ceci n’entraîne pas un doublement des efforts de l’OTAN, je pense que nous devrions saluer une défense européenne plus forte, parce que c’est bénéfique à l’Europe, c’est bénéfique à l’Union européenne et c’est bénéfique pour l’OTAN ».

Il n’existe pas de bases objectives à l’affirmation de von der Leyen selon laquelle un réarmement de l’impérialisme allemand et de ses alliés européens renforcera inévitablement l’alliance de l’OTAN qui est menée par les États-Unis. En fait, l’opposition de Londres aux projets d’une UE militaire « stratégiquement autonome » reflète des conflits qui sont profondément enracinés parmi les puissances de l’OTAN.

Durant le quart de siècle qui s’est écoulé depuis la dissolution stalinienne de l’Union soviétique et la fin de la Guerre froide, l’Allemagne et la France étaient entrés maintes fois en conflit avec la politique belliciste américaine qui est fermement appuyée par l’impérialisme britannique. Ils avaient rejeté l’invasion illégale de l’Irak en 2003 par Washington et Londres.

Alors que Berlin et Paris se sont après coup de nouveau alignés sur Washington, le conflit au sujet de leur politique et de celle de Washington sur fond de l’actuelle course à la guerre contre la Russie et la Chine devient de plus en plus apparente. Ils ont ignoré, au même titre que Londres, la pression exercée par les États-Unis pour ne pas rallier l’année dernière la Chine dans la Banque asiatique d’investissement pour les infrastructures. Ils ont aussi accepté de négocier les accords de Minsk avec la Russie et l’Ukraine afin de prévenir une guerre totale avec la Russie en empêchant l’armement par les États-Unis des milices ukrainiennes d’extrême-droite contre des forces pro-russes dans l’est de l’Ukraine suite au coup d’État perpétré il y a deux ans avec l’appui de l’OTAN.

L’objectif de la politique franco-allemande n’est toutefois pas la paix, mais la poursuite de leurs propres intérêts impérialistes. Dans un contexte de tensions croissantes d’un risque de guerre, Berlin et Paris sont en train d’élaborer une stratégie à long terme afin de développer la capacité d’organiser des interventions impérialistes dans le monde entier sans l’aval de – c’est-à-dire, éventuellement en opposition à – Washington et Londres. Autrement dit, ils ne sont pas contre, mais ils contribuent à, la poussée des principales puissances impérialistes en direction d’une guerre totale.

Du reste, Berlin et Paris ont publiquement annoncé qu’un objectif essentiel du plan militaire de l’UE était la sécurité interne, ou bien comme les ministres des Affaires étrangères Frank-Walter Steinmeier et Jean-Marc Ayrault l’écrivaient dans une récente tribune, « l’interaction entre les menaces externes et les faiblesses internes. » Le recours du gouvernement français à l’état d’urgence pour s’attaquer aux manifestations contre sa réactionnaire loi travail montre que l’objectif central est l’opposition politique au sein de la classe ouvrière.

Avant le premier sommet de l’UE le 16 septembre sans la participation de la Grande-Bretagne, la ministre allemande de la Défense, von der Leyen, et son homologue français, Le Drian, avaient publié un document relatif à la politique militaire, « Renouvellement de la PSDC [Politique de sécurité et de défense commune] : Vers une défense complète, réaliste et crédible au sein de l’UE ».

Ce document préconise un « plan d’action concret » pour « rapidement » appliquer « une nouvelle stratégie globale pour l’UE en matière de politique étrangère et de sécurité (EUGS, EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy) » présentée par la haute représentante de l’Union pour les affaires étrangères et la politique de sécurité, Federica Mogherini, lors du premier sommet post-Brexit en juillet. En plus « d’un quartier général de l’UE pour les missions militaires et civiles et pour les opérations, » ils réclament « le soutien des missions militaires de la PSDC [Politique de sécurité et de défense commune], le développement des capacités militaires et de la coopération européenne en matière de défense ainsi qu’un soutien concret à l’industrie européenne de la défense ».

Sur cette base, une « autonomie stratégique est garantie » et une industrie européenne de la défense « forte, compétitive et innovatrice » sera construite, précise le document.

Dans le contexte actuel de tensions explosives entre les États-Unis et l’UE au sujet de questions militaires et économiques, il n’y a pas de doute que la création de telles structures militaires dans l’UE défierait l’OTAN en aggravant les conflits inter-impérialistes qui ont par deux fois entraîné au vingtième siècle une guerre mondiale en Europe.

Lors du sommet du 15 septembre, le président François Hollande a exprimé les préoccupations de l’UE selon lesquelles en particulier après les prochaines élections présidentielles américaines, Washington pourrait s’avérer être un allié peu fiable. Il a dit, « Si les États-Unis font un choix de s’éloigner, l’Europe doit être capable de se défendre par elle-même. La défense européenne, c’est pour l’Europe le défi. Notre tâche est de peser dans le destin du monde, de se donner la capacité de projeter une force |…] et d’assurer notre défense, pour la France et pour l’Europe. »

Parallèlement, les conflits économiques entre l’Europe et les États-Unis s’aggravent. Le mois dernier, les responsables français ont demandé la fin des pourparlers économiques avec les États-Unis au sujet du partenariat transatlantique de commerce et d’investissement sur fond de conflits entre les négociateurs commerciaux américains et européens. Ce mois-ci, au moment où les actions de la Deutsche Bank continuent leur plongeon historique, les régulateurs américains ont imposé à la banque une amende de 14 milliards de dollars qui risque de précipiter la faillite de la plus grande banque allemande.

Johannes Stern et Alex Lantier

Article original, WSWS, paru le 28 septembre 2016

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Le ministre de la Défense américain Ashton Carter a prononcé un discours devant des “missileers” (lanceurs de missiles) sur la base du Global Strike Command (commandement des frappes mondiales) à Minot, dans le Dakota du Sud, lundi, défendant la modernisation massive de l’arsenal nucléaire américain et émettant des menaces belliqueuses contre la Russie.

Le voyage de Carter à Minot a été le premier qu’il a fait à une base de missiles nucléaires depuis qu’il est devenu ministre de la défense en février 2015. Il a coïncidé avec l’escalade constante des conflits opposant les États-Unis à la Russie et à la Chine, toutes deux dotées d’armes nucléaires, qui menacent de déclencher une nouvelle guerre mondiale.

L’axe principal du discours de Carter était la défense de la proposition du plan du Pentagone de 348 milliards de dollars pour reconstruire la « triade » nucléaire de Washington de bombardiers stratégiques, de missiles et de sous-marins. On estime que sur une période de 30 ans, ce renforcement nucléaire drainera la somme de mille milliards de dollars de l’économie américaine.

Prononcé devant les officiers et les soldats professionnels chargés de lancer des missiles balistiques intercontinentaux Minuteman III, chacun portant des têtes portant de 60 fois la capacité de destruction des bombes larguées sur Hiroshima et Nagasaki en 1945, le discours semble parfois faire écho au titre du film satyrique de 1964 Docteur Folamour ou : comment j’ai appris à ne plus m’en faire et à aimer la bombe.

Cette énorme machine de mort américain, a insisté Carter, fournirait « le fondement de la sécurité » qui « a permis à des millions et des millions de se lever le matin pour aller à l’école, d’aller travailler, de vivre leur vie, de rêver leurs rêves et de donner à leurs enfants un avenir meilleur ».

Il a continué prédisant que « compte tenu de ce que nous voyons dans l’environnement de sécurité d’aujourd’hui, il est également probable que nos enfants et leurs enfants doivent probablement vivre dans un monde où il existe des armes nucléaires ». En réalité, en supposant la poursuite de

« l’environnement de sécurité » actuel et l’existence continue des armes nucléaires, il y a de bonnes raisons de craindre que le monde sera incinéré du vivant de « nos enfants et de leurs enfants ».

Tout en utilisant le jargon anodin du Pentagone, « notre entreprise nucléaire » pour désigner

l’arsenal américain de guerre nucléaire, le discours de Carter contenait des passages faisant allusion au fait indéniable que la menace d’une conflagration nucléaire est maintenant plus concrète qu’à n’importe quel moment depuis le plus fort de la Guerre froide.

Il a averti que si « au cours des plus de sept décennies depuis 1945, les armes nucléaires n’ont pas encore été utilisées dans la guerre, ce n’est pas quelque chose que nous pouvons prendre pour définitivement acquis ».

Il a ajouté : « Dans le contexte de l’environnement de sécurité actuel, qui est radicalement différent de la dernière génération, et certainement de la génération d’avant celle-là, nous faisons face à un paysage nucléaire qui continue de poser des défis […] qui continue à évoluer, à certains égards, de manière moins prévisible que durant la Guerre froide, même si beaucoup de gens dans le monde entier et même certains aux États-Unis restent figés dans leurs conceptions héritées de la guerre froide ».

Ce qui a changé dans le sillage de la Guerre froide et de la dissolution par la bureaucratie stalinienne de l’Union soviétique en 1991, est l’éruption du militarisme américain, fondé sur la conviction de l’establishment américain selon laquelle, avec la disparition de l’URSS, il pourrait librement employer sa puissance militaire dans le but d’affirmer l’hégémonie mondiale et d’inverser le déclin économique mondial du capitalisme américain.

Les guerres menées au cours du dernier quart de siècle, en particulier au Moyen-Orient, ont produit une série de débâcles et une catastrophe historique mondiale pour les peuples de la région. En même temps, elles se sont métastasées en des conflits plus larges opposant les États-Unis de plus en plus directement à la Russie et à la Chine.

Dans une conférence de presse après son discours, Carter a donné libre cours à la frustration grandissante à Washington sur l’échec de sa guerre par procuration depuis cinq ans pour le changement de régime en Syrie. Cela a pris la forme de dénonciations de plus en plus hystériques contre la Russie pour des « crimes de guerre » – Cela de la part d’un gouvernement responsable de plus d’un million de morts dans la région.

« Ce qui se passe maintenant en Syrie est tragique, honteux, évitable, et, comme tout le monde l’a souligné pendant le week-end, la Russie et le régime syrien portent la responsabilité de la violence, en particulier contre des civils », a déclaré Carter aux médias.

La véritable préoccupation à Washington n’est pas la perte de vies civiles, mais plutôt la perspective que le gouvernement syrien, soutenu par la force aérienne russe, est sur le point de reprendre l’est d’Alep, l’un des derniers bastions des milices affiliées à Al-Qaïda qui constituent la force de combat principale dans la guerre américaine orchestrée pour un changement de régime.

Attaquant la Russie dans son discours, Carter a déclaré : « les rodomontades récentes et la construction de nouveaux systèmes d’armes nucléaires de Moscou soulèvent de sérieuses questions quant à l’engagement de ses dirigeants envers la stabilité stratégique, leur respect pour l’ horreur profondément ancrée face à l’utilisation des armes nucléaires et leur respect de la profonde prudence que les dirigeants de l’époque de la guerre froide avaient montré par rapport à l’étalage menaçant d’armes nucléaires ».

Le gouvernement Obama, qui a récemment signalé sa décision d’abandonner même la prétention du président démocrate de renoncer à une première frappe nucléaire comme la politique officielle des États-Unis, a tenté de présenter la Russie comme responsable pour avoir déclenché une nouvelle course aux armements nucléaires. Étant donné que le budget militaire de la Russie est un peu plus d’un dixième de celui des États-Unis, et inférieur à celui du plus proche allié arabe de Washington, l’Arabie Saoudite, cela revient à un prétexte absurde.

Les rodomontades nucléaires sont le fait du gouvernement américain, et le déplacement de Carter à Minot en a fait partie.

Le ministre de la Défense a décrit les bombardiers et missiles nucléaires comme une force qui a servi à « permettre » aux troupes américaines « d’accomplir leurs missions conventionnelles dans le monde entier ».

« Comme vous le savez, elles sont aux côtés de nos alliés de l’OTAN et tiennent tête à l’agression de la Russie en Europe », a-t-il dit, se référant également aux opérations américaines dans « la région vitale de l’Asie-Pacifique », « en dissuadant les provocations de la Corée du Nord » et « en s’opposant aux activités malveillantes de l’Iran au Moyen-Orient ».

Se référant au renforcement militaire sans relâche des États-Unis et de l’OTAN contre la Russie, Carter a déclaré : « De l’autre côté de l’Atlantique, nous mettons à jour le manuel de stratégies nucléaires de l’OTAN afin de mieux intégrer la dissuasion conventionnelle et nucléaire pour nous permettre à nous entraîner et planifier comme cela se produirait au combat et à dissuader la Russie d’envisager même qu’elle puisse bénéficier de l’ utilisation d’arme nucléaire dans un conflit avec l’OTAN, et au lieu de faire monter la pression, de la désamorcer, comme certains l’appellent là-bas ».

Les États-Unis et leurs alliés de l’OTAN déploient des milliers de soldats à la frontière occidentale de la Russie et ont créé une force de réaction rapide de 40 000 soldats en préparation à cette guerre. L’engagement déclaré à « intégrer les forces conventionnelles et nucléaires » comme partie intégrante de cet effort, ont fait que l’éclatement d’une guerre nucléaire ne tient qu’à un fil.

La semaine dernière, l’agence de presse russe Tass a cité le commandant de la force de missiles stratégiques de la Russie, Sergey Karakayev, comme indiquant que les systèmes de missiles balistiques mobiles les plus récentes, les Yars, sont déployés dans la région de Tver, le centre de commandement des ICBM (missile balistique intercontinentale) le plus à ouest du pays. Moscou mène ce déploiement en réponse à l’installation par Washington d’un système de défense antimissile en Roumanie qui prévoit de mettre en place des batteries similaires en Pologne. Alors que le prétexte des États-Unis est que ces systèmes sont dirigés contre l’Iran, qui n’a pas d’armes nucléaires, Moscou voit les déploiements comme une tentative de rendre plus réalisable une première frappe contre la Russie. Moscou affirme également que les systèmes ABM peuvent être facilement convertis pour tirer des missiles nucléaires de longue et moyenne portée.

Dans son discours de lundi, Carter a également fait une brève référence à un effort du Pentagone pour stimuler le moral des militaires affectés à lancer une guerre nucléaire, en disant qu’il « portait ses fruits ». En 2013 et 2014, plus de 100 officiers et personnel incorporé dans les bases nucléaires ont été impliqués dans un scandale de toxicomanie, de tricherie dans les tests de compétence et de violations caractérisées des règles de sécurité. Dans le commandement de la guerre nucléaire une série de hauts officiers s’est vue également écartée de leurs postes.

L’affirmation que le moral s’est amélioré depuis a été remise en cause, cependant, lorsque la cour martiale a inculpe en juin un membre des forces de sécurité à la base de missiles nucléaires F.E Warren dans le Wyoming pour avoir utilisé et distribué de la drogue hallucinogène LSD. Quatorze autres membres du personnel de l’armée de l’Air ont été mis à pied pour usage présumé de cette drogue là-bas.

Bill Van Auken

Article paru en anglais, WSWS, le 28 septembre 2016

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He was a Jordanian Journalist, a Leftist, a self-proclaimed “anti-Imperialist”. He was a pro-Syria activist and a fierce supporter of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad’s Government against the West’s war of aggression for regime change in that country. And now he is the victim of Jordan’s first ever political assassination.

Nahed Hattar, a secular Jordanian author and writer, was shot dead on September 25th, at the steps leading to the High Court Of Justice in Amman, the very court he was about to be tried in for “offending the Islamic religion” after sharing a “caricature” drawing mocking ISIS’s skewed version of Islam on his personal Facebook page.

Let that mental image sink in for a second: a man shared a controversial image on an online platform (something millions around the world do on a daily basis), and now he is dead with three (maybe four) bullets to the head.

Hattar, a father of two, was an ardent advocate of the Syrian government, Hizbollah’s Resistance movement, and a relentless opponent of the Muslim Brotherhood and Takfiri groups in his journalistic writings, TV appearances… and on his personal Facebook page, which evidently got him killed.

It all began on August 3rd, 2016, when Hattar shared a cartoon drawing portraying Heaven and God from the perspective of Islamic extremists (i.e. depicting a bearded man in bed, surrounded by virgins and alcohol); a maelstrom of public anger and backlash bordering on organized mob madness ensued, prompting Hattar to swiftly delete the post and apologize for unintentionally offending Muslims, lambasting at the same time those who took his post out of its strictly political context and distorted his intentions.

But it was too late; the anti-Nahed Hattar screed had already intensified and caught frenzied traction on a public level, especially among conservatives and religious groups which permeate Jordanian society. An avalanche of blind recriminations and accusations of offending Islam and Muslims coupled with numerous death threats and personalized insults were unleashed against Hattar in what now appears to have been an organized effort to take aim at the 56 year-old writer and settle scores with him due to his political stance, especially with regards to the Syrian conflict.

Many called for the man’s execution, and Facebook groups calling for “avenging Islam” and “killing” Hattar popped up everywhere with hundreds of supporters and enthusiasts applauding the witch hunt, culminating in the eventual arrest of Hattar by Jordanian authorities for offending Islam and religious agitation. The “Islamic Action Front” (Jordan’s branch of the Muslim Brotherhood group) joined in the incitement orgy by calling the Jordanian Government to give Hattar “the severest of punishments” for his deed.

And what was his “deed” exactly?

Sharing a satire sketch (one that he did not draw by the way!) on his personal Facebook Page, to hammer home his viewpoints as a secularist on what is currently happening in a region marred only by sectarianism and religious bloodletting.

It wasn’t an anti-Islam rant or a sectarian post; it was a political one, driven primarily by Hattar’s well-known positions on the Syrian War, and his avowed political enmity towards the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS, Takfiri movements and Islamic extremism, Hattar himself even titled the post with the tag: “ISIS’s God”.

Hattar was assassinated by a radical Islamic preacher (a lone wolf?) who decided to take matters into his own hands and “avenge Islam” on behalf of the many who called for exactly that.

I find myself wondering what thoughts were going through Nahed Hattar’s mind in that split second (or what, more than a month later, turned out to be a fateful moment) when he clicked on the “share” button of a silly caricature mocking the mentality and the sexually-driven ideology of ISIS.

Maybe Hattar was thinking of Syria; and the systematic destruction wrought upon that country, which he loved and passionately defended, courtesy of the various incarnations of western funded Islamist extremists. Maybe he was thinking of all those graphic videos of beheadings, guttings, suicide bombings, and sectarian lynchings of civilians in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen. Maybe he was getting sick of the sectarianism that has engulfed the Arab World ever since the so-called Arab spring laid dreadful waste to the entirety of the Middle East region.

Or maybe he wasn’t thinking anything at all really, just another harmless post on a personal Facebook page; I mean how many of us give two thoughts before publishing anything, let alone a silly cartoon, on our own social media web pages. How many of us contemplate the ramifications of an impulsive comment, “like” or share of a Facebook post before “braving through” with it.

One thing is for sure, Nahed Hattar did not foresee that sharing an anti-ISIS satire drawing, an act that he later came to apologize for, would lead to a ghastly death at the hands of a living, breathing, walking incarnation of the very caricature he had shared on his page.

Ahmad Barqawi, a freelance columnist and writer 

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L’autre visage de Shimon Peres

septembre 29th, 2016 by Ben White

Shimon Peres (1923-2016).

Mieux connu en Occident pour son rôle dans les accords d’Oslo. 

Sa famille s’était installée en Palestine dans les années 1930. 

A combattu avec la Haganah durant la Nakba. Présenté comme l’architecte du programme nucléaire clandestin d’Israël.

Percevait les citoyens palestiniens comme une « menace démographique ».

A joué un rôle majeur dans les premiers jours des implantations en Cisjordanie.

Responsable du massacre de Qana au Liban, en 1996.

A soutenu le blocus de Gaza et les récentes offensives israéliennes.

Shimon Peres, décédé ce mercredi à l’âge de 93 ans, après avoir subi une crise cardiaque le 13 septembre dernier, incarnait la disparité entre l’image d’Israël en Occident et la réalité de la politique coloniale sanglante d’Israël en Palestine et dans l’ensemble de la région.

Peres était né en 1923 dans ce qui, plus tard, allait devenir la Biélorussie, et sa famille s’était installée en Palestine dans les années 1930. Jeune homme, Peres s’était enrôlé dans la Haganah, la milice responsable en tout premier lieu de l’épuration ethnique des villages palestiniens en 1947-1949, durant la Nakba.

Bien que le déplacement par la violence des Palestiniens fasse l’objet de rapports historiques, Peres a toujours insisté sur le fait que les forces sionistes « avaient gardé la pureté des armes », au cours de l’installation de l’État d’Israël. En effet, prétendait-il même avant l’existence d’Israël, « il n’y avait rien, ici ».

Durant sept décennies, Peres a servi en tant que Premier ministre (à deux reprises) et président, bien qu’il n’ait jamais remporté directement la moindre élection nationale. Il a été membre de 12 cabinets et a assumé les tâches de ministre de la Défense, des Affaires étrangères et des Finances.

Il est peut-être mieux connu en Occident pour son rôle dans les négociations qui ont abouti aux accords d’Oslo, en 1993, et qui lui ont valu le prix Nobel de la paix en compagnie de Yitzhak Rabin et de Yasser Arafat.

Pourtant, pour les Palestiniens et leurs voisins du Moyen-Orient, le palmarès dePeres est très différent de sa réputation en Occident d’infatigable « colombe » de la paix. Ce qui suit n’est en aucun cas un résumé complet du palmarès de Peres au service du colonialisme et de l’apartheid.

Les armes nucléaires

Entre 1953 et 1965, Peres a d’abord servi comme directeur général du ministère israélien de la Défense et, ensuite, comme vice-ministre de la Défense. En raison de ses responsabilités de l’époque, Peres a été décrit comme « l’un des architectes du programme d’armement nucléaire d’Israël » qui, à ce jour, « a toujours échappé à la surveillance de l’Agence internationale de l’énergie atomique (AIEA) ».

En 1975, comme l’ont révélé depuis des documents secrets, Peres rencontrait le ministre sud-africain de la Défense Pieter Willem Botha et « proposait de vendre des ogives nucléaires au régime de l’apartheid ». En 1986, Peres autorisait l’opération du Mossad au cours de laquelle le lanceur d’alerte nucléaire Mordechai Vanunuallait être kidnappé à Rome.

Le ciblage des citoyens palestiniens

Peres a joué un rôle clé dans le régime militaire imposé aux citoyens palestiniens jusqu’en 1966, régime sous lequel les autorités ont massivement volé des terres et déplacé des populations.

L’un des outils de ce régime n’était autre que l’article 125, qui permettait de déclarer des terres palestiniennes zones militaires fermées. Une fois que leurs occupants s’en voyaient interdire l’accès, les terres étaient alors confisquées nomme « non cultivées ». Peres encensait cet article 125 comme un moyen de « poursuivre directement la lutte pour l’implantation et l’immigration des Juifs ».

Une autre des responsabilités de Peres dans ses attributions de directeur général du ministère de la Défense consistait à « judaïser » la Galilée, c’est-à-dire à poursuivre une politique censée réduire dans la région la proportion entre les citoyens palestiniens et les citoyens juifs.

En 2005, en tant que vice-Premier ministre du cabinet d’Ariel Sharon, Peres réitéra ses attaques contre les citoyens palestiniens via des plans visant à encourager lesIsraéliens juifs à s’installer en Galilée. Son plan de « développement »couvrait 104 communautés – dont 100 juives.

Lors d’entretiens secrets avec des hauts fonctionnaires américains cette même année, Peres prétendit qu’Israël avait« perdu un million de dounams [100 000 hectares, soit 1 000 kilomètres carrés] de terres du Néguev au profit des Bédouins », ajoutant que le « développement » du Néguev et de la Galilée pouvait « atténuer ce qu’il appelait une menace démographique ».

Soutien aux colonies illégales en Cisjordanie

Alors que le projet israélien d’implantation en Cisjordanie a été associé en premier lieu au Likoud et à d’autres partis nationalistes de droite, c’est en fait le Parti travailliste qui donna les premiers coups de fouet à la colonisation du territoire palestinien nouvellement conquis – et Peres y participa avec enthousiasme.

Durant le mandat de Peres en tant que ministre de la Défense, de 1974 à 1977, le gouvernement Rabin installa un certain nombre de colonies clés en Cisjordanie,parmi lesquelles Ofra, dont d’importantes sections furent construites sur des terres confisquées à leurs propriétaires palestiniens.

Plus récemment, après avoir joué un rôle clé dans les premiers jours de l’entreprise d’implantation, Peres intervint également pour annuler toute espèce de mesure, aussi modeste ait-elle été, visant à sanctionner les colonies illégales et ce, chaque fois, naturellement, sous le prétexte de protéger les « négociations de paix ».

Le massacre de Cana

En 1996, en tant que Premier ministre, Peres ordonna et supervisa l’opération« Raisins de la colère », lorsque les forces armées israéliennes tuèrent quelque 154 civils au Liban et en blessèrent 351 autres. L’opération, dont on croit généralement qu’elle fut une démonstration de force pré-électorale, ciblait intentionnellement des civils libanais.

L’incident le plus notoire de la campagne fut le massacre de Cana, qui vit Israëlbombarder une enceinte des Nations unies et tuer ainsi 106 civils qui s’y étaient réfugiés. Un rapport de l‘ONU expliqua à l’époque que, contrairement aux dénégations israéliennes, il était « improbable » que le bombardement «eût été le résultat d’erreurs techniques et/ou de procédure ».Selon le site Internet officiel des Forces aériennes israéliennes (en hébreu, pas en anglais), l’opération impliquait « le bombardement massif des villages chiites du Sud-Liban afin de provoquer un exode de civils vers le Nord, en direction de Beyrouth, appliquant ainsi des pressions sur la Syrie et sur le Liban afin qu’ils freinent le Hezbollah ».

Plus tard, les artilleurs israéliens dirent à la télévision israélienne qu’ils ne regrettaient aucunement le massacre, puisque les morts n’étaient « qu’un ramassis d’Arabes ». Quant à Peres, sa conscience était tout aussi propre : « Tout a été accompli selon une logique claire et de façon responsable », dit-il. « Je suis en paix. »

Gaza – La justification du blocus et de la brutalité

Peres connut sa consécration comme l’un des plus importants ambassadeurs d’Israël dans le monde de ces dix dernières années, au moment où la bande deGaza était soumise à un blocus dévastateur et à trois offensives majeures. En dépit de la colère mondiale à l’égard de cette politique, Peres ne cessa jamais de soutenir les punitions collectives et la violence militaire.

En janvier 2009, par exemple, malgré les appels des « organisations israéliennes des droits de l’homme pour que soit mis un terme à l’opération  »Plomb durci » », Peresdécrivit « la solidarité internationale derrière les opérations militaires »comme « les plus belles heures d’Israël ». Selon Peres, le but de l’offensive « était d’asséner un coup très dur aux gens de Gaza afin de leur faire passer l’envie de tirer [des missiles] sur Israël ».

Lors de l’opération « Pilier de défense », en novembre 2012, Peres  « prit sur lui la tâche de contribuer à l’effort israélien en matière de relations publiques en transmettant le discours israélien aux dirigeants mondiaux », pour reprendre les termes utilisés dans Ynetnews. À la veille de l’offensive israélienne, « Peres prévint le Hamas que s’il voulait que les gens de Gaza puissent mener une existence normale, il devait cesser de lancer des missiles contre Israël ».

En 2014, lors d’une vague de bombardements sans précédent sur Gaza, Peres se dressa une fois de plus pour blanchir ces crimes de guerre. Après que les forces israéliennes eurent tué quatre petits enfants qui jouaient sur une plage, Peres sut parfaitement sur qui jeter le blâme – sur les Palestiniens : « Nous avions mis en garde que nous allions bombarder cette zone », dit-il. « Et, malheureusement, ils n’ont pas fait partir les enfants. »

Le blocus honteux, internationalement condamné comme une forme de punition collective interdite, a également été défendu par Peres – sur les bases, précisément, qu’il s’agit d’une punition collective. Comme le disait Peres en 2014 :« Si Gaza cessait ses tirs, il n’y aurait pas besoin de blocus. »

Le soutien de Peres aux punitions collectives s’étendait également à l’Iran. En 2012, commentant des rapports disant que six millions d’Iraniens souffrant de cancer ne pouvaient recevoir de traitement en raison des sanctions, Peres déclara : « S’ils veulent retrouver une existence normale, qu’ils redeviennent donc normaux. »

Pas un mot d’excuse jusqu’à la fin

Peres a toujours été clair à propos du but de l’accord de paix avec les Palestiniens. Il déclara en 2014 : « La première priorité est de préserver Israël en tant qu’État juif. Voilà notre but prioritaire, c’est pour cela que nous nous battons. » L’an dernier, il réitéra ces sentiments dans une interview accordée à AP, en disant : « Israël devrait appliquer la solution à deux États dans son propre intérêt », de façon à ne pas« perdre notre majorité [juive] ».

Ceci, rappelons-le, est ce qui a donné forme au soutien du Parti travailliste auxaccords d’Oslo. Rabin, parlant devant la Knesset peu de temps avant d’être assassiné en 1995, avait été clair en disant que ce qu’Israël cherchait dans les accords d‘Oslo était une « entité » palestinienne qui serait « moins qu’un État ».Jérusalem serait la capitale non divisée d’Israël, les colonies clés seraient annexées et Israël resterait implanté dans la vallée du Jourdain.

Il y a quelques années, Peres décrivait les Palestiniens comme des gens « se posant eux-mêmes en victimes ». Et poursuivait : « Ils se victimisent eux-mêmes. Ils sont les victimes de leurs propres erreurs, qu’ils commettent sans aucune nécessité. »Une condescendance aussi cruelle caractérisait bien un homme pour qui la « paix »fut toujours synonyme de pacification coloniale.

Ben White

Article original : Shimon Peres: Israeli war criminal whose victims the West ignored, The Middle East Monitor,  28 septembre 2016

Traduction : Jean-Marie Flémal pour le site Pour la Palestine

ben-white

Ben White est un journaliste dont les travaux ont été notamment publiés dans le quotidien britannique The Guardian, dans The New Statesman, ainsi que par Al Jazeera etElectronic Intifada. Il est l’auteur de Israeli Apartheid (Ed. Pluto Press – 2009) et de « Être Palestinien en Israël » (Ed. La Guillotine – 2015)

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Dr. Léopold Munyakazi was deported to Rwanda early this morning. Immigration attorney Ofelia Calderón defended the gentle professor pro bono from the time of his arrest in 2009 to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, where she gave oral argument earlier this year. 

Dr. Munyakazi is a linguist, scholar, and former French professor at Goucher College, who was arrested after giving several lectures at northeastern campuses in which he challenged the Rwandan government’s official, legally enforced description of the Rwandan massacres of the 1990s as « genocide against the Tutsi. » The U.S. government and the Clinton dynasty are both deeply committed to the same description, which has become a cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy. Top officials including the U.S. president, UN Ambassador and Secretary of State frequently tell us that we are obliged to intervene in other sovereign nations to stop genocide because we failed to do so in Rwanda.

Munyakazi said that the Rwandan massacres were the result of a longstanding class conflict, not an ethnic conflict, and that they were therefore incorrectly characterized as genocide. Hutus and Tutsis, he said, are not properly understood as ethnicities. They share the same language and culture, eat the same food, and marry each other, and the vast majority are Christian.

Although Dr. Munyakazi was arrested shortly after giving his controversial talks, anonymous witnesses soon accused him of genocide crime in Rwanda in 1994. These accusations were made more than ten years after the genocide, and despite the fact that Dr. Munyakazi had been a free man in Rwanda before emigrating to the United States.

Christine Frechard, Dr. Munyakazi’s friend in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, said that she was able to speak to him on the phone before he boarded the plane and that he remained in good spirits. Responding to her distress, she said, he told her not to worry, that it was going to be all right, and that he remained committed to his truth. Frechard said that she is contacting Amnesty International, the International Red Cross, and foreign embassies in Kigali to ask them to keep watch over Léopold’s welfare in custody.

Dr. Munyakazi joins three other celebrated political prisoners in Rwanda. They are Victoire Ingabire, who attempted to run against President Paul Kagame in 2010, Deo Mushayidi, the former president of the Rwandan Journalists Association, and Kizito Mihigo, a popular Rwandan gospel singer who recorded a song in which he sang that members of both groups, Hutu and Tutsi, were victims in the Rwandan war and that both must be remembered in order for Rwandans to heal.

Mihigo was arrested shortly after recording that song and sentenced to ten years for plotting to murder the president and bring down the Rwandan government.

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Photo : Les mercenaires d’Al-Nosra /al-Qaida soutenus au commencement par la France et le Qatar, partout en Syrie dès octobre 2011

Le journal allemand Kölner Stadtanzeiger a publié lundi 26 septembre l’interview exclusive d’un des commandants du Front Al-Nosra à Alep, la branche d’Al-Qaïda en Syrie rebaptisée récemment Fatah Al-Cham et qualifiée de groupe « rebelle modéré ». Cette interview confirme un certain nombre d’analyses qui circulaient dans les médias indépendants, notamment en ce qui concerne la collaboration opérationnelle entre le Front al-Nosra et la coalition internationale, mais également la responsabilité des groupes djihadistes dans la crise humanitaire actuelle. Il est donc fort probable que les grands médias occidentaux engagés dans une nouvelle campagne de diabolisation du gouvernement syrien et de son allié russe ne lui donnent pas le moindre écho…

L’interview réalisée par le journaliste allemand Jürgen Todenhöfer, est d’une importance capitale. Outre les risques que comportait une telle opération en plein cœur des zones tenues par les groupes armés en Syrie, elle livre des informations de première main sur la collaboration entre les divers groupes djihadistes, au premier rang desquels Al-Nosra, et la coalition occidentale. Elle a ainsi été rapidement traduite en anglais, notamment par le média indépendant états-unien Moon of Alabama, et reprise par Zero Hedge  [Voir la traduction en français]

La source interrogée par Jürgen Todenhöfer est l’un des commandants d’Al-Nosra, Abou al-Ezz.

La fiction des « rebelles modérés »

Le gouvernement syrien a maintes fois dénoncé la fiction des groupes « rebelles modérés » prétendument distincts des factions djihadistes qui bénéficient dans les faits du soutien opérationnel de certaines chancelleries occidentales et de la coalition. La campagne de bombardements aériens engagée par la Russie en septembre 2015 avait ainsi donné lieu à un florilège de réactions indignées en Occident dénonçant les frappes contre de prétendus « groupes d’opposition » au « régime » alors que les cibles des bombardements avaient été clairement identifiées par la Russie comme étant des groupes affiliés à Al-Qaïda, comme Ahrar al-Cham.

En février 2016, un reportage de la chaîne France 2 intitulé « Syrie le grand aveuglement« , réalisé parmi les groupes djihadistes d’Alep, montrait clairement la logique salafiste à l’œuvre dans les différents groupes djihadistes ainsi que la porosité entre les différentes factions de combattants se revendiquant toutes de la même idéologie. L’un des groupuscules djihadistes filmé par la chaîne exhibait ainsi son armement provenant de l’étranger, dont des missiles antichars MILAN de fabrication française.

syrie-demonstration-de-puissance-des-rebelles-syriens-c3a0-idlib

Mercenaires d’al-Nosra/al-Qaida à Idlib en 2012

Au final, le reportage confirmait les affirmations de Damas selon lesquelles il n’existait pas de groupes d’opposition « modérée » opérant en Syrie, l’Armée syrienne libre (ASL) apparaissant notamment comme une fiction marketing à destination de l’opinion publique occidentale. Voici ce que dit à ce sujet le commandant d’Al-Nosra interviewé par Jürgen Todenhöfer :

« Ils sont tous avec nous. Nous formons tous le Front al-Nosra. Un groupe se crée et prend le nom d’« Armée de l’islam»ou de «Fateh al-Sham». Chaque groupe a son propre nom, mais la croyance est homogène. Le nom global est Front al-Nosra. Une personne a, disons, 2 000 combattants. Elle forme alors un nouveau groupe et l’appelle «Ahrar al-Sham». La croyance, les pensées et les buts de ces frères sont identiques à ceux du Front al-Nosra. […] Si quelqu’un vient vous voir, fait de vous un «rebelle modéré» et vous offre à boire et à manger, allez-vous accepter son offre ou non ? »

Les déclarations Abou al-Ezz viennent ainsi confirmer une nouvelle fois la fiction de l’existence d’une « rébellion modérée ». Selon lui, Al-Nosra est soutenu militairement par différents pays de la coalition, dont la Turquie et les Etats-unis :

« Nous avons remporté des batailles grâce à des missiles TOW. Nous sommes parvenus à un équilibre des forces avec le régime grâce à ces missiles. Nous avons reçu des chars de la Libye par l’entremise de la Turquie, ainsi que des BM (lance-roquettes multiples). Le régime ne nous domine que par ses avions de chasse, ses missiles et ses lance-missiles. Nous avons capturé une partie de ces lance-missiles et en avons reçu pas mal d’ailleurs. Mais ce sont les TOW américains qui nous ont permis d’avoir la situation bien en main dans certaines régions. »

Des conseillers militaires étrangers sont également présents aux côtés du Front al-Nosra sur le terrain afin de former les combattants, notamment au maniement des armes et au travail de renseignement :

« Lorsque la «route» était fermée et que nous étions assiégés, il y avait ici présents des agents de la Turquie, du Qatar, de l’Arabie saoudite, d’Israël et des États-Unis. […] Des experts dans l’utilisation des satellites, des missiles, des caméras de vidéo surveillance thermiques, du travail de reconnaissance… »

Si la collaboration entre Al-Nosra et Israël, notamment sur le plateau du Golan, avait déjà été documentée par les casques bleus de l’ONU, ainsi que l’implication de la Turquie, la présence de formateurs militaires américains aux côtés du groupe terroriste fait encore l’objet de vives dénégations de la part de l’état-major US. Le porte-parole du Département d’Etat Mark Toner, a ainsi réagit à une question d’une journaliste de Russia Today sur ce sujet en déclarant : « C’est des conneries », mais en admettant toutefois que d’autres pays de la coalition pouvaient effectivement fournir du matériel militaire au groupe terroriste. Les États-Unis se retranchent ainsi derrière une position officielle très hypocrite, se dégageant de toute responsabilité directe mais laissant comme souvent leurs alliés régionaux réaliser le sale boulot en toute connaissance de cause, ce que confirme l’interview du commandant d’Al-Nosra :

« Oui, les Etats-Unis soutiennent l’opposition[syrienne], mais pas directement. Ils soutiennent les pays qui nous soutiennent. »

En ce qui concerne la France, la présidence a reconnu que cette dernière fournissait de l’aide militaire par l’intermédiaire de la DGSE aux groupes rebelles depuis 2012, dont des missiles antichar MILAN…

Les groupes djihadistes s’opposent à la livraison de l’aide humanitaire

Les chancelleries occidentales ont récemment dénoncé à l’ONU le bombardement d’un convoi humanitaire à destination des zones sous contrôle des groupes armés dans la région d’Alep en l’attribuant aux armées russes et syriennes. Cette attaque a été le prétexte à une nouvelle offensive diplomatique en faveur d’un cessez-le-feu dans le but officiel de permettre l’acheminement de l’aide à la population civile. Comme je le mentionnais dans un précédent article, la situation humanitaire constitue un argument de propagande destiné à décrédibiliser l’action militaire des gouvernements russes et syriens contre les groupes djihadistes soutenus par la coalition et ses alliés régionaux. Le but est d’imposer un cessez-le-feu à l’armée syrienne et à son allié russe afin de redonner des marges de manœuvres aux combattants rebelles dont la situation à Alep est très précaire. Cette analyse est confirmée par les propos d’Abou al-Ezz qui affirme :

« Nous ne reconnaissons pas le cessez-le-feu. Nous allons repositionner nos groupes. Nous allons lancer dans les prochains jours une attaque massive contre le régime. »

Cette attaque a bien eu lieu après le bombardement des positions de l’armée syrienne près de l’aéroport de Deir ez-Zor le 17 septembre – qui auraient fait entre 80 morts et plus de cent blessés parmi les militaires syriens – qui a coïncidé avec une offensive de l’Etat Islamique. Si les États-Unis ont parlé d’un « accident », cette version ne tient pas selon le président Al-Assad :

« Ce n’était pas un accident, tout d’abord parce qu’il n’y a pas eu qu’un seul avion impliqué dans l’attaque. […] Il s’agissait de quatre avions, qui ont attaqué sans relâche les positions des troupes syriennes, durant un heure environ. Vous ne commettez pas une erreur pendant plus d’une heure.»

Alors que les missiles anti-chars TOW et MILAN ont permis aux groupes djihadistes affiliés à Al-Nosra, de tenir tête au régime et de rééquilibrer le rapport de force militaire au sol, la campagne actuelle de propagande utilisant le prétexte humanitaire a également pour but de faire progresser l’idée, notamment dans les opinions publiques, de la nécessité d’une zone d’exclusion aérienne qui priverait l’armée régulière syrienne de son seul avantage et du soutien essentiel de l’aviation russe. C’est aussi ce que confirme Abou al-Ezz lorsqu’il affirme : « Le régime ne nous domine que par ses avions de chasse, ses missiles et ses lance-missiles. »

Le secrétaire d’état américain John Kerry a ainsi demandé l’imposition d’une zone d’« exclusion aérienne » sur les secteurs contrôlés par les « rebelles » sous prétexte d’assurer la livraison de l’aide humanitaire mercredi dernier au conseil de Sécurité des Nations Unies. Pourtant, là encore, le commandant d’Al-Nosra Abou al-Ezz contredit la version occidentale et confirme celle du gouvernement syrien qui affirmait que les groupes rebelles empêchaient le déploiement de l’aide humanitaire dans la région d’Alep :

« Nous avons des conditions. Tant que le régime est positionné le long du chemin Castillo, à al-Malah et dans le secteur nord, nous ne laisserons pas ces camions passer. Le régime doit se retirer de tous ces secteurs avant que ces camions ne puissent passer. »

S’il est très improbable que cette interview soit reprise dans les médias traditionnels, qui jouent depuis le début du conflit le rôle de relais et d’amplificateurs de la campagne de propagande orchestrée par les États-Unis et les membres de la coalition internationale, la présence de l’armée russe sur le théâtre syrien a cependant permis l’émergence d’une autre version des faits qui se déploie dans les médias russes, notamment Russia Today ou Sputnik, et les médias indépendants, mais également dans les institutions internationales comme le Conseil de Sécurité des Nations Unies. Malgré les différentes initiatives des États-Unis et de leurs alliés pour contrer ou faire taire ces voix divergentes dans un contexte de guerre de l’information, elles restent aujourd’hui le principal rempart contre l’imposition d’une réalité falsifiée qui avait permis l’imposition d’une zone d’exclusion aérienne et la destruction de la Libye en 2011, il est d’autant plus vital de les soutenir, de les relayer, et de les faire vivre aujourd’hui…

Guillaume Borel

Guillaume Borel, documentaliste, analyste politique, est l’auteur de l’ouvrage Le travail,histoire d’une idéologieÉditions Utopia: 2015. Il s’intéresse aux questions de macro-économie, à la géopolitique et aux questions de propagande et d’intoxications médiatiques.

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Brazil: Get Lula! Now! Or Else…

septembre 29th, 2016 by Pepe Escobar

A powerful array of institutional/oligarchic interests is behind the rabid demonization of all things Workers’ Party.

The interminable, ghastly telenovela aiming at turning Brazil, the seventh-largest economy in the world, into a Banana Republic of Scoundrels while destroying its economy, is—like the infamous GWOT (Global War on Terror)—a gift that keeps on giving.

No, this would never qualify as a Shakespearean tragedy or even a Monty Python sketch. Neither tragic nor funny; just nasty, brutish and overwhelmingly pathetic.

Center stage once again is Sergio Moro, the puny provincial prosecutor with an Elliott Ness complex in charge of the blatantly one-sided Car Wash corruption investigation. Moro is a pure product of Hollywood screenwriting. He is investigator, judge, executioner; in sum, he incarnates The Law. A Magnum-deprived Dirty Harry, but armed with plenty of cheap suits.

After the golpeachment of Dilma Rousseff, it didn’t take long for Moro to play his joker: Lula in jail by all means necessary.

It started with a—pathetically amateurish—Powerpoint presentation by the provincial crusaders in the southern Brazilian state which doubles as Car Wash’s seat, insisting they are “convinced” Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva is guilty of being the Don Corleone in a vast corruption ring. But they have no proof.

Ooops. They did it again (for the third time, actually). So sub-Elliott Ness had to run back to his handlers—in the belly of the Empire of Chaos—for new “instructions.” Moro, after all, was the lucky recipient of all that savory NSA spying on Petrobras, the Brazilian Energy Ministry and (regime-changed) President Rousseff.

Lula, ever the old fox, nailed it—observing how Moro has built, alongside the ultra-right-wing Globo media empire, a framework according to which Brazilian mainstream media is able to condemn anyone at will: “There are leaks and no one knows who leaked. Before proof is presented on whether the leak is true or false, five headlines are out. Then, you are guilty.”

Lula was referring to Moro’s by-the-book application of the 1990s Italian Mani Puliteproceedings—when all guilty verdicts were media-induced. In the remixed Brazilian version, the Public Ministry, the Federal Police and the Judiciary as a whole have been totally monopolized by political interests—all of them opposed to the Workers’ Party—with full corporate media support. The whole Brazilian political system is astonishingly corrupt to the core; but Car Wash only targets the Workers’ Party.

Will Rats Have Their 9/11?

Immediately after this (third-time-lucky?) “new” condemnation of Lula as Mob chief, the real (judicial) Mob doubled down, ordering the arrest of former Finance Minister Guido Mantega (then quietly revoked three hours later).

The ineptness of the whole thing became even more flagrant when it was proved, by lawyers defending disgraced former billionaire Eike Batista, that Mantega had never asked for hush money linked to the Petrobras racket.

It took a former minister and founder of the PSDB party—the former social democrats turned neoliberal enforcers—to confirm, on the record, Lula’s analysis; “Brazil is now under a regime in which you just need to be accused by someone in trouble with the law for it to be taken to the media and justify a preemptive arrest.”

The gift will continue to keep on giving. The next “police story” will certainly be directed against impeached President Rousseff—who has lost her political immunity. Mantega was hit because he had been chairman of the board at Petrobras. So was Dilma. It will just take another rat to accuse her out of the blue for Dilma to be “condemned.”

The “logic” of the whole enterprise remains inexorable. This is what’s been happening in Brazil in a nutshell. Various factions of the Brazilian parliamentary opposition—threatened by corruption investigations, Car Wash included—went for a new form of Hybrid War, supported to the hilt by the State Department, aiming simultaneously at a golpeachment against Dilma and dragging Lula’s name into the mud.

Golpeachment worked—based on a dodgy reading of a constitutional procedure targeting a “crime of responsibility.” Dilma did not commit any crime—responsibility or otherwise—and still she was impeached. It’s no wonder that no less than 8,000 irate Brazilian jurists have launched a “Campaign for Legality.”

A powerful array of institutional/oligarchic interests is behind the rabid demonization of all things Workers’ Party; virtually the whole judicial system, the Globo media empire, the absolute majority of the Supreme Court.

So it’s no wonder Brazil has been reduced to the slimy status of a Banana Scoundrel so-called Republic, where due legal process, burden of proof, right of defense, presumption of innocence have all been swept under the (rotten) carpet.

Rats scurrying for an escape route underneath now mirror rats mingling in the tower of power. The masterplan—with Moro as poster boy—is vicious; no less than to destroy the whole project—initiated by Lula—of autonomously developing Brazil as a top multipolar leader in parallel with wealth redistribution. It’s no wonder the illegitimate and vastly unpopular Temer The Usurper “government” is already accelerating the destruction of Petrobras and handing out exploitation of the pre-salt oil reserves to foreign corporations.

A Sub-Empire of Rats is in effect. Perhaps not for too long. Before 9/11 I published a story headlined « Get Osama! Now! Or Else » … 9/11 happened roughly 10 days later. Failing to take out Lula—so he’s back to win the 2018 presidential elections – may end up being a 9/11 for the Sub-Empire of Rats.

Pepe Escobar is an independent geopolitical analyst. He writes for RT, Sputnik and TomDispatch, and is a frequent contributor to websites and radio and TV shows ranging from the US to East Asia. He is the former roving correspondent for Asia Times Online, where he wrote the column The Roving Eye from 2000 to 2014. Born in Brazil, he’s been a foreign correspondent since 1985,  He is the author of « Globalistan » (2007), « Red Zone Blues » (2007), « Obama does Globalistan » (2009) and « Empire of Chaos » (2014), all published by Nimble Books. His latest book is « 2030 », also by Nimble Books, out in December 2015. He currently lives between Paris and Bangkok. Follow him on Facebook.

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Les pays non alignés… Sur qui ?

septembre 29th, 2016 by Pepe Escobar

Le sommet des pays non alignés (PNA) s’est réuni à Isla Margarita, au Venezuela, sans la moindre référence dans les médias grand public occidentaux.

De nos jours, les PNA regroupent tous les pays africains sauf le Sud-Soudan, la majorité de l’Amérique latine sauf le Brésil, l’Argentine et le Mexique (qui y sont membres observateurs) et la plupart de l’Asie et du Moyen-Orient (la Chine est un observateur).

Qu’est il sorti de ce formidable rassemblement de nations globalement représentatives ? Apparemment pas grand-chose, sauf un long documentque peu de gens liront, rappelant les thèmes habituels de non-ingérence et plaidant pour une paix et une coopération mondiale.

Après que l’Iran a passé le témoin au Venezuela qui dirige les PNA pour les trois prochaines années – années qui seront secouées par des turbulences socio-économico-politiques (voici un bon résumé de là où nous en sommes) – le président Maduro n’a pas hésité à dénoncer l’offensive de Washington contre l’Amérique latine et son administration en particulier, offensive centrée sur des changements de régime par le biais d’une guerre économique. Son diagnostic est globalement exact.Et cela amplifie les problèmes si vous êtes un non-aligné dans une époque de modernité liquide, digitale. Géopolitiquement et géo-économiquement, vous êtes alors une proie facile pour toutes sortes de manipulations algorithmiques.

La guerre du pétrole, conduite surtout par l’Arabie saoudite et qui repose sur la spéculation électronique, a dévasté l’économie vénézuélienne dont le budget dépend à 96% du pétrole. Le manque de nourriture et de médicaments atteint des niveaux alarmants, tout comme le taux d’inflation, un des plus fort au monde actuellement.

Au cours de réunions parallèles, Caracas a désespérément cherché un consensus pour geler la production de pétrole avant la prochaine réunion cruciale de l’OPEC d’Alger, à la fin du mois. Le gouvernement vénézuélien a correctement analysé que l’OPEC a été politisée pour faire chuter le prix du pétrole pour cette guerre économique saoudienne, dans le but de frapper l’Iran, la Russie et le Venezuela. Maduro demande maintenant que l’OPEC arrête d’opérer sur le marché libre, à cause de cette surproduction.

Mais c’est la manipulation électronique qui décide. Même si la politique, bien sûr, joue encore un rôle : dans les discussions sur le prix du pétrole, mais aussi dans la récente décision du Mercosur d’empêcher le Venezuela d’exercer la présidence temporaire du bloc commercial sud-américain.

Alors, Maduro a, durant ce sommet des PNA, cherché un soutien auprès de ses quelques alliés restants, comme Rafael Correa d’Équateur, Evo Morales de Bolivie et Hassan Rouhani d’Iran. Pourtant, aucun d’eux n’a la possibilité d’influencer le jeu de l’Arabie saoudite et de son maître.

Mais il n’y a pas eu que le Venezuela. D’autres nations ont, pendant ce sommet, accusé les exceptionnalistes d’interférence. C’est la Corée du Nord qui a chopé le pompon, en menaçant de tout faire péter sans prévenir.

Où est le nouveau Sukarno ?

Le début des années 1960 fut l’époque des Nehru, Sukarno, Nasser et Tito. Sans oublier l’événement fondateur du mouvement des PNA, la conférence de Bandung de 1955, hébergée par l’Indonésie de Sukarno. Ce fut là que le gratin de l’ancien Tiers Monde, devenu maintenant le Sud global, Sukarno, Nasser, Nehru, Tito, Ho Chi Minh, Zhou Enlai, Sihanouk, U Thant et Indira Gandhi, adoptèrent une «déclaration pour la promotion de la paix et coopération mondiale» en demandant collectivement de pouvoir rester neutres dans la Guerre froide de l’époque.

L’esprit de Bandung est encore vivant, car les PNA restent engagés contre l’impérialisme, le colonialisme, le néocolonialisme, le racisme, l’interférence et l’agression étrangère, l’occupation et l’hégémonie. On pourrait appeler cela les PNA contre l’Empire. Pourtant, l’empire postmoderne est beaucoup plus subtil dans ses mécanismes d’interférence, utilisant les myriades de déclinaisons de la guerre hybride, des révolutions de couleur aux guerres économique, jusqu’à la dernière farce institutionnelle/parlementaire/judiciaire/médiatique/changement de régime brésilienne.

La Guerre froide continue, ré-étiquetée Guerre Froide 2.0, mettant surtout l’OTAN face à la Russie, en parallèle à l’endiguement de la Chine grâce au Pivot vers l’Asie.La Russie et la Chine sont les deux menaces annoncées ouvertement par le Pentagone, ces deux pays devraient donc, dans un but pragmatique, aligner leur propre partenariat stratégique avec celui des PNA.

L’esprit des PNA les empêche de s’aligner avec une structure géopolitique militaire ; alors que le projet chinois Une Ceinture, une Route (OBOR) progresse, les nouvelles Routes de la soie vont finalement se joindre à l’Union économique eurasienne (UEE) conduite par la Russie ; tout cela est un progrès conforme aux intérêts des PNA.

Ces projets sont les seuls projets d’intégration mondiale dans un futur prévisible, centrés bien sûr sur l’Eurasie, mais avec de multiples ramifications à travers l’Asie, l’Afrique et même l’Amérique latine. Le projet chinois de ligne de chemin de fer reliant le Pérou sur la côte Pacifique, au Brésil sur la côte Atlantique, par exemple, peut être perçu comme une ramification sud-américaine des Routes de la soie.

La sainte trinité des PNA, le multilatéralisme, l’égalité et la non-agression est aussi reprise par les BRICS, dont le sommet du mois prochain à Goa devrait faire avancer le développement pratique de mécanismes tels que la Nouvelle banque de développement (NBD) qui, pour des raisons bien pratiques, devrait aussi progresser dans l’intérêt du Sud global.

L’un des chemins de sortie pour le Venezuela est de renforcer ses alliances avec les groupes d’intégration latino-américains, côte à côte avec les PNA et en connexion avec les BRICS et le G20, tous recherchant un monde multipolaire, loin du pathétique genre de punition médiévale incarnée par les sanctions du Pays exceptionnel.

Un sujet non ordinaire fut discuté pendant ce sommet. Un processus de réorganisation, comme l’a nommé Maduro, du système des Nations unies, en particulier le Conseil de sécurité. En realpolitik, cela n’arrivera pas, car la Russie est actuellement le seul membre ouvert à ce genre de discussion.

La realpolitik va aussi faire que les nations des PNA continueront à être marginalisées, et rudement exploitées, par des mécanismes néocoloniaux sophistiqués, engrainés dans la logique unipolaire. C’est donc les PNA contre le Pays exceptionnel. Les PNA contre la globalisation néolibérale et ses torrents d’inégalités. Les PNA contre l’économie casino.

La route sera longue et sinueuse. Les PNA n’ont pas grand-chose, à part un Centre pour la coopération Sud-Sud basé à Jakarta et un certain nombre de comités conjoints entre ce groupe de 77 nations en développement. Mais le moral reste bon dans ce combat pour un monde plus égalitaire, équilibré et décent.

Pepe Escobar

Article original en anglais : Non-Aligned to… Nowhere?, Strategic Culture Foundation, 22 septembre 2016..

Traduit par Wayan, relu par nadine pour le Saker Francophone.

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

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French imperialism is exceedingly busy these days. Since April 2012 the DGSE, France’s equivalent of the CIA, have been helping French terrorists enter Syria so they can behead children and eat their body parts in the name of ‘human rights’.

Though we have been saying this for some time, the French Ministry of Truth has now discreetly admitted that we were right all along.

Mali

In 2012, the French overran Mali with terrorists they had been using in Libya. The bombing campaign helped France, in the words of the French foreign minister ‘reconquer’ Mali. The country is now destroyed, divided but very much open for the French and American business of resource extraction.

Central African Republic

A year later, the French overran the Central African Republic (RCA) with Saudi-funded Seleka Takfiri terrorists. The Seleka terrorists cut a lot of heads but had spokesmen in the French media with impeccable French.  The previous French-installed dictator of RCA Francois Bozizé, whom former French president Nicolas Sarkozy described as the “autistic fool of Bangui”, had signed major oil deals with Beijing. Bozizé ‘s handlers in Paris were outraged.

Cameroon

The French have been coordinating Boko Haram terrorists against the intransigent and sinophilic Biya regime of Cameroon. In January 2015, French special forces were, according to Afrique Media, arrested by the Cameroon military fighting alongside the Takfiri terrorists and discreetly repatriated to France on orders from the Elysee Palace.

The French used the RCA operation to provide them with reinforcements for the destabilisation of Cameroon. Cameroon President Paul Biya called on China to lend military support in fighting terrorism. A prominent Cameroon security consultant told Afrique Media that a French rat-line of terrorists going from RCA capital Bangui to Chadian capital Ndjamena had been routed by the intervention of Chinese special forces based in Algeria. There is no way of confirming whether or not the information is true. But if it is accurate, the suggests that China may be flexing its muscles more in Africa, getting tough on terrorism – French terrorism! The presence of a Chinese military base in former French colony Djibouti has not pleased Paris either.

Congo-Brazzaville

The Chinese have been causing lots of trouble in former French equatorial Africa too. The French attempted a coup against their former puppet Denis Sassou-Ngueso some months ago. Sassou-Nguesso is turned increasingly to China in recent years, to the chagrin of Paris and Washington.

French agent General Mokoko is now languishing in a Brazzaville jail for treason. A video of the general was leaked to the press where he was exposed conspiring with the DGSE to overthrow the Sassou-Ngueso regime on behalf of French imperial interests. He had promised to be loyal to France and for that the Empire’s information service has been most flattering in its portrayal of the Alcibiadian general. We are told he is currently reading hefty books on Napoleon while digesting the classics of French literature. Ah French imperial nostalgia and its erudite African acolytes!

Burundi

Burundi, a progressive country with Africa’s most popular president Pierre Nkurunziza, has been fighting off French media disinformation since 2010 but Paris and former colonial slave-owner Belgium, have been waging a secret war against the country since April 2015.

Nkurunziza’s ambitious development programme and proclivity towards BRICS investment is not in the European Union’s interest. The EU has been using false pretexts of constitutional issues to oust Nkurunziza together with gangs of crazy, violent youth called ‘peaceful protesters’. The United States has been heavily involved in the neocolonial war too, through the ubiquitous enemy of all things African, US ambassador to the UN Samantha Power. For readers unfamiliar with Samatha Power, she is the woman who overran a seven year old boy and didn’t stop! Samantha has Africa in her heart!

The United Nations, under Power’s stewardship, has issued a mendacious report claiming that the Burundi government is planning genocide against the Tutsi minority in the country. Thousands of Tutsis and Hutus have protested against the UN’s outrageous lies.

But Burundi has a strong military and intelligence apparatus. They have managed to resist for over a year and look like they may well hold out.

Democratic Republic of Congo

Meanwhile, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, there is trouble once again.

Since nominal independence from Belgium in 1960, the country has been a neo-colony of Western interests and has been maintained in a permanent state of war and poverty. The Congo is the world’s richest nation. But its people are poor. The contradiction is called capitalism. Since the CIA and Belgian intelligence agents assassinated the country’s first Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba in 1961, puppet leaders have proven untrustworthy.

Sese Seko Mobuto ran the country on behalf of Atlanticist neo-colonialism for several decades. Mobuto was ‘our man in the Congo’ until, relying on a burgeoning national bourgeoisie for legitimacy Mobuto, began to disagree with Belgium, Paris and Washington. Washington lost no time and dispatched special forces to Rwanda to help newly-installed genocidaire Paul Kagame mount an invasion force of the DRC in 1996. Rwanda was helped by Yoweri Museveni’s Uganda and the revolutionary forces of Laurent-Désiré Kabila.  Mobutu stepped aside. The death toll of the US-instigated wars is estimated to be between 5 than 6 million. But many say the figure is much higher.

However, once Kabila took power, he quickly turned against his US-backers, cut ties with Kagame and Museveni and declared his preference for Chinese investment.  The ‘gods of empire’ were not pleased and Kabila was promptly assassinated.  The country was now suffering the predations of Kagame’s US backed militia who were murdering en masse in the province of mineral-rich Kivu, with strong support from Western imperialism.

Since taking power in 2001, Joseph Kabila has managed to bring a high degree of stability. He has liberated much of the country from terrorism. The Congolese national bourgeoisie wanted progress and an end to the casino capitalism of the Western-backed marauders such as Kagame. In 2011 President Kabila launched the tautological sounding slogan  »revolution of modernity’. With major new dams and power stations, roads, housing projects and transport, Kabila has, to his credit, transformed the country. He has the support of popular forces such as the Congolese Communist Party, who want to revive the spirit of Lumumba and Pierre Mulele. It is not a good thing to see a strong leader like Kabila leaving office next year at the latest. The DRC should consider changing the constitution to abolish term limits. Term limits and multi-party democracy are a front for neocolonial interests. What the country needs is unity and strong nationalist leadership.

Jewish power has a lot to do with the current unrest. The Israelis have dominated the country’s diamond industry and they now have a puppet who even claims to be a Jew. His name is Moise Katumbi and he promises to, in the words of Benjamin Netanyahu “open up Africa to Israel”. In fact, Israel was built on the gold extracted from slave labour in the Congo. But the Congolese holocaust doesn’t matter as they are not Jewish.

Katumbi is a multi-millionaire who is clearly the Empire’s choice for the upcoming elections. The problem is that the electoral authorities have decided to postpone the elections until July 2017. The decision is wise, as they have not yet registered all voters. The self-proclaimed ‘international community’is unhappy about that as it wants Kabila out of the way. Kabila has surrounded himself with nationalistic politicians who want to escape from the Western neo-colonial stranglehold. China has massive infrastructural projects in the country. In fact, the Democratic Republic of Congo is Chinese imperialism’s most ambitious African project.  Chinese state-monopoly capitalism builds infrastructure, pays more for natural resources and wouldn’t dream of issuing insulting, neo-colonial statements like the recent condemnation of Kinshasa by President Hollande. The Kabila ‘regime’ did not mince its words in responding to Hollande, firmly reminding the French president in a press conference that the Democratic Republic of Congo was not a French territory.

The Western imperial press is tripping over itself in its faithful mission to disinform the well-intentioned European reader. An article in Le Monde states that the protesters in Kinshasa calling for the president to ‘step down’ have stones in their hands. It admits that they have already lynched policemen and violently attacked civilians and destroyed public buildings. It also admits that the police have kept a distance from the rioters. Yet in the same article we see Soros-funded Human Rights Watch condemning the police for their brutal crackdown on peaceful protesters! One can only imagine what would happen in Paris were one to demonstrate without permission, armed, lynching police and burning down government buildings!

Gabon

In oil-rich French neo-colony of Gabon, a presidential election in July erupted in violence after the French-backed candidate Jean Ping lost to the incumbent Ali Bongo. Jean Ping has called on the old colonial master to intervene. French Africa experts such as Antoine Glaser are saying the same things they said before the French assault on the Ivory Coast in 2011, namely that France has no real interests there. It is not true. France has a military base in the former colony and has enjoyed laissez-faire economics for several decades through the imposition of corrupt dictators. Ali Bongo took power in a military coup in 2009 with help from the French. He was supposed to serve the French elite. But instead, Bongo betrayed his masters. He gave lucrative oil contracts to China and enlisted Chinese help in the development of the country’s agricultural industry. Not only that, the Gabon state is currently pursuing French oil giant Total for 805 million dollars in unpaid taxes. Paris says Bongo has to go! There are signs that Ali Bongo might be different to his father. He has pledged to give his father’s inheritance to the state. One should not have any illusions about Bongo’s benevolence. But what is clear is that he now standing for African capitalist interests rather than those of the Empire. Jean Ping is the former husband of Pascaline Bongo, one of the directors of Total. Ping has a personal stake in Total’s fraudulent practices. Total hates Bongo and so does the ‘international community’.

The ‘revolutionary’ scramble for Africa

Western imperialism is running amok in Africa. The continent’s youth are being held hostage by NGOs who specialise in the manipulation of youthful rebelliousness; they use Trotskyite propaganda perfected during the Arab Spring. The Western imperial elite say they want to spread the Arab Spring all over Africa. They are doing a good job. Francois Hollande told the United Nations recently that “ France has a big idea for the world”  Youth of France, have you any idea what your old men  are doing to foreign countries?  Do you really believe everything they tell you about these countries you know they exploit and dominate? How can you listen to the owner of Le Monde, Lezard Bank director Matthieu Pigasse tell you he wants to see the Arab Spring spread all over Africa, and not understand what he means, not understand what the information service he owns means when it uses terms like ‘international community’ and ‘civil society’? Youth of France, Pig Ass wants revolution. Give it to him!

Youth of Africa, kick out all NGOs now and revive the spirit of Sankara, Lumumba and Mulele! Educate your youth on imperialism’s strategems!

France, bursting with debt and sinking in the mire of its own imperial hubris, has embarked upon one last, rape spree in the Dark Continent – it’s part of France’s “big idea for the world”. On September the 11th 1991, after the dissolution of the USSR, President George Bush told the US Congress that New World Order was on the way and it was a “big idea”. The millions of rotting corpses of French and American imperial wars in the Ivory Coast, Libya, Syria, Iraq, Cameroon, Gabon, Burundi, Central African Republic, Rwanda, Democratic African Republic, Republic of Congo – the list is far greater – have borne witness to the evil meaning of Western imperialism’s ‘big idea for the world’.

Gearóid Ó Colmáin, AHT Paris correspondent, is a journalist and political analyst. His work focuses on globalization, geopolitics and class struggle. His articles have been translated into many languages. He is a regular contributor to Global Research, Russia Today International, Press TV, Sputnik Radio France, Sputnik English , Al Etijah TV , Sahar TV Englis, Sahar French and has also appeared on Al Jazeera. He writes in English, Irish Gaelic and French.
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Cette interview menée par Jürgen Todenhöfera d’abord été publiée en allemand le 26 septembre 2016 dans le Kölner Stadtanzeiger, le principal quotidien de la région de Cologne.

Interview avec un commandant du Front al-Nosra : «Les Américains sont à nos côtés»


C’était la septième fois que mon fils Frederick et moi allions en Syrie, ce pays déchiré par la guerre civile. Nous y sommes restés 13 jours. Les mots ne suffisent pas à décrire l’ampleur des dommages et de la souffrance subis des deux côtés.

Il y a dix jours, nous avons mené une interview avec un commandant du Front al-Nosra, affilié à al-Qaïda. Abou al-Ezz a parlé ouvertement de ses bailleurs de fonds que sont l’Arabie saoudite, le Qatar et le Koweït. Nous sommes parvenus à établir l’identité de l’homme et savons pratiquement tout à son sujet.

Une interview menée dans une carrière de pierre à Alep

L’interview a été organisée par un rebelle d’Alep. J’ai des contacts avec des rebelles syriens depuis des années. L’interview s’est déroulée à l’extérieur d’Alep, dans une carrière à portée de vue – et de tir – du Front al-Nosra. Seul un membre d’al-Nosra pouvait s’y rendre sans danger.

Ses combattants n’étaient que partiellement masqués, donc facilement identifiables. Une partie de ses affirmations a été pratiquement confirmée verbalement peu après par un mufti à Alep. D’autres assertions au sujet du désintérêt des rebelles à l’égard d’un cessez-le-feu et du convoi humanitaire international ont été corroborées également, tout comme ses prévisions au sujet des activités militaires planifiées dans plusieurs villes de la Syrie.

Le commandant Abou al-Ezz affirme ceci à propos du Front al-Nosra (al-Qaïda) :

«Nous formons l’une des composantes d’al-Qaïda. Nos principes sont le combat contre le vice, la pureté et la sécurité. La conduite de nos affaires et notre façon d’agir ont changé. Par exemple, nous avons maintenant le soutien d’Israël, parce qu’Israël est en guerre contre la Syrie et le Hezbollah.

Les USA aussi ont changé d’opinion à notre égard. Au départ, Daesh et nous ne formions qu’un groupe. Mais Daesh a été utilisé dans l’intérêt de grands États comme les USA, pour des raisons politiques, et a été détourné de nos principes. Il est devenu évident pour nous que la plupart de ses dirigeants travaillent avec les services secrets de sécurité. Nous, au Front al-Nosra, faisons les choses à notre façon. Avant, Daesh était avec nous et nous soutenait.

Notre but est la chute du régime dictatorial, du régime tyrannique, du régime de l’apostat. Notre but est de faire des conquêtes, à la manière de Khald ibn al-Walid [le grand général arabe], d’abord dans le monde arabe, puis en Europe.»

Partie 2 – L’interview de Jürgen Todenhöfer avec le commandant rebelle Abou al-Ezz

Jürgen Todenhöfer : – Quel est l’état de vos relations avec les États-Unis? Les USA soutiennent-ils les rebelles?

Abou al-Ezz : – Oui, les USA soutiennent l’opposition, mais pas directement. Ils soutiennent les pays qui nous soutiennent. Mais nous ne sommes pas encore satisfaits de ce soutien. Ils devraient nous soutenir en nous fournissant des armes ultra perfectionnées. Nous avons remporté des batailles grâce à des missiles TOW. Nous sommes parvenus à un équilibre des forces avec le régime grâce à ces missiles. Nous avons reçu des chars de la Libye par l’entremise de la Turquie, ainsi que des BM (lance roquettes multiples). Le régime ne nous domine que par ses avions de chasse, ses missiles et ses lance-missiles. Nous avons capturé une partie de ces lance-missiles et en avons reçu pas mal d’ailleurs. Mais ce sont les TOW américains qui nous ont permis d’avoir la situation bien en main dans certaines régions.

– À qui ces missiles des USA étaient-ils destinés avant qu’on ne vous les apporte? Ces missiles ont-ils été livrés par les USA à l’Armée syrienne libre, puis à vous ensuite? 

– Non. Les missiles nous ont été livrés directement. Ils ont été livrés à un certain groupe. Lorsque la «route» était fermée et que nous étions assiégés, il y avait ici présents des agents de la Turquie, du Qatar, de l’Arabie saoudite, d’Israël et des États-Unis.

– Que faisaient ces agents?

Du travail d’expert! Des experts dans l’utilisation des satellites, des missiles, des caméras de vidéo surveillance thermiques, du travail de reconnaissance…

– Est-ce qu’il y avait aussi des experts américains?

– Oui, des experts de plusieurs pays.

– Y compris des Américains?

Oui. Les Américains sont à nos côtés, mais pas autant qu’ils le devraient. Par exemple, on nous disait : nous devons capturer et conquérir le «bataillon 47». L’Arabie saoudite nous a remis 500 millions de livres syriennes. Pour prendre l’école d’infanterie al-Muslimiya, il y a plusieurs années de cela, nous avons reçu du Koweït 1,5 million de dinars koweïtis et 5 millions de dollars US de l’Arabie saoudite.

– Des gouvernements ou de particuliers?

– Des gouvernements.

– La lutte est difficile, le régime est fort et il a le soutien de la Russie…? 

– Nous allons combattre jusqu’à la chute du régime. Nous allons combattre la Russie et l’Occident, parce que l’Occident ne se tient pas vraiment à nos côtés. L’Occident ne fait que nous envoyer des moudjahidines, il facilite l’entrée de ces combattants. Pourquoi l’Occident ne nous soutient-il pas convenablement? Nous avons beaucoup de combattants de l’Allemagne, de la France, de la Grande-Bretagne, des États-Unis, de tous les pays occidentaux.

– Le Front al-Nosra compte-t-il dans ses rangs beaucoup de combattants européens à Alep?

– Beaucoup, beaucoup, beaucoup!

– Combien?

– Beaucoup.

Que pensez-vous du cessez-le-feu?

– Nous ne reconnaissons pas le cessez-le-feu. Nous allons repositionner nos groupes. Nous allons lancer dans les prochains jours une attaque massive contre le régime. Nous avons redéployé nos forces armées dans toutes les provinces, à Homs, Alep, Idlib et Hama.

– Vous ne voulez pas que les 40 camions remplis de matériel humanitaire parviennent dans la partie est d’Alep? 

– Nous avons des conditions. Tant que le régime est positionné le long du chemin Castillo, à al-Malah et dans le secteur nord, nous ne laisserons pas ces camions passer. Le régime doit se retirer de tous ces secteurs avant que ces camions ne puissent passer. Si un camion passe malgré tout, le conducteur sera arrêté.

– Pourquoi une partie de vos groupes s’est-elle repliée à un kilomètre ou à 500 mètres du chemin Castillo? 

– Le régime a utilisé des armes très perfectionnées contre nous, ce qui a causé un vif émoi. C’est pourquoi nous nous sommes repliés silencieusement, le temps de récupérer et de reprendre l’attaque contre le régime. Mais cette attaque doit entraîner la chute du régime.

– C’était donc une astuce? Une tactique militaire?

– Oui, c’était une tactique militaire.

– Est-ce que le but de cette tactique était de recevoir des aliments ou le redéploiement des combattants?

– Nous n’étions pas d’accord avec le cessez-le-feu.

– Cela s’applique-t-il seulement au Front al-Nosra ou à tous les autres groupes, le reste de vos alliés?

– Cela s’applique à tous les groupes intégrés à nous, qui sont nos alliés.

– Le Front islamique? L’Armée de l’islam?

– Ils sont tous avec nous. Nous formons tous le Front al-Nosra. Un groupe se crée et prend le nom d’«Armée de l’islam» ou de «Fateh al-Sham». Chaque groupe a son propre nom, mais la croyance est homogène. Le nom global est Front al-Nosra. Une personne a, disons, 2 000 combattants. Elle forme alors un nouveau groupe et l’appelle «Ahrar al-Sham». La croyance, les pensées et les buts de ces frères sont identiques à ceux du Front al-Nosra.

– Est-ce votre opinion personnelle ou l’opinion du haut commandement aussi?

– C’est l’opinion générale. Si quelqu’un vient vous voir, fait de vous un «rebelle modéré» et vous offre à boire et à manger, allez-vous accepter son offre ou non?

– Cette guerre a tué 450 000 personnes. Je suis allé à Alep et à Homs. Bien des parties sont détruites. Si la guerre se poursuit, tout le pays sera détruit. Des millions vont mourir… En Allemagne, nous avons déjà eu la «guerre de Trente Ans»…

– Nous n’en sommes qu’à notre cinquième année de guerre, c’est court en comparaison!

– Accepteriez-vous la présence d’un représentant du régime d’Assad dans un gouvernement de transition? 

– Nous n’acceptons personne du régime d’Assad ou de l’Armée syrienne libre, qu’on appelle les modérés. Notre but est la chute du régime et la création d’un État islamique fondé sur les règles de la charia islamique.

– Les gens d’Allouche, qui se sont déplacés à Genève pour les négociations, ont accepté l’idée d’un gouvernement de transition.

– Ce sont des mercenaires syriens. Allouche combattait avec le Front al-Nosra. Les groupes qu’abrite la Turquie à l’origine de la création de l’Armée syrienne libre ont déjà été aux côtés du Front al-Nosra. Ce sont des gens faibles, qui ont reçu beaucoup d’argent, qui se sont vendus. Ils doivent suivre les ordres de leurs commanditaires.

– Le Front islamique et l’Armée de l’islam négocient à Genève.

– Parce que leurs dirigeants ont été formés en Occident. Ils sont conseillés et payés par les services secrets occidentaux et les services secrets des pays du Golfe pour atteindre les objectifs de ces pays.

Nous sommes ici au point d’observation le plus avancé du secteur de Sheik Saïd. Ce secteur est sous notre contrôle. Derrière ces maisons et al-Majbal, se trouvent les soldats du régime. Nos forces armées sont à 200 mètres d’ici.

 Jürgen Todenhöfer

 

Article original en allemand, traduit de l’allemand par Moon of Alabama :

Members of al Qaeda's Nusra Front gesture as they drive in a convoy touring villages in the southern countryside of Idlib

Interview With Jabhat al-Nusra (Al Qaeda) Commander in Syria: “The Americans Stand on our Side”. Our Objective is the Islamic State…

Vous pouvez lire la version originale en allemand de cette interview donnée au Kölner Stadtanzeiger.

Traduit par Daniel, édité par Wayan, relu par Diane pour le Saker francophone.

Lien

Escalades : Retrouvez un point de situation sur la Syrie sur le blog des chroniquesdugrandjeu.com qui donne son avis sur cet interview.

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This morning at 9:50 am, women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here.

When asked why they are going, the women gave a variety of responses. Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate from Ireland, notes that “theysay that ‘silence is golden’, but regarding the plight of Palestinians in Gaza the silence of the world, especially concerning their little children, shows a lack of moral and ethical leadership from the international community. Why has it lasted so long?”

For two of the women, their countries’ own historical struggles for human rights played an important role in their decision to join the Women’s Boat to Gaza. Leigh-Ann Naidoo, an Olympic volleyball player from South Africa, feels that “South Africans understand the importance of international solidarity in fighting regimes that practice segregation.” Marama Davidson, a Maori Member of Parliament from New Zealand, carries with her a strong personal connection to Palestinian women in Gaza. “As an indigenous woman myself, I want to stand alongside the women of Gaza and to draw attention to the ongoing humanitarian crisis there.”

The Amal-Hope II has been making final preparations to sail and is scheduled to depart from Messina soon. Both boats are expected to arrive in Gaza in early October.

Yudit Ilany, an Israeli participant who has sailed with the Zaytouna-Oliva since Barcelona, said “The blockade of Gaza is a crime against humanity being committed in my name, and it is my duty to protest it in any way possible.”

CONTACT: Ellen Huttu Hansson

E-mail: [email protected]gmail.com

Freedom Flotilla Italy Lucia Intruglio / Palmira Mancuso

Email: [email protected]com /[email protected]messinaora.it

The Women’s Boat to Gaza is an initiative of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition composed of civil society organizations and campaigns from more than a dozen countries. For more information, visit www.womensboattogaza.org.

The Women’s Boat to Gaza is an initiative of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition composed of civil society organizations and campaigns from more than a dozen countries.

Donate:

You can support the Women’s Boat to Gaza by donating online: http://canadaboatgaza .org/donate/

Those who can benefit from a U.S. tax receipt can contribute online at

https://womensboatgaza-nonviol enceinternational.nationbuilde r.com/contribute

Other ways to get involved:

Follow us at www.canadaboatgaza.org and  freedomflotilla.org

www.facebook.com/FreedomFlotil laCoalition/ and www.facebook. com/CanadaBoatGaza/

Twitter @GazaFFlotilla  @Canad aBoatGaza

Canadian Boat to Gaza:  www.canadaboatgaza.org  email: [email protected]

Bateau Canadien pour GAZA:  www.canadaboatgaza.org  courriel: [email protected]

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In July 2016 the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin signed a law to ban the cultivation and breeding of genetically modified plants and animals (GMO), except in cases where they will be used in testing and scientific research. In fact, this law makes Russia the world’s largest GMO-free territory and offers a great platform for the development of organic agriculture.

This decision made by the Russian government was also influenced by environmental organizations, farmers and other representatives of Russian society, concerned by the absence of reliable scientific studies on the long-term (‘long-term’ comes here with an emphasis) risks of GMO food to human health and the environment. The Kremlin has also apparently taken into consideration the interests of national food security, as the world market of genetically modified (GM) seeds is monopolized by transnational, mostly American, German and Swiss based companies.

Author Elena Sharoykina

original article in Russian at http://www.vz.ru/opinions/2016/9/21/833682.html

Many European Union countries, unlike the U.S., have already applied restrictions on GMOs, similar to the ones implemented now in the Russian Federation. Only five EU countries (Spain, Portugal, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania) have been cultivating GM crops, but even they have begun to decrease the area of GM crop cultivation gradually.

The U.S., represented by its biotechnology corporations, has been trying to conquer the EU agricultural sector and to make it a part of the GMO global market. This agricultural misalliance would be officially named Transatlantic trade and investment partnership (TTIP), and the mass media has already named it ‘economic NATO’. It’s interesting to note that the GMO question appears to be one of the main bones of contention in the negotiation process around TTIP.

Amidst this discussion in the middle of September 2016 it was announced that German chemical & pharmaceutical giant Bayer agreed to buy US seeds and pesticides corporation Monsanto in a $66 billion takeover deal.  If the sides finalize the agreement (which is to be signed by the end of 2017) and regulatory authorities in USA and EU approve it, it will create a ‘transatlantic monster’, the likes of which the world has never seen before.  The new company will to a great extent dictate to the whole world what to eat, what medicine to take and how to run agriculture.

Let’s try to find out what is behind this news and what it means for Russia, Europe and for everyone worldwide. To begin with a few words about the principal characters in this play – the companies Bayer and Monsanto.

The Bayer company was founded in 1863. It was mainly known for marketing heroin as cough suppressant and aspirin.  Nowadays the company produces a wide range of agrochemical, pharmaceutical and medical products and one of its branches carries out studies in the field of genetic engineering (Bayer CropScience).

The historical connection between Bayer and the ‘death industry’ is however not so well-known:  it was a manufacturer of chemical weapons for the German government during World Wars I and II. We know as well very little about almost hundred years of ‘special relationships’ with the U.S..  According to distinguished historian, the Stanford University professor Anthony C. Sutton,  the I. G. Farben cartel (Interessen-Gemeinschaft Farbenindustie AG) was formed in 1925 by Herman Shmitz out of six already giant German chemical companies, including Bayer, with Wall Street financial assistance.

“Twenty years later the same Hermann Schmitz was put on trial at Nuremburg for war crimes committed by the I.G. cartel… but the American affiliates of I.G. Farben and the American directors of I.G. itself were quietly forgotten; the truth was buried in the archives… Without the capital supplied by Wall Street, there would have been no I.G. Farben in the first place and almost certainly no Adolf Hitler and World War II”, Sutton wrote in his book ‘Wall Street and the Rise of Hitler’.

In the post-war period the ‘scientific’ potential of Bayer was again in demand – but this time the Nazis were replaced by NATO generals. The connections of Bayer with the western military-industrial complex in fact never ceased.

The second participant in the ‘deal of the year’ – U.S. company Monsanto – is famous today mostly for its achievement in the fields of genetic modification of seeds and production of pesticides for GM crops. However, like Bayer, shortly after its foundation in 1901, Monsanto became deeply involved in purely military projects. In its Dayton laboratory in Ohio, as a part of the Manhattan project, the first polonium-based neutron initiators were constructed. They were used in the atomic bombs, which the USA dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki (leaving more than 200 thousand dead).

During the Vietnam War Monsanto was the largest supplier of Agent Orange for the U.S. army. It was used as chemical weapon (nearly 3 million people were affected, half a million were killed).

In other words, Bayer and Monsanto should be considered as very unusual companies. They are not only the largest representatives of the chemical and biotechnological industries of the Old and the New World, but, in some ways, they also fully represent their military-industry group.  That is why the deal in question must not only be studied from the economic point of view, but also assessed as a geopolitical issue reflecting the current balance of power between the USA and EU.

To my mind, it is not that much about a take-over, it’s a merger between Bayer-Monsanto, and it creates a new transnational structure. If this was not the case, the influence of the EU in the relationship between Washington and Brussels would grow significantly, but it is completely different in reality. Moreover, taking into consideration the importance of the GMO factor in U.S. foreign policy, it is difficult to imagine that the White House would let this huge assets flow into anybody’s hands, certainly not into the hands of the Germans.

Apparently, the merger of these two giants is part of a backstage U.S.-EU agreement and trade-offs within the TTIP negotiations process.  Brussels, in exchange for a ‘back-down’ on some disputable issues, has gained an extra share in the global biotechnology industry. Monsanto, on the other hand, by re-branding a U.S.-company to a European one, expects to open the E.U. market for its GM production.

Let me remind you that the first $ 62 billion offer, made by Bayer in May 2016, was declined by Monsanto. However, after loud statements made by leaders of Germany and France in August, saying that the negotiations on TTIP actually had failed, the parties ‘suddenly’ reached a consensus.  It is obvious that the parties had a ‘package deal’, and it was agreed on a state-to-state level. If this is the case, the progress in Bayer-Monsanto merger deal will be followed by progress in the  TTIP negotiations.

For European citizens, the  vast majority of whom, just like the Russian people, have taken a stand against the spread of GMO agriculture, such a ‘package deal’ would be a betrayal of public interests by the European bureaucracy machine.

The fall of Europe as one of the few ‘green bastions’ in the world under the pressure of U.S. corporations would mean trouble for Russia too.   ‘Genetically modified NATO’ has been moving closer to our borders, threatening our biological, genetic and food security.

We want to believe that one day, in some miracle, corrupted European bureaucrats will be replaced by nationally oriented leaders. It is possible then, if it is not too late, we will form a ‘green axis’ Paris-Berlin-Moscow and through our joint efforts expand the borders of the continental GMO-free zone. That would allow us to protect the traditions of agriculture in the Old World, to develop organic agriculture and to reform the world economy according to the principles of sustainable development.

But can Europeans afford to wait for a miracle? Or is it high time to act?

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