Today, Cuban leader Fidel Castro is celebrating his 90th birthday. Although there are almost no blank spots in Castro’s biography, some facts of his life might have been forgotten. RT has decided to remember them.

Castro was always distinguished by his charisma, a feature which allowed him not only to implement a number of cardinal reforms in Cuba and bring the country to new heights in the fields of education, medicine, and tourism, but also make it into the Guinness Book of World Records, become a blogger, and even a hero in computer games.

Cigars and the beard

Many remember Fidel Castro for his beard and cigar. El Comandante was always proud of his beard and said that he would shave it only when the revolution finally triumphs.

“I don’t waste my time shaving. This would take about 15 minutes every day. This way, I can save a few days a year for important matters,” he once stated.

Castro always loved Havana cigars, so much that there was once an attempt to poison him through them. In 1986, however, the leader of the revolution had to give up this pernicious habit because of health problems. “The best thing you can do with a box of cigars is give them to the enemy,” he said then.

New Cuba

In the early 1960’s, the leader of the Island of Freedom ordered that all educational institutions be nationalized and a unified state education system be established. In 1961, 10 thousand schools were built. By 1995, the country’s literacy rate was 95%.

Following the revolution in 1959, the medical education system was reorganized. Cuba now has the lowest infant mortality rate on the entire American continent with the exception of Canada. Medical care on the island is now free.

Between 1989-1994, the reallocation of resources in the country led to the rapid growth of tourism, a sector of the economy which now brings in an average of $2 billion a year.

Guinness Book of World Records

On September 26th, 1960, Fidel Castro delivered a speech at the UN including the words “When the philosophy of plunder disappears, so will the philosophy of war.” In his speech, he explained the meaning of the Cuban Revolution and the essence of its reforms. His speech lasted 4 hours and 29 minutes, thus entering into the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest speech ever delivered at the UN.

However, according to other sources, Castro’s longest speech ever delivered was at the Third congress of the Cuban Communist Party in 1986, lasting 7 hours and 10 minutes.

In addition, Castro became a record-breaker for having survived 638 different assassination attempts. The majority of them, moreover, were characterized by extraordinary ingenuity, resembling scenes from James Bond films.

More than 600 assassination attempts

For example, the CIA planned hundreds of assassination attempts on El Comandante’s life using poisons. In 1960, cigars carrying deadly toxins were gathered to be given to the lover of fine cigars, Fidel himself.

Later, an attempt was made to put poison in Castro’s shoes by placing thallium salt in the soles. His diving suit as well, according to some reports, was once infected with lethal bacteria. But the man responsible for Castro’s outfits changed his mind at the last moment and gave El Comandante a different, safe suit.

Fidel’s lover, the CIA-recruit Marita Lorenz, was once complicit in an attempt to take his life. American intelligence gave her poisonous pills which she hid and dissolved in a jar of cream.

Fidel also managed to avoid being stabbed by a poisoned needle hidden in a ballpoint pen. One of the Cuban leader’s political employees intended to stab him with a poison-tipped needle during a meeting with American President John F. Kennedy. But the attempt failed.

Plans were also hatched to spoil Castro’s good reputation by getting him high on LSD during a live radio show. It was assumed that the drug would cloud the Cuban leader’s mind so that he would begin to talk nonsense and disappoint audiences. But this plan also failed.

Such unthinkable assassination attempts were also featured in the computer games Call of Duty: Black Ops and The Godfather 2, whose levels included missions to eliminate Castro.

Books, articles, and social networks 

Even after retiring and passing the baton to his brother Raul, Fidel Castro did not cease to surprise the public. He has retained a clear mind and publishes articles in the newspaper “Granma.”

Around 6 years ago, El Comandante registered an account on Twitter with the aim of surpassing the popularity of Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu’s accounts. Castro’s miniblog @reflexionfidel publishes his thoughts on current political events and is now subscribed to by nearly 500,000 people.

In 2010, Cuba  released the first part of his memoirs, “The Strategic Victory.” It is believed that he is now working on the second part of the book.

Translated from Russian by J. Arnoldski

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During the week of August 8 both Republican Party nominee Donald Trump and his Democratic counterpart Hillary Clinton made policy speeches in the Detroit metropolitan area.

Trump addressed the Detroit Economic Club on August 8 where he put forward his program for the revitalization of the United States. The presidential candidate delivered the address at Cobo Conference Center in downtown Detroit.

In Detroit it is the best of times for the struggle aimed at eradicating racism and economic exploitation which has prompted the destruction of the housing, commercial, educational and municipal services sectors of the city. The movements for change in Detroit are taking place during the worst of times for the overwhelming majority of the population suffering from the above-mentioned imposed social ailments.

Outside the Trump event in downtown, demonstrators congregated over an area of two blocks with signs critical of the Republican candidate and his policies. Members of the United Automobile Workers (UAW) distributed signs criticizing the demagogic Trump. The UAW along with many trade unions typically pledges their support to the Democratic candidates for president and legislative offices irrespective of who they are.

This year the campaign of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders posed a formidable challenge to Clinton, who served as a Senator for New York and as Secretary of State during the first administration of President Barack Obama. Clinton’s program is one of continuing the pro-Wall Street program of the Obama administration along with the increased military and intelligence interventions throughout the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and the Asia Pacific regions. Sanders, an independent democratic socialist, ran on a platform advocating national health insurance; the breaking up of large financial institutions; a different approach to the Palestine-Israeli war of the last seven decades; among other issues. Senator Sanders was quite critical during numerous debates over Clinton’s close relationship with Wall Street where she delivered numerous speeches for undisclosed amounts of money.

More Militant Voices in Detroit

Nonetheless, other organizations were present to lend their voices to the demonstration and political dialogue. Members of the Detroit chapter of Fight Imperialism, Stand Together (FIST) youth group led chants denouncing Trump and his appeal to racism, neo-fascism and war. FIST is allied with the Moratorium NOW Coalition to Stop Foreclosures, Evictions and Utility Shut-offs, which has sought for the last eight years to put an end to the theft of tens of thousands of houses by the banks.

Trump’s speech inside of Cobo called for more of the same failed policies of the last several decades including the cutting of taxes for the rich and the failed promises of lowering taxes for the working class. These policies of cutting and even absolving the rich from paying taxes has been utilized to finance even deeper levels of exploitation and expropriation from the workers and oppressed peoples in the U.S.

In Detroit firms run by Dan Gilbert and Mike Illitch, two billionaires, have been given preferential treatment by federal, state and local governments for years. Their business model emphasizes prestige projects such as sports stadiums and entertainment complexes which facilitate the continuing forced removals of the African American and Latino communities. These top-down economic programs are championed by the corporate media which systematically ignores the plight of the oppressed and working class saying in essence what is good for business is beneficial to the masses.

The crowd outside of Cobo was not receptive to this message being enunciated by Trump. Some of the Trump supporters came into the anti-Republican demonstration flashing their signs and consequently creating tensions.

One white man raised the dreaded Confederate flag at the front of the anti-Trump gathering triggering a clash which took away the symbol of slavery, civil war and the Ku Klux Klan. This man eventually landed on the concrete where he had to be rescued by the Detroit police. Members of the crowd began chanting: “Nazi scum off our streets!” No arrests were made and this sent a strong message to the racists within the Trump campaign that some people are prepared to disarm them of their symbols as well as political program.

Clinton Brings Message of the Status Quo

Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton spoke later that same week outside of Detroit in neighboring Macomb County. Pollsters say she is trailing behind Trump in the county which is majority white. Nonetheless, there are African Americans and Latinos moving into Macomb County, many of whom are from working class backgrounds.

Clinton championed the economic policies of the last eight years under Obama. Objectively, beyond the bailing out of the auto industry not very much can be said of the Democratic program that is favorable to the working class. Although the UAW would speak highly of Obama for carrying through the post-bankruptcy re-structuring of the auto industry and the preserving of industrial jobs, this bailout resulted in the severing of tens of thousands of jobs; the closing of auto dealership shedding more union work; and the growing of the UAW through two and three tier wage structures that sought to divide younger workers being hired in at wages half of those of veteran employees and with far few benefits. There have also been attacks on the concept of the eight-hour day which was a fundamental demand of the union since its inception.

Why the Workers and Oppressed Need Their Own Political Party

Consequently, both parties represent the capitalist class which has been hell-bent on lowering the standard of living of the workers and oppressed in their mad drive for profit. There was no program to repair the damage that has already been done in the recent period as it relates to home and job losses; guaranteeing full healthcare coverage to all people; the eradication of police brutality; ending imperialist wars and the closing of Pentagon military bases and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) field offices across the world.

In Michigan the water has been poisoned in Flint and the majority African American city needs the reconstruction of its infrastructure along with tens of thousands of jobs that were destroyed after the re-structuring of the auto industry from an earlier period during the 1980s, some three decades ago where both Democratic and Republican politicians failed to lift a finger to save the jobs and homes of these residents. Michigan was the only state in the U.S. which lost population in the last census period. Detroit’s population declined by 25 percent as a direct result of home foreclosures, evictions, utility shut-offs, small business failures and the crisis in an education system controlled by successive state administrations.

Clinton debated Sanders during the primaries in Flint yet nothing has been done to resolve the water crisis along with other economic problems in the city located some 70 miles north of Detroit. In Detroit itself despite the Democratic Party-allied politicians and trade union leaders, there has been nothing specific offered to the people as it relates to the declining infrastructure, racist manipulation by the courts and surrogate political establishment, and the failed system of public education.

These problems require political organizing independent of both the Democratic and Republican Parties. Working class and oppressed peoples need an organization that can speak unequivocally in their own name—where the real enemies of the people can be exposed and dealt with in a decisive fashion.

The people of Michigan need good jobs, economic opportunities, decent education, healthcare, services for children and seniors, along with environmental quality.

The wars to be continued by the potentialities of a Clinton or Trump administration will not serve the interests of the masses. It is the ruling class that needs changing not its navigators, minions and surrogates.

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Were Hillary Clinton’s medical records leaked to the public? Is Hillary Clinton really suffering from dementia, seizures and memory loss?

A new report indicates that Hillary Clinton’s medical records have been leaked, but not everyone agrees. Are the medical records fact or fiction?

According to the leaked medical records, Hillary Clinton allegedly suffers from Complex Partial Seizures and Subcortical Vascular Dementia. Included as symptoms Clinton is experiencing are blackouts, uncontrollable twitching and memory issues.

While the general consensus is the leaked medical records are fake, there is a bit of truth behind them.

The doctor named on the medical reports has been confirmed as one of Hillary’s doctors: Lisa R. Bardack.

Still, not everyone is convinced the medical records are fake. The following is a CBS News report from December 2013 reporting on Clinton’s health issues from 2012. Mentioned are two blood clots Clinton has been diagnosed with. One clot Clinton suffered in the ’90s. The other blood clot she was diagnosed with was in Dec. 2012. In a ABC News report, it was discussed that Hillary Clinton did have additional issues stemming from the concussion.

No one in Hillary Clinton’s camp would state what the additional issues or injuries she sustained were.

Dr. Lisa R. Bardack released the document clearing Hillary Clinton to run for office.

The statement of health was issued on July 28, 2015, and previously had been accessible through Scribd.

Since the controversy and conspiracy theories surrounding Clinton’s health have escalated, the document’s settings have been changed to private. According to Dr. Bardack’s 2015 medical statement, Hillary Clinton was in excellent health, reported Time.

Politico also reported on the 2015 report that was described as Hillary Clinton releasing her medical records for the campaign. With the allegations that Clinton is suffering from seizures and then the leaked medical report saying she does indeed suffer from seizures and dementia, calls were made for Clinton to release her medical records once and for all. In the Politico report that was based upon Dr. Bardack’s assessment, Hillary Clinton suffered a concussion due to fainting after being dehydrated from a virus. In addition to the Politico article, the Mount Kisco Daily Voice also reported on Clinton’s excellent bill of health in 2015. Also mentioned was the section regarding Clinton’s 2012 concussion.

“In December of 2012, Mrs. Clinton suffered a stomach virus after traveling, became dehydrated, fainted and sustained a concussion.”

Those who believe the newly released medical records are fake are comparing them to the 2015 bill of health. Many suggest the writing is different and point out there is official letterhead on the 2015 documents, but not the recent ones. Snopes reported that Hillary Clinton’s leaked documents were fake, but not everyone agrees. Snopes points out that the documents appeared briefly on a Twitter account @HillsMedRecords then quickly vanished. The dates on the leaked medical records are February 5, 2014 and March 20, 2014. Both dates are before the 2015 document.

The lack of letterhead on the leaked medical records has caused many people to believe they are fake. While there is great debate regarding Hillary Clinton’s health and fitness to run for office, there is one area it seems everyone can agree. Hillary Clinton should release her current medical records.

According to a new Rasmussen poll, people want Hillary Clinton to release her medical records. Some people are so convinced that Hillary Clinton is sick and dying, they’re using the hashtag #illary Clinton instead of Hillary. At this point, it might be the best way to quiet the rumors and stop the questions. Hillary Clinton has been seen in positions that make her appear old and weak. Is she really coughing nonstop? Is she suffering from a chronic cough or hyperthyroidism? Does she really have long-lasting damage from her previous brain injury? Are Hillary Clinton’s leaked medical records fact or fiction? What do you think?

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The Guardian reports: “Children as young as seven have been sexually assaulted in official European refugee camps, the Observer has been told. The claims come as testimony emerges suggesting that some camps are so unsafe that youngsters are too terrified to leave their tents at night.” The article refers specifically to a government-run camp at the outskirts of Thessaloniki, Greece, holding about 1,400 refugees, most of them Syrians. Aid organizations claim that “the level of risk of sexual attack is so acute that women are too afraid to visit the camp toilets alone at night.”

One volunteer serving at the camp, alleged that some young girls had been effectively groomed by male gangs. He said an Iraqi family had to be moved to emergency accommodation outside the camp after their daughter was attacked. “The parents are still in disbelief over what happened. A man from one of the ‘mafia’ groups asked their seven-year-old daughter into their tent to play games on his phone and then zipped up the tent. She came back with marks on her arms and neck. Later the girl described how she was sexually abused. It has scarred a seven-year-old child for life,”

The Guardian also talked to Anna Chiara Nava of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Thessaloniki, who confirmed allegations of children being victims of sexual violence. She said they, MSF, were in regular contact with at least 10 women from the camp who had complained of sexual violence and explained that many occupants, including children, were too afraid to speak out. “It’s really hard for the unaccompanied minors – 16 and 17 years-old – to survive. It’s the survival of the fittest in there. In the evening and night, it’s impossible to find them [children] because they are hiding in the tents. The women are afraid. They complain that during the night and evening they cannot go to the toilet alone. They have all heard of reports of others being attacked.”

The Greek Government built a number of refugee camps near Thessaloniki after the informal one at Idomeni, near the Macedonian border, was closed in May. This followed the European Commission’s (EC) allocation of £71 million (€82 million) of humanitarian funding for emergency projects to help the 57,000 refugees stranded in official government camps throughout Greece.

Sputnik News – interview

Do you think this report [The Guardian] is trustworthy?

Peter Koenig: Yes, absolutely…

This is first of all a typical EU crisis – where nobody wants to be responsible, yet the EU are involved up to their neck with causing the refugee crisis.

Sexual assaults on innocent children scar them forever. It is one of the most horrible crimes humanity can commit. It shows how low ‘humanity’ has sunk – in the drift of constant wars, where human values of life have been eviscerated, due to the never ending war on terror, instigated by the West – not the Muslims, not the Middle East…. Instigated to keep the profit war machine churning out more weapons, more killing, more profit.

Europe together with the US and NATO keep destroying the Middle East, bombing it to rubble, creating a flood of refugees, whose closest place to survive is – unfortunately – their executioner himself, Europe. Then they (EU) reject the refugees – perhaps with the exception of Germany – but especially the Brits and the French – and leave the problem in the hands of a country whose borders are closest to the place of origin of the refugees, Greece.

Greece is a nation that the very EU – her brothers and sisters, have basically liquidated with debt and privatization of public assets – a country starving itself and striving for the sheer survival of more than 50% of its own population. With hardly any funds from the bureaucrats in Brussels, Greece is left to fend on her own for holding and caring of the refugees. The €82 million of humanitarian funding for emergency projects to help the 57,000 refugees stranded in official government camps throughout Greece, is hardly a drop on a hot stone – and certainly not enough to police and protect the camps from thugs and sexual assault as described by The Guardian.

These people [the refugees] are punished three-fold by Europe, first their livelihood is being destroyed, then they are crammed into refugee camps, where they are assaulted, sexually and otherwise, then rejected from seeking refuge, shelter and survival in the ‘clean and snottily rich’ European countries – for having done nothing, absolutely nothing; these refugees have committed no crime whatsoever.

This is European justice. This is just another reason why the EU is not fit to survive, is not reformable. The EU is despicably unhuman and has nothing to do with a union of countries. Brussels and especially the EC that calls most of the shots, is a club of extravagant high-paid non-elected bureau- and technocrats, working for the plutocracy, for the ultra-rich, with total neglect of the people – in this case the refugees, but also the European populace at large.

The EU should be dismantled as soon as possible. I can only hope and trust that BREXIT will actually happen and that it will contribute to hastening the pace of the dissolution of the European Union and its fake currency the Euro, modeled after the US-dollar, made out of thin air, based on nothing but debt; an instrument to enslave and impoverish countries and rob their public assets. Greece is a master example.

Question:What do you think should be done now? Should women and girls be placed in separate camps to protect them?

PK: As a first and emergency reaction – yes, absolutely. As an interim measure and since nothing substantial can be expected to come from Brussels in ‘useful time’, Greece and other countries in solidarity may fund this emergency step, eventually to be reimbursed by Brussels. But in the long run its clearly a question for the EU / Brussels to resolve, allocating appropriate funding – and first of all stop the profit-driven wars that create abject poverty and prompt the flow of refugees.

Question: What do you think Brussels reaction will be now? Will they actually do something, provide the resources for countries like Greece to deal with the refugee problem properly – or will they continue dragging their feet?

PK: Well, one would hope that a damning report like the one in The Guardian would actually incite Brussels to react, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they again would just drag their feet and shove the problem from one bureaucratic commission of non-elected technocrats to another – and nothing will happen.

I’m often thinking of the EU as a huge uncontrollable mob of adolescents, where nobody wants to be responsible but all want to claim somehow ‘credit’ for their ‘grandeur’ – they are incompetent for the task that they should fulfill.

It is almost unthinkable that something like this could happen in an individual government of one of the EU nations that were once sovereign nations – no longer – if they had to deal with the crisis on their own. In the first place, they probably would have never participated in this cruel, senseless Washington invented war on terror, a smoke screen for endless war and endless profit for the (mostly US-based) war industry and – Wall Street that finances it. But all of them, through the EU as a block, have been coopted or coerced into participating – and this against the will of the people they are supposed to represent. The fear of ‘economic sanctions’ for those who don’t behave is overwhelming. And economic sanctions can only work as long as the west is bound to the fraudulent US-controlled dollar-euro system.

Some of the ‘stronger’ countries, that could wage some influence, like Germany, should exert the necessary pressure on Brussels that funds are made available to properly protect these refugee camps, and especially women and girls – protect them from sexual and other abuse.

This is an absolute priority to deal with – it is a human catastrophe that deserves immediate and serious attention. Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the EC, himself should jump in the frying pan and find the resources to protect these victim of US – EU – NATO agression.

As a long term solution – I repeat what I said before, the EU and its common currency should be resolved, dismantled as soon as possible and something new created in its stead – a federation of truly solidary countries, inspired by Europeans themselves, without transatlantic influence and sabotage, as is the case with the current set-up of Europe – of the EU and the Euro.


This is an approximate transcript of a Sputnik phone interview on 14 August 2016, based on an article in The Guardian (13 August) about child abuse in a Greek refugee camp.

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

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China’s Presidency of the G20 culminates next month with the Hangzhou Summit, a gathering of world leaders and an extraordinary opportunity to steer the world economy toward a more equitable, stable and productive architecture which achieves the goal of “win-win” cooperation, long advocated by China, and ultimately benefiting both developed and developing countries alike.  The theme of the Hangzhou Summit is:  “Toward an innovative, Invigorated, Interconnected and Inclusive World Economy.”

During the April 21 Statement to the United Nations High-Level Thematic Debate on Achieving Sustainable Development Goals, China’s  Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs and G20 Sherpa, Li Baodong stated:

“The G20 embraces development as a source of strength and stands ready to work with  developing countries to look for drivers of world economic growth.  Development shall be in the genes of the G20 agenda…Development is everywhere, be it in the macroeconomic policy, international trade and investment, innovative growth and global economic governance.  The G20 works for the benefit os not only its 20 member states, but the whole world.  We will listen to more voices, pool more wisdom, and make even bigger contribution to common development of mankind and greater prosperity of the world.”


In a diplomatic and intriguing statement to the press, at the United Nations, also on April 21, G20 Sous-Sherpa Wang Xiaolong captured the enormity of the challenge confronting the G20 Summit, and the entire world, stating:

“Eight years after the financial crisis, the world economy still is weak and fragile;  this is the slowest and weakest recovery process after a crisis, and one of the reasons is because the old modality of growth has largely run its course, and we need to find new drivers for the growth of the world economy.  An important source of growth is innovation and the development of the developing countries.”

Wang Xiaolong’s statement encapsulates the current global economic crisis which has reached staggering and unsustainable proportions, the crisis of burgeoning inequality denounced and unredressed almost a half century ago at the United Nations Eleventh Special Session on Economic Development, when Joachim Chissano, then Foreign Minister of Mozambique deplored the fact that:

“The existing economic order is profoundly unjust…It runs counter to the basic interests of developing countries.  We denounce any kind of economic prosperity or independence for part of mankind built on the dependence, domination and exploitation of the rest of mankind.”

The  severity of this persistent injustice was again denounced, three decades later, at the United Nations  General Assembly, on September 24, 2009 when Stjepan Mesic, then President of the Republic of Croatia stated:

“Our world is, finally, still dominated by an economic model which is self-evidently exhausted and has now reached a stage where it is itself generating crises, causing hardship to thousands and hundreds of thousands of people.  If one attempts to save this already obsolete model at any cost, if one stubbornly defends a system based on greed and devoid of any social note worthy of mention, the result can be only one:  social unrest harbouring the potential to erupt into social insurgence on a global scale.”

This relentless injustice of the current global economic architecture was directly confronted on April 21 by Li Baodong who stated:

“Inequality in the international system and governance mechanism is the biggest inequality of all…This year China has relaunched the G20 International Financial Architecture Working Group…held in-depth discussions on such issues as sovereign debt restructuring, global financial safety nets..We have also worked to promote inclusive finance and help to bring its benefit to developing countries and their vulnerable groups…As the biggest developing country, China knows full well that without the development of developing countries it would be impossible to invigorate the momentum of global development, tap into new and broader markets, or place the world economic recovery and growth on a solid footing.  True development will not be achieved until the world economies grow in a coordinated manner, various industries realize inter-connected and win-win progress, and people in all walks of life enjoy shared prosperity.”

At the Hangzhou G20 Summit China will encourage resolution of both the symptoms and root causes of economic problems, which inevitably morph into social and political problems.  China has courageously accepted and shouldered the Herculean task of persuading leaders and finance ministers of countries whose economies are based on outmoded and counterproductive zero-sum thinking of the imperative of change;  and recognizes the necessity of transforming that rigid mind-set into acknowledgment and acceptance of the fact that win-win cooperation is now the only hope for humanity’s survival.

The G20 Hangzhou Summit is at the cross-roads of world history, and a supreme opportunity to encourage world leaders to focus, predominantly on the paramount importance of investment in equitable global development, eschewing destructive investment tendencies which may inevitably provoke antagonism, confrontation and annihilating war.  It is impossible to ignore or minimize the fact that the G20 gathering of leaders of both developed and developing countries is taking place against a backdrop of countervailing  and sometimes ominous tendencies.

China’s task is daunting, but throughout the last and present century, China has shown almost superhuman ability to overcome enormous and virtually insurmountable obstacles, as a result of powerful strategic thinking, great determination, and formidable intelligence.  China’s success in restructuring its own economy and society, and ascending to global pre-eminence, is a basis for hope that their win-win approach to the new global economic architecture will prevail and gain acceptance by all participants in the G20 Summit.

Resurgence of the West’s Cold War Mentality 

Among the challenges faced by China, as a nation is the resurgence of a cold-war mentality in sectors of some of the countries participating in the G20 Summit.   Although this is a sensitive subject to raise, it would be tantamount to an ostrich hiding its head in the sand to omit the fact that despite fierce opposition by distinguished members of the US Congress, including Senator Diane Feinstein,and wiser leaders of the US Military, such as former Secretary of Defense, William Perry, the US is investing one trillion dollars in developing nuclear weapons in coming years.

“The diminished nuclear arms and nonnuclear weapons that Mr. Obama is developing could make the unthinkable more likely.  They make the weapons seem more usable, even if there’s no credible plan for how you control escalation. “ (Perry)

Britain’s new Prime Minister Theresa May recently supported Britain’s investment of 51 billion dollars in development of new nuclear weapons, and Germany has now pledged to invest 148 billion dollars in military development.

These provocative military investments by economies which prioritize profit maximization to the exclusion of all other considerations could precipitate another arms race, and ultimately Armageddon, for it is not possible to ignore the fact that war is one of the most profitable “ïndustries” of all for the miniscule group of arms merchants.

Further, the US is investing an exorbitant sum of money in the Thaad missile system based in the Republic of Korea, despite enraged domestic protest within the Republic of Korea against this provocative military expenditure, an increased militarization of the Korean peninsula which disrupts and destabilizes the geopolitical balance of North Asia, and constitutes a grave threat to the security of both China and Russia.  The reach of the Thaad X Band is so wide (almost 2,000 kilometers) that it is disingenuous to allege, and to expect anyone to believe that the target is the DPRK.

Five percent of the world’s military budget could fund the entire United Nations 2030 Agenda, transforming the world into a virtual paradise, funding research to discover the cure for terminal diseases, providing healthy environments and living spaces for everyone on the planet, and eliminating many of the root-causes of the now global scourge of terrorism.  One major war could obliterate all successful development efforts and accomplishments by the United Nations.

With China’s concentrated and compelling focus on development and win-win cooperation, it will be their Presidency’s ultimate triiumph to persuade the leaders of the G20 gathered in Hangzhou that investment in global development and human capital is a wiser and more lucrative long-term use of their resources than recklessly and mindlessly squandering trillions of dollars on life-destroying weapons, the result of which is inevitably fatal for humanity.  China’s victory at the G20 Summit in Hangzhou will be to persuade the participants of the entire conference that win-win cooperation is not only « the right thing to do, but it is the smart thing to do.

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America’s “Humanitarian War” against the World

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky, August 14 2016

We are not dealing with piecemeal military and intelligence operations. Major military and covert intelligence operations are being undertaken simultaneously in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia and the Asia Pacific region. A US-NATO war on Russia, China and Iran is part of the US presidential election debate.

Trump1Donald Trump and the ISIS Factor

By Dr. Binoy Kampmark, August 13 2016

Ever straddling that fine line between the absurd and the puncturing revelation, Donald J. Trump’s “ISIS” remarks about the Obama administration and the Democrat presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, were vintage.  “[Obama] was the founder of ISIS absolutely, the way he removed our troops. … I call them [Obama and Hillary Clinton] co-founders.”


Political Assassinations – The “New Normal” Trend Weapon of the Global Elites?

By Peter Koenig, August 14 2016

Assassinations to reach an objective is not new for the all-powerful. The practice has been going on at least for centuries, if not for millennia, but it has intensified drastically in the last fifty years, and it is becoming ever bolder, as the rulers of the Anglosphere tighten their grip on humanity – on Mother Earth and her resources.

New-Cold-WarRethinking The Cold War

By Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, August 13 2016

The Cold War began during the Truman administration and lasted through the Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, and Carter administrations and was ended in Reagan’s second term when Reagan and Gorbachev came to an agreement that the conflict was dangerous, expensive, and pointless.

Death of the Bees. Genetically Modified Crops and the Decline of Bee Colonies in North America

Bayer AG Makes “Bee Contraceptives”. It’s the German Chemical Company Which Absorbed Monsanto

By F. William Engdahl, August 15 2016

Most will wonder what I mean when I say Bayer AG, the German chemicals and drug company, the same one that just absorbed Monsanto, makes bee contraceptives. This is precisely what a newly-published, peer-reviewed scientific study confirms. Contraceptives for bees are not good for the world, no better than another product invented in the labs of Bayer, namely heroin. Bayer makes a class of insect killers known as neonicotinides. Their free use worldwide threatens bee pollination and the entire food chain.

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La recherche a jusqu’ici extrapolé l’influence sur l’économie mondiale de l’Asie du Sud-Est et les aspects les plus pertinents de son histoire récente, qui fixent la toile de fond de la situation actuelle pour saisir l’importance géostratégique de l’ASEAN. La région joue un rôle essentiel dans la facilitation du réseau du commerce international de la Chine, et c’est pour cette raison que les États-Unis ont cherché à la déstabiliser et passer les flux sous leur contrôle. En réponse, la Chine a tenté de briser le bloc de confinement construit contre elle et de rationaliser les deux corridors du continent à titre de compensation géopolitique partielle.

C’est là, dans l’ASEAN, que se trouve la tension de la nouvelle guerre froide. Les États-Unis se synchronisent, alternativement, à la fois avec les parties continentale et maritime de la Coalition de confinement de la Chine (CCC) afin d’anticiper l’évasionde Pékin de ce piège géopolitique à l’échelle régionale. Dans le même temps, la Chine continue à faire avancer courageusement ses programmes maritimes et continentaux. Sur ce front maritime, les États-Unis ne peuvent que recourir à des mécanismes de puissances classiques pour maintenir la Chine sous contrôle et à des alliances de politique politicienne traditionnelle. L’aspect continental de cette campagne de confinement peut en revanche englober des tactiques plus insidieuses.

Les progrès majeurs réalisés jusqu’à présent avec le Corridor du pipeline Chine-Myanmar et la Route de la Soie de l’ASEAN ont suscité la crainte à Washington que Pékin ait habilement évité l’enceinte de confinement du piège américain en mer de Chine du Sud. En réponse, les États-Unis se sont sentis obligés de faire tout leur possible pour prendre le contrôle de la partie continentale des voies alternativesque la Chine prépare dans l’ASEAN, et si elles ne peuvent pas être géopolitiquement prévenues (ce qui semble se produire au Myanmar en ce moment), les États-Unis n’hésiteront pas à déclencher une guerre hybride pour l’arrêter.

Ligne de vie géo-économique chinoise pour l’Afrique

La croissance régulière et cohérente de l’ASEAN tient à un certain nombre de raisons, mais avant tout avec sa géographie, qui lui permet de relier le commerce maritime Est et Ouest eurasien. Les navires qui passent dans les deux sens depuis la Chine, le Japon et la Corée du Sud, d’une part, et l’UE, l’Afrique, le Moyen-Orient et l’Asie du Sud d’autre part, doivent absolument transiter par l’Asie du Sud-Est. Une exception à cette règle géo-économique émerge cependant de plus en plus, puisque la fonte des glaces de l’Arctique va bientôt faire de la route maritime du Nord une option commercialement beaucoup plus viable pour le commerce de l’UE avec l’Est de l’Asie. Cela ne supprimera toutefois pas du tout enlever le rôle de transit de l’Asie du Sud-Est pour l’interaction économique Sud-Sud entre la Chine et l’Afrique, le Moyen-Orient et l’Asie du Sud.

Plus précisément, l’océan Indien et les voies d’accès connexes du détroit de Malacca et de la mer de Chine du Sud deviendront progressivement plus importantes que toutes les autres pour le commerce sino-africain. C’est le résultat des Routes de la soie continentales reliant directement la Chine au Moyen-Orient (par le biais du chemin de fer Chine-Iran) et à l’Asie du Sud (à travers le corridor économique sino-pakistanais et le corridor BCIM), à condition bien sûr qu’elles soient construites avec succès. Qu’elles le soient ou non ne devrait pas avoir d’impact sur les liens de la Chine avec l’Afrique en raison de l’impossibilité de relier géographiquement le continent avec l’infrastructure connective eurasienne, renforçant ainsi la motivation pour la partie maritime du projet One Belt One Road.

Xi Jinping and South Africa President Jacob Zuma co-host the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, December 2015
Xi Jinping et le président d’Afrique du Sud Jacob Zuma lors du Sommet de Johannesburg du Forum sur la coopération Chine-Afrique, décembre 2015

Le deuxième document de la politique africaine de la Chine,  révélé en décembre 2015, met l’accent sur la priorité que Pékin attribue au renforcement des relations à tous les niveaux avec tous ses homologues africains, en particulier en ce qui concerne le domaine économique. De même, une conférence sur la Route de la Soie à Lianyungang en septembre 2015 a confirmé que la Chine a besoin des marchés africains en tant que destinations pour son investissement extérieur, prévu à son tour pour maintenir les futurs taux de croissance du pays et assurer parallèlement la stabilité sociale. Comprise de cette manière, il est d’une importance primordiale pour la Chine de se réserver un accès gratuit à ses partenaires africains et de prévenir les obstacles géopolitiques au commerce bilatéral.

Comme la mer de Chine méridionale fait de plus en plus l’objet d’une forte influence américaine et comme le détroit de Malacca est déjà une voie navigable sous contrôle américain, l’impulsion organique développée par la Chine pour ouvrir une paire de routes terrestres traversant l’ASEAN jusqu’à l’océan Indien évite ces deux zones sous influences. Le corridor du pipeline Chine-Myanmar et la Route de la Soie de l’ASEAN sont les solutions géo-économiques à ce dilemme, mais ils sont aussi la raison pour laquelle les États-Unis ont jeté leur dévolu sur le Myanmar, le Laos et la Thaïlande pour les faire basculer loin de la Chine. Si l’un de ces gouvernements devait rejeter fermement les demandes qui leur sont présentées, les États-Unis pourraient exécuter leurs menaces tacites de guerre hybride afin de détruire les plans d’infrastructure de la Chine avec ses routes de contournement.

Relancer les troubles en mer de Chine du Sud

Les dessous stratégiques

La raison principale pour laquelle la Chine doit recourir à des voies de contournement au Myanmar, au Laos et en Thaïlande tient aux troubles suscités par les États-Unis dans la mer de Chine méridionale. La flotte de la marine marchande de la Chine peut encore naviguer dans les eaux comme elle l’entend, mais la menace stratégique croissante sur sa future liberté de mouvement est évidente. Les Chinois n’ont jamais été du genre à prendre des risques inutiles, surtout quand leur sécurité nationale est en jeu. En réponse, Pékin a donc décidé de réduire sa dépendance totale à cette voie navigable et de rationaliser les deux solutions continentales complémentaires.

Néanmoins, pour le moment, le Corridor du pipeline Chine-Myanmar en est encore à ses débuts, et la route elle-même est extrêmement vulnérable aux attaques des rebelles, même si ce n’est encore jamais arrivé. En outre, l’aspect économique non lié aux ressources de ce corridor doit encore être concrétisé, un grand et précieux potentiel attendant encore d’être exploité. En ce qui concerne l’autre projet, la Route de la Soie de l’ASEAN, elle n’a pas encore été construite et nécessitera quelques années avant d’être entièrement opérationnelle (sinon sur toute sa longueur, au moins partiellement, à travers la Thaïlande et jusqu’à l’océan Indien).

Cela signifie que la dépendance de la Chine envers sa mer du Sud est toujours un facteur important susceptible d’être exploité par les États-Unis jusque-là, avec une fenêtre stratégique rétrécissant chaque année au fur et à mesure que les projets de détour par le continent font des progrès et entrent progressivement en service. Au cas où l’un ou l’autre projet était saboté ou reporté indéfiniment, les États-Unis, de façon prévisible, prolongeraient et renforceraient leur étau stratégique, gagnant sur l’un des conduits commerciaux les plus vitaux de la Chine. Si Washington devait réussir à déclencher un chaos à grande échelle en Asie centrale et à perturber le pont terrestre eurasiatique vers l’Europe, la Chine resterait très certainement presque entièrement dépendante de la mer de Chine méridionale, et donc particulièrement vulnérable au chantage géopolitique des États-Unis.

L’échelle d’escalade

L’histoire moderne du différend en mer de Chine méridionale est compliquée et controversée, mais ce qui est moins confus, c’est que la Chine a eu des revendications historiques sur la région depuis des siècles qui sont à la base de sa position actuelle. Sans entrer plus en détail sur la question, il est important de documenter encore la progression générale de l’escalade qui a eu lieu depuis que les États-Unis ont pris l’initiative de ranimer ce long conflit gelé. Bien que des affrontements sur certaines des revendications des participants aient eu lieu par le passé, la question avait été largement mise en veilleuse au profit des affaires régionales, toutes les parties reconnaissant implicitement qu’il était dans l’intérêt commun de tous de maintenir un statu quo pacifique et stable. Cela a considérablement changé après l’annonce par les États-Unis de leur Pivot vers l’Asie à la fin de 2011. Dans les années qui ont suivi, Washington exercé une pression énorme sur le Vietnam et les Philippines pour aggraver la situation.

South China Sea dispute
Différent en mer de Chine méridionale

Les actions révisionnistes d’Hanoi et de Manille (dans le sens de la modification du statu quo antérieur) sont apparues comme une tentative coordonnée pour aiguillonner Pékin afin de provoquer une réaction irrationnelle et émotionnelle. Le gouvernement chinois est très versé dans les gestes calculés et il n’a donc pas été dupé en commettant un acte irréversible qui pourrait mettre sa position en danger. Étonnamment, ce qu’il avait décidé de faire était de prendre l’initiative de faire valoir ses revendications de souveraineté tout en évitant prudemment toute sorte d’engagement militaire inutile (peu importe le niveau de provocation) qui pourrait le faire tomber dans un piège préfabriqué du Pentagone. La Chine a senti le coup venir et a réalisé que si elle ne prenait pas des mesures déterminées pour récupérer ses possessions insulaires, le Vietnam et les Philippines seraient dans une position relativement forte pour faire valoir leurs demandes respectives, ce qui aurait pu être facilement utilisé par les États-Unis pour intervenir et prendre en charge la voie navigable.

En se dressant face à l’agression américaine par proxy, la Chine a surpris les décideurs américains qui étaient convaincus que la Chine reculerait, ce qui les a incités à exploiter à leur tour toutes les moyens d’information possibles pour discréditer les mouvements de Pékin. En outre, alors que les États-Unis avaient auparavant bénéficié d’une escalade de leur domination en mer de Chine du Sud, c’est maintenant la Chine qui a pris l’initiative et a fortifié des sites insulaires, conduisant les observateurs à se demander si cette position ambiguë avait des applications défensives et / ou offensives. Pris en grande partie au dépourvu, les États-Unis ont réalisé que les tables avaient tourné et que la Chine avait regagné une meilleure position stratégique aux dépens de Washington et de ses alliés. Pour compenser cela, les États-Unis ont réagi en poussant leur stratégie prédéfinie d’escalade multilatérale pour faire passer le conflit d’un cadre régional à l’échelle plus vaste de l’Asie, en y attirant l’Inde et le Japon.


L’aggravation progressive de cette escalade par les États-Unis a le potentiel inquiétant, mais très réel, de faire sauter le bouchon d’un conflit inévitable un jour ou l’autre dans l’avenir, ce qui pourrait très bien être le plan ultime (quoique dans des conditions où les USA auraient le monopole du contrôle). Le premier rang des partenaires manipulés de Washington entre dans le théâtre sud-est asiatique par des moyens à la fois maritimes et terrestres avec une implication anti-chinoise de l’Inde et du Japon qui augmente la pression (que ce soit sur le plan économique, des infrastructures, et / ou des manifestations militaires) pour des conflits par procuration à des niveaux sans précédent. Il convient de rappeler que l’Inde et le Japon ont chacun leurs propres intérêts, qu’ils pensent promouvoir à travers leurs engagements provocateurs. Et, pour être juste, certains gouvernements (comme au Myanmar, au Vietnam et aux Philippines) sont plus que disposés à le leur permettre, afin de récolter les avantages anti-chinois qui s’ensuivraient. Ceux-ci seront discutés plus à fond dans la section suivante, mais ce qu’il est important de réaliser, c’est que l’escalade pré-planifiée que les USA ont lancée dans la mer de Chine méridionale a servi d’excuse très pratique pour toutes sortes d’escalades parallèles depuis lors, dont chacune est liée au confinement de la Chine d’une manière aussi multilatérale que possible.

La coalition du confinement de la Chine

Pour accomplir la tâche gigantesque de contenir la Chine, une coalition informelle à grande échelle de toutes sortes d’États est en cours de formation, sous la tutelle américaine. L’auteur a exploré globalement cet engagement massif dans l’article Le projet d’OTAN Asiatique doit être arrêté, mais il est nécessaire de revoir certains de ces principes les plus importants afin de familiariser le lecteur avec le néo-confinement en cours. La Coalition du confinement de la Chine (CCC) est un néologisme utilisé pour décrire cette alliance de fait, avec ses deux composantes, maritime et continentale. L’utilisation la plus pertinente de la CCC se rapporte bien sûr à la mer de Chine du Sud et aux États-Unis, qui ont intérêt à maintenir la stabilité de chacun des membres actifs qui participent à ce théâtre géo-critique. Les USA peuvent cependant bricoler avec des menaces de guerres hybrides punitives pour garder certains des membres sous contrôle et / ou créer un front plausible pour justifier un engagement militaire plus profond de chacun d’eux, même si cela pourrait involontairement provoquer une spirale incontrôlée et conduire à des conséquences inattendues. Les possibilités de guerres hybrides pour chacun des pays de l’ASEAN (à la fois celles qui pourraient involontairement éclater au sein de la CCC et celles délibérément planifiées contre des cibles spécifiques) seront ultérieurement étudiées à fond dans ce travail. Mais l’accent est mis ici sur l’organisation générale et les relations de pouvoir au sein de la CCC.

Liste des Membres

La CCC est un bloc stratégique largement inclusif dont les membres ont leurs propres motivations pour contenir la Chine. Ce qui suit est une énumération des États impliqués, ainsi qu’une explication de ce qu’ils croient être leurs raisons égoïstes pour y participer.


Washington est surtout motivé par des considérations géostratégiques concrètes, estimant que le confinement de la Chine est nécessaire pour prolonger indéfiniment l’hégémonie américaine sur l’Eurasie. La Chine est l’un des trois  puissants grands centres multipolaires qui repoussent la domination des États-Unis sur le supercontinent (les deux autres étant la Russie et l’Iran), et les États-Unis veulent obtenir un effet de levier géopolitique sur la Chine en contrôlant ses flux économiques vitaux sur mer et sur terre en Asie du Sud-Est. Les États-Unis craignent que la Chine émergente puisse diriger un système révolutionnaire de relations internationales post-modernes basées sur les avantages gagnant-gagnant, un vrai partenariat sur un pied d’égalité (le véritable concept derrière la tentative One Belt One Road) couplé à la hausse des capacités navales de Pékin. Ils estiment que la Chine pourrait devenir assez puissante pour affaiblir la mainmise unipolaire de Washington sur la région. Si le contrôle des États-Unis sur l’Asie du Sud commence à se détériorer, peut-être simultanément à un processus parallèle au Moyen-Orient, les États-Unis subiraient un coup géopolitique majeur à partir duquel leur contrôle hégémonique pourrait ne jamais être complètement rétabli.


L’État-île a toujours été le principal rival géopolitique et civilisationnel de la Chine, et les tensions actuelles entre les deux ne montrent rien d’autre qu’un retour de l’histoire fabriqué par la main américaine. Le Japon aspire à la direction de l’ensemble de l’espace Est et Sud-Est asiatique, estimant que sa supériorité navale historique et son identité maritime lui donnent le droit de jouer un rôle de premier plan dans l’orientation des événements régionaux. Pour ajouter un peu de substance à ses grandes ambitions, c’est aussi le seul pays, à part les États-Unis, qui a l’expérience d’un capital excédentaire et de la gestion nécessaire pour rivaliser avec la Chine dans le développement de ce bloc en croissance rapide. En outre, alors que l’histoire de la Seconde Guerre mondiale et de la conquête de l’Asie du Sud-Est par le Japon a été objectivement un moment très sombre et brutal pour la région, une grande partie des populations de ces pays, et leurs gouvernements, ont été poussés à une telle frénésie nationaliste anti-chinoise ces derniers temps qu’ils semblent prêts à oublier les faits négatifs de cette période pour ne garder que des connotations anti-colonialistes positives.

La pertinence de ce constat de nos jours est que les États-Unis ont largement réussi à convaincre les gens au Vietnam et aux Philippines que la Chine est le dernier colonisateur à se glisser dans la région, avec le message subtil qu’un Japon réformé, nonimpérialiste peut les libérer préventivement de leur servitude à venir. Tokyo veut déjà approfondir son emprise sur les marchés de l’ASEAN (à la fois commerciaux et militaires), et être littéralement appelé par certains membres de la région à le faire, avec le soutien total des États-Unis. C’est sans doute la meilleure stimulation de soft power que le Japon aurait jamais pu espérer. Le récit construit en jeu ici est que les méchants Chinois tentent de contrôler la région et ses ressources maritimes, tandis que le Japon, le bon gars anti-chinois, est prêt à faire ce qu’il faut pour contrer la Chine, les fiables États-Unis gardant un œil sur elle pour assurer qu’elle ne retombe pas dans ses habitudes colonialistes. L’ironie de l’affaire est que c’est le Japon et les États-Unis, et non la Chine, qui sont repliés sur une prise de pouvoir néo-colonialiste en Asie du Sud-Est, mais les services d’information unipolaires dans la région ont largement influencé leurs homologues européens en répétant mot pour mot les éléments de langage de ce schéma de pensée et diffusant une fausse réalité.


La stratégie de New Delhi dans tout cela est de limiter la montée de son rival géopolitique naturel. Pour cela, on l’a vu prendre une position progressivement plus affirmée dans la lutte autour de la crise de la mer de Chine méridionale. Le gouvernement de l’Inde a largement joué les timides avec la Chine dans son interaction pragmatique avec elle dans les cadres multilatéraux de grande envergure tels que l’AIIB, les BRICS et l’OCS, mais en étant nettement moins constructif quant aux relations bilatérales indirectes. Pour expliquer cela, les relations de l’Inde avec les États et les régions d’intérêt commun et la Chine ont tendance à être beaucoup plus compétitives et puent les intentions de jeu à somme nulle de la part de New Delhi, par exemple, lorsque qu’il s’agit d’aborder la liberté de navigation en mer de Chine méridionale conjointement avec le Japon ou de bloquer unilatéralement le Népal. Une guerre froide non déclarée mais clairement observable est en cours entre les deux grandes puissances asiatiques, bien que ni l’une ni l’autre ne soit prête à l’admettre publiquement. C’est dans ce contexte que l’Inde désire provoquer la Chine en Asie du Sud-Est. Bien qu’elle n’ait pas encore envoyé des navires de guerre dans la région, la possibilité n’a pas été  écartée explicitement par New Delhi, et il est tout à fait probable que l’Inde pourrait trouver un prétexte pour le faire à l’avenir (que ce soit sous la rubrique liberté de navigation ou en participant à une opération CCC multilatérale).

Ajoutons à cela que l’Inde est clairement dans une logique de montée en puissance de son bon droit et d’une confiance en soi retrouvée et encouragée par ses élites pour répandre son influence dans les régions environnantes. La soi-disant Route du Coton suggérée comme contre-poids institutionnel à la nouvelle Route de la Soie va probablement s’étirer en Asie du Sud-Est, compte tenu du lien historique entre l’Inde et la région qui a été décrit dans le deuxième chapitre. La base politique de l’Inde pour le faire est appelée Loi sur l’Est. C’est la version Modi de la politique beaucoup plus passive Regard sur l’Est de son prédécesseur. Cela comprend non seulement l’ASEAN, mais aussi le Japon et l’interaction entre ces deux États contrôlés en coulisse par les États-Unis au milieu de la géographie de l’Asie du Sud-Est qui sera bientôt décrite. La proximité physique est un catalyseur évident pour accélérer les relations bilatérales de l’Inde avec l’ASEAN et l’autoroute trilatérale entre l’Inde, le Myanmar et la Thaïlande (l’Autoroute ASEAN) est conçue pour intégrer physiquement le sous-continent SAARC au bloc ASEAN voisin. Il suffit de le dire, la réussite de ce projet infuserait directement l’Asie du Sud-Est avec un flux régulier d’influence économique et institutionnelle indien qui pourrait constituer un défi de taille pour la Chine. Son effet spécifique sur le pivot anti-chinois du Myanmar sera détaillé plus tard dans la recherche.


Le chef de file continental de l’ASEAN pour la CCC a une aversion violente pour la Chine, en dépit du fait qu’elle soit son grand voisin et, ironiquement, aussi son plus grand partenaire commercial. À certains égards, cela joue dans la rhétorique anti-chinoise et les ambitions politiques de certaines élites de Hanoi, puisqu’elles ont pu présenter cela avec un succès suffisant comme une forme d’hégémonie chinoise, ce qui a incité le reste du gouvernement à une réaction nationaliste instinctive le conduisant à accepter de monter à bord du TPP américain. Le nationalisme anti-chinois est à un tel niveau parmi les éléments les plus influents de la direction du Vietnam que le pays, autrefois si fier de son indépendance, a même fait marche arrière sur ses principes historiques en s’alliant étroitement avec son ancien persécuteur américain dans la lutte contre son voisin du Nord. Comme cela a été discuté plus haut lors de la description de la longue histoire des relations sino-vietnamienne, il y a certainement une méfiance enracinée à l’égard de la Chine dans l’identité vietnamienne en raison de la longue période millénaire où le Vietnam a fait parti de l’Empire. Il est clair que les États-Unis ont exploité ce trait psychologique en planifiant un  dégel des différends en mer de Chine méridionale.


Les spécialistes de l’information de guerre ont probablement été consultés à l’avance afin de concevoir les moyens les plus efficaces pour égarer la population vietnamienne dans une interprétation de l’interventionnisme diplomatique américain non sollicité comme une agression chinoise. L’effet cumulé de cette manipulation de l’information nationaliste attrayante est que les forces anti-chinoises dans le pays l’ont emporté de manière décisive sur les forces plus pragmatiques. Le Vietnam a finalement choisi un alignement avec les forces unipolaires orientées qui encerclent militairement et économiquement la Chine. En devenant la tête de pont continentale des États-Unis dans la CCC, le Vietnam espère sans doute une acceptation américaine de ce qui sera probablement bientôt une nouvelle tentative de ressusciter son rôle de premier plan dans les anciennes terres françaises d’Indochine. Hanoi a encore une influence institutionnelle importante sur Vientiane [capitale du Laos, NdT] (notamment militaire et économique), mais elle est évidemment relativement en perte de vitesse depuis la fin de la guerre froide, alors que le Vietnam a, en urgence, tenté de rattraper son retard sur la Chine au Cambodge depuis que son armée s’est retirée en 1989 ré-ouvrant la porte à l’influence de Pékin. La contre-proposition du Vietnam à ces deux voisins [Cambodge et Laos, NdT] aux liens d’amitiés avec la Chine est de créer un prétendu triangle de développemententre eux, mais en réalité il ne servirait que de véhicule au retour de l’influence vietnamienne dans ces pays.


L’ancienne colonie américaine est beaucoup plus faible que la Chine, quel que soit le critère, et sa population est facilement agacée par des techniques simples des marchands de peur. À son tour, elle se présente comme une cible tentante pour les opérations d’information anti-chinoises des États-Unis, qui en fin de compte reposent sur le retour de la présence du Pentagone dans cet archipel. L’empreinte américaine est partout aux Philippines en raison de la période coloniale post-Seconde Guerre mondiale (essentiellement une continuation de l’ancien régime mais sous l’étiquette à consonance plus acceptable d’indépendance). La présence dominatrice de Washington a eu pour effet collatéral prévisible d’engendrer de forts sentiments anti-américains qui se sont manifestés par la suite dans le renversement en 1986 du leader contrôlé Ferdinand Marcos et l’arrêté de 1991 pour le retrait militaire complet des États-Unis. La campagne militaire contre les séparatistes du sud et les terroristes musulmans (qui ont malheureusement fusionné en un mouvement semi-unifié qui a pour le moment largement discrédité les anciens mouvements) a entraîné le retour des forces spéciales américaines dans le pays en 2002 sur la base d’une coopération anti-terroriste.

L’insurrection intermittente qui a été combattue depuis a fourni le prétexte nécessaire pour intégrer «du personnel militaire US plus profondément dans le pays jusqu’à faire partie intégrante des outils anti-terroriste philippins». Mais ce n’a pas été suffisant pour le retour complet des forces que le Pentagone avait initialement à l’esprit. Le Pivot vers l’Asie de 2011 et l’agitation américaine ultérieure sur le différend en mer de Chine méridionale a permis d’attiser un sentiment nationaliste dans le pays, professionnellement canalisé par les États-Unis et leurs agents d’information affiliés (à la fois les formels, la TV et le web, et les informels tels que les ONG) dans un sens anti-chinoise intéressé. Le plan des États-Unis était d’inciter les Philippines, pays anciennement colonisé par eux, à inviter au retour d’une présence militaire américaine dans le pays pour défendre son influence en mer de Chine méridionale face à une Chine agressive. Même alors, les sensibilités politiques nationales opposées à un tel mouvement font remonter une forte émotion, c’est pourquoi les États-Unis ont dû utiliser par euphémisme un accord de coopération de défense renforcée en avril 2015, qui leur a donné le droit de faire périodiquement tourner leurs troupes sur 8 bases philippines, mais buté contre un contrôle formel des installations. À toutes fins utiles, cela revient au même, mais c’est décrit différemment par l’échappatoire de la rotation afin d’apaiser les Philippins patriotes qui sont totalement opposés à un retour de l’armée américaine sur le sol national autrefois dominé.

La situation actuelle aux Philippines est effectivement un peu paradoxale pour une population largement nationaliste et fière. Beaucoup de gens sont apathiques (ou même  bienveillants) face au retour des forces américaines dans leur pays, après avoir été induit en erreur au point de croire qu’une réoccupation par leur ancien occupant, qu’ils avaient évincé précédemment, est en quelque sorte préférable à un partenariat pragmatique et total avec la Chine. Cette contradiction, source de confusion, ne sert qu’à démontrer l’efficacité des opérations de guerre de l’information des États-Unis, et indique aussi le niveau de soumission et de collaboration total des différents éléments de l’élite philippine. Les personnalités politiques qui soutiennent publiquement un retour militaire des États-Unis aux Philippines, soit ne réalisent pas, par naïveté, que ce n’est qu’une répétition du même plan impérialiste, soit, de façon plus réaliste, en sont bien conscientes, mais se sont positionnées de façon à tirer profit assez grassement de cet arrangement. On ne peut souligner assez à quel point cela contrevient à l’intérêt national des Philippines de voir le pays réinviter l’armée américaine à revenir sur son territoire, et tandis que les particuliers pourraient être pardonnés d’avoir été victime de la guerre de l’information nationaliste et anti-chinoise enragée menée par les USA, leurs élites dirigeantes n’ont pas de telles excuses et sont entièrement complices de la réoccupation de leur pays.


L’implication de Canberra dans la CCC est minime, mais symbolique, et prouve jusqu’où l’Australie est prête à aller pour se comporter comme une petite Amériquedans son coin de l’Asie du Sud-Est. Les élites australiennes sont généralement animées par des ambitions politiques qui ne correspondent pas au potentiel réel de leur pays-continent, et froisser militairement les plumes de la Chine dans un jeu de poulet aux enjeux élevés en fait certainement partie. Cela révèle que l’Australie a ffectué des vols de provocations sur la liberté de navigation  au-dessus de la mer de Chine méridionale, bien qu’elle ait formellement des relations positives avec la Chine par le biais d’un accord de libre-échange signé récemment. À ce stade, il est nécessaire d’établir une distinction entre les loyautés économiques et militaires de l’Australie, qui ne correspondent pas entre elles. L’ALE avec la Chine fait allusion à un semblant de pragmatisme, mais la loyauté militaire stratégique de l’Australie à l’égard des États-Unis est tout à fait contre-productive pour opérer des percées plus importantes que pourrait le permettre un seul pacte économique à l’avenir. L’élimination évidente de l’intérêt national que cela implique est symptomatique du complexe d’infériorité des élites politiques australiennes actuelles vis-à-vis des États-Unis et d’autres pays occidentaux. Pourtant Canberra semble avoir l’intention de marquer des points avec ses pairs anglo-saxons et gagner leur parrainage sous peine de compromettre concrètement ses liens avec son premier partenaire économique.

Cette politique à courte vue est intrinsèquement intenable et ne peut pas continuer indéfiniment. Cependant, il est probable que la Chine réponde à toutes les mesures économiques punitives si peu de temps après la signature de l’ALE. En outre, l’Australie a fait le pari que la Chine a plus besoin de ses ressources en fer que l’Australie a besoin de ce patronage économique (bien que ce soit un pari douteux). Mais étant donné que l’arrangement est mutuellement bénéfique pour le moment, Beijing n’est pas enclin à le couper brutalement. Pourvu que l’Australie maintienne ses provocations au strict minimum et à l’intensité la plus basse possible, la Chine va probablement les ignorer, à part éventuellement publier une déclaration très ferme contre elle. Il est cependant très difficile de maintenir un tel équilibre artificiel alors que les États-Unis encourageront inévitablement  l’Australie à en faire plus à l’avenir. L’Australie estime également que les provocations anti-chinoises actuelles lui permettront de se rapprocher de certains de ses nouveaux partenaires de libre-échange de l’ASEAN, mais eux aussi (surtout le Vietnam et les Philippines) uniront probablement leurs forces avec les États-Unis en appelant à une présence australienne plus active en mer de Chine du Sud.

Canberra n’a probablement pas prévu cela quand il a initialement signé la CCC (quel faible engagement cela pourrait être), et il sera par conséquent pressé de prendre une décision difficile et de choisir entre ses principaux partenaires économiques et stratégiques ( la Chine et les États-Unis, respectivement). La mise en garde, cependant, est qu’avec la dépendance de la Chine à l’égard de l’Australie via les achats de minerai de fer, celle-ci sera réticente à prendre des mesures concrètes contre son partenair», même s’il augmente son activité anti-chinoise. Et ce jusqu’à ce qu’elle trouve un troisième partenaire majeur pour diversifier ses importations en provenance de pays comme le Brésil, elle sera probablement encline à préserver le statu quo des relations économiques. D’autre part, comme l’ALE est en plein essor et commence à impliquer plus activement des secteurs hors de la seule exploitation minière, il est possible que la Chine puisse établir quelques points d’appui stratégiques imprévus dans l’économie australienne qui pourraient être utiles pour uniformiser les règles du jeu et dissuader toute agression australienne totalement inutile dans la mer de Chine du Sud. [Sans compter la grande diaspora chinoise en Australie, NdT]

Hiérarchie de la puissance

La CCC opère sous une hiérarchie de puissance simple qui est expressément dominée par les États-Unis. Ce mécanisme peut être conceptualisé par le modèle simple ci-dessous:


Le modèle suivant ajoute des détails sur le cadre et l’adapte aux spécificités de la mission en mer de Chine du Sud de la CCC:


Il est assez facile de comprendre le flux de pouvoir dans les hiérarchies précitées. Les États-Unis, exécuteurs militants de l’unipolarité, ont en partie délégué leurs responsabilités régionales aux deux partenaires de confiance qu’ils contrôlent, l’Inde et le Japon. Les trois (quoique à des niveaux différents et à des degrés divers) coopèrent avec le Vietnam et les Philippines, les ayants- droit par procuration les plus géopolitiquement pertinents de la CCC en mer de Chine du Sud. Fermant la marche, l’inclusion potentielle de l’Indonésie dans le TPP donnerait un sérieux coup de pouce aux efforts économiques de la CCC, alors que la présence militaire de l’Australie, bien qu’extraordinairement minime pour le moment, pourrait être renforcée par une contribution un peu plus percutante à l’avenir.

Le concept est également pertinent pour expliquer les activités de la CCC dans l’ASEAN continentale, avec à peine quelques modifications d’adhésion nécessaires:


Les deux premiers niveaux et leurs motivations de puissance restent les mêmes dans cette adaptation, les seules différences étant que le Myanmar se substitue aux Philippines et que l’Australie est retirée de l’équation. Le raisonnement est évident, étant donné que les Philippines n’appartiennt pas à la partie continentale de l’Asie du Sud et que  l’Australie n’a aucune possibilité réaliste d’aider militairement une opération de la CCC dans cette région. On peut aussi citer la base du Royaume-Uni au Brunei qui donne une faible possibilité de remplacer l’Australie comme acteur militaire auxiliaire dans ce cadre. Mais même cela semble peu probable surtout en raison du fait que la partie continentale de toute campagne de confinement à venir se traduira par beaucoup moins de présence militaire directe pour tous les acteurs. Comme on le verra plus loin dans la recherche, il est beaucoup plus plausible que les guerres hybrides seront utilisées à la place du style de confinement militaire conventionnel que l’on peut voir actuellement dans la mer de Chine méridionale.

Convergences géopolitiques

Les deux modèles conceptuels cités ci-dessus illustrent bien les convergences géopolitiques entre les missions maritimes et continentales de la CCC, où le Vietnam fonctionne comme élément proxy faisant le pont entre elles en raison de sa double identité. Le Vietnam est une nation maritime à cause de son vaste littoral et ses revendications sur une partie de la mer de Chine du Sud, mais il est tout autant un pays continental et a le potentiel pour rétablir sa sphère d’influence sur le Laos et le Cambodge, deux des partenaires de l’ASEAN les plus importants de la Chine. Cela le rend d’autant plus significatif pour les États-Unis et explique leur contrôle dissimulé pour entrer dans les bonnes grâces de ce partenaire afin d’exploiter pleinement l’avantage géopolitique que cela leur procurerait dans leur objectif d’une CCC partagée.

Quelques détails méritent d’être développés afin de comprendre les nuances de la mission globale de la CCC dans chacun de ces deux sous-théâtres.


Si on regarde la région maritime d’abord, l’espace commun entre le Vietnam et les Philippines est la mer de Chine du Sud et les myriades d’îles entre eux, ce qui explique l’accent mis actuellement sur les survols provocateurs de bombardiers pour la liberté de navigation et le passage des navires de guerre. Il y a peu de choses, en termes d’asymétrie stratégique, que les États-Unis et ses alliés peuvent faire dans la lutte contre la Chine. Donc pour une large part (sauf pour les innovations militaro-techniques créatives), la dynamique de l’alliance classique prédomine sur ce vecteur de la concurrence géopolitique. Par conséquent, les événements ici sont beaucoup plus prévisibles, car ils se résument à savoir si oui ou non il y aura un affrontement militaire direct entre la Chine et la CCC, bien que la situation soit de plus en plus tendue et dramatique au fur et à mesure que les États-Unis provoquent la Chine par leurs actions.

Finalement, il semble presque inévitable que l’un ou l’autre côté perde son sang-froid et prenne une décision regrettable, mais même dans ce cas, les conséquences pourraient être contenues. L’exception se produirait dans les circonstances où les États-Unis auraient choisi d’intensifier un engagement entre la Chine et l’une ou l’autre de leurs procurations géopolitiques (le Vietnam ou, plus probablement, les Philippines) au point d’amener leurs partenaires sous contrôle (l’Inde, mais de manière plus prévisible, le Japon) à fournir un soutien indirect de secours et à institutionnaliser la CCC. Ce scénario est plus facile à saisir si le lecteur remplace les Philippines par l’Ukraine et la Chine par la Russie, ce qui permet de percevoir des continuités structurelles stratégiques entre les deux opérations de confinement eurasiennes. Tout comme l’agression contre le Donbass provoquée par les États-Unis en Ukraine a créé un prétexte pour l’OTAN d’approfondir son implication dans des affaires anciennes, de même une agression provoquée par les Philippines contre la Chine serait possible en mer de Chine méridionale, qui servirait de prétexte à la CCC (en particulier ses éléments US et japonais) pour s’ancrer davantage dans la nation insulaire.

Malgré cela, la dynamique du rapport entre la Chine et la CCC reste en grande partie linéaire et classique, ce qui la rend prévisible dans une large mesure. On ne peut cependant pas dire la même chose  pour la partie continentale de cette rivalité.

Territoire continental

Les choses sont infiniment plus complexes, et donc dangereuses, dans la stratégie de la CCC pour l’ASEAN continentale. Comme on le voit à partir du modèle mentionné ci-dessus, le Myanmar et le Vietnam sont les serre-joints géopolitiques dans ce sous-théâtre, chacun tombant plus profondément sous l’influence et  la surveillance de leur marionnettiste caché. Par exemple, l’autoroute ASEAN de l’Inde servirait à positionner New Delhi comme l’un des partenaires économiques les plus vitaux du Myanmar, tandis que le Japon investit fortement dans tous les secteurs de l’économie du Vietnam et est l’un de ses partenaires stratégiques les plus importants. La Thaïlande, le Laos et le Cambodge sont positionnés de manière critique entre les mandataires de la partie continentale de la CCC, avec des projets d’investissement japonais destinés à créer un pont pour combler stratégiquement l’écart physique entre eux.

Par exemple, la Banque asiatique de développement (ADB, communément comprise comme un outil institutionnel de la politique américano-japonaise) et les investissements directs japonais sont utilisés pour aider à financer un grand nombre de projets intégrationnistes physiques polygonaux dans la région du Grand Mékong (jargon officiel de l’ADB pour l’Asie du sud continentale ainsi que le sud de la Chine). Il faut garder à l’esprit que le financement de la CCC s’étend la plupart du temps (mais pas exclusivement) aux Corridors Est-Ouest et Sud qui pointent des deux côtes de l’ASEAN continentale, et que le Japon construit les sections thaïlandaises de deux projets ferroviaires à grande vitesse. Tokyo est aussi un investisseur important dans la SEZ de Dawei au Myanmar. Donc pris ensemble avec ses ambitions de chemin de fer, il est évident que le Japon a jalonné ses intérêts pour le Grand Mékong afin de faciliter les projets d’infrastructure conjoints entre les deux côtes de la région.

L’image ci-dessous montre ces derniers et les autres projets associés:


La ligne rouge de la Chine vers la Thaïlande est la Route de la Soie ASEAN mentionnée plus tôt dans le travail, c’est la route d’évasion de la Chine pour échapper au piège de la mer de Chine méridionale que la CCC met en place. Bien que la carte suggère qu’elle pourrait courir à la fois à travers le Myanmar et le Laos, il est très peu probable que cela soit jamais construit (et encore moins reste sécurisé) dans une région en grande partie tenue par les rebelles. La nature changeante de la politique intérieure au Myanmar, qui se déplace rapidement le long d’une trajectoire pro-occidentale, est aussi de mauvais augure pour la faisabilité politique de cette voie. Il est beaucoup plus probable que la Route de la Soie de l’ASEAN de la Chine (formellement décrite par l’ADB comme le Corridor Nord-Sud) demeurera complètement dépendante du Laos pour son accès de transit vers la Thaïlande, la plaque tournante des infrastructures de la région du Grand Mékong. En fait, la Chine est actuellement en mouvement avec deux projets simultanés de chemins de fer destinés aux Thaïlandais, celui du corridor central faisant partie intégrante des actuels plans de construction de chemin de fer de Pékin, et c’est cette artère supplémentaire qui est prévue pour former la base réelle de la Route de la Soie de l’ASEAN.

Se souvenant qu’il a été précédemment écrit que le Cambodge est un allié structurellement peu fiable de la Chine en raison du manque d’infrastructures conjointes directes allant vers son partenaire, le lecteur pourrait en tirer la conclusion que le Laos et la Thaïlande sont les seuls véritables partenaires géopolitiques de la Chine dans l’ASEAN continentale. La situation avec le Cambodge pourrait théoriquement être corrigée et le partenariat bilatéral considérablement renforcé, bien au-delà de sa nature déjà positive et pragmatique, par l’achèvement de la partie cambodgienne de la route du Corridor central à travers le Laos. Ce projet est cependant loin d’être une priorité par rapport au Corridor Nord-Sud, beaucoup plus stratégique et urgent, et au Corridor Centre-Nord-Sud reliant la Chine à la Thaïlande. Ces projets acquièrent une telle importance stratégique précisément parce que le pivot vers l’Ouest du Myanmar réduit rapidement les perspectives que le Corridor du pipeline Chine-Myanmar puisse jamais développer son potentiel économique tous azimuts comme cela avait été envisagé à l’origine. Et aussi parce que la Route de la Soie de l’ASEAN pourrait être modifiée près de son extrémité dans la queue de la Thaïlande par un terminal qui doit être construit le long de la façade sur l’océan Indien (techniquement la mer d’Andaman). La Thaïlande pourrait même ne pas avoir les conditions portuaires ou les ports appropriés dont la Chine devrait planifier la construction pour son plan d’urgence ultime. Mais cela ne veut pas dire que la Chine ne pourrait tout simplement pas construire tout ce dont elle a besoin dans la situation géographique souhaitée, compte tenu des miracles d’ingénierie qu’elle réalise en mer de Chine méridionale.

Le double flanc indo-japonais

Il est pertinent à ce stade de mettre en évidence le concept géopolitique guide de la CCC pour la lutte contre la Chine dans la région du Grand Mékong (ASEAN continentale), le double flanc indo-japonais. Il a été jusqu’ici décrit que la principale voie d’approche de l’Inde dans la région se faisait par l’autoroute de l’ASEAN à travers le Myanmar (le corridor de l’Ouest, comme le décrit l’ADB dans le plan précité), alors que la stratégie du Japon a été de relier les deux littoraux par les corridors Sud-Ouest et Sud. Ce qui semble se passer ici est que l’Inde se déplace vers l’est dans la région tandis que le Japon se déplace vers l’ouest, et leur point de convergence ultime est la Thaïlande, qui se trouve être également l’objectif principal de la Chine.

Comme toute stratégie traditionnelle par les flancs, la cible se déplace linéairement tandis que les adversaires cherchent les flancs simultanément à partir de deux angles. Dans cette situation réelle, la Chine déplace ses flux vers le sud alors que l’Inde et le Japon se précipitent pour la bloquer par leurs avancées respectives à l’Ouest et à l’Est. Parlant géostratégie, le plus grand point de friction pour toutes les parties se trouve au niveau ou à proximité des intersections perpendiculaires prévues des projets unipolaires et multipolaires dans le Nord et le Centre de la Thaïlande. D’un point de vue théorique, c’est là que l’on serait tenté de croire qu’un conflit d’intérêts pourrait se produire. La réalité est un peu différente, cependant, car il est techniquement possible pour la Thaïlande d’accueillir les deux projets géopolitiquement divergents et de créer une situation ultime gagnant-gagnant pour tout le monde.

Aussi bénéfique que cela puisse être pour toutes les parties directement impliquées, les stratèges américains ne demandent qu’à différer ce plan, car leur but ultime est de maintenir la CCC fermement sur son cours anti-chinois et de ne pas voir leurs principaux soutiens (Inde et Japon) partiellement dissuadés par un intérêt stratégique partagé avec Pékin, qui dans ce cas serait la stabilité de la Thaïlande.




Article original en anglais :


Hybrid Wars: America’s Strategic Plan to Contain and Destabilize China

Traduit par Hervé, vérifié par Wayan, relu par Diane pour le Saker francophone


Andrew Korybko est un commentateur politique américain qui travaille actuellement pour l’agence Sputnik. Il est en troisième cycle de l’Université MGIMO et auteur de la monographie Guerres hybrides: l’approche adaptative indirecte pour un changement de régime (2015). Ce texte sera inclus dans son prochain livre sur la théorie de la guerre hybride.

Le livre est disponible en PDF gratuitement et à télécharger ici 

  • Posted in Francais @fr
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Erdogan rencontre Poutine à Saint-Pétersbourg

août 15th, 2016 by Halil Celik

Le président turc Recep Tayyip Erdogan et son homologue russe Vladimir Poutine se sont rencontrés mardi 9 août au palais Constantin près de Saint Petersbourg. La réunion fut la première entre les deux présidents en près d’un an et la première visite d’Erdogan à l’étranger depuis le coup d’Etat manqué du 15 juillet.

Suite à la destruction en vol d’un avion de combat russe par un avion de chasse turc au-dessus de la Syrie en novembre dernier, les relations entre la Turquie et la Russie étaient au point mort. Mais le 29 juin, Erdogan faisait parvenir à Poutine une lettre d’excuses pour initier un rapprochement. Depuis, les relations se sont rapidement améliorées.

Le lendemain de l’envoi de la lettre d’Erdogan et après une conversation téléphonique entre les deux présidents, le gouvernement russe levait l’interdiction des vols touristiques vers la Turquie. Les ministres turc et russe des Affaires étrangères se se sont rencontrés le 1er juillet à Sotchi, en Russie.

Lors d’une conférence de presse mardi, Poutine a décrit la visite d’Erdogan comme étant « une indication de la normalisation des liens. » Il a dit au président turc, « Votre visite d’aujourd’hui qui intervient malgré la situation politique très difficile en Turquie, montre que nous voulons tous rétablir le dialogue et opérer un rapprochement dans l’intérêt des peuples de la Turquie et de la Russie. » Erdogan a acquiescé en disant, « Les liens entre la Turquie et la Russie sont entrés dans une phase très différente et positive. »

Il y a nombreux signes que le coup d’Etat du 15 juillet était, du moins en partie, une réaction au nouveau rapprochement russo-turc. C’est le gouvernement russe qui avait prévenu Ankara de l’imminence d’un coup d’Etat, permettant à Erdogan de s’échapper et de lancer un appel à ses partisans. La visite de Saint-Pétersbourg, prévue avant le coup, a lieu au moment où les relations d’Ankara avec les Etats-Unis et l’Union européenne ont presque atteint le point de rupture.

Il ne fait pas de doute que Washington a soutenu le coup d’Etat et Erdogan accuse publiquement Washington de l’avoir fait. Il réclame l’extradition du dirigeant islamique Fethullah Gulen qui vit en exil en Pennsylvanie sous la protection du gouvernement américain.

Erdogan accuse le mouvement Hizmet de Gulen d’avoir organisé le coup d’Etat. En même temps il tire parti de l’opposition de masse qui existe en Turquie contre le coup pour forger une alliance d’« unité nationale » avec les deux principaux partis bourgeois d’opposition, le CHP kémaliste (Parti républicain du peuple) et le MHP d’extrême-droite (Parti du mouvement nationaliste turc). Il se sert de cette alliance pour effectuer une purge de ses adversaires politiques et étouffer les extrêmes tensions de classe à l’intérieur de la Turquie, tout en appliquant une nouvelle orientation de la politique étrangère.

Au premier plan du nouveau rapprochement entre les deux pays il y a des enjeux économiques. Erdogan est allé en Russie avec une énorme délégation. Suite aux pourparlers, il fut annoncé que la première centrale nucléaire de la Turquie, construite avec l’aide de la Russie, serait achevée et que le projet de gazoduc turc South Stream, destiné à acheminer du gaz naturel russe via la Mer noire et la Turquie vers le Sud-Est de l’Europe, redémarrerait.

L’an dernier, Moscou et Ankara s’étaient fixé comme objectif de faire passer leur volume commercial conjoint à 100 milliards de dollars d’ici 2023. Selon l’Institut des statistiques turc, le commerce entre les deux pays s’était accru entre 2010 et 2014 de près 18 pour cent, atteignant plus de 30 milliards de dollars. En 2015, la Russie était la seconde plus importante destination des exportations turques et la troisième plus grande source d’importations.

Au cours des six premiers mois de 2016 cependant et après que la Russie ait imposé des sanctions économiques suite à la destruction en vol de son avion de chasse, les exportations de la Turquie vers la Russie ont chuté de 60,5 pour cent. Après la crise de novembre, Moscou avait également interdit les voyages à forfait et les vols charters vers la Turquie, ce qui a entrainé une perte de recettes touristiques de 840 millions de dollars pour la Turquie.

Aux Etats-Unis et dans d’autres pays de l’OTAN, les craintes se multiplient que la visite d’Erdogan puisse signaler une réorientation stratégique de la part de l’un des plus importants membres de l’alliance militaire. Cette situation pourrait non seulement saper l’encerclement militaire de la Russie par Washington mais aussi sa tentative de renversement du régime Assad en Syrie.

Le site Internet de la BBC a affiché ce commentaire : « Au regard de l’actuel ‘gel’ des relations du gouvernement AKP tant avec les Etats-Unis qu’avec l’UE, la décision du président Recep Tayyip Erdogan de choisir la Russie pour sa première visite officielle à l’étranger depuis le coup d’Etat raté semblait hautement symbolique. Et les dirigeants occidentaux suivront l’évènement avec nervosité. »

George Friedman, l’ancien directeur de la société de renseignement et d’analyse Stratford et farouche adversaire de la Russie, a parlé très franchement de ces inquiétudes. « L’espoir qu’ils [la Turquie] nous aideraient en Syrie semble être parti en fumée, » a-t-il dit dans une interview vidéo. « D’autre part, nous cherchons à contenir la Russie. Lorsqu’ils ont abattu l’avion militaire russe, nous espérions être de nouveau étroitement alliés à la Turquie. Ceci s’est maintenant évanoui. Notre projet de bloquer l’expansion russe et celui de bloquer l’EI ont subi un coup sévère. »

Poutine et Erdogan ont indiqué à Saint-Pétersbourg qu’ils pourraient travailler ensemble en Syrie où jusque-là leurs projets se contrecarraient, la Turquie agissant aux côtés des Etats-Unis contre la Russie et le régime Assad.

La veille de la visite, Erdogan a dit dans une interview accordée à l’agence de presse russe TASS et à la chaîne de télévision Rossiya 24 que la Fédération russe était l’« acteur principal d’un retour de la paix en Syrie, » ajoutant, « je pense que nous, la Russie et la Turquie, devrions résoudre cette question [de la Syrie] en avançant ensemble. »

Il a décrit sa prochaine réunion avec Poutine comme une « renaissance » déclarant : « Je crois maintenant que nous avons une chance de tout réexaminer, pour ouvrir une nouvelle page des relations turques et russes. Je crois qu’en tant qu’acteurs importants nous avons beaucoup de choses à faire dans tous les domaines, culturel, commercial, militaire et économique. Je n’ai aucun doute à ce sujet. »

Après la réunion de Saint-Pétersbourg, Poutine a dit que la Russie et la Turquie avaient le but commun de régler la crise en Syrie. Il a remarqué qu’ils n’avaient pas toujours été du même avis sur la question mais que les deux Etats avaient accepté de poursuivre la discussion et de trouver des solutions. « Je pense qu’il est possible d’accorder nos vues et nos approches, » a-t-il conclu.

De nombreuses questions demeurent en suspens, comme l’attitude des forces kurdes en Syrie et en Turquie. Erdogan a accusé la Russie d’armer le PKK kurde. La Turquie quant à elle a soutenu des groupes islamistes en Syrie qui sont également actifs en Russie. Pour ce qui est de la question de la Crimée, la Turquie soutient les Tatars de Crimée, hostiles à Moscou.

L’une des premières réactions à la visite d’Erdogan est venue de Berlin. Si la presse allemande est généralement très hostile à Erdogan depuis le coup d’Etat manqué, le ministre allemand des Affaires étrangères, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, a adopté une approche plus prudente. « Il est bon qu’après la destruction l’année dernière de l’avion russe par la Turquie, il y ait un rapprochement maintenant, » a-t-il dit au quotidien allemand Bild, ajoutant, « Il n’y aura pas de solution à la guerre civile en Syrie sans Moscou et sans l’Iran, l’Arabie saoudite ou la Turquie. »

Halil Celik et Peter Schwarz

Article original, WSWS, paru le 10 août 2016

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L’attaque terroriste avortée lancée contre la Crimée par des éléments des services secrets ukrainiens, sans aucun doute avec le plein appui de Washington, a plongé l’Europe dans l’une de ses plus graves crises depuis la fin de la Deuxième Guerre mondiale.

Le gouvernement soutenu par les États-Unis à Kiev a placé les forces militaires de l’Ukraine en état d’alerte maximale, et l’armée russe a déclenché une série d’exercices militaires dans la région. La Russie a rapporté vendredi qu’elle avait déployé ses systèmes de défense antiaérienne et antimissile S-400 en Crimée, et le premier ministre du pays, Dmitri Medvedev, a indiqué que Moscou pourrait rompre ses liens diplomatiques avec Kiev. Les États-Unis ont quant à eux signalé qu’ils préparaient d’autres sanctions économiques contre la Russie.

Le Financial Times de Londres a décrit franchement la situation dans un éditorial en écrivant que «L’Ukraine et la Russie sont une fois de plus au bord de la guerre ouverte». Le quotidien a ajouté que «la situation en Ukraine demeure la plus grande menace à la paix en Europe depuis 1945». Conformément aux politiques belliqueuses de l’administration Obama et du gouvernement conservateur britannique de la première ministre Theresa May, le journal a recommandé l’intensification des menaces contre la Russie.

Les informations fournies par Moscou tracent le portrait d’une opération totalement criminelle organisée par le régime de Kiev. Des escouades des forces spéciales ont tenté deux incursions en Crimée entre le 6 et le 8 août, appuyées par un tir de couverture des forces régulières ukrainiennes. Un membre des services de sécurité et un soldat russes ont été tués dans les attaques.

Les commandos ukrainiens transportaient des explosifs improvisés, des mines, des grenades et des armes d’assaut. La télévision d’État russe a diffusé la confession d’un des agents des forces spéciales qui a déclaré qu’ils visaient à faire exploser un traversier, une raffinerie de pétrole et une usine de produits chimiques, ainsi que d’autres cibles.

Au cours des deux dernières années et demie, les États-Unis et leurs alliés de l’OTAN ont invoqué la question de la Crimée comme prétexte pour le déploiement de forces militaires à la frontière de la Russie, supposément pour contrer l’«agression» et l’«expansion» de Moscou. Des groupes de combat de l’OTAN de mille soldats chacun sont déployés en Pologne et dans les trois républiques baltes. Ils sont appuyés par une nouvelle Force de réaction rapide qui est capable de déployer 40.000 soldats dans la région en quelques jours. Des exercices militaires sont organisés en continu sur le flanc ouest de la Russie.

La crise en Ukraine et les développements en Crimée sont le résultat direct, non pas d’une agression russe, mais bien du coup d’État orchestré par les États-Unis et l’Allemagne qui a renversé le gouvernement élu du président Viktor Ianoukovitch en février 2014. Ayant à sa tête des milices fascistes, cette opération, financée et dirigée par Washington et Berlin, a porté au pouvoir un régime anti-russe d’extrême droite sous la direction de l’oligarque Petro Porochenko. Ce régime, qui baigne dans la corruption et qui est sous la menace constante des sbires néonazis qui étaient les troupes de choc du coup d’État, gouverne en pleine intensification de crise économique et mène une guerre contre la population civile du Donbass, une région à majorité russophone.

Dans la foulée du coup d’État, la Crimée, dont la majorité de la population parle le russe, a voté dans un référendum à très grande majorité pour quitter l’Ukraine et intégrer la Russie. Sous l’Union soviétique, cette péninsule faisait partie de la République socialiste fédérative soviétique de Russie et n’a été transférée à la République socialiste soviétique d’Ukraine qu’en 1954, un geste administratif qui visait à promouvoir le développement soviétique dans son ensemble.

La dissolution de l’Union soviétique a transformé l’importance de ce transfert de territoire. La ville de Sébastopol sur la péninsule de Crimée a servi de base à la flotte russe, et ensuite soviétique, de la mer Noire depuis le 18e siècle. Pour la Russie, le sort de la Crimée est une question fondamentale qui détermine son accès à la mer Noire et à la Méditerranée.

La crise actuelle est, en dernière analyse, une des terribles conséquences de la trahison finale par la bureaucratie stalinienne de la révolution d’Octobre 1917, qui avait établi l’État ouvrier. En 1991, la bureaucratie a liquidé l’URSS et entamé le processus de restauration du capitalisme.

En tentant d’entrainer la Russie dans un conflit armé pour la Crimée, l’impérialisme américain mène une politique dont l’imprudence est à couper le souffle. Mais c’est justement le caractère de la politique étrangère des États-Unis au cours du dernier quart de siècle de guerres sans fin, et de plus en plus nombreuses, au Moyen-Orient.

La confrontation que les États-Unis cherchent à provoquer en Crimée n’est pas séparée de ces guerres. Elle est liée aux frustrations des États-Unis sur le fiasco de son opération de changement de régime en Syrie, où l’appui de la Russie pour le gouvernement du président Bachar Al-Assad a réussi à repousser les milices liées à Al-Qaïda qui jouaient le rôle de forces par procuration pour les États-Unis sur le terrain. Cette crise de la politique américaine a été aggravée par l’échec le mois dernier du coup d’État, appuyé par les États-Unis, tenté contre le président turc Recep Tayyip Erdo&;an, ainsi que par le rapprochement entre Ankara et Moscou.

Le gouvernement russe, qui représente une couche d’oligarques criminels qui se sont enrichis par le pillage de la propriété d’État après la dissolution de l’Union soviétique, ne dispose pas d’une politique cohérente pour faire face à l’escalade de la crise. Des éléments au sein du gouvernement de Vladimir Poutine veulent éviter une confrontation et négocier à tout prix une entente avec l’Occident. Mais les appels à la raison dirigés vers les États-Unis tombent dans l’oreille d’un sourd.

D’autres font la promotion du chauvinisme grand-russe et de la force militaire, y compris l’arsenal d’armes nucléaires qui reste de l’ex-Union soviétique, pour défendre le pays contre l’encerclement militaire et sa réduction à l’état de semi-colonie par l’Occident. Sans aucune orientation stratégique claire et intégrée, et dans l’incapacité totale de faire appel aux sentiments antiguerre de la population mondiale, le régime Poutine trébuche d’une crise à l’autre et intensifie le risque de guerre.

Les développements extrêmement dangereux en Crimée démontrent la signification de l’hystérie anti-Poutine qui a été alimentée dans la campagne électorale américaine, où la candidate démocrate Hillary Clinton a lancé une chasse aux sorcières contre le candidat républicain fascisant Donald Trump en le qualifiant essentiellement d’agent de la Russie, et dans la croisade hypocrite visant à bannir les athlètes russes des Jeux olympiques de Rio. Ces deux campagnes ont pour but de préparer l’opinion publique à une confrontation militaire avec la Russie.

Les États-Unis se préparent à aller en guerre contre un pays qui dispose de l’arme nucléaire, mais il n’y a aucun débat à ce sujet dans la campagne électorale, au Congrès ou dans les médias de la grande entreprise. Aucune donnée n’est fournie sur le nombre de morts que pourrait entrainer une guerre entre l’Ukraine et la Russie, et encore moins sur les conséquences catastrophiques d’une guerre qui entrainerait les États-Unis et l’OTAN dans un échange nucléaire avec Moscou.

Bien que l’élite dirigeante américaine a tenté historiquement d’attendre la fin des élections pour déclencher de nouvelles guerres, afin d’empêcher que la question du militarisme devienne un enjeu de débat national, il est loin d’être certain que la guerre qui se prépare actuellement pourra attendre jusqu’à la fin du mois de novembre, étant donné les derniers développements.

Si cette nouvelle éruption du militarisme américain est reportée, ce ne sera que de courte durée. La crise du capitalisme mondial et les contradictions insolubles du système d’États-nations menacent d’entrainer l’humanité dans une autre guerre mondiale.

Bill Van Auken

Article paru d’abord en anglais, WSWS, le 13 août 2016

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Entretien avec Éric Toussaint, porte-parole et un des fondateurs du réseau international du Comité pour l’Abolition des Dette illégiTiMes (CADTM). Propos recueillis par Benjamin Lemoine |1|

Cet entretien fait la généalogie de la lutte anti-dette, des plaidoyers pour son annulation, comme de la création empirique, au service des combats politiques, des concepts d’« illégitimité », « d’illégalité », ou du caractère « odieux » des dettes publiques. Ou comment il apparaît nécessaire au Comité pour l’Abolition des Dettes Illégitimes (CADTM) -connu autrefois comme Comité pour l’annulation de la dette du Tiers Monde – de s’allier avec les forces de l’opposition et les mouvements sociaux, dont les idées et les hommes, une fois parvenu(e)s au gouvernement, pourront contester et renverser la dette et son « système ». Néanmoins pour le CADTM, la priorité absolue va au renforcement de l’action de ceux d’en bas plutôt qu’au lobbying.

Cette troisième partie de l’entretien « Généalogie des Politiques de l’anti-dette et du CADTM » est consacrée à l’Argentine.

Sur quel autre terrain étiez-vous plus directement engagés ?

En Argentine, j’étais en contact avec Alejandro Olmos |2|, un journaliste très courageux, qui en 1982, alors que la dictature ne s’était pas encore effondrée, a porté plainte devant la justice argentine pour endettement illégal et odieux. Il a donc déposé une plainte contre la junte militaire avant la fin de la dictature. On a beaucoup travaillé ensemble, et le CADTM l’a invité en 1997 à une grande conférence internationale en Belgique. Là, c’est un autre type de méthodologie qui s’est développé grâce à A. Olmos. Suite à sa plainte, la justice argentine a ouvert une instruction et deux magistrats ont été chargés d’enquêter sur les responsables de l’endettement de l’Argentine entre 1976 et 1982. Cela a donné lieu en juillet 2000 à une sentence de 195 pages rendue par le Tribunal fédéral |3|. Cette sentence est donc le résultat d’un audit de la dette argentine mené par le pouvoir judiciaire. Et cela malgré d’énormes pressions qui ont été exercées sur la justice par le FMI et par la classe dirigeante argentine pour que l’instruction ne soit pas menée à terme. À partir de 1998, j’ai été en contact avec un des deux magistrats en charge de l’instruction, il m’a décrit les pressions auxquelles il était soumis par d’autres magistrats, par le Congrès argentin et par l’exécutif afin qu’aucune sentence ne soit prononcée. Alejandro Olmos est décédé en avril 2000 tout à fait déprimé, persuadé que l’instruction n’aboutirait jamais. Elle a été rendue quelques mois après son décès.

Des concepts de combat qui émergent en action

Malgré la fin de la dictature, il y a une sorte de continuité des puissances d’argent ? 

Oui parce que l’audit montrait très clairement que le Fonds monétaire international dirigé à l’époque par le Français Jacques de Larosière |4|, avait apporté son aval au régime dictatorial afin que les banques américaines financent la dictature de Videla. |5| Il faut se rappeler aussi qu’après la chute de la dictature, l’amnistie avait été octroyée aux différents personnages de la junte militaire, elle n’a été abrogée que dans les années 2000 sous le gouvernement de Nestor Kirchner. Dans les années 1990, le FMI, directement complice de la dictature militaire, mais aussi le régime de Carlos Menem appliquant des politiques néolibérales applaudies par le FMI, ou encore les personnages de la dictature qui bénéficiaient de l’amnistie, sans oublier les hommes d’affaires et de grandes entreprises privées se sont coalisées pour qu’on ne fasse pas la clarté sur ce qui s’était passé.

Depuis 1998, le CADTM est également en contact étroit en Argentine avec Adolfo Perez Esquivel |6|, prix Nobel de la paix pour sa contribution à la défense des droits humains, avec Beverly Keene, animatrice de Dialogo 2000 et de Jubilé Sud, ainsi qu’avec Nora Cortinas, une des Mères de la place de Mai qui luttent inlassablement pour l’annulation des dettes odieuses.

Entre le début de la dictature (mars 1976) et l’année 2001, la dette a été multipliée par 20 ou presque (passant de moins de 8 milliards de dollars à près de 160 milliards de dollars). Pendant cette même période, l’Argentine a remboursé environ 200 milliards de dollars, soit près de 25 fois ce qu’elle devait en mars 1976. Les capitalistes argentins se sont allègrement endettés pendant la dictature et ont simultanément placé une bonne partie de cet argent à l’étranger (via la fuite des capitaux). La somme des capitaux placés par les capitalistes argentins dans les pays les plus industrialisés et dans les paradis fiscaux pendant la dictature a dépassé les montants empruntés. Rien qu’en 1980-1982 au cours des deux dernières années de dictature, les fuites de capitaux ont atteint, selon la Banque mondiale, plus de 21.000 millions de dollars. Cadeau suprême fait aux capitalistes argentins (et étrangers) : leurs dettes ont été reprises par l’État à la fin de la dictature. Dès lors, la dette de l’État s’est alourdie du fardeau de la dette des entreprises privées car il a assumé leurs obligations à l’égard des créanciers. Et depuis cette époque, les capitalistes argentins ont maintenu cette politique d’évasion de capitaux. La dette argentine constituait clairement un cas emblématique de dette odieuse.

Tu te rends en Argentine pour poursuivre l’enquête ?

Oui je me suis rendu en Argentine, et j’ai aussi réalisé un travail d’analyse à distance, puisque A. Olmos et le magistrat argentin dont j’ai parlé m’ont fait parvenir une série de documents. J’ai étudié en profondeur l’accumulation de la dette odieuse puis son processus frauduleux de blanchiment |7|. C’est le président Raoul Alfonsin, qui a succédé à la dictature, qui a permis que l’opération de blanchiment soit réalisée. Or si une dette est odieuse, une restructuration ne met pas fin au délit. Le blanchiment ne met pas fin au délit antérieur. Si le FMI, qui a prêté de l’argent à la dictature, restructure la dette argentine alors qu’il est parfaitement au courant de ce qu’il a fait auparavant, on a clairement une culpabilité ininterrompue. Le FMI ne peut pas simplement dire « le refinancement de la dette s’opère avec un régime, celui d’Alfonsin, qui est un régime démocratique ».

Cela, pour nous au CADTM, vaut aussi pour la dette du Rwanda et pour la dette de la RDC. Finalement la justice argentine a rendu un verdict important en juillet 2000 mais n’a procédé à aucune condamnation. Elle a transmis la patate chaude au Parlement argentin dominé par la droite néolibérale qui a décidé de ne rien décider. Ce n’est qu’en septembre 2014 que le Parlement a décidé de créer une commission d’audit de la dette accumulée par l’Argentine depuis le début de la dictature (mars 1976) jusqu’à 2014. J’ai été invité au Parlement afin d’émettre des recommandations en octobre 2014 |8|, mais, en pratique, la commission n’a pas accompli sa tâche et la droite qui a gagné les élections en 2015 a enterré l’affaire. ATTAC Argentine qui est membre du réseau international CADTM est très actif sur la problématique de la dette et a contribué à la création de l’« Assemblée pour la suspension du paiement de la dette et l’audit de la dette en défense du patrimoine national et des biens communs » |9|.

Pendant plusieurs années l’Argentine a été en suspension de paiement et n’a plus eu accès au financement externe via les marchés financiers, que s’est-il passé ?

Le contexte était le suivant : fin décembre 2001, dans un contexte de grandes mobilisations populaires, les autorités argentines, en l’occurrence le président intérimaire Adolfo Rodríguez Saá, a suspendu unilatéralement le paiement de la dette argentine sous la forme de titres pour un montant de 80 milliards de dollars à l’égard des créanciers privés et du Club de Paris (6,5 milliards de dollars). Signalons qu’il n’a toutefois pas suspendu le paiement de la dette à l’égard du FMI, de la Banque mondiale et d’autres organismes financiers multilatéraux. Cette suspension est intervenue dans un contexte de crise économique et de soulèvement populaire contre les politiques menées depuis des années par une succession de gouvernements néolibéraux, le dernier en date étant celui de Fernando De la Rua. C’est donc sous la pression populaire et alors que les caisses de l’État étaient quasiment vides que les autorités argentines ont suspendu le paiement de la dette.

La suspension de paiement de la dette sous forme de titres souverains a duré de décembre 2001 à mars 2005. Cette suspension a été bénéfique pour l’économie et pour le peuple argentin. De 2003 à 2009, l’Argentine a enregistré chaque année un taux de croissance de 7 à 9%. Certains économistes affirment que la croissance argentine ne s’explique que par l’augmentation des prix des matières premières qu’elle exporte. Or il est clair que si l’Argentine avait continué les remboursements les gains réalisés par l’État grâce aux exportations (c’est-à-dire les impôts qu’ils prélèvent sur les bénéfices des exportateurs privés) auraient été absorbés par le remboursement de la dette. Les autorités n’auraient pas été en mesure de réaliser des dépenses publiques pour venir en aide aux chômeurs, pour augmenter les retraites et généraliser le droit à celle-ci, pour stimuler l’activité économique dans d’autres domaines que le secteur exportateur.

Entre 2002 et 2005, les autorités argentines ont mené des négociations intenses avec les créanciers en vue de convaincre une majorité d’entre eux d’accepter un échange de titres. Les autorités argentines proposaient d’échanger les titres en suspension de paiement contre des nouveaux, avec une réduction de plus de 60 % de la valeur faciale. En contrepartie de la forte réduction de valeur, les autorités s’engageaient à honorer le remboursement de ces nouveaux titres et à garantir un taux d’intérêt intéressant qui, de plus, serait indexé à la croissance du PIB de l’Argentine. Il s’est donc agi d’une restructuration de la dette par échange de titres : 76 % des titres ont été échangés en mars 2005. Ceci était alors considéré comme une majorité suffisante pour se protéger contre les 24 % qui n’avaient pas participé à l’échange. Les autorités avaient annoncé à l’époque que ceux qui ne participeraient pas perdraient tous droits à une restructuration ultérieure de dette.

Mais alors pourquoi l’Argentine a-t-elle opéré une autre restructuration de dette en 2010 ?

En effet, en contradiction avec ces propos, et sous les protestations de Roberto Lavagna, l’ancien ministre de l’économie qui avait participé activement à la restructuration de 2005, le gouvernement argentin a ouvert à nouveau la négociation avec les 24 % des créanciers restants. Le réseau CADTM et de nombreuses organisations ont dénoncé cette nouvelle restructuration. Celle-ci a abouti à un nouvel échange de titres en 2010 avec 67 % d’entre eux. Au total, 8 % des titres qui étaient en suspension de paiement depuis 2001 sont restés en dehors de ces deux échanges successifs (2005 et 2010), c’est ce qu’on appelle les « hold out ». Dans ces deux restructurations, outre les caractéristiques des bons échangés citées précédemment, les nouveaux bons de 2005 et de 2010 comportaient une clause dans laquelle l’Argentine acceptait qu’en cas de litige, la juridiction compétente soit celle des États-Unis |10|.

Cette restructuration peut-elle être considérée comme une réussite ? 

Cette restructuration a été présentée par les autorités argentines comme une réussite puisque la réduction de la dette (en matière de stock par rapport au montant réclamé au pays) était importante, de l’ordre de 50 à 60 %. Mais en échange, l’Argentine a octroyé de très fortes concessions aux créanciers : des taux d’intérêt importants ; une indexation sur la croissance du PIB, ce qui signifie que le pays acceptait lui-même de perdre une partie des bénéfices de sa croissance puisqu’il en faisait profiter les créanciers ; la renonciation à l’exercice de sa souveraineté en cas de litige.

En réalité, la voie argentine n’est pas celle à suivre, mais elle constitue néanmoins une source d’inspiration. Elle montre l’intérêt de la suspension de paiement et les limites d’une restructuration négociée en faisant d’importantes concessions aux créanciers. On peut en prendre pour preuve la situation d’aujourd’hui. 1° : les montants à rembourser aux créanciers qui ont accepté l’échange sont tout à fait considérables ; les autorités argentines reconnaissent elles-mêmes qu’elles ont remboursé l’équivalent de 190 milliards de dollars de 2003 à 2013. 2° : la dette argentine a certes diminué en 2005 et 2010, mais elle dépassait en 2014 le montant de 2001. 3° : l’Argentine a été mise sous pression pour rembourser de manière tout à fait abusive les fonds vautours qui ont refusé de participer à l’échange, suite aux verdicts de la justice américaine – c’est-à-dire pas seulement un juge de New York mais également la Cour suprême des États-Unis – qui a donné raison aux fonds vautours |11|.

En quoi a consisté votre participation au combat de l’Argentine contre ses créanciers procéduriers et récalcitrants, les fonds vautours, pour une restructuration de la dette du pays ?

La loi adoptée par la Belgique contre les fonds vautours en 2015 est un des résultats de notre travail |12|. Nous ne pratiquons pas d’habitude le lobbying – à la différence d’Eurodad |13|, autre organisation mobilisée sur la question de la dette. Néanmoins, nous avons travaillé avec des parlementaires belges, surtout des socialistes, des écologistes, évidemment pas avec les néolibéraux. Cela a fini par donner des résultats et permis de constituer une majorité.

S’agissant de l’Argentine, j’ai critiqué l’orientation de la présidente du pays, Cristina Kirchner, qui voulait absolument restructurer sa dette avec le Club de Paris. Ils ont fini par le faire, et ça leur coûte très cher |14|. Ils ont une stratégie de bon élève. Même si, au niveau du discours, Cristina Kirchner a adopté une stratégie d’affrontement avec le FMI, parce qu’il est très mal vu par la population argentine.

Ils ont aussi pensé que François Hollande allait vraiment les aider parce que la France a accepté d’être amicus curiae dans le procès intenté contre l’Argentine par les fonds vautours aux États-Unis. Ils ont pensé à tort que Hollande allait se mouiller. Cela n’a pas été le cas.

En ce qui concerne la stratégie à suivre en Argentine, les deux questions centrales sur lesquelles le CADTM est intervenu sont les suivantes. Premièrement, l’Argentine a démontré à partir de 2001 qu’il était possible de se passer du financement via les marchés financiers |15|. L’Argentine n’a émis aucun emprunt traditionnel sur les marchés financiers internationaux entre 2001 et début 2016. Pourtant elle a connu un taux de croissance particulièrement élevé en particulier entre 2002 et 2009, l’année de la grande crise économique internationale. Si elle avait eu un gouvernement d’une autre nature, l’Argentine aurait pu renforcer réellement les liens avec des pays comme le Venezuela, la Bolivie, l’Equateur et d’autres pour mettre en place une banque du Sud (voir plus loin) et se passer du financement via les marchés financiers. L’enjeu était de réaliser une intégration régionale différente de celle réalisée en Europe, une intégration des peuples au lieu d’une intégration du capital. L’Argentine aurait pu également mettre en place une autre politique fiscale mettant à contribution les secteurs privilégiés afin de renforcer ses sources endogènes de financement. Par ailleurs, il s’agissait de s’éloigner du modèle extractiviste-exportateur.

Deuxièmement, il aurait fallu mettre en œuvre un processus d’audit à participation citoyenne et répudier la dette identifiée comme odieuse, illégitime, illégale.

L’Argentine a perdu une occasion historique.

Finalement, au cours des élections de la fin 2015, la droite pure et dure est revenue au pouvoir avec Mauricio Macri comme président. Il a sans vergogne fait le jeu des fonds vautours et de tous les autres créanciers, a satisfait toutes leurs demandes et s’est lancé dans une nouvelle vague d’attaques néolibérales contre les droits économiques et sociaux et contre les biens communs. En Belgique, en 2016, le CADTM s’est engagé dans une bataille juridique afin d’empêcher le fonds vautour NML de Paul Singer (basé aux États-Unis), très actif contre l’Argentine, de faire annuler la loi belge mentionnée plus haut |16|.



|1| Benjamin Lemoine est chercheur en sociologie au CNRS spécialisé sur la question de la dette publique et des liens entre les États et l’ordre financier. Une version abrégée de cet entretien est parue dans le numéro spécial « Capital et dettes publiques », de la revue Savoir / Agir n°35, mars 2016.


|3… ou…

|4| Jacques de Larosière de Champfeu, né en 1929 à Paris, a été directeur général du Fonds monétaire international de 1978 à 1987. Ensuite, il a été gouverneur de la Banque de France (1987–1993). À partir de 1993, il a présidé la Banque européenne pour la reconstruction et le développement (BERD). La même année, le 3 mai 1993, il a été élu à la section générale de l’Académie des sciences morales et politiques, au fauteuil du cardinal Henri de Lubac. À partir de 1998, il a conseillé Michel Pébereau, président de BNP Paribas.

|5| À propos de la complicité des firmes privées (dont des banques) des États-Unis voir Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky and Veerle Opgenhaffen, « The Past and Present of Corporate Complicity : Financing the Argentinean Dictatorship » Cette étude montre aussi l’implication du gouvernement des États-Unis dans le soutien à la dictature. A ce propos, l’administration Obama a commencé à dé-classifier une série de documents secrets en 2016, voir


|7| Voir

|8| Voir et…

|9 et

|10| Ce renoncement à l’exercice de la souveraineté remonte à la dictature militaire mise en place à partir de 1976.

|11| Sur l’Argentine et les fonds vautours, voir : Renaud Vivien, « Un vautour peut en cacher d’autres », carte blanche, Le Soir, 23 juin 2014 ; Jérôme Duval, Fatima Fafatale, « Les fonds vautours qui dépècent l’Argentine se jettent sur l’Espagne », 30 juillet 2014, ; Éric Toussaint, « Comment lutter contre les fonds vautours et l’impérialisme financier ? », 22 septembre 2014, ; Julia Goldenberg , Éric Toussaint, « Les fonds vautours sont une avant-garde », 7 octobre 2014,

|12| Voir le texte de la loi et de l’exposé des motifs :…

|13| Voir le site officiel d’Eurodad :


|15| Dans un autre contexte, Benjamin Lemoine montre de manière très convaincante que la France s’est financée durant plus de 20 ans après la seconde guerre mondiale sans recourir au marché. Voir : Benjamin Lemoine, L’ordre de la dette, Enquête sur les infortunes de l’État et la prospérité du marché (La Découverte, 2016). Voir également : et

|16| Voir Renaud Vivien, « Fonds vautours : quand les spéculateurs veulent faire la loi en Belgique »,


Entretien en 5 parties :

– 1. La généalogie du CADTM et de l’anti-dette illégitime : les origines

– 2. Les premiers terrains d’expérimentation de la méthode CADTM pour combattre les dettes illégitimes : les exemples du Rwanda et de la République démocratique du Congo.

– 3. L’Argentine : la poursuite de l’action contre la dette illégitime.

– 4. Des espoirs déçus au succès en Equateur. Les exemples de l’Afrique du Sud, du Brésil, du Paraguay et de l’Equateur.

– 5. Grèce : L’ambivalence des dirigeants vis-à-vis de l’ordre financier et de la dette

Eric Toussaint docteur en sciences politiques des universités de Liège et de Paris VIII, est porte-parole du CADTM international et est membre du Conseil scientifique d’ATTAC France. Il est auteur des livres Bancocratie, ADEN, Bruxelles, 2014, Procès d’un homme exemplaire, Editions Al Dante, Marseille, 2013 ; Un coup d’œil dans le rétroviseur. L’idéologie néolibérale des origines jusqu’à aujourd’hui, Le Cerisier, Mons, 2010. Il est coauteur avec Damien Millet du livre AAA, Audit, Annulation, Autre politique, Le Seuil, Paris, 2012 ; La dette ou la vie, Aden/CADTM, Bruxelles, 2011. Ce dernier livre a reçu le Prix du livre politique octroyé par la Foire du livre politique de Liège Dernier livre : Bancocratie ADEN, Brussels, 2014. Il est coordonnateur de la Commission pour la Vérité sur la dette publique de la Grèce créée le 4 avril 2015.

VIDEO : Homenaje a Fidel Castro por sus 90 años.

août 15th, 2016 by Jorge Zegarra


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GR Editor’s Note: There are reports to the effect that the letter below on Hillary Clinton health which is circulating on social media could be « fake ».  The following report from Inquisitr says the following 

According to the leaked medical records, Hillary Clinton allegedly suffers from Complex Partial Seizures and Subcortical Vascular Dementia. Included as symptoms Clinton is experiencing are blackouts, uncontrollable twitching and memory issues.

While the general consensus is the leaked medical records are fake, there is a bit of truth behind them. The doctor named on the medical reports has been confirmed as one of Hillary’s doctors: Lisa R. Bardack. Still, not everyone is convinced the medical records are fake. The following is a CBS News report from December 2013 reporting on Clinton’s health issues from 2012. Mentioned are two blood clots Clinton has been diagnosed with. One clot Clinton suffered in the ’90s. The other blood clot she was diagnosed with was in Dec. 2012. In a ABC News report, it was discussed that Hillary Clinton did have additional issues stemming from the concussion. No one in Hillary Clinton’s camp would state what the additional issues or injuries she sustained were.

*       *       *

Besides numerous other reasons relating to affairs of state to keep Hillary from succeeding Obama, her deteriorating physical, mental and emotional health should automatically disqualify her.

Her illness is incurable, worsening over time, perhaps incapacitating her in office if she becomes America’s 45th president.

In February 2014, Mount Kisco Medical Group’s Dr. Lisa Bardack, Hillary’s doctor, wrote the letter below, clearly indicating she’s unfit to serve for medical reasons.


To Read: Click letter to enlarge

An earlier article I wrote explained the following:

Presidential illnesses aren’t rare. Noted US heads of state took ill in office, became sidelined, couldn’t perform their duties properly, or at times at all.Woodrow Wilson was America’s 28th president. He served two terms from 1913 – 1921. His health was a state secret.In November 1912, he was elected president. In March 1913, he took office. Few knew his health history.In 1896, he suffered a stroke. It caused marked right upper limb weakness. Sensory disturbances affected his fingers. For almost a year, he couldn’t write.In 1904, he developed right upper limb weakness. It lasted months. In 1906, he lost vision on his left eye. He had multiple neurological problems. He experienced double vision.He had severe episodic headaches. They lasted days. Hypertension and atherosclerosis affected him.In summer 1918, he was frail. He suffered breathing problems. Much worse lay ahead.On October 2, 1919, he collapsed. He experienced a debilitating stroke. For the rest of his presidency, he remained in seclusion. He was sidelined unable to govern.Historian John Milton Cooper called his condition “the worst instance of presidential disability we’ve ever had.”

“We stumbled along…without a fully functioning president » for 18 months. Information about his health was suppressed. An official White House statement said he suffered from “nervous exhaustion.”

He was dying. Few knew. His top officials and congressional leaders weren’t told. His personal physician, Dr. Cary Grayson, said nothing. The public was entirely shut out.

He served two full terms. He hung on longer than expected. On February 3, 1924, he died.

Franklin Roosevelt served from 1933 – 1945. In 1921, poliomyelitis left him paralyzed below the hips. In the 1920s, an enlarged pigmented lesion affected his left eye. Some believed it was malignant melanoma.

In 1944, he was too ill to run. He was advised to step down. In January, he complained of headaches. He was visibly tired. Once he blacked out at his desk. He was gravely ill. He kept it secret.

In March 1944, he developed heart disease and high blood pressure. His condition worsened. Congestive heart disease affected him.

He was in no condition to serve. He ran in November. He was reelected. On April 12, 1945, he died.

A state-sponsored assassination ended Jack Kennedy’s presidency. Had he lived, his health might have undone him.

At age two, he nearly died from scarlet fever. He contracted measles, whooping cough, and chicken pox. He had upper respiratory infections and bronchitis problems.

In 1935, he experienced jaundice. His weak physique caused multiple sports-related injuries.

His mother called him “a very, very sick little boy.” In the 1930s, he began taking steroids for colitis. Complications followed.

They included duodenal ulcers, back problems, and underactive adrenal glands – called Addison’s disease.

In 1947, his Addisonism was diagnosed. At the time, he was told he had a year to live. He was given his last rights.

As a WW II naval officer in the Pacific, he experienced malaria. The 1960 presidential campaign exhausted him.

As US senator and president, his health was kept secret. Few knew what later was revealed.

In June 1956, he was my commencement speaker as a junior Massachusetts senator. His memorable address, erudite and thoughtful, unlike how today’s politicians speak, inspired me to write about what he said many years later in my current career – going strong in my 9th decade thanks to two special doctors I call my dynamic duo.Ronald Reagan served from 1981 – 1989. Before becoming president, he suffered from severe nearsightedness, fractures, urinary tract infections, prostate stones, hearing loss, temporomandibular (jaw) joint degeneration, osteoarthritis, and a trans-urethral prostatecomy.He had a history of benign prostatic hypertrophy. He experienced prostatis and skin cancer.In January 1981, he took office. In March, he was shot. Loss of blood alone might have killed him. Emergency surgery saved him. He never fully recovered.Early in his presidency, Alzheimer’s disease symptoms surfaced. They worsened. He forgot cabinet officer names. On a Brazil state visit, he toasted the people of Bolivia. He served two full terms. He lived to age 93.Other US presidents experienced serious health problems. John Adams was diagnosed manic depressive. James Madison suffered from epilepsy. He had high fevers. It left him “deranged” for weeks.George Washington experienced Klinefelter syndrone. Thomas Jefferson suffered from rheumatoid arthritis. Chester Arthur had chronic renal disease.Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, Kennedy, William Henry Harrison, Zachary Taylor, James Garfield, William McKinley, and Warren Harding died in office.Presidents are mortal like ordinary people. They get sick like we do, at times seriously.

If Hillary succeeds Obama, most likely at this stage of the campaign, will she be the next US president to be incapacitated or die in office?
Will her deteriorating physical, mental and emotional state result in catastrophic policy decisions?
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled « Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III. »
Visit his blog site at 
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
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The label ‘conspiracy theorist’ is used by Western Establishment gatekeepers as a means of shutting down debate and smearing those who have the temerity to challenge elite-friendly narratives

As I argued in an Op-Edge last year, there’s a great irony here. Over the last twenty years or so, the biggest pushers of conspiracy theories (CTs) have been Western Establishment gatekeepers themselves.

In fact, the most outlandish, fact-free and downright dangerous ‘CTs’ have been promoted by those who are the quickest to yell « conspiracy theorist! » at others.

So here are the top ten ‘acceptable’ Western establishment conspiracy theories. If you peddle them you won’t be labelled a ‘crank’ or nut-job’, but be hailed as an ‘expert’ who may even be deserving of a column in a ‘serious newspaper’ like the Washington Post, or the London Times. And who knows, you might even get a lucrative offer from a top publishing house to write a book about conspiracy theories.

1. Iraq has WMDs which threaten the world!

The most deadly conspiracy theory of them all – one which led to an illegal invasion and the destruction of a sovereign state and the deaths of up to 1m people. But the people who promoted it paid no professional penalty. Thirteen years on, the ‘punditocracy’ in the US and UK is still dominated by those who assured us Saddam had WMDs (and also that the secular, cigar-smoking Sound of Music lover had links to al-Qaeda). Remember that the next time you see a smug, self-regarding member of the neocon elite journos club loftily accuse someone they regard as their social and intellectual inferior of being a ‘conspiracy theorist’.

2. Iran’s developing nukes!

Since the early 90s we’ve been told the Islamic Republic is on the verge of developing nuclear weapons, or has already got them. The claims made repeatedly over the past 25 years by Israeli PM Netanyahu have been echoed by the same bunch of uber-hawks who pushed conspiracy theory 1. If you assert, without any evidence that say, Zambia is on the brink of developing nukes, you’ll be called a nutcase. But if you assert, without any evidence, that Iran is doing the same, then you’ll greatly increase your chances of being invited as an ‘expert’ into the studios of Fox News or Newsnight.

3. Jeremy Corbyn deliberately sabotaged the ‘Remain campaign’ in Britain’s EU referendum.

This has been a popular conspiracy theory peddled in elite Blairite circles in the UK this summer. The same anti-Corbyn crowd who tell us that the left-wing Labour Party leader is a massive turn-off with voters, blame said Labour Party leader for not doing more to persuade Britons to vote to stay in the EU!

In fact, Corbyn’s qualified support for the EU was much more in tune with public opinion than the Blairites’ EU fanaticism. Labour under Corbyn did deliver a majority vote for Remain among its supporters. Meanwhile, Islington, where Corbyn has his own seat, registered the sixth best result for Remain (75.2 percent) in the country. Some ‘sabotage’, eh, folks?

4. Assad is helping/working with ISIS and wants them to expand.

This one has been pushed by and large by the same people who pushed CTs 1 and 2 above. The theory says that the wicked Syrian tyrant wanted ISIS to gain territory in order for him to present himself as the ‘good guy’ in the conflict.

However, we’ve learned from declassified secret US intelligence documents from 2012 that the prospect of a ‘Salafist principality’ being established in eastern Syria was « exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want » as it would « isolate the Syrian regime ». But let’s not mention evidence that it was Assad’s opponents – and not Assad – who welcomed the rise and expansion of ISIS.

That will only be dismissed as a conspiracy theory’!

And let’s ignore the Syrian Army’s liberation of Palymra from ISIS as well, shall we? It just doesn’t fit the ‘Why Assad won’t fight ISIS narrative!

5. Russia is providing ISIS with an air force

In October 2015, after Russia had started air strikes on terrorist targets in Syria, a new variation of Conspiracy Theory 4 started to circulate. Russia, we were told, was also helping ISIS and giving the Islamic State an air force!

Yet when a Russian passenger airliner was taken down by an ISIS/ISIL bomb later that month, we were told that it was a ‘warning shot’ for Moscow. If Russia was helping Islamic State/Daesh and providing it with an air force in Syria, why on earth would the group target a Russian plane?
As I wrote at the time: « You can’t say on one day that Russia is helping ISIS and that ISIS is gaining ground because of Russian actions and the next day claim that ISIS is bombing a Russian airline because they are, er.. angry with Russia ».

Or rather you can, if you’re a neocon who peddles outlandish anti-Russian conspiracy theories.

6. Trotskyists are taking over the Labour Party!

Record numbers of people are joining the Labour party to support leader Jeremy Corbyn, an anti-war democratic socialist whose policies represent a clean break with Blairism. And guess what?- these new members are disciples of a Russian revolutionary who died over 75 years ago!

Labour’s membership surged by 100,000 this summer – whoever would have thought there were so many Trotskyists in Britain! It’s all the more surprising given that the main Trotskyist party, the SWP, only has around 6,000 members.

According to Labour’s Deputy Leader Tom Watson, who opposes Corbyn, Trotskyist entrists’ are « twisting the arms » of young members. Perhaps they’re also threatening these young members with a spell in the Red Army…?

‘Trots under the bed’ is the 2016 variation of ‘Reds under the Bed’ for McCarthyite conspiracy theorists in the Labour Party, who are desperate to restrict party democracy and return to elite-friendly Tory-lite, pro-war policies.

7. Russia was behind the DNC email leak

No evidence has yet been produced that the Kremlin was responsible for the leaked emails from the Democratic National Committee, so let’s just push this conspiracy theory 24-7 shall we? It concerns Russia, an ‘official enemy’, so no need to wait for little things like facts, right? As Glenn Greenwald noted« Democrats not only treated this evidence free conspiracy theory as Truth, but following the Clinton campaign, proceeded to smear Wikileaks as a Kremlin operation ».

8. Putin orchestrated football hooliganism in the European Football Championships to get Britain out of the EU

This has to be a strong contender for the nuttiest CT of 2016. Russia is very keen for Western sanctions to be lifted. So what does the Russian Prez do? He gets Russian football hooligans to attack England supporters in Marseille. And this apparently will make it more likely that Britain will vote to leave the EU.

I’m sure there were millions of people in the UK who read about English and Russian fans fighting each other in France, who turned to their partners and said ‘That does it. I’m voting for Brexit on Thursday’!

What a load of (foot)balls.

9. Donald Trump is a Russian agent

The argument in the West against Donald Trump goes: Since the Republican presidential contender does not seem keen on starting WW3 with Russia over Ukraine or Syria, he must therefore be a Russian agent! Either a ‘witting’ one or an ‘unwitting’ one!

We’ve even had claims that The Donald is a ‘Manchurian Candidate’ who is secretly working either for Russia, or for Hillary Clinton.

Again, peddle these evidence-free CTs in the US or UK and you won’t lose your credibility as a ‘respected commentator’. Far from it. But if you argue that Tony Blair or David Cameron were agents of the US – either ‘witting’ or ‘unwitting’ on account of their ‘pro-US policies’ you’d face ridicule and career death. Proving once again, that some conspiracy theories are more equal than others.

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein. © Dominick Reuter

10. Dr Jill Stein is a Kremlin shill!

The Green Party candidate in the US Presidential Election is attracting plenty of support from progressives who can’t see what’s progressive about Wall Street-funded and neocon supported Hillary Rodham Clinton. So guess what? As her popularity rises, Dr Stein’s been smeared as a Kremin shill and is accused having ties to Vladimir Putin.

The ‘evidence’? Well, like Trump (see CT No 9), she doesn’t seem keen to start WW3, and wait for it, she attended, along with a lot of other public figures, the RT 15th Anniversary conference in 2015.

Going to Moscow and not wanting war with Russia – or indeed with anyone else – is apparently unacceptable, and enough to get another ‘acceptable’ Establishment conspiracy theory going, folks!

Follow Neil Clark on Twitter @NeilClark66

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Neil Clark

Neil Clark is a journalist, writer, broadcaster and blogger. He has written for many newspapers and magazines in the UK and other countries including The Guardian, Morning Star, Daily and Sunday Express, Mail on Sunday, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, New Statesman, The Spectator, The Week, and The American Conservative.

He is a regular pundit on RT and has also appeared on BBC TV and radio, Sky News, Press TV and the Voice of Russia. He is the co-founder of the Campaign For Public Ownership @PublicOwnership. His award winning blog can be found at

He tweets on politics and world affairs @NeilClark66


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 Most will wonder what I mean when I say Bayer AG, the German chemicals and drug company, the same one that just absorbed Monsanto, makes bee contraceptives. This is precisely what a newly-published, peer-reviewed scientific study confirms. Contraceptives for bees are not good for the world, no better than another product invented in the labs of Bayer, namely heroin. Bayer makes a class of insect killers known as neonicotinides. Their free use worldwide threatens bee pollination and the entire food chain. 

A study just published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B (Biological Sciences), identifies a dramatic reduction in sperm count in bees exposed to two of Bayer AG’s most widely used pesticides—thiamethoxam and clothianidin. They found that those two neonicotinoids, “significantly reduce the reproductive capacity of male honeybees (drones), Apis mellifera. Drones were obtained from colonies exposed to the neonicotinoid insecticides or controls, and subsequently maintained in laboratory cages until they reached sexual maturity…the data clearly showed reduced drone lifespan, as well as reduced sperm viability (percentage living versus dead) and living sperm quantity by 39%.

The study continues: “Our results demonstrate for the first time that neonicotinoid insecticides can negatively affect male insect reproductive capacity, and provide a possible mechanistic explanation for managed honeybee queen failure and wild insect pollinator decline… As the primary egg layer and an important source of colony cohesion, the queen is intimately connected to colony performance. Increased reports of queen failure have recently been reported in North America and Europe; however, no studies have so far investigated the role of neonicotinoids and male health to explain this phenomenon.”

They conclude, “For the first time, we have demonstrated that frequently employed neonicotinoid insecticides in agro-ecosystems can elicit important lethal (reduced longevity) and sublethal (reduced sperm viability and living sperm quantity) effects on non-target, beneficial male insects; this may have broad population-level implications… Although recent improvements to regulatory requirements for evaluating the environmental impacts of insecticides have been adopted, none so far directly address the reproduction of beneficial insects.”

EU Reviewing its Ban

In 2012 amid an alarming wave of sudden bee colony collapses across the European Union and growing indications that the new class of chemical pesticide—neonicotinoids—promoted primarily by Bayer AG, was responsible for what the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the advisory board to the EU, called an unacceptable risk, the EU Commissioned banned the three most widely used neonicotinoids for three years. The ban affected thiamethoxam, clothianidin and imidacloprid. The first two, thiamethoxam and clothianidin were the neonicotinoids tested by the new study.

Now the EU Commission, a new commission, has initiated a review of their ban. The scientists today at EFSA have initiated a review of their 2012 assessment on the dangers of neonicotinoid pesticide use to bee colonies. The review is expected to be completed by January 2017. Bayer and the pesticide industry, including Syngenta, are strongly lobbying for a rollback.

Bayer’s neonicotinoids are widely used across the agriculture regions of North America. Despite the growing evidence that the widely-used pesticides cause bee colony death, the US Government has yet to follow the EU ban. In January the US Environmental Protection Agency published first field trials, some ten years after widespread introduction of neonicotinoids in the US agriculture. Their results showed that imidacloprid, one of the three banned in the EU, can cause beehive populations to fall. Despite this, the US Government has yet to take any cautionary action.

The entire food chain

Most of us city slickers, who think food magically grows on the shelves of our local supermarket, have little appreciation of what’s at stake here.

In 2012 in another article after investigation into the alarming wave of bee colony collapse worldwide, I wrote, “In 2003, over the clear warnings of its own scientists, the EPA licensed a neonicotinoid called Clothianidin, patented by the German Bayer AG together with a Japanese company, Takeda. It is sold under the brand name Poncho. It was immediately used on over 88 million acres of US corn in the 2004 crop and since that time, the shocking death of more than one million beehives across the corn prairies of the Midwest has been reported.”

As I noted back then, bees and birds contribute to the essence of life on our planet. A study by the US Department of Agriculture estimated that “…perhaps one-third of our total diet is dependent, directly or indirectly, upon insect-pollinated plants.” The honey bee, Apis mellifera, is the most important pollinator of agricultural crops. Honey bees pollinate over 70 out of 100 crops that in turn provide 90% of the world’s food. They pollinate most fruits and vegetables–including apples, oranges, strawberries, onions and carrots.

Bayer AG is the world’s largest maker of neonicotinoids, making the company an understandable match to takeover Monsanto with its own range of highly toxic glyphosate-based weed-killers such as Roundup. Neonicotinoids are a group of insecticides chemically similar to nicotine. They act on the central nervous system of insects. But also on bees and small song birds. Recent evidence suggests they could also affect human brain development in newborn.

The political appointees at EPA in 2003 allowed Bayer to receive a license for Poncho despite the official judgment of EPA scientists that its substance, clothianidin, was “highly toxic to bees by contact and oral exposure” and that is was “highly mobile in soil and groundwater – very likely to migrate into streams, ponds and other fields, where it would be absorbed by wildflowers” – and go on to kill more bees and non-target insects like butterflies and bumblebees. The warning, from a leaked EPA memo dated September 28, 2005, summarizes the Environmental Fate and Effects Division’s Environmental Risk Assessment for Clothianidin, which it said “will remain toxic to bees for days after a spray application. In honey bees, the effects of this toxic exposure may include lethal and/or sub-lethal effects in the larvae and reproductive effects to the queen.”

Despite all evidence, to date the US Department of Agriculture refuses to ban neonicotinoids. In the USA 94% of US corn is treated with either imidacloprid or clothianidin pesticides. The US is the world’s biggest corn exporter. In the USA today, according to latest USDA data, as well 94% of all corn planted is GMO corn. Mostof it is Monsanto GMO corn paired with Monsanto’s toxic glyphosate-based weed killer, Roundup. Most of the US neonicotinoids come from either Bayer AG or the Swiss agrochemical giant, Syngenta, now being taken over by ChinaChem. 

Bayer AG spreading bee death via its neonicotinoids, and now in a marriage with Monsanto who is spreading toxic effects harming to human embryo cells and much else? It’s beginning to look like someone is out to dramatically reduce life on our beautiful planet. Oh, but would not that be the most radical form of eugenics, of Nazi “race purification” imaginable?

Have we not been told that Bayer AG today are the good guys, making those harmless little aspirin pills? What was Bayer AG involved in during the Third Reich when it was a key part of the IG Farben complex? What were the Rockefeller companies doing to support IG Farben during the Third Reich and World War II? Some curious souls would do well to dig into those questions in light of the present developments around Bayer AG’s neonicotinoids. As the old sage once wisely said, “Just ‘cuz youse paranoid don’t mean they ain’t out to kill ya…”

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

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In an article worthy of the convoluted and deceptive logic of the New York Times that he is so fond of criticizing, Noam Chomsky, together with John Halle, has published a piece on his website shilling for the election of Hillary Clinton.  “An Eight Point Brief for LEV (Lesser Evil Voting)” also comes with a most unusual addendum: “Note: Professor Chomsky requests that he not be contacted with responses to this piece.”

Since personal responses have been ruled out, I will respond in this public forum.

Chomsky begins by writing that “presidential elections continue to pose a dilemma for the left in that any form of participation or non-participation appears to impose a significant cost on our capacity to develop a serious opposition to the corporate agenda served by establishment politicians.”  Meaning: there’s a price to pay for voting or not voting – at least there “appears” to be.  Such an indeterminate, truistic beginning is not an auspicious start for a linguist.

He then tells us that “many” regard the most effective response to be to vote for the”lesser evil” (LEV) Democrat in competitive “swing” states. Who the “many” are is left unsaid.

“Before fielding objections,” he continues, “it will be useful to make certain background stipulations with respect to the points [the eight point brief] below.”  He implies that others will make objections when the only objections are those Chomsky will make himself, only to shoot them down. This is a classic rhetorical device used to conceal the use of straw –man argumentation.  And in any case, he said at the start that he doesn’t want to get any responses, which would include objections.

He then tells us “that since changes in relevant facts require changes in tactics, proposals having to do with our relationship to the ‘electoral extravaganza’ should be regarded as provisional.”  Meaning: we (whoever that is) can change our minds if “relevant facts” emerge showing that Clinton’s foreign policy “could possess a more serious menace than that of Trump.”  “Could” suggests possibility, not past fact, and in any case, “most of us not already convinced that that is so will need more evidence …. though it’s a bit hard to know whether those making this suggestion [voting for Trump] are intending it seriously.” Meaning: Clinton’s foreign policy is less a menace than Trump’s, despite her track record, and serious people should vote for her. That “relevant facts” and “more evidence” might emerge is pure nonsense, since the facts are in.  “We” aren’t going to be changing our minds..

For those who choose the “politics of moral witness,” whether religious or secular leftists, and abstain from voting, they are about “feeling good” about themselves, see voting as a form of self-expression, and don’t care about others.  “When they reject LEV on the grounds that ‘a lesser of two evils is still evil’ they miss the point,” he claims.  “Leaving aside the obvious rejoinder [as he doesn’t leave it aside] that this is exactly the point of lesser evil voting – i.e. to do less evil,” Chomsky makes his point, not theirs, in an act of verbal jiu-jitsu.  “Moral witness” people decide to avoid choosing any evil by abstaining from a double-bind.  Chomsky, however, continues with his straw-man legerdemain by writing that “those reflexively denouncing advocates of LEV on a supposed ‘moral’ basis should consider that their footing on the high ground may not be as secure as they often take for granted may be the case.”  Thus he accuses “those” – whoever they are – of doing what he is doing, though his position does not rely on a ‘moral’ basis (his quotation marks speak volumes) but on serious intelligent strategy.  He is not like them; he is not the type to make “frivolous and poorly considered electoral decisions [that] impose a cost.”  His high ground is thoughtful, sound judgment.

He concludes by claiming that anyone serious about radical change must agree with his logic and his “cost/benefit strategic accounting.”  “Those on the left who ignore it, or dismiss it as irrelevant, are engaging in political fantasy and are an obstacle to, rather than ally of, the movement that now seems to be materializing.”  This bit of guilt-tripping rhetoric, with another ambiguous usage – “seems” – is typical of his entire argument.

As for his “8-Point Rationale,” it can be summed up in a few sentences.

Be practical, not moral, in making your decisions.

Don’t think of the election and your vote as part “of a corrupt system designed to limit choices to those acceptable to corporate elites.”

Donald Trump is an evil menace whose policies will impose terrible suffering “on marginalized and already oppressed populations.” These sufferings have “a high probability of being significantly greater than that which will [no use of the past tense, as though she has no foreign policy history] result from a Clinton presidency.”

That’s why you should vote for Hilary Clinton.

If you don’t, and Trump wins, you will be justly criticized.

If the left doesn’t help elect Clinton, it “will undermine what should be at the core of what it claims to be attempting to achieve.”  What this core is, and how a President Clinton would contribute to its achievement, is left unspoken.

So if your Hobson’s choice is to abstain from voting and thereby not assure a Clinton victory, you are a bad leftist.

As for Jill Stein, she doesn’t figure in the professor’s lecture.  A vote for her isn’t practical.

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As the U.S. empire exhausts itself on wars in the Middle East and provocations in Asia and Eastern Europe, the “democracy” and “free market reforms” that are a hallmark of the Anglo-American system are becoming more and more apparent to the rest of the world.

One hallmark of Western imperialism has been the spread and even the mandate of Big Ag GMO seeds where the Anglo-American empire cannot spread itself by corruption, bribes and covert means, militarily conquered nations are often forced to abandon traditional agriculture in favor of “biotechnology” particularly products that belong to multinational corporations like Monsanto. As a result, those nations who have some concept of the Anglo-American game plan, have moved to claw back agricultural rights and practices while others have wisely banned GMOs from within their borders completely.

Those nations, of course, have found themselves under complete attack. While Syria is perhaps the most well-known victim in 2016, Russia, also painted as a villain by the U.S. media, has been increasingly resistant to “free market reforms” and the promotion of GMOs having banned the production, and importation of GMOs earlier this year.

Much less publicized, however, is Venezuela, a country that has long been a thorn in the side to a trans-continental empire that desires world hegemony. From Chavez to Maduro, Venezuela has refused to comply with the dictates of the United States, both in terms of foreign and domestic policy. As a result of Venezuela’s determination not to be controlled by the United States, the country has paid a heavy price. Economic attacks, sanctions, subversion and color revolutions – even attempted assassinations have plagued the country even while it is in the throes of a horrific financial collapse.

But Venezuela has remained firm and just last year passed what is referred to as the Seed Law. A law that banned GMO seeds from being imported or produced in the country. Yet now, in August 2016, the future of the law itself is in question. This is because “opposition representatives” who are now a majority of seats in the Venezuelan Congress are looking to repeal it.

This has many in Venezuela concerned, since the Seed Law was widely popular amongst citizens, farmers, activists and nationalists. Eisamar Ochoa, spokesperson for Venezuela Free of Transgenics, told RT, “the new majority in the National Assembly serves the interests of the trans-nationals and the big monopolies of the agribusiness sector, this is why they have expressed their intention to repeal the bill.”

If the Seed Bill is repealed, [lawmakers] would be handing out the seeds, which represent a strategic good for food sovereignty, to the agribusiness sector like Monsanto.

Ochoa is exactly right when she claims that the opposition representatives are in the pockets of Big Ag.

Although Venezuela and the United States are held together by joint business interests involving petroleum exports and imports, this fact has done nothing to soften the tension between the two governments. Venezuela is, after all, the biggest supplier of petroleum to the United States. In turn, the United States is Venezuela’s biggest customer.

Nevertheless, both countries have been at constant diplomatic war since 2010 due to Chavez’ rejection of the nomination of Larry Palmer by the Obama administration and Washington’s subsequent dismissal of the Venezuelan ambassador in response. In February, 2014, President Maduro expelled three American diplomats. Maduro had expelled U.S. diplomats back in October, 2013 over what he described as a “US plot.” The plot was clear enough, as the US consular staff that was subsequently expelled had previously met with opposition forces and labor leaders in the southern state of Bolivar as well as the opposition Governor of Amazonas. On February 25, 2014, the United States announced that it was expelling Venezuelan diplomats in response.

Furthermore, the imperialist US sanctions regarding countries, banks, businesses,and individuals that do business with Iran were applied to the Venezuelan state oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), in May 2011 after the US State Department claimed that PDVSA delivered two cargo shipments of refined petroleum products worth approximately $50 million to Iran between the months of December and March 2010-2011.

In addition, as NewsMax reports, “The U.S. also imposed penalties on Venezuela’s Military Industries Co. for violating the Iran, North Korea and Syria Nonproliferation Act by selling or buying sensitive equipment and technology related to nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and ballistic missile systems.”

Even more so, Chavez’ government, in 2002, was briefly overthrown as a result of a coup largely supported by the United States. This foreign-backed coup attempt involved the mobilization of large numbers of “swarming adolescents” as well as snipers who fired on the marches, which was subsequently blamed on Chavez, thus fanning the flames of chaos and outrage. This is the same method seen in the attempted destabilizations in Syria and Ukraine. (see here also)

Although Chavez was able to regain control of the presidency and the government within a mere 48 hours, such an affront to Venezuelan sovereignty and personal power is not likely to be forgotten by the Venezuelan government. In turn, the fact that the United States is ready and willing to back opposition leaders capable of storming the capitol and taking power is not likely to be forgotten by individuals seeking to do so.

This was precisely the attempt made by the United States and Anglo-American networks during the last Presidential election when Chavez was still alive and campaigning for another term against Western agent Henrique Capriles Radonski who openly stated his favoritism toward dismantling many of the social programs developed by Chavez.

Whatever one may have thought about Chavez or the Venezuelan government, it was clear enough that the Radonski campaign was a tentacle of Western intelligence and NGO networks.

As Lee Brown of Venezuela Analysis wrote at the time,

However there are obvious concerns that this fits neatly with the objectives of those within the right-wing opposition in Venezuela who are planning for the non-recognition of the coming elections if, as expected, Hugo Chavez wins. With the polls showing strong leads for Hugo Chavez, a campaign is already underway by sections of the right-wing opposition coalition to present any electoral defeat as being down to Chavez-led fraud. This has seen baseless attacks on the independent National Electoral Council (CNE,) which has overseen all of Venezuelans’ elections described as free and fair by a range of international observers. The opposition has announced plans to place tens of thousands of ‘witnesses’ at polling stations on election day and then, illegally to release its own results ahead of the official results in a clear bid to discredit them. These plans have sharpened fears that opposition-led disruptions and destabilisation will follow their defeat. This could easily meet Duddy’s condition of ‘an outbreak of violence and/or interruption of democracy’.

The “Duddy” that Brown makes mention of in his quote is a reference to Patrick Duddy, the former Ambassador to Venezuela, writing for the Council on Foreign Relations in a paper entitled “Political Unrest in Venezuela.” In this paper, Duddy provided a clear list of possible military, financial, and political contingency measures to be taken after the October 7 elections were held, essentially giving voice to a variety of opportunities which could be seized upon in order to foment the appearance of a popular uprising in the event of a Radonski defeat. The paper, in short, was a manual of suggestions for the implementation of a coup against the wishes of the Venezuelan people.

In the end, Radonski was defeated and the immediate public rioting that Duddy and the Anglo-American networks hoped for did not take shape. However, the destabilization effort that Duddy and the CFR called for in Duddy’s paper is beginning to take shape in Chavez’ absence.

After Chavez’s death and the subsequent campaign between Nicolás Maduro and Radonski, the vote count returned a much smaller margin of victory for Maduro than Chavez had enjoyed. Radonski, predictably, refused to concede defeat and claimed that the elections had been rigged.

Thus, while the internal debate surrounding the election results intensifies inside Venezuela, Radonski traveled to Colombia to meet President Juan Manuel Santos, a staunch ally of the United States. The visit was largely seen as an attempt to shore up international support for the planned coup.

Still, Radonski was quite confident that the Maduro government would fall and that he would be placed as leader. “I think this government, in the current conditions of illegitimacy added to a deep economic crisis it’s showing no intention of addressing, is going to cave in,” Capriles said.

As a result, Maduro responded to Radonski with accusations that he was nothing more than a destabilization agent for “right wing” actors wishing to overthrow the leftist government. Tensions both inside and outside the country began to rise with diplomatic ties being “re-examined” between Venezuela and Colombia as a result of the Radonski PR move as well as growing pro-Radonski supporters demonstrating in the streets. Violent clashes between protesters and the government during this time resulted in at least three deaths.

In early 2014, protests and demonstrations are once again took place all acrossVenezuela with Radonski positioning himself to seize power.

With this in mind, it is important to note that Radonski was and still is seen as being much more “market-friendly” by Western banking circles. In fact, analysts from Credit Suisse, Casey Reckman and Igor Arsenin, stated to Bloomberg News in 2012 that, “A Capriles victory would be a good outcome from the market’s perspective, in our view, as he seems to be a more viable presidential candidate than the opposition has presented previously. He espouses a gradualist, inclusive, left-of-center but market friendly approach.”

Translating the above statement to layman’s terms, both Chavez and now Maduro represent a threat to the Anglo-American imperialist strategy because of their refusal to engage in unrestrained privatization. Radonski represented a much better option due to his support for, at the very least, privatization and “free market” tendencies.

The Patrick Duddy Paper

As mentioned above, member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Patrick Duddy, published a paper in the official CFR magazine, entitled “Political Unrest In Venezuela,” in which he provided a clear list of possible military, financial, and political contingency measures to be taken after the elections of October 7, 2012.

Duddy cited the repeated warnings made by Radonski during the campaign regarding the possibility of chaos, destabilization, violence and even civil war if he fails to win the election in order to suggest that these conditions may arise out of Chavez’ sabotage of Venezuelan elections. However, the reality is that the violence and chaos that would have ensued over election results was much more likely to be a legitimate and organic reaction to the election of Radonski who is seen as much more favorable toward dismantling many of the social programs that Chavez heavily invested in. Even Duddy admits in his paper that a Chavez loss might result in riots by government workers “before Capriles can be inaugurated.”

In his paper, Duddy provided several instances that he believed were “Warning Indicators” of violence and political unrest as a result of the Venezuelan presidential elections. Among these indicators are those such as the following:

  • Chavez dies or an announcement is made that his death is imminent.
  • Violent crime is allowed to surge in the major cities before the election.
  • Weapons are distributed to the militia.
  • Basic food items disappear.
  • Remaining independent media are closed and/or prominent journalists are detained.
  • Sharp divisions within Chavismo surface publicly, suggesting insiders know Chavez is failing.
  • A senior political figure close to either Chavez or Capriles is assassinated.
  • Local supplies of gasoline are interrupted.

Although many of these conditions have been predicted or are quite possible inside the United States in coming years, Duddy viewed their presence in Venezuela as the signal of apocalyptic social upheaval. More importantly, Duddy represented this upheaval as vital to the interests of the United States – particularly those involving the need of the U.S. “to promote democracy, increase regional cooperation, combat narcotics, and protect its economic interests in the region.”

For clarification purposes, one may translate these interests to mean “to install puppet regimes via destabilization programs, create U.S. regional hegemony, further the drug trade for intelligence purposes (while imprisoning members of the general public), and protecting private banking and corporate interests operating or wishing to operate in the region.”

A Radonski presidency would not have been the first time a prominent Venezuelan politician has cooperated with the Anglo-Americans. During the aforementioned coup against Chavez in 2002, Radonski, who was Mayor of Caracas’ Baruta district, was implicated in the detention of Ramon Rodriquez Chacin, Venezuela’s Interior Minister. Although the charges of fomenting violence on the Cuban embassy during the coup attempt were ultimately dropped, the suspicion surrounding Radonski’s allegiances remain. After all, the U.S. State Department was quick to go to bat for Radonski when his trial was set to take place, claiming that his case was indicative of Venezuelan Human Rights abuses.

With this in mind, Duddy went on to write that the possibility of violence in the event of a Chavez victory was very real. The question facing the United States, according to Duddy, then becomes “What can we do about it?” Inside the pages of “Political Unrest in Venezuela,” he attempted to answer this question or, more accurately put, how the United States could best take advantage of such a situation.

In the section of the paper entitled, “Mitigating Options,” Duddy lamented the fact that “The likelihood of success for unilateral U.S. efforts is low;” which itself suggests that, if support existed, unilateral U.S. action would be given serious consideration. However, it is important to point out that Duddy did not rule out unilateral action as much as he merely observed that support for it would be low.

Nevertheless, Duddy stated that “multilateral efforts that include other important regional players are far more likely to influence Venezuelan behavior.”

Thus, it is important to note that, among Duddy’s “Mitigating Options,” there falls the subcategories of diplomatic, economic and financial, and military options.

In terms of diplomacy, Duddy suggested that the U.S., “together with like-minded nations . . . . . demand that the OAS declare Venezuela in breach of its obligations as a signatory of the Inter-American Democratic Charter and encourage a secretary-general–led mission to Caracas.” He also proposes that the United States involve the United Nations, the European Union, and “other international partners,” in order to “to explicitly endorse regional efforts to restore democracy.”

Unfortunately, Duddy did not define what a “regional effort to restore democracy” would look like. However, considering the recent history of Anglo-American interference, along with other international “coalitions of the willing,” we can only imagine that the results would bring little benefit to the Venezuelan people.

In terms of “Economic and Financial Options,” Duddy wrote that, in the event of violence or “interruption of democracy,”

the United States could freeze individual bank accounts of key figures involved or responsible and seize assets in the United States. It could also arrange for the proceeds of Venezuelan government-owned corporate entities like CITGO to be held in escrow accounts until democracy is restored and encourage other important trading partners (i.e. Canada, Spain, France, Brazil) to do the same.

He also suggests that the “United States could block access to CITGO’s refining facilities in the United States and consider prohibiting PDVSA oil sales to the United States while the government’ status is uncertain.”

In other words, Duddy proposed that the United States seize, freeze, and otherwise sanction Venezuelan assets until the election results are established to the satisfaction of the Anglo-American oligarchy. Clearly, a Chavez government did not fit the accepted mold formed by the shadow government currently guiding world society.

With this in mind, the next section of Duddy’s paper, entitled “Military Options,” is much more concerning.

For instance, in this section, Duddy wrote that,

The United States could encourage other Latin American militaries, as well perhaps as the Spanish, to communicate to the Venezuelan military the importance of complying with constitutional mandates, respecting human rights, and preserving democracy. While Chavez loyalists dominate the Venezuelan high command, it is not clear to what extent they control the middle ranks. Nor is it clear to what extent the military’s loyalty to Chavez’s Bolivarian movement would trump other considerations. In the abortive coup of 2002 the military temporarily removed Chavez but also restored him to power.

In this short section, Duddy did more than simply hint that the United States, along with other Latin American client states should “encourage” the Venezuelan military to depose Hugo Chavez and install a different government. Notice that nowhere does Duddy suggest the possibility that Radonski might have been the culprit in contested elections and post-election violence. The reason for this is that Radonski was not the target of the Anglo-American destabilization efforts – Chavez was. It is also ironic because Radonski had himself been involved in the instigation of political violence in the past.

Indeed, Duddy’s interpretation of “encouragement,” taken in the context of recent NATO-related adventures, sounds dangerously close to “direction” and outright “involvement.”

Of course, the entire purpose of Duddy’s paper seems to have been a preparation at the academic level for a another coup attempt in Venezuela using “contested” elections as a justification. Much like the destabilizations taking place all over the world, particularly in Syria and Ukraine, the Anglo-Americans appear were posturing for political, financial, proxy, or even direct involvement in the domestic affairs of yet another sovereign nation using civil unrest as a justification. More interesting still is the fact that the civil and political unrest used to justify this involvement was fomented by the Anglo-American intelligence networks to begin with.

Eva Golinger, a well-respected Venezuelan-American researcher and staunch supporter of former President Chavez and the Bolivarian Revolution, recognized the foreign-backed nature of the protests which began taking place across Venezuela in late 2013, early 2014. In her article, “Venezuela Beyond the Protests: The Revolution is Here to Stay,” Golinger writes,

Those protesting do not represent Venezuela’s vast working-class majority that struggled to overcome the oppressive exclusion they were subjected to during administrations before Chavez. The youth taking to the streets today in Caracas and other cities throughout the country, hiding their faces behind masks and balaclavas, destroying public buildings, vehicles, burning garbage, violently blocking transit and throwing rocks and molotov cocktails at security forces are being driven by extremist right-wing interests from Venezuela’s wealthiest sector. Led by hardline neo-conservatives, Leopoldo Lopez, Henrique Capriles and Maria Corina Machado — who come from three of the wealthiest families in Venezuela, the 1% of the 1% — the protesters seek not to revindicate their basic fundamental rights, or gain access to free health care or education, all of which are guaranteed by the state, thanks to Chavez, but rather are attempting to spiral the country into a state of ungovernability that would justify an international intervention leading to regime change.


Ironically, international media has been portraying these protesters as peaceful victims of state repression. Even celebrities, such as Cher and Paris Hilton have been drawn into a false hysteria, calling for freedom for Venezuelans from a “brutal dictatorship”. The reality is quite different. While there is no doubt that a significant number of protesters in the larger marches that have taken place have demonstrated peacefully their legitimate concerns, the driving force behind those protests is a violent plan to overthrow a democratic government.

Golinger also points out that the three main leaders of the protests were the same individuals who were instrumental in leading the 2002 coup attempt against Chavez. She states,

Leading efforts to overthrow Chavez were the very same three who today call for their supporters to take to the streets to force President Nicolas Maduro from power. Leopoldo Lopez and Henrique Capriles were both mayors of two of Caracas’ wealthiest municipalities during the 2002 coup — Chacao and Baruta, while Maria Corina Machado was a close ally of Pedro Carmona, the wealthy businessman who proclaimed himself dictator during Chavez’s brief ouster. Lopez and Machado signed the infamous “Carmona Decree” dissolving Venezuela’s democratic institutions, trashing the constitution. Both Capriles and Lopez were also responsible for persecuting and violently detaining members of Chavez’s government during the coup, including allowing some of them to be publicly beaten, such as Ramon Rodriguez Chacin, former Minister of Interior in 2002.

All three have been major recipients of US funding and political support for their endeavors to overthrow Chavez, and now Maduro.

The US National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and its offshoots, the International Republican Institute (IRI) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI) provided start-up funds for Machado’s NGO Sumate, and Capriles’ and Lopez’s right-wing party Primero Justicia. When Lopez split from Primero Justicia in 2010 to form his own party, Voluntad Popular, it was bankrolled by US dollars.

Over the 10-year period, from 2000-2010, US agencies, including the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and its Office for Transition Initiatives (OTI), set up in Caracas in 2002, channeled more than $100 million dollars to opposition groups in Venezuela. The overall objective was regime change.

Indeed, USAID is quite active in Venezuela, much of its activity taking place through front groups like the Solidarity Center, a recipient of a number of USAID grants. The Solidarity Center, of course, is only one of the four main offices of the National Endowment for Democracy, a notorious agent of international destabilization. The Solidarity Center is also connected to the AFL-CIO, the largest American union currently in operation.

Golinger provided more details regarding the recent historical underpinnings used as justification for the demonstrations as well as those individuals seen as “leaders.” Summarizing the recent events that led up to the 2014 protests, she writes,

In January 2014, as Venezuelans arrived back from their Christmas vacations, economic difficulties continued. Maduro began cracking down on businesses violating newly enacted laws on price controls and speculation. Towards the end of January, new measures were announced regarding access to foreign exchange that many perceived as a devaluing of the national currency, the bolivar.

Sentiment built among opposition groups rejecting the new measures and calls for Maduro’s resignation increased. By February, small pockets of protests popped up around the country, mainly confined to middle and upper-class neighborhoods.

During the celebration of National Youth Day on February 12, while thousands marched peacefully to commemorate the historic achievements of youth in the nation’s independence, another group sought a different agenda. Opposition youth and “students” led an aggressive march calling for Maduro’s resignation that ended in a violent confrontation with authorities after the protesters destroyed building façades, including the Attorney General’s office, threw objects at police and national guard and used molotov cocktails to burn property and block transit. The clashes caused three deaths and multiple injuries.

The leader of the violent protest, Leopoldo Lopez, went into hiding following the confrontation and a warrant was issued for his arrest due to his role in the deadly events and his public calls to oust the president. Days later, after a lengthy show including videos from a “clandestine” location, Lopez convened another march and used the event to publicly turn himself over to authorities. He was taken into custody and held for questioning, all his rights guaranteed by the state.

Lopez became the rallying point for the violent protests, which have continued to date, causing several additional deaths, dozens of injuries and the destruction of public property. Relatively small, violent groups of protesters have blocked transit in wealthier zones of Caracas, causing traffic delays and terrorising residents. Several deaths have resulted because protesters refused to let ambulences through to take patients to the emergency room.

Gollinger’s assertions are most certainly merited, that the United States was behind much of the unrest and supported the so-called opposition in Venezuela both under Chavez and Maduro is without question. After all, what has been known for some time was recently revealed by a Wikileaks release of Hillary Clinton’s emails, showing that the U.S. Secretary of State actually led a team designed to delegitimize and hamper Chavez and his Bolivarian Revolution. The emails revealed that Clinton via Madeleine Albright initiated Spain into the destabilization as an ally.

In addition, propaganda operations via outlets like Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio Free Asia and Middle East broadcasting networks increased particularly against Venezuela. The State Department actively courted Latin American countries that were at odds with Venezuela and engaged in a massive spying operation via the National Security Administration. It’s noteworthy to mention that when the U.S. funded “opposition” in Venezuela won majority seats in the Parliament in 2016, Clinton responded, “we’re winning.

With all this in mind, it is easy to see how three years of intense destabilization has led to the eventual triumph of opposition forces that are by definition a tentacle of a foreign country. While the attempt to oust Maduro has not been completed by a long shot, the majority enjoyed by the Western-backed opposition will play an important role in the months leading up to 2017 when the opposition is able to call for a referendum on Maduro himself. Without a doubt, the Venezuelan people have innumerable, legitimate complaints with the Venezuelan government. It is thus understandable why so many would be susceptible to foreign propaganda and destabilization campaigns.

Regardless, it is up to the Venezuelan people to decide whether or not they keep their president, oust him or do something else. These decisions should be made without U.S. propaganda outlets, U.S. funding and U.S. Intelligence Agencies manipulating situations and causing crises. It should also serve as a reminder to any nation that seeks to resist Anglo-American hegemony that it must not tolerate U.S. or Western NGOs that seek to destabilize their government and their society. These nations must immediately pass legislation that requires these NGOs to fully disclosethe nature of their funding on all written and verbally declared statements as well as their relationship with foreign interests. Others such as the NDI, IRI, OSI and elements of U.S. AID should be banned entirely. If these nations do not begin to recognize the threat and act accordingly, then not only are destabilizations in their future, but Monsanto will be setting up shop as soon as the dust settles.

Brandon Turbeville – article archive here – is an author out of Florence, South Carolina. He is the author of six books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom7 Real Conspiracies,Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 and volume 2The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria, and The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President. Turbeville has published over 600 articles dealing on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s podcast Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at)

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A small town in Palestinian West Bank, north of Jerusalem, Nabi Saleh, essentially the home-town of the Tamimi clan, has like all other Palestinian towns suffered under the occupation of Israeli military forces and settler villages. Ben Ehrenreich’s book “The Way to the Spring: Life and Death in Palestine” documents his many months in the town and in surrounding areas. The title derives from a spring, ‘Ein al Qoos (the Bow Spring), that was the main water supply for the farmers/herders of the village. The nearby settlers blocked access to the spring and subsequently, on Fridays, the people of the village accompanied by international witnesses marched in protest towards the spring, always to be met by Israeli military forces protecting the settlers access.

Within that, “The Way to the Spring” highlights the tactics and politics of subjugating the indigenous people of an area under military and settler occupation. It is a book that speaks at times poetically, at other times in the simple basic descriptions given by the villagers/Palestinians of the West Bank; that speaks also of the political scenarios – within an historical context – at the time of the author’s visits and the ramifications throughout the region; that speaks with empathy of the pain and suffering endured under occupation.

It is a hard book to read, not for language or context, but for the overall tenor of the stories rising from this encounter between militarized occupiers and the indigenous people. The anger, humiliation, anguish, and physical and emotional pain create a somber sad atmosphere from which little hope rises, leaving only existence and steadfastness: the knowledge that there is no where else to go and that conditions have deteriorated over the span of Israeli settlement building.

Apart from the expected tales of violence, torture, imprisonment, intimidation, and humiliation, there are other points that are strongly represented in the work.


Most directly is the Palestinians attitude towards their own ‘leaders’, the Palestinian Authority (PA) under Mahmoud Abbas. In the summer of 2014, from where Abbas was ensconced in Saudi Arabia, “he defended the PA’s continuing security coordination with the Israeli military as “in our interest and for our protection.” In a demonstration against a security crackdown in Ramallah:

The crowds descended on the police station, attacking it with rocks and chunks of concrete, helling “Traitors!” and chanting “The PA is a whore!”

The Israelis were shooting from one direction and the PA from another, the two security forces acting in concert against the same opponent.”

Two messages were left in the wake of the riots, “First to the PA: you are ours and everyone knows it….And second to the Palestinian people…your leaders take their orders from us.”

Funding has never been cut to the PA. A U.S. official cited in Haaretz said,

Israeli security forces remained in constant cooperation with their Palestinian counterparts…It is against our interests – and Israel’s interests to cut ties with and funding to such a PA government.” There was probably no single policy so hated by his own people as the PA’s ongoing collaboration with the occupying army.

The war in Gaza that followed, not directly, but within the same violent continuum, demonstrated the state of hatred fostered by the Israeli government towards the Palestinians. It was fostered by the Israeli bureaucracy but “whatever force was pushing those bureaucratic processes forward was not rational at all. It was merely murderous, rooted in fear and a rage that flowed beneath the ground in hidden channels, secret and unmentionable conduits that had been there all along and were only now erupting.”


Another point is emphasized within these stories, not by its presence, but by its absence. Western mainstream media is very good about highlighting Palestinian attacks against Israel as the work of a demented terrorist population. Seldom is heard anything about the ongoing daily/weekly/monthly criminal acts of the IDF occupation forces in the West Bank, actions that work against international law and what could be perceived as customary common law.

By labelling all Palestinians as terrorists, by classifying them all as ‘snakes’ or other vermin, this demonized other becomes a forgotten target of western settler atrocities, matching the processes of all colonial settler countries before hand. That daily oppression and humiliation is never reported in the mainstream media, perhaps because it reflects sadly back on our own government’s complicity with Israeli war crimes and, above all else, does not support geopolitical interests, foreign policy, nor domestic policies.

The economy

I have heard arguments about the Palestinian economy – at least in West Bank – and how well it is doing – at least in Ramallah. Ehrenreich presents a short dissertation on the wonders of economic construction in Ramallah, an area called Rawabi.  In association with other development projects in the West Bank, Ehrenreich’s research revealed that “with any major development in the West Bank, the same groups and individuals keep coming up, the same bewitching haze of associations among supposed enemies.” It is in essence the power of money that lifts a few of the elite cadre above the others, above where “distinctions could no longer be seen.”


It remains that the military occupation and the settlements are the core of the stories and events within “The Way to the Spring.”  Taking land and pushing people away from their homes is the visible surface of the occupation,

but overall, with its checkpoints and its walls and its prisons and its permits, it functioned as a giant humiliation machine, a complex and sophisticated mechanism for the production of human despair….The land mattered to everyone, but despite all the nationalist anthems and slogans, the harder fight was the struggle to simply stand and not be broken.

Operating behind a mainstream media curtain, over-shadowed by other events in the region, ignored by most westerners as they are entertained by another created spectacle or another game to distract their thoughts – willingly – from serious consideration of the significance of events in Israel or the greater Middle East, the occupation continues its slow painful destruction of Palestinian land, culture, and spirits of the Palestinians.

The Way to the Spring” is a powerfully evocative work, one that needs to be front and centre in presentations to the citizens of the west, perhaps to disturb them as a simple historical recounting of events or misrepresented and contorted legal arguments might not.

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Smart Phones Will Not Make Banking Safer

août 15th, 2016 by Big Brother Watch

You may have seen in today’s papers a revolution in banking is on its way with the smartphone taking centre stage.

One of the key reasons is to give control back to the customer, to stop banks trying to rip us off and flog us products we don’t need.  This is all very admirable and a step forward in protecting the consumer.

But, one of the solutions which the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) have come up with is to encourage us to entrust our banking to a mobile telephone.  This will, it is hoped, make us safer and protect us from mis-selling by restricting us from having a conversation face to face with a real person.

Big Brother Watch do not agree.  The mis-selling of products wasn’t down to face to face engagement being a fundamentally bad way of doing business, it was down to bosses encouraging bad practice.  Turning people towards using their mobile devices as a preference to talking through their bank accounts with a real person is not going to solve the problems inherent within the banking industry.

Encouraging people to use their mobile telephones and to bank via apps on their phone may improve convenience but it will not make people’s banking experience safer, if anything it will make it more insecure, vulnerable to misunderstanding and open to cyber problems.

First of all it appears the CMA has failed to acknowledge the problems of denial of service attacks our high street banks have already faced.  Customers of Natwest and RBS who were unable to access their bank accounts, make payments, had mortgage approvals denied, pay blocked or direct debits halted due to the “IT error” probably haven’t forgotten.

This kind of attack is an ongoing problem as is cybercrime and online fraud. Crime figures released last month show that online crime and fraud currently affects 1 in 10 of us.  It can be argued that a large part of the problem is the way in which we use our mobile devices.  Increasingly people do their banking on the move using unsecured and therefore vulnerable  public Wi-Fi connections, connections which are known to be exploited by hackers, identity thieves and other unscrupulous characters lurking completely unseen online.  These unsecured connections are used to target people banking, shopping and sharing their financial details via their phones. When we bank online we are required to go through a whole host of security processes, these do not exist in the same way in mobile app banking.

Even if the Wi-Fi connection is secure can we guarantee the security of our mobile telephone?  Yesterday it was announced that over 900 million Android phones were vulnerable to being hacked due to a bug.

These invisible and often unspotted threats are far greater than a bank manager being ordered to attempt to mis-sell you a product.

The creation of PPI repayment schemes has cost the banks dearly, but if the concerns we have outlined aren’t addressed, the pot of cash required to reimburse affected customers has the potential to be a whole lot more. That is if they don’t turn the blame onto the customers themselves for poor online and mobile security!

Online and mobile banking is not going away, and nor should it. Technology is here and it has an important role to play, but seeing it as the leading solution is a quick fix for absolutely no long term gain.  Solving the inherent problems requires a move towards treating customers like people, re-establishing honesty and transparency; encouraging secure and trustworthy relationships in which people can conduct their financial business safely, not shoving people into a world of faceless technology and calling it choice. Encouraging us to trust technology rather than people is not a solution and it is not going to make banking safer for any of us.

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US stock indexes were mixed on Friday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Standard & Poor’s 500 index closing slightly lower and the Nasdaq Composite index rising marginally, following their record-breaking performance the day before when all three major indexes hit new all-time highs on the same day.

The banner day on Wall Street, the first record day for all three indexes since December 31, 1999, reflected the enthusiastic response of the financial parasites who dominate the US and world capitalist economy to the news that Macy’s, the biggest US department store chain, was closing 100 more stores and laying off thousands more employees.

Macy’s stock shot up by 17 percent, despite the firm’s report of declining revenues and slowing sales growth. Other major chains, including Kohl’s, JC Penney and Nordstrom, also recorded sharp stock rises despite similarly grim economic news, as investors anticipated more store closings by them as well.

Hundreds of retail stores have been shut over the past two years as the impact of relentless cuts in wages and pensions and the permanent destruction of decent-paying jobs, combined with sweeping cuts in social programs, have thrown tens of millions of working class families into poverty or near-poverty. The bankers and speculators have placed relentless pressure on the chains to cut costs and increase profit margins at the expense of their employees and the general public.

The surge in stock and bond prices both in the US and internationally, which has further enriched the capitalist elite, has come amid mounting indications of stagnation and slump in the real economy and a worsening social crisis. Economic growth in the US, Europe, Japan and China has slowed to a crawl. New figures released Friday pointed to a slowdown across the entire Chinese economy, with factory output, business investment and retail sales all failing to meet economists’ projections.

The euro zone economy grew by a paltry 0.3 percent in the second quarter, with Italy failing to register any growth and the German economy expanding at a reduced rate.

Gross domestic product in the US is barely increasing, rising only 0.8 percent in the first quarter and 1.2 percent in the second. Both labor productivity and business investment are falling sharply, reflecting the systematic diversion of resources from productive investment to financial speculation and parasitic activities such as stock buybacks, dividend increases and mergers and acquisitions.

US corporations, flush with cash extorted through the slashing of wages and benefits and the imposition of speedup, are hoarding $1.9 trillion. They refuse to invest in new plants and equipment that could provide decent jobs and address the decay of the country’s bridges, roads, schools and housing because the profit margins are too low, preferring instead to speculate on the market and buy back their own stock to increase the take of big investors and inflate the bonuses of top executives.

More negative news on the state of the US economy released Friday barely impacted the stock market. US retail sales for July were unchanged on the month, falling short of the 0.4 percent rise predicted by analysts. In addition, producer prices fell by 0.4 percent from June, the biggest monthly decrease in ten months, reflecting the mounting deflationary pressures in the US and globally.

The markets for the most part brushed off the new indices of slump, even welcoming them for decreasing the likelihood of an increase in interest rates by the US Federal Reserve or other major central banks. Ever since the Wall Street crash of 2008, triggered by the recklessness and outright criminality of the banks and hedge funds, the central banks in the US, Britain, Europe and Japan have been pumping trillions of virtually free money into the financial markets to rescue the financial aristocracy and increase its monopoly on income and wealth.

This has fueled the massive rise in stock and bond prices and the further shift in wealth from the bottom to the very top. Since hitting its lowest level of the year last February, the S&P 500 has gained 20 percent. According to the Wall Street Journal, the consensus among financial analysts is that the Dow will hit 20,000 within the next year.

But despite the talk of “recovery,” the policies of record low interest rates and “quantitative easing” have failed to effect a recovery in the real economy. Instead, the central banks and capitalist governments, led by the Obama administration in the US, have overseen a class war offensive to wipe out all of the previous social gains of the working class.

Large sections of the American people are living in “third world” conditions. The indices of social decay are shocking. Earlier this week, the journalObstetrics & Gynecology published a study showing that between 2000 and 2014, the maternal death rate in the US rose by 27 percent. The US is the only advanced country to record a rise in maternal deaths. Since 1987, the maternal mortality rate in the US has more than doubled.

This study follows reports released over the past several months documenting rising mortality rates among US workers due to drug addiction and suicide, high rates of infant mortality, an overall leveling off of life expectancy, and a growing gap between the life expectancy of the bottom rung of income earners compared to those at the top.

These are not temporary regressions that will be reversed within the framework of the existing diseased social and economic system. Even leading financial officials are now acknowledging that the slump ushered in by the crash of 2008 shows no signs of lifting. In recent months, Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen has spoken of slow economic growth as the “new normal,” International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Legarde has warned of the “new mediocre,” and former US Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers has characterized the world economy as suffering from chronic and systemic “secular stagnation.”

What has been called the “financialization” of the US economy, which has come to characterize the world economy, is the outcome of a protracted process of decline and decay at the very center of global capitalism, the United States. From 1985 to the present, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has risen more than four-and-a-half times, from approximately 4,000 to over 18,500. Over this very period, there has been a dramatic decline in industrial and manufacturing jobs, a sharp slowdown in economic growth, and a steady decline in the wages and living standards of US workers. The same period has seen a massive growth of social inequality, with income and wealth concentrated at the very top of American society to an extent not seen since the 1920s.

This crisis, and the malignant social conditions it has brought, are barely referred to in the US presidential election campaign. Neither party or candidate can offer any policies to address the critical needs of working people and youth. That is because they are both totally controlled by the corporate-financial aristocracy and do its bidding. Their focus is on seeking to overcome growing popular opposition to austerity and war in order to prepare for a vast escalation of military violence abroad, including against nuclear-armed Russia and China, and a further assault on the democratic rights and social conditions of the working class at home.

This past week, both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton delivered speeches on their economic policies in Detroit, the symbol of the social carnage created by decades of factory closures, wage cuts and austerity. They spoke within blocks of the ruins of shuttered auto plants and vacant fields where stable working class communities once stood. They said nothing about the bankruptcy of the city, which was used to impose a bankers’ dictatorship and destroy city workers’ pensions and health benefits. They had virtually nothing to say about the pervasive poverty in the city or the destruction of its public school system—which they both support.

Trump laid out a nakedly pro-corporate agenda, calling for massive cuts in income taxes for the wealthy, a more than 50 percent reduction in corporate taxes, the total elimination of the estate tax, and the removal of all remaining regulations on business. Clinton, in the guise of a “jobs” and “infrastructure” program, promoted yet another scheme to hand out tax cuts and other incentives for companies to hire workers at poverty-level wages, with the trade unions brought in to keep the workers in line in return for a cut in the spoils.

The two competed with one another in promoting economic nationalism and trade war policies to pit American workers against their class brothers and sisters in Mexico, China and elsewhere and promote patriotism and militarism.

There is no solution to social inequality, poverty and austerity outside of a united working class assault on the capitalist system itself. The financial parasites and their political stooges must be driven from power, their corporations and banks turned into publicly owned and democratically controlled institutions, and the wealth produced by the working class marshaled in a planned and rational way, not only in the US but internationally, to meet social need, not private greed.

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La question kurde, hier et aujourd’hui

août 15th, 2016 by Samir Amin

L’analyse proposée aidera peut-être à mieux comprendre la nature du (ou des) nationalismes kurdes à l’œuvre aujourd’hui, les limites qu’il (ou qu’ils) s’impose en ignorant les exigences du combat anti-impérialiste dans la région, des réformes sociales radicales qui doivent accompagner cette lutte, comme les exigences de la construction de l’unité de tous les peuples concernés (Kurdes, Arabes, Iraniens) contre leur ennemi commun : les Etats Unis et ses alliés locaux (islamistes ou autres).

Le chaos politique qui domine la scène dans le Moyen Orient s’exprime entre autre par l’émergence violente de la question kurde. Comment peut-on analyser, dans ces conditions nouvelles, la portée de la revendication des Kurdes (autonomie ? indépendance ? unité ?) ? Et peut-on déduire de l’analyse que cette revendication doit être soutenue par toutes les forces démocratiques et progressistes, dans la région et dans le monde ?

Une grande confusion domine les débats sur le sujet. La raison en est, à mon avis, le ralliement de la plupart des acteurs et des observateurs contemporains à une vision non historique de cette question comme des autres. Le droit des peuples à l’autodétermination a été érigé en un droit absolu, dont on voudrait qu’il soit tenu pour valable pour tous et pour tous les temps présent et futur, voire même passé. Ce droit est considéré comme l’un des droits collectifs parmi les plus fondamentaux, auquel on donne souvent davantage d’importance qu’à d’autres droits collectifs de portée sociale (droit au travail, à l’éducation, à la santé, à la participation politique, etc.). Par ailleurs les sujets de ce droit absolu ne sont pas définis d’une manière précise ; le sujet de ce droit peut être alors une « communauté » quelconque, majoritaire ou minoritaire dans le cadre des frontières d’un Etat ou d’une de ses provinces ; cette communauté se définissant elle-même comme « particulière » par la langue ou la religion par exemple et se prétendant, à tort ou à raison, victime de discrimination voire d’oppression. Les analyses et les prises de position qui sont les miennes s’inscrivent en contrepoint de cette vision transhistorique des problèmes de société et des « droits » au travers desquels s’expriment les revendications des mouvements sociaux du passé et du présent. En particulier j’attribue une importance capitale à la coupure qui sépare l’épanouissement du monde moderne capitaliste des mondes antérieurs.

L’organisation politique de ces mondes antérieurs a revêtu des formes diverses à l’extrême, allant de la construction de pouvoirs exercés sur des espaces vastes, qualifiés de ce fait « d’Empires » à celle de plus modestes monarchies plus ou moins centralisées, sans exclure l’émiettement extrême de pouvoirs ne dépassant guère l’horizon du village dans certaines circonstances. L’examen de cet ensemble disparate de formes politiques antérieures à la modernité capitaliste n’est évidemment pas l’objet de cet article. Je ne ferai référence ici qu’à quelques-unes des constructions impériales propres à la région concernée : les Empires romain et byzantin, les califats arabo-persans, l’Empire ottoman.

La qualification commune de ces constructions – les Empires – est plus trompeuse qu’utile, bien que celles-ci partagent toutes deux caractères : (i) elles rassemblent nécessairement, par leur étendue géographique, des peuples et des communautés différentes par leur langue, religion et modes de production et de vie sociale ; (ii) les logiques qui commandent la reproduction de la vie sociale et économique ne sont pas celles du capitalisme, mais relèvent de ce que j’ai qualifié de famille des modes de production tributaires (« féodal » dans le langage le plus fréquent). Pour cette raison je considère absurde l’assimilation de tous ces Empires anciens (ceux considérés ici pour la région et d’autres, comme la Chine) d’une part et d’autre part des Empires construits par les grandes puissances capitalistes, qu’ils aient été des Empires coloniaux comme ceux de la Grande Bretagne et de la France modernes ou des Empires sans colonies formelles comme l’Empire des Etats Unis, à une forme unique dite Empire. La thèse bien connue de Kennedy sur la « chute des Empires » relève de ces philosophes spéculatives transhistoriques.

Je retourne à celui de ces Empires qui intéresse directement notre sujet : l’Empire ottoman construit au moment où l’Europe amorce sa rupture avec son passé et son entrée dans la modernité capitaliste. L’Empire ottoman était, lui, anté-capitaliste. Sa qualification d’Empire turc est elle-même inexacte et trompeuse. Sans doute les guerres de conquêtes des tribus semi nomades turcomanes venues d’Asie centrale ont-elles été déterminantes dans la destruction double de l’Empire byzantin et du Califat de Bagdad, comme du peuplement majeur de l’Anatolie et de la Thrace orientale. Mais le pouvoir du Sultan de l’Empire s’étendait bien au-delà sur les territoires des Arméniens, des Kurdes, des Arabes, des Grecs et des Slaves des Balkans. Qualifier cet Empire de multinational procède d’une projection erronée sur le passé d’une réalité ultérieure, les nationalistes (anti-ottomans) des Balkaniques et des Arabes étant dans leur forme moderne les produits de la pénétration du capitalisme dans l’Empire.

Tous les peuples de l’Empire – Turcs et autres – étaient exploités et opprimés au même titre ; au sens que les majorités paysannes étaient toutes soumises au même principe d’un prélèvement tributaire lourd. Ils étaient tous également opprimés par le même pouvoir autocratique. Certes les Chrétiens étaient de surcroît l’objet de discriminations particulières. Mais on ne doit pas voir ici des formes d’oppression « nationale », ni à l’égard des peuples chrétiens ni à l’égard des Musulmans non turcs (Kurdes et Arabes). La classe dominante associée au pouvoir du Sultan comptait dans ses rangs les notabilités civiles, militaires et religieuses de toutes les régions de l’Empire, y compris l’embryon de nouvelles bourgeoisies compradore en particulier grecques et arméniennes produites par la pénétration capitaliste.

Les caractères spécifiques du système ottoman mentionnés ici ne sont pas propres à cet Empire oriental. On en retrouve des expressions analogues dans d’autres Empires anciens, comme dans les Empires austro-hongrois et russe. Ou même dans l’Ethiopie de Ménélik et de Hailé Sélassié. Le pouvoir du Roi de Rois n’était pas associé à une domination amhara ; les paysans Amhara n’étaient pas mieux traités que les autres ; la classe dirigeante était recrutée parmi toutes les régions de l’Empire (il y avait par exemple un bon nombre d’originaires de l’Erythrée parmi celle-ci).

Rien de pareil dans les systèmes impérialistes modernes. Les Empires coloniaux (de la Grande Bretagne ou de la France) comme l’Empire informel des Etats Unis ont été construits systématiquement sur la base de la distinction tranchée entre le peuple des métropoles et ceux des colonies et dépendances, auxquels étaient déniés les droits le plus élémentaires octroyés au premier. En conséquence le combat des peuples dominés par le capitalisme impérialiste devenait un combat de libération nationale, de nature anti-impérialiste par la force des choses. Il faut donc se garder de confondre ce nationalisme moderne anti-impérialiste – progressiste de ce fait – de toutes les autres expressions de mouvements nationalistes non anti-impérialistes, qu’il s’agisse des nationalismes inspirées par les classes dirigeantes des nations impérialistes, ou de mouvements nationalistes non anti-impérialistes – comme l’ont été ceux des peuples balkaniques sur lesquels je reviendrai plus loin. Assimiler les structures propres aux Empires anciens et celles particulières aux Empires impérialistes du capitalisme, les confondre dans un pseudo-concept général d’« Empire » s’inscrit en contrepoint des exigences élémentaires d’une analyse scientifique des sociétés historiques.

L’émergence des idéologies des nationalismes est ultérieure. Celles-ci se constituent au XIXe siècle seulement dans les Balkans, en Syrie, chez les Arméniens et plus tard chez les Turcs de Roumélie en réaction aux autres. Il n’y a pas alors le moindre soupçon d’émergence d’un nationalisme kurde. L’émergence de tous ces nationalismes est étroitement associée à l’urbanisation nouvelle et à la modernisation des administrations. Les paysans eux pouvaient continuer à parler dans leur langue, ignorer celle de l’administration ottomane qui n’apparaissait dans les campagnes que pour la collecte des tributs et le recrutement des soldats. Mais dans les villes nouvelles et particulièrement dans les nouvelles classes moyennes éduquées, la maîtrise d’une langue écrite devenait une nécessité quotidienne. Et c’est dans ces classes nouvelles que vont se recruter les premières générations nationalistes au sens moderne. Le caractère rural des zones de peuplement kurde, comme celui de l’Anatolie centrale turque, explique la formation tardive du nationalisme turc (kémaliste) et encore plus tardive du nationalisme kurde.

Un parallèle avec l’Empire austro-hongrois aidera à comprendre la nature des processus qui finiront par faire éclater ces deux Empires austro-hongrois et ottoman. L’Empire austro-hongrois s’était constitué avant l’émergence du capitalisme européen ; mais il en a été le voisin le plus proche, et certaines de ses régions (l’Autriche, la Bohême) se sont reconstruites sur les bases nouvelles du capitalisme. La nouvelle question nationale a donc émergé ici au XIXe siècle. Nous devons aux Austro-marxistes (Otto Bauer et autres) une belle analyse de cette dimension du défi socialiste, comme de propositions de stratégie que je considère comme ayant été les plus progressistes possibles dans les conditions de l’époque : sauvegarder les avantages du grand Etat, mais accélérer sa transformation par des avancées socialistes (radicales ou même social démocrates), construire un internationalisme des peuples fondé sur un traitement politique rigoureusement également favorable à tous, associé à une authentique politique d’autonomies culturelles. La suite des évènements n’a pas permis le succès du projet au bénéfice de nationalismes bourgeois médiocres.

Les nationalismes balkaniques et syro-arabe, apparus plus tard et dans les formes médiocres associées au capitalisme périphérique des régions concernées, ont triomphé et contribué à faire disparaître l’Empire ottoman. Mais les faiblesses propres à ces nationalismes ont contraint leurs promoteurs à rechercher le soutien des puissances extérieures – la Grande Bretagne et/ou la Russie en particulier – contre le pouvoir ottoman. Ils en ont payé le prix : les nouveaux Etats créés par eux restaient dans le giron des puissances impérialistes dominantes, Grande Bretagne et France pour les Arabes, Grande Bretagne et Allemagne pour les Balkaniques.

En Arménie le renouveau national (car l’Arménie avait connu une belle civilisation indépendante avant d’être intégrée à l’Empire ottoman) a été mis en déroute par le génocide de 1915. Il s’agissait d’un nationalisme écartelé entre celui de la nouvelle bourgeoisie arménienne émigrée dans les villes de la Roumélie (Constantinople, Smyrne et autres), qui occupait des positions de choix dans le nouveau monde professionnel et financier et celui des notabilités et des paysans des terres arméniennes. L’intégration d’une petite partie de ces terres dans l’Empire russe (le territoire de l’Arménie soviétique puis indépendante) compliquait encore les choses, car elle pouvait faire craindre la manipulation de Saint Petersburg, en particulier durant la première guerre mondiale. Le pouvoir ottoman a alors choisi la voie du génocide. Je ferai remarquer à cet endroit que les Kurdes se sont comportés ici comme les agents du massacre et ses bénéficiaires principaux : ils ont plus que doublé la superficie de leur territoire en s’emparant des villages arméniens détruits.

Le nationalisme turc moderne est encore plus récent. Il s’est constitué d’abord dans les milieux relativement éduqués de l’armée et de l’administration ottomane des villes de Roumélie (Constantinople, Smyrne, Thessalonique) en réaction aux nationalismes balkaniques et syro-arabe, sans trouver d’écho véritable chez les paysans turcs (et kurdes) d’Anatolie centrale et orientale. Ses options, qui deviendront celles du Kémalisme, sont connues : européanisation, hostilité à l’égard de l’ottomanisme, affirmation du caractère turc du nouvel Etat et de son style laïcisant. Je dis bien laïcisant et non laïc, car le nouveau citoyen turc se définit par son appartenance sociale à l’Islam (les quelques Arméniens qui ont survécu au massacre, les Grecs de Constantinople ou de Smyrne ne sont pas admis) ; néanmoins l’Islam en question est réduit au statut d’institution publique dominée et manipulée par le pouvoir nouveau d’Ankara.

Les guerres conduites par les kémalistes de 1919 à 1922 contre les puissances impérialistes ont permis de rallier au nouveau nationalisme turc les masses paysannes turques (et kurdes) de l’Anatolie. Les Kurdes ne se distinguent pas alors des Turcs : ils combattent ensemble dans les armées kémalistes. Le nationalisme kémaliste turc devient anti-impérialiste par la force des choses. Il comprend alors que l’ottomanisme et le Califat ne protègent pas les peuples de l’Empire (Turcs, Kurdes et Arabes) ; au contraire ils ont facilité la pénétration de l’impérialisme occidental et la réduction de l’Empire au statut de région capitaliste périphérisée dominée. Ce que ni les nationalismes balkaniques et arabes de l’époque n’avaient compris : ceux-ci font ouvertement appel au soutien des puissances impérialistes contre le pouvoir de la Sublime Porte. Le nationalisme kémaliste anti-impérialiste donne alors le coup de grâce à l’ottomanisme.

Le caractère anti-impérialiste du système kémaliste d’origine devait néanmoins s’affaiblir rapidement. L’option d’origine en faveur d’un capitalisme d’Etat à vocation autocentrée indépendante s’essoufflait tandis que progressait un mode de développement capitaliste périphérique dépendant. La Turquie payait le prix de l’illusion de son nationalisme bourgeois, de ses confusions d’origine. Le kémalisme croyait pouvoir construire une nation capitaliste turque à l’image de celles de l’Europe avancée ; il ne comprenait pas que la réalisation de ce projet était vouée à l’échec, en Turquie comme ailleurs dans toutes les régions du capitalisme périphérique. Son hostilité à l’égard du socialisme, aggravée par la crainte de l’Union Soviétique, a conduit Ankara à rechercher le soutien des Etats Unis : la Turquie de généraux kémalistes – comme la Grèce des Colonels – ont immédiatement adhéré à l’Otan, et sont devenus des Etats clients de Washington. L’accélération des processus de développement du capitalisme périphérique s’est manifestée par l’émergence d’une nouvelle agriculture capitaliste en Anatolie, au bénéfice d’une classe de paysans riches, et par la mise en place d’industries de sous traitance.

Ces évolutions sociales érodaient la légitimité du kémalisme. Les élections pluripartites à partir de 1950, fortement suggérées par Washington, renforçaient le pouvoir politique des nouvelles classes paysannes et compradore, issues du monde rural anatolien traditionnel et étranger à la laïcité de la classe politique kémaliste roumélienne. L’émergence de l’Islam politique turc et les succès électoraux de l’Akp en ont été le produit. Ces évolutions n’ont pas favorisé la démocratisation de la société, mais tout au contraire conforté les aspirations à la dictature du président Erdogan et la résurgence de l’ottomanisme instrumentalisé, comme son ancêtre, par les puissances impérialistes majeures, en l’occurrence aujourd’hui les Etats Unis.

Simultanément ces mêmes évolutions sont à l’origine de l’émergence en Turquie de la question kurde. L’urbanisation de l’Anatolie orientale, l’émigration en masse de ses paysans ruinés vers les villes de l’Ouest ont alimenté l’émergence de la nouvelle question des Kurdes de Turquie, prenant conscience qu’ils n’étaient pas des « Turcs de la montagne » mais s’en distinguaient par l’usage d’une autre langue dont ils revendiquaient la reconnaissance officielle. Une solution de la question par l’option en faveur d’une autonomie culturelle authentique du Kurdistan turc aurait sans doute été possible si la nouvelle classe dominante avait elle-même évolué dans une direction démocratique. Mais cela n’était pas le cas, et ne l’est toujours pas. Les Kurdes ont été alors contraints, dans ces circonstances, de répondre à la répression aggravée de leurs revendications par la lutte armée. Il est intéressant de faire remarquer à cet endroit que le Pkk qui anime cette lutte se revendique d’une tradition socialiste radicale comme l’indique son nom (Parti communiste kurde !), associée probablement à son recrutement au sein du nouveau prolétariat des villes de Turquie. On aurait pu imaginer qu’il choisisse de ce fait une ligne de conduite internationaliste, et tente d’associer les prolétaires kurde et turcs dans le même combat à la fois pour le socialisme, la démocratie et la reconnaissance du caractère binational de l’Etat. Il ne l’a pas fait.

Bien que les peuples kurdes occupent un territoire continu (l’Anatolie orientale, une mince bande le long de la frontière syrienne, le nord-est de l’Iraq, les montagnes de l’Ouest de l’Iran), la question kurde se pose en Iran et en Iraq dans d’autres termes qu’en Turquie.

Les peuples kurdes – les Mèdes et les Parthes (qui ont donné leur nom au fleuve Euphrate) de l’Antiquité – partagent avec les Persans des langues indoeuropéennes voisines. Il semble que, peut-être de ce fait, la coexistence des Kurdes et des Persans n’ait guère fait problème dans le passé. Ici encore la question kurde émerge avec l’urbanisation récente dans la région. De surcroît le chiisme, officiel en Iran plus que jamais, est également à l’origine d’un malaise dont est victime la majorité sunnite des Kurdes d’Iran.

L’Iraq dans les frontières définies par le mandat britannique a séparé les Kurdes du nord-est du pays de ceux de l’Anatolie. Mais ici encore la coexistence entre Kurdes et Arabes se frayait la voie, grâce entre autre à l’internationalisme réel d’un Parti communiste relativement puissant dans les villes et au sein du prolétariat plurinational. La dictature du Baas – caractérisée par le chauvinisme arabe – a malheureusement fait reculer les progrès accomplis antérieurement.

La nouvelle question kurde est le produit du déploiement récent de la stratégie des Etats Unis qui s’est donné l’objectif de détruire l’Etat et la société en Iraq et en Syrie, en attendant de s’attaquer à l’Iran. Le discours démagogique de Washington (sans rapport avec la prétendue démocratie invoquée) donne la priorité absolue à l’exercice du « droit des communautés ». Les discours des défenseurs des « droits de l’homme » qui font la même option et auxquels j’ai fait référence dans cet article viennent donc bien à propos. Le pouvoir central irakien a donc été détruit (par le gauleiter Bremer dès la première année de l’occupation du pays) et ses attributs dévolus à quatre pseudo-Etats, deux d’entre eux fondés sur des interprétations bornées et fanatiques des versions chiite et sunnite de l’Islam, les deux autres l’étant sur les particularismes prétendus des « tribus kurdes » d’Iraq ! L’intervention des pays du Golfe, soutenant – derrière les Etats Unis – l’Islam politique réactionnaire qui a donné le prétendu Califat de Daesh a contribué au succès du projet de Washington. Il devrait être presqu’amusant de faire observer que les Etats Unis soutiennent les Kurdes d’Iraq au nom de la « démocratie », mais pas ceux de Turquie, allié important dans l’Otan. Deux poids, deux mesures, comme d’habitude.

Les deux partis politiques qui exercent leur pouvoir sur des parcelles différentes du territoire du Kurdistan irakien sont-ils « démocratiques », ou l’un meilleur que l’autre ? Il faudrait être bien naïf pour croire à ces balivernes de la propagande de Washington. Il ne s’agit là que de coteries de politiciens/chefs de guerre (et qui savent s’enrichir par ce moyen). Leur prétendu « nationalisme » n’est pas anti-impérialiste ; car être anti-impérialiste c’est combattre la présence US en Iraq, et non s’inscrire dans celle-ci pour avancer quelques pions personnels.

Je n’en dirai pas davantage ici concernant le projet de domination des Etats Unis dans la région, dont j’ai analysé les objectifs réels ailleurs.

L’analyse proposée aidera peut-être à mieux comprendre la nature du (ou des) nationalismes kurdes à l’œuvre aujourd’hui, les limites qu’il (ou qu’ils) s’impose en ignorant les exigences du combat anti-impérialiste dans la région, des réformes sociales radicales qui doivent accompagner cette lutte, comme les exigences de la construction de l’unité de tous les peuples concernés (Kurdes, Arabes, Iraniens) contre leur ennemi commun : les Etats Unis et ses alliés locaux (islamistes ou autres).

Je parle du nationalisme kurde au pluriel. Car en effet les objectifs des mouvements (souvent armés) qui agissent aujourd’hui en son nom ne sont pas définis : un grand Etat pan- kurde indépendant ? Deux, trois, quatre ou cinq Etats Kurdes ? Une dose d’autonomie dans les Etats tels qu’ils sont ? Y-a-t-il quelques raisons qui pourraient expliquer cet émiettement et le flou qui l’accompagne ? A mon avis oui. Les Arabes et les Persans ont procédé à une splendide rénovation/modernisation de leurs langues respectives au XIXe siècle, les Turcs l’ont fait plus tard, dans les années 1920-1930. Les Kurdes n’ont pas été placés dans des conditions qui le leur imposaient ! Il n’y a donc pas une langue kurde, mais des langues voisines certes mais toujours distinctes et sans doute pas encore à la hauteur des exigences de leur usage dans le monde moderne. Cette faiblesse trouvait sa contrepartie dans l’assimilation linguistique des élites, adoptant le persan, l’arabe ou le turc, pour le meilleur comme pour le pire !

Samir Amin
8 août 2016

Source de la photo de présentation :  Reuters/Murad Sezer

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Saudi intelligence officers have been training at least 7,000 anti-Syria fighters in Jordan’s territories and plan to dispatch them to the war-hit country via its Southern borders to distract the army from the war in Aleppo, Arab media disclosed.

« Over 7,000 men have been trained in a Saudi-established military camp in Jordan near the border with Syria’s Dara’a province, and now they are ready to be dispatched to join other terrorists’ battle against the Syrian government and army, » the Lebanese al-Manar reported.

« There are several British and western military trainers and advisors in the Saudi-established camp. The western officers are to accompany the fighters in their war against the Syrian government, » the paper said.

Thousands of Saudi-Backed Terrorists Ready to Enter Syria via Border with Jordan

Jordan hosts a large refugee camp near the border with Syria.

Other sources also disclosed that the US officers have been involved in training of terrorists in Jordan to fight against Syrian government.

War analysts believe that the move is aimed at diversion to distract the army and its allies from the war in Aleppo in the North where pro-government troops have started massive offensive to take back the country’s second largest city from the terrorists.

Meantime, earlier today armed opposition groups in Southern Syria declared that thousands of militants are ready to reconcile with the Damascus government.

A provincial council affiliated to the militant groups in a statement admitted that 25,000 militants are looking for reconciliation with the Syrian government forces in Southern Syria, al-Mayadeen TV channel reported on Saturday.

The statement by the ‘Council for Men of Knowledge in the Levant’ has accused the terrorist commanders willing to compromise with the Syrian army of treason.

It has given the militant commanders in Southern Syria three days to withdraw from al-Mouk Operations Room (which operates under the Saudi, Qatari, the US and Jordanian spy agencies), the television added.

The Al-Mouk Operations Room has been accused of corruption, similar reports in a number of other Arab media have cited the financial corruption of the Operations Room members as a main cause of the militants complaint and their decision to surrender to the Syrian army.

Early in August, around 1,000 rebels laid down their arms and turned themselves in to the Syrian officials in the province of Dara’a amid the terrorist groups’ threats against those who surrender to the government.

In February, the Syrian Army dispatched more soldiers to the country’s Southern provinces to be deployed at the border with Jordan to defend the country against the possible aggression of the Saudi Army.

« A large convoy of reinforcements from the Syrian capital of Damascus arrived to the 5th Armored Division headquarters of the Syrian army in the town of Izra in the Northern part of Dara’a province and the Eastern part of Sheikh Meskeen, » the sources said.

« The Saudi Army has been conducting a number of military drills in the Kingdom of Jordan in recent weeks, raising the alert level of a possible war in the Dara’a province, » the sources said, adding, « So far, nothing has come of these Saudi military drills and it is very unlikely that they will attempt to enter Syria. »


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A lawsuit filed in federal court in Washington, D.C. claims that United States aid to Israel is illegal under a law passed in the 1970s that prohibits aid to nuclear powers that don’t sign the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT). 

The lawsuit was filed by Grant Smith, director of the Institute for Research: Middle East Policy (IRMEP).

The lawsuit comes as the Obama administration is pushing to finalize a ten-year memorandum of understanding which will reportedly boost aid to Israel to $4 billion per year.

Such aid violates longstanding bans on foreign aid to non-signatories to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) with nuclear weapons programs, the lawsuit alleges.

Senator Symington with JFK, who was adamantly against a nuclear Israel.

Senator Symington with JFK, who was adamantly against a nuclear Israel.

Since the bans went into effect, U.S. foreign aid to Israel is estimated to be $234 billion.

Smith says that during investigations into the illegal diversion of weapons-grade uranium from U.S. contractor NUMEC to Israel in the mid-1970s, Senators Stuart Symington and John Glenn amended the 1961 Foreign Assistance Act to ban any aid to clandestine nuclear powers that were not NPT signatories.

Symington said at the time that « if you wish to take the dangerous and costly steps necessary to achieve a nuclear weapons option, you cannot expect the United States to help underwrite that effort indirectly or directly. »

Smith says that both the Symington and Glenn amendments have since been watered down and now apply only to nuclear transfers after 1985.

Smith says that the Obama administration follows precedents established since the Ford administration by ignoring internal agency and public domain information that should trigger Symington and Glenn cutoffs and waiver provisions governing foreign aid.

In 2012 the Department of Energy under U.S. State Department authority passed a secret gag law called « Guidance on Release of Information relating to the Potential for an Israeli Nuclear Capability. »

Smith says that measure promotes a « nuclear ambiguity » policy toward Israel.

The primary purpose of the gag law is to unlawfully subvert Symington and Glenn arms export controls, the lawsuit alleges.

In 2008, former President Jimmy Carter told reporters that Israel has « more than 150 nuclear weapons. »

In reporting President Carter’s remarks, the BBC also reported that « most experts estimate that Israel has between 100 and 200 nuclear warheads, largely based on information leaked to the Sunday Times newspaper in the 1990s by Mordechai Vanunu, a former worker at the country’s Dimona nuclear reactor. »

Smith says that the administration has three legal avenues to deal with a nuclear Israel under the Symington and Glenn amendments – either cut off foreign assistance, change the Symington and Glenn amendments to exempt Israel, or just grant a waiver.

Such Symington and Glenn waivers have already been granted to two other countries in a similar position – Pakistan and India, Smith said.

« But if you are Israel, and you don’t want an arms race in the Middle East, then you pretend it’s unknown that you have the weapons, » Smith said.

Comment: A little known aspect of Kennedy’s foreign policy was his insistence that Israel stop its nuclear program. In May 1963, he warned Ben Gurion that if Israel didn’t allow inspectors to Dimona, Israel would find itself completely isolated. The Israeli PM was not pleased and abruptly resigned. Six months later, Kennedy was assassinated. It would be a blessing to JFK’s memory of Symington’s work were to vindicate Kennedy’s position, and isolate the Israeli regime for their unacknowledged weapons of mass destruction. (Symington was JFK’s first choice to be his VP.)

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As the Syrian Arab Army and Syrian government make more significant advances in restoring security to northern Syria’s Aleppo and its population, war-propagandizing human rights groups posing as neutral, and Western media (and Gulf counterparts like Al Jazeera) churn out recycled and debunked accusations anew. 

According to these compromised US government and Soros-funded NGOs and much of the corporate media, there is only one « last » pediatrician and a scarce number of doctors left in Aleppo. They are, of course, referring solely to the terrorist-occupied regions of Aleppo (eastern and some northern quarters) and even then ignore the reality that the Syrian government continues to pay the salaries of doctors in terrorist-occupied areas, including eastern Aleppo.

This « last-pediatrician »assertion was put forth earlier this year as part of a media frenzy attempting to vilify Syria and Russia as « targeting civilians » (when in fact targeting foreign-backed terrorists). Those media and human rights hyenas ignored the following realities about greater Aleppo:

  • The presence of terrorists (Jabhat al-Nusra, and what the west calls « moderates » — Ahrar al-Sham, Jaysh al-Fateh, Nour al-Din al-Zenki, and factions of the so-called Free Syrian Army) in eastern and northern Aleppo.
  • The presence of over 1.5 million civilians in the government-secured areas of western Aleppo, who are murdered and maimed daily by terrorist-fired, US/Turkish-made rockets, missiles, mortars and ammunition, as well as explosive bullets, and locally-produced explosive-stuffed gas canisters and mortars.
  • The presence in government-secured Aleppo of civilians from terrorist-occupied areas of Aleppo — many of whom as early as 2012 fled the influx of terrorists to their districts, others who over the years since have fled west, and a small number of whom have recently been able to flee via humanitarian corridors to safety in western Aleppo.
  • The presence of not just one, but over 4,100 doctors (source: Aleppo Medical Association) and numerous functioning hospitals in Aleppo — in spite of the criminal western sanctions on Syria and in spite of hospitals having been targeted by terrorists’ bombings.
  • The fact that the terrorists in eastern Aleppo are predominantly non-Syrian (and certainly non-« rebels »), coming « from eighty-one different countries with significant contingents from Turkey, the Gulf Arab states, North Africa, and Russia’s Chechnya and North Caucasus region. » [source: 10 Facts About Aleppo]
  • That at least 80% of the terrorists are affiliated with Al-Qaeda and the majority of the remaining otherwise hold the same distorted and ruthless ideologies. [source: 10 Facts About Aleppo]

Doctors In Aleppo Refute Media Lies

In the first week of July 2016 I traveled by car to Aleppo. When entering the southern Ramouseh district of the city, the car sped along a road known for terrorist snipers. Three weeks later in Ramouseh, a woman was sniped by a terrorist and killed.

© Eva Bartlett
Oil barrels line Ramouseh road to protect Syrian civilians against Western-backed terrorist snipers

In Aleppo, I met with doctors from the Aleppo Medical Association (established in 1959), including Dr. Zahar Buttal, Dr. Tony Sayegh, and Dr. Nabil Antaki.

One question I posed to the doctors was regarding the other oft-repeated lie of the « last pediatrician » in Aleppo, a startling allegation designed to shock western readers and rally them against the Syrian government. And one which has no basis in truth.

Dr. Zahar Buttal, Chairman of the Aleppo Medical Association, refuted such allegations, noting that Aleppo has 180 pediatricians still working in the city. Of one of the alleged lone pediatricians he said: « The media says the only pediatrician in Aleppo was killed in a hospital called Quds. In reality, it was a field hospital, not registered. » As for the pediatrician, « We checked the name of the doctor and didn’t find him registered in Aleppo Medical Association records. »

Indeed, the Quds hospital referenced was central to the April/May frenzy of media lies regarding Aleppo and the Syrian government, and Russian allies. Claims around the building called al-Quds hospital contradicted one another, the fallacies and serious discrepancies outlined in this article.

Also central to the lies were the bias and propaganda of the very partial, corporate-financed Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF), which supports areas in Syria controlled by terrorists, specifically Jabhat al-Nusra (whose failed attempt at re-branding with a new name – Jabhat Fatha al-Sham – does not negate its ties to Al-Qaeda nor erase their crimes).

The next, related, question for the doctors was: If government-secured Aleppo has 180 pediatricians, how many doctors in total are still working there? Lying media have for months claimed the number of doctors are dwindling, including even a late July propaganda piece in The Intercept which asserted that « the number of doctors in Aleppo City has plummeted into the low dozens. The number of remaining medical specialists is even smaller. »

Yet, according to Dr. Zahar Buttal, until now there are 4,160 doctors registered and active in Aleppo city, in the government-secured areas of over 1.5 million people. Of the 4,160 doctors, 200 have been newly registered since the beginning of this year.

As for the media claims of a lack of specialists in Aleppo, in addition to the 180 mentioned pediatricians, there are of course many more specialists in Aleppo. According to the Aleppo Medical Association’s Dr. Zahar, specialists still practicing in the city include:

  • 30 cardiovascular surgeons
  • 214 general surgeons
  • 112 orthopedists
  • 11 pulmonologists
  • 12 neurologists
  • 8 neurosurgeons
  • 250 obstetricians/gynecologists
  • 15 gastroenterologists

Dr. Nabil Antaki, himself a gastroenterologist, is one of a group of 15 specialist doctors which, since late 2012, have volunteered their services, treating in private hospitals (with the most minimal equipment and medical fees possible) upwards of 500 civilians severely injured by terrorist bombings, needing specialist care and often life-support. Specialists in his group alone include: three general surgeons, one heart surgeon, one neurosurgeon, two orthopedic surgeons, and three anesthesiologists.

Dr. Antaki has been outspoken about the western media lies on Aleppo. When the western-created « Aleppo is Burning » campaign took flight in late April – the exact time when western-backed terrorists increased their daily bombing of Aleppo to severe bombardments – Dr. Antaki, seeing the worst of the casualties and bombings, spoke out.

When I met him in July 2016, Dr. Antaki continued to be vocal about the media manipulations and fragrant lies about the reality on the ground in Aleppo.

« All of the campaigns which were launched by the western media concerned the east part of Aleppo, which is the part controlled by the ‘rebels’. All the media reported that the people there are suffering, the buildings are destroyed and that the Syrian government are doing ‘war crimes’. But, what we are receiving in the part controlled by the Syrian government is much worse than in the east part. Nobody speaks about what is happening in the western part of Aleppo.There are not only tens of mortars every day which fell on the western part of Aleppo, but hundreds, and every day we have hundreds killed or wounded. And nobody spoke about it. When the media spoke about one supposed hospital destroyed in the eastern part, one week after, the main maternity hospital in Aleppo was hit by bombs sent by the ‘rebels’, and women were killed, and nobody spoke about this. »

Aleppo’s Dr. Tony Sayegh has also been vocal about the blatant media bias on Aleppo. In July, regarding the Quds hospital and related propaganda, Dr. Sayegh told me:

This hospital, in the Sukkari district, they made a big propaganda about it, ‘the last doctor in that area,’ which is absolutely wrong. The government has doctors working in that area who get their salaries from the government, even though the area is controlled by terrorists. For the government, all areas and and their inhabitants are Syrians. Areas where there are terrorists, like al-Manbij, like al-Bab, in all those areas there are many doctors working with the health ministry, and they take their salaries from the health ministry.

Aleppo’s Over Ten Thousand Dead and Maimed Absent From Corporate Headlines

Dr. Nabil Antaki gave the following overview of life for the civilians of government-secured Aleppo, from mid-2012 until our July meeting.

Since July 2012, the main area of Aleppo receives every day mortars, bombs and gas canisters, sent by the ‘rebels’ on the civilians living in Aleppo. Here you have human damage more than there, but less physical destruction, because here we are receiving mortars and gas canister bombs. If a mortar hits the building, it might make a hole the size of a window, but also kill five people at once. In the part of Aleppo under the government control, every day we have dozens of injured and killed.

In late April 2016, terrorists in the occupied eastern quarters of Aleppo, as well as then-occupied Beni Zaid and neighbouring districts, increased their normal bombing campaigns of mortars, gas canister explosives (from household to the the largest size canisters, stuffed with glass, bearings, metal shrapnel), explosive bullets, and powerful foreign-supplied rockets to from high-tens to over one hundred per day on the heavily-populated areas of Aleppo secured by the Syrian state.

Of the heightened bombardment, Dr. Nabil Antaki told me:

Usually you don’t have just one mortar, you have a rain of mortars: ten, twenty, thirty, and more in a few hours. Many people are wounded at the same time. When ambulances bring people to the public hospital, maybe twenty or thirty people arrive at the same time. The public hospitals lack enough medical staff and equipment. So if you have ten severely wounded persons arriving at the same time at the public hospital, by the time care comes, a victim has time to die.

In his Aleppo Medical Association office, Dr. Zaher Buttal read from his diary statistics on the late April/early May terrorists’ bombardment campaign:

  • April 23rd: 81 martyrs, 30 wounded.
  • April 28th & 29th: Bloodiest days. 31 martyrs, 75 wounded **initial numbers only.
  • From April 23rd-30th: 120 martyrs, over 800 wounded.
  • May 3rd: 25 martyrs, 100 wounded (including 3 women killed in the al-Dabeet maternity hospital explosion).

© Eva Bartlett
Dr. Dabeet showing me images of the Western-backed terrorist attack on the maternity hospital named after him

Although the Aleppo Medical Association documented the daily number of killed and injured by this increased bombing campaign, and although the areas attacked included a number of registered Aleppo hospitals, corporate media and Wall Street-backed « human rights groups » in their Turkish-based, or further-removed, reporting on Aleppo preferred to cite « unnamed activists » and al-Qaeda-in-Syria « White Helmets » actors.

Like many (if not most) Aleppo residents, Dr. Zaher Buttal has never heard of the White Helmets. The fact that the head of the Medical Association is not aware of this group purporting to be rescuing civilians in Aleppo highlights the reality that they work solely in terrorist-occupied areas and for the terrorists themselves. For more information on the terrorist-propaganda group that is known as the « White Helmets, » see this video and this article.

Other Pro-Terrorist Propaganda

The same July 2016 Intercept article which promoted the lone-doctor narrative also neglected to mention that a hospital they cite is in fact a hospital not only long-established but also belonging to a volunteer association headed by Syria’s Grand Mufti, Dr. Ahmad Badr Al-Din Hassoun.

The Intercept article read: « Almouslem’s hospital, Omar Ibn Abdel Aziz, has long been the only functioning medical facility in its pocket of eastern Aleppo City. »

In a mid-July and then an August 11th meeting with Mufti Hassoun in Damascus, he explained that the organization (The Association of Raising the Standard of Health and Social Status) of which he is Director had two hospitals and ten clinics daily giving medical care for free to up to 1500 of Aleppo’s poorest. One of these hospitals was the mentioned Omar Ibn Abdul Aziz hospital. It had three operating rooms, an MRI, nine dialysis machines, 12 incubators, and 50 beds. It is now controlled by terrorists who, Mufit Hassoun said, further mounted machine guns on the hospital’s three ambulances. The humanitarianism of western-backed so-called « moderate » « rebels ».

Mufti Hassoun explained:

In 1985 we started construction of the hospital, and in 1992 the hospital started operating. We treated for free over 400 patients daily, people from a very poor neighbourhood.

When the terrorists took over the hospital, they evicted the doctors, and killed three of the nurses and more than ten of the patients. The media say that MSF is supporting the hospital, but they are using it like a field hospital to treat terrorists. This is the hospital that we built with our own hands, and now they lie and say that it’s their own hospital.

Halfway through a video which the Intercept piece links to, who should appear but the war-propagandizing White Helmets – who only work in terrorist-occupied areas. This is the evidence the Intercept presents, along with a UN report lacking sources for its assertions. The UN has no physical presence in terrorist-occupied eastern Aleppo and, like lying media and NGOs, relies on « unnamed activists » and the SOHR-type sources for their statistics.

Brazenly, Al-Hel online media stole a photo from the Aleppo Medical Association, claiming it depicted doctors in terrorist-occupied eastern Aleppo: « Aleppo doctors are demanding an end to the bombing of the regime … and describe the situation as ‘a humanitarian catastrophe’. »

The equally war-propagandistic Facebook page, Syria Breaking, shared the stolen-photo and Al-Hel article, adding its own lies:

There are now in the eastern part of the city of ‪#‎Aleppo, no fewer than 300 thousand people, there are only 30 doctors in five hospitals to serve them.

The photo in question was in fact from a May 6th protest (photos here) organized by the Aleppo Medical Association outside of the destroyed al-Dabeet maternity hospital, gutted on May 3rd by a terrorist rocket. According to Dr. Zaher Buttal, more than 150 doctors attended the demonstration.

The protest came following the weeks of carnage from terrorists’ relentless bombardment of civilian areas all over government-secured Aleppo – including numerous hospitals – and was, Dr. Buttal said, both in anger at the terrorists’ targeting of hospitals in Aleppo and also to show the world that, contrary to media lies, Aleppo does have doctors.

Of the signs doctors held, Professor Tim Anderson wrote:

Their signs – in English, Italian and German as well as Arabic – read: ‘Syrian Arab Army represents me’, ‘Long live Syria, long live Aleppo’, ‘Terrorists are killing our children’, ‘Armed opposition is destroying our civilisation’, ‘No for armed opposition’.

From the terrorists’ May 3rd bombings, a rocket landed on a parked car right next to the al-Dabeet maternity hospital, causing a massive explosion which gutted the hospital interior, severely damaged the exterior, and burned the two cars parked behind it. Footage from a nearby building’s security camera shows the rocket and subsequent massive explosion occurred at 9:36 am, May 3rd.

A Western-backed terrorist rocket explodes outside Dabeet Maternity hospital in Aleppo

While initial reports said 16 civilians were killed in the May 3rd terrorist bombings, by the time the wounded had succumbed to their severe injuries, 25 people were killed and over 100 injured, according to the medical association’s Dr. Zaher Buttal. The three women killed were in the al-Dabeet hospital reception at the time, said Dr. Dabeet. One of the injured included a 28-week-pregnant woman who survived the loss of long sections of her intestine due to shrapnel injuries.

The operating room was destroyed, along with patient rooms, five of ten incubators (the other five needing repair), and much of his equipment.

One week later the maternity hospital was again hit by a terrorist-fired mortar, destroying the roof and injuring construction workers there, according to Dr. Dabeet.

© Eva Bartlett
Dabeet Maternity hospital after it suffered a direct hit from Western-backed terrorists in Aleppo.

According to Dr. Zaher Buttal, other hospitals hit include the Ibn Rashd hospital, with a mortar hitting the top floor, the Arab Medicine hospital, and the perimeter of the Razi hospital.

Starving, Besieged Civilians? Liberated Areas Ignored

While terrorists’ bombings and sniping attacks have been the most pressing issues in Aleppo in the past few months, other crises since 2012 have been those of water and electricity shortages, as well as the terrorist-blockades suffered by the population in government-secured Aleppo, cutting off food, fuel and medicine to the city.

The already risky Ramouseh road which I took into Aleppo in early July was recently assaulted by terrorist snipers and shelling, and has been closed to prevent civilian fatalities. This sole road leading into Aleppo closed, terrorist actions have again cut the lifeline for the over 1.5 million people inside. In July, Dr. Nabil Antaki explained how terrorists themselves closed the road many times in the past, and the dire effects of doing so.

Because the ‘rebels’ control the main roads around Aleppo, Aleppo has suffered blockades, sometimes for a few days and other times for many, many weeks. During those many weeks, nothing was able to enter Aleppo: no food, no vegetables, no fruits, no gas, no medical equipment, no drugs… the people of Aleppo suffered a lot.

The water supply has been cut by ‘rebels’, because the main water stations are in ‘rebel’ areas. Many times they cut the water for weeks or months. So for three years, we had to use the water of wells — we now have in Aleppo 300 wells which we had to use to provide water for the 1.5 million persons living in Aleppo under the Syrian state.

In addition, we don’t have power supply, because the electricity generator and power supply are in the ‘rebel’ portion of Aleppo, and they cut the supply. That’s why people have private subscription to 1 or 2 amperes, just to have 1 or 2 or 3 bulbs during the night. They have to pay very expensive prices just to have this. The people of Aleppo are truly suffering.

Mustapha Melhis of Aleppo’s water authority explained in July 2015:

Our water reservoirs are 90 kilometers [56 miles] away, in Hafsa, a region held by IS [Islamic State]. In May, they cut the amount of water [supplied] by half….

The second aspect of the problem is distribution. The water pumped by IS flows to the Suleiman Halabi and Bab al-Nairab stations here [in Aleppo]. Both areas are controlled by Jabhat al-Nusra, and they are using the water as a weapon to impose their demands.

In the same article, Aleppo Governor Mohammad Marwan Olabi said:

The power plants are outside the city. Terrorists control two areas from where electricity lines to Aleppo pass. Whenever they want to put pressure on Aleppo, they cut the electricity. And when electricity is gone, the water supply is cut off as well.

Corporate media have largely ignored these very real crises, and instead manufacture (regarding terrorist-held eastern Aleppo) the same types of propaganda campaigns of « starving civilians » which earlier flooded social media and were endorsed by dubious NGOs, like those on Madaya and Yarmouk. In all cases, no mention is made of the fact that the population in the area includes terrorist factions or why there is any lack of supplies (because of the terrorist factions).

As with Madaya and Yarmouk, when residents of the terrorist-inhabited regions do manage to speak to media, inevitablythey speak of terrorists stealing food supplies, hoarding goods and selling them at extortionist rates, and preventing residents from leaving to safer areas.

On July 28, the Syrian Arab Army fully secured the Bani Zaid and Lairamoun northern neighbourhoods of Aleppo city,liberating them from the western-backed mercenaries who occupied the districts since October 2012.

Civilians who had remained in Bani Zaid spoke of the terrorists’ firing of gas canister and other bombs on the civilians of neighbouring government-secured Aleppo districts. Western corporate media largely ignored this significant liberation and the jubilation of liberated residents.

On the same day, President al-Assad issued a decree granting amnesty to Syrians who laid down their weapons and reconciled with the state.

When the Syrian-Russian coordinated humanitarian corridors opened in eastern Aleppo in late July, reports soon after emerged of terrorists preventing residents from leaving, including assassinating residents who attempted to leave. When some residents from these areas did manage to evacuate, testimonies showed them thanking the government for providing the basics and cursing the terrorists for having stolen from them, abused residents, and in many cases killed their loved ones.

Russia Today interviewed evacuees who likewise did not praise the west’s so-called « rebels » but spoke of the hell civilians endured under terrorist occupation.

« We left with our remaining children. May God punish the rebels. They did not allow us to leave, they deprived us of gas, water, electricity and bread. We were not allowed to leave. There were no medicines. They used to tell us you live with us or die with us, » one woman said.

Attacks On Aleppo Continue, To Media Silence

« For three days after the liberation of Bani Zaid, it was very quiet in Aleppo. People were happy, there were no more mortars. Suddenly, yesterday, the terrorists started sending mortars and rockets on Aleppo again, especially on Hamdaniya where thousands of displaced people live. So people are leaving this neighbourhood to find another place, » Dr. Nabil Antaki told me on August 1st .

In a phone call on August 10th, Dr. Zaher Buttal updated that since July 30th, terrorist bombings had killed 30 civilians in Aleppo, and wounded hundreds. By August 11th , Dr. Buttal said another 16 civilians in Hamadaniya, Aleppo, had been killed by terrorists’ missiles, another 45 wounded.

Today there was supposed to be a truce between 10 am and 1 pm. Terrorists ignored this and again bombarded Hamadaniya neighbourhood.

Both Dr. Buttal and truth-based media have reported that terrorists used toxic gas in their bombardment of civilian areas of Aleppo.

The Western corporate media and NGO complex, on the other hand, continue to talk about imaginary « last doctors » in Aleppo, while ignoring the very real suffering of over 1.5 million Syrians in government-secured Aleppo, as well as the doctors who are treating them. This is hardly surprising given that, from the very beginning, the corporate media has toed the NATO agenda on Syria, which is to manufacture every imaginable lie and accusation against the Syrian government, the Syrian Arab Army, and the people themselves, in order to chase the NATO-GCC-Zionist-Turkish dream of imposing a puppet government in Syria. They have failed.

Eva Bartlett is a freelance journalist and rights activist with extensive experience in the Gaza Strip, where she lived a cumulative three years (from late 2008 to early 2013), arriving by boat as a part of the Free Gaza missions. She documented the 2008/9 and 2012 Israeli war crimes and attacks on Gaza while riding in ambulances and reporting from hospitals. Eva accompanied Palestinian fishers and farmers as they came under intensive fire from the Israeli army. She has been to Syria four times since April 2014 and works to convey the voices of a people suffering under the foreign war on Syria. Her writings can be found on her blog, In Gaza.

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A scathing government task force report released on Thursday, shows that intelligence generated by the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) was deliberately skewed.

Last year a senior analytst came forward noting that classified intelligence was being withheld. The whistleblower’s complaint is what led to the intitial investigation by the Defense Department inspector general.

However, in September of last year, the Free Thought Project reported on how more than 50 U.S. military intelligence analysts operating out of CENTCOM staged what was called a ‘revolt’ by intelligence professionals. The revolt came after announcing that their intelligence reports were being altered and manipulated to fit the public narrative that the U.S. is winning the battle against ISIS.

“The facts on the ground didn’t match what the intelligence was saying out of the United States Central Command,” said Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., a member of the task force.

The task force confirmed that both classified and public information was being manipulated by high-level officials.

As CBS News reports, the task force also found that CENTCOM’s public statements were far more positive than events on the ground warranted — such as in March 2015 when CENTCOM Commander Gen. Lloyd Austin testified to Congress.

“The fact is that he [ISIS] can no longer do what he did at the outset, which is to seize and hold new territory. He has assumed a defensive crouch in Iraq,” Gen. Austin said.

However, during those very statements, ISIS was preparing to overrun the Iraqi city of Ramadi.

According to the unclassified report, much of what was presented to the public was false:

Based on its own investigation, the Joint Task Force has substantiated that structural and management changes made at the CENTCOM Intelligence Directorate starting in mid-2014 resulted in the production and dissemination of intelligence products that were inconsistent with the judgments of many senior, career analysts at CENTCOM. These products were consistently more optimistic regarding the conduct of U.S. military action than that of the senior analysts. Based on specific case studies evaluated by the Joint Task Force, during the time period evaluated by the Joint Task Force, CENTCOM produced intelligence that was also significantly more optimistic than that of other parts of the Intelligence Community (IC) and typically more optimistic than actual events warranted. Additionally, many CENTCOM press releases, public statements, and congressional testimonies were also significantly more positive than actual events.

While the Obama administration is attempting to maintain that they knew nothing about this intelligence manipulation, the nature of this report and the high-level officials involved, implies otherwise.

“The cancer was within the senior level of the intelligence command,” one defense official told The Daily Beast in September.

“There’s enormous evidence about how this information from talented career professionals inside the analytic arm at CENTCOM did their job and accurately depicted what was going on on the ground, but when it got to very senior levels, that information was changed,” Pompeo said.

Only months after Obama made his statements about ISIS being “JV,” he was forced to acknowledge that the terrorist group was overrunning parts of Iraq. Then, by the following August, he announced US-led coaltion airstrikes in the region to combat extremists. After that, 5,000 troops were deployed. All of this — just as Americans were being told everything is “A-Okay.”

When the government is caught outright lying to the public to manipulate their feelings toward war, this should should raise serious red flags. The citizens of the United States have already been duped when intelligence was skewed about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. That little white lie convinced Americans to support an illegal war, which, in turn, led to a deadly quagmire in the Middle East that laid waste to over a million innocent lives.

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

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GR Editor’s Note: There are reports to the effect that the letter below on Hillary Clinton’s health which is circulating on social media could be « fake ».  The following report from Inquisitr says the following 

According to the leaked medical records, Hillary Clinton allegedly suffers from Complex Partial Seizures and Subcortical Vascular Dementia. Included as symptoms Clinton is experiencing are blackouts, uncontrollable twitching and memory issues.

While the general consensus is the leaked medical records are fake, there is a bit of truth behind them. The doctor named on the medical reports has been confirmed as one of Hillary’s doctors: Lisa R. Bardack. Still, not everyone is convinced the medical records are fake. The following is a CBS News report from December 2013 reporting on Clinton’s health issues from 2012. Mentioned are two blood clots Clinton has been diagnosed with. One clot Clinton suffered in the ’90s. The other blood clot she was diagnosed with was in Dec. 2012. In a ABC News report, it was discussed that Hillary Clinton did have additional issues stemming from the concussion. No one in Hillary Clinton’s camp would state what the additional issues or injuries she sustained were.

The article below should be read with caution.

*        *        *

Hillary Clinton’s medical records have been leaked to the public and they are devastating.  According to her Doctor, Mrs. Clinton suffers from « Dementia, Seizures and Black-outs. »  In fact, the Doctor made note that Clinton’s conditions are « considerably worse » than in 2013.

According to the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, « Subcortical Vascular Dementia » is defined as follows:

Subcortical Vascular DementiaSubcortical vascular dementia, also called Binswanger’s disease, is caused by widespread, microscopic areas of damage to the brain resulting from the thickening and narrowing (atherosclerosis) of arteries that supply blood to the subcortical areas of the brain.

The medical definition above makes clear that Hillary’s condition is also known as « Binswanger’s disease (BD). »  We checked with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and they offer the following information:

What is Binswanger’s Disease?

Binswanger’s disease (BD), also called subcortical vascular dementia, is a type of dementia caused by widespread, microscopic areas of damage to the deep layers of white matter in the brain. The damage is the result of the thickening and narrowing (atherosclerosis) of arteries that feed the subcortical areas of the brain. Atherosclerosis (commonly known as « hardening of the arteries ») is a systemic process that affects blood vessels throughout the body. It begins late in the fourth decade of life and increases in severity with age. As the arteries become more and more narrowed, the blood supplied by those arteries decreases and brain tissue dies. A characteristic pattern of BD-damaged brain tissue can be seen with modern brain imaging techniques such as CT scans or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The symptoms associated with BD are related to the disruption of subcortical neural circuits that control what neuroscientists call executive cognitive functioning: short-term memory, organization, mood, the regulation of attention, the ability to act or make decisions, and appropriate behavior. The most characteristic feature of BD is psychomotor slowness – an increase in the length of time it takes, for example, for the fingers to turn the thought of a letter into the shape of a letter on a piece of paper. Other symptoms include forgetfulness (but not as severe as the forgetfulness of Alzheimer’s disease), changes in speech, an unsteady gait, clumsiness or frequent falls, changes in personality or mood (most likely in the form of apathy, irritability, and depression), and urinary symptoms that aren’t caused by urological disease. Brain imaging, which reveals the characteristic brain lesions of BD, is essential for a positive diagnosis.

Is there any treatment?

There is no specific course of treatment for BD. Treatment is symptomatic. People with depression or anxiety may require antidepressant medications such as the serotonin-specific reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) sertraline or citalopram. Atypical antipsychotic drugs, such as risperidone and olanzapine, can be useful in individuals with agitation and disruptive behavior. Recent drug trials with the drug memantine have shown improved cognition and stabilization of global functioning and behavior. The successful management of hypertension and diabetes can slow the progression of atherosclerosis, and subsequently slow the progress of BD. Because there is no cure, the besttreatment is preventive, early in the adult years, by controlling risk factors such as hypertension,diabetes, and smoking.

What is the prognosis?

BD is a progressive disease; there is no cure. Changes may be sudden or gradual and then progress in a stepwise manner. BD can often coexist with Alzheimer’s disease. Behaviors that slow the progression of high blood pressure, diabetes, and atherosclerosis — such as eating a healthy dietand keeping healthy wake/sleep schedules, exercising, and not smoking or drinking too much alcohol — can also slow the progression of BD.

What research is being done?

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) conducts research related to BD in its laboratories at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and also supports additional research through grants to major medical institutions across the country. Much of this research focuses on finding better ways to prevent, treat, and ultimately cure neurological disorders, such as BD.

Where does this Leave the Election?

No rational person could vote such a sickly individual into the most important political office in the world.  To do so would be utterly irresponsible; even outright reckless.

Look, it’s not Hillary’s fault that she’s sick.  She didn’t intend to get this way, but she is, in fact, this way.  It’s sad.  I do not wish these health problems on her or upon anyone.  But the fact is, these health problems flatly disqualify Mrs. Clinton from being President.  We cannot have a person with Dementia with her finger on the nuclear button.

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Fidel Castro Is a True Internationalist

août 14th, 2016 by Telesur

teleSUR looks at a few of the anti-colonial and revolutionary movements Castro has inspired and supported throughout his life, and his ongoing legacy throughout the world.

1. Liberation of Southern Africa

Fidel Castro has inspired anti-imperialist movements across the world.While Angola won its independence from Portugal on Jan. 15, 1975, inner political conflicts escalated between the leftist People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola, MPLA, the National Liberation Front of Angola, FNLA, and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola, UNITA.

According to declassified documents, the U.S. sought to gain hegemony through a CIA operation which resulted in US$30 million in funding and support for the FNLA and UNITA. Apartheid South Africa supported the CIA operation by carrying out invasions, incursions and sabotages against Marxist forces within Angola.
Cuban soldiers, veterans of Cuito Cuanavale

Cuban soldiers, veterans of Cuito Cuanavale | Photo: The Greanville Post

Under Fidel’s leadership, more than 25,000 troops and military advisers were deployed to Angola during the war and ultimately helped win the independence of the country.

In 1988, the MPLA, with Cuban support, finally defeated the South Africans at the village Cuito Cuanavale after a six month battle. This battle was so vital to South Africa that the apartheid government considered using nuclear weapons against the MPLA and their Cuban allies.

By defending the MPLA’s control over large parts of Angola and supporting neighboring Namibia’s independence, Cuba curbed the ambitions of white supremacist South Africa. And after the fighting, Cuba continued to assist Angola with teaching programs like “Yes, I can,” which has taught more than a million Angolans how to read and write, as well as provided medical and exchange programs.

2. Apartheid South Africa

While he was still alive, Nelson Mandela cited Cuban support for the war against C.I.A.-backed South Africa in Angola as a great anti-apartheid victory. According to the iconic South African leader, Castro’s Cuba helped destroy the myth of the invincibility of the white oppressor and inspired the Black population of his own country.
Nelson Mandela with Fidel Castro in Matanzas, Cuba in 1991.

Nelson Mandela with Fidel Castro in Matanzas, Cuba in 1991 | Photo: AFP

« We admire the sacrifices of the Cuban people in maintaining their independence and sovereignty in the face of a vicious, imperialist-orchestrated campaign, » Mandela said when he visited Cuba in the early 1990s. « We, too, want to control our own destiny. »

It was for this reason that Cuba was the first country outside of the African continent that Mandela visited after his release from prison.

“Cubans came to our region as doctors, teachers, soldiers, agricultural experts, but never as colonizers. They have shared the same trenches with us in the struggle against colonialism, underdevelopment, and apartheid,” said the legendary South African leader.

When Mandela visited the June of 1990, he was criticized for his support for Fidel by right-wing protesters from the Cuban-American community. He was told that if he supported communism he should go back to Africa. Mandela’s African National Congress party would never become communist, but his affection toward Fidel and the Cuban Revolution, « a source of inspiration to all freedom-loving people,” was unwavering.

Hundreds of Cubans have given their lives, literally, in a struggle that was, first and foremost, not theirs but ours. As Southern Africans we salute them. We vow never to forget this unparalleled example of selfless internationalism.

3. Salvador Allende’s Chile

During the 1970s, the left-wing Salvador Allende took power in Chile and began to transform the economic and social foundations of the country, nationalizing natural resources, building homes for the poor and improving access to health and education.

Fidel Castro visits Salvador Allende in Chile. | Photo: AFP

In 1971, Chile under Allende defied the United States and an Organization of American States protocol which prohibited states in the western hemisphere from having diplomatic relations with Cuba.

This resulted in Fidel taking a month long journey to Chile where he developed ties with Allende while also meeting workers, students, peasants and attending left-wing rallies.

Later in 1973, Fidel told Allende to beware of fascism in Chile, warning him against placing too much trust in the military.

Castro had advised Allende to arm the workers. “If every worker and every peasant had had a rifle like that in their hands, there would never have been a fascist coup, » he remembered later. « That is the great lesson to be learned for revolutionaries from events in Chile.”

It was around this time that Fidel famously gave Allende an AK-47, which he would reportedly use to defend the La Moneda presidential palace during the last moments of his life.

Fidel and Allende kept close correspondence up until 1973, when the latter was deposed in the infamous C.I.A.-backed coup led by Augusto Pinochet. The two wrote letters to each other on how to improve the political process in their respective countries. Fidel is known to have advised members of the Popular Union, Allende’s political party.

After the Sept. 11 coup that toppled Allende, Fidel delivered a speech in which he praised the left-wing leader for having “more dignity, more honor, more courage and more heroism than all the fascist military together.”

4. Sandinistas Against Imperialism

The success of the Cuban revolution in the 1960s sparked a surge in leftist social movements and guerrilla movements who fought against right-wing dictatorships and U.S. imperialism in Central America. Many of these groups were not only inspired by the Cuban example but received direct support from Fidel’s Cuba including groups in the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Panama—and of course, Nicaragua.

Fidel Castro and Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega are received by Spanish President Felipe Gonzalez in 1984
| Photo: EFE

Formed in the 1960s, Nicaragua’s Sandinista National Liberation Front overthrew Anastasio Somoza’s U.S.-backed dictatorship in 1979, instituting campaigns of mass literacy and health care and drastically improving gender and economic equality in the country. But as with so many other examples in Latin America, by the early 1980s the C.I.A. had begun funding right-wing death squads in the country, known as the Contras.

Fidel’s Cuba had begun assisting the Sandinistas in the late 1960s, training guerilla leaders. In the post-revolution period, this support increased to the spheres of education and health care. With U.S. involvement and right-wing violence increasing, Cuba also provided arms and logistical support to the Sandinistas in the fight against imperialism.

5. Bolivarian Revolution

Late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez helped bring Latin America into the 21st century. After becoming president in 1999, Chavez was key in the region’s so-called “Pink Tide,” delivering radical social policies that transformed millions of lives while opposing U.S. imperialism across the continent.

Fidel Castro and Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez | Photo: EFE

The Bolivarian Revolution led by Chavez spread rapidly throughout Latin America, inspiring the world’s first Indigenous president in Evo Morales and Rafael Correa in Ecuador, among other progressive leaders. And crucially, Chavez once described Fidel as his “mentor.”

Today, Cuba and Venezuela have bilateral relations in virtually all industries and sectors, from energy management to cooperation in social programs in health, education and agriculture. One such program that perfectly illustrates the ideals of the Cuban—and now Bolivarian—revolution is Operation Milagro. Launched in 2004 by the governments of both countries, Operation Milagro has provided free medical treatment for people with vision impairment in both countries as well as 34 others across the Global South.

“This is such a powerful mission, which has become so widespread across the continent and beyond, including in Africa, that the goal set by Fidel and Chavez of 6 million patients is a goal that we are close to meeting,” said Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro back in 2015.

In 2008, Maduro, then serving as foreign minister, echoed Chavez’s sentiments when he described the Cuban Revolution of 1959 as influencing “the path” for “real political, economic, social and cultural independence” in both the 20th and 21st centuries.

Maduro made the comments as he led a delegation in Cuba as part of the Cuba-Venezuela Political Consultation Body. “Our relation is a profound, longstanding, strategic fraternity by which we have become a single people, a single nation, as dreamed by the liberating fathers.”

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Thailand Gets the Libya-Syria Treatment

août 14th, 2016 by Tony Cartalucci

Just as the Western media attempted to hide the true nature of violence unfolding in Libya and Syria during the opening phases of the so-called “Arab Spring,” it is now attempting to do likewise regarding the Southeast Asian country of Thailand.

Between August 11-12 and within a 24 hour period, several bombs detonated in four separate regions of Thailand including Trang, the resort city of Hua Hin, Phuket, and Surat Thani. Several deaths were reported and dozens were maimed as shrapnel tore through their bodies.

The Western media was quick to blame the violence on southern separatists – however – that low-intensity conflict over the course of several decades has never ventured into any of the areas recently struck. There also is a matter of no motive existing for such a drastic escalation.


What the Western media intentionally is omitting, however, or ambiguously referring to dozens of paragraphs down within their respective reports, is that the primary suspects are instead the US-backed opposition headed by ousted ex-Prime Minster Thaksin Shinawatra, his Pheu Thai political party (PTP), and his ultra-violent street front, the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD), also known as “red shirts.”

They possess the means and the motive, and the targets and timing also all point to them.

The areas hit are all strongholds of anti-Shinawatra sentiment, including areas with leadership who helped oust his sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, from power in 2014. Hua Hin also serves as a second residence to the nation’s highly-revered king who also serves as head of state.

The timing coincided with Thailand’s Mothers’ Day, which is also a day Thais celebrate their royal institution. Shinawatra and his followers have spent years attempting to undermine and overthrow this institution, seeking to replace it with a political dynasty headed by Shinawatra’s family.

The attacks also take place just days after a democratic referendum overwhelmingly approved a new national charter that all but ended any prospects of Shinawatra returning to power.

Finally, there is also the matter of Shinawatra’s enthusiastic use of violence and terrorism as political tools, on a scale much wider than ever seen in the nation’s troubled southern region.

What the Western Media Won’t Report

Since coming to power, and a fact the Western media will not inform readers of, Shinawatra and his supporters have embraced violence and terrorism as political tools.

  • 2003: Thaksin Shinawatra’s government would lead a “war on drugs” which left nearly 3,000 innocent people dead, most of whom had no connection with the drug trade and none of whom were served warrants, tried, or even so much as arrested – simply gunned down in the streets.
  • 2004: Shinawatra’s government would brutally put down a protest in Thailand’s deep south, killing over 80 people in a single day.
  • 2001-2005: According to Amnesty International, 18 human rights defenders were either assassinated or disappeared during Shinawatra’s first term in office.
  • 2006: Shinawatra’s government began to face resistance from protesters in the streets demanding that he step down. It was during this period, Wikileaks would reveal, that the US Embassy itself connected multiple bombings to Shinawatra and his supporters. The US Embassy also included Shinawatra as a possible suspect in the 2006 New Year’s Eve bombings – a coordinated attack across Bangkok.
  • 2009: Ousted from power and with several of his proxy governments also removed from office over a series of criminal convictions and court rulings, Shinawatra would put into the streets of Bangkok violent mobs led by his UDD “red shirts.” The protests quickly unraveled into looting and arson, leaving two innocent bystanders dead.
  • 2010: Shinawatra would put mobs into the streets again, this time along with 300 heavily armed terrorists wielding M-16s (with M203 40mm grenade launchers), AK-47s, M-79 40mm grenade launchers, rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), hand grenades, pistols, and sniper rifles.The fighting would leave nearly 100 dead, hundred injured, and ended with citywide arson carried out by Shinawatra’s supporters. During the violence, Shinawatra’s UDD leadership attempted to float the idea of armed “civil war” to their followers, hoping the escalate violence in Bangkok across the rest of the country.
  • 2013-2014: In 2011, Shinawatra’s sister, Yingluck Shinawatra would take office as PM. She quickly used her position to move forward an “amnesty bill” that would exonerate her brother – a convicted criminal living in self-exile to evade a 2 year prison sentence. The move triggered widespread, massive protests lasting from 2013 to 2014.Shinawatra would again deploy heavily armed militants wielding war weapons to pacify protesters with nearly nightly raids. Nearly 30 people would die, including women and children. The violence precipitated a coup. ousting Shinawatra’s sister from power who – already impeached by a court decision – had refused to leave office.It should be noted that during this period, Shinawatra’s supporters would carry out violence not only in Bangkok, but in provinces across the entire country – just as seen in the recent bombings.
  • 2015: A bomb blast in August would kill 20 and maim scores more in downtown Bangkok. The militants were linked to a Turkish terrorist group tied to NATO, revealing the prospect that Shinawatra’s Western backers may have become directly involved in using violence against the Thai government to coerce it politically.

With this in mind, there is no doubt that Shinawatra and his supporters, along with his foreign sponsors, at the very least have proven to possess the capacity and willingness to commit such violence. With the motives aligned as well, that the Western media is omitting even mention of Shinawatra and his supporters as possible suspects indicates a concerted cover-up.

The West is Giving Thailand the Libya-Syria Treatment

A fully informed reader can see quite clearly now who is behind the violence, and that more violence is likely and precisely why. They can also see the only logical and justified steps the current government must now take to neutralize and eliminate this threat to the people of Thailand and from the Thai political landscape permanently.

That is precisely why, then, the Western media is not fully informing readers.

Just as the Western media did in Libya and Syria where terrorists were portrayed as “freedom fighters,” terrorism portrayed as “resistance,” and militants committing acts of violence  – when governments responded – as being “victims,” the media is now attempting to do in Thailand.

The feigned ambiguity of who is likely behind the bombings in Thailand is being propagated by Western editors who had witnessed – and attempted to cover-up – Shinawatra’s violence in 2013-2014, in 2010, in 2009, and even as far back as 2006.

As others have noted, even though the US Embassy admitted that Shinawatra was likely behind a string of bombings in 2006-2007, they still worked ceaselessly to get him and his political allies back into power.

The method of operation of the West in Libya and Syria – the arming and backing of terrorists, the use of “protests” as cover under which to escalate a crisis into spiraling violence, and the portrayal of mercenaries and terrorists dismembering a sovereign nation with foreign-backing as a “civil war” – now appears to be in the opening phases in Thailand.

With even the alternative media getting their information from the BBC, Reuters, AP, AFP, CNN, and Al Jazeera – this conspiracy is being given an unwarranted head start.

However, with Libya and Syria’s tragedies clearly focused in hindsight, it may be possible to negate this head start, and turn it instead into a defeat for this global campaign of geopolitical destabilization before it consumes Thailand next, and others thereafter.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazineNew Eastern Outlook”.


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As the two month anniversary approaches of the Brexit vote in June, Britain is still no closer to actually exiting the European Union (EU). Article 50 is yet to be triggered, with the Prime Minister stating again recently that this will not happen until 2017 at the earliest. Demands for a second referendum by establishment puppets continue to rage, and the fear campaign by the mainstream media that the world will implode if Britain actually leaves the EU continues to nauseate.

Whether Britain does in fact trigger Article 50 and leave the EU remains to be seen, and even if the process is initiated, the negotiations will take years to complete (potentially lasting longer that the EU itself given its current instability). This article is not focused on the issue of whether Britain will actually leave the EU or not however, but on a movement that was invigorated by the Brexit vote: the quest for Scottish independence.

Scottish Indy Referendum 2.0?


Since the Brexit vote, the leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) and the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, has been agitating for a second Scottish independence referendum following the September, 2014 vote which saw the remain side (with the help of a BBC propaganda campaign I must add) win 55.3% to 44.7%, with a 84.6% turnout.

The justification for Sturgeon’s and the SNP’s call for a second referendum is based on the fact that despite 51.9% of people in the UK as a whole voting to leave the EU in June, 62% of Scots voted to remain in the EU (with a 67.2% turnout in Scotland). This of course led many leaders of the SNP to claim that Scotland is being taken out of the EU against the democratic wishes of the Scottish people. Although it is uncertain whether a second vote will take place in the immediate future, there is no question that the grassroots Scottish independence movement will remain strong into the future.

SNP: The Party of Contradictions

 The mainline Scottish independence movement is spearheaded by the SNP, a party which takes completely contradictory positions on numerous issues. The SNP is a party which tries to blend nationalism with regionalism and internationalism; which is apparently opposed to nuclear weapons yet it supports NATO membership; and which demands independence from Britain whilst still wanting to retain the British Queen as head of state.

But the largest oxymoron of the SNP has got to be is its fervent opposition to being ruled by London, yet its fervent support for being ruled by Brussels. This zealous support of the EU by the SNP is a major reason why so many of the Scottish people voted to remain in the EU, in order to support the party that is supposed to represent their interests. Considering the fact that the EU is an anti-democratic political entity controlled by technocrats and which was created by a clandestine elite in conjunction with theCIA however, how are the interests of the average Scottish person going to be represented in such a monstrosity?

Austerity = Death

The SNP consistently attempts to minimize what the EU – in coordination with the undemocratic IMF – has done to numerous European countries, most notably Greece. The crippling austerity that has been forced on the Greek people by the Troika has been utterly catastrophic, bringing devastation and misery to the country.

Unemployment and youth unemployment are staggeringly high in Greece and numerous other EU countries, with the amount of people who are homeless truly shocking. Since austerity started to be implemented in 2010, rates of depression and suicide in Greece have also skyrocketed. In 2012, a 77-year-old man named Dimitris Christoulas was one of the Greeks who could no longer stand the austerity measures implemented, with his suicide note reading:

The Tsolakoglou government has annihilated all traces for my survival, which was based on a very dignified pension that I alone paid for 35 years with no help from the state. And since my advanced age does not allow me a way of dynamically reacting (although if a fellow Greek were to grab a Kalashnikov, I would be right behind him), I see no other solution than this dignified end to my life, so I don’t find myself fishing through garbage cans for my sustenance. I believe that young people with no future will one day take up arms and hang the traitors of this country at Syntagma square, just like the Italians did to Mussolini in 1945.

The Swiss Model

Very few people in Scotland look to Switzerland as the model for an independent Scotland, a country which has the highest standard of living in Europe and is neither a member of the EU or NATO. Switzerland’s foreign policy is based on neutrality, and not getting involved in costly and pernicious imperial wars across the globe. The Swiss constitution also incorporates aspects of direct democracy, in the form of a constitutional mechanism which stipulates that if 100,000 citizens sign a petition, there needs to be a referendum on the matter.

 Independence Should Mean Independence

“The EU and NATO are evil institutions,” in the words of the former US Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal, Dr. Paul Craig Roberts. Why would an independent Scotland want to be part of completely failed political entity in the form of the EU, and a completely obsolete military entity in the form of NATO? Independence should actually mean independence, not just from the EU and NATO, but from the financial tyrants that have been pillaging the world for centuries.

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



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Summer Shows: Best of the Global Research News Hour

août 14th, 2016 by Michael Welch

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

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

Past programs are also available for download and rebroadcast.

For the duration of the summer, the Global Research News Hour’s highlighting past shows. Broadcasters are welcome and encouraged to use the repeat broadcasts on this webpage. However, broadcasters are free to avail themselves of any of the shows on the Global Research News Hour webpage.

   U.S. Campaign 2016: Searching for Democracy in a Broken System

  Politics has been called a rigged game, with elites using money and organizational resources to pull the puppet strings of most candidates for high office. However, the entrance into the race for US president of candidates Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump who both reject funding from Wall Street threatens to challenge that truism.

This episode of the  Global Research News Hour attempts to cut through the propaganda and jargon and assess what real options are out there for making substantive and humane political change. It originally aired March 18, 2016.



Length (59:21)

Click to Download audio (MP3 Format)

 Russia, Ukraine, Syria and the Grand Chessboard

 Despite Russia’s relative military weakness compared to Obama’s America, Putin’s nation has so far avoided containment,  survived sanctions, and not gotten embroiled in a quagmire.

This episode of the  Global Research News Hour focuses on the challenges facing Russia from the West and how it is prevailing  over efforts to exclude the one time superpower from the geo-strategically significant terrain of the Middle East and  Central Asia. The show originally aired October 30, 2015.




Length (59:20)

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 Looming Economic Collapse Scenarios facing the United States: Lessons from the Soviet Collapse

On the Global Research News Hour this week, we spend the hour discussing the looming collapse scenarios facing the United States with Russian-American engineer Dmitry Orlov. Orlov believes and states that the former Soviet Union was set up to be resilient in the face of collapse. This, he believes is not the case in the US or Canada. This episode originally aired January 23, 2015.




Length (59:31)

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 “The Non-Profit Industrial Complex”, and the Co-opting of the NGO Environmental Movement

On the Earth Day edition of the Global Research News Hour, independent investigative journalist Cory Morningstar spoke  about fossil fuel divestment as a flawed climate strategy, the failure of climate activists to address imperialism, a  critical UN Advisory Group report which environmental groups conspired to keep buried from public view, and other  inconvenient truths plaguing the non-profit industrial complex. This episode also includes a brief clip from a 2016  Winnipeg talk by celebrated author, journalist, and Board member Naomi Klein. The show originally aired April  22, 2016.




Length (59:29)

Click to download the audio (MP3 format)


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

Community Radio Stations carrying the Global Research News Hour:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Attention Broadcasters:

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

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

Past programs are also available for download and rebroadcast.

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Japan’s Descent into Authoritarianism

août 14th, 2016 by Saul Takahashi

The appointment of Tomomi Inada as Japan’s Defence Minister, and the lack of tough questioning of Inada from the domestic media, is yet another indicator of how far Japan is in its descent into authoritarian rule under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Inada is a longstanding rightwing extremist with a history of expressing nationalistic and militaristic views. She said in 2006 that the objective of schooling must be to raise “elites” who would sacrifice their lives for their country. Regarding the infamous Yasukuni shrine, where it is said that the souls of soldiers fallen in battle rest, Inada believes that Japanese must pray at the shrine to “vow they will be next” in dying for the nation. In 2011, she argued that Japan should develop nuclear weapons. Yet, these chilling statements were barely even reported on in the mainstream media upon Inada’s appointment, essentially giving her a free pass.

A muzzled press

Indeed, this situation is not new, as the Japanese press has been effectively muzzled. Abe and his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) have spent years exerting overt pressure on the left of centre Japanese press to refrain from ‘biased’ coverage, i.e. any commentary that deviates from the government position. The LDP has summoned TV directors to their HQ to chew them out, and several prominent journalists critical of the Abe’s policies were replaced in a short span of time, in circumstances many view as suspicious. Before the 2014 elections, the LDP sent a threatening letter to media outlets demanding ‘impartial’ coverage, and in 2016, the Minister response for broadcast regulation stated in parliament that licenses could be revoked if programming was not ‘politically neutral’.

The message is clear: tow the line, or else. International experts have sounded alarm bells: Japan has been in free-fall in the 2016 World Press Freedom Index published every year by Reporters without Borders, plummeting from a respectable 11th place in 2011 to 72nd place in 2016. In April, the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression stated in April that ‘a significant number of journalists …  [felt] intense pressure from the government, abetted by management, to conform their reporting to official policy preferences’.

Abe’s efforts at silencing the press bore fruit during the recent Upper House election, in July. Even by the normally docile standards of the Japanese press, commentary was neutered in the extreme. Normally left of centre newspapers bent over backwards to present ‘both sides’. Political debate programs were notably fewer than in previous elections, and what little commentary there was was shunted to the end of news programmes. One could even have been forgiven for forgetting there was an election campaign in train. Meanwhile, right of centre media outlets have become Abe cheerleaders, trumpeting the duboius triumphs of so-called ‘Abenomics’, and the alleged security threat posed by China. In this situation, it is little wonder that the LDP emerged victorious in July.

Abe’s efforts at stifling freedom of expression do not end with the media: state schools, where teacher unions have traditionally been left leaning, have also been targeted. It is commonplace now for teachers who refuse to stand or sing the national anthem to be subject to formal discipline, and thought police in some schools even check that teachers are actually singing the lyrics (as opposed to just mouthing them). The LDP recently posted a web based form on its site asking for concrete reports on ‘biased’ teachers who ‘attempt to propagate a particular ideology in class’ (the example in the narrative was of a teacher who expressed opposition to the war bills). Though the government denies this, plans reportedly even exist to grade primary students on their patriotism.

Constitutional reform and militarism abroad

It is no secret that Abe longs to change Japan’s pacifist Constitution – and the recent elections give him the required 2/3 of the seats in both houses to initiate a referendum on Constitutional reform. Abe did his utmost to present the recent election as a referendum on his economic policies, avoiding the controversial topic of Constitutional reform. Nevertheless, Abe announced immediately after the election that he will initiate the debate at the next parliament, to start this autumn.

The longstanding desire of both Abe and the LDP to do away with the pacifist Article 9, which “forever renounce[s] war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes”, has been reported on both domestically and internationally. However, in many ways, Abe has managed to weaken Article 9 to the extent that it is almost irrelevant. In the summer of 2015, Abe ignored large scale protests throughout the country and bulldozed through parliament legislation that allows the government unprecedented freedom to engage in military interventions abroad – hitherto almost unthinkable in pacifist postwar Japan. The government made no secret that the legislation would enable Japanese military to participate in US interventions in the Middle East and elsewhere, without the adoption of special legislation as has been required. Coupled with legislation strengthening government secrecy – also rammed through parliament over cries of protests and expressions of international concern – Abe could now potentially send the military abroad without giving parliament any serious explanation.

Abe has also discarded the long standing government prohibition on arms exports. With no public consultation to speak of, Japan has become the world’s latest merchant of death. Abe has personally been extremely proactive in promoting Japanese arms sales as an engine for growth (though this has as of yet been met with limited success). It recently came to light that the government had agreed with the Government of Israel on joint development of drone weapon technology, assuring Japan’s participation in the oppression of the Palestinian people. Indeed, commentators close to Abe have heaped praise on Israel, calling it a model of advanced democracy and swooning over Prime Minister Netanyahu’s ‘masculinity’.

Setting the stage for domestic oppression

In reality, Abe’s fixation on Constitutional reform is not confined to Article 9. As history has shown (in Japan and elsewhere), military escapades abroad come with tools for internal oppression, to stifle dissent – and it is such tools that the LDP has in mind. The LDP’s draft revised Constitution (which, since its publication in 2012, has received almost no attention in the mainstream Japanese media) is a model for despots and dictators everywhere. The LDP’s draft Constitution is not aimed at proscribing the limits of government prerogative: rather, it is the people whose rights would be restricted, while authorities enjoy unfettered power.

Clear and unambiguous language prohibiting torture in the current Constitution would be trashed under the LDP’s revisions – a clearly worrying sign, given the ongoing reports of systematic torture of criminal suspects at the hands of the Japanese police. Indeed, all of the extensive human rights safeguards in the current Constitution are essentially done away with, under a blanket restriction that the people “must understand that freedom and rights are accompanied by responsibilities and obligations” and that the exercise of rights ‘must never oppose the public interest or public order’. Promotional material published by the LDP says that “’Public order’ means the ‘social order’, and refers to a peaceful social life. It is obvious that individuals claiming their rights should not cause inconveniences for the social life of others.” The vague notion of a “peaceful social life” is particularly worrying, as senior LDP politicians have called peaceful demonstrations against government policy « a form of terrorism ». Indeed, Abe has suggested that he might start with proposing Articles to allow the government to declare a state of emergency, which could allow rights to be restricted practically at will.

Other LDP material, published in a manga format, dismisses the current Constitution as “individualistic”, arguing that “just because you have fundamental human rights doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want … if everybody acted selfishly, society would fall apart.” LDP material also lies about Japan’s legal obligations under international human rights law, suggesting that international law allows for the kind of sweeping restrictions in the LDP draft.


Unfortunately, none of this should come as a surprise. Though rarely reported on domestically, Abe (and most of the politicians he has appointed to successive cabinets) has well documented ties with the Nippon Kaigi, a shadowy group of right wing extremists that advocate for a return to the glory of empire and the doing away with “Western” values (e.g. individual rights and gender equality). The reigning Emperor, a committed pacifist by all accounts, visibly had shivers up his spine at an event in April 2013 when Abe and other conservative politicians greeted him with loud cries of ‘tennou heika banzai (long live the Emperor), the fascist war cry of the 1930s (an incident also mainly ignored by the mainstream Japanese media). The signs are ominous indeed.

Left of centre commentators whisper that Japan is heading towards the full blown fascism of the 1930s. What may be more likely is a form of authoritarian government (ala Turkey or Russia), where oppression becomes the norm behind the façade of democratic institutions, such as sham elections and a subservient press. Either way, in the absence of a fundamental change of direction, the future of Japanese democracy looks bleak.

Saul Takahashi is a human rights lawyer and activist based in Tokyo. He has worked for Amnesty International in Tokyo and in London, and also for the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Palestine.


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In the piece published on August 13, 2016, “Svobodnaya Pressa” (The Free Press), a leading Russian Internet news outlet, appeals to the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation to initiate criminal proceedings against Michael Joseph Morell (born September 4, 1958 in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, U.S.), former acting deputy director of the CIA, due to the presence of signs of the act, provided for in Paragraphs 4 and 5, Article 33 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (incitement to commit a crime and complicity in the commission of a crime), and in Article 361 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (act of international terrorism).

In the TV interview with Charlie Rose aired Monday, August 8, 2016, Michael Joseph Morell called for killing Russian military personnel serving in the Syrian Arab Republic.

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Reliable, verifiable medical records from presidential candidates – what’s so hard about that?

In May 2008, presidential candidate Barack Obama released a summary letter of his general health signed by Dr. David Scheiner, who had been Obama’s primary care physician for 21 years. Providing limited detail, the doctor found Obama to be in “excellent health” and “in overall good physical and mental health needed to maintain the resiliency required in the Office of the President.” The Obama campaign indicated at the time that it was not planning to release any further medical records, and it didn’t.

As president, Obama has periodically released health summaries publicly. The most recent report available on the White House website, appears to be from June 12, 2014, in which Dr. Ronny Jackson, physician to the president, provides two pages of detail and concludes: “The President’s overall health is excellent. All clinical data indicates that the President is currently healthy and that he will remain so for the duration of his Presidency.”

This is not a high standard of disclosure for a candidate or a president to meet, assuming that a candidate or a president is in good health. This relatively low standard is also hard, if not impossible, to enforce. John McCain, a cancer survivor in 2008, chose to give selected reporters just a three-hour opportunity to look at some of his health records, but his health did not become a significant issue in the campaign. On his campaign website, McCain posted a health summary more detailed than Obama’s. Hillary Clinton in 2008 apparently did not make any health records public (she has released tax returns for the years 2007-2014, with 2015 promised to be forthcoming).

2016 Candidates vary in providing detailed medical records

Green Party candidate Jill Stein is a doctor married to a doctor, and they have two sons who are doctors. She has not released her medical records this year, nor did she when she ran for president in 2012. She has publicly posted the first two pages of her 2015 tax return filed jointly with her husband, Dr. Richard Rohrer.

Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, president and CEO of a medical marijuana company, appears not to have released any medical records. Of all the presidential candidates, Johnson has had perhaps the most serious physical mishap:

On October 12, 2005, Johnson was involved in a near-fatal paragliding accident when his wing caught in a tree and he fell approximately 50 feet to the ground. Johnson suffered multiple bone fractures, including a burst fracture to his twelfth thoracic vertebra, a broken rib, and a broken knee; this accident left him 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) shorter. He used medicinal marijuana for pain control from 2005 to 2008.

Former Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders released a letter from his doctor in January 2016 summarizing his “general health history and current medical evaluation.” The letter said that the Senator takes daily levothyroxine to maintain thyroid function and intermittent indomethacin, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication to relieve pain. Dr. Brian P. Monahan, the Attending Physician for the Congress of the United States, concluded: “You are in overall very good health and active in your professional work, and recreational lifestyle without limitation.”

Before Republican candidate Donald Trump released any medical report, he promised that “it will be perfection.” He also wrote on twitter: “I consider my health, stamina and strength one of my greatest assets. The world has watched me for many years and can so testify – great genes!” On December 4, 2015, Trump’s doctor of 36 years issued a brief, four-paragraph letter, the highlight of which was that Trump had lost 15 pounds in the past year. Dr. Harold N. Bornstein of Lenox Hill Hospital, New York, concluded: “If elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.”

The Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, released her own medical records letter months ahead of the others. A two-page letter dated July 28, 2015, noted that Clinton had “a deep vein thrombosis in 1998 and in 2009, an elbow fracture in 2009 and a concussion in 2012.” (Deep vein thrombosis involves the formation of blood clots, usually in the legs, and is not life-threatening with timely treatment.) Dr. Lisa Bardack of the Mount Kisco Medical Group (near Chappaqua, New York) has been Clinton’s personal physician since 2001. She described Clinton’s recovery from the noted conditions, adding that as a precaution against further blood clots, Clinton takes an anticoagulant daily. Dr. Bardack concluded: “In summary, Mrs. Clinton is a healthy female with hypothyroidism and seasonal allergies, on long-term anticoagulation…. She is in excellent physical condition and fit to serve as President of the United States.”

Drudge dredges old news and Fox News gets sweaty

A year after Clinton’s doctor specifically addressed Clinton’s already well-publicized falls, the Drudge Report reprised the incidents as if there were something new to them. Drudge was pushing the same Hillary health narrative back in February when it failed to get traction. That was after he pushed the same theory in October, based on Clinton’s coughing during the Benghazi hearings. All the same, The Hill of August 8 passed on the re-recycled Drudge story, while noting that a “new” picture of Clinton, apparently needing help up the stairs, was taken in February. Elements of the Drudge story reprise have gone viral, and are still going viral, despite detailed debunking by sites like and wonderfully extreme rants from

There’s another internet meme that, if true, would be more troubling. In this case there’s a purported leak of medical reports written by the same Dr. Bardack who wrote Clinton’s July 2015 health letter. These reports first appeared on a twitter account that was apparently taken down by its owner soon after the post. The documents have a superficial credibility, but may be fake – analyzes the question and calls it “unproven.” And that is a problem, because the questions are serious and need to be answered despite the political lynch mob rushing to judgment.

The diagnoses listed in these reports are “Complex Partial Seizures, Subcortical Vascular Dementia.” “Dementia” is a scary word. Clinton’s opponents are running with it, while the Clinton campaign has yet to respond more effectively than to call the attacks “shameful,” without further elaboration.

Curiously, the Dr. Bardack “dementia” documents are both dated well before her July 2015 letter affirming Clinton’s “excellent physical condition.” The authenticity of the July letter is undisputed. The earliest Dr. Bardack “report” dated February 5, 2015, discusses complications continuing from Clinton’s December 2012 concussion – blacking out, twitching, memory loss “have become worse over the last few months.” The letter refers to a diagnosis of early-onset Subcortical Dementia in mid-2013. The plan included increasing anti-seizure medication and ordering another MRI (brain scan).

The second Dr. Bardack “report” dated March 20, 2015, repeats much of the first, noting that: “Patient is being treated with both an anticoagulant and anti-seizure medications…. Patient is starting to become more depressed about her medical condition and the way it’s affecting her life…. We elected to raise the dosage on her antidepressants and anxiety medications. She advised me of her future plans and I advised her to travel with a medical team.” Strikingly omitted from the second report was any mention of an MRI or its results.

Three weeks later, on April 12, 2015, Hillary Clinton announced that she was running for President.

Does the “dementia” meme have legs? And whose legs might it have?

Sean Hannity and other Fox News folks are running one-sidedly with the Hillary Health meme. One of the frequent Fox “experts” is Dr. Marc Siegel, who was chasing the Hillary health question back in April before it was a meme in the twittersphere (@ HilsMedRecords). Fox News seems prepared to pursue this as long as it can, with Hannity hammering away and Martin Shkreli making an on-air diagnosis of Clinton’s “Parkinson’s Disease.”

But there’s another question lying in wait for the honest inquisitor and it goes something like this: so if Clinton has dementia and sounds cogent all the time, what’s up with Donald Trump who always sounds demented?

Salon was making that case back in April, quoting Trumperies like this Q&A sample from a meeting with the Washington Post editorial board:

QUESTION: This is about ISIS. You would not use a tactical nuclear weapon against ISIS?

TRUMP: I’ll tell you one thing, this is a very good-looking group of people here. Could I just go around so I know who the hell I’m talking to?

The writer, Sophia McClennen, went on to wonder:

As we scratch our heads and wonder how someone who says and does such things can still be a frontrunner, I want to throw out a concern. What if Trump isn’t “crazy” but is actually not well instead? To put it differently: what if his campaign isn’t a sign of a savvy politician channeling Tea Party political rhetoric and reality TV sound bites? What if it’s an example of someone who doesn’t have full command of his faculties?… At times it can be very hard to distinguish between extreme right-wing politics and symptoms of dementia.

McClennen goes on to analyze Trump’s behavior as potentially early Alzheimer’s, which his father had for six years before he died. She suggests that Trump should take appropriate tests to demonstrate his mental fitness. And talking about all the ways comics have made fun of the way Trump speaks, she says: “It’s not funny if he really has lost the ability to speak like a healthy adult.”

Salon on August 10 had another McClennen piece again shredding the idea of Trump’s mental competence. One of her points is that when Trump announced his health letter, he got the name of his doctor wrong (naming the doctor’s father). The son is a gastroenterologist, whose website has since been taken down.

The Constitution (Article II, Section 1) requires only that a president be a natural born citizen, at least 35 years old, and a resident for at least 14 years. There is no challenge to Clinton or Trump on a constitutional basis. The Constitution is silent on a presidential candidate’s mental or physical health. Once in office, a president’s failing health is not an impeachable offense. The 25th Amendment (Section 3) allows the president to step aside upon “written declaration that he [sic] is unable to discharge the powers and duties” of the presidency. The vice president then becomes the acting president until the president self-declares in writing the ability to resume the office. The 25th Amendment (Section 4) also provides for the removal of a president who is unaware of an inability to perform, whenever “the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or such other body as Congress may by law provide” declare in writing the president’s inability and submit it to Congress. In the event that the president disputes the inability, Congress decides.

Everything about Section 4 looks like an opportunity for serious, perhaps long-lasting chaos. We need to know now how healthy Clinton and Trump actually are. Dr. Bardack could help by saying whether the reports with her name on them are genuine. Both candidates could help by taking such medical tests and making such disclosures as are needed to answer fundamental questions about their competence now and in the future (insofar as that’s knowable). That’s what a rational electorate would expect, that’s what responsible political parties would insist on, and that’s what honorable candidates would provide.

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

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No one more dauntlessly represents redoubtable resistance against US imperialism – humanity’s greatest scourge.

On Saturday, August 13, Fidel Castro began his 10th decade. Remarkable by any standard, along with serious illness at nearly age 80. 

In his book “Fidel Castro: My Life,” he asked “(a)re we supposed to get down on our knees and have diplomatic discussions?”  

“Those who don’t respond, those who don’t fight, those who don’t combat, those people are lost from the beginning, and in us, you’ll never find that kind of person.” 

Cubans celebrated Fidel’s 90th. In Havana at midnight, a band played “Happy Birthday.” A fireworks display accompanied floats, dancers and salsa bands, stretching for miles down the coastal Malecon roadway.

One celebrant spoke for others, saying “Fidel is the best thing that happened to our country.” In retirement from official duties, he retains the title “Historic Leader.”

Not expected to appear for Saturday festivities in his honor, he’ll meet with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

Ahead of his arrival in Havana, Venezuelan Vice President Aristobulo Isturiz said “(w)e are experiencing a time of threats, attempts at re-colonization, in which the people of the continent must have their morals and a strong spirit of resistance at the ready, for which we must look to the example of Fidel.”

He survived 12 US presidents, all wanting him eliminated – including Obama. His “new course on Cuba” is old wine in new bottles.

His so-called thaw in bilateral relations conceals dirty business as usual by other means – the end goal the same as earlier, US dominance replacing sovereign Cuban independence.

Tributes to Fidel poured in from scores of countries. Millions worldwide honor him. He’s the UN’s only acknowledged “World Hero of Solidarity.”

Cuban tobacconist Jose Castelar and his team spent days rolling a 90-meter cigar in his honor, saying it’s “to commemorate 90 years of our comandante…He hasn’t smoked for years, but the gift we are offering him is the hard work that we have done to commemorate his birthday.”

Biographer Ignacio Ramonet called him “the last ‘sacred giant’ of international politics. He belongs to the generation of mythical insurgents.”

They include “Mandela, Ho Chi Minh, Patrice Lumumba, Amilcar Cabral, Che Guevara, Carlos Marighela, Camilo Torres, Mehdi ben Barka (among others) who pursuing an ideal of justice, threw themselves into political action.”

“Like thousands of progressives and intellectuals around the world, among them the most brilliant of men and women, that generation honestly thought that Communism promised a bright and shining future, and that injustice, racism and poverty could be wiped off the face of the face of the earth in a matter of decades.”

Fidel represents redoubtable resistance against imperial repression, exploitation and ruthlessness – today’s America its principal exponent.

A new generation of Fidelistas continue his half-century-long struggle. He “refused to relinquish (Cuban) sovereignty to the greatest superpower on the planet,” said Ramonet.

On Saturday, August 13, Cuba will become “one giant concert,” reported the Havana Times. At age 90, Fidel remains committed to world peace and social justice.

His honesty and integrity are impeccable, his forthrightness expressed in concern about possible nuclear annihilation – America “bereft of…moral values” the leading threat.

Legendary in his own time, one day he’ll be immortalized more than already.

May he have many more birthdays in good health and vibrant spirit. Viva Fidel! 

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

His new book as editor and contributor is titled « Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III. » 

Visit his blog site at  

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

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Assassinations to reach an objective is not new for the all-powerful. The practice has been going on at least for centuries, if not for millennia, but it has intensified drastically in the last fifty years, and it is becoming ever bolder, as the rulers of the Anglosphere tighten their grip on humanity – on Mother Earth and her resources. .

They see their end may be nearing. People have increasingly access to alternative sources of news and information, and ever more people gradually start seeing the Big Lie of the controlled media, the propaganda that confuses their minds – and serves the 0.001%.

So – these obscure self-nominated « Masters of the Universe », controllers of the western monetary system, are racing towards the New World Order, knowing that if they don’t hasten, they may not reach it. Their impunity has become increasingly daring. Their pressure is on chief-puppet Obama, whose pressure is on NATO and his European and Mid-Eastern vassals, and the pressure they exert on the world is by devastating wars, death, chaos, destruction of entire countries, economies, people – robbing of their resources – making them destitute, homeless and sick, many of them into refugees, fleeing their homelands – and where do they go? – To their own executioners, to the countries of the European Union (sic), to the very spineless nations that helped destroy their livelihood, where they are not welcome, to say the least. But do they have a choice? – Nope. It’s the closest place for them, where food and water and shelter, indispensable for sheer survival, may be available.

Assassinations come in handy, when there is a serious roadblock to the advancement of the self-elected rulers of the world – the elusive potentates, who are not just happy with dominating the Anglosphere, the world it must be. These few individuals or families have control over an all-overarching corporate finance kingdom, led by the military-security complex and world banking, spearheaded by the FED-BIS-Wall Street, intimately supported by the IMF and the very “World Bank” itself.

Does the Sudden Death of 38-Year young Shawn Lucas (right) come as a surprise? – On 28 June 2016, on behalf of supporters of democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, and donors and members of the Democratic Party, Shawn Lucas filed a lawsuit against the DNC and its Chairwomen, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, in an unprecedented nationwide class action for fraud. The charges included corruption, breach of fiduciary duties, voters’ fraud and manipulation with the aim of sidelining Bernie Sanders and assuring Hillary Clinton’s election at the Democratic National Convention. The DNC succeeded not only in electing Hillary as the official Democratic candidate, but also in soliciting and obtaining Sanders’ support for Hillary.

Julian Assange, WikiLeaks, said that he has damning evidence of Hillary’s fraud with the Clinton Foundation, as well as on the actions by the DNC to illegally exclude Bernie Sanders from his candidacy as a Democratic Party nominee. Shawn Lucas’ lawsuit may have contained critical evidence that could have put an end to Hillary’s candidacy. Could that have been the beginning of the end of the military security industry’s bonanza, as well as for the golden age of Wall Street, both of whom are counting very much on Hillary’s presidency to continue their ravaging onslaught on the world – with bombs and bank. Killing the messenger has been an old tactic of dictators to frighten other ‘potential messengers’ from misbehaving.

A DNC data analyst, Seth Rich, who worked on voting rights issues, was murdered on a Washington DC street, last month. It raises theories and speculations – did he know something that ought not to be known? – His killing remains unsolved as of this day.

Killings, assassinations and outright wars, carried out by Washington through secret services, military and NATO, within the US and around the globe, abound. Remember, the US Government and its massive machine of aggression are mere puppets for the small and all powerful elusive elite, those that have become so sure of themselves and of soon attaining their goal of One / New World Order, they are now displaying in public and without scruples their – hitherto kept secret – satanic ceremonies of all-controlling power. Murders of those in the way of reaching their objective are mere bylines.

A case in point is the recent (June 2016) inauguration of the world’s longest tunnel (57 km) at the Saint Gotthard mountain in Switzerland, where those behind the eye on top of the pyramid on the dollar bill, displayed openly a satanic show, of the likes that has not been seen in public for as long as history remembers .

A parade of blatant freemasonry at its worst. What before were carried out as occult gory ceremonies are now in the open. They don’t care. Is this a message that they have soon achieved their goal of full spectrum dominance; or is it a warning of more atrocities to come, as things are not running as smoothly anymore as they were in the past hundreds of years? – How could the Swiss Government support this ceremony? Or was it coopted into it?

After all the WEF (World Economic Forum), a freemason smoke screen, as are the Bilderbergers, the Trilaterals, the CFR, Chatham House and more – almost always takes place in Davos, Switzerland.

Likewise located in Switzerland (Basel) is the highly secretive BIS (Bank for International Settlements), also called the central bank of central banks, all-privately owned, Rothschild dominated, created in 1931, in the midst of the Grand Depression, presumably to regulate German reparation payments after WWI – the BIS, through which all international transactions have to transit and which served the FED-Wall Street to channel funds to the Deutsche Reichsbank during WWII to finance Hitler’s war against the Soviet Union. – A legitimate question would be: Who runs Switzerland?

Death of Argentina Prosecutor

Also comes to mind the Sudden Death on 18 January 2015, by gunshot in the head, of Argentine prosecutor, Alberto Nisman. He was in charge of investigating the bombing of a Jewish Community center in Buenos Aires in 1994 that left 85 people dead. He had allegedly evidence against Cristina Kirchner for an alleged cover-up on behalf of Iranians who were suspected in the bombing. In fact, Iran was accused by the CIA for the bombing, but a motive was never given. It just was convenient at that time – as it would be today – to hit an unaligned country with a fabricated accusation. More likely was the AMIA (Spanish acronym for Argentine Israelite Mutual Association)bombing a false flag carried out by Mossad to ensure that Argentina would stick to Washington’s imposed blockage of potential energy trade relations between Argentina and Iran. This case will probably never be solved. But it is possible that Alberto Nisman had the answers in his report – which was not supposed to see the light of the day; and that the killing of Alberto Nisman was NOT instigated by Cristina Kirchner’s people, as the western media were propagating.

Fals Flags

Then, there are the thousands if not ten thousands of victims of false flag attacks, since the Big One, 9/11, that set the horrendous and endless war on terror in motion. They take place all over the world, by so-called Jihadists, who for sure have nothing to do with Islam, but are coerced or forced into killing innocent people by western secret services, mostly the odd trio- CIA-Mossad-MI6 – mere peons for the cause – to accelerate the power elite’s objectives. The ‘aggressors’ are almost invariably killed on location by the police. Dead men don’t talk.

The Anglo-American owned media make sure fear is spread widely and thoroughly so as to prompt people at large to literally and voluntarily give up their human and civil rights, asking for militarization of their countries – for their protection. What more do these pathetic beings (I can’t call them humans) on top of the pyramid want? – Full submission? What for? Hundreds of trillions if not thousands of trillions of our fake western fiat money they have hidden away, outside of the world’s fiscal authorities’ eyes.

But here comes the crux and our chance. They need to fully dominate the world, with this fraudulent worthless thin-air dollar-money, control Russia and China – hence the aggressions by NATO on Russia throughout Europe, and by the US Navy fleet in the South China Sea. They are the monster’s last serious vestiges. They are also the hope, the only hope, for the unaligned nations throughout the world, those who do not want to submit to the clutch of the global elites.

Salvation comes by leaving the dollar-euro based monetary system and join the new system under preparation by Russia and China, to which are also linked the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and eventually the BRICS. They comprise half the world’s population and about one third of its economic output (GDP). This alternative system is almost ready to be rolled out. The presstitute doesn’t write about the CIPS – the Chinese International Payment System- that is ready to circumvent the all controlling dollar-based SWIFT and the BIS. The rulers of power know it. It will be their demise. I have said this many times before and say it again: Defeating the western dollar-based monetary system by abandoning it for a viable alternative offered by the East, may be THE non-violent way of escaping the merciless oppression by the West.

China and Russia have gold-backed currencies. The West has money made of thin air. The Rothschilds and Rockefellers of this world also have huge amounts of gold, in fact, tons of gold reserved in the vaults of the BIS – quantities kept in highest secret – but it’s nowhere near enough to cover the thousands of trillions of thin-air dollars floating the globe. We may be approaching the end game. Let’s stay above ground where the light is and knowingly and with an awakened consciousness escape the satanic underground world of the ultra-powerful few.

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

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Ex-CIA Mike Morell’s « Kill-Russians » Advice

août 14th, 2016 by Ray McGovern

Washington’s foreign policy hot shots are flexing their rhetorical, warmongering muscles to impress Hillary Clinton, including ex-CIA acting director Morell who calls for killing Russians and Iranians, notes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

Perhaps former CIA acting director Michael Morell’s shamefully provocative rhetoric toward Russia and Iran will prove too unhinged even for Hillary Clinton. It appears equally likely that it will succeed in earning him a senior job in a possible Clinton administration, so it behooves us to have a closer look at Morell’s record.

My initial reaction of disbelief and anger was the same as that of my VIPS colleague, Larry Johnson, and the points Larry made about Morell’s behavior in the Benghazi caper, Iran, Syria, needlessly baiting nuclear-armed Russia, and how to put a “scare” into Bashar al-Assad give ample support to Larry’s characterization of Morell’s comments as “reckless and vapid.” What follows is an attempt to round out the picture on the ambitious 57-year-old Morell.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaking with supporters at a campaign rally at Carl Hayden High School in Phoenix, Arizona, March 21, 2016. (Photo by Gage Skidmore)

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaking with supporters at a campaign rally in Phoenix, Arizona, March 21, 2016. (Photo by Gage Skidmore)

I suppose we need to start with Morell telling PBS/CBS interviewer Charlie Rose on Aug. 8 that he (Morell) wanted to “make the Iranians pay a price in Syria. … make the Russians pay a price in Syria.”

Rose: “We make them pay the price by killing Russians?”

Morell: “Yeah.”

Rose: “And killing Iranians?”

Morell: “Yes … You don’t tell the world about it. … But you make sure they know it in Moscow and Tehran.”

You might ask what excellent adventure earned Morell his latest appearance with Charlie Rose? It was a highly unusual Aug. 5 New York Times op-ed titled “I ran the C.I.A. Now I’m Endorsing Hillary Clinton.”

Peabody award winner Rose — having made no secret of how much he admires the glib, smooth-talking Morell — performed true to form. Indeed, he has interviewed him every other month, on average, over the past two years, while Morell has been a national security analyst for CBS.

This interview, though, is a must for those interested in gauging the caliber of bureaucrats who have bubbled to the top of the CIA since the disastrous tenure of George Tenet (sorry, the interview goes on and on for 46 minutes).

A Heavy Duty

Such interviews are a burden for unreconstructed, fact-based analysts of the old school. In a word, they are required to watch them, just as they must plow through the turgid prose of “tell-it-all” memoirs. But due diligence can sometimes harvest an occasional grain of wheat among the chaff.

President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney receive an Oval Office briefing from CIA Director George Tenet. Also present is Chief of Staff Andy Card (on right). (White House photo)

President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney receive an Oval Office briefing from CIA Director George Tenet. Also present is Chief of Staff Andy Card (on right). (White House photo)

For example, George W. Bush’s memoir, Decision Points, included a passage the former president seems to have written himself. Was Bush relieved to learn, just 15 months before he left office, the “high-confidence,” unanimous judgment of the U.S. intelligence community that Iran had stopped working on a nuclear weapon in 2003 and had not resumed work on such weapons? No way!

In his memoir, he complains bitterly that this judgment in that key 2007 National Intelligence Estimate “tied my hands on the military side. … After the NIE, how could I possibly explain using the military to destroy the nuclear facilities of a country the intelligence community said had no active nuclear weapons program?” No, I am not making this up. He wrote that.

In another sometimes inadvertently revealing memoir, At the Center of the Storm: My Years at the CIA, CIA Director George Tenet described Michael Morell, whom he picked to be CIA’s briefer of President George W. Bush, in these terms: “Wiry, youthful looking, and extremely bright, Mike speaks in staccato-like bursts that get to the bottom line very quickly. He and George Bush hit it off almost immediately. Mike was the perfect guy for us to have by the commander-in-chief’s side.”

Wonder what Morell was telling Bush about those “weapons of mass destruction in Iraq” and the alleged ties between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda. Was Morell winking at Bush the same way Tenet winked at the head of British intelligence on July 20, 2002, telling him that “the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy” of invading Iraq?

High on Morell

Not surprisingly, Tenet speaks well of his protégé and former executive assistant Morell. But he also reveals that Morell “coordinated the CIA review” of Secretary of State Colin Powell’s infamous Feb. 5, 2003 speech to the United Nations – a dubious distinction if there ever was one.

So Morell reviewed the “intelligence” that went into Powell’s thoroughly deceptive account of the Iraqi threat! Powell later called that dramatic speech, which wowed Washington’s media and foreign policy elites and was used to browbeat the few remaining dissenters into silence, a “blot” on his record.

In Morell’s own memoir, The Great War of Our Time, Morell apologized to former Secretary of State Powell for the bogus CIA intelligence that found its way into Powell’s address. Morell told CBS: “I thought it important to do so because … he went out there and made this case, and we were wrong.”

It is sad to have to remind folks almost 14 years later that the “intelligence” was not “mistaken;” it was fraudulent from the get-go. Announcing on June 5, 2008, the bipartisan conclusions from a five-year study by the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Jay Rockefeller described the intelligence conjured up to “justify” war on Iraq as “uncorroborated, contradicted, or even non-existent.”

It strains credulity beyond the breaking point to think that Michael Morell was unaware of the fraudulent nature of the WMD propaganda campaign. Yet, like all too many others, he kept quiet and got promoted.

Out of Harm’s Way

For services rendered, Tenet rescued Morell from the center of the storm, so to speak, sending him to a plum posting in London, leaving the hapless Stu Cohen holding the bag. Cohen had been acting director of the National Intelligence Council and nominal manager of the infamous Oct. 1, 2002 National Intelligence Estimate warning about Iraq’s [non-existent] WMD.

Former CIA deputy director Michael Morell.

Former CIA deputy director Michael Morell.

Cohen made a valiant attempt to defend the indefensible in late November 2003, and was still holding out some hope that WMD would be found. He noted, however, “If we eventually are proved wrong — that is, that there were no weapons of mass destruction and the WMD programs were dormant or abandoned – the American people will be told the truth …” And then Stu disappeared into the woodwork.

In October 2003, the 1,200-member “Iraq Survey Group” commissioned by Tenet to find those elusive WMD in Iraq had already reported that six months of intensive work had turned up no chemical, biological or nuclear weapons. By then, the U.S.-sponsored search for WMD had already cost $300 million, with the final bill expected to top $1 billion.

In Morell’s The Great War of Our Time, he writes, “In the summer of 2003 I became CIA’s senior focal point for liaison with the analytic community in the United Kingdom.” He notes that one of the “dominant” issues, until he left the U.K. in early 2006, was “Iraq, namely our failure to find weapons of mass destruction.” (It was a PR problem; Prime Minister Tony Blair and Morell’s opposite numbers in British intelligence were fully complicit in the “dodgy-dossier” type of intelligence.)

When the storm subsided, Morell came back from London to bigger and better things. He was appointed the CIA’s first associate deputy director from 2006 to 2008, and then director for intelligence until moving up to become CIA’s deputy director (and twice acting director) from 2010 until 2013.

Reading his book and watching him respond to those softball pitches from Charlie Rose on Monday, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that glibness, vacuousness and ambition can get you to the very top of U.S. intelligence in the Twenty-first Century – and can also make you a devoted fan of whoever is likely to be the next President.

Wisdom’ on China

For those who did not make it to the very end in watching the most recent Michael-and-Charlie show, here is an example of what Morell and Rose both seem to consider trenchant analysis. Addressing the issue of U.S. relations with China, Morell described the following as a main “negative:”

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry listens to Russian President Vladimir Putin in a meeting room at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, at the outset of a bilateral meeting on July 14, 2016. [State Department Photo]

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry listens to Russian President Vladimir Putin in a meeting room at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, at the outset of a bilateral meeting on July 14, 2016. [State Department Photo]

“We both have large militaries in the same place on the planet, the Pacific. What does that mean? It means you have to plan for war against each other, and we both do; it means you have to equip yourself with weapons systems for war against each other, which both of us do; and it means you have to exercise those forces for war against each other, and both of us do. And both sides see all of three of those things. That leads to a natural tension and pulls you apart. …”Those who got to the end of Morell’s book had already been able to assimilate that wisdom on page 325:

“The negative side [regarding relations with China] includes the fact that … each country needs to prepare for war against each other (because our militaries are in close proximity to each other). Each plans for such a war, each trains for it, and each must equip its forces with the modern weaponry to fight it [leading] to tension in the relationship. …”

Well, Morell is at least consistent. More telling, this gibberish is music to the ears of those whom Pope Francis, speaking to Congress last September, referred to as the “blood-drenched” arms traders. Morell seems to be counting on his deep insights being music to the ears of Hillary Clinton, as well.

As for Morell’s claim that Russian President Vladimir Putin is somehow controlling Donald Trump, well, even Charlie Rose had stomach problems with that and with Morell’s “explanation.” In the Times op-ed, Morell wrote: “In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation.”

Let the bizarre-ness of that claim sink in, since it is professionally impossible to recruit an agent who is unwitting of being an agent, since an agent is someone who follows instructions from a control officer.

However, since Morell apparently has no evidence that Trump was “recruited,” which would make the Republican presidential nominee essentially a traitor, he throws in the caveat “unwitting.” Such an ugly charge is on par with Trump’s recent hyperbolic claim that President Obama was the “founder” of ISIS.

Looking back at Morell’s record, it was not hard to see all this coming, as Morell rose higher and higher in a system that rewards deserving sycophants. I addressed this five years ago in an article titled “Rise of Another CIA Yes Man.” That piece elicited many interesting comments from senior intelligence officers who knew Morell personally; some of those comments are tucked into the end of the article.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He served as a CIA analyst from the administration of John Kennedy to that of George H.W. Bush, and prepared the President’s Daily Brief for Nixon, Ford, and Reagan. He is a member of the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

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Alors que les tensions augmentent avec la Russie en Europe de l’Est et avec la Chine en Asie, les États-Unis ont lancé une nouvelle guerre en Lybie et préparent des opérations militaires accrues au Moyen-Orient censées viser le groupe État islamique (ÉI) en Iraq et en Syrie.

Lors d’une entrevue avec USA Today, le lieutenant-général Jeffrey Harrigan de l’aviation américaine a confirmé que la coalition dirigée par la États-Unis planifiait des offensives coordonnées contre les deux villes qui sont sous le contrôle de l’ÉI: Mosul dans le nord de l’Irak et Raqqa en Syrie. «Si nous parvenions à mener des opérations simultanées et synchroniser l’affaire Mosul avec l’affaire Raqqa, imaginez le problème que ça poserait à [l’ÉI]», a-t-il déclaré.

Harrigan, qui a récemment pris le commandement des opérations aériennes au Moyen-Orient, a dit que durant les derniers mois, des avions de guerre de la coalition visaient des cibles dans les deux villes. «L’équipe se concentre à rassembler la force de frappe nécessaire pour réaliser cette opération simultanée, parce que nous y voyons d’énormes bénéfices», a-t-il déclaré, faisant référence à la préparation de troupes anti-ÉI en Iraq et en Syrie.

USA Today rapportait que des troupes américaines étaient déjà en opération en Syrie: « Les forces d’opérations spéciales aident à identifier et organiser les groupes rebelles syriens pour en faire une force capable de combattre l’État-Islamique [ÉI]. La force est à présent composée d’environ 30.000 combattants et a déjà remporté de surprenantes victoires, particulièrement autour de la ville de Manbij dans le Nord.»

En Irak, les préparatifs des États-Unis pour reprendre Mosul sont en cours depuis des mois. Mosul est la deuxième ville du pays et contient encore une population de près d’un million d’habitants, malgré un exode de masse. Des forces gouvernementales irakiennes ont pris la base aérienne de Qyyarah le mois dernier, qui se situe 60 kilomètres au sud de Mosul, et qui est en train d’être transformée en centre majeur des opérations pour l’offensive.

Les États-Unis ont amené près de 400 soldats pour effectuer des réparations et fournir des conseils militaires, de la logistique, des communications et des renseignements aux forces terrestres irakiennes, qui ont déjà commencé à prendre des villages et villes au sud de Mosul. Les pistes d’atterrissage sont en train d’être réparées et étendues afin de pouvoir accueillir de plus gros avions de transport de troupes, ainsi que des avions-chasseurs américains et irakiens et des hélicoptères de combat.

Les forces anti-ÉI qui se préparent pour l’offensive de Mosul forment une coalition instable composée de milices kurdes (les peshmergas), de troupes régulières de l’armée irakienne, et des Forces de mobilisation populaire dominées par des chiites et connues pour leurs atrocités contre des civils sunnites durant la bataille de Fallujah. Des inquiétudes concernant la possibilité des combats sectaires et d’abus des droits de l’homme après la reprise de Mosul ont déjà été soulevées.

Le lieutenant-général Sean MacFarland, le commandant en chef américain en Syrie et en Irak, a déclaré cette semaine: «Nous tenterons de reprendre Mosul aussi rapidement que possible. Il s’agit d’un million de personnes qui vivent sous un régime oppresseur et des conditions terribles… Les forces de sécurité irakiennes autour de Qayyarah sont maintenant en position d’entamer ce processus et nous tenterons de l’accélérer autant que possible mais je ne préfère pas donner un échéancier précis.»

MacFarland, qui doit être remplacé, a déclaré que les États-Unis étaient en train de gagner la guerre contre l’ÉI, ayant réduit son territoire de plus de la moitié. «Bien qu’il ne s’agisse pas d’une mesure de succès et qu’il est difficile de le confirmer, nous estimons que dans les 11 derniers mois, nous avons tué environ 25.000 ennemis combattants.» Il n’a pas offert d’estimation du nombre de civils tués lors des combats ou des bombardements aériens des États-Unis.

Le général a également minimisé le rôle des forces militaires américaines, déclarant qu’elles ne jouaient qu’un rôle de « conseil et assistance » à distance et dans des endroits spécifiques. Il est toutefois évident que des troupes américaines sont de plus en plus impliquées sur le front.

Dans un article publié le mois dernier, le Washington Post écrivait: «Si les Forces spéciales américaines agissent déjà à titre de conseil, au plus bas niveau, auprès des troupes d’élite de contre-terrorisme et des peshmergas kurdes, la mission à Qayyarah marque la première fois depuis 2014 que des forces américaines conseillent des bataillons de l’armée irakienne sur le champ de bataille.

Une petite équipe d’ingénieurs de combat américains a accompagné des forces irakiennes le 20 juillet pour encadrer la construction d’un pont temporaire sur le Tigre au sud-ouest de la ville de Qayyarah. D’après le Post, les troupes américaines ont passé quelques heures sur place dans une «mission aux objectifs précis et peu exposée au champ de bataille» – un modèle pour «le rôle restreint que les commandants américains envisagent pour les troupes terrestres dans l’opération à Mosul».

Les généraux américains sont clairement inquiets que la mort de soldats américains n’attise le sentiment anti-guerre aux États-Unis, mais ils n’ont pas exclu d’envoyer des troupes au front. «En privé, d’autres officiers de haut rang sont encore plus francs et font référence aux hommes qu’ils ont perdus lors de déploiements précédents en Irak. Cette fois-ci, ils n’enverront des Américains au front que si la mission plus large est en péril», a fait savoir le journal.

Le lancement de nouvelles offensives en Iraq et en Syrie est également motivé par des calculs politiques. Hillary Clinton et le Parti démocrate attaquent de plus en plus le nominé républicain Donald Trump comme étant inepte pour être le commandant en chef des forces américaines. Une victoire militaire substantielle au Moyen-Orient, peu importe le coût en vies syriennes ou irakiennes, a le potentiel de renforcer Clinton.

Cette question est ouvertement discutée dans des cercles de Washington. Un article sur le site Politico en date du premier août, intitulé «Préparez-vous à une « surprise d’octobre » d’Obama en Iraq», suggère qu’ «une victoire militaire majeure en Irak sous la direction des États-Unis pourrait être servie au public américain cet automne, lorsque les électeurs décident qui sera le prochain président de la nation».

L’article cite des officiers américains anonymes de haut rang qui insistaient pour dire que la date de lancement d’une offensive à Mosul n’était pas liée à la politique, sans toutefois en exclure la possibilité. «Si Mosul est reprise», note l’article «ce serait un triomphe politique pour Barack Obama et profiterait à la nominée de son parti, Hillary Clinton, en réfutant les accusations des républicains que l’administration Obama n’aurait pas été assez ferme contre l’État islamique».

Peter Symonds

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Le régime ukrainien soutenu par l’Occident a annoncé jeudi qu’il mettait ses forces militaires en alerte maximum de combat alors qu’on fait monter les tensions avec la Russie suite à des informations sur une provocation terroriste en Crimée, gouvernée par la Russie.

Pour sa part, Moscou a annoncé des manœuvres dans la mer Noire, où la marine russe s’entraîne à des tactiques pour repousser une attaque de la Crimée.

Le gouvernement ukrainien, qui a envoyé jeudi son ambassadeur aux Nations-Unies afin de prendre la parole sur la question devant le Conseil de sécurité, a accusé la Russie d’avoir massé plus de 40.000 soldats en Crimée et sur la frontière ukrainienne. Comme la Crimée a été dans l’histoire la base de la flotte russe en mer Noire, elle a toujours comporté de nombreuses troupes.

L’ambassadeur de Russie à l’ONU, Vitaly Tchourkine, a rejeté l’accusation, déclarant: «Au lieu de compter nos militaires, ils devraient mettre un terme au conflit » dans l’est de l’Ukraine où les forces du gouvernement de Kiev continuent d’attaquer une minorité russophone séparatiste, causant quelque 10.000 morts depuis avril 2014.

Moscou a accusé le gouvernement ukrainien d’avoir organisé une attaque terroriste visant à frapper l’infrastructure vitale de la Crimée, un territoire que la Russie a annexé après un plébiscite où la population de la péninsule a voté pour une réunion à la Russie. L’action a suivi le coup d’État de février 2014, orchestré par Washington et l’Allemagne et dirigé par des forces ultra-nationalistes et fascistes dans le but d’intensifier la campagne des États-Unis d’encerclement et de subjugation militaire de la Russie.

Un responsable de l’OTAN a déclaré à l’agence de presse AFP que l’alliance militaire conduite par les Etats-Unis suivait avec attention la montée des tensions entre la Russie et l’Ukraine. « L’activité militaire récente de la Russie en Crimée ne contribue pas à apaiser les tensions » a-t-il dit.

La porte-parole du Département d’Etat Elizabeth Trudeau a qualifié la situation de « très dangereuse » et a réitéré la position de Washington, qui est que « la Crimée fait partie de l’Ukraine ».

Tous deux ont rejeté la version russe des faits, que des actes terroristes avaient été menés contre le territoire de la Crimée par un commando d’opérations spéciales organisé par l’Ukraine.

L’agence de sécurité russe FSB a rendu public une déclaration détaillée mercredi disant que les attaques avaient été menées dans la nuit du 6 au 7 août, conduites par la Direction principale du renseignement du ministère ukrainien de la Défense. D’autres tentatives d’infiltration avaient eu lieu le 8 août.

Selon la déclaration, un agent du FSB avait été tué en essayant de détenir les agents ukrainiens, dont l’objet a été décrit comme le ciblage des « infrastructures et des installations critiques de soutien de vie » en Crimée. Un soldat russe aurait également été tué par les tirs des unités militaires ukrainiennes qui comptaient des véhicules blindés appuyant l’opération.

Le FSB a affirmé avoir récupéré « 20 engins explosifs improvisés d’une puissance explosive totale de 40 kg [de] TNT », ainsi que des mines terrestres, des grenades et des armes spéciales d’assaut.

L’agence a également présenté des preuves fournies selon elle par un Ukrainien présenté comme un agent de renseignement militaire ukrainien et un chef des unités d’opérations spéciales, identifié comme Yevgeniy Aleksandrovich Panov.

Le premier ministre de la Crimée Sergei Aksyonov, a porté l’accusation que la source réelle des opérations terroristes était Washington. « Les responsables ukrainiens n’auraient pas osé de telles actions … Ce ne sont pas leurs propres actions et messages, » a-t-il dit, ajoutant: « derrière eux, il y a le Département d’Etat américain ».

Il y a toutes raisons de soupçonner qu’il en est ainsi. La provocation en Crimée survient au milieu d’une escalade continue dans le langage et les mesures américaines contre la Russie. Les États-Unis ont intensifié leur armement et leur financement des milices liées à Al-Qaïda en Syrie pour tenter d’inverser les victoires des forces gouvernementales étroitement soutenues par l’aviation russe. Le 1er août, les djihadistes soutenus par les USA ont abattu un hélicoptère russe en mission de secours, tuant les cinq personnes à son bord. Dans les médias, d’anciens hauts responsables et chroniqueurs ayant des relations étroites avec le gouvernement ont appelé à des frappes aériennes américaines contre les forces soutenues par la Russie et l’imposition d’une « zone d’exclusion aérienne » ce qui ne manquerait pas de signifier un affrontement avec l’aviation russe.

En Ukraine même, Washington a œuvré pour renforcer l’armée du régime droitier en crise de Kiev dirigé par l’oligarque Petro Porochenko. Une unité américaine de 500 hommes est actuellement sur place dans l’ouest de l’Ukraine formant des forces ukrainiennes, dont les membres des milices dirigées par les fascistes, tandis que des centaines, voire des milliers d’autres membres du personnel militaire et d’entrepreneurs militaires américains se relaient dans le pays. Le mois dernier, la marine américaine a rejoint des navires de guerre ukrainiens dans les exercices « Sea Breeze » visant à défier la Russie dans la mer Noire. En juillet, le secrétaire d’Etat américain John Kerry a visité l’Ukraine pour des entretiens avec Porochenko, où il a réitéré le soutien de Washington aux revendications du régime de Kiev concernant la Crimée.

Les tensions militaires dangereuses entre l’Ukraine et la Russie ont été déclenchées alors que dans la campagne électorale américaine, la favorite présidentielle, la candidate démocrate et ex-secrétaire d’Etat Hillary Clinton tente d’attaquer depuis la droite le candidat républicain fascisant Donald Trump, en particulier sur la question de la Russie.

Les démocrates ont organisé contre Trump une campagne de type maccarthyste, l’accusant d’être une marionnette de Vladimir Poutine, tout en accusant sans preuves le président russe d’être derrière la diffusion par WikiLeaks de courriels du Comité national du Parti démocrate exposant ses tentatives de truquer les primaires contre le sénateur Bernie Sanders, le rival de Clinton.

On a entre autre accusé la campagne de Trump – sans substance, encore une fois – d’« édulcorer » le langage de la plate-forme républicaine sur l’Ukraine. La plate-forme, en fait, attaque le gouvernement Obama pour aider à une « résurgence de la Russie », soutient des sanctions contre Moscou et appelle à « une aide appropriée aux forces armées de l’Ukraine ». La plainte était que la plate-forme omettait de mentionner qu’on leur fournirait des « armes létales », ce que l’administration Obama elle-même affirme ne pas faire.

Le fait que Clinton attaque ces politiques depuis la droite, avec un soutien croissant de personnages clés de l’appareil militaire et du renseignement ainsi que d’un nombre croissant de décideurs politiques républicains, constitue un net avertissement. Des préparatifs sont en cours pour une confrontation militaire directe avec la Russie en Europe de l’Est, des provocations comme celles montées en Crimée servant de déclencheur probable. Qu’une telle escalade dangereuse du conflit, impliquant deux des grandes puissances nucléaires, soit reportée jusqu’après novembre n’est en rien évident.

Bill Van Auken

Article paru en anglais, WSWS, le 12 août 2016

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L’Empire se lézarde

août 13th, 2016 by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

Si vous vous demandez quelles sont les raisons de tous ces actes de terrorisme en France et en Allemagne, voici la réponse.

Washington a rendu le prix à payer pour faire partie de son Empire un peu trop élevé. Les États vassaux tels que la France et l’Allemagne ont commencé à mettre en place une politique étrangère indépendante envers la Russie. Regardant son Empire se lézarder, Washington a décidé de terroriser ses vassaux pour les ramener dans le droit chemin. Ainsi, les attaques terroristes auxquelles nous assistons en France et en Allemagne sont très probablement des répliques de l’Opération Gladio.

La politique de Washington envers la Russie, que Washington a imposé à tous les États européens, ne profite à personne si ce n’est à une poignée d’idéologues américains connus sous le nom de néoconservateurs. Les néoconservateurs sont des psychopathes en phase avancée, qui sont tout à fait disposés à détruire la planète, dans leur quête de suprématie américaine.

Une délégation des membres de l’Assemblée nationale et du Sénat français s’est rendue le 28 juillet 2016 en Crimée, pour participer à la Journée de la Marine russe. Thierry Mariani, le député français qui menait cette délégation, a fait un discours devant le Parlement de Crimée, et expliqué qu’il n’existe aucune raison pour que la France continue de soutenir les sanctions illégales imposées à la Russie par Washington.

Comme le décrit la Strategic Culture Foundation, il s’agit là «d’un courant qui est en train de se mettre en place en Europe».

«Le 8 juin, le Sénat français a voté massivement pour exiger du gouvernement une réduction progressive des sanctions économiques sur la Russie, au regard d’une opposition croissante à travers toute l’Europe à ces mesures punitives. L’Assemblée nationale française a voté à la fin du mois d’avril en faveur d’une levée de ces sanctions.»Voir ici.

Des hommes politiques en Italie, Belgique et à Chypre sont en train de s’engager sur la même voie. Des hommes politiques en Grèce et en Hongrie commencent eux aussi à questionner la validité de ces sanctions.

Donald Trump prend le même chemin, et c’est la raison pour laquelle la presse prostituée américaine essaie de le discréditer et de l’éliminer de la course à la présidence des États-Unis.

Les sites internet démocrates répandent les rumeurs selon lesquelles Trump n’aurait jamais eu l’intention de remporter la nomination du Parti républicain. Que son objectif aurait été d’arriver second sur les listes. Que sa campagne n’était qu’une campagne de relations publiques au service de sa notoriété personnelle, pour l’aider dans ses affaires. Mais que lui et ses conseillers auraient mal apprécié le désenchantement de l’électorat américain pour l’élite traditionnelle, et que Trump aurait remporté la nomination malgré lui.

Ces mêmes sites démocrates expliquent aujourd’hui que Trump essaie de se rendre impopulaire en critiquant les familles de héros de guerre américains de confession musulmane, et les femmes qui choisissent d’avorter, pour pouvoir se retirer de la course, permettant ainsi à la Convention nationale des Républicains de sélectionner un autre candidat qui pourra tenir tête à Hitlery Clinton, et constituer un candidat acceptable pour les oligarques au pouvoir et la presse-tituée médiatique.

Étant donne l’état de dégénérescence avancé de l’Amérique, ces manigances sont bien possibles.

Mais pour le moment, nous nous devons d’en douter et de le mettre sur le compte de l’effort généralisé pour faire échouer Trump et son électorat. Le Mal qui règne sur l’Amérique est déterminé par son effort à mettre un de ses fidèles serviteurs à la Maison Blanche, et ce serviteur est aujourd’hui Hitlery Clinton.

Paul Craig Roberts

Article original : Fissures in the Empire, 5 août 2016

Traduit par Laurent Schiaparelli, édité par Wayan, relu par nadine pour Le Saker Francophone

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«L’Europe ne dit pas ce qu’elle fait; elle ne fait pas ce qu’elle dit. Elle dit ce qu’elle ne fait pas; elle fait ce qu’elle ne dit pas. Cette Europe qu’on nous construit, c’est une Europe en trompe-l’oeil.»

Pierre Bourdieu


Cette citation de Bourdieu à propos de l’errance de l’Union Européenne et de la cacophonie a une étrange similitude avec le pensé et l’impensé des élites arabes occidentalisées obligées chaque fois de voir d’où vient le vent et s’adapter pour rester en surface et ne pas déplaire à la main qui les  nourrit. Si  cette allégeance imposée mais non écrite est devenue un automatisme, elle ne leur apporte pas pour autant la reconnaissance et surtout le respect. En Occident, ils n’acceptent l’allogène, tout au plus ils le tolèrent tant qu’il ne sort pas des clous et malheureusement ils n’ont pour ces élites qu’un solide mépris .

La meilleure preuve est qu’on  ne leur demande pas leur avis sur la politique interne de la France qui devrait les intéresser , telle que par exemple, la manif pour tous, la Loi El Khomri, Les lois qui restreignent les libertés individuelles, leurs avis sur les bienfaits de la Gauche sur les promesses de la Droite et de ses extrêmes. A l’évidence ces débats ne sont pas pour eux, d’autant que ces messieurs se tiennent sagement en périphérie tentant de passer à travers les gouttes de pluie. Un parcours du combattant fait de compromission qui font qu’à la fin ils ne savent plus ce qu’ils sont d’autant que se prévalant d’une certaine aura importée et légitimée par les biens pensants en France, ils n’apportent pas de valeur ajoutée , et  pour la grande majorité d’entre eux ils vont plus loin ils dénigrent leur pays d’origine d’une façon  courageuse embusquée derrière un verre au quartier latin. Triste sort que le leur.

A leur  décharges es élites souffrent dans leurs grandes majorités du  impensé du complexe du colonisé dont a si bien parlé  Albert Memmi. Le logiciel implicite de la soumission intellectuelle est toujours intact il est là pour leur indiquer les lignes rouges à ne pas dépasser, les sujets qui fâchent à éviter… De ce fait, la haine de soi c’est ainsi que l’on peut qualifier les positions à géométrie variable des élites arabes installées  en Occident et sommées de réagir selon un deal invisible, non écrit pour gloser et pis encore pour porter atteinte d’une façon ou d’une autre à leur paléo-identité arabe, voire religieuse. Régulièrement, ils écrivent sur commande pour faire allégeance et d’une certaine façon faire partie de ce qu’on appelle les bons Arabes éclairés par les «Lumières» comme au bon vieux temps des colonies.

Ce qui me fait réagir est l’hallali entretenue à cause de tueurs qui ont endeuillé la France en 2015-2016, notamment l’attentat abject de Nice. Si nous devons avoir une réelle empathie devant toutes ces vies fauchées sans distinction -il y avait une trentaine de confession musulmane-  C’est un fait que le courage  voire l’honnêteté intellectuelle de ces bons Arabes ne va pas jusqu’à – au-delà de la compassion tout à fait naturelle- tenter de décrire les prémices de ces attentats et dire à la face du monde et en pleine conscience qu’il n’y a pas de fumée sans feu. Rien de tout cela. Au contraire ces  brillants intellectuels autoproclamés font assaut d’allégeance usent et abusent pour les besoins de la cause de tout ce qui peut les valoriser quitte à renier leur identité originelle , à insulter une espérance d’un milliard et demi  de personnes, sans discernement en les mettant tous dans la même charrette.

Ainsi,  il y a ceux qui comparent les terroristes aux icônes de la révolution algérienne, rien que cela! Il y a ceux qui font dans la haine de soi en chargeant les Arabes et les musulmans – ils s’oublient au passage- de psychopathes par qui Cologne est arrivé.

Il y a aussi ceux qui intiment aux Arabes à bien se tenir – comme l’avait fait Roger Cukierman président du Crif suite aux élections gagnées par Jean-Marie Le Pen- sinon ils auraient vocation à quitter ce beau pays qu’est la France, mettant dans le même sac pour les besoins de la cause son propre vécu d’émigré et la situation de Français musulmans nés sur le sol français et pour qui la France est leur patrie.

Il y a encore ceux qui s’attaquent d’une façon violente aux fondements de l’islam traitant cette religion de fascisme vert comme le proclame le prophète paléo-égyptien installé confortablement et courageusement en Allemagne avec une panzer division pour le protéger.

Il y a enfin l’intellectuel lisse sans aspérités qui prône un Islam de salon laïco-compatible qui veut gagner sur tous les fronts, qui dans la plus pure tradition du y a-qu’à, à distance, naturellement fait injonction pour sortir de la glaciation actuelle.

Qu’on se le dise  les autorités n’ont, à ma connaissance- au moment par exemple du débat sur la création du CFCM  sous le ministre Chevènement  pas fait appel à un avis éclairé . Il en est de même des médias main stream  qui n’ont pas  interviewé  le regretté Mohamed Arkoun qui nous a quitté il y a six ans de cela, professeur émérite à Paris III Sorbonne , islamologue connue et reconnue par ses pairs qui dans ses écrits de  haute facture intellectuelle avait décortiqué le malaise de l’Islam en face de la modernité en parlant de « clôture dogmatique. « Aux  bâtisseurs de clôtures dogmatiques, comme il les nommait, il reprochait  cette mission presque sacrée qu’ils se donnent en se contentant de mémoriser et de reproduire à l’infini et à tous les siècles, sans exigences intellectuelles rigoureuses et minutieuses, des textes anciens. En somme, se contentant de produire du «taqlid»,( imitation des anciens sans apport nouveau)  sans innovation aucune, faute de compétences, et de surcroît, se proclamer «chaykh» (lettré) parmi une population analphabète »(1)

Justement et à contrario  des intellectuels précédents et  dans la droite ligne  des Mohamed Arkoun, Kateb Yacine Moulond Feraoun,  Mouloud Mammeri, Mohamed Dib. je rapporterai aussi la position scientifiquement honnête d’un intellectuel de notre point de vue autrement plus lucide. Cet intellectuel Rachid Boudjedra, n’est pas  pas en odeur de sainteté par les biens-pensants en France, ce qui lui ferme toutes les portes des Goncourt et autres hochets inventés par la doxa occidentale pour dociliser ses élites, mais qui lui ouvre plus que jamais droit à la reconnaissance des sans-voix

Dans ce maelstrom où les citoyen Français lambda nés musulmans pratiquants ou non,  sont assignés à constamment expier la faute commise par d’autres français pour des causes multiples dont on veut pas en parler au premier rang desquelles on trouve l’ostracisme, le chômage, l’exclusion de l’école, la ghettoïsation dans des territoires que la République qui a perdu sa mission d’intégration,   a abandonnés les laissant aux vents mauvais de la tentation extrême. Naturellement  rien n’excuse une attaque terroriste mais les faits sont là.  Car ces Français musulmans sont tous mis dans le même sac par un martelage des médias à qui on dit qu’on est en guerre sous-entendu contre vous? A qui on dit implicitement que  vous n’en faites pas assez pour mériter d’être français. Ils ont beau faire assaut de bonne volonté et aller prier d’une façon naturelle dans les églises par compassion, il n’empêche qu’ils sont marqués au rouge et leur avenir est sombre. Ils ne peuvent éviter qu’à leur encontre les amalgames seront légion.

Religions et «idéologies meurtrières»

Dans un écrit objectif et cohérent, Henri Tinq explique que les religions du «Livre ont le même soubassement.  L’extrémisme musulman, n’est donc pas une singularité». Nous l’écoutons: «Dans les pays arabes, les rêves de liberté et de démocratie ont sombré dans le terrorisme islamiste le plus barbare. En réseau ou isolés, de jeunes djihadistes puisent dans la lettre du Coran une irrépressible haine de soi et des Autres. Le plus souvent réduites -très injustement- à leurs expressions fanatiques, les religions «monothéistes», improprement appelées «religions du Livre», à distinguer de l’hindouisme et du bouddhisme qui ont aussi leurs extrémistes, sont réunies sur le même banc d’infamie. On verra que si le «sacré» a toujours produit de la violence, de tout temps aussi, l’homme a instrumentalisé le «sacré» pour justifier et légitimer sa propre violence. Les «guerres saintes» n’ont jamais eu d’autre but que de mobiliser les ressources spirituelles pour une prétendue noble cause…» (2)

La responsabilité des Occidentaux

Le soir même de l’attaque terroriste  de Nice par un psychopathe qui n’a de rapport avec l’Islam que son nom. Car ce n’est ni son comportement ni  sa connaissance de l’Islam qui l’aurait amené à commettre un acte aussi abject, on apprend qu’en signe de représailles  les avions français bombardaient Daesh en Syrie. Résultat: plus de 150 morts civils; la Syrie a protesté en vain au Conseil de sécurité. Les médias français ont naturellement zappé cela, les enfants les femmes syriens ne méritent pas de compassion. Mieux que cela, on déclare que Djebhet Nosra qui «faisait du bon bouleau» est terroriste mais les Occidentaux continuent à soutenir les mouvements terroristes à Alep. « l’Occident lit-on dans une contribution  fait sa guerre dans le silence, presque honteusement. Les grands médias tentent bien d’applaudir les petits exploits des terroristes, mais seulement du bout des lèvres. Ils ne peuvent pas s’en empêcher, mais ne peuvent pas non plus encenser trop ouvertement ceux que leurs gouvernements ont condamnés officiellement comme responsables des attentats de Nice, (…) Les deux programmes, L’islamophobie dans le monde occidental d’un côté, et la conquête du Levant de l’autre, ne semblent plus vouloir fonctionner sans couacs.» (3)

Les allégeances coupables

Naturellement tous les biens pensants je veux parler des élites dites arabes occidentalisées se sont fendus d’interventions laudatives où on sent le mea culpa et la  tentative vaine disculpation   et au passage prendre leur distance avec ces Arabes –comme eux- et ses musulmans – en tout cas classés comme eux- par les pouvoirs et les opinions françaises. Ces démarches vaines nous rappellent la citation de Sartre à propos du mensonge qui ne tiendrait qu’à toute vitesse, obligeant comme  il le dit en  prenant l’exemple de la bicyclette, le concerné  à constamment pédaler pour ne pas tomber. Mutatis mutandis ces élites qui ont rompu les amarres avec leurs racines pour une poignée de dollars ou d’euros, sont en fait en apesanteur identitaire. Ils ne seront jamais accepté par le pays d’accueil du fait qu’ils on trahi leur identité originelle  et par le pays d’où ils viennent qui à leur égard un solide mépris ,car si l’ambition de la réussite et la recherche d’un mieux être est tout à fait légitime, il est scandaleux de le faire en « vendant » son identité originelle. Dire, comme l’a fait maladroitement Boualem Sansal que les terroristes en France utilisent les mêmes techniques que les dirigeants de la bataille d’Alger, c’est tenter de démonétiser des icones

Dans le même ordre de la disculpation Tahar Ben Djelloun s’est fendu d’un texte dans Le Monde du 30 juillet. Il demande en gros aux musulmans de se tenir à carreau ou de faire leurs valises. Dans une réponse percutante, l’écrivain Mabrouck Rachedi répond à la lettre de Tahar ben Jelloun qui fait injonction aux musulmans de rentrer dans le moule ou de rentrer chez eux même s’ils sont nés en France.

Il écrit:

«Dans Le Monde daté du samedi 30 juillet, Tahar Ben Jelloun écrit une lettre aux musulmans.  M.Ben Jelloun souhaite dégager L’islam des griffes de Daesh. Le véritable échec serait dans une absence de réaction des citoyens français, en particulier musulmans: la mobilisation, des musulmans et autres, je la vois tous les jours autour de moi. Certains sont plus visibles que d’autres: tout le monde n’a pas la chance d’avoir accès à des tribunes médiatiques comme M.Ben Jelloun, M.Ben Jelloun énumère la liste des devoirs des musulmans dont le premier: «Nous devons renoncer à tous les signes provocants d’appartenance à la religion de Mahomet. Nous n’avons pas besoin de couvrir nos femmes comme des fantômes noirs qui font peur aux enfants dans la rue.» » (4)

« M. Ben Jelloun va plus loin: «Nous n’avons pas le droit de laisser faire des criminels qui ont décidé que leur vie n’a plus d’importance et qu’ils l’offrent à Daesh.» Est-ce à dire que «nous» laissons faire des criminels? L’accusation de passivité est non seulement injuste, mais aussi dangereuse, parce qu’elle rend les musulmans responsables d’actes dont M.Ben Jelloun reconnaît qu’ils sont aussi parmi les victimes. Si «nous» regardions passivement ce qui se trame devant nous, «nous» serions déjà complices de ces assassins. M.Ben Jelloun finit sa lettre par «sinon il ne nous restera plus qu’à faire nos valises et retourner dans le pays natal». J’ai peur que M. Ben Jelloun emprunte aux discours de certains partis politiques peu fréquentables. Faut-il lui rappeler que des millions de musulmans sont nés en France? Mon pays natal, c’est la France. Je réponds à M. Ben Jelloun en tant que Français (…)» (4)

Le texte de Ben Jelloun me rappelle les contorsions d’un autre intellectuel maghrébin Abdelwahab Meddeb qui a été décoré par Ben Ali et qui devint révolutionnaire en 2011 quand le vent a tourné. Alain Gresh nous en parle: «(;..) Ce qui est frappant dans l’ouvrage, c’est sa «pudeur» concernant ses positions sur le régime de Ben Ali. Dans son ouvrage Contre-prêches (2006), il consacre une chronique à la Tunisie:

«Lorsqu’on se promène à Tunis dans cette atmosphère d’amitié entre les sexes, on se dit que la solution est simple, que le remède à la maladie [de L’islam] est à portée de main, (…) Mais on se demande aussi pourquoi l’exemple tunisien n’est pas davantage connu, pourquoi il ne constitue pas une référence (sic), pourquoi il ne s’érige pas lui-même en modèle (re-sic). Dans son best-seller, La Maladie de l’islam, Abdelwahab Meddeb se livre ainsi à un véritable hymne à la Tunisie sous le Protectorat français, «Il faut le reconnaître, le modèle européen dans lequel j’ai grandi, celui qui émane des Lumières françaises et qui m’a formé, à travers un enseignement franco-arabe, n’est plus attractif. […] J’ai assisté dans mon enfance (dans les années 1950), dans cette citadelle de l’islam qu’est la médina de Tunis, au dévoilement des femmes au nom de l’occidentalisation et de la modernité; cela a concerné les femmes, les filles et les soeurs des docteurs de la Loi qui tenaient chaire dans la millénaire université théologique de la Zitouna» Cette célébration de ´´l’islam des Lumières´´ pense Geisser, (cité par Alain Gresh) évoque parfois les accents fortement assimilationnistes de certaines élites indigènes profrançaises pendant la période coloniale. Abdelwahab Meddeb n’hésite pas à se réclamer ouvertement du penseur nationaliste Ernest Renan:«C’est ce désir qui m’a fait choisir la communauté française, où je continue d’entretenir ma généalogie islamique et de la croiser avec mon autre généalogie européenne. Ainsi l’hérité et le choisi se combinent à l’intérieur d’un seul et même être.» (5)

Kamel Daoud que nous avons connu plus inspiré dans ces billets au Journal « Le Quotidien d’Oran lui aussi s’est adonné à un filon porteur en terme de visibilité en France : Taper sur les Arabes et sur les Musulmans. Il dit en gros que les Arabes sont des psychopathes des malades   et que c’est dans leur nature. En  clair il les désigne à la vindicte occidentale et au passage, il faut rendre hommage à  la chancelière Merkel de ne pas hurler avec les loups et d’être pragmatique bien que tout sera fait, notamment par les médias pour l’entrainer dans un unanimisme justicier contre les Musulmans et les Arabes.

Pourtant ces  attaques ad hominem  contre les Arabes sont  injustes . Dans tout peuple il y a des extrêmes et des extrêmistes. les peuples que l’on dit civilisé ont aussi des cadavres dans le placard. Comment peut on qualifier le psychopathe danois- d’un pays réputé  pour l’éducation de sa population-  de l’extrême droite qui s’assume nazi et qui a  fauché la vie de plusieurs dizaines de jeunes ? la bestialité a accompagné la nature humaine et les référents à titre d’exemple sur la civilisation grecque mère de l’Europe a elle aussi ses zones d’ombre; Ainsi si cela se confirmait une étude récente de juillet 2016 nous apprend que les Grecs pratiquaient le cannibalisme et le sacrifice des enfants deux prouesses que l’on pensait consubstantielles de sauvages et des barbares..suivez mon regard !

Jacques Marie -Bourget analysant justement le texte injuste de Kamel Daoud sur la propension des Arabes, dont il fait partie, à être des psychopathes s’oubliant au passage et que c’est la nature humaine qu’il devrait insulter en général écrit:

«Toute la France qui pense bien est tombée amoureuse de Kamel Daoud, un Algérien qui a le courage d’écrire la vérité sur les Arabes et autres musulmans. C’est-à-dire que ces êtres humains sont à vomir, la lie de la terre. Ahmed Bensaâda, dans son livre «Cologne contre-enquête» nous montre le visage du vrai Daoud, ennemi des Palestiniens et lui-même ancien barbu. Cet essai est remarquable. (…), un nommé Kamel Daoud va être recyclé par les élites de Paris qui en fait une tête de gondole. Voilà un nouveau héros, martyr d’une fatwa en peau de lapin. Après avoir été lui-même, jusqu’au moment de la fondation du Front islamique du salut, un barbu affirmé, il dit qu’il n’y pouvait rien, qu’à l’époque il n’a pas vu s’organiser les «fascistes» verts, (…) Voilà le livre d’Ahmed Bensaâda. Il nous dit que, même pour l’incurable athée que je suis, insulter des peuples au nom de leur religion supposée est un crime ». (6)

Un autre intellectuel dont la fetwa laique tourne en boucle est Hamed Abdel-Samad qui trouve intéressant 2084 : la fin du monde de Boualem Sansal Pour lui  l’islamisme est présent dans la naissance même de l’islam » son essai polémique « Le Fascisme islamique » est naturellement comme du pain béni en Allemagne et en France Hamed Abdel-Samad montre que la violence est consubstantielle à l’islam, même s’il reconnaît que le Coran peut aussi être lu dans sa dimension « éthique » et « spirituelle Fils d’imam et ancien membre des Frères musulmans dans sa jeunesse,  figure médiatique de la critique de l’islam en Allemagne , ce qui lui a valu d’avoir des gardes corps..  Il déclare je ne me considère ni comme musulman ni comme ancien musulman. Je suis convaincu qu’un être humain ne devrait pas se définir, positivement ou négativement, à travers une religion. Je suis critique envers l’islam, comme envers toutes les religions en général. Ce qui m’a fait prendre conscience de ça, c’est que j’ai grandi dans une société où on ne pouvait pas exprimer ses pensées clairement. (…). Vous pouvez lire ça dans le Coran, où les musulmans sont considérés comme la meilleure communauté n’ayant jamais existé. Allah leur donne une responsabilité particulière d’être ses représentants sur terre. Vous avez ça aussi dans le fascisme : « Nous sommes la race supérieure. » Deuxième point commun : la culture de la mort. Dans les deux idéologies, la mort est glorifiée, car la vie et l’individu ne comptent pas. Ce qui est important, c’est la nation ou la religion. Troisième parallèle : l’idée de combat, le Kampf en allemand et le djihad en arabe. Vous ne vous battez pas pour vivre, mais vous vivez pour vous battre. Le combat, en lui-même est une fin en soi, et pas seulement un moyen pour atteindre des buts politiques. Quatrième point commun : l’idée d’ennemis intérieurs et extérieurs. Pour les nazis, l’ennemi à l’extérieur, c’est l’Ouest, et à l’intérieur, les juifs et l’extrême gauche. Pour les islamistes, c’est les autres. Il y a d’abord eu les juifs, les chrétiens ou les non-croyants dans le Coran, puis ont suivi les croisés, les colonialistes et aujourd’hui l’Occident dans son ensemble. communauté religieuse où vous ne pouvez pas exprimer vos doutes ». (7)

La réalité des choses Pour un débat serein

On le voit, les auteurs cités – il y en a d’autres!- n’essaient pas de comprendre les raisons premières. A la place de ce syndrome auto-culpabilisant, je préfère les mots de Rachid Boudjedra sur les prémices de cette anomie mondiale. Nous l’écoutons:

«Après la défaite de l’armée nationale afghane, soutenue par l’armée soviétique appelée en renfort par le président Najibullah au milieu des années 1980, l’armée américaine va s’installer en Afghanistan pour chasser les taliban. Rambo est arrivé! Mais, après trente ans de guerre, le résultat américain est égal à zéro. Et c’est de l’Afghanistan des taliban et avec les dollars saoudiens que les terroristes algériens, formés à tuer à Kaboul et à Peshawar, ont déferlé sur l’Algérie dès le début des années 1990. L’Algérie a été ainsi le premier pays à être le laboratoire de la CIA et du roi d’Arabie pour mettre à l’épreuve cette arme nouvelle, le terrorisme islamiste. L’Algérie, durant dix ans, a été le premier pays à être dévasté par le terrorisme, dans l’indifférence des puissances occidentales, la France à leur tête ».(8)

« C’était  poursuit Rachid Boudjedra l’époque de Mitterrand qui a cru prendre sa revanche sur l’Algérie qui a défait la France en 1962. Ce sont ses services qui ont créé la fable du «Qui-tue-qui?», qui ont innocenté les islamistes pour affirmer et aboyer pendant une dizaine d’années que les coupables des crimes atroces commis par les terroristes algériens étaient l’oeuvre de l’armée algérienne. Aujourd’hui, Mitterrand est mort, le terrorisme islamiste aussi (en Algérie), mais il s’est propagé en Europe et aux États-Unis. Et nous ne disons pas: «Qui tue qui?» Et nous ne nous réjouissons pas de ces massacres odieux parce que nous disons que l’Occident avec son Otan, sa CIA et ses États-Unis, a semé et sème les guerres partout (la haine d’un Hollande contre Bachar Al Assad est de l’ordre pathologique!) et depuis toujours. Et il ne fait que récolter une énorme tempête. Ce sont les pouvoirs politiques occidentaux qui sont – d’abord – responsables des massacres odieux que vivent leurs citoyens. Eux, ces responsables, qui ont pendu Najibullah à un arbre dans une ruelle de Kaboul. Eux qui ont pendu Saddam. Eux qui ont massacré à mort Kadhafi à coups de pierres. Eux qui n’ont pas compris que l’Histoire n’oublie jamais. Ce que nous voulons, nous, pacifistes et progressistes du monde, c’est que la notion même de guerre soit à jamais abolie.»(8)

Ce que je crois

Les constructions intellectuelles fictives de ces planqués qui vivent dans des bulles bien au chaud ne savent pas ce que c’est que la terreur. A la première alerte, pour la plupart, ils sont allés rejoindre la mère-patrie des droits de l’homme à géométrie variable. Certains autres ont pris sur le tard le train de la reddition intellectuelle et de la défaite de la vraie pensée, leur islam soft, docile, sans aspérités en France comme un fonds de commerce, ne sert à rien. Ils n’ont pas de mon point de vue l’honnêteté intellectuelle, à l’instar d’un Rachid Boudjedra de dire les quatre vérités et expliquer qu’au lieu de traiter les effets il faut remonter aux causes. Les quartiers sensibles, devenus par la grâce des boutefeux des zones de non-droit, puis des territoires perdus de la République, qu’un ancien ministre de l’Intérieur promettait d’aseptiser au Karcher.

Ce sont pourtant des enfants de la République victimes de tous les maux de la société, la mal-vie, les perditions scolaires, le chômage et l’horrible plafond de verre qui fait que même si vous christianisez votre nom cela ne passe pas, vous êtes rendus à votre condition de bougnoule au premier contrôle récurrent de délit de faciès. L’islam est devenu un thème vendeur. Très vendeur même. L’islam a bon dos. L’islamisme est une construction idéologique occidentale dont les buts sont connus. Instaurer partout un néolibéralisme sans état d’âme, s’emparer du pétrole, pour cela reformater le Moyen-Orient, cent ans après Sykes-Picot.

S’agissant de ces élites expatriées qui pensent qu’il faut se démonétiser pour avoir l’agrément des pays d’accueil heureusement qu’ils ne sont pas légion. L’immense majorité de la diaspora si elle indignée par le retard  scientifique de l’Algérie. Le fait d’avoir  une seconde nationalité d’un pays dans lequel ils essaient d’être des citoyens modèles ne les empêchent pas d’avoir l’Algérie dans leur cœur  Je peux témoigner que des centaines d’Algériens ne demandent qu’à aider de là où ils sont à donner aux pays qui les a vu naitre  leur savoir leur savoir faire et toute l’expérience qu’ils ont acquises.

Pour combattre l’islamisme il faut commencer par s’attaquer à l’ignorance là ou elle est sans relâche. Certes , malgré le fait que l’on puisse paraitre, en Algérie  blasé 200.000 morts plus tard,  on ne s’habituera jamais à ces morts atroces, surtout celle des innocents. On ne peut que désapprouver les attaques terroristes comme également les manipulations, les auto flagellations «payantes» démonétisent les peuples et s’attaquent à L’islam pour quelques euros de plus. Dans le Coran, c’est la tolérance qui est recommandée ce verset «lakoum dinakoum oua lia dini», «vous avez votre religion, j’ai la mienne».

Seule l’éducation à marche forcée et les sciences pourront permettre à L’islam de donner la pleine mesure de son talent. Il faut pour cela que les musulmans soient gouvernés par des élites légitimement élues qui n’instrumentent pas la religion. Il faut que ces élites contribuent par le savoir à un nécessaire aggiornamento in situ par les élites.

L’islam devrait tenir compte des autres spiritualités de 5,5 milliards d’individus et trouver un vivre ensemble où chacune des religions apporte une part d’espérance car les vraies causes pour lesquelles il faut se mobiliser c’est comment donner un fondement éthique aux conquêtes de la science et trouver par exemple une réponse cohérente à ceux tentés de créer les premières cellules de vie prélude à la création humaine ou encore l’immortalité telle que nous la promet la science pour 2045.

Professeur Chems Eddine Chitour

Ecole Polutechnique









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Throwing Thailand Into A Hybrid War Tumult

août 13th, 2016 by Andrew Korybko

(Please read Part IPart IIPart III,  Part IV  , and Part V before this article)

Thailand is the most crucial country in mainland ASEAN’s current geopolitical framework, bringing together the infrastructural interests of China, India, and Japan, and also being a sizzling political battleground between the US and China. It has a strong and stable economy (the largest in ASEAN behind Indonesia), and its centrally positioned population of nearly 70 million people outnumbers those in neighboring Laos, Cambodia, and the eastern region of Myanmar. With centuries of rich history behind it, Thailand is also one of the region’s civilizational leaders, but unlike contemporary Laos and Cambodia, it actually has the means with which to project its soft power and promote its political interests abroad. Ironically, however, just as much as the idea of civilization is a potentially unifying element for Thai society, it could also lead to its ultimate unravelling if this three-pronged concept is undermined in any significant way. Should naturally occurring, provoked, and/or manufactured factors negatively impact on the monarchy, military, and/or the idea of Central Thai-led “Thaification”, then Thailand could easily slide into a period of internal pandemonium that might reverse its leading regional status, subvert some or all of its planned transnational integrational projects, and might even lead to its partial territorial disintegration.

The geopolitical significance of Thailand cannot be overstated. The country’s dual maritime and mainland identities allow it to exert influence in either direction, and by tangential extent, so too can its premier allies. For decades, the US had used Thailand as a springboard for promoting its unipolar interests deeper into the heart of mainland ASEAN, but with Prime Minister Prayun Chan-o-cha’s decisive pivot towards China, Beijing can now reversely utilize its strategic advances in the country in order to acquire unrestricted access to the Indian Ocean. Furthermore, China isn’t the only country that has identified Thailand’s geopolitical potential, since both India and Japan are partnering with it in order to construct their own transnational connective infrastructure projects, the ASEAN Highway and the East-West Corridor, respectively. In the case of the latter two, their combined projects create the possibility of linking both of the Indochinese Peninsula’s coasts, which would of course complicate China’s multilateral economic diplomacy with the subregion via the ASEAN Silk Road. Finally, Thailand is a distinct civilizational center in mainland Southeast Asia that has previously been a force of strength and stability, and the undermining of its unifying identity of Thaification and its structural support mechanisms of the military and monarchy, no matter in which manner this may be, could create a burst of chaotic energy that collapses Thailand’s multipolar bridgehead potential and converts it into a geopolitical sinkhole.

The book’s research on Thailand begins by commencing a speedy overview of the country’s history, regretfully glossing over some of the finer elements of its past in favor of offering a concise synopsis most pertinent to the topic at hand. The work then identifies Thailand’s leading historical themes and explains their relevancy to the present. The final part of the study elaborates on the three interlaced Hybrid War threats afflicting Thailand and games out various scenarios for how they could unfold.

Building “The Land Of Smiles”

Regional Engagement And Territorial Retreat:

The modern-day territory of Thailand has historically played a very influential role in regional affairs, either as an important component of other empires (the Khmer Empire, Lan Xang, and the Burmese Toungoo and Konbaung Dynasties) or a center of power in its own right (the Rattanakosin Kingdom). Whether it was on the receiving or promoting end of regional influence, its centrally positioned location made it indispensable in facilitating engagement between the various powers and peoples of mainland Southeast Asia, and this geopolitical constant has remained in force up until the present. Furthermore, Thailand’s role was heightened by the “mandala” model of political relations that prevailed prior to the region’s colonial period, which saw civilizational cores radiating their influence and authority, sometimes even with geographically overlapping results with neighboring rivals. The interests of Burma (as scholars casually refer to what is now known as Myanmar during that time), Lan Xang, and the Khmer Empire thus intersected over contemporary Thai territory and the “mandala” of Ayutthaya (located north of Bangkok), stimulating a unique centuries-long civilizational engagement between these diverse actors and underlining the hub role that Thailand has traditionally fulfilled.

Ayutthaya Kingdom

Ayutthaya Kingdom

To begin describing some general points of Thai history, the modern-day state’s progenerator was the Ayutthaya Kingdomthat existed from 1351-1767, and just like the Rattanakosin Kingdom that would later succeed it in 1782 after a brief regency transition to the Thonburi Kingdom, it had its fair share of territorial ebbs and flows. Its full history is quite detailed, but as a cursory summary, it promoted its interests eastward at the expense of the Khmer Empire but was later ransacked and destroyed by the invading Burmese Toungoo and Konbaung Dynasties from the west. All told, there were 20 different wars between Siam and Burma throughout the 16th to 19th centuries, representing a staggeringly high incidence of conflict between these two neighbors. While the historical memory of this rivalry still partially remains in each country’s contemporary psyche, it’s obviously no longer as influential of a force as it once was, although it could possibly be revived by either side for domestic political purposes and/or provoked from abroad to achieve certain geostrategic ends.

The Rattanakosin Dynasty that rose from the ashes of the Ayutthaya and Thonburi Kingdoms succeeded in halting the Burmese blitzkrieg and generally stabilizing its western frontier. This allowed it to more forcefully expand eastwards and incorporate the lands of the weakened Lan Xang into its empire and begin making concentrated moves against the Khmer. By the early 1800s, however, Vietnam had completed its incorporation of the southern Champa Kingdom and the Khmers’ holdings along the Mekong Delta via its Nam tiến (“southern advance”), thus placing it into direct rivalry with Siam for control over the rest of Cambodia. The two expansionist states of Siam and Vietnam inevitably ended up clashing over the Cambodian lands that were caught between them, bringing the two to war in 1831-1834 and 1841-1845. France began its imperial occupation of Indochina shortly thereafter through the 1858 invasion of Cochinchina (the area around contemporary Vietnam’s Mekong Delta) and its 1863 “protectorate” over Cambodia, the latter of which pushed back against Siam’s interests and put the French military directly along its southeastern border.

French imperial expansionism had its next major spurt during the 1893 Franco-Siamese War when Paris was successfully able to wrest control over most of Laos. Right around this time the UK also took the initiative in bringing the remaining Shan States in then-Burma under its control, thus cutting off what had earlier been Siam’s northern border with China. The French finalized their imperial frontier with Siam from 1904-1907, and right afterwards the British pressured Bangkok into acceding to the 1909 Anglo-Siamese Treaty that surrendered the latter’s control over some of its southern Malay-populated territories.  The combined French and British moves from the past half century were interpreted as a massive humiliation for Siam, albeit ones that were seen as strategically necessary in order to retain the Kingdom’s formal independence. Both imperial powers envisioned Siam functioning as a neutral geopolitical buffer between them, and for the most part, it played this role quite well. However, the territorial losses that multiethnic Siam suffered during this time in what are now modern-day Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Malaysia would play into the nationalist hands of World War II leader Field Marshal Plaek Phibunsongkhram (Phibun) and inspire the country that he had renamed “Thailand” to side with fascist Japan.

Thaification, Phibun, And World War II:

Siam experienced a swift military coup in 1933 that degraded the absolute power of the monarchy and led to quasi-democratic advancements. This event is notable because it was the first of many forthcoming significant times that the military would intervene in domestic political affairs, as has since regularly happened in the decades afterwards. In the years following the coup, the state began to accentuate its majority-Thai ethnic identity, particularly focusing on the Central Thais as the cultural core of this movement. At the time, a multitude of ethnic minorities still resided within Siam’s borders, although they weren’t as numerous or geographically concentrated as they previously were when the country controlled Laos and Cambodia, for example. Nonetheless, in the prevailing nationalist zeitgeist that was sweeping the world in the 1930s, Siam felt compelled to exercise its own version of these ideals, and the legacy of this initiative has continued into the present. It’ll later be described how the Laotian-affiliated Thai nationals of Northeastern Thailand (“Isan”) are ethnically, culturally, linguistically, and historically distinct from their Central Thai counterparts, but at this moment of time, it’s enough for the reader to understand that there were strong enough ethno-regional disparities in Siam to somewhat warrant the authorities’ belief that an identity-unifying program was necessary.

Field Marshal Plaek Phibunsongkhram, known as Phibun, in 1955

Field Marshal Plaek Phibunsongkhram, known as Phibun, in 1955

The concept of Central Thai nationalism was enthusiastically promulgated by Field Marshal Phibun after he ascended to power in 1938 and became the country’s Prime Minister and Commander of the Siamese Army. One year later, vehemently believing in the idea of Thaification, he renamed the country to “Thailand” (understood as meaning “land of the ethnic Thais”) and issued 12 socio-cultural decrees that have been referred to as the “Cultural Mandates”. They dealt mostly with nationalism (i.e. renaming the country) and various behavioral actions (e.g. banning female toplessness, implementing a national dress code, suggesting optimal meal times and recreational activities, etc.), but what’s most relevant to the current study is how some of them sought to erode ethno-regional divisions, thus indicating that this form of identity was not only embedded into the minds of certain peripheral inhabitants (northern Hill Tribes, northeastern Lao, eastern Khmer, southern Malays, and western Karen), but that it was visible enough to pose what Phibun had by then considered a threat to national unity. Of pertinence, Mandate One includes a statement stipulating that “The people and nationality are to be called ‘Thai’”; Mandate Three says that citizens should “cease referring to Thai people inconsistently with the name of the nationality, or according to the preference of the group” and “use the name ‘Thai’ to refer to all Thai people, without subdividing them”; and Mandate Nine was specific wording that “Thai people must not consider place of birth, residence, or regional accent as a marker of division”.

Phibun’s nationalist ambitions extended beyond Thailand’s borders and into the territories that his country had humiliatingly been forced to cede to the French and British during the late-Siamese period. The territorial expansionism of fascist Japan was therefore attractive to the Thai leader, and he moved to ally his country with the rising imperial power in the hopes that it would aid and abet his own international designs in the region. The two states signed the Treaty between Thailand and Japan Concerning the Continuance of Friendly Relations and the Mutual Respect of Each Other’s Territorial Integrity in June 1940, and by the end of the year, an emboldened Thailand launched a war against France’s Indochinese possessions in Laos and Cambodia. The resultant Franco-Thai War ended with a Japanese-mediated peace in May that granted Bangkok control over some of the Laotian and Cambodian territories that it had earlier lost to Paris. Later that year, however, Japan ended up invading Thailand on 8 December, 1941, in order to secure transit rights for its planned attack on British-controlled Burma. That same day, Tokyo also attacked Pearl Harbor, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Phibun quickly capitulated and soon thereafter formalized his alliance with Japan, which later ended up leading to his country receiving certain territorial “rewards”. Specifically, Thailand reversed the losses that it had suffered in then-Burma’s Shan States east of the Salween River and the Malay-dominated provinces that it had formerly administered before 1909. After the end of the war, however, Thailand was forced to relinquish its control over these areas once more, thus solidifying the present-day borders of mainland Southeast Asia.

The War On Indochina:

After World War II, the US was insistent that Thailand not be punished for its actions and should only have to return the territory that it earlier occupied due to Japan’s diplomatic and military assistance. The French and the British were adamantly against such a lenient approach, but the US clearly enforced its will over its weakened allies in getting them to acquiesce to the slight ‘slap on the wrist’ that it envisioned. Washington’s strategy was simple but very successful – it knew that if it could co-opt Thailand by offering it a post-war ‘olive branch’, that it could then become the country’s implicit ‘protector’ in guaranteeing its sovereignty and security amidst the two vengeful empires that it was between and thereby establish its influence over the crucial mainland Southeast Asian state. The US had earlier granted independence to the Philippines but still commanded predominant influence over its affairs, but it needed a mainland component to complement its insular foothold in the region and diversify its geopolitical holdings, ergo the reasons for reaching out to Thailand.

Soon enough, the seeds of this policy ripened into geopolitical fruit when the US began involving itself in the War on Indochina, using its network of air force bases in Thailand to conduct bombing raids all throughout the region. Thailand was also facing a mild communist insurgency in its northeastern region, so its leaders felt the need to side even more closely with the US in order to receive its full support (which Washington happily provided in return for the basing rights). The country was undeniably at the forefront of the US’ War on Indochina and continued to occupy a chief anti-communist position even after the formal American withdrawal from the subregion in 1975 and Thailand in 1976.

Khmer Rouge guerrilla soldiers drive through a street in Phnom Penh, April 1975.

Rouge guerrilla soldiers drive through a street in Phnom Penh, April 1975.

Thailand played host to insurgent Khmer Rouge units that were fighting against the Vietnamese units stationed in their country after the 1978-1979 war, coincidentally evoking shades of the conflict that both of them had over their neighboring in the 1830s and 1840s. The Vietnamese launched border raidsagainst the US– and Thai-supported Khmer rebel forces, and Thailand and Laos entered into a brief border war from 1987-1988. Bangkok’s position during this period was greatly increased through its neutralization of the northeastern communist insurgency in the early 1980s, which allowed it to secure its territory and more assuredly destabilize its Laotian and Cambodian neighbors without fear of consequential internal reprisals. All in all, it can be accurately surmised that Thailand consistently remained the US’ most stalwart ally in mainland Southeast Asia throughout the entire Cold War, proving that Washington’s post-World War II policy of punitive leniency was successful in achieving its tacit objective of strategically acquiring a forward operating position in the region.

The Student Factor:

One of the most important domestic political developments during the Cold War era was the rise of student advocacy groups during the 1970s. These were the vanguard of popular anti-military movements that wanted to return the country to civilian rule, although quite a few of the students envisioned that the future government should espouse socialist-like characteristics. A series ofstudent-organized mass demonstrations took place in October 1973 that eventually led to the military stepping down from power, but the brief period of civilian rule was cut short after the October 1976 student massacre that placed a different group of generals into power. What’s critical to point out in both of these monumental historical events is that the students played a key role in triggering the regime changes that ended up taking place, whether they were the kind that they anticipated (such as in 1973) or not (like in 1976).

The precedent of nationally significant student political activist movements is a socio-cultural factor that cannot be erased from the Thai psyche owing to the impact that the two regime change events in the 1970s had on the country. It can be said that student-driven movements have been somewhat of a tradition in Thailand ever since, a national ideal that is cherished yet controlled. Nowadays this type of anti-establishment resistance is once more returning to the forefront as Thaksin Shinawatra and his proxies seek new and creative methods to weaken the multipolar-oriented military government and return themselves to power.

The student movements of 1973 and 1976 didn’t have the Color Revolution works of Gene Sharp to guide them, but in the early 21st century, their modern counterparts could predictably employ such measures as a means of maximizing their regime change efficiency, which in either case could evoke strong historical emotions among regular Thais. For example, some sympathetic segments of society would naturally view such a movement as following in the footsteps of 1973, while others might be fearful that it could end in a violent way like in 1976. If the military actually does crackdown just as it did 40 years ago, then this time it would likely receive intense Western criticism and might even be dubbed ‘the new Myanmar’, possibly with a similar sanctions regime imposed against it just like the ones that were enacted against its neighbor. If the US takes the lead in trying to “isolate” Thailand as a result of this, then it would only succeed in drawing the government closer into China’s arms, just like it did with Myanmar after 1989.


Economic Boom And Bust:

Thailand’s economy began to surge in the mid-1980s and exhibited the world’s fastest growth from 1985-1994, averaging 8.2% per year over that that period. The lightning-fast development that took place catapulted Thailand into Newly Industrialized Country status and placed it on the global investment map. However, such rapid growth also had its detriments, since it resulted in financial and sectoral bubbles that would inevitably be popped. Be that as it was, there was no guarantee that Thailand’s economy absolutely had to tank, as is what ended up happening as a result of the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis.

To remind the reader about what was written at the very beginning of the book’s ASEAN research, that regional economic crisis was spurred by George Soros’ speculative and vulture-like practices, which when combined with Thailand’s existing structural deficiencies and bubble vulnerabilities, created an economic storm of catastrophic proportions. It should also be reminded at this time that the incident also served the dual goal of testing the degree to which a manufactured economic crisis can trigger regional anti-sovereignty processes, be it regime change like what later happened in Indonesia or capitulation to the IMF like Thailand ended up doing.

Thaksin’s Thailand:

The economic difficulties of the immediate post-crisis years gave birth to the socio-political conditions that would be necessary for Thaksin Shinawatra’s political career to take off. The multimillionaire businessman had a knack for populism and in presenting himself as a non-establishment figure, which garnered him exceptional support among the rural citizens of the country, especially those in the northeastern region of Isan. Aided by handouts and generous subsidies, his policy of “Thaksinomics” endeared him to a wide subsector of the previously apolitical masses, getting many of them involved in the political process for their first time and thereby irreversibly widening the country’s electorate.

While he was busy generating his groundswell of support among the rural poor, Thaksin was also engaged in a lot of self-enriching corruption (which he was later found guilty of in 2008), but he hoped that his close ties to the US establishment would be enough to help him weather through any domestic crisis. In order to endear himself closer to Washington, he contributed troops to the War on Iraq in 2003 and was ‘rewarded’ later that year by having his country designated as a “major non-NATO ally”, thus allowing it to purchase a different caliber of American military equipment that it had earlier not been able to. The announcement also symbolized the close nature of strategic ties between the two decades-long ‘partners’, which essentially has always been that of a patron-client relationship. Ingratiating himself even closer to Washington, Thaksin unilaterally pushed for a free trade agreement between Thailand and the US without consulting the country’s legislature, an arrogant political move that eventually contributed to his 2006 ouster. Prior to his overthrow, he intensified military operations against the Muslim Malay separatist movement in southern Thailandthat had recently been rejuvenated, some members of which had begun to resort to terrorist attacks and affiliate with Al Qaeda. The legacy of this dual-sided escalation has been that 150,000 troopswere deployed in the region as recently as 2014, and the Hybrid War vulnerabilities that this conflict entails will be discussed later on in the work.

Thaksin Shinawatra

Thaksin Shinawatra

Thaksin’s direct dominance over the Thai political scene would soon come crashing down in 2006 after the military staged another coup. The political situation in the country had become markedly polarized in the year beforehand, with Thaksin’s corruption having become a galvanizing force for the nascent opposition. His political opponents boycotted the 2005 electionsthat he held three years before schedule, and they were marred by widespread accusations of fraud. Thaksin wanted to centralize his power while he still had the support of the rural masses, predicting that his popular appeal might falter after the introduction of the US free trade agreement that he planned to implement (but was never able to successfully conclude). The country was thrown into political turmoil right after the vote was held, and the crisis continued until September 2006 when the military acted to restore order. Thaksin was abroad at the time in New York City and was charged with corruption, which he was found guilty of two years later, and his political party was dissolved. A new one was promptly formed in its place, and it capitalized off of the social capital their leader had cultivated during his premiership to win the 2007 elections, which in turn set off a new round of political turmoil in the country.

Thailand became divided between pro-Thaksin “Red Shirts” and anti-Thaksin “Yellow Shirts”, and street violence began to regularly break out between each competing camp. The Prime Minister was changed a few times within a couple year period until the 2011 election brought Thaksin’s younger sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, to power. She was commonly perceived as being a political stand-in for her brother, and while this earned her the full support of the Red Shirts, it equally brought upon her the full consternation of the Yellow Shirts. The opposition reorganized and commenced a massive protest movement against her in 2013, and she responded by unleashing her Red Shirt hordes against them. Just like the destabilizing situation that her brother engineered before her, the military was forced to intervene to restore order in the face of the rapidly uncontrollable chaos that had broken out, and the coup authorities led by former Commander in Chief and current Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha are still running the country until new elections can be held.

A New Beginning?:

In a sense, the 2014 coup signaled a new beginning for Thailand in terms of its domestic and economic policies, but at the same time, the main underlying source of internal political destabilization remains. To briefly expand on the latter point, Thaksin’s supporters, the Red Shirts, will stop at nothing to see their political hero return to power, even if they must once more put one of his political proxies into office first. The US is now supporting the Red Shirt movement because it’s extremely unhappy at the foreign policy moves that Chan-o-cha has made. What he’s done is enact a geopolitical reorientation towards China precisely at the time when the US is throwing much of its resources behind the “Pivot to Asia” and building the Chinese Containment Coalition (CCC). While it was predictable that some sort of internal military intervention would have likely occurred to calm the Red Shirt-inspired unrest that had spread throughout the country, the US probably didn’t predict that the coup authorities would so ambitiously alter their country’s geopolitical trajectory.

The US doesn’t care about Yingluck or Thaksin personally, but what it simply wants to see is a loyal pro-American proxy government installed in Bangkok to facilitate the creation of the CCC, and it just so happens that the Shinawatra family has enough convincible (rural) popularity to ‘justify’ their imposition in the eyes of the international community. If need be, the US could conveniently find a fill-in candidate to assist with the political ‘transition’ before either of those two ‘legally’ return to power, but the national vision that Chan-o-cha has set out to achieve is in stark contrast to the US’ plans. Being a professional military man of the nation’s highest caliber, he has deep knowledge about how the US operates within his country, and he’s thus taken to using that privileged information in order to craft the most efficient strategies for combating Washington and ensuring his country’s sovereignty.  No leader in Thailand’s post-World War II history has taken moves as bold as he has to defend his country’s independence, thus making Chan-o-cha’s rise to power completely unprecedented in the history of US-Thai relations. He’s not “anti-American” per say, but it’s just that he does not want to see his country become a sacrificial vassal state in the New Cold War against China, ergo the pragmatic multipolar balancing measures he’s undertaken in accelerating Bangkok’s relations with Beijing (while refraining from open criticism of the US).

Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha

Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha

Perhaps most controversially, and what’s triggered the strongest public outcryfrom the US, has been his curtailment of certain civil liberties as a precautionary measure in defending against Washington’s trademarked Color Revolution intrigue. As a military expert, Chan-o-cha is keenly aware of the skill with which the Red Shirts and its US patrons have exploited these rights before, so he undertook the measures that he did in order to ensure that he and his administration can remain in power long enough to see their domestic and international reforms succeed. Unintentionally, however, by almost fully neutralizing the US’ “legal” Color Revolution toolkit, he forced Washington’s strategists into a regime change corner and pressed them to move forward with Unconventional Warfare tactics instead (e.g. the August 2015 Bangkok bombing), albeit of a ‘soft’ and ‘less chaotic’ nature than what has been employed in other battlegrounds like Ukraine. The reason for the US’ relative ‘restraint’ is that it simply wants to engineer the type of destabilizing conditions that can push the military off balance and make it easier for a follow-up Color Revolution to succeed.

Thailand’s hub status in connecting India’s ASEAN Highway to Japan’s ASEAN transoceanic railroad between Myanmar and Vietnam is of the utmost critical importance to the CCC, and it would only be in the most desperate of circumstances that the US would sacrifice these projects in the name of an all-out and uncontrollable destabilization of Thailand. There’s a very real risk, however, that the Hybrid War games that Washington is playing against Bangkok might quickly and expectedly become uncontrollable, thereby needlessly endangering its own allies’ transnational unipolar infrastructure projects all in order to obsessively stop China’s ASEAN Silk Road. Chan-o-cha is therefore facing a quite formidable challenge in opposing the US’ anti-Chinese strategic dictates while simultaneously maintaining domestic stability within his own country. If he can contain the Hybrid War escalation that the US has initiated and proactively deal with the myriad of threats that it might foreseeably unleash in the coming future (whether intentionally or unwittingly), then the military leader will solidify himself as Thailand’s greatest and most successful post-war visionary. Precisely because of the sheer enormity of what’s at stake, however, the US can be expected to employ all possible means of pushing back against him and spoiling his multipolar plans.

Time-Tested Themes

Thailand’s post-World War II history can be summed up by describing five time-tested themes, each of which exhibits immense influence on current events and can expectedly play a role in any forthcoming Hybrid War destabilizations:

Military Management:

Thailand has undergone 19 separate military coups in its history, underscoring the frequency at which the military involves itself in domestic political affairs. The country’s very close relationship with the US has both political and military contours, with the latter being relevant precisely because it demonstrates how deep American influence runs within the Thai establishment. Oftentimes, Thailand’s military coups were the result of domestic squabbles, but the US’ influence over the military meant that Washington could potentially exploit this institution as it saw fit, especially if there was a perceived geostrategic advantage to be had. For example, the 1976 coup may have been triggered by unpredictable protest circumstances, but it convincingly looks to have occurred to the grand strategic advantage of the US.

Observers would do well to remind themselves that the 1973 civilian government asked the US military to leave two years later, which just so happens to be the year that communist forces liberated all of Indochina and won the wars in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. The US was unquestionably at a strategic disadvantage through its withdrawal from Indochina and removal from Thailand, and given the “domino theory” fear mongering that prevailed at the time, many decision makers may have sincerely thought that Thailand would be the next country to “fall”. A military government would be more attuned to the US’ strategic interests than a civilian one would, which turned out to be exactly the case in the context of post-1975 Cold War Indochina. Although a civilian government would later be reinstituted, the 1976 coup was responsible for reverting Thailand back to a reliable American proxy state and backpedaling on all of the pro-sovereignty steps that its civilian predecessors had made. Throughout the 1980s, Thailand was working hand-in-glove with the US in supporting Khmer Rouge rebels along its eastern frontier and engaging in a proxy war against Vietnam, whom the US still had a fiery vengeance against.

The US-led annual Cobra Gold exercise in Chonburi province, Thailand

The US-led annual Cobra Gold exercise in Chonburi province, Thailand

From the perspective of bilateral relations, the Thai military used to be the US’ most dependable instrument of power over the country, essentially functioning as a regional extension of the Pentagon itself (albeit much less poorer). Whenever there’d be some kind of domestic disruption that could be forecasted to possibly result in the temporary diminishment of Thailand’s regional influence (and to a degree, the US’ influence vis-à-vis that country), then the military would step in to restore order and offset that possibility. It’s not to infer that every single coup in Thailand’s history was the result of some American plan, but that the US strategically gained each and every time that this occurred, and it never allowed these sorts of events to negatively impact on bilateral relations. The only exception to this time-tested ‘rule’ has been the 2014 military coup, which Washington did not at all expect to turn out as it did.

Prayun Chan-o-cha obviously planned his moves long in advance, as can be evidenced by the calculated domestic and foreign political steps that he’s undertaken since coming to power. It’s highly unlikely that his geopolitical pivot towards China was a spur-of-the-moment decision, nor was his decree to limit certain civil liberties in order to prevent a Color Revolution against his rule. He clearly had the foresight to identify what steps needed to be done in order to restore and strengthen Thailand’s sovereignty, thus indicating that he had thought long and hard in advance of his actions. Furthermore, Chan-o-cha plainly anticipated that there’d be a strong degree of American pushback against his moves, and that it would be a lot more substantial than the empty window-dressing rhetoric that typically accompanied each of Thailand’s previous coups. For the first time in Thailand’s history, the military isn’t managing the country on the US’ behalf, but is doing so with the Kingdom’s true geopolitical interests at heart.

The American Alliance:

The next mainstay of Thailand’s post-World War II history is the privileged relationship that it’s political, economic, and military elite have enjoyed with the US. This was largely expanded upon above, but to shed some additional insight into it, the US uses key individuals and institutions in order to assert its hegemonic dominance over Thailand. Washington’s utilization of the military for this purpose has just been described, but it does something very similar with the economic and political leaders in the country as well. For example, Thaksin Shinawatra satisfied both criteria in this regard due to his multimillionaire business background and his later leadership over the state, which allowed him to simultaneously exert pro-American influence over these two spheres. While Shinawatra is the most well-known and popular of the bunch, he isn’t by far the only one, as there’s an institutional cadre below him – both within the Red Shirt movement and those not formally affiliated with it – that are promoting the US’ influence within Thailand.

The US’ ideal plan for the Southeast Asian country is for it to become a loyal member of the CCC, capitalizing off of the ‘historic friendship’ that it has with the US in order to ‘justifiably’ transform into a continental version of the Philippines. Just as the insular island chain is Washington’s premier puppet state in the South China Sea, so too does the US want to see Thailand become its mainland equivalent, with both states potentially exercising negative influence on China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) strategy. The Philippines has the possibility of becoming a maritime nuisance in the South China Sea and being built up into the US’ next “unsinkable aircraft carrier”, while Thailand could renege on its commitment to the ASEAN Silk Road. Taken together, Thailand and the Philippines were supposed to be the crucial anchors of the US’ “Pivot to Asia”, but this calculated strategy was thrown into disarray when Chan-o-cha came to power and revealed himself to be a multipolar visionary and a firm proponent of Thailand’s sovereignty. Without Bangkok’s participation in the CCC, the US’ approach to ‘containing China’ has been totally lopsided, as Beijing is able to counter any of Washington’s relative advances on the naval front simply through the existence of its ASEAN Silk Road project.

The US therefore wants to restore its hegemony over Thailand in order to either cancel or control the ASEAN Silk Road, which in either case would nullify China’s strategic ‘detour’ through mainland Southeast Asia and ultimately put its regional trade networks under the Pentagon’s blackmail. It doesn’t seem likely that there’ll be an intra-military coup to overthrow Chan-o-cha, which is why the US is now seeking to leverage the economic and political allies that it still has inside the country. It’ll be described later on more in-depth, but the Red Shirts and their followers are expected to form the vanguard of any future Color Revolution movement, and they could possibly be joined by radical Buddhist monks that follow the Myanmar model of religious-nationalist destabilization. On the economic front, these two groups could encourage their supporters to carry out labor strikes and street traffic disruptions, all in an attempt to grind Bangkok’s economy to a halt as a means of provoking anti-government resentment and Color Revolution sympathy. More institutionally, however, the US could also incentivize its allied economic elite to commence an information campaign extolling the ‘benefits’ of the TPP, which when combined with affiliated NGOs and the aforementioned political actors, could help shape a more robust anti-government campaign by offering a ‘positive vision’ for Thailand after the violent reimposition of pro-American civilian rule. 

In The Shadow Of The King:

Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej

Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej

Often neglected by the international media in their coverage of the military-political drama that regularly breaks out in Thailand, the monarchy is one of the most influential institutions in the country and quite frequently the normatively decisive voice that many in the population listen to. The present ruler is King Bhumibol Adulyadej, also known as Rama IX, and he’s been on the throne since 1946. Having presided over the constitutional monarchy for so long, Rama IX has experience in dealing with literally every aspect of Thailand’s post-World War II history, although sometimes his legal restraints have prevented him from exercising his preferred will over whatever the given situation may be. Regardless, he’s revered as a grandfatherly figure that most Thais can depend on, a familiar steward that has the country’s best interests in mind. When Rama IX vocally gives his support in one direction or another, be it to a group of protesters or to the military authorities, it’s seen as a stamp of approval that the population typically abides by.

That being said, at the same time, there’s a movement to decrease the ‘social sanctity’ of the monarch and dispel his normative authority. Thaksin and the Red Shirts are chief among these advocates, and they provocatively want to “modernize” society by removing Rama IX’s influence over it. Many traditionalists oppose the Red Shirts simply on this principle alone, not wanting the most enduring symbol of their past to be sacrificed as a victim of one or another political party, let alone a group which is presently supported from abroad. The Red Shirts are capitalizing off of the country’s anti-defamation laws and the current curtailment of certain civil liberties in order to mock the monarchy and provoke highly publicized arrests, cognizant of the fact that the military authorities would then be cast in a very negative light by sympathetic Color Revolution media outlets in the West. These publicity stunts have infringed on the near-sacred sensitivities that many Thais feel towards their monarch, further heightening the political polarization inside the country and increasing the potential for street clashes between the competing groups.

The pro-American “opposition” inside Thailand therefore intends to whip up emotionally driven tension related to the monarchy issue as a means of both impugning the military authorities and deepening the socio-political divide inside the country. Pro-monarchist Chan-o-cha and his government are enforcing what the average Western individual interprets as “draconian anti-free speech legislation” in imprisoning social media ‘activists’ that criticize and disrespect the King, and the Red Shirts are gleefully manipulating their strategically planned provocations in such a way as to create a false association between the monarchy, the military, and “dictatorships”. This has the effect of generating even more Western civil and governmental support for their “pro-democracy” movement and in preparing the international (Western) consciousness for the policies that they’d like to implement if they’re able to seize power.

Just as Erdogan sought to neuter the military’s capability of carrying out a pro-constitutional coup against his rule, so too will the Red Shirts likely do something similar in order to safeguard their physical position. In parallel, they’ll also make a move against the monarchy so that it can never present a normative threat to their rule again. This would see them either totally eliminating the institution altogether (possibly using the inevitable passing of the elderly king as a trigger for this), or completely sidelining its significance over national affairs by pigeonholing it into irrelevancy just like its Scandinavian counterparts. Both of these policy enactments would generate a storm of controversy within the country, but if the Red Shirts were able to hold on to power and weather the challenge, then they’d qualitatively transform the existence of the Thai state and put it on the trajectory for prolonged one-party rule.

The military is a critical precautionary institution in physically preempting this eventuality, but the monarchy might have even more influence in preventing this process because it’s the only actor capable of galvanizing wide segments of public support in its given direction. If the King came out strongly enough against one or another political party, then that said organization would lose the critical normative approval that’s traditionally needed in Thai society. It doesn’t seem as though Rama IX will ever change his mind and support the Red Shirts, even if they come to power in a Color Revolution, so this is why the movement is so strongly against him. Additionally, his successor and son, Maha Vajiralongkorn, is a military man who inherently understands the importance of that sister institution, so he’d naturally seek to strengthen both of them once he assumes the throne. From the perspective of the Red Shirts, this is a major threat that would undermine everything that they’re working for. Since they don’t feel confident enough in their ability to co-opt either the king or his heir apparent, they’d rather do away with the monarchy entirely than risk having it as a perpetual enemy in the future.

“People’s Power”:

Student's rally in Bangkok, Oct 1973

Student’s rally in Bangkok, Oct 1973

The idea of a popular anti-government uprising became enshrined in the Thai consciousness after the 1973 student-led revolution, and from that point on, civilian and military leaders alike became aware of how quickly mass protest movements can topple the state. Likewise, the people learned just how much power they truly have, especially if it’s applied in a strategic way against certain elements of the establishment. This tactical revelation and its successful implementation in 1973 forever changed the nature of Thai politics, although it of course took some time for the lessons to sink into the minds of each respective actor.

The state had to come to terms with the fact that it could be overthrown by a mass of protesting civilians, and that when confronted with such a challenge, it must tread quite carefully in order to avoid enflaming the situation even more. The wrong response, perhaps a militant crackdown leading to a disproportionate number of casualties among unarmed civilians individuals that have nothing to do with the Color Revolution disturbance, could spell the end of the authorities’ rule by generating such a scandal that the newly protesting masses are literally impossible to control without resorting to large-scale and seemingly random violence. On the other hand, the protesters, while conscious of their capabilities, also became familiar with their physical limitations and vulnerabilities. Finding the perfect balance between these two is the ultimate goal of every anti-government leader, and if the right equilibrium is finally struck, then the state is thrust into a grand strategic dilemma that typically results in it making the sort of fatal errors that lead to its imminent downfall.

In Thailand, “people’s power” movements can manifest themselves either in whole or in part as being composed of students (like in 1973), street activists (such as the Red Shirts), and/or Buddhists (following the Myanmar model). Additionally, the term “people’s power” was even trademarked by a political party in Thailand that later turned into a safe haven for Thaksin’s allies following his ouster. The “People’s Power Party” basically functioned as a front organization for the banned Thai Rak Thai Party until it too was dissolved by constitutional order in December 2008. What’s essential to note when describing the role of “people’s power” movements in post-1973 Thailand is that they are one of the most effective methods for enacting regime change, especially in the past decade.

When employed to their full potential against a civilian government, this social weapon can provoke the type of street disturbances and chaotic outbreaks that necessitate a domestic military intervention (coup). Similarly, when it’s turned against the military authorities that have assumed responsibility for the state (as in the current situation), “people’s power” movements can either enact enough pressure against them that they’re forced to step down (like what happened in 1973) or provoke a harsh crackdown that prompts sharp Western criticism and leads to the coup government’s isolation from the Western international community, both of which are unfavorable to the state. The trick here is for the “people’s power” organizers to find the delicate balance between maximizing their physical capabilities and minimizing their associated vulnerabilities, all the while crafting ingenious marketing plans in order to make their movement as societally broad-based as possible. In select circumstances, there’s also the possibility of the Color Revolution vanguards emphasizing identity differences in order to purposefully sow strategic societal differences among the population, which thus leads to a progressively complicated domestic situation for the authorities to deal with. In particular, this sort of scenario forms a critical component of the US’ Hybrid War toolkit in Thailand, and it’ll be expanded upon at the end of the research.


The last time-tested trend in Thailand’s recent history has been the policy of Thaification, modelled off of the culture and dialect of the Central Thai, which is the most populous group in the country. It’s understandable why Thailand ended up promoting a unifying sense of identity. There are many ethnic minority groups concentrated in particular regions of the country, most prominently including the Hill Tribes of Northern Thailand; the Lao-affiliated population of Northeastern Thailand; Khmer in Eastern Thailand; the Muslim Malays of Southern Thailand; and the Karen of Western Thailand. Each of these identities is separately distinct from one another and from the majority Central Thais, yet they all still cumulatively form a minority of the country’s population. The promotion of Central Thai identity as the unifying aspect of Thailand and all “Thais” is not just the expression of the majority’s cultural and dialect preferences over that of the minority, but also that of the literal geographic center over the periphery.

Ethnic Groups in the Greater Mekong subregion

Ethnic Groups in the Greater Mekong subregion

It’s important to keep in mind that the core mass of the population is gathered in the central region, and that this group represents the cradle of Thai civilization. From Bangkok’s perspective, it only makes sense that national cultural standards are modeled off of the Central Thai, as doing otherwise could have been met with uncontrollable revolt among the group most numerically and geographically capable of overthrowing the authorities. That being said, Thaification has not been without its controversies. Some members of the peripheral ethno-regional groups feel that their identities have been infringed upon and that the enforcement of Central Thai cultural standards is leading to an erosion of their own. They worry that the cultural peculiarities that mark their communities will one day be lost, and some have attributed this fear to being one of the reasons behind the Cold War communist insurgency in Northern and Northeastern Thailand. While it’s debatable to what extent identity separateness was to blame for the conflict, it still objectively exists as one of the contributing causes.

The crystallization of ethno-regional identities independently of or in spite of Central Thai-based Thaification is one of the greatest threats to the country’s social and administrative unity. Thailand had been a multicultural society for centuries before the idea of identity homogeneity was first promoted in the 1930s. Ironically, it seems that while the policy itself was designed to eliminate peripheral feelings of separateness and proactively counter possible separatism (which the authorities may have feared could be promoted by the neighboring imperial powers so as to further infringe on the kingdom’s sovereignty), it looks to have had the unintended aftereffect of retaining, and in some cases, even aggravating these issues. Such appears to be the case with Northeastern and Southern Thailand, both of which have a strong and very different sense of ethno-regional identity than the Central Thais do. Isan, as the Northeast is sometimes referred to, is one of the most populous yet impoverished areas of the country, and the people are descended from ethnic Lao and speak a dialect of that language. In the extreme southern provinces, most of the population is Muslim Malay and don’t have anything in common with the Buddhist Thai, be it religion, ethnicity, language, or even a common sense of history.

The identity contrast between the majority population in the governing center and the minority peripheral groups forms the basis for what might under certain circumstances escalate into an existential struggle in defining the nature of the Thai state, let alone whether or not the country itself should even still be referred to as “Thailand”. This prospective scenario of identity conflict, both among the country’s ethno-regional populations and between themselves and Bangkok, is a nascent process that looks to have already begun in part. It hasn’t yet approached the breaking point and exploded into an all-out crisis, but it also hasn’t receded in recent years either. Quite the contrary, identity tension appears to have crept even closer to the mainstream, dragged near the spotlight by Thaksin and his Isan-based populist supporters as part of the political game that they’re playing against Bangkok. If Central Thai-led Thaification and the nominal unity that it espouses come under threat by the Red Shirt supporters in Isan, then the entire social foundation on which post-World War II Thailand rests would be thrown into question, with potentially far-reaching and unpredictable consequences.

Throwing Thailand Into A Hybrid War Tumult

The research has finally progressed to the point where it’s applicable to more comprehensively discuss the Hybrid War scenarios facing Thailand. The previous historical and thematic reviews familiarized the reader with the contextual background that’s necessary in comprehending the intricacies of why the following scenarios are the most plausible ones that could occur. Each of the three could theoretically happen on their own and independently of the others, but it’s highly probable that they’ll follow the sequential order in which they’re examined.

Categorically speaking, they represent the phased transition from a Color Revolution to identity tension and an Unconventional War. It should be reminded at this time that the US would ideally prefer not to totally destroy Thailand in the same manner as it has attempted to do to Syria, thereby meaning that it would like to contain the destabilization to the first and second discussed categories, but if it absolutely needs to sacrifice its Indian and Japanese allies’ unipolar infrastructure projects within the country to destroy the ASEAN Silk Road (or if it can’t control the chaotic forces that it unleashes), then it’ll belatedly accept this eventuality and proceed to the third and final regime change step.

The Red Buddhists:

2010_09_19_red_shirt_protest_bkk_09The pro-American Red Shirts are at the helm of the Color Revolution movement in Thailand, and their aggressive agitation is expected to continue until they either achieve their desired regime change objective or are organizationally crushed by the military (which is of course easier said than done). Their tactical aim is to assemble a widespread and inclusive front of various grievance-motivated protesters in order to form the critical mass of discontented citizens that they need in order to arrange a major destabilization. While this isn’t necessarily an unquestionable prerequisite, it would greatly aid their efforts if they were able to gather a more diverse grouping of ‘human shields’ than those that are simply pro-Thaksin, since any preplanned provocation against the military could realistically result in casualties among those other members and the increased involvement of their respective protesting groups into the Color Revolution movement.

Continuing with this tactical theme, it would be a public relations masterstroke if the Red Shirts were able to co-opt radical Buddhist nationalists such as Phra Maha Apichat Punnajantho into their street demonstrations. The sacred role that Buddhism holds over the nation’s psyche means that many of the masses hold deep respect for the monks that represent it, and the international public is largely unaware of the violent nationalist subsects within this stereotypically peaceful religion. Protesting Buddhist monks, no matter what their nationalist and aggressive intent may be, could conjure up a unifying and normatively positive image that would shift public and international acceptance in favor of the Red Shirts just as equally as it would reflect negatively on the military authorities that they’re demonstrating against. Something almost exactly similar was attempted in Myanmar during the 2007 “Saffron Revolution” and it had the immediate effect of boosting Suu Kyi and her Color Revolution movement’s prestige.

Back then in Myanmar just as it looks to soon be in Thailand, the inclusion of violent Buddhist radicals is actually something that the Color Revolutionaries desire because that would give them cleverly disguised foot soldiers that they could deploy against the military in their oncoming provocations. The media-distorted pictures of supposedly “helpless, unarmed, and peaceful” Buddhist monks being beaten by the military would be presented completely out of context and used to attract new followers that are incensed by the misleading images that they saw. Since most Thais are pious to various extents, what they were artfully made to believe was the military’s use of “wanton violence” against the “peaceful” Buddhist monks could leave an impression on them personally and inspire them to join the protest movement, which in turn would really go a long way in broadening the Color Revolution’s base and generating an inclusive anti-government front.

One of the most effective ways in which the aforementioned front could be expanded to its largest proportions would be if the Red Shirts found a way to more fully incorporate “progressively modernizing” anti-monarchist forces into their ranks. This could of course generate some conflict among the pro-monarchist Buddhists that are involved in the Color Revolution movement, but as with almost all of the politically convenient front organizations that existed before it everywhere else across the world, they might temporarily put aside their visionary differences in favor of uniting to overthrow the government and bicker about their post-regime change preferences afterwards. The death of the elderly King could be a trigger for bringing these sorts of “activists” out to the street, predictably ‘celebrating’ the ‘end of an era’ and proclaiming that the military’s normative authority died with Rama IX. It’s not too important what they take to saying, but rather that they go out to the streets in the first place and are absorbed into the already existing protest movement.

The more radical of the anti-monarch “demonstrators” could even decide to violently target grieving funeral processors and disrupt other commemorative public expressions of sorrow, which would immediately induce an outbreak of communal conflict between the two camps. Predictably, the all-out unrest that would consequently break out would prompt the military to step in one way or the other, and depending on the intensity of the expected riots, this could likely result in a heightened risk of civilian casualties. Again, from the perspective of the Color Revolutionaries, it’s not important exactly who falls victim to the collateral state-inflicted damage that they’ve provoked, but that the victimized individuals and their associated groups (be they ethnic, confessional, professional, etc.) simplemindedly get drawn into the anti-government movement as a reflexive result. If the provocation is serious enough, then it might serve its worth in functioning as a ‘justifiable’ trigger for escalating the Color Revolution hostilities into open urban terrorism, and if tactically synchronized with the prior inclusion of a wide protesting mass united under a single regime change banner, then it could end up being too much for the authorities to handle short of stepping down or commencing the controversial imposition of martial law.


Reforming Thaification: Chao Phraya vs. Mekong:

The greatest domestic challenge that has historically plagued Bangkok since the end of World War II has been in fostering and sustaining a sense of identity unity among its disparate ethno-regional groupings. The authorities can’t of course disregard the culture that the majority Central Thai practice, but at the same time, they can’t fully commit to policies that endanger the culture of the peripheral population and cause them to seethe with anti-government resentment. The need for a national culture is apparent, but the difficulty comes down to how this should be implemented and which identities should contribute to the state-wide standard.  As it stands, only the Central Thai along the Chao Phraya River are officially seen as being worthy to emulate, and this has led to the government-enforced imposition of their culture and dialect onto the rest of the country, which has been especially resented among the Lao-affiliated citizens of the Northeastern and Mekong River regions. While some of the Hill Tribes of Northern Thailand, the Khmer of Eastern Thailand, the Muslim Malays of Southern Thailand, and the Karen of Western Thailand may also take issue with the state’s promotion of the Central Thai identity, they don’t occupy as important of a geo-demographic role as the people of Isan do.

Thailand’s Northeastern region, referred to as Isan by those that support the recognition of its distinct identity (the author is neutral but uses them interchangeably for variety’s sake), contains about a thirdof the country’s territory and a similar percentage of its entire population. Most of its people are engaged in agriculture and it’s one of the poorest areas of the Thailand. What’s significant about Isan is that it recorded the highest rate of growth during the Thaksin-Yingluck years and is regarded as thestronghold of their support within the country. Furthermore, the people there are culturally, linguistically, and historically distinct from the rest of their national counterparts, as most of them are ethnic Lao that socially identify more with their cross-border cousins than with their own countrymen. They may still pride themselves in being Thai citizens, but that doesn’t mean that they accept the government’s official classification of their ethnicity or their Lao-dialect language as “Thai”, and herein lays the crux of what may foreseeably become a looming identity crisis in Thailand.

The Northeastern region’s importance to the national fabric is substantial, be it in human, economic, or geographic terms, and it’s definitely not a part of the country that any leader can afford to ignore. Thaksin was successful in co-opting most of its population because his populist subsidization policies appealed to the impoverished masses, and the undeniable physical infrastructure growth that accompanied the 2000s made many of the locals there lifelong loyalists to his cause. The longer that the Red Shirts agitate against the government, the more likely it is that they’ll capitalize off of their ethno-regional origins up until the point that they publicly embrace their identity separateness and begin formally incorporating into their political platform (possibly following the advice of supportive Western-financed NGOs). While this prospective development could also lead to internal divisions among those that favor the Central Thai standard of Thaification, it could be framed in such a way as though they’re pushing back against a seemingly inherent “racist” and “discriminatory” system, wanting to “reform it from within” more so than flirt with sedition and imply any claims to secessionism (even if that’s what they’d tacitly threaten if their demands aren’t met).

The highly publicized internal and external awareness that Thailand’s major “opposition” movement has officially recognized an ethno-regional distinction separate from the nationally unifying intent of Central Thai-led Thaification would automatically trigger an unparalleled identity crisis within the state, made even more pronounced by the international (Western) pressure that would correspondingly come down to bear upon it at this critical moment.  The perceived failure of Thaificaiton in unifying the masses would lead to a call from the Red Shirts and their foreign patrons that the long-standing ideology be reformed, either through the creation of a compromise national identity that incorporates portions of the peripheral ones, or the casual enforcement or outright cultural autonomy of certain provincial areas. Any formal step in either of these directions would likely be seen as a threat to the Central Thais’ soft power dominance and probably elicit a rebellious response from them, with their newfound rage being directed against the Red Shirts and their Isan supporters and/or the military authorities if they give in to their identity-reforming demands. The Isan Red Shirts might even push for legally enshrined safeguards for their own cultural autonomy, not necessarily because they believe that they’ll actually get this, but because they know the reaction that it will provoke within the country (negative among the Central Thai, positive among all minority groups) and abroad (full Western support).

To expand a bit off of the domestic reaction to such a possible pronouncement, other than the expected violence that this might provoke among the Central Thai, it would probably lead to some minority groups in the North, East, and/or South aligning themselves with the Isan Red Shirts. This is because no single ethno-regional demographic is powerful enough to unilaterally succeed in their identity demands on their own, and even though Isan has the greatest chance of all of them in having this happen, it’s still not guaranteed. However, if other peripheral groups begin siding with them and coordinating certain on-the-ground measures in their support (e.g. anti-government protests and other disruptive rallies), then it could have a noticeable effect in triggering a chain reactive existential threat to the present formation of the Thai state. Once one ethno-regional organization attempts to advance its agenda of constitutionally mandated separateness (no matter how benign and seemingly justified it might appear, such as in safeguarding the widespread use of indigenous languages), let alone if this group teams up and joins together with another of its counterparts elsewhere in the country, then the groundwork is set for easily transitioning this campaign into a political one that agitates for autonomy, federalization, or clear-cut separatism. Should this come to pass in any iteration, then the potential that the governing center could be pitted against an array of peripheral rebel movements would inevitably rise, thus raising fears that the structural model of the Myanmar Civil War would have found its way to Thailand.

The Ethno-Regionalist Civil War:

The outbreak of ethno-regionalist conflict in Thailand would be in direct reaction to the country’s internal identity crisis, with the possibility that certain external variables could aggravate the preexisting tension to the breaking point. Isan is envisioned as being the central battleground, although it’ll likely be supported by one, some, or all of the other peripherally identity-separate parts of the kingdom. In particular, these could be the Hill Tribes of the North, the Khmer of the East, the Muslim Malay of the South, and possibly even the Karen from the West.

All of the possible insurgencies could theoretically be backed up with some element of state support in the event that Thailand’s neighbors undergo their own successful regime change experience, which in that case would dramatically escalate the stakes that are at play.

The US’ desired goal in any of these instances would be to see the Thai authorities weakened by the multidirectional and multi-issued destabilizations to the extent that an accompanying Color Revolution push would be enough to unseat them and restore its proxies into power. Like it was mentioned at the beginning of the research, however, if the ‘final solution’ to getting rid of the ASEAN Silk Road necessitates an all-out civil war that disrupts or even destroys India and Japan’s transnational infrastructure projects in the country, than that’s apparently the price that Washington is willing to pay in order to contain its chief geopolitical rival in the region.

Laos and Isan

If the Laotian government is overthrown and replaced with a pro-American proxy, or possibly even if its new leadership is somehow co-opted by the US and its CCC, then there’s the possibility that it could offer some minimal amount of support to the Isan rebels in this specific scenario. Nonetheless, it’s not predicted that Vientiane would under any circumstances play a major role in a Thai Civil War, partly because its military is too weak and its capital too exposed to withstand a coordinated counter-attack from the Thai Armed Forces, and also due to the fear that it has of being demographically and economically overshadowed by a quasi-independent Lao-identifying Isan. There’s no realistic scenario where the Laotian elites would pursue formal irredentism in Northeastern Thailand because they know that they’d be the junior partner in any forthcoming political structure. The only possible interest that Laos might one day have would be in forming a “union state” with Thailand modeled off of the one that Belarus has with Russia in order to acquire concrete economic and political guarantees without sacrificing its sovereignty, but even then, this possibility is still exceptionally unlikely in the near- or medium-terms barring the emergence of unforeseen and exceptional circumstances.

Cambodia And The Khmer

Moving along in a clockwise direction, Cambodia under the Hun Sen government would be very reluctant to get involved supporting its cross-border ethnic Khmer kin, no matter what happens on the ground in Thailand. China, the government’s main ally, would firmly advise against it at all costs, knowing that even the reporting of rumors that Phnom Penh was as much as considering this could set off a nationalist reaction in Thailand and lead to unpredictable civilian and military actions there. It wasn’t even a full decade ago that the two countries almost went to war over a sliver of territory on their border, so if Bangkok felt as though Phnom Penh might make a far-reaching power grab under the guise of assisting its rebellious cross-border compatriots, then it might disastrously take the prerogative to make a preemptive strike. Another factor to be considered in this scenario is that Sam Rainsy and his oppositionist “Cambodian National Rescue Party” are very nationalistic, so it’s entirely possible that they could use Hun Sen’s reluctance to intervene in a Khmer-involved Thai Civil War as a means of rallying more opposition against him and adding to their Color Revolution cadres. They might even send volunteer groups of fighters to help their ethnic compatriots, and if they’re injured, captured, or killed, it could be enough to provoke an international crisis or trigger a calculated anti-government uprising in Cambodia. Of course, in the event that Rainsy seizes power there (either before or during the possible conflict), then Cambodia would definitely intervene in its neighbor’s ethno-regionalist affairs and contribute to what would predictably by then have become a downward spiraling situation.

Malaysia And The Southern Muslims

On the southern front, the current Malaysian government led by Prime Minister Najib Razak doesn’t seem too inclined to throw its neighbor into disarray, no matter the events surrounding the Muslim Malays there. It doesn’t have an interest in seeing the insurgency explode along its border because of the danger that terrorist groups could infiltrate into the country either independently or under the guise of being “refugees”. Kuala Lumpur’s agenda isn’t to expand its territory or become the protector of its ethnic compatriots living in Thailand, but to see to it that Bangkok guarantees that they have a respectable life free from ethnic, religious, and linguistic discrimination. In all actuality, the most practical way to ensure this and pacify the insurgent groups would be to implement a legally mandated framework similar to what the Philippines has tried to do with the Bangsamoro Basic Law in its own southern Muslim-populated region of Mindanao. Given the Thai context, however, it’s not likely that the government wants to go anywhere near granting the region autonomy, predicting that this would just set off a chain reaction of similar separatist sentiment in the other ethno-regionally diverse parts of the country that would eventually result in the state’s full autonomization, federalization, or political dissolution. Malaysia could facilitate this destructive process if it concedes to any US pressure to militantly assist its transnational ethnic kin (whether directly or indirectly) or if a new Color Revolution government comes to power and pursues a policy a radical ethno-religious nationalism.

Myanmar And The Karen

Finally, the last of Thailand’s neighbors that could possibly get involved in the examined civil war scenario would be Myanmar via its support of the Hill Tribes in Northern Thailand or the Karen in Western Thailand. Both of these identities are separate from the Central Thai, but the Karen pose a greater risk than perhaps any of the other aforementioned ethno-regionalist groups because of their militant experience in fighting the Myanmar Civil War. Most of the Karen living in Thailand are refugees that have fled across the border, but like in any case where there’s a cross-border community of war-ravaged expatriates, some of them are undoubtedly fighters, whether currently retired or presently active in the field. Thailand was ironically suspected of supporting the Karen rebels when they were fighting against the Myanmar government, especially during the Cold War, but in the examined scenario, Myanmar could flip the dynamic around and encourage some of the Karen within its territory to carry out attacks in Thailand. There’s also the possibility that Naypyidaw for whatever reason (be it choice or incompetence) does not take part in this scheme, but that the largely independent non-state actors and ethnic militias active in Kayin State independently do so on their own, possibly invigorated by the idea of cross-border irredentism. This feeling could be further promoted if Suu Kyi’s government advances a federal solution to the country’s civil war and the Karen’s homeland is bestowed with de-facto independence in a broad-based and loosely federated system.


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


Hybrid Wars 1. The Law Of Hybrid Warfare

Hybrid Wars 2. Testing the Theory – Syria & Ukraine

Hybrid Wars 3. Predicting Next Hybrid Wars

Hybrid Wars 4. In the Greater Heartland

Hybrid Wars 5. Breaking the Balkans

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Turkey is already mulling the possibility of closing its border with Syria, amid the ongoing diplomatic fence-mending between Moscow and Ankara, according to the Russian newspaper Izvestia.

The Izvestia newspaper quoted the deputy head of the Russian Lower House’s Defense Committee as saying that during a recent session of the joint Russian-Turkish commission, Moscow specifically stressed the necessity of closing the Turkish-Syrian border.

border areaViktor Vodolatsky said that the August 11 session was a continuation of Tuesday’s dialogue in St. Petersburg between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

« The two, among other things, discussed the peace settlement in Syria, which is why we decided to urge Ankara to close the Syrian-Turkish border in order to stop the flow of terrorists and weapons, » Vodoloatsky said.

He added that the issue is of paramount importance in ensuring Russia’s national security, and that Moscow pledged to provide the Turkish side with satellite images of those areas where it is shown that weapons and militants are being trafficked.

It is safe to say that Ankara will most likely give the green light to the closure of Syrian-Turkish border given the ongoing normalization of relations between Russia and Turkey, according to Izvestia, which cited relevant agreements clinched during the meeting between Putin and Erdogan.

In this context, Igor Morozov, member of the Russian Upper House’s International Affairs Committee, said that with Turkey’s relations with Europe and the US leaving much to be desired, Ankara will now be focusing on developing cooperation with Russia.

It gives Russia a chance to reach a compromise with Turkey on a spate of contentious issue, and under conditions that will be dictated by Moscow, Morozov was quoted by the Izvestia as saying.

« The Turkish negotiators actually have no room to maneuver, and they are poised and ready to arrive at a consensus on difficult issues. This is why they will most likely say « yes » to our proposal to close Turkey’s border with Syria, » he said.

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Many Happy Returns Fidel. Long Live Fidel Castro

août 13th, 2016 by Steven Walker

Fidel Castro, the revolutionary icon of the latter 20th century, is 90 today. Steven Walker looks back over his momentous life

Fidel Castro is 90 years old today, and unlike other 90-year-olds, this former Head of State will not receive much acknowledgement in the mainstream media this year but his achievements cannot be overstated.

The fact he is alive at all is testimony to his resilience and fortitude and the failed attempts by the CIA to assassinate him.

He is probably the most iconic revolutionary figure of the 20th Century and the story of his fight to liberate Cuba from external control and American mafia influence in the 1950’s is a shining example of resistance and determination.

Castro decided to fight for the overthrow of Fulgencio Batista’s military junta by founding a paramilitary organisation known as The Movement.

In July 1953, they launched a failed attack on the Moncado Barracks during which many militants were killed and Castro was arrested.

Placed on trial, he defended his actions and provided his famous “History Will Absolve Me” speech, before being sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment.

Renaming his group the 26th July Movement (MR-26-7), Castro was pardoned by Batista’s government in May 1955, who no longer considered him a political threat.

Restructuring the MR-26-7, he fled to Mexico with his brother Raul, where he met with Argentine Che Guevara, and together they set up a small revolutionary force intent on overthrowing Batista.

In November 1956, Castro and 81 revolutionaries sailed from Mexico aboard the Granma and crash-landed near to Los Cayuelos. Attacked by Batista’s forces, they fled to the Sierra Maestra mountain range, where the 19 survivors set up an encampment from which they waged guerrilla war against the army. Boosted by new recruits that increased the guerilla army’s numbers to 200, they co-ordinated their attacks with the actions of other revolutionaries across Cuba.

The Cuban revolution was completed in January 1959 following the final victory led by Che Guevara over government troops in Santa Clara.

Fidel Castro’s 90th birthday offers a chance to consider where he drew inspiration from and the ideas which prompted his band of guerillas to mount a campaign against overwhelming odds.

On the advice of those who noted his passion for argument, Fidel enrolled at the University of Havana in 1945 to study law. A world divided ideologically between Capitalism and Communism stimulated a febrile political atmosphere in university. Two of his earliest university friends belonged to the Communist Youth and he made his first overtly political speech in 1946, criticising the dictatorship of Gerardo Machado, Batista’s predecessor.

Fidel was aligned with two main political groupings at university – the Movimiento Socialista Revolucionario (MSR) led by Rolando Masferrer and the Union Insurreccional Revolucionaria (UIR) led by Emilio Trio.

This was where his revolutionary apprenticeship was refined, where he learned much about the nature of Cuban institutions and how steeped in corruption and violence they were.

The two groups jostled for prominence on campus, while outside the corrupt President Ramon Grau San Martin — installed as an American puppet in 1944 — was running Cuba.

Two of the key historical and political events dominating students at Havana University and influencing their beliefs, ideas and perceptions of Cuba’s past and future were the independence struggles of 1868 to 1898 led by Jose Marti, and the revolutionary movement of 1927 to 1933 involving former army officers, students and government officials that had led to the overthrow of President Machado in 1933.

But Fidel recognised that these were incomplete shifts in fundamental power — simply replacing varieties of colonial rulers and corrupt American puppet dictators.

Fidel vowed to succeed in creating a truly independent Cuba, a proper self-determining country led by those on the side of the many rather than the few.

In early 1947 Fidel became increasingly politically active, openly criticising President Grau and Batista for their failed leadership and corruption. His political profile was growing and he was seen prominently as a leading mourner at the funeral of the much-respected communist labour leader Jesus Menendez, who had been shot dead by an army captain in Manzanillo.

In 1948 the Cuban presidency passed to Carlos Prio, who with the influential army officer Batista, gave unparalleled freedom to the American Mafia who accelerated the degeneration of Cuba into what became widely renowned as America’s brothel, where casinos, gambling and gangsterism flourished and the proceeds of organised crime were stashed away from mainland American tax authorities.

The pattern of Fidel’s journey to later succeed in overthrowing the Batista dictatorship in 1959 was being hardened.

What seems to have been of much more significance was to identify with those fellow students and historical Cuban heroes, such as Jose Marti, and satiate his appetite for revolution and insurrection.

Fidel was by now immersing himself in student politics and actively supporting the fight for independence in Puerto Rico and demonstrating solidarity with other student movements in Argentina, Venezuela, Colombia and Panama, which were demanding an end to American colonial rule via financed puppet dictatorships.

Eduardo Chibas left the Autentico, the Authentic Revolutionary Party of Cuba, and in 1947 founded the Partido Popular Cubano (PPC- Cuban People’s Party) quickly becoming better known as the Ortodoxo party. Fidel joined immediately, finding in Chibas yet another hero, who he followed with great enthusiasm, regarding him as a man of the future destined to pave the way to Cuba’s independence.

The Ortodoxo party soon established itself as the first serious opposition to the government, fully adopting the principles and values of the revered nationalist martyr Jose Marti for anti-imperialism, socialism, economic independence, political liberty and social justice.

Although the attack on the Moncado barracks in 1953 failed, the trial in the Santiago de Cuba Palace of Justice began on September 21 1953 and ended on October 6 1953, after eleven sessions.

The Cuban civil code of justice, based on the Napoleonic code practiced in Europe and Latin America, had the verdict determined by a panel of three judges rather than by a jury of peers as under common law in the U.S. and Great Britain.

After the accused heard the charges against them, they were called to testify on their own behalf. The defendants were represented by 24 attorneys but Castro, a trained lawyer, assumed his own defence and lied under oath to avoid implicating rebels on trial.

In May 1955 Fidel was released after pressure from his supporters.

Four years later he was in power and now, nearly six decades on, we can raise a glass to him on his 90th despite all the efforts of the CIA.

Steven Walker is the author of Fidel Castro: From Infant to Icon ebook:

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We are used to quite a lot of warmongering propaganda against Syria. The « last hospital in Aleppo gets destroyed » – week after week after week, reports by Physicians For Human Rights on Syria turn out to be scamsvideos and pictures of « children rescued » by the U.S./UK payed media group « White Helmets » are staged.

But the yesterday released and very well propagandized Open Letter of Aleppo Doctors takes the crown of warmongering anti-Syrian fakes:

We are 15 of the last doctors serving the remaining 300,000 citizens of eastern Aleppo. Regime troops have sought to surround and blockade the entire east of the city.

Look who signed that open letter:

Stenographing the letter’s propaganda the Guardian cleverly notes:

It has not been possible to verify the names of all the doctors listed in the letter.

Maybe because these names are those of famous Jihadis? But if only the fake names were the problem …

Notice that there is no general practitioner among those fifteen doctors. This while general practitioners are usually the largest share of medics in any country. Even more astonishingly, six of the fifteen (no. 1, 2, 4, 12, 13, 14) are identify as « pediatricians ».

Hmm – ain’t those supposed to be dead? All of them? Wasn’t the last pediatricians in east-Aleppo killed on April 28?


Our « western » and Gulf governments pay a lot of our taxpayer money for such anti-Syrian warmongering. The « White Helmets » alone receive $60 million. We should at least demand better fakes and more plausible lies for such large expenditures of our money.

Source: Ali Ornek

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Donald Trump and the ISIS Factor

août 13th, 2016 by Dr. Binoy Kampmark

Ever straddling that fine line between the absurd and the puncturing revelation, Donald J. Trump’s “ISIS” remarks about the Obama administration and the Democrat presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, were vintage.  “[Obama] was the founder of ISIS absolutely, the way he removed our troops. … I call them [Obama and Hillary Clinton] co-founders.”

In a political environment where sarcasm is set aside in favour of serious management and public relations choreography, stage managed with careful insertions for media effect, Trump has other ideas. These may be contemptuous of the archive of history, avoiding evidence like the plague, but every so often, he makes a point that stings.

Wednesday’s comments about the provenance of ISIS – Washington as well-heated incubator, backer, and enthusiastic sponsor – become less absurd in the bloody tangle of Middle Eastern politics. Attempts to locate, always in vain, those goodly scented guys in a foreign conflict to back tend to end up badly.  Wars have a tendency to do that.

The issue of supplying, to take one example, supposed Islamic moderates in the Syrian conflict was always daft to begin with, given that weapons will always find their way to the sides that are stronger.  Fluid loyalties, questionable allegiances, and shifting interests, make notions of the elect impossible. The default tends to be brutal, stabilising authoritarianism imposing a murderous order.

Trump’s response was less a back peddling than a repositioning of his stance.  “Don’t they get sarcasm?” he screamed on Twitter, with capitalised effect.  “I love watching these poor, pathetic people (pundits) on television working so hard and so seriously to try and figure me out.  They can’t!”[1]

The broader commentary on the subject blows more air into the Trump act.  Again, the fundamental error here it to idealise the office of the US president, to see it as unique and near omnipotent.  To receive the electoral verdict is tantamount to a divine voice.  Yet the domain of Camelot will not permit smudging and profanity at the hands of a Trump, even if it has individuals responsible for egregious breaches of laws domestic and foreign.

Trump’s excuse for his ISIS remarks, suggests Tara Golshan atVox, is both “absurd” and “unnerving” but more so because they open the window on “how he’d fare as president.”[2]  Hardly.  For Golshan, it is incumbent that the population of planet earth “take what the president of the United States says very seriously.”

She obviously missed the choice bits of the Bush administration (shrub Dubya), which demonstrated that individuals of even modest intelligence and serious defects can climb the presidential mountain and wreak havoc, spread global unrest and sow the seeds for the next round of catastrophic retribution.  “Presidents don’t go about and constantly ‘joke’ about invading countries, or about their economic policies, or about their political opponents being terrorists.” That may well be largely the problem.

Seriousness is again registered by Don Cassidy at the New Yorker. [3] For Cassidy, what mattered was that Trump had decided to avoid any nuance on the subject.  To conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, Trump was having nothing about suggestions that Obama “created the vacuum, he lost the peace.” What he truly meant was that “he’s the founder of ISIS” deserving of “the Most Valuable Player award.”

What Cassidy ponders is not the prospects of a Trump victory, which he sees as nigh impossible.  Of greater concern was the notion of a punchy lingering “Trumpism”, the sort left to fester and thrive in the aftermath of its founder’s departure.  “A nationalistic , nativist, protectionist, and authoritarian movement that will forever be associated with him, but which also has the capacity to survive beyond him.”

This is Trump as coherent founding father, devilish in going the way of the Know Nothing movement, or the isolationist bodies such as the America First Committee, keen to avoid a global conflagration by seeking the road of appeasement.

For the most part, the issue of temperament remains the common ground for his critics. To be the Commander in Chief comes with a certain, heavy resume.  Never mind that the resume itself is stocked with flimsy assumptions about quality and capabilities.

No, the business of waging war, interfering in the sovereign affairs of other states, and the entire gamut of empire, is a serious matter that no joke could dissipate.  The shock for those paying attention to Trump is that he cares to disturb and molest such shibboleths with regular abandon. The business of empire is certainly lots of fun for some people.

That US foreign policy has consequences is hardly the surprise, but the queasiness comes in the reminder as to how far those consequences really do go.  ISIS may not be on the public pay roll of the US Treasury as a matter of direct attribution, but the Iraq invasion of 2003, led by the United States, was the very fillip for the creation of the group.  Founding and causation are different in this case, but such subtleties are conveniently obliterated in the polemics of Election 2016.

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






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It is Israel’s darkest secret – or so argues one Israeli journalist – in a country whose short history is replete with dark episodes.

Last month Tzachi Hanegbi, minister for national security, became the first government official to admit that hundreds of babies had been stolen from their mothers in the years immediately following Israel’s creation in 1948. In truth, the number is more likely to be in the thousands.

For nearly seven decades, successive governments – and three public inquiries – denied there had been any wrongdoing. They concluded that almost all the missing babies had died, victims of a chaotic time when Israel was absorbing tens of thousands of new Jewish immigrants.

But as more and more families came forward – lately aided by social media – to reveal their suffering, the official story sounded increasingly implausible.

Although many mothers were told their babies had died during or shortly after delivery, they were never shown a body or grave, and no death certificate was ever issued. Others had their babies snatched from their arms by nurses who berated them for having more children than they could properly care for.

According to campaigners, as many as 8,000 babies were seized from their families in the state’s first years and either sold or handed over to childless Jewish couples in Israel and abroad. To many, it sounds suspiciously like child trafficking.

A few of the children have been reunited with their biological families, but the vast majority are simply unaware they were ever taken. Strict Israeli privacy laws mean it is near-impossible for them to see official files that might reveal their clandestine adoption.

Did Israeli hospitals and welfare organisations act on their own or connive with state bodies? It is unclear. But it is hard to imagine such mass abductions could have occurred without officials at the very least turning a blind eye.

Testimonies indicate that lawmakers, health ministry staff, and senior judges knew of these practices at the time. And the decision to place all documents relating to the children under lock untl 2071 hints at a cover-up.

Mr Hanegbi, who was given the task of re-examining the classified material by prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has been evasive on the question of official involvement. “We may never know,” he has said.

By now, Israel’s critics are mostly inured to the well-known litany of atrocities associated with the state’s founding. Not least, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were expelled from their homeland in 1948 to make way for Israel and its new Jewish immigrants.

The story of the stolen babies, however, offers the shock of the unexpected. These crimes were committed not against Palestinians but other Jews. The parents whose babies were abducted had arrived in the new state lured by promises that they would find in Israel a permanent sanctuary from persecution.

But the kidnapping of the children and the mass expulsion of Palestinians at much the same time are not unrelated events. In fact, the babies scandal sheds light not only on Israel’s past but on its present.

The stolen babies were not randomly seized. A very specific group was targeted: Jews who had just immigrated from the Middle East. Most were from Yemen, with others from Iraq, Morocco and Tunisia.

The Arabness of these Jews was viewed as a direct threat to the Jewish state’s survival, and one almost as serious as the presence of Palestinians. Israel set about “de-Arabising” these Middle Eastern Jews with the same steely determination with which it had just driven out most of the area’s Palestinians.

Like most of Israel’s founding generation, David Ben Gurion, the first prime minister, was from Eastern Europe. He accepted the racist, colonial notions dominant in Europe. He regarded European Jews as a civilised people coming to a primitive, barbarous region.

But the early European Zionists were not simply colonists. They were unlike the British in India, for example, who were interested chiefly in subduing the natives and exploiting their resources. If Britain found “taming” the Indians too onerous, as it eventually did, it could pack up and leave.

That was never a possibility for Ben Gurion and his followers. They were coming not only to defeat the indigenous people, but to replace them. They were going to build their Jewish state on the ruins of Arab society in Palestine.

Scholars label such enterprises – those intending to create a permanent homeland on another people’s land – as “settler colonialism”. Famously, European settlers took over the lands of North America, Australia and South Africa.

The Israeli historian Ilan Pappe has observed that settler colonial movements are distinguished from ordinary colonialism by what he terms the “logic of elimination” that propels them.

Such groups have to adopt strategies of extreme violence towards the indigenous population. They may commit genocide, as happened to the Native American peoples and to the Australian Aborigines. If genocide is not possible, they may instead forcefully impose segregation based on racial criteria, as happened in apartheid South Africa. Or they may commit large-scale ethnic cleansing, as Israel did in 1948. They may adopt more than one strategy.

Ben Gurion needed not only to destroy Palestinian society, but to ensure that “Arabness” did not creep into his new Jewish state through the back door.

The large numbers of Arab Jews who arrived in the first decade were needed in his demographic war against the Palestinians and as a labour force, but they posed a danger too. Ben Gurion feared that, whatever their religion, they might “corrupt” his Jewish state culturally by importing what he called the “spirit of the Levant”.

Adult Jews from the region, he believed, could not be schooled out of their “primitiveness”. But the Zionist leadership hoped the next generation – their offspring – could. They would be reformed through education and the cultivation of a loathing for everything Arab. The task would be made easier still if they were first detached from their biological families.

Israeli campaigners seeking justice for the families of the stolen babies point out that the forcible transfer of children from one ethnic group to another satisfies the United Nation’s definition of genocide.

Certainly, the theft of the Arab Jewish children and their reallocation to European Jews chimed neatly with settler colonialism’s logic of elimination. Such abductions were not unique to Israel. Australia and Canada, for example, seized babies from their surviving native populations in a bid to “civilise” them.

The “re-education” of Israel’s Arab Jews has been largely a success. Mr Netanyahu’s virulently anti-Palestinian Likud party draws heavily on this group’s backing. In fact, it was only because he dares not alienate such supporters that Mr Netanyahu agreed to a fresh examination of the evidence concerning the stolen babies.

But if there is a lesson to be drawn from the government’s partial admission about the abductions, it is not that Mr Netanyahu and Israel’s European elite are now ready to change their ways.

Rather, it should alert Israel’s Arab Jews to the fact that they face the same enemy as the Palestinians: a European Jewish establishment that remains resolutely resistant to the idea of living in peace and respect with either Arabs or the region.


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Indian Farmers Cotton on to New Seed, in Blow to Monsanto

août 13th, 2016 by St. Louis Post-Dispatch

In a tiny hamlet at the heart of the cotton belt in northern India, Ramandeep Mann planted Monsanto’s genetically modified Bt cotton seed for more than a decade, but that changed after a whitefly blight last year.

Mann’s 25-acre farm in Punjab’s Bhatinda district now boasts “desi,” or indigenous, cotton shrubs that promise good yields and pest resistance at a fraction of the cost.

Mann is not alone.

Thousands of cotton farmers across the north of India, the world’s biggest producer and second-largest exporter of the fiber, have switched to the new local variety, spelling trouble for Monsanto, the Creve Coeur-based seed giant, in its most important cotton market outside the Americas.

Seeds of trouble: Monsanto threatens to pull out of India

The Indian government is actively promoting the new homegrown seeds, having already capped prices and royalties that the world’s largest seed company is able to charge.

“Despite the whitefly attack, farmers in northern India are still interested in cotton, but they are moving to the desi variety,” says Textile Commissioner Kavita Gupta.

Official estimates peg the area planted with the new variety at 178,608 acres in northern India, up from roughly 7,413 acres last year.

That is still a tiny percentage overall, and most farmers in the key producing states of Gujarat and Maharashtra are sticking to Monsanto’s GM cotton, which has been instrumental in making India a cotton powerhouse.

And the impact of whitefly, a pest that thrives in dry weather, may not be as big this year, as monsoon rains are likely to be plentiful. Experts said two straight droughts fanned last year’s infestation.

But the new seed is still a setback for Monsanto, which has also been hit by a roughly 10 percent decline in cotton acreage in India this year as farmers switch to crops like pulses and lentils in the aftermath of the whitefly blight.

Seed sales slide

Monsanto’s Bt cotton sales in India have fallen 15 percent so far in 2016, said Kalyan Goswami, executive director of the National Seed Association of India.

The firm, which last year sold some 41 million packets of Bt seeds in India, could stand to lose up to $75 million due to lower sales and the steep cut in royalties enforced by the government earlier in 2016, according to Reuters calculations.

The company, which unsuccessfully challenged India’s decision to slash royalties in court, declined to comment for this article.

But in the wake of the whitefly infestation, Mahyco Monsanto Biotech (India) Pvt. Ltd., a joint venture with India’s Mahyco, said last year that Monsanto and its Indian licensees marketed their product as resistant to bollworms, not other pests.

Some experts were optimistic the indigenous cotton seeds developed by the Central Institute for Cotton Research (CICR), which comes under the farm ministry, would catch on over time.

“Just wait for the crucial three to four years to see a complete, natural turnaround. By then most farmers will give up Bt cotton and go for the indigenous variety,” said Keshav Raj Kranthi, head of CICR.

Kranthi said planting a hectare with the Indian variety cost less than half the farmers paid to sow Bt cotton over the same area, and the crop yield was almost as high.

Unlike genetically modified seeds, farmers could also store and replant the local seeds the following year, he added.

Some experts voiced caution over the new variety, however.

“By all accounts, the indigenous cotton looks pretty promising, but it will be put to test this year,” said Devinder Sharma, an independent food and trade policy analyst. “It’s a potential game changer, but it has to succeed first.”

Bollworms reappear

Experts began raising doubts last year about the resilience of Monsanto’s lab-altered Bt seeds, which still account for more than 90 percent of the cotton seeds sold in India.

Monsanto’s Bollgard II technology, introduced in 2006, was slowly becoming vulnerable to bollworms, they said, as any technology has a limited shelf life.

Kranthi cited the increase in insecticide consumption as a sign of rising pink bollworm infestation.

In 2015 cotton farmers used an average 1.20 kg of insecticides per hectare (about 1.07 pounds per acre), up from 0.5 in 2006 (about 0.44 pounds), when Bt cotton seeds were at the pinnacle of their productivity.

Between 2006 and 2015, fertilizer consumption for the cotton crop doubled to 270 kg per hectare (about 240 pounds per acre), said Kranthi, indicating rising costs of cultivation and stagnating yields of Bt cotton.

But the more pressing concern for many has been whitefly, with farmers like Mann answering the call from India’s farm ministry and state agriculture universities to switch to local seeds to fight it.

“The only other option we had this year was to plant the Bt cotton again or leave the land fallow. Both were fraught with economic risk, and to obviate that risk we decided to plant the desi variety,” he said. ($1 = 66.75 rupees)

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Outrageous: Slobodan Milosevic cleared of charges by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. But no-one is talking about it!

The ICTY (International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia) has discharged Slobodan Milosevic from 1992-95 Bosnian war crimes allegations. This is definitely prime time news, while it holds endless political implications. Oddly enough, though, no major international mainstream media seems to have noticed.

Well, it is understable for everyone to be keeping it quiet: those who with one voice did dub him the “butcher of the Balkans”; those who associated him to Hitler, initiating a pattern which would later be extended to Saddam Hussein, Muammar Qaddafi, and which many would like to stretch further on to Bashar al-Assad. It is easy to read in the silence of the West’s chancellors, most notably the United States’, who doomed Yugoslavia and willed the end of Milosevic.

They may well do that, since Slobodan Milosevic’s “rehabilitation” is nowhere to be seen yet. The court ruling where to look for is the one which led the same court to issue a 40-years sentence for Radovan Karadzic. Therefore, one is to read through the bulky papers ruling before being able to realize that Milosevic was not guilty for the charges for which he spent the last five years of his life behind bars and encircled by universal shame. That’s the trick. Karadzic’s sentence dates back to 24th March of this year. We’re halfway through August and the worldwide mainstream media are not even remotely showing any sign of awareness. Or they figure it is more convenient not to.

This way, no Western leader is going to have to apologize at all, to Yugoslavia, to Serbia, to the unwitting peoples of Europe. Actually, if we knew better, it would be their turn to be sitting on the stand now. Precisely in that 24th March ruling, the court who tried Milosevic stated that “the Chamber is not satisfied that there was sufficient evidence presented in this case to find that Slobodan Milosevic agreed with the common plan” (ICTY, Karadzic Judgment, 24 March 2016, Para. 3460) demanded by the Serbs to expel Bosnian muslims and Croato-Bosnians out of Bosnian territory.

Yet, the wording here is willingly blurry. The point is not “sufficient evidence”. The same sentence reaffirms more than once, and by quoting documented evidence, the existence of substantial divergences between Milosevic and Karadzic in several crucial turnpoints of that mournful crisis. For instance, the ruling assessed that Milosevic opposed the decision of establishing a Serb Republic.

More than a few other instances have now surfaced, revealing what was already well-known to those who genuinely wished to know: that is, Milosevic had been striving to the end – namely, the set off of NATO bombings over Serbia- to strike an agreement with Western leaders – and it was Mme Albright who decided no-one was to sign that deal.

Five years of prison – the last of his life- were agreed for up in high European and US headquarters, in utter disrespect for any form of justice and in the name of an act of abuse by means of which Yugoslavia has been torn apart and shattered to bits. And his death in prison took place in highly suspicious circumstances and blatantly inhuman conditions. Officially, he died from a heart attack. However, that came two weeks after the Court had denied him permission to be treated in Russia, as he had requested. The former Yugoslavian President died in his cell three days after his lawyer had managed to send a letter to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in which he wrote he feared of being poisoned.

We do know now what kind of “justice” was the one that Court was after: the victor’s. They now clear Milosevic’s name, while still concealing their persuasion. It is no act of carelessness. Korean justice O-Gon, who presided Karadzic’s trial, was also to be found in the lot who tried Milosevic, that is until he died. That justice had deep insight in both trials’ works and records. We are but left with wondering on whose payroll he and his honorable colleagues might be. The West is drowning in its own filth, along with those values it shamelessly claims everyday to be willing to protect.

Author: Giulietto Chiesa

Translation: Oliviero Martini

Giulietto Chiesa is one of the best known Italian journalists. He was Moscow correspondent for twenty years for “L’Unità” and “La Stampa”. He worked with all major Italian television channels, from the TG1 to TG3 and TG5 and is currently political analyst for major Russian television channels. He is the only Italian journalist to be repeatedly mentioned in the autobiography of Mikhail Gorbachev, whom he has repeatedly interviewed. He writes a blog for “Il Fatto Quotidiano”. His own blog is He is founder and director of web tv. An expert in international politics and communications scholar, he founded the political-cultural movement “Alternativa”. Among his credits there are some best-sellers such as “Endless War”, “Superclan” (with Marcello Villari), “Barack Obush” (with Pino Cabras) and the movie “Zero, an inquiry into 9/11”. He is one of the initiators of Sofia Club and of the Delphi Inititative. His new book, “Putinophobia” is to come out simultaneously in France, where the author was invited as a guest at the Paris Book Fair, and in Russia.

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Given the increasing hysteria of the media’s current reporting of the situation in Syria, which may well be the precursor of more violence to be rationalised as “humanitarian intervention”, we’re returning to our ongoing series on the BBC’s “Saving Syria’s Children” documentary and the numerous problems arising from it (see our previous articles here and here).

If you have been following and if you’ve read Robert Stuart’s excellent investigation, you’ll know the BBC Panorama program in question featured a doctor named Rola Hallam, who works with the charity “Hand in Hand For Syria”, and who – according to the program – just happened tp be present at the Atareb hospital in Syria, with a Panorama film crew when a “chemical attack” occurred nearby at a school in Aleppo.

We’ve already covered many of the reasons to question or even reject portions of this narrative, as well as some of the issues surrounding the charity Hand in Hand For Syria, but this short film airs yet another area of doubt. Was/is Rola Hallam’s father, Mousa al-Kurdi, just “a gynaecologist” as Rola herself claims, or is he in fact a senior figure in the major opposition group – the Syrian National Council?

There is a good deal of evidence for the latter, as Robert Stuart shows:

…According to a February 2013 article written Dr Hallam’s colleague, Dr Saleyha Ahsan, Dr al-Kurdi is “involved politically with the Syrian National Council”. In an Al Jazeerainterview Dr al-Kurdi passionately advocates for the Syrian National Council’s recognition as the “sole representative” of all Syrians and relates how, following his address to the Friends of Syria summit in Istanbul in 2012 (attended by Hillary Clinton), he told Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu “You’re not doing enough” and demanded of Professor Davutoğlu and several other foreign ministers, including Victoria Nuland of the US State Department, “either you defend us or you arm the Syrian Free Army to defend us – you have the choice.

The question matters, of course, because the daughter of “a gynaecologist” can be presented as a non-political figure simply concerned with “saving Syria’s children”, whereas the daughter of a senior figure in the Syrian National Council – a major force in the campaign to remove Assad – can’t be viewed in such a light.

Is this why Hallam conveniently forgets to mention this aspect of her dad’s career? You be the judge.

On the same topic we need to ask why other members of the “Hand in Hand” charity have been photographed wielding “a cornucopia of armaments”?

More on that at a later date.

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Uncharacteristically, Myanmar’s Ministry of Information-run newspaper, the Burmese-language Myanma Alinn Daily, levelled commentary toward neighbouring Thailand. It is uncharacteristic, because until of late, the paper and the Ministry of Information itself has generally refrained from commenting on the politics of other nations.

And not only did the Ministry of Information-run newspaper comment on Thailand’s politics, it did so in a way supporting a wider Western-crafted narrative attempting to undermine the legitimacy of Bangkok’s current government in order to pave the way in the region for yet another American-European backed political front, the first being that of Aung San Suu Kyi in Myanmar itself.

Reuters’ article, “Myanmar paper: Thailand risks ‘substandard democracy’,” would report:

A state-run newspaper in Myanmar says Thailand risks “substandard” democracy if a military-backed draft constitution is approved in a referendum on Sunday.The irony of the comment is hardly lost on voters and political observers alike across the region. For decades Myanmar suffered economic stagnation under harsh military rule while Thailand was seen as an Asian “tiger” economy with extensive freedoms and a developing democracy.

Reuters would further report:

“If the draft of the constitution in Thailand were to be approved in the upcoming referendum, the democracy in that country would become substandard and limited,” said an editorial in the Burmese-language Myanma Alinn Daily, which is run by the Ministry of Information and rarely comments on politics in other countries.Zaw Htay, a spokesman for Aung San Suu Kyi, asked if the editorial reflected the government’s official position, referred questions to the Ministry of Information.

The US State Department-Trained Minister of Information

Myanmar’s new Minister of Information is Pe Myint, who according to the Myanmar Times article, “Who’s who: Myanmar’s new cabinet,” is (our emphasis):

Formerly a doctor with a degree from the Institute of Medicine, U Pe Myint changed careers after 11 years and received training as a journalist at the Indochina Media Memorial Foundation in Bangkok. He then embarked on a career as a writer, penning dozens of novels. He participated in the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa in 1998, and was also editor-in-chief of The People’s Age Journal. He was born in Rakhine State in 1949.

To understand why Pe Myint’s training at the Indochina Media Memorial Foundation in Bangkok (IMMF) is key, readers must turn to Wikileaks and a US diplomatic cable titled, “An Overview of Northern Thailand-Based Burmese Media Orgranizations.”

In it, it states (our emphasis):

Other organizations, some with a scope beyond Burma, also add to the educational opportunities for Burmese journalists. The Chiang Mai-based Indochina Media Memorial Foundation, for instance, last year completed training courses for Southeast Asian reporters that included Burmese participants. Major funders for journalism training programs in the region include the NED, Open Society Institute (OSI), and several European governments and charities.<

The diplomatic cable would also reveal that:

A number of active media training programs attract exiles and those from inside Burma to Chiang Mai for journalism courses ranging from one week to one year. These training programs identify would-be journalists who are active in communities inside Burma, as well as NGOs in Thailand, and help them secure reporting positions with Burmese media outfits in the region. The training programs help ensure that future generations will be able to succeed the founders of the current organizations.

Finally, to put into perspective just how directly the training of journalists from Myanmar and the funding of their media operations upon graduation serves US interests, the US cable would admit:

In a refreshing take for U.S. diplomats interacting with foreign media, the exile journalist community here remains steadfastly pro-American. Groups such as DVB and The Irrawaddy continually seek more input from U.S. officials and make frequent use of interviews, press releases and audio clips posted on USG websites. A live interview with a U.S. diplomat is a prized commodity, one even capable of stoking a healthy competition among rival news organizations to land a scoop. A 2006 Irrawaddy interview with EAP DAS Eric John multiplied into several articles and circulated widely throughout the exile community and mainstream media.USG funding plays some role in this goodwill…

In essence, US-European government cash is being used to construct an entirely parallel media network both inside and outside Myanmar. And it was from this US-European network that the current Minister of Information was drawn.

US Uses Parallel Institutions to Overwrite National Sovereignty Pe Myint, even as recently as this year, still participates in US government-funded activities, including the January 2016 Information Symposium (.pdf) held in Yangon. His “goodwill” toward the US and its interests are likely still a residual effect of the large sums of money Washington and the capitals of Europe have invested in him as he worked his way up into the highest levels of power within Myanmar’s government.

Likewise, the US runs a variety of other training programs and NGOs focusing on governance, law, legislation, education and many other aspects a modern nation-state needs to function, but also aspects Myanmar already has.

The purpose of creating an alternative system parallel to Myanmar’s existing institutions is to eventually reach critical mass, achieve regime change, then completely replace Myanmar’s existing institutions with those completely controlled by the US government and the special interests it represents.

It is, in other words, the manifestation of modern-day imperialism, the same imperialism Myanmar had fought against nearly a generation ago to escape, only to find itself now fully enveloped by again.

That the current Minister of Information in Myanmar is using his position and the state’s newspapers to propagate narratives in line with US and European geopolitical interests, and the fact that he was quite literally trained by the US State Department’s ecosystem of NGOs in Southeast Asia is no coincidence. This is precisely how global centres of power throughout the entirety of human history have exercised and projected their power far beyond their borders, across the globe in hegemonic pursuits.

Myanmar’s unravelling national sovereignty, with institutions at the highest levels of power now virtually run by the US State Department and its army of collaborators, is a warning to the rest of the region regarding both the true purpose and objectives of foreign-funded NGOs and the threat to national security they truly represent.

Inside the Mind of a Collaborator

Finally, it is worth looking back at the history of European colonialism to understand just why in any given nation there are those willing to trade national sovereignty, freedom and independence for a role, however minor, in the hegemonic designs of a foreign power.

Perhaps there is no better way to put it than the words published in the “International Journal of African Historical Studies,” in a paper titled, “African Collaborators and Their Quest for Power in Colonial Kenya,” by Evanson N. Wamagatta.

In the paper it states:

[Referring to collaborators] They were collectively “an indispensable channel through which the dictates of imperial rule are handed down; and up through them are transmitted the responses and reactions of the governed.” There were many individuals who aspired to collaborate because the allure of what colonialism had to offer. Collaboration attracted those who hoped to benefit from the wealth, power, prestige, and influence derived from the colonizers, and thereby preserve or improve their social, political, or economic standing.

Myanmar has little to gain itself, as an independent nation, risking a diplomatic row with neighbouring Thailand by commenting on Thailand’s internal politics. However, it does have much to gain as an intermediary for the United States and Europe, or at least Minister Pe Myint does.

While Reuters refers to “irony” regarding what it claims is a reversal of regional roles for Myanmar and Thailand, the real irony lies in Myanmar posing as a freer nation today, despite being closer than ever to reverting back to its days under foreign subjugation.

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

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Could the « Deep State » Be Sabotaging Hillary Clinton?

août 13th, 2016 by Charles Hugh Smith

Few would dispute that Hillary Clinton is the Establishment’s candidate. It’s widely accepted that the Establishment hews to a neoconservative (neo-con) foreign policy that is fully supported by America’s Deep State, i.e. the centers of state power that don’t change as a result of elections.

As a result, it’s widely accepted that « the Deep State » fully supports Hillary Clinton’s bid for the presidency and will move heaven and earth to get her elected. While this is a logical premise, I suspect it’s overly simplistic. I suspect major power centers in the Deep State are actively sabotaging Hillary because they’ve concluded she is a poisoned chalice who would severely damage the interests of the Deep State and the U.S.A.

Poisoned chalice: something that seems very good when it is first received, but in fact does great harm to the person/ institution/ nation that receives it.

I realize this may strike many as ludicrous, but bear with me as we work through the notion that the Deep State would prefer Trump to Hillary.

The consensus view seems to be that the Establishment and the Deep State see Trump as a loose cannon who might upset the neo-con apple cart by refusing to toe the Establishment’s Imperial line.

This view overlooks the possibility that significant segments of the Deep State view the neo-con strategy as an irredeemable failure and would welcome a president who would overthrow the remnants of the failed strategy within the Establishment and Deep State.

To these elements of the Deep State, Hillary is a threat precisely because she embraces the failed strategy and those who cling to it. From this point of view, Hillary as president would be an unmitigated disaster for the elements of the Deep State that have concluded the U.S. must move beyond the neo-con strategic failures to secure the nation’s core interests.

There are other reasons why elements of the Deep State view Hillary as a poisoned chalice.

1. Hillary is an empty vessel. Nobody seriously claims she has any core beliefs that she would make personal sacrifices to support. While at first glance this may seem to be a plus, the Deep State is not devoid of values. Rather, the typical member of the Deep State has strong values and distrusts/ loathes people like Hillary who value nothing other than personal aggrandizement.

Hillary’s sole supreme commitment is the further aggrandizement of wealth and power to her family. This makes her intrinsically untrustworthy to the Deep State, which has bigger fish to fry than the Clinton Project of aggrandizing wealth and personal power.

2. Hillary has exhibited the typical flaw of liberal Democrats: fearful of being accused as being soft on Russia, Syria, Iran, terrorism, etc. or losing whatever war is currently being prosecuted, liberal Democrats over-compensate by pursuing overly aggressive and poorly planned policies.

The forward-thinking elements of the Deep State are not averse to aggressive pursuit of what they perceive as American interests, but they are averse to quagmires and policies that preclude successful maintenance of the Imperial Project.

3. The Deep State requires relatively little of elected officials, even the President. A rubber stamp of existing policies is the primary requirement (see the Obama presidency for an example).

But the Deep State prefers a leader that can successfully sell the Deep State’s agenda to the American public. (President Obama has done a very credible job of supporting the Imperial Project agenda. I think it’s clear the Deep State supported President Obama’s re-election.) A politician who’s primary characteristic is untrustworthiness is poorly equipped to sell anything, especially something as complex and increasingly unpopular as the Imperial Project.

4. Hillary suffers from the delusion that she understands power politics and the Imperial Project. The most dangerous President to the Deep State is one who believes he/she is qualified to set the Imperial agenda and change the course of the Deep State as their personal entitlement.

For these reasons, elements of the Deep State might sabotage Hillary’s campaign as the greater threat to American interests. Trump is as unpopular as Hillary, but his sense of self-aggrandizement and narcissism is of a different order than Hillary’s. Elements of the Deep State may view Trump as more malleable (or more charitably, as more open to much-needed changes in U.S. policies) and a better salesperson than Hillary.

Although it’s difficult to identify specific evidence for this, the Deep State is not as monolithic as the alternative media assumes. An increasingly powerful sector of the Deep State views the neo-con agenda as a disaster for American interests, and is far more focused on the Long Game of energy, food security, economic and military innovation and a productive response to climate change.

Trump is less wedded to the neo-con agenda than Hillary, less concerned with looking weak and more willing to cut new deals to clear the path for U.S. soft power (diplomacy, cultural influence, energy, food security, economic innovation and successful responses to climate change) rather than the neo-con obsession with hard power and the old-style Great Game of geopolitics.

So how could the forward-looking elements of the Deep State sabotage Hillary? I can think of several ways:

1. Engineer a protracted stock market decline that hits American voters in their pocketbooks before the election by gutting the « wealth effect. » A plunging stock market would make a mockery of the claim that the economy is « recovering. »

2. Continue to leak dirty laundry on Hillary, her health, the Clinton foundation scams, etc.

3. Put the word out to the corporatocracy, top-level media, etc., that the Deep State would prefer a Trump presidency, despite the widely held assumption that Clinton is the shoo-in Establishment candidate, and that those who cling to Hillary will pay a price later on as the neo-cons are cashiered or sent to Siberia for their failures.

Maybe Hillary is the Deep State’s shoo-in for president. But I suspect doubts in the Deep State have advanced to active sabotage for the reasons noted above.

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An exhibition entitled ‘Hidden Holocaust’ will expose the facts behind WW2 genocide at the Jasenovac to the United Nations after decades of suppression. The exhibition is the work of most acclaimed living film director of the Balkans Emir Kusturica.

28. Jun, the largest Serbian diaspora organisation, is being singled out to market and brand the landmark exhibition.

The exhibition will be held at the United Nations in New York on Holocaust Remembrance Day which falls on April 23, 2017. 28. Jun will partner with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia, the Andric Institute, the University of Belgrade and the Jasenovac Research Institute, on what promises to be largest exposé on the concentration camp ever organized in the West. Over 500,000 Serbs, 40,000 Roma, 33,000 Jews and 127,000 Anti-Fascists, including many Croats, were executed in the camp complex from 1941 to 1945.

8Worldwide Serbian charity and Diaspora organisation, 28. Jun says:

We plan to counter the rise of extremism and anti-Serbism which has swept Croatia since the formation of the new nationalist government. The organization led the Oluja remembrance march in Belgrade last Friday, forced the leading German dictionary to redefine ‘Ustase’ two weeks ago and successfully completed the digital #NoKosovoUnesco campaign in late 2015. In addition to its anti-defamation projects, 28. Jun is the largest Serbian humanitarian organization in the world, having delivered $4.6 mil worth of aid to Serbs throughout the Balkans since 2011.

A countdown to the exhibition, with moving images of the terror at Jasenovac is online at:

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28-year-old whistleblower, Private Chelsea Manning, currently serving a 35 year sentence at Kansas’ Fort Leavenworth, tried to kill herself on July 5.  As a result of her suicide attempt, she now faces further punishment including possible indefinite solitary confinement.

Manning, who was first taken into custody in 2010 had already been subjected to solitary confinement for 9 months, even before she was convicted.  Manning’s supporters believe that the long stretches in solitary confinement since her conviction and lack of essential medical care have contributed to her mental deterioration.

Manning’s attorney Chase Strangio of the ACLU and legendary whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, known best for his role in exposing the Pentagon Papers which revealed failing U.S strategy in the Vietnam War, both explained the significance of the U.S government’s further punishment of Chelsea Manning during a press conference call earlier today.

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According to Strangio, Manning’s “loss of access to phone calls, the prison library, and not getting medical treatment for gender dysphoria,” while “cutting Chelsea off from her outside support” is how the government is “destabilizing her mental health.” She also added that if there are other such suicide attempts in solitary confinement in Leavenworth, “the government does not make such information public.”

When asked whether this was grounds to sue for “mental anguish,” Strangio replied that the ACLU had already sued Department of Defense and Department of Army officials “for their failure to provide necessary medical treatment for her gender dysphoria” but “would consider further legal action” if warranted.

Strangio also explained that the “arbitrary administrative charges” which Manning faces, “are designed to make anything a violation. Even possessing a tube of expired toothpaste, which a prisoner has no control over, can be used against them.”

Daniel Ellsberg, who himself was threatened with 115 years in prison for leaking to the press, top secret information about U.S. Decision-making in the Vietnam war, described Manning “a personal hero”. Ellsberg’s leak led to the convictions of several White House aides and figured in the impeachment proceedings against President Nixon, after which Ellsberg had his own charges dropped in 1973. Ellsberg stated in the press conference that he believes the primary motive for such a lengthy sentence for Manning was because U.S government officials feared possible indictments as a result of Manning’s leaks.

Ellsberg explained that Manning’s disclosures revealed such incriminating information as “turning over Iraqi prisoners for torture, widespread use of assassination teams, and blatant war crimes” which Ellsberg said made U.S officials “liable for criminal prosecution in International Criminal Court (ICC).” While admitting that “the chances of the U.S accepting the ICC’s jurisdiction and actually prosecuting the former U.S president or other U.S officials was virtually zero,” Ellsberg added that “further investigation would reveal even more such incriminating information” and viewed Manning’s lengthy prison sentence as “retaliation for providing evidence that could be used against U.S officials.”

Ellsberg stated that Manning’s leaked info was “actually less classified” than the Pentagon Papers, and added that the government “had never proven in court that any harm resulted from Manning’s leaks. He further criticized the government for “misusing the Espionage Act which was meant for spies and not for whistleblowers acting in the public interest.”

Ellsberg firmly stated that he considered Manning “a political prisoner” and said that both Manning and Edward Snowden deserved political asylum as both of them were acting to inform the American public and not out of malice. Ellsberg noted that Snowden fled the U.S after seeing how Manning was treated and that most countries did not offer Snowden asylum for fear of antagonizing the U.S, with the exception of Russia, where Snowden currently resides.

Ellsberg was also critical of the military court that convicted Manning “without ever giving her a chance to bring up her reasons for her actions” which Ellsberg said was “unconstitutional.”

As a whistleblower himself, Ellsberg felt that leaking the Pentagon Papers was “the right choice” and that he would “like to see more Chelsea Mannings.” Ellsberg also described Manning as “extraordinarily patriotic and humane” and called her suicide attempt “understandable.” Ellsberg further criticized the U.S government’s treatment of Manning. “These new charges and mistreatment is meant to break her down. It is sadistic and outrageous.”

This morning, Manning’s supporters delivered a petition with 115,000 signatures to the Secretary of the Army demanding the Army drop charges stemming from Manning’s July 5 suicide attempt. Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future, said, “The U.S. government’s treatment of her will be remembered as one of the most shameful abuses of power in our nation’s history. Everyone who cares about human rights should be speaking out against this cruelty and injustice right now.”

Gauri Reddy is an investigative journalist, filmmaker, human rights advocate and self-proclaimed treehugger.

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It is obvious to most in the world that the U.S. and Israel are symbiotically linked to each other – each using the other for their own purposes, some of which are common, others that are not.  In Obstacle to Peace Jeremy Hammond dissects current events and the relationships between the two countries demonstrating that the biggest obstacle to peace in Israel-Palestine is the U.S.    The focus is narrowed down to the specific relationship between the U.S. and Israel and does not delve into U.S. ambitions for the greater Middle East (which would still centre, if not focus, on Israel).  It is also much less a history than it is an examination of the methods by which the U.S. plays its role. 

In his preface, Hammond says, “I have tried to  write the book so as not to require an extensive prior knowledge of the subject to be able to understand it…to be accessible to a broader audience…willing to commit the time to developing a well informed opinion.”  As a well informed reader I cannot say whether it would well and truly do this, but the language used and the actual structure of the book would make  it accessible to a broad audience.

It is a detailed work concentrating on the combination of actions and language concerning the U.S.’ supporting role for Israel.  The physical actions, the identifiable events of history, could be presented in a much shorter work for the time span covered.  It is in the realm of language –  agreements  (written or otherwise),  media representations, speeches, discourses,  and the many elements of international law – affecting, describing, attributing, manipulating – where the bulk of Hammond’s presentation concentrates.

The latter element, international law, assumes a position front and centre in Hammond’s arguments.  Both the U.S. and Israel rationalize their actions by referring to international law but they do so essentially by attempting to “manage perceptions”, create their own “narrative”, utilize the Chomsky described vehicle of “manufactured consent” all the while operating with a set of “double standards”.  Hammond makes an intense and well structured ‘deconstruction’ of the misleading language, the obfuscation, the fog of jargon utilized by U.S. and Israeli politicians, pundits and media of all kinds.

Without getting into the details of his arguments (I leave that for the reader to read about), several things stand out.  One of the standouts is the U.S. media complicity/subordination, while ironically Ha’aretz of Israel frequently is much more critical – and accurately so – than the U.S. mainstream media.   Another feature that works slowly into light is the quisling nature of Abbas’ ruling power.  Essentially he is helping Israel control the Palestinian people.  This is recognized by both Israel and the U.S. (and by Abbas)  as the threat to cut funding to the PA is viewed as more political fodder for the public but if carried through would be detrimental to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land.  From the latter rises the idea that war is the answer, that peace is not in the interests of either the U.S. or Israel for geopolitical and economic and other domestic reasons.

The largest element however is language – the language used for  customary  and coded international law.

There are essentially two types of international law: customary law, informal, unwritten rules deriving from ‘state practice’ and objective obligations;  and treaty law, contractual written agreements intent on creating binding rights and obligations.  The UN Charter, the various Geneva Conventions, trade agreements, environmental agreements are all part of the latter treaty law. [1]

Obviously there are different interpretations of both the customary and treaty laws, but there is sort of a law of laws, the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, that says, “A treaty shall be interpreted in good faith in accordance with the ordinary meaning to be given to the terms of the treaty in their context…”[2]  Thus, if the ordinary meaning is to be understood in context, then to support a position that would under the ‘ordinary meaning’ be against international law, it becomes necessary to change the context.[3]  However the reality of the context can only be changed by managing its presentation.

Changing the context is done through the methods described by Hammond throughout his presentation: alter the narrative, use double standards,  manage perception, manufacture consent.  It is in this area where Hammond does a superb thorough deconstruction of Israeli/U.S. attempts to change the context to fit their own denial of international law as it pertains to them.

As an example, this is shown by their attempts to stop Abbas from seeking statehood recognition within the UN.  That accession would change the manner in which the various parties interact, and change the global view of how to deal with the situation in Israel/Palestine.  It also reaches farther, as exemplified by the great fear of Palestinian accession to the International Criminal Court (ICC), which asks the question, if what you (Israel-U.S.) are doing is so in compliance with international law, why is there this fear of Palestine having recourse to the ICC?

One of my favorite neocons, John Bolton, « mindful of its [U.S.] complicity and the possibility of future prosecution for war crimes at the ICC….warned « to convoke the International Criminal Court is like putting a loaded pistol to Israel’s head – or, in the future, to America’s. » (p. 407) Why, Mr. Bolton, why?

The UNESCO and  ICC cases, presented towards the end of the book, highlight Hammond’s use of the four aspects of contextual methodology of the U.S.-Israeli dialogue concerning Palestine.  A clear double standard and change of narrative exists concerning the determination of a state of Palestine as per entrance to UNESCO.

Then Secretary of State Clinton cautioned against recognizing a state without « determining what the state will look like, what its borders are, how it will deal with myriad issues that states must address » – none of which issues had prevented the U.S. sixty-three years earlier from recognizing the state of Israel only minutes [italics in original] after the Zionist leadership unilaterally declared its existence without borders and mostly on land they had no rights to. » (p. 369)  In fact they had no rights to any of the land other than the 5.8 per cent they actually owned as the UN Partition Plan was rejected by the Palestinians and had no power of international law.

Earlier in Hammond’s presentation (p. 354) the New York Times argued that « vetoing a statehood resolution « would intensify Arab perceptions of American double standards, » noting also « the president risks appearing hypocritical. »  A nice tidy way to identify double standards, manage perceptions, and manufacture consent for a narrative – in this case the idea being simply that it is not the fault of the U.S. but of Arab « perceptions. »

Obstacle to Peace is a lengthy and involved read, yet readily accessible.  It can and should serve as a reference work, a compendium of information on the Israel-Palestine conflict.  As for the initial structural reference, the chapters are clearly delineated and set out with clear subheadings.  The bibliography/reference section is extensive.  It also struck me that the words narrative, double standards, manufactured consent, manage perceptions are not listed in the very useful index – these contextual methodologies are so widespread throughout the book the marker would simply be passim.

The conclusion is simple, well supported by the precise examination of language and context: “the single greatest obstacle to a peaceful resolution: the criminal policies of the government of the United States of America.”



[1] Michael Byers, War Law – Understanding International Law and Armed Conflict. Douglas & McIntyre, Vancouver, 2005. P. 3-4.

[2] ibid, p.5

[3] Some actions that may have become customary, such as pre-emptive war and the ‘right to protect’ syndrome have been abused by the U.S./NATO (Iraq, Libya, Syria, Kosovo/Serbia, Afghanistan)  and now are not considered to be a customary rule (i.e. not accepted by the majority of the world) basically as they were used as an excuse to invade and change governments in other countries who did not accept U.S. global hegemony.


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The battle for Aleppo is heading to its turning point. Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, a new brand of the Al Nusra Front terrorist group, various jihadi faction and the Western-backed moderate oppositioners has set a joint front against the Syrian government forces, supported by the Russian Aerospace Forces and Iranian-backed Shia militias. They were pushed to make this move, which clearly showed there were only terrorists and terrorist-linked groups in Aleppo, because of successful actions of the Assad government and its Russian and Iranian allies that lead to encirclement of the militant-controlled areas of the city.

This and a threat of cessation of support through the Turkish border after August 9 meeting between Vladimir Putin and Recep Erdogan forced Jabhat Fateh al-Sham leadership and its allies to risk everything, redeploying all elite infantry in the battle for Aleppo and moving rear supply bases and command centres closer to the strategic city. The militants’ actions show that they the “all-or-nothing” approach.

Despite all PR claims of the West that the Assad government and its allies have to stop military operations, it’s clear that the intensification of military pressure on the terrorists storming Aleppo, including the usage of strategic bombers that have already been in action over Palmyra, is the most rational answer to the challenges faced there.

The Russian missile ships Tatarstan and Dagestan, which are scheduled to hold missile and artillery live-firing drills in the south-western part of the Caspian Sea, could also use Kalibr missile systems in order to destroy the jihadists’ command centers, training camps and rear bases in the Idlib and Aleppo countryside.

If the jihadists’ resistance is broken, pro-government forces will take control of the important logistic hub and put an end to the US-, Turkish- and Saudi-backed jihadists as a united force in Syria. It will create an opportunity to destroy the rest of terrorists and terrorist-linked groups, ignoring the PR statements that the so-called “moderate opposition” has forgotten to separate from them.


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Rethinking The Cold War

août 13th, 2016 by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

The Cold War began during the Truman administration and lasted through the Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, and Carter administrations and was ended in Reagan’s second term when Reagan and Gorbachev came to an agreement that the conflict was dangerous, expensive, and pointless.

The Cold War did not cease for long—only from the last of Reagan’s second term and the four years of George H. W. Bush’s term. In the 1990s President Clinton restarted the Cold War by breaking America’s promise not to expend NATO into Eastern Europe. George W. Bush heated up the renewed Cold War by pulling the US out of the Anti-ABM Treaty, and Obama has made the war hotter with irresponsible rhetoric and by placing US missiles on Russia’s border and overthrowing the Ukrainian government.

The Cold War was a Washington creation. It was the work of the Dulles brothers. Allen was the head of the CIA, and John Foster was the Secretary of State, positions that they held for a long time. The brothers had a vested interest in the Cold War. They used the Cold War to protect the interests of their law firm’s clients, and they used it to enhance the power and budgets associated with their high positions in government. It is much more exciting to be in charge of foreign policy and covert activity in dangerous times.

Whenever a reformist democratic government appeared in Latin America the Dulles brothers saw it as a threat to the holdings that their law firm’s clients had in that country. These holdings, sometimes acquired with bribes to nondemocratic governments, diverted the country’s resources and wealth into American hands, and that is the way the Dulles brothers intended to keep it. The reformist government would be declared Marxist or Communist, and the CIA and State Department would work together to overthrow it and place back in power a dictator in bed with Washington.

The Cold War was pointless except for the Dulles brothers’ interests and those of the military/security complex. The Soviet government, unlike the US government today, had no world hegemonic asperations. Stalin had declared “Socialism in one country” and purged the Trotskyists, the advocates of world revolution. Communism in China and Eastern Europe were not products of Soviet international communism. Mao was his own man, and the Soviet Union kept Eastern Europe from which the Red Army drove out the Nazis as a buffer against a hostile West.

In those days the “Red scare” was used like the “Muslim terrorist scare” today—to force the public to go along with an agenda without debate or understanding. Consider the costly Vietnam war, for example. Ho Chi Minh was an anticolonist leading a nationalist movement. He was not an agent of international communism, but John Foster Dulles made him one and said that Ho must be stopped or the “domino theory” would result in the fall of all of Southeast Asia to communism. Vietnam won the war and did not launch the aggression that Dulles predicted against Southeast Asia.

Ho had pleaded with the US government for support against the French colonial power that ruled Indo-China. Rebuffed, Ho turned to Russia. If Washington had simply told the French government that the colonialist era was over and that France needed to vacate Indo-China, the disaster of the Vietnam war would have been avoided. But invented threats to serve interest groups had become hobgoblins then as now, and Washington, along with many others, became a victim of its imaginary monsters.

NATO was unnecessary as there was no danger of the Red Army sweeping into Western Europe. The Soviet government had enough trouble occupying Eastern Europe with its rebellous populations. The Soviet Union was faced with an uprising in East Germany in 1953, from Poland and Hungary in 1956, and from the Communist Party itself in Czechoslavia in 1968. The Soviet Union suffered enormous population loss in World War II and required its remaining manpower for post-war reconstruction. It was beyond Soviet ability to occupy Western Europe in addition to Eastern Europe. The French and Italian communist parties were strong in the post-war period, and Stalin had grounds for hope that a communist government in France or Italy would result in the breakup of Washington’s European empire. These hopes were dashed by Operation Gladio.

We had the Cold War because it served the Dulles brothers and the power and profits of the military/security complex. There were no other reasons for the Cold War.

The new Cold War is even more pointless than the first. Russia was cooperating with the West, and the Russian economy was integrated into the West as a supplier of raw materials. The neoliberal economic policy that Washington convinced the Russian government to implement was designed to keep the Russian economy in the role of supplier of raw materials to the West. Russia expressed no territorial ambitions and spent very little on its military.

The new Cold War is the work of a handful of neoconservative fanatics who believe that History has chosen the US to wield hegemonic power over the world. Some of the neocons are sons of former Trotskyists and have the same romantic notion of world revolution, only this time it is “democratic-capitalist” and not communist.

The new Cold War is far more dangerous than the old, because the respective war doctrines of the nuclear powers have changed. The function of nuclear weapons is no longer retaliatory. Mutually Assured Destruction was a guarantee that the weapons would not be used. In the new war doctrine nuclear weapons have been elevated to first-use in a preemptive nuclear attack. Washington first took this step, forcing Russia and China to follow.

The new Cold War is more dangerous for a second reason. During the first Cold War American presidents focused on reducing tensions between nuclear powers. But the Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama regimes have raised tensions dramaticaly. William Perry, Secretary of Defense in the Clinton regime, recently spoke of the danger of nuclear war being launched by false alarms resulting from such things as faulty computer chips. Fortunately, when such instances occurred in the past, the absence of tension in the relationship between the nuclear powers caused authorities on both sides to disbelieve the false alarms. Today, however, with constant allegations of pending Russian invasions, Putin demonized as “the new Hitler,” and the buildup of US and NATO military forces on Russia’s borders, a false alarm becomes believable.

NATO lost its purpose when the Soviet Union collapsed. However, too many careers, budgets, and armaments profits depended on NATO. The neoconservatives seized on NATO as political cover and an auxillary military force for their hegemonic ambitions. The purpose of NATO today is to implicate all of Europe in Washington’s war crimes. Since all are guilty, European governments cannot turn on Washington and accuse the Americans of war crimes. Other voices are too weak to be of consequence. Despite its vast crimes against humanity, the West still retains the position of “a light unto the world,” a defender of truth, justice, human rights, democracy, and individual liberty. This reputation persists despite the destruction of the Bill of Rights and police state repression.

The West does not represent the values that the world has been brainwashed to believe are associated wirth the West. For example, there was no need to attack Japanese civilian cities with atomic weapons. Japan was trying to surrender and was holding out against the US demand for unconditional surrender only in order to spare the emperor from execution for war crimes over which he had no control. Like the British sovereign today, the emperor had no political power and was a symbol of national unity. Japan’s war leaders were fearful that Japanese unity would dissolve if the emperor, the symbol of unity, was removed. Of course, the Americans were too ignorant to understand the situation, and so, little Truman, bullied all his life as a nonentity, glorified in his power and dropped the bombs.

The atomic bombs dropped on Japan were powerful. However, the hydrogen bombs that have replaced them are far more powerful. The use of such weapons is inconsistent with life on Earth.

Donald Trump has said the only hopeful thing in the presidential campaign. He called into question NATO and the orchesrated conflict with Russia. We don’t know if we can believe him or whether his government would follow his direction. But we do know that Hitlery is a warmonger, an agent of the neoconservatives, the military-security complex, the Israel Lobby, the banks too big to fail, Wall Street, and every foreign interest that will make a mega-million dollar donation to the Clinton Foundation or a quarter million dollar fee for a speech.

Hitlery [Hillary Clinton] declared the President of Russia to be the Ultimate Threat—“the new Hitler.”

Could it be any more clear? A vote for Hitlery is a vote for war. Despite this most obvious of all facts, the US media, united as one, are doing everything in their power to drive Trump into the ground and to elect Hitlery.

What does this tell us about the intelligence of the “Unipower,” “the world’s only superpower,” the” indispensible people,” the “exceptional nation”? It tells us that they are as dumb as shit. Creatures of The Matrix created by their own propagandists, Americans see imaginary threats, not real ones.

What the Russians and Chinese see are a people too brainwashed and ignorant to be of any support for peace. They see war coming and are preparing for it.

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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Outside significant mainstream media coverage, Britain is stepping up its support for the dictatorships in the Arabian Gulf and its ability to conduct military interventions in the Middle East. The strategy is illustrated in Whitehall’s long-standing but ignored special relationship Whitehall with Oman, the secretive, oil-rich Gulf state run by a despot installed in a British coup as long ago as 1970.

Oman is a British client state welcoming major British intelligence and military operations whose principal economic asset – oil – is controlled by Anglo-Dutch company, Shell. Files leaked by Edward Snowden show that Britain has a network of three GCHQ spy bases in Oman – codenamed ‘Timpani’, ‘Guitar’ and ‘Clarinet’ – which tap in to various undersea cables passing through the Strait of Hormuz into the Arabian Gulf. These bases intercept and process vast quantities of emails, telephone calls and web traffic, which information is then shared with the National Security Agency in the United States.

The British government announced in March this year that it is developing a large new military base – described as a ‘strategic port’ – at the Duqm Port complex in central Oman. This will house the two 65,000-tonne aircraft carriers being built for the Royal Navy, and other navy ships, with the aim clearly being to better project power in the region. The base is described as enabling a ‘permanent’ British naval presence in the area. Defence Secretary Michael Fallon hassaid that the port ‘will offer an airport with a 4km runway close to a port large enough for a Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers to manoeuvre and will also be connected to other Gulf countries by the Gulf Rail Project’.

The new Omani base will sit alongside another new intervention platform in the region – the British military base being built at Mina Salman port in Bahrain, another long-standing British ally ruled by a brutally repressive state. Bahrain already houses the largest permanent detachment of the Royal Navy outside the UK as part of the ‘Combined Maritime Force’, which includes the US Navy 5th Fleet in Manama. Together, these bases will provide the UK with its largest military intervention capability in the region since the late 1960s, when some bases in the region were closed.

British leaders claim these bases will provide security and stability for the region. The reality is that their most strategic significance, aside from being able to conduct military strikes, is in guarding oil routes – Oman plays an important role in overseeing the passage of international shipping through the Strait of Hormuz, through which some 30 per cent of globally bound oil passes every day. The British oil stake in Oman is already huge: Shell has a 34 per cent interest (alongside the government’s 60 per cent) in the Petroleum Development Corporation which manages the country’s oil.

Oman is described by the government as ‘a longstanding British ally… with shared interests across diplomatic, economic and security matters’. The UK and Omani armed forces regularly train together and this May, the two countriessigned a new military Memorandum of Understanding in which Britain’s armed forces plan to deploy 45 training teams to Oman in 2016. As part of this relationship, Oman naturally buys a lot of British weapons – most recently, a £2.5 billion deal agreed in 2013 to purchase 20 Typhoon and Hawk aircraft following a visit by David Cameron. ‘The Typhoon fighter jet performed outstandingly in Libya’, the government’s press release at the time stated, referring to the British military intervention in that country that helped to plunge it into anarchy and civil war.

In recent years British defence secretaries, members of the Royal Family, Lord Mayors of London and heads of military and oil companies have all been streaming into Oman, with practically no attention paid whatsoever by the 24 hour British media. They routinely deliver extreme apologias for the nature of the Omani regime, and especially its leader, Sultan Qaboos. In February 2014, for example, then Foreign Office Minister Baroness Warsi, delivering a speech in Muscat, praised ‘the Sultan’s wise leadership’ while Chris Breeze, the Oman country chairman of has noted the ‘Sultan Qaboos bin Said’s clear and inspirational vision for Oman’.

By contrast, Khalfan al-Badwawi, an Omani human rights campaigner who fled the country in 2013 after being repeatedly detained by police, recently told Middle East Eyethat the high level of British military and diplomatic assistance for the Omani government was ‘a major obstacle to human rights campaigners in Oman because of the military and intelligence support from London that props up the Sultan’s dictatorship’.

Whilst Oman’s repression is not as far-reaching or brutal as that in other UK-backed regimes in the region – notably Bahrain and Egypt – it remains serious and deep. According to Human Rights Watch:

Oman’s overly broad laws restrict the rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association. The authorities target peaceful activists, pro-reform bloggers, and government critics using short term arrests and detentions and other forms of harassment. Some detainees arrested since 2011 have alleg…

An especially odious feature of Oman’s political system is that all public gatherings require advance official approval while the authorities arrest and prosecute participants in unapproved gatherings.

Sultan Qaboos is well and truly Britain’s man in the Gulf. One of the longest serving dictators in the world, he was installed in power in a British-organised coup in 1970. British declassified files show that British military advisers in Oman, including the SAS, organised the overthrow of Qaboos’ father. Qaboos served in the British army and attended the army training college at Sandhurst and the RAF officers’ college at Cranwell.

By retaining faith in repressive pro-Western leaders in the region, backing them to the hilt, supplying them with arms and using their territory to militarily intervene in the region, Britain is continuing its long standing Middle East policy, backed by the US. With the region on fire virtually everywhere from Libya to Afghanistan, it is as though British leaders simply want to repeat all the counter-productive and immoral episodes of the past while simply stirring up even more war and instability in these areas. In fact, this view seems about right, judged by current policies. It really is time that British journalists find out where Oman is on the map and highlight what their country is actually doing there.

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There is an ugly anti-Russian mood in various Rio Olympic venues. When the Russian swimmers entered the pool for the 4 x 100M Freestyle team event, they were loudly booed. When the Russian team barely lost 3rd place, the announcer happily announced that Russian had been “kept off the medal stand”.

Last Sunday it was announced that the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) had decided to ban the entire Russian team from the upcoming Paralympics to held in Rio in September. Thus, 267 mentally or physically disabled Russians who have been preparing for the Rio Paralympics for years are now banned from competing. On Monday Associated Press story opened as follows: “After escaping a blanket ban from the Olympics, Russia was kicked out of the upcoming Paralympics on Sunday as the ultimate punishment for the state running a doping operation that polluted sports by prioritizing “medals over morals”.

In this article I will show how some big accusations based on little evidence have contributed to discrimination against clean Russian athletes and fostered a dangerous animosity contrary to the intended spirit of the Olympics.

International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Attack

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) made their decision to ban all 267 Russian Paralympic athletes largely on the basis of WADA’s July 16 McLaren Report and private communications with McLaren.

IPC President Sir Phillip Craven issued a statement full of accusations and moral outrage. He says “In my view, the McLaren Report marked one of the darkest days in the history of all sport.”

However, the McLaren Report is deeply biased. Here are some of the problems with the report:

* It relied primarily on the testimony of one person, the former Director of Moscow Laboratory Grigory Rodchenkov, who was implicated in extorting Russian athletes for money and was the chief culprit with strong interest in casting blame somewhere else.

* It accused Russian authorities without considering their defense and contrary information.

* It excluded a written submission and documents provided by a Russian authority.

* It failed to identify individual athletes who benefited but instead cast suspicion on the entire team.

* It ignored the statistical data compiled by WADA which show Russian violations to be NOT exceptional.

* It did not provide the source for quantitative measurements.

* It claimed to have evidence but failed to reveal it.

A detailed critique of the McLaren Report can be found at Sports Integrity Initiative, Consortiumnews, Counterpunch, Dissident Voice, True Publica, Global Research, Telesur, and other sites.

The IPC explanation of why they banned the entire 267 person Paralympic team boils down to the accusation that “the State-sponsored doping programme that exists within Russian sport regrettably extends to Russian Para sport as well. The facts really do hurt; they are an unprecedented attack on every clean athlete who competes in sport. The anti-doping system in Russia is broken, corrupted and entirely compromised….. The doping culture that is polluting Russian sport stems from the Russian government and has now been uncovered in not one, but two independent reports commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency….. I believe the Russian government has catastrophically failed its Para athletes. Their medals over morals mentality disgusts me. The complete corruption of the anti-doping system is contrary to the rules and strikes at the very heart of the spirit of Paralympic sport.”

These are strong words and accusations, not against the athletes, but against the Russian government. It seems the Russian Paralympic athletes are being collectively punished as a means to punish the Russian government.

But what are the facts? First, it’s true some Russian athletes have used prohibited steroids or other performance enhancing drugs (PEDs). The documentaries by Hajo Seppelt expose examples of Russian athletes admitting to taking PEDs, a banned coach clandestinely continuing to coach, and another banned coach dealing in prohibited drugs.

Another fact is that this problem exists in many if not all countries, especially since professional athletics is big business. WADA data shows that many countries have significant numbers of doping violations.

It is claimed that doping by elite athletes is pervasive in Russia but is this true? To answer that accurately would require an objective examination not a sensation seeking media report. In the current controversy the accusations and assumptions rely substantially on individual anecdotes and testimony which has been publicized through media reports (ARD documentaries, Sixty Minutes report and NY Times stories) with very little scrutiny. In contrast with the accusations , the scientific data prepared by WADA indicates that Russian athletes have a fairly low incidence of positive drug tests in international certified laboratories.

The biggest question is whether the Russian government has been “sponsoring” or somehow supervising prohibited doping. This has been repeated many times and is now widely assumed to be true. However the evidence is far from compelling. The accusations are based primarily on the testimony of three people: the main culprit and mastermind Grigory Rodchenkov who was extorting athletes and “whistle-blowers” Vitaliy and Yuliya Stepanov. The Stepanovs were the star witnesses in the Sixty Minutes feature on this topic. The report was factually flawed: it mistakenly reports that Vitaliy had a “low level job at the Russian Anti Doping Agency RUSADA”. Actually he was adviser to the Director General, close to the Minister of Sports and a trainer of doping control officers. The Sixty Minutes story also failed to include the important fact that Vitaliy was directly involved in his wife’s doping. According to Seppelt’s documentary “The Secrets of Doping” “First, Vitaliy even helps his wife with doping, procures the drugs, leads a kind of double life.”(5:45) Adding to the argument there may be a political bias in these accusations, all three witnesses (Rodchenkov and the Stepanovs) are now living in the USA.

The “proof” of Russian state sponsored doping rests on remarkably little solid evidence. The principal assertion is that the Deputy Minister of Sports issued email directives to eliminate positive tests of “protected” athletes. McLaren claims to have “electronic data” and emails proving this. However he has not revealed the emails. If the emails are authentic, that would be damning. How would the Ministry of Sports officials explain it? Do they have any alternative explanation of the curious directives to “Quarantine” or “Save” doping test samples? Astoundingly, McLaren decided not to ask them and he still has not shown the evidence he has.

Another controversial issue is regarding the opening and replacement of “tamper proof” bottles. The Rodchenkov account is that in the middle of the night, in cahoots with FSB (successor to KGB), they would replace “dirty” urine with “clean” urine. Rodchenkov says they found a way to open the tamper proof urine sample bottles. However the Swiss manufacturer Berlinger continues to stand by its product and has effectively challenged the veracity of the Rodchenkov/McLaren story. Since the release of the McLaren Report, Berlinger has issued a statement saying:

  • To the statement in the McLaren investigation report that some such bottles proved possible to open Berlinger Special AG cannot offer any authoritative response at the present time.
  • Berlinger Special AG has no knowledge at present of the specifications, the methods or the procedures involved in the tests and experiments conducted by the McLaren Commission.
  • Berlinger Special AG conducts its own regular reappraisals of its doping kits, and also has its products tested and verified by an independent institute that has been duly certificated by the Swiss authorities.
  • In neither its own tests nor any tests conducted by the independent institute in Switzerland has any sealed Berlinger Special AG urine sample bottle proved possible to open.
  • This also applies to the “Sochi 2014” sample bottle model.
  • The specialists at Berlinger Special AG are able at any time to determine whether one of the company’s sample bottles has been tampered with or unlawfully replicated.

McLaren says he does not know how the Russians were opening the bottles but he knows it can be done because someone demonstrated it to him personally. In contrast with McLaren’s assertions, Berlinger states unequivocally “In neither its own tests nor any tests conducted by the independent institute in Switzerland has any sealed Berlinger Special AG urine sample bottle proved possible to open. This also applies to the ‘Sochi 2014’ sample bottle model.”

If McLaren’s claims are true, why has he not discussed this with the manufacturer? Isn’t it important to identify the weakness in the system so that doping test samples cannot continue to be swapped as alleged? If his objective is to honestly find the facts, prevent cheating and improve the testing for doping violations, surely he should be consulting closely the certified and longstanding bottle manufacturer. The fact that McLaren has apparently not pursued this with the manufacturer raises legitimate questions about his claims, sincerity and “independence”.

McLaren further claims to be able to forensically determine when a ‘tamper proof’ bottle has been opened by the “marks and scratches” on the inside of the bottle caps. His report does not include photos to show what these “marks and scratches” look like, nor does it consider the possibility of a mark or scratch resulting from some other event such as different force being applied, cross-threading or backing off on the cap. In this area also, McLaren has apparently not had his findings confirmed by the Swiss manufacturer despite the fact they state “The specialists at Berlinger Special AG are able at any time to determine whether one of the company’s sample bottles has been tampered with or unlawfully replicated.”

If the findings of McLaren’s “marks and scratches expert” are accurate, why did they not get confirmation from the specialists at Berlinger? Perhaps it is because Berlinger disputes McLaren’s claims and says “Our kits are secure”.

The IPC decision substantially rests on the fact-challenged McLaren report. The IPC statement falsely claims that the McLaren bottle top “scratches and marks” expert has “corroborated the claim that the State directed scheme involved Russian Paralympic athletes.”

Banning 267 Athletes instead of the Guilty Eleven

The IPC report includes data that purports to show widespread doping manipulation in Russia. They report “Professor McLaren provided the names of the athletes associated with the 35 samples ….and whether the sample had been marked QUARANTINE or SAVE.” These 35 samples are presumably the same Paralympic 35 which are identified on page 41 of the McLaren Report as being “Disappearing Positive Test Results by Sport Russian Athletes”. There is no source for this data but supposedly it covers testing between 2012 and 2015. McLaren provided another 10 samples thus making 45 samples relating to 44 athletes.

It is then explained that 17 of these samples are actually not from IPC administered sport. So the actual number is 27 athletes (44 – 17) implicated. However, in another inconsistency, the IPC statement says not all these samples were marked “SAVE” by Moscow Laboratory. That was only done for “at least” 11 of the samples and athletes.

If the IPC final number is accurate it means they confirmed eleven Paralympic athletes who tested positive between 2012 and 2015 but had their positive tests “disappeared” to allow these athletes to compete. These athletes should be suspended or banned. Instead of doing that, the IPC banned the entire 267 person Russian Paralympic team!

The Rush to Judgment

The McLaren Report looks like a rush to judgment. The report was launched after the sensational NY Times story based on Grigory Rodchenkov and Sixty Minutes story based on the Stepanovs. Before he was half way done his investigation, Richard McLaren was already advising the IAAF to ban the entire Russian team. The McLaren Report, with all its flaws and shortcomings, was published just a few weeks ago on 16 July 2016. Then, on August 7, the IPC issued its decision to ban the Russian Paralympic Team from the September Rio Paralympics.

The IPC statement claims that they “provided sufficient time to allow the Russian Paralympic Committee to present their case to the IPC” before they finalized the decision. While the Russian Paralympic Committee appeared before the IPC, it’s doubtful they had sufficient time to argue their case or even to know the details of the accusations.

In summary, the accusation of Russian ‘state sponsored doping’ by McLaren and Craven is based on little solid evidence. Despite this, the accusations have resulted in the banning of many hundreds of clean athletes from the Olympics and Paralympics. They have also contributed to the ugly “ant-Russian” prejudice and discrimination happening at the Olympics right now. This seems to violate the purpose of the Olympics movement which is to promote international peace not conflict and discrimination.

Rick Sterling is an investigative journalist.

He can be contacted at [email protected]

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On August 11th, 2016, all major fronts around the city of Aleppo experienced a flurry of activity.

In northern Aleppo, Fatah Halab fired Lava and Elephant rockets on pro-government positions within al-Mallah farms. Jaish al-Tahrir used mortars to harass Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and Iraqi militia troops along the Castello Road Front.

In southern Aleppo, four separate groups of terrorists launched attacks on government positions. Jaish al-Nasr, Ahrar al-Sham, Faylaq al-Sham and the Bayan Movement managed to capture the Mahmiyat al-Ghizlan camp situated in the Khanaser Plain. The so-called Mountain Hawks Brigade operating on the Sabfiya front in southern Aleppo, uploaded footage of a TOW missile attack against a government outpost. Terrorist gains in this region threaten crucial supply lines to pro-government positions attempting to maintain a perimeter around the city center.

Pro-government forces pushed back when Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) troops made a push in the countryside of southern Aleppo. However, no strategically significant ground was secured.

In western Aleppo, Russian precision air strikes hammered the 1070 Housing Project, a hotbed of Jabhat Fateh al-Sham activity. The results of the strike are seen to good effect in footage shot from a rebel technical that narrowly escaped destruction.

The Syrian Arab Army was out in force around the southern reaches of Aleppo, with evidence indicating the deployment of a T-72M1 equipped with the Sarab-1 Jammer. In addition, a T-62 and assorted artillery were used to pound the terrorist positions outside Aleppo.

The first recorded death toll, from the Palestinian militia group ‘Al-Quds,’ was released after pitched battles around the Ramouseh Roundabout, in western Aleppo. Nine militia members died fighting on behalf of the pro-Government cause.  The Jaish al-Fatah operation room cannot supply its allied militants in eastern Aleppo on a constant basis because the group does not control this strategic roundabout and the Ramouseh Garage. The road on Khan Touman is also on the scene of fighting with the Syrian government forces.

In the skies over Ramouseh, a Syrian Arab Army drone was shot down.

Away from Aleppo, the Syrian Democratic Forces reported 230 terrorists killed in a failed Islamic State offensive to break the Siege of Manbij along the Jarabulus Front. So-called democratic forces also recorded the capture of an Islamic State religious police headquarters in Manbij city.

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Happy Birthday Fidel Castro.

août 13th, 2016 by Prof Michel Chossudovsky

Today, August 13, 2016 it is the 90th birthday of Fidel Castro Ruz, leader of the Cuban Revolution.

This article was first published by Global Research on August 13, 2011.

The Global Research team extends its warm greetings and best wishes to Comandante Fidel. 

Our « wish-list » to Comandante Fidel Castro on his 90th Birthday is:

For a World of Peace,

For a World of Truth, where people Worldwide join hands,

For a World of understanding, a World of tolerance and respect,

For the concurrent demise of neoliberalism and militarization which destroy people’s lives,

For the outright criminalization of America’s imperial wars,

For a World of Social Justice with a true « responsibility to protect » our fellow human beings,

For Truth in Media. For a World in which journalists are committed to reporting the truth,

Happy Birthday Comandante Fidel,  

You are the source of tremendous inspiration. Our thoughts are with you.

Long Live Fidel Castro Ruz

*      *      *

Fidel Castro under arrest in July 1953 after the Moncada attack (right).

Fidel Castro Ruz at the United Nations General Assembly in 1960 (left)

At the height of a US sponsored war and Worldwide economic crisis, Fidel Castro, the leader of the Cuban revolution, who to this day defies America’s imperial design, remains a source of hope and inspiration to those committed to social justice and international solidarity.

Last October [2010], I had the opportunity of spending several days at Fidel Castro`s home in the suburbs of Havana. Our conversation and exchange focussed on the dangers of nuclear war.

I had read Fidel Castro and Che Guevara during my high school days in Geneva, Switzerland and later at university in Britain and the US. When meeting him in person, I discovered a man of tremendous integrity, with an acute mind and sense of humor, committed in the minute detail of his speech to social progress and the advancement of humankind, conscious of the dangers of the US led war and the Worldwide crisis, with exceptional skills of analysis and understanding of his fellow human beings, with a true sprit of internationalism and a tremendous knowledge of history, economics and geopolitics.

On a daily basis, Fidel spends several hours reading a large number of detailed international press reports (As he mentioned to me with a smile, « I frequently consult articles from the Global Research website »…).

We focussed in large part on the dangers of nuclear war. Fidel Castro has the knack of addressing political details while relating them to key concepts. We also covered numerous complex international issues, focussing on the role of prominent political personalities, heads of State, authors and intellectuals. On the first day, when I met Fidel at his home, he was reading Bob Woodward’s best-seller The Obama Wars which had just been released. (See Picture below).

In this broad exchange of ideas, Fidel was invariably assertive in his views but at the same time respectful of those whom he condemned or criticized, particularly when discussing US presidential politics.

Fidel is acutely aware of the mechanisms of media disinformation and war propaganda and how they are used to undermine civil rights and social progress, not to mention the smear campaign directed against the Cuban revolution.

A central concept put forth by Fidel Castro in our discussions was the ‘Battle of Ideas ».  The leader of the Cuban Revolution believes that only a far-reaching « Battle of Ideas » can change the course of World history.

In addressing and understanding this Worldwide crisis, commitment to the Truth and analysis of the lies and fabrications which sustain the corporate and financial elites is of utmost importance.

The overriding powers of the Truth can, under appropriate conditions, be used as a revolutionary instrument, as a catalyst to unseat the war criminals in high office, whose role and position is sustained by propaganda and media disinformation.

In relation to 9/11, Fidel  had expressed his solidarity, on behalf of the Cuban people, with the victims of the tragic events of September 11 2001, while underscoring the lies and fabrications behind the official 9/11 narrative and how 9/11 has been used as a pretext to wage war.

Our focus was on nuclear war, which since our meeting last October has motivated me to write a book on the Dangers of Nuclear War. (Michel Chossudovsky, Towards a World War III Scenario. Global Research, Montreal, 2011)

The corporate media is involved in acts of camouflage. The devastating impacts of a nuclear war are either trivialized or not mentioned. Against this backdrop, Fidel’s message to the World must be heard; people across the land, nationally and internationally, should understand the gravity of the present situation and act forcefully at all levels of society to reverse the tide of war.

The « Battle of Ideas » is part of a revolutionary process. Against a barrage of media disinformation, Fidel Castro’s resolve is to spread the word far and wide, to inform world public opinion, to « make the impossible possible », to thwart a military adventure which in the real sense of the word threatens the future of humanity.

When a US sponsored nuclear war becomes an « instrument of peace », a « responsibility to protect » condoned and accepted by the World’s institutions and the highest authority including the United Nations, there is no turning back:  human society has indelibly been precipitated headlong onto the path of self-destruction.

Fidel Castro Ruz, October 15, 2010

Fidel’s « Battle of Ideas » must be translated into a worldwide movement. People must mobilize against this diabolical military agenda.

This war can be prevented if people pressure their governments and elected representatives, organize at the local level in towns, villages and municipalities, spread the word, inform their fellow citizens regarding the implications of a thermonuclear war, initiate debate and discussion within the armed forces.

What is required is a mass movement of people which forcefully challenges the legitimacy of war, a global people’s movement which criminalizes war.

In his October 15, 2010 speech, Fidel Castro warned the World on the dangers of nuclear war:

« There would be “collateral damage”, as the American political and military leaders always affirm, to justify the deaths of innocent people. In a nuclear war the “collateral damage” would be the life of all humanity.

Let us have the courage to proclaim that all nuclear or conventional weapons, everything that is used to make war, must disappear! »

The « Battle of Ideas » consists in confronting the war criminals in high office, in breaking the US-led consensus in favor of a global war, in changing the mindset of hundreds of millions of people, in abolishing nuclear weapons. In essence, the « Battle of Ideas » consists in restoring the truth and establishing the foundations of World peace.

« The Battle of Ideas » must be developed as a mass movement, nationally and internationally, waged by people across the land.

Fidel Castro Ruz has indelibly marked the history of both the Twentieth and Twenty-first Century.

Below is the transcript and video of Fidel’s historic October 15 2010 speech focussing on the dangers of a nuclear war, recorded by Global Research and Cuba Debate in his home in Havana in October 2010.

The American and European media in October 2010 decided in chorus not to acknowledge or even comment on Fidel Castro’s October 15, 2010 speech on the Dangers of Nuclear War. The evolving media consensus is that neither nuclear war nor nuclear energy constitute a threat to « the surrounding civilian population ».

Michel Chossudovsky, on behalf of  the Global Research Team, Montreal, August 13, 2016 


Fidel Castro’s October 15, 2010 Message on the Dangers of Nuclear War

The use of nuclear weapons in a new war would mean the end of humanity. This was candidly foreseen by scientist Albert Einstein who was able to measure their destructive capability to generate millions of degrees of heat, which would vaporize everything within a wide radius of action. This brilliant researcher had promoted the development of this weapon so that it would not become available to the genocidal Nazi regime.

Each and every government in the world has the obligation to respect the right to life of each and every nation and of the totality of all the peoples on the planet.

Today there is an imminent risk of war with the use of that kind of weapon and I don’t harbour the least doubt that an attack by the United States and Israel against the Islamic Republic of Iran would inevitably evolve towards a global nuclear conflict.

The World’s peoples have an obligation to demand of their political leaders their Right to Live. When the life of humankind, of your people and your most beloved human beings run such a risk, nobody can afford to be indifferent; not one minute can be lost in demanding respect for that right; tomorrow will be too late.

Albert Einstein himself stated unmistakably: “I do not know with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones”. We fully comprehend what he wanted to convey, and he was absolutely right, yet in the wake of a global nuclear war, there wouldn’t be anybody around to make use of those sticks and stones.

There would be “collateral damage”, as the American political and military leaders always affirm, to justify the deaths of innocent people.

In a nuclear war the “collateral damage” would be the life of all humanity.

Let us have the courage to proclaim that all nuclear or conventional weapons, everything that is used to make war, must disappear!

Fidel Castro Ruz

October 15, 2010

The following pictures wer taken after the filming of Fidel’s speech against Nuclear war, October 15, 2010 . Below is a Toast to World Peace.

Left to Right. Fidel Castro, Film Crew, Michel Chossudovsky, Randy Alonso Falcon

From Right to Left: Fidel Castro Ruz, Dalia Soto del Valle, Michel Chossudovsky. A Toast for World Peace.

From Right to Left: Fidel Castro Ruz, Dalia Soto del Valle, Alexis Castro Soto del Valle, Randy Alonso Falcon and Michel Chossudovsky (Left)

Right to Left: Fidel Castro Ruz, Randy Alonso Falcon, Michel Chossudovsky, October 15, 2010. Copyright Global Research 2010

Photos: Copyright Global Research 2010

Fidel Castro and Michel Chossudovsky, Havana 2010

In the words of Albert Einstein,  “Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.” And that in so few words describes Fidel Castro’s contribution to the future of humanity.  Fidel’s message is of particular relevance in relation to the « fake news » campaign directed against the independent media.

Author’s Introduction

The dangers of a Third World War are looming. Nuclear war is « on the table ».  « I want the Iranians to know that if  I’m the president, we will attack Iran ….we will obliterate them. »  says presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. 

The outright criminalization of politics. How do we instil sanity and honesty in US foreign policy. 

How do we reverse the tide, how do we dismantle the US-led military agenda?

America’s global war of conquest is supported by a vast propaganda apparatus including the Western mainstream media, segments of the online « alternative media », the corporate foundations, the elite universities and the establishment thinks tanks. 

War is upheld as a peace-making endeavor. When war becomes peace, the lie becomes the truth. There is no turning backwards. 

 Without war propaganda, the legitimacy of the US-NATO war would collapse like a deck of cards.  

War is a criminal undertaking. What is required is to break that legitimacy, to criminalize war through a global counter-propaganda campaign. The lies and  fabrications which provide legitimacy to America’s « humanitarian wars » must be fully revealed. 

In this regard, Fidel’s  “Battle of Ideas” opens up an important avenue. It serves to break a political consensus, it reveals the twisted nature of science and the social sciences, namely the inability of knowledge and analysis to provide an understanding of the true nature of an unfolding “New World Order” predicated on the destruction of representative government and the de facto criminalization of politics. 

The Battle of Ideas consists in confronting the war criminals in high office, breaking the US-led consensus in favor of war, changing the mindset of hundreds of millions of people, abolishing nuclear weapons and ultimately changing the course of world history.

The media, intellectuals, scientists and politicians, in chorus, obfuscate the unspoken truth, namely that the US-NATO led war destroys humanity.

When war is upheld as a humanitarian endeavor,  the judicial system is criminalized, the entire international legal system is turned upside down: pacifism and the antiwar movement are criminalized. Opposing the war becomes a criminal act. Meanwhile, the war criminals in high office have ordered a witch hunt against those who challenge their authority.

The Big Lie must be exposed for what it is and what it does.

It sanctions the indiscriminate killing of men, women and children.

It destroys families and people. It destroys the commitment of people towards their fellow human beings.

It prevents people from expressing their solidarity for those who suffer. It upholds war and the police state as the sole avenue.

It destroys both nationalism and internationalism.

Breaking the lie means breaking a criminal project of global destruction, in which the quest for profit is the overriding force.

This profit driven military agenda destroys human values and transforms people into unconscious zombies.

Let us reverse the tide.

Challenge the war criminals in high office and the powerful corporate lobby groups which support them.

Undermine the US-NATO-Israel military crusade.

Close down the weapons factories and the military bases.

Bring home the troops.

Members of the armed forces should disobey orders and refuse to participate in a criminal war.

This is our task, in towns and villages across the land, nationally and internationally: Counter-propaganda for peace.

The following text is the English version of  the Preface of the Spanish edition of my book,  The Globalization of War, America’s Long War against Humanity, launched in Managua, Nicaragua. June 2016.  

Michel Chossudovsky, August 13, 2016

To order The Globalization of War, click here or image below)

*      *      *

Counter-propaganda as an « Instrument of Peace ». Fidel Castro and the “Battle of Ideas”: The Dangers of Nuclear War

English version of the Preface to the Spanish Edition,

published in Managua, Nicaragua and Mexico City, Mexico


By Michel Chossudovsky

This book is dedicated to Fidel Castro Ruz, leader of the Cuban Revolution, whose practice and teachings have been the source of inspiration to grassroots revolutionary movements throughout the World. 

Fidel’s understanding of US imperialism, his writings on neoliberalism and global warfare are of crucial importance in the social struggle against the capitalist World Order including the articulation of people’s movement at national and international levels.  

In our 2010 “Conversations” (see Chapter II), Fidel focussed on the “Battle of Ideas”. He defined the role of concepts and knowledge as a powerful instrument of revolutionary change. While the “Battle of Ideas” emerged in Cuba at an earlier period, Fidel’s recent analysis focusses on the dangers of a Third World War and how to prevent it from occurring.

In the case of a Third World War, Fidel quite rightly pointed out:

“There would be ‘collateral damage’, as the American political leaders always affirm, to justify the deaths of innocent people. In a nuclear war, the ‘collateral damage’ would be the life of all humanity”. 

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For me, Fidel’s formulation had a profound significance. Following our meeting in Havana and upon returning to Canada, I started digging through piles of articles and US military documents on  America’s post 9/11 “pre-emptive” nuclear doctrine, which consists in using nukes for “self-defence” with “minimum collateral damage”: an absurd and diabolical proposal, which in the real sense of the word threatens the future of humanity. In the following year (2011),  I completed my book on this subject entitled: Towards a World War III Scenario, The Dangers of Nuclear War. 

Fidel Castro in focussing on the “collateral damage” associated with nuclear war had uncovered the “building block” of post-cold war imperialism. The Cold War concepts of “Mutually Assured Destruction” and “Deterrence » not to mention the US-Soviet Union communications “hotline” had been scrapped.

Is nuclear war part of a US policy agenda? Is it on the drawing-board of the Pentagon? The answer is a resounding Yes. Nukes are upheld as “peace-making bombs”. For Hillary Clinton in her 2016 election campaign, the use of nukes against Russia and the Middle East is “on the table”. they are also contemplated for use on a pre-emptive basis against non-nuclear states.

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The Globalization of War

The Pentagon uses the concept of “the long war” to describe what is tantamount to “a war without borders”. In the broader context of World geopolitics, Fidel upholds the “Battle of Ideas” as a means of confronting a powerful propaganda apparatus, precisely with a view to reversing the tide of global warfare which includes the “pre-emptive” first strike use of nuclear weapons.

The Battle of Ideas consists in confronting the war criminals in high office, breaking the US-led consensus in favor of war, changing the mindset of hundreds of millions of people, abolishing nuclear weapons and ultimately changing the course of world history.

The Sources of Propaganda

The structures of propaganda include the Western mainstream media, the establishment thinks tanks and research institutes whose “science” increasingly serves dominant corporate interests including the military industrial complex, Wall Street, the Anglo-american oil companies and Big Pharma.

A related form of propaganda emanates from America’s science laboratories on contract to the Pentagon, the objective of which is to provide a “human face” to  America’s so-called “defense contractors” (weapons producers).  According to “scientific opinion”, US advanced weapons systems are “instruments of peace”. Only America’s enemies produce Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD): Mini-nukes with an explosive capacity of one third to six times a Hiroshima bomb are described in official military documents as “harmless to the surrounding civilian population because the explosion is underground”.

Erasing the History of Socialism 

Academic historians are entrusted with the rewriting of colonial and imperial history. The crimes of empire are soon forgotten. America’s wars of conquest are casually described as “civil wars”. America’s “war on terrorism” is described as a humanitarian undertaking.

In turn, university social scientists both in teaching and research increasingly uphold “globalization” as an avenue of economic and social progress, as the “solution” rather than the “cause” of the Worldwide crisis.

This propaganda exercise also consists in erasing the history of socialism as well as eradicating from our collective memory the numerous nationalist movements and social struggles against US imperialism:  Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, Vietnam, Korea, Cambodia, Indonesia, Palestine, Yugoslavia, Egypt, Tanzania, Chile, Grenada, Algeria, South Africa, Mozambique, Angola, Afghanistan, Libya, …and many more…. the list is long.

“Economic Science” 

In economics, abstract models totally divorced from reality are used to analyze reality.

Students must conform to the tenets of macro-economic theory and mathematical model building.

Economic theory ignores the reality of economics. Its abstract “pure theory” formulations constitute a pseudo-science which provides de facto legitimacy to the neoliberal monetary policies imposed by corrupt Western governments, on behalf of powerful banking institutions.

Realities are turned upside down. The neoliberal consensus prevails. Drastic austerity measures coupled with the “free market” under IMF auspices are upheld as a means to generating economic growth and alleviating poverty. Ultimately what is at stake is that science, knowledge and analysis have been moulded and manipulated to such an extent that an understanding of the “real world” is no longer possible.

It is in this context that the “Battle of Ideas” opens up an important avenue. It serves to break a political consensus, it reveals the twisted nature of science and the social sciences, namely the inability of knowledge and analysis to provide an understanding of the true nature of an unfolding “New World Order” predicated on the destruction of representative government and the de facto criminalization of politics.

My understanding of the “Battle of Ideas” is that it seeks to reveal and uphold the Truth. It  targets the fake science and knowledge practiced by establishment researchers, journalists, scientists, historians and social scientists.

In the present day and age, critical analysis is indelibly threatened:  most Western intellectuals by conforming to a broad “politically correct” consensus, are tacitly supportive of the capitalist world order. This is crucial because the “authority » of knowledge and understanding which these establishment intellectuals convey ultimately  trickles down to the grassroots of society and shapes the perceptions of the broader public.

That “authority” emanating from those who “think on behalf of the ruling elites” must be broken as a means to ultimately breaking the ruling elites. The consensus which provides legitimacy to a corrupt economic and social system must be broken.

In contrast, the role of the committed intellectual —invariably blacklisted by the Western media— consists in refuting and ultimately breaking that “politically correct” consensus: what this requires is an all out “Battle of Ideas” against media disinformation, war propaganda, think tank research and establishment scholarship.

Some people on the Left will say: what we need is to formulate an alternative paradigm, i.e.  “Another World is Possible”.  Let us be clear: we are not dealing with an ideological battle between conflicting paradigms or World views. An abstract blueprint of an “Alternative” discussed at a World Forum will not in itself lead to fundamental changes in the capitalist World order.  Proposing a “new paradigm” in the abstract removed from an understanding of how the existing social, political and economic system actually functions will not result in meaningful change.

What is required are social movements which rely on a detailed understanding (through research and empirical analysis) of the functioning of contemporary capitalism, its complex economic and social system. And that analytical understanding cannot remain solely within the sphere of intellectual debate, It must be embodied within a mass movement, it must constitute the basis for strategic action against the corporate elites.

Social and economic research must so to speak be “democratized”, namely the workings of this system have to be understood by the grassroots of social movements. Ideas are thereby integrated into the revolutionary praxis of class struggle. And that can only be effectively accomplished once the neoliberal propaganda apparatus is broken.

Theory and Practice 

Concepts and analysis are never formulated in the abstract. The relationship between concepts and the concrete social realities of class struggle is fundamental. (This relationship is the essence of Marxian analysis which is often misunderstood). Concepts are built from a detailed investigation of the New World Order, its global financial system, its real economy, its institutions, its extensive military and intelligence apparatus, its historical evolution and how it impacts on fundamental economic and social relations and more fundamentally on people’s lives.

Theory cannot under any circumstances override this complex reality. Reality does not conform to theory. Quite the opposite: theory, namely conceptualization, emanates from reality. Ideas in support of a revolutionary process are not abstract theoretical concepts.  Theoretical formulations are derived from empirical analysis, through a detailed understanding of real life, of the conditions of poverty and despair affecting large sectors of the World population.

This dialectical relationship between theory and reality defines the revolutionary role of  the intellectual committed to ultimately breaking the neoliberal consensus.

Manipulating the Class Struggle: Neoliberalism Creates Social Divisions

The imposition of neoliberalism feeds on divisiveness, it encourages the creation of divisions within political parties and organizations opposed to the neoliberal consensus. The underlying strategy of the Neocons is not to crush the protest movement but to create a variety of separate protest movements which do not threaten the capitalist world order. It is in this regard that protest (supported and financed by elite foundations) becomes a ritual of dissent which accepts the legitimacy of those who are the object of the protest.

In an era marked by “humanitarian wars”, “color revolutions” and regime change, various “left” opposition coalitions have emerged.  Yet at the same time many of these social movements supported by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have been highjacked. They are co-opted and financed by corporate foundations (Rockefeller, Ford, et al). The latter are not only controlled by powerful financial conglomerates, they also have links to US intelligence.

Despite the setbacks of recent years including US led wars in the Middle East, coups d’état, insurgencies, State supported terrorism, economic sanctions, regime change,… the class struggle must indelibly prevail. For it to succeed, however, the inner workings of global capitalism must be understood: And that is where the “battle of ideas” comes in.

Conceptualization and analysis of economic and social realities are to be combined with the formulation of strategies and revolutionary praxis with a view to disarming the capitalist World Order.

But that cannot be achieved when “progressive leaders”, “left intellectuals” and anti-war activists  are coopted by elite foundations. The ploy is to infiltrate people’s organizations, selectively handpick civil society leaders “whom we can trust” and integrate them into a “dialogue”, make them feel that they are “progressives” acting on behalf of their grassroots, but make them act in a way which serves the interests of the corporate establishment.

Global Capitalism 

What is ultimately at stake are the structures and institutional base of global capitalism which are characterized by fraud, money laundering, corruption and co-optation. The latter not only permeate the corporate establishment, they also characterize the “opposition” organizations coopted and financed by elite foundations.

The “Battle of Ideas” questions the legitimacy of government decision-makers in high office; concurrently it reveals the criminal nature of the State and more specifically of US foreign policy. In turn the latter are sustained by the criminalization of international law.

The ultimate objective is to to reverse the dominant imperial ideology, which upholds “humanitarian wars” as peacemaking undertakings and which upholds austerity measures, low wages, bankruptcies, privatization and the repeal of social programs as an “economic solution”.

The underlying institutional fabric of global capitalism —political as well as economic— is sustained by a vast intelligence and propaganda apparatus.  And that is what has to be broken.

Ultimately honesty, solidarity and commitment combined with carefully formulated strategies and “analysis” are the driving forces behind a genuine class struggle.

In the words of Albert Einstein,  “Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.” And that in so few words describes Fidel Castro’s contribution to the future of humanity:

“We don’t need the empire to give us anything. Our efforts will be legal and peaceful, because our commitment is to peace and fraternity among all human beings who live on this planet.” (Fidel Castro Ruz, “Brother Obama”, Grannma, March 27,  2016, Message to Barack Obama upon his visit to Cuba)

Michel Chossudovsky, Montreal, Quebec, May 2016

Directly from Global Research Publishers:


The Globalization of War: America’s « Long War » against Humanity

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Towards a World War III Scenario: The Dangers of Nuclear War

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